Tips on learning to write characters for the first time and grammar?

November 28, 2009, 10:04 AM posted in General Discussion

I've been with ChinesePod for about 5 months now (although I'm still at a Newbie level! >.<) but progress is slow because I've been studying for my exams at school. However, I do think I've made progress as I can speak a few sentences to a few friends at school (she's a native so very good for practice! ^.^) and I can understand quite a few words (not quite sentences yet, though... >.<) but the things I've been struggling the most with are writing and reading and learning the grammar structures/word order.

When I went to Hong Kong in the summer, I bought my favourite book in Chinese (yes, although I can't really read it yet, I can pick out characters plus it's good for sentence structure etc. until I can get better) but with writing, I have no idea where to begin learning! Should I start by like copyig characters from lesson PDFs? Practice copying out sentences or what?! I'm really not sure what the most effective way is... >.<

Also, I've been finding the grammar quite hard to get head around. I've got a very helpful grammar book (and, of course, CPod's own Qing Wens!) but I still don't think I've grasped the basics well enough to continue. Again, I should I just copy out sentences? This seems pretty pointless to me but I have no idea what else to do!

So really, my questions are:

  1. Where on earth do I begin when learning to write Chinese?
  2. How do I build a strong foundation of very basic grammar so that I can progress to harder stuff?

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November 28, 2009, 11:15 AM

Do you have a Premium account? If so, you can use Skritter to learn to write the characters. It's really great.

As for grammar, I like it, but I don't think it's very helpful in learning a language. Lots of listening and (later) reading will get you the sentence structures. At least if your brain works like mine does.

Hm, not very helpful, I guess.

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November 28, 2009, 11:27 AM

No, I don't have a premium account unfortunately :( A little too expensive for me! But you never know, Christmas is coming up! haha 

Thanks for your help :)