The First Week ✓

Day 7.  I’ve learned 56 Chinese words. ← A meaningless number but it’s kind of important in order to keep my motivation.

Today I learned words like ‘outside’ (外边 wàibian), ‘inside’ (里边 lǐbian), ‘on the left'(左边 zuǒbian), ‘on the right'(右边 yòubian), ‘in front of’ (前边 qiánbian), ‘behind’ (后边 hòubian), ‘beside’ (旁边 pángbiān), and ‘nearby/vicinity'(附近 fùjìn). I have no sense of direction so if I lived in China they would probably be useful? I notice the sample sentences always have the word 有 or 是, like 外边有… or 后边是….

Sometimes my dictionary app and the word book disagree about tones, for example 前边 [qianbian] on my dictionary app is tone no. 2 and 4, but the word book says it’s tone no.2 and neutral. I checked Naver dictionary and decided the word book was correct.

I wonder why tones of some Chinese characters suddenly become neutral for certain words.

And I notice that there is ‘one house’ (一家) or ‘one place’ (一所) in front of ‘hospital’, ‘restaurant’, and ‘university’. Do they always have to count places?

Yóujú hòubian shì yì jiā fàndiàn.
Behind the post office is a hotel.

Wǒ jiā pángbiān yǒu yì suǒ yīyuàn.
Next to my house, there is a hospital.

Tā jiā fùjìn yǒu yì suǒ dàxué.
Near his house, there is a university.

I think I will find out about it later when I start reading about grammar.

I googled 饭店 [fàndiàn] and according to a Japanese blog, even though Chinese language textbooks in Japan always translate the word as ‘hotel’,in China, it means ‘restaurant’. The blog says that’s because Chinese language education in Japan still followed some old standard even though things have changed. However, people in Taiwan still use 饭店 to say ‘hotel’.


According to Naver Korean Dictionary, the main definition is ‘hotel’, for dialect it’s ‘restaurant’.

Roy Nishizawa, the Japanese author of the book about memorization tips for English vocabulary says on his radio show that it is wrong to learn English (or Chinese, in my case) out of a sense of obligation (or just thinking ‘I really must study’) because if you do, it will eventually make you hate learning English. I agree with him. I remember when I quit a 90-day challenge to learn Korean because after few days it felt like a burden. I’ll try think of my study time as my relaxation time, something that I want to do, not something that I have to do. ###


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