Press ESC to close

Luqman’s Dyslexia Weblog: A dialogue on Quora

6 years in the past, somebody on Quora had requested: Which is
higher when studying Chinese language: characters with out Pinyin or Pinyin with out

Yong Wen San replied as follows.

In case you are
critical about studying the Chinese language language, then it’s best to purpose to shed pinyin
out of your system as quickly as doable.

For the
newbie learner, particularly one who shouldn’t be immersed in a Chinese language-speaking setting,
pinyin does function a great tool for studying the pronunciation of characters
and phrases in Fashionable Customary Chinese language. However that’s all it must be seen as – a
instrument to assist studying pronunciation. I take challenge with anybody who makes the
sweeping assertion that you could “study Chinese language utilizing pinyin”. That may solely
provide help to with the spoken trendy Chinese language language, and even then, it should solely
take you so far as some primary phrases – ordering meals at an eatery, shopping for
one thing from a grocery retailer, asking for instructions, and many others. In case your ambitions
in “studying Chinese language” solely go that far, then fantastic, you may cease studying right here.

My remark: On what foundation did this man say the above?
Did he do analysis to give you such a press release?

I studied Mandarin utilizing Pinyin to HSK 4 degree and
imagine I can proceed studying to talk to Grade 6 degree, which is what I’m
doing now. I believe it is extremely irresponsible for anybody to say one thing with out
realizing the details.

Anyway, what’s so improper with finding out each characters
and pinyin? Why does it should be one or the opposite?

Yong Wen San:

Nevertheless, if
you could have even remotely loftier ambitions in buying a broader vocabulary,
partaking in complicated discussions, and studying harder texts akin to
newspapers and novels (and I’m not even going into the realms of Classical
Chinese language but), then let me let you know one thing: pinyin is not going to get you there.

My remark:

Why would a foreigner wish to learn newspapers
and novels in Chinese language? I don’t have time even to learn a minute portion of
literature in English and in Malay. Would I wish to study Chinese language Characters to
learn novels in Chinese language? I study
Mandarin to converse and talk about with the Chinese language who
don’t know the languages I do know – English, Malay and Tamil.

Yong Wen San:

And right here is
my private bias kicking in: Pinyin encodes the pronunciation of Chinese language phrases
in keeping with Fashionable Customary Chinese language (Mandarin). It pays no consideration
in anyway to the opposite Chinese language languages akin to Cantonese, Shanghainese and

My remark:

That is precisely why  Yong’s forefathers tried to rid of the
dialects in China.

Sure, Pinyin caters for Mandarin. There may be romanization
for the opposite dialects as nicely.

Yong Wen San:

Take into consideration
this for a second: Earlier than the appearance of pinyin and its predecessor zhuyin fuhao
(nonetheless utilized in Taiwan), how do you assume Chinese language language college students discovered to
communicate and skim? That’s proper, they simply merely discovered it.

My remark:

After all, they merely discovered it. However why then did the
Chinese language Authorities implement the usage of Pinyin? It’s as a result of many Chinese language
couldn’t pronounce phrases accurately by the Chinese language in China.

Yong Wen San

Okay, I
perceive that with out the advantage of immersion in a pure Chinese language-speaking
setting, you might not have that luxurious, so pinyin turns into your instrument. However
deal with it as that, only a instrument. Use it to learn to pronounce a brand new phrase that
you encounter, and as soon as discovered, let the pinyin go.

The above is deceptive. The Western world launched romanization
for Westerners to study Mandarin. Why would China create Hanyu Pinyin for
educating in Chinese language colleges in China? Did China not benefit from a
pure Chinese language-speaking setting?

With out pinyin how would you know the way to pronounce?

zhuàn​ to earn / to make a revenue

zuàn​ to cheat / to swindle

Most Chinese language who haven’t discovered Pinyin don’t even
know the distinction within the pronunciation of the 2 phrases above.

There are 100’s of such phrases however that is greater than
sufficient to make my level.

Most of the Chinese language in Malaysia order ‘exploded hen’ as an alternative of fried hen as a result of the character for ‘exploded’ and ‘fried’ is similar.

  zhà   to burst; to blow up / to explode; to bomb

zhá   to deep fry






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *