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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chinese Grammar

I've been studying Chinese for several years now, but mostly just as a hobby. However, since moving to Shanghai, I've been putting a lot more energy into my language studies. I can now have a simple conversation with the dumpling guy & get the maintenance man to turn the electricity back on in my apartment.

I'm even getting kudos from ChinesePod, a really cool website with great langauge learning tools.

The more Chinese I learn, the more interesting it becomes. Lately, I've started to notice a very curious but common sentence structure in Chinese. Here's an example:

这是我朋友写给我的信。zhe4 shi4 wo3 peng2 you3 xie3 gei3 wo3 de xin4.

Word-by-word translation: This is my friend write give me 's letter.

More natural translation: This is the letter that my friend wrote to (give) me.

It looks like a relative clause in English turns into an adjective clause in Chinese. Who'da thunk it?


scott said...

Cool! Looks like you've turned the corner where you are good enough that it starts to feed on itself. That is awesome! Get good so you can teach me when i start in April 2013! I expect to be done with spanish by then, haha! :)

Nancy Lewis said...

Got it. You're booked in my calendar for 2013 :)