Has anyone else recently attempted to learn Chinese? What has worked or not worked for you? What words and phrases might be important for landscape architects to learn? I just bought the Berlitz software for Chinese and Japanese. It seems like a pretty comprehensive program. Anyone else tried it?
Roland, I not sure if what I have to say will help you at this time, but here goes. When I was younger I traveled a lot overseas. I never was on the beaten path(where the tourists were), so there was very little English spoken.
I always tried to pick up phrases that would help me live, once I mastered those, I would try to learn as much of language as I could. This usually worked if I was staying in country for an extended amount of time. I took French in school, three years worth and was laughed at in France when I tried to speak. It was only when I was in Amsterdam that I met French Moroccan that my french improved. The same was so in the other countries that I stayed in. If the folks there see that your trying to learn the language they are usually very helpful.
I realize that you want to be able to get off the plane in China with some decent language skills, so maybe my suggestion to immerse yourself in the country of choice won't work for you now.
I wish you luck with endeavor and have fun with it.
What a great adventure it could be.
I don't know who I'd rather be you Henry or the Dos Equis Beer Man.
take the beer man, I'm only smoke and mirrors.
I've been studying Mandarin Chinese for over a year now. I actually use 2 programs. Rosetta Stone (RS) and Rocket Chinese (RC) (like Pimsluer and Berlitz). I think you need both. I go back and forth between the two.
RC is conversational while RS focuses on words and word combinations. The biggest problem with RS is that sometimes it is difficult to understand the words they are trying to convey. This is where Rocket Chinese comes in. RC says the word in English and then in Chinese. I found having both programs to be essential. RC allowed me to understand some of the words RS was trying to convey.
RC is in MP3 format (and to a certain extent RS) which allows me to listen to it anywhere. RC also has one mp3 with the 4 tones of the Chinese language. Once you hear the tones you begin to understand the Chinese language much better.
Finally, you will need to be immersed in the culture to really learn it. It takes a lot of time and self discipline to learn a new language without the immersion.
If Werner Von Braun could do it, so can you, Roland!
"You too may be a big hero
Once you've learned to count backward to zero.
In German, oder English, I know how to count down,
and I'm learning Chinese!"
Says Wernher Von Braun
Good luck, buddy - any language expands the mind, and if you listen to Evan Osnos on china, he insists that English is the difficult language, not chinese!