Learn Chinese Everyday.com Interview with the Creator!

Learn Chinese Everyday.com Interview with the Creator!

learn-chinese-everydayThere are so many learning Chinese sites out there.  So many.  But recently I came across a relatively new website that is appropriately called LEARN CHINESE EVERDAY.COM.  This is what I tell my friends who are learning Chinese and what I should try to remember myself.  If you do something everyday how could you not get better at it!

The site has a daily character that is big and bold and it has an animation so that you can see how to write the character.  Next to it they have an audio soundbite that helps you to hear the pronunciation of the word.  Under that there is a list of the radical, traditional, strokes and the English translation in addition to other variations that this word can be used for.  Under that is usually a couple sentences using the new word along with the pinyin and English.

learn-chinese-everyday2Over the last couple months I’ve been subscribing to their RSS feed and I’ve been really enjoying them.  Everyday there is a new character that comes and it’s one of those RSS feeds that you don’t HAVE to go to the site.  Lots of good sample sentences and audio tracks.  There is also a great way to really practice the characters.  There are posts of WORKSHEETS that are PDF files that you can download, print and practice.  Great for students!  The other day I noticed that they had a great post introducing radicals.  Great work!

MinMin is the person behind the website.  She is a native Chinese speaker.  This is her twitter account.

1.  How do you write your Chinese name?
My Chinese name is 敏敏.
Learn Chinese with Free Podcasts
2.  What was the reason for starting your site?

First of all I like Chinese language very much. It is my mother tongue. I learned it since primary school.  And I hope to help others in learning Chinese as well.
I have a good friend who tells a joke a day in blogspot. Here is where my idea “Learn a Chinese Character a Day” comes from.
Secondly, as a web developer, I wish to own a website and see how far I can succeed in the world of internet.

3.  Do you come from a family of teachers?  What do your parents do?
No. My father is a mechanic and my mother is a housewife.

4.  What is your opinion about more and more Western people learning Chinese?
现实来说,很明显的中国在世 界的地位已提高。汉语顺理成章变成了外界与中国数亿人口沟通的重要桥梁。我想西方人也开始察觉到学中文能提高自身价值而为前途铺路。
此外,我觉得西方人的思想比较开放,比较能接受不同的文化。他们可能为了兴趣或是需要或是好奇而学习中文。反观东方 人就比较执著于本身的种族文化。比方说日本人,他们只用日语,这是他们表达爱国的方式。

It’s pretty clear today that China’s position in the world has been elevated.  The Chinese language has naturally become a bridge to aid in communication between both China and the outside world.  I hope that many Westerners will become aware that studying Chinese will not only improve one’s worth but also it will pave the way for many future opportunities.  Plus, I believe that many Westerners are very open to new ideas and are able to receive and understand different cultures.  Whether they are interested in studying, or they need to study or they are just curious about Chinese I think it’s great!  In contrast, Asians are generally focused on their own culture.  For example, Japanese will only use their own language which is how they demonstrate their patriotism.

5.  Give us your thoughts: “I don’t need to study Chinese characters to learn Chinese!”  Do you agree?
许多人认为只要懂得拼音,就能掌握中文,因此学不 学字并不重要。我并不认同这一点。
汉语带着五千年的文化历史,每一个字从形到音都拥有它独特的根源 及意义。再说,汉语有同音字也有多音多义字,因此单靠拼音并不足以让学者正确辨认不同的字。
再说,若 学者单单只学拼音,就不能阅读与书写中文。要知道所有的文章都是以中文书写,而并非拼音。学会越多字会令学者在阅读文章时更能了解其 中的含义。

Many people think that if they can only learn pinyin only then they will grasp Chinese.  Unfortunately, Chinese characters are then not important.  I absolutely do not agree.  Chinese and Chinese characters carry a history of over 5 thousand years.  Every character, from the the appearance to the pronunciation, possess a unique origin and a distinct significance and meaning.  Again, many Chinese characters have the same pronunciation or are homophones and some have several ways to pronounce them and several meanings.  Thus, the scholar of Chinese cannot only rest on the inadequate pinyin to correctly identify and recognize those characters, meanings and true essence of Chinese.  At the same time, the Chinese scholar who relies on pinyin won’t be able to read Chinese books or even write a letter in Chinese!  If the Chinese scholar wants to read a Chinese book or articles or writings, they won’t be able to because they are not written in pinyin.  The more characters you learn the more you will understand the implied meaning that is in many of our Chinese writings and articles.

6.  What is your favorite Chinese writer?
现代散文方面,我喜欢张曼娟和张小娴。 小说方面,我喜欢金庸。

In respect to modern prose, I like Zhang Manjuan and Zhang XiaoXian.  In terms of novels I like Jin Yong.

7.  What is your favorite Chinese quotation?
吃得苦中苦,方为人上人。  chī de kǔ zhōng kǔ, fāng wéirén shàng rén.

Here are a couple translations:

“Work really really hard and you’ll be able to excel among others.”
“Only those who endure the most become the highest.”
“If you are unwilling to suffer through a real hardship, you will not grow into a better person.”
“A person may become stronger by overcoming hard-ship and suffering.”
“To endure hardship may pay off in the long run.”

8.  What is your favorite Chinese movie?

There isn’t one particular movie that I really like.  But I’m a kind of person who really likes comedies.

9.  Do you have a part time job?  Or is this site your full time job?
This site is considered as my part time job.  I have a full time job which required me to sit in the office from 9am – 6pm. I work as a web developer.

Thanks Min Min and good luck with the website!  Do you agree with what Min Min said?  Give us YOUR opinions via twitter or comments below!

Definitely head over to her website and LEARN CHINESE EVERYDAY!

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