Mandarin Chinese (Kathy and Jeremy)

Chinese is the most common language on the Internet.  Heck, Chinese is the most common language, period.  Mandarin is the most widely spoken version of Chinese, with the number of Mandarin speakers being almost equal to the next three most widely spoken languages combined (Spanish, English, and Hindi).

With all those people speaking Chinese, it makes sense to learn a little.  Chinese can be a very challenging language, but it’s one where even a little can be impressive.  We will focus on some very practical words and phrases so that you can actually use what you learn.  We’ll learn some polite words like “please” and “thank you,” some learning phrases like “What does that mean in English?”, and some food words so maybe you can impress your family the next time you go to a Chinese restaurant.

We will not learn to read and write characters for a couple of reasons: unlike an alphabet, you can’t tell how a word is pronounced by looking at the character (and you may only be able to guess at the meaning), they’re terribly complicated, and I don’t read very well myself.

The homework will involve practicing what we cover in class in various ways.

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