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Learn Chinese from Tang poetry and children’s songs

鹅-1.jpg


I'm very glad to see that so many students from all over the world are learning Mandarin Chinese these days. Learning a new language requires making a conscious effort to focus on the language form, and to master pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.

近来看到来自世界各地的学生都在学习中文,我感到非常高兴。学习一门新的语言意味着要有意识地去关注语言的形式,掌握发音、词汇以及语法。


A native speaker, on the other hand, masters his or her mother language mainly by immersion and acquisition, so the focus on the function and meaning of the language. In this way, language is naturally acquired. This is the difference between language learning and natural language acquisition.

学习母语时,人们主要通过本土语言环境和语言习得掌握母语,关注母语的功能和意义,从而自然习得母语。这就是语言学习和自然语言习得之间的差别。


As a Mandarin teacher, I always try to make my lessons more fun and inviting. Beyond all doubt, learning a new language takes a lot of time and effort, but we can still find elegantly simple and interesting ways to gain mastery.

作为一名汉语老师,我一直都致力于使我的课堂更加富有趣味性,更加引人入胜。毋庸置疑,学习一门新的语言需要花费大量的时间和精力。但是我们仍能发现一些高雅、简单、有趣的方式来掌握这门语言。


儿歌 Childrens' Songs


When you begin to learn a new language, try to forget that you are an adult. Keep your childlike openness and sing some children's songs. In Mandarin, there are many such songs and rhymes to teach children; we call them 儿歌 (érgē).

开始学习新的一门语言的时候,请忘记你是一个成人。放开你的童趣,唱起儿歌吧。在中国,有许多类似的歌曲和韵律教孩子汉语,我们称这些歌为“儿歌(érgē)”。


When you begin to learn Pinyin, 儿歌 can help you get the feel of the 4 tones; after you mastered some words and expressions from your textbook, practicing 儿歌 will be a good complement to your textbook. For example, after you have learned some practical topics, such as shopping, asking directions, buying a gift, the weather and 5 senses, business words, etc., you can also taste the beauty of Chinese literature through 儿歌.

初学拼音时,儿歌可以帮助你识别汉语的四个声调。掌握了课本里的词汇和短语之后,儿歌则是对课本知识很好的补充。例如,在你学习完关于购物、问路、购买礼物、天气和5种感官以及商务等实用主题的词汇之后,你可以通过唱儿歌去欣赏中国文学的美。


Perhaps some of you will laugh, because after all, "I am an adult now!" But, it's not just fun and games. In fact, you can also learn many useful grammar patters through 儿歌.

或许你会对此建议付之一笑,因为毕竟“我是个成年人了”。但是,这不仅仅是一个有趣的游戏,实际上你可以通过儿歌学习很多实用的语法。


For example:

例如:


儿歌 (1): 下雨啦 Xiàyǔ Lā

dīda ,dīda

滴答, 滴答,

xiàyǔ la xiàyǔ la

下 雨 啦 下雨 啦,

liǔ shù shuō :xiàba 、xiàba 、wǒ yào fāyá

柳 树 说:下吧、 下吧、 我 要 发芽,

táo shù shuō:xiàba 、xiàba 、wǒ yào kāihuā

桃 树 说: 下吧、 下吧、 我 要 开 花。


It means:

英文译为:

Drip drop, drip drop,

It's raining, it's raining,

Willow says: come down, come down, I want to germinate,

Peach(tree) says: come down, come down, I want to blossom.


1) First, please pay attention to the rhyming at the end of each sentence; the final sound is the same (a), so you can feel a sort of harmony when you read it.

首先请注意每个句子结尾的押韵。最后一个音都是(a),读起来朗朗上口。


2) When you read this rhyme, can you image the beautiful scenery in spring? The rain in spring is full of vitality, bringing us hope.

读这首儿歌的时候你是否能想象出春天的美景?充满生机的春雨给我们带来了希望。


3) You may doubted that willow and peach tree are plants, they can not speak like a human being. This is a literary device called personification. Pragmatics is the study of how context influences meaning.

