Here at the Language Corner academy in Ciudad Lineal, we are proud to teach a variety of languages. Between the academies in La Elipa and San Blas/Ascao we have had classes in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and now we are adding one more – Mandarin Chinese.
Mandarin Chinese is completely different from any our our European languages. First of all, the alphabet – there isn’t one! Instead there are characters. One single character can mean a whole word. However, there is also a system called pinyin that allows us to write a word using the roman alphabet, which is very helpful for learning the language.
紅 is written in pinyin as “hong.” it means “red”.
綠 is written as “lu” It means “green”.
燈 is written as “deng”. It means “light”
An interesting thing about Mandarin is that it is full of compund nouns, meaning, two or more words can go together to create a new one.
For example 紅綠燈 all together makes a new piece of vocabulary – traffic light!
飛 (“fei”) is fly.
機 (“ji”) is machine
Together they mean aeroplane!
It means that, although it may seem difficult to learn reading the characters, building voculary is surprisingly easy.
Another interesting element of Mandarin is the sound. It is a tonal language, meaning if you say a word with a slightly different tone of voice, the word has a different meaning.
A classic example; 妈 (“ma”) with a high pitch tone means “mother”. But 马 (also “ma”) with dipthong sound means “horse”. So you really don’t want to get the two words confused!
On the other hand, the grammar in Mandarin is relatively simple – there are no verb conjugations!!
Altogether, it is a fascinating language to learn and very satisfying. If you are looking for a new challenge, we will be starting Mandarin Chinese classes at our academies in La Elipa and San Blas/Ascao this summer. As always we have native speaker teachers to help you learn the language with fun and dynamic classes. Just contact us to reserve your place in the academies or call on 910014281 or 673340106