Monday, April 28, 2008

Finding out how characters sound

The greatest frustration in learning Chinese is that I stare at the characters in the face and for the life of me cannot prononunce them. So in a sentence of ten words or so, I am lucky if I manage to read two or three.

When I bought Jimmy Liao's 'Turn Left, Turn right', I wanted so badly to be able to read the words. My tutor taught me the first five lines mentioned two posts ago.
I am hungry for more and in the site, I found this excellent tool that allows me to use my mouse to write a chinese character in both traditional and simplified form, select the one that I am interested to know about and the Hanyu Pinyin would appear. If the word is a traditional character, the simplified version will be given. Here is the tool:

This is really a fantastic website!

I am using this tool to learn the simplified forms of the Turn Left, Turn Right story as well as how to read them. It may seem to be a laborious way to learn Chinese. However, being actively engaged in seeking out the forms and meanings of the words, I am at least breaking out of the frustration of not being able to figure out Chinese characters at all.

Confucius said:
"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand'

I need not say more.

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