Characters and words used so far:

陆 - lù - a surname (land)
雨 - yǔ - rain
平 - píng - level
力 - lì - strength
波 - bō - wave
你 - nǐ - you
好 - hǎo - good
你好 - nǐhǎo - hello
林 - lín - a surname (forest)
娜 - nà - graceful
吗 - ma - interrogative particle
很 - hěn - very
呢 - ne - sentence final particle
也 - yě - also
对 - duì - correct
不 - bù - not
起 - qǐ - start
对不起 - duìbuqǐ - excuse me
请 - qǐng - please
问 - wèn - ask
请问 - qǐngwèn - may I ask?
会 - huì - can
说 - shuō - speak
英 - yīng - hero
文 - wén - language
英文 - yīngwén - English
一 - yī - one
点 - diǎn - dot
儿 - r - noun suffix
一点 - yīdiǎn - a little
一点儿 - yīdiǎnr - a little
普 - pǔ - common
通 - tōng - go through
普通 - pǔtōng - common
话 - huà - speech
普通话 - pǔtōnghuà - Mandarin
是 - shì - to be
美 - měi - beautiful
国 - guó - country
美国 - měiguó - United States
人 - rén - person
美国人 - měiguórén - an American
爸 - bà - dad
爸爸 - bàba - dad
妈 - mā - mother
妈妈 - māma - mother
他 - tā - he
们 - men - pluralizing suffix
他们 - tāmen - they
都 - dōu - all
忙 - máng - busy
男 - nán - man
朋 - péng - friend
友 - yǒu - friend
朋友 - péngyǒu - friend
丁 - dīng - a surname (fourth)
哥 - gē - brother
哥哥 - gēge - elder brother
要 - yào - want
咖啡 - kāfēi - coffee
弟 - dì - younger brother
弟弟 - dìdi - younger brother
我 - wǒ - I, me
我们 - wǒmen - we
喝 - hē - to drink


Pimsleur, Unit 2

Dùibùqĭ, qĭng wèn. Nĭ hùi shūo pŭtōnghuà ma?

Wŏ hùi shūo yīdiănr.

Nĭ shì mĕigúorén ma?

Shì. Nĭ hùi shūo yīngwén ma?

Bù hùi. Wŏ bù hùi shūo yīngwén.



Something I noticed in that last post...
There are two different commas in chinese. One of them appears in the sentence "Lu Yuping, how are you."
The other should appear in the sentence "How is your father, your mother."
Now I just need to figure out how to type the second one.

UPDATE: Okay, I figured it out. I just needed to type backslash while in chinese input mode. I updated the last post to use the correct comma.

NPCR Chapter 2

Lín Nà: Lù Yŭpíng, nĭ hăo ma?

Lù Yŭpíng: Wŏ hĕn hăo. Nĭ bàba、māma hăo ma?

Lín Nà: Tāmen dōu hĕn hăo. Nĭ máng ma?

Lù Yŭpíng: Wŏ bù máng. Nĭ nán péngyou ne?

Lín Nà: Tā hĕn máng.

Dīng Lìbō: Gēge, nĭ yào kāfēi ma?

Gēge: Wŏ yào kāfēi.

Dìdi: Wŏ yĕ yào kāfēi.

Dīng Lìbō: Hăo, wŏmen dōu hē kāfēi.


Pimsleur, Unit 1

Dùibùqĭ, qĭng wèn. Nĭ hùi shūo yīngwén?

Bù hùi. Wŏ bù hùi shūo yīngwén.

Wŏ hùi shūo yīdiănr pŭtōnghuà.

Nĭ shì mĕigúorén ma?

Shì. Wŏ shì mĕigúorén.


Second thoughts

I'm not entirely happy with how that last post turned out. I'm not sure if it's because the sentences were so simple, but it seemed a little repetitive.
I guess I'll put that technique away for a while, and try it again when I have something more complicated to try it on.

An Experiment

This whole post is an experiment.
I'm going to try the format used in Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics.
This technique worked very well for them, but I'm not sure how it'll translate to this medium (and language).

New Practical Chinese Reader, Volume 1 Chapter 1:

陆 雨平: 力波, 你 好。
Lù Yŭpíng: Lìbō, nĭ hăo.
Lù Yŭpíng: Lìbō, you good.
Lù Yŭpíng: Hello, Lìbō.

力波: 你 好, 陆 雨平。
Lìbō: Nĭ hăo, Lù Yŭpíng.
Lìbō: you good, Lù Yŭpíng.
Lìbō: Hello, Lù Yŭpíng.

力波: 林 娜, 你 好 吗?
Lìbō: Lín Nà, nĭ hăo ma?
Lìbō: Lín Nà, you good (question)?
Lìbō: Lín Nà, how are you?

林 娜: 我 很 好, 你 呢?
Lín Nà: Wŏ hĕn hăo, nĭ ne?
Lín Nà: I very good, you (modal)?
Lín Nà: I'm fine, and you?

力波: 也 很 好。
Lìbō: Yĕ hĕn hăo.
Lìbō: also very good.
Lìbō: I'm fine too.


A few useful(?) links

Zhongwen.com is a chinese character dictionary. It emphasizes traditional characters over simplified, but it's still pretty useful.

Rikai.com is a site created by my friend Todd which allows you to annotate any Chinese (or Japanese) website such that mousing over a character will give you its definition. Try it. You'll like it.

Hanzi Smatter is a site dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture. The reverse version of Engrish.com, only with a bonus gift of interesting conversations on chinese characters.

Kanji Clinic is a regular column from The Japan Times dealing with the experiences of non-Japanese adults trying to learn the Kanji.

Alaric's blog about blogging in chinese as a second language is my inspiration for starting this.

Language Hat is a blog which deals with languages and linguistics. Always interesting.

Wenlin and Clavis Sinica are competing Chinese dictionary apps. Both are available for MacOS X and Windows. Neither is perfect, and they're both somewhat expensive, but I've found them very useful.

Quia allows you to create online quizzes and drills. Here are some of the activities I've created for learning Chinese.

First Post

This blog is an attempt to practice my written chinese.
I expect it to initially be composed mostly of transcriptions and translations of dialogs from textbooks and Pimsleur, although once my vocabulary expands, I hope to include more original writings.
I may also use this space to post links and to record my thoughts(in english) on various subjects such as Chinese language and culture, language acquisition, hanzi and kanji, linguistics, and anything else I might think is relevant and/or interesting.
The intended audience is me, but anyone else happens to find any of this interesting, you're more than welcome to read it. Please feel free to leave comments too.