Chinese practices

Hello everyone! 大家好!The Sunday Chinese practices have been a bit dead recently, but I’ll be there in the Venus room tomorrow at 17:00 UTC, so if anyone wants to practice their Chinese, feel free to drop by!


I’m sorry, I saw this too late, it would have been nice to meet you and practice Chinese.

1 Like

Since our Asian participants have said that the Sunday time is too late in the night for them, we’ll be starting today at 5pm CET instead of 6pm in Earth 4. Of course, some of us stick around after 6pm, so if 5pm is too early, you can still drop by at 6, and (at least) I will be there. :wink:

I’ll be free at 7 pm CET (6 pm in London) in case anyone is around then

你们中的一些人可能对我刚遇到的这个有奖的比赛感兴趣。中文创意写作,但你只能使用320个指定的汉字! [](Chinese writing contest using just 320 specified characters)

1 Like

只能用指定的字也太難了吧~ :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: 你要參加嗎?



1 Like



I don’t understand what you guys are writing here but “just” 320 characters? JUST? Oh my, who could ever learn 320 different Chinese characters? And you call it “just” :grin: My biggest respect to everybody who masters Chinese.

1 Like

Fortunately, entrants don’t have to write all these characters by hand, just (ok, that’s another ‘JUST?’ :blush:) recognise them in order to be able to type the pinyin romanisation of the sounds and then pick the correct character from the list that pops up - in case you’ve never seen anyone type on a phone or computer in Chinese, that’s how most people do it, including native speakers.

The idea of the contest is to write a short story or poem (etc) but in order to level the playing field between those who’ve been studying full-time for a few years and might know thousands of characters and those who are advanced beginners (a bit like me), the piece has to be composed using only 300 specified characters. Advanced learners will still have an advantage because they know more grammatical constructions, etc, but will find the vocab limit much more frustrating than those of us for whom the characters on the list might make up more than half of those we actually know!

It’s a bit like having to write something in a European language using only the words on a vocabulary list for A1 level on the CEFR scale.

You’re right that even recognising 320 characters seems like an impossible task when you start learning Chinese, and I’m sure it never becomes easy, but it does become less daunting as you start to recognise recurring patterns and learn what some of the common components mean. In fact, looking at a page of Chinese text, e.g. in a graded reader, and finding that you can actually understand most of it a few months after it looked completely incomprehensible may well be one of the most satisfying breakthroughs you can make as a language learner!