Trying to make sense of the Chinese language

Random thoughts on the language.

Pinyin is meant for you to know how to pronounce the word.

To write a Chinese character, you use various strokes. These strokes have names and ways how to write them. It is a very fine form of art.

The Chinese language has 4 different tones. A word may have the same pinyin spelling BUT will bring different meanings depending on the tone used.

If I understand this correctly, to be at a certain level of mastery of the language, you need to know a certain number of words. This means you need to memorize thousands and thousands of words. I think I am beginning to see why young children have loads of homework pertaining to the writing exercise.

The current OUMH1403 course is aimed at students to know basic communication – to listen and speak. Knowing how to write and read Chinese characters is a more advanced lesson but students are welcome to delve into the language and steer through the course in any way they wish. Maybe this is the pathway I am looking for as a motivation to sit for the HSK exams.

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