Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog Specs

Just to be clear, Mandarin Segments aims to use the following specification in writing the text of this blog:

  • content will be based on Standard Mandarin (Pǔtōnghuà) [普通话]
  • words will be based on the Simplified word set, although reference to the Traditional set will sometimes be made
  • where relevant, Pinyin transliterations will be provided (using the usual tone marks), as well as in Chinese writing
  • comments are encouraged

And as the blog reader, please consider the following: It's easy to spend 30 seconds looking at a post and agreeing that the content might be useful to remember, and perhaps even easy to remember. But unless you actually take the time to remember, you have possibly wasted those 30 seconds. So take your time with new posts, and set a personal goal to not leave the page until you've memorised the content. And consider coming back for revision!


  1. hey there, I found your blog while looking for sites that can help me learn mandarin. I have to say, well done! I have an inquiry. In your opinion, should I learn the characters first or the words itself? What method did you find effective? :)

  2. Thanks for your comments Rosmary.

    I would say you should focus in the beginning in the basics of Chinese speech, both listening and speaking. In order to do this you will need to learn pinyin. In the early days you certainly do not need to read Chinese characters, and that may even slow you down. So skip that for a while.

    In due course you will know when it's right, but I think I was self-studying Chinese for a couple of years before I made much of an effort to both learning the characters. If you'd like to get a step-by-step approach, read this article.