Archive | September, 2012

Why Learn Chinese from SpeakMandarin?

22 Sep

Why learn Chinese from SpeakMandarin.com? Where should we start? If you are looking for an affordable, efficient, and convenient way to learn the Chinese language, there is no better place on the internet that SpeakMandarin … Plain and simple.

There are many reasons people are looking to start learning Chinese. Career advances are one of the main reasons for learning the language. Once you have that skill on your resume, you have a better chance of advancing your career or even landing the job of your dreams. This can all happen from simply learning a new language. But you are still probably wondering, “Why learn Chinese?” The answer is simple – many companies are now outsourcing to China or are having their inventory imported from China for the simple fact that it is more cost efficient. Once you can speak the Chinese language, you can now handle that aspect of things within a company, which now makes you a hot commodity.

Aside from the business aspect of learning Chinese, children can learn a new language as well. Bilingual kids will have more opportunities as they grow older. Just remember, it is never too early to start learning Chinese. Counting in Chinese for kids is a great way to start them off with the language. They can then concentrate on the Chinese counting method, which is a bit different from the English way of counting. However, as long as they child can count in English, picking up the Chinese character numbers shouldn’t be overtly difficult for them to learn.

So stop wondering, “Why learn Chinese?” and just start learning. SpeakMandarin offers all new individuals a free trial session, so you can start with that and work from there. Now you may be wondering exactly what Chinese courses are offered. Below is just a sample of what is offered:

  • ILR Test preparation
  • Business Chinese
  • Survival Chinese
  • Chinese characters
  • Chinese for kids
  • Standard Chinese
  • Listening comprehension
  • And much more

These are just a few of the programs offered. Also, don’t forget that at SpeakMandarin, you have the option of taking the pre-defined courses or you can have the courses customized to suit your needs, wants and level of the Chinese language. Just remember, SpeakMandarin is always here to help!

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Learning about Ancient Chinese History for Kids

17 Sep

When it comes to learning about ancient Chinese history, for kids there is more than 5,000 years of information that they need to learn. Ancient Chinese history has made a great impact regarding the development of current-day China.

When learning about ancient Chinese history for kids, they will learn about how China has an amazingly splendid civilization and culture.  Ancient Chinese history also gives a reflection of the beauty of China regarding the culture and morality the country holds.

Learning about Famous Individuals

Some of the emperors of ancient Chinese history for kids to learn about are Qin Shihuang (Qin Dynasty Emperor,) Hanwudi (Emperor of Han Dynasty,) Lin Shimn (Emperor of Yang Dynasty) and Kangxi (Emperor of Qing Dynasty).

While learning about ancient Chinese history for kids, kids will be learning about famous scholars. One such famous scholar kids will be learning about is Confucius. He was a great educator during the spring and autumn period of ancient China.

In addition to those notable individuals from Chinese history for kids, there are also two famous scientists that kids will be learning about: Zhu Chongzhi and Zhanheng.

Ancient Chinese Dynasties

There are many different periods in ancient Chinese history for kids to learn. The different periods are:

  • Prehistoric Times
  • Xia Dynasty (2070 B.C. – 1600 B.C.)
  • Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C. – 1300 B.C.)
  • Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C. – 256 B.C.)
  • Spring and Autumn Period (1046 B.C. – 256 B.C.)
  • Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. – 207 B.C.)
  • Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)
  • Three Kings Period (220 A.D. – 280 A.D.)
  • Jin Dynasty (265 A.D. – 420 A.D.)
  • Northern Southern Dynasty (420 A.D. – 589 A.D.)
  • Sui Dynasty (581 A.D. – 618 A.D.)
  • Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. – 907 A.D.)
  • Five Dynasties and Ten States (907 A.D. – 960 A.D.)
  • Song Dynasty (960 A.D. – 1219 A.D.)
  • Liao Dynasty (907 A.D. – 1125 A.D.)
  • Jin Dynasty (1115 A.D. – 1234 A.D.)
  • Yuan Dynasty (1206 A.D. – 1368 A.D.)
  • Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.)
  • Qing Dynasty (1616 – 1911)

 

There are many different things from ancient Chinese history for kids to be learning about, especially with the different periods. Everything that happened during the different periods is what form China into the country we know today.

Must See Chinese Attractions When Traveling to China

11 Sep

When traveling to China, a great way to spend quality time with your kids is to go the different Chinese attractions that are right there in China. Because many Chinese attractions carry a great deal of history with them, this is a wonderful way for you and your entire family to learn about the Chinese culture.

There are numerous different Chinese attractions that the entire family can go to, to have some fun and learn at the same time. Here are just a few Chinese attractions that any traveler to China should stop and see:

 

  • Hong Kong Island
    • It is located in the southern portion of Hong Kong Special in the Administrative Region.
  • Take a trip on either the Yangtze or Yellow River (or even both)
  • The Karakorum Highway
    • This is the highest paved road in the world, all while connecting Pakistan and China across the Karakoram mountain
  • Macau
    • A special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, along with Hong Kong
  • Nanjing
    • The capital of Jiangsu
  • Shanghai
    • The largest city of China
  • Xian
    • The capital of the Shaanxi province
  • The Forbidden City
    • This is where the ancient Chinese imperial palace is located
  • Grand Buddha
    • Located in Ling Shan
  • The Great Wall of China
    • It was built between 220–206 B.C.
    • With all of the branches, it measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 miles)
  • Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve
    • This nature preserve is located just North of the Sichuan province in South Western China
  • The Summer Palace
    • Which when translated means “Gardens of Nurtured Harmony”
    • It is located in Beijing, China
  • Tai Shan
    • A mountain in China
  • Yungang Caves
    • It is an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple that is near the city of Datong
  • Army of Terracotta Warriors
    • This is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang

 

As you can see, there are many different adventures you can encounter while visiting any number of the Chinese attractions that it will be a fun learning experience for the entire family. It is always great idea to do things together as a family because then you will be able to grow as family. With going to these Chinese attractions, you will be able to learn something that you might have known about, while still spending time together as a family.

