Basic knowledge of Chinese language
Chinese characters are logograms developed while English have phonemic symbols. Most frequently used 1,000 Chinese characters will cover 90% of a newspaper meaning.
Modern Chinese can be broadly divided into traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese is mainly used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, while simplified Chinese is used by mainland China, and Chinese overseas communities in Singapore and Malaysia.
Learning Chinese usually begins with radicals, and each Chinese character is assembled from different radicals. The radicals are equivalent to the letters of English. The pronunciation of Chinese can be mastered by learning Pinyin.
Common methods for retrieving and finding Chinese characters include: pinyin, radicals, and strokes.
Why Study Chinese
China is one of the oldest and richest continuous cultures in the world and has a history of more than 5,000 years. Mandarin is the mother tongue of more than 873 million people. More than 1 billion people in the world use Mandarin, about one fifth of the global population, making it the most widely used language in the world. Chinese is attractive because of its beautiful handwriting, melodic and poetic language.
In addition to China, Mandarin is also used in important and influential Chinese communities in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Mongolia. Understanding Chinese may give you an edge opportunity when competing for important positions. International companies are more willing to recruit people who speak more than one language.
China is the second largest economy in the world and one of the UK's largest trading partners. China will play an important role in future world affairs. Many UK companies do business in China and make long-term investments there. Research on Chinese literature and culture will help you bridge cultural differences, better understand your Chinese counterparts, and build a platform for knowledge and understanding.
Chinese-English language comparison
Chinese has a relatively simple syntax. Unlike English, there is no verb combination in Chinese, and there is no noun deformation (for example, gender and singular and plural). For example, English has different verb forms, such as "look/looked/looking", but Chinese only needs to remember one word: "look". In English you have to distinguish between "dogs" and "dog", which has only one form in Chinese: "dog".
The basic word order of Chinese is the subject - verb - object, exactly the same as English. A number of key terms in Mandarin (such as national, health, science, politics, and even literary terms) have been translated into English pronunciation. You may be learning a different culture, but the content of many modern key concepts are familiar.
Chinese characters usually express their meanings through the root of the word itself, and several characters synthesis a new meaning. The Chinese characters themselves are not always pronounced the same, but different dialects and languages can still be understood by words. Through the composition of Chinese characters, China has also formed unique cultures such as couplets and calligraphy.