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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Putonghua and local dilect

For lots of Putonghua students, it's their goal that they can travel around China using only Putonghua. It's very doable in many places, but it can also be quite difficult.

I just had a short trip to Wuhan, Hubei. And I was surprised to find out that Wuhan people prefer Hubeihua rather than Putonghua, even when they are talking to Putonghua speaking people. Hubeihua sounds kind of similar to Putonghua, but only to native ears.

I believe it's very difficult for Putonghua students to understand them, especially those who are programmed in standard four tones.

When asked why they only speak Hubeihua, Wuhan people said that it's habit, or it's not enough education. One or the other. They certainly have no problems understanding Putonghua. They just don't want to speak it!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Not satisfied at your progress?

If you have spent at least one hour per day to study Chinese, to review, to do homework and probably watch Chinese programs on TV, but somehow you don't feel you have made any progress.

It could be that you still utter badly pronounced words, or you still struggle to make a full sentence, or you still can't understand the simplest questions when you hear them. Maybe it's time for you to consider that it's your teacher who didn't do a good job.