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Say It Right Series

Tips on learning to write characters for the first time and grammar?

Posted by doodlemonster November 28, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

I've been with ChinesePod for about 5 months now (although I'm still at a Newbie level! >.<) but progress is slow because I've been studying for my exams at school. However, I do think I've made progress as I can speak a few sentences to a few friends at school (she's a native so very good for practice! ^.^) and I can understand quite a few words (not quite sentences yet, though... >.<) but the things I've been struggling the most with are writing and reading and learning the grammar structures/word order.

When I went to Hong Kong in the summer, I bought my favourite book in Chinese (yes, although I can't really read it yet, I can pick out characters plus it's good for sentence structure etc. until I can get better) but with writing, I have no idea where to begin learning! Should I start by like copyig characters from lesson PDFs? Practice copying out sentences or what?! I'm really not sure what the most effective way is... >.<

Also, I've been finding the grammar quite hard to get head around. I've got a very helpful grammar book (and, of course, CPod's own Qing Wens!) but I still don't think I've grasped the basics well enough to continue. Again, I should I just copy out sentences? This seems pretty pointless to me but I have no idea what else to do!

So really, my questions are:

  1. Where on earth do I begin when learning to write Chinese?
  2. How do I build a strong foundation of very basic grammar so that I can progress to harder stuff?

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