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Taking Chinese GCSE watch

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    (Original post by IcEmAn911)
    when you say you're learning chinese do you mean mandarin or cantonese?
    Mandarin - which is the simplified version of characters.

    The traditional characters are there for Cantonese speakers if they choose to do that.
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    Im doing traditional characters but with Mandarin
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    its is really admirable that a non-native chinese speaker is trying to learn chinese when the Whole world is learning english.
    Keep up the good work.

    Have you tried getting hold of chinese children's books. nursery books or primary school books?

    Those are quite useful in learning basic chinese.
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    Thanks for all your replies guys. I think I'll probably go for it (my school don't actually teach Chinese and none of my teachers know it), but I do have a few chinese friends in my school and i've made some over the net.

    500 characters seem fair enough. I know around 200 now and its been only 6 months, learning here and there. Somebody mentioned they even give you a book during the exam of the vocab? Wow that's massively making it easy.

    Reading and writing aren't a problem, I am getting better at memorising the characters. Speaking will be a problem generally for Western speakers - because of the tones, so I may not do that incase it drops me down.

    My realistic aim would be to get A*, or at worst, an A. I think its possible at the current rate I'm learning.

    How hard is it to get hold of these British Council books?
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    (Original post by kizza1)
    Thanks for all your replies guys. I think I'll probably go for it (my school don't actually teach Chinese and none of my teachers know it), but I do have a few chinese friends in my school and i've made some over the net.

    500 characters seem fair enough. I know around 200 now and its been only 6 months, learning here and there. Somebody mentioned they even give you a book during the exam of the vocab? Wow that's massively making it easy.

    Reading and writing aren't a problem, I am getting better at memorising the characters. Speaking will be a problem generally for Western speakers - because of the tones, so I may not do that incase it drops me down.

    My realistic aim would be to get A*, or at worst, an A. I think its possible at the current rate I'm learning.

    How hard is it to get hold of these British Council books?
    I think my friend bought the books over the internet for about £20-£30 overall.

    And they don't give you a book of vocab in the exam.
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    Oops I think I read someone's post wrong :P
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    (Original post by kizza1)
    500 characters seem fair enough. I know around 200 now and its been only 6 months, learning here and there. Somebody mentioned they even give you a book during the exam of the vocab? Wow that's massively making it easy.

    You might find this useful :
    http://www.edexcel.org.uk/VirtualCon..._1666_7_v2.pdf

    Scroll down to page 61, you can see the vocab in simplified and traditional script with English translation. There's also some grammatical advice before it.

    It's good that you are learning Chinese you can always PM me if you want help or something

    (Original post by *Miss-Brightside*)
    Mandarin - which is the simplified version of characters.

    The traditional characters are there for Cantonese speakers if they choose to do that.
    If you know Mandarin (國語/国语), it doesn't mean you use simplified characters; and if you know Cantonese (粵語/粤语), it doesn't mean you use traditional characters. In fact, regardless of what spoken "dialects" (話) someone knows, they all use the unified written language (文) - whether it's traditional or simplified is a matter of politics, in Communist mainland they use simplified and Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau they use traditional.

    For example, in Taiwan (臺灣/台湾) they speak Mandarin Chinese and they use traditional script, and Cantonese speakers in Guangdong province (廣東省/广东省) would use simplified script (although they would know Mandarin too).

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    If you can try and get a tutor
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    (Original post by kizza1)
    Hey,

    I'm in year 12 (going into year 13) and I've got a trip to China for World Challenge (some expedition thing if you haven't heard of it). Anyways, I'm interested in languages so I'm teaching myself Chinese for the trip (which is in July/August).

    I was thinking of taking a Chinese GCSE next year, but I'm not sure how much you need to know.

    So far I can read atleast 200 characters and make some simple sