Weekly Update - Feb. 29, 2020

February 29, 2020

This week I started focusing on Hello Chinese instead of characters.

What I Learned This Week

I started off reviewing some of the intro levels of the course that I did a couple months ago. Those levels taught me to say things like China, Chinese, family, house, water, and bread. For those words, it definitely felt like they were easier to pick up and remember since I was able to recognize the characters (or at least elements of the characters).

Some characters in Chinese are just made up of one single character, but most are actually combinations. Water is just a single character - 水. But the character for China is made up of two distinct characters, middle, and country - 中国. I learned both of those characters using the Heisig method in the last couple of weeks, so it was almost trivial to put them together. It’s much easier to remember that word now because the lines have some meaning and aren’t arbitrary anymore.

There are some nice patterns that I feel will be useful to scale up my learning. A lot of words countries in Chinese end in 国 (meaning country).

  • America - 美国
  • France - 法国
  • Germany - 德国
  • Great Britain - 英国

Chinese Dates & Days of the Week

I learned the days of the week, which are remarkably simple in Chinese. You just take xīng qī (星期) and add a number for the day of the week, starting with 1 for Monday.

English Pinyin Hanzi
Monday xīng qī yī 星期一
Tuesday xīng qī èr 星期二
Wednesday xīng qī sān 星期三
Thursday xīng qī sì 星期四
Friday xīng qī wǔ 星期五
Saturday xīng qī liù 星期六
Sunday xīng qī tiān 星期天

I also learned how to say the date and ask what the day is.

What’s the date? - 今天 是 几 号?
Today is February 29, 2020. - 今天 二零二零 年,二 月 二十九日。

At/Near/Behind/In Front

At the end of the week, I learned how to ask where someone is and how to describe where things are. For example, the airport is behind the park is 机场 在 公园 后边.

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I send updates on my progress every Saturday.