Understanding Characters When Strung Together
hey. i'm at that stage where i know quite a few characters but when i try read a long sentence, even if i understand individual characters, and maybe get the gist of the meaning, i'm often at a loss as regards the precise meaning. does anybody have any good ideas about the best way to progress from that stage of knowing individual characters but still not getting the meaning of an entire paragraph, or entire sentence, even. below are the sentences that made me realise the stage i'm at...
Thank you very much...
markJuly 02, 2011, 02:35 AM
I think you just have to keep at it. The more you encounter and figure out, the easier it gets over time.
Also, I find using two opposing methods of study on different materialworks well for me. On some material I comb through every character and make sure I understand it. On other material I just forge ahead and don't dwell on the bits I don't get.
I think your sentences are connected, and they mean something like:
I felt like he/she didn't want me there, but when I tried to leave, she wouldn't let me. What double talk! It was easiest just to pretend I belonged. I didn't have the heart to just bolt.
...but I could be wrong.
babyeggplantJuly 02, 2011, 03:12 AM
First of all, you have a couple of chengyu thrown in there. It's pretty hard, for me at least, to guess the meanings of most chengyu even when I know all of the characters. Often the characters will give me a hint, but I still have to look them up. Second of all, most words in Chinese are made up of at least 2 characters. Sometimes the characters in the words can give you an idea of the meaning, but other times not. For example, who would have guessed that 人家 actually means he/she/they instead of a person's family or home？I agree with Mark that it just takes time. You'll get better and better as you learn more vocabulary.
I dare to say that the number of words learned is also more important than the number of characters known. I think somebody who simply knew the definition of 4000 characters alone would have a pretty difficult time with reading comprehension. Because of this, I always focus on learning the meanings of words rather than single characters.
Anyways, here's my shot at the translation.
When I want to be there, she acts like I'm a pain
When I want to leave, she won't let me
What the H?
(I'm not really sure what this means. I'm guessing it might be 方言 or a variant of 搞什么鬼？)
I simply just put on a bold face
and leave without giving a care.
hickdanJuly 02, 2011, 03:52 PM
hey guys. thanks a million for your help.what both of you say about learning what characters combined mean as opposed to simply what individual characters mean makes good sense. gotta get myself some good reading material...