你或许会质疑,柳树和桃树都是植物,他们不能像人类一样说话。其实这是一种修辞手法,叫做“拟人”。语用学就是研究语境如何影响语义的一门学科。


So you see, from a simple 儿歌, we can learn about many literary topics.

因此,你看,我们可以通过儿歌学习很多文学主题。


儿歌(2)Xiǎoxiǎo de Chuán 小 小 的 船

Wānwān de yuèr xiǎoxiǎo de chuán

弯 弯 的 月儿 小 小 的 船,

Xiǎo xiǎo de chuánr liǎng tóu jiān

小 小 的 船儿 两 头 尖,

Wǒ zài xiǎoxiǎo de chuánlǐ zuò

我 在 小 小 的 船 里 坐,

Zhī kànjiàn ,shǎnshǎn de xīngxing lánlán de tiān

只 看 见, 闪 闪 的 星 星 蓝蓝 的 天。


It means:

英文译为:

The curved moon looks like a small boat,

The small boat has two sharp ends,

I sit in the small boat,

All I see: shining stars in the blue sky.


In this 儿歌,the famous writer 叶圣陶 used metaphor(比喻)and catchword repetition (顶真).

在这首儿歌里,著名作家叶圣陶采用了比喻和顶真的写作手法。


1) Metaphor : The moon is likened to a boat.

比喻:把月亮比作船


2) Catchword repetition: [小小的船] is the end of the first sentence, and as the beginning of the next sentence too.

顶真:[小小的船]在第一句的结尾,在第二句的开头。


唐诗 Tang Poetry


唐诗 (tángshī) poetry of Tang Dynasty is also a good choice to help you know more about Chinese ancient culture. Nearly every Chinese child recites at least some poems from Tang Dynasty in school.

唐诗即为于唐朝时期写的诗。唐诗也是你学习中国古代文化的一个很好的选择。几乎每个孩子上学的时候都背诵过一些唐诗。


For example:

例如:


Yǒng É 咏鹅

《咏鹅》was written by a famous poet named Luò Bīnwáng. When he was just 7 years old, he had already written such vivid poetry as this:

《咏鹅》的作者为骆宾王。他在7岁的时候就已经能写出这么生动的诗了: 


É é é

鹅 鹅 鹅

Qū xiàng xiàng tiān gē

曲 项 向 天 歌

Báimáo fú lǜshuǐ

白毛 浮 绿水

Hóngzhǎng bō qīng bō

红 掌 拨 清 波


It means:

英文译为:

The geese,

Skyward sing through curved necks,

White plumage floating in green water,

Red paddles stirring up clear ripples.


Just imagine that when you see a goose, you recite this beautiful poetry. What a wonderful thing it is! Through these 儿歌 and 唐诗,you can easily obtain a language-learning environment similar to that of Chinese children.

想象一下,在你看到鹅的时候,吟诵这首美丽的诗,那是多么美妙啊!通过儿歌和唐诗你可以轻而易举地获得和中国儿童相类似的语言学习环境。


In fact, I have taught some of my students using this kind of material, and I'm very glad to see they love to read and recite 儿歌 and 唐诗.

实际上,我已经用这些材料教了很多学生,而且他们也喜欢朗诵这些唐诗和儿歌,为此我感到非常欣慰。


I should advise when you begin to learn Chinese: don't be nervous, and please speak Chinese slowly at first. You should first become accustomed to the 4 tones, the neutral tone, and rules of changing tones, and then you can speak Chinese fluently in the future. When you read a poetry of Tang Dynasty, you'd better pay attention to the rising and falling cadence. 

当你初学汉语的时候,以下是我给你的一些建议:不要紧张,一开始讲中文的时候要慢。你应当首先熟悉四个声调,轻声以及变声调的规则。这样你以后才能流利地讲中文。在朗读唐诗的时候,要注意升调和降调。


儿歌 and 唐诗 are a language treasure house just waiting for you to explore! Today is the day to take action!

儿歌和唐诗是等着你去挖掘的语言宝库。开始行动吧!

2016-06-21

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