The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. This is a personalized journal of my Mandarin language journey, and the target audience would be other students of Mandarin, beginners if possible. Let’s start! But before we do please watch the video after or while reading, it’s meant to complement the content of this blog article. If you watch just the video and not read, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two weeks for each lesson, which means it will take us 140 days or 28 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is April 13, 2012.
MONDAY: Lesson Two - 你忙吗？
We have ten Chinese Characters for this week, again, two a day. There are four words from the text also in Chinese Characters but I already discussed them last week so no need to repeat them. Let’s start! For today we have 丁 which is one of the characters’ surname. Literally it means “nail” meaning that one you use with a hammer, NOT the one on your finger. This is pretty easy to write, like writing a capital letter T. The other one means “knife” and is written as 刀. Remember the character for “strength” 力 last week? They look almost the same, except that the second stroke for the knife character does not extend above the first stroke.
TUESDAY: Lesson Two - 你忙吗？
Our Chinese Characters for today are 又 which means “again” we’ve already encountered the sound in the word “friend” but I think the character was different, as opposed to what I say in the video. It is quite easy to write, just two strokes! The second one means “big” and you might recognize it as the first Kanji of “Osaka” if you are also studying Japanese. The character has three strokes and looks like 大.
WEDNESDAY: Lesson Two - 你忙吗？
For Wednesday we have your “mouth” 口 and “earth” 土. As you can see the first character looks like a simple square, but it would be a lot better if you follow the stroke order. It is not that hard to begin with. Imagining the image as a mouth is not that difficult to do. Just draw imaginary eyes and a nose above it. As for the second character, just remember the cross on the ground (earth). There’s a cross on the ground! Haha. It does not make sense but it helps me remember it.
THURSDAY: Lesson Two - 你忙吗？
Today we have the number “six” 六 and the predicate negator “not” 不. I can’t give you tips on how to remember the first character. I also have no idea why it looks like that, but since you would be counting a lot in daily life and it is not that high a number, I bet memorizing it would not be that hard to do. The same thing goes with the second character. It is also high frequency so it would be best that you memorize it. Or not. It would be appearing a lot do before you know it you’ll realize that it’s already stuck in your head.
FRIDAY: Lesson Two - 你忙吗？
The last two characters for this week are the “buddhist nun” 尼 and the verb expressing ability “can” 可. These two are familiar because we’ve already used them in words during the last few weeks. The first one is used in the tag question 你呢 where you put an additional character to its left side to alter the meaning. The second character on the other hand has been used for “older brother” 哥哥 where it is written four times, next to and on top of each other. In this case the sound is maintained. This is one important thing to note when it comes to Chinese characters. Some characters are there to determine the sound, to give you a clue with regards to its pronunciation, while the other character accompanying it would most likely give you the meaning.
See you next weekend! For next week I will be covering lesson three. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)