Something you might to want to think about doing is learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese because while you are going to these attractions, there will be things written and said there that will be in Mandarin Chinese. By learning the language now, you can understand the attraction better when you get there.

Bring in the Chinese New Year with Chinese Customs for Kids

8 Sep

The Chinese New Year is a very big festival in China. The Chinese will go to great lengths to ensure that everything is perfect for this day, as in they want to ensure that they will be able to bring in the New Year with a clean start, good luck, fortune and wealth. Needless to say, people have many customs to ensure that the New Year comes in the right way.

The first of several Chinese customs for kids is by having a grand feast at a relative’s house. At the feast, there is anywhere from between eight to nine different dishes. The normal types of dishes that are served at the feast are dumplings, oranges, long noodles, sticky rice cakes and sweet rice. There are other dishes, but it depends on the family and what they to eat and/or like to make.

Another one of the Chinese customs for kids that they will learn to pass on to their kids is when the family offers a bowl of sticky rice cakes to the Kitchen God, as a symbol to thank him for the dinner. They also offer the Kitchen God Glutinous rice balls with a brown sugar soup, which is offered to please the Kitchen God.

Chinese customs for kids don’t stop there. On the biggest day of the year for the Chinese, it is customary to wear new clothes on the Chinese New Year. Everyone tries to wear the color red because they believe that it will get rid of any evil there might be lingering around. Additionally, everyone tries not to wear black because it represents death.

A very popular one of the Chinese customs for kids is to receive gifts from their friends and family. The gifts that are given on this day are a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Many of the adults will give their young family members money in a red envelope. The person that receives the gift bows their head three times. This is to show respect to the presenter of the gift.

One of the last Chinese customs for kids is to honor the animal for the year. Each year is different animal; it depends on the calendar year and the moon cycle. There are 12 different animals in the Chinese Zodiac: Dog, Dragon, Goat, Horse, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Rat, Rooster, Snake and Tiger. Whichever animal represents that year, the Chinese families incorporate it to the decorations that they are placing.

Learning Mandarin Chinese will help during the Chinese New Year because you will be able to understand all of the activities better. Also, when learning Mandarin Chinese, you will be able to participate more actively in the Chinese New Year.

 

Chinese Customs for Kids – Chinese Zodiac Signs

3 Sep

One of the biggest beliefs in the Chinese culture and one of the many Chinese customs for kids is the Chinese zodiac signs. Zodiac signs are based on the calendar year along with the lunar cycle, unlike the Georgian or Western calendar, which is based on the solar cycle. Chinese zodiac signs play a very big role in Chinese customs for kids because, per their belief, everything regarding the child will depend upon which zodiac sign that they were born under.

Within the Chinese astrology, the moon repeats the cycle every 12 years. There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac horoscope, with each animal having their own year because of the lunar cycle.  The 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac are the Tiger, Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Snake, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Pig and Dog. Just as with any other horoscope, each animal has weaknesses and strong points.

Here are some examples of each Zodiac. Look to see if your Chinese Zodiac Sign is really you or not.

Rat: 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

You are adventurous, ambitious, bright, charming, a deep thinker and fussy.

You will get along best with Dragons and Monkeys, but should stay away from Horses.

Ox:  1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

You are dependable, hardworking, patient and trustworthy.

You will get along with Snakes and Roosters best, but should stay away from Goats.

Tiger: 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

You are aggressive, courageous, powerful, rebellious, sympathetic and unpredictable.

You will get along with Dogs and Horses, but should stay away Monkeys.

Rabbit: 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

You are kind and virtuous. The Rabbit is the luckiest sign in the Chinese Zodiac. You try to have peace in your life and you are touchy regarding beauty.

You will get along best with Goats and Pigs, but should stay away from Roosters

Dragon: 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

In the Chinese heritage, the Dragon is a sign of Imperial Power. It is also a privilege to be born in the year of the dragon. There is a strong belief that each year of the Dragon that comes, so does a mini baby boom.

You are powerful, full of strength, wealthy and wise.

You will get along best with Monkeys and Rats, but should stay away from Dogs.

Snake: 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

You are determined and wise.

You will get along best with an Ox and Roosters, but should stay away from Pigs.

Horse: 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

You are attractive, impatient, popular, showy and talkative.

You will get along best with Tigers and Dogs, but should stay away from Rats.

Goat: 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

You are creative, elegant, shy, sympathy and tender.

You will get along best with Rabbits and Pigs, but should stay away from an Ox.

Monkey: 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

You are charming, deceitful, intelligent and Inventive. You are successful at pretty much anything you put your mind to.

You will get along best with Dragons and Rats, but should stay away from Tigers.

Rooster: 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

You tend to be a bit eccentric, a little bit full of yourself and proud. You also like to learn and to work.

You will get along best with Snakes and an Ox, but should stay away from Rabbits.

Dog: 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

You are fair, loyal and sincere, and you get along well with others as well.

You will get along best with Tigers and Horses, but should stay away from Dragons.

Pig: 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

You are brave, chivalrous, have life-long friendships and are mobile.

You will get along best with Rabbits and Goats, but should stay away from other Pigs.

Since the Zodiac signs are a big belief in China, it is also one of the main Chinese customs for kids, since people start believing it as soon as the child is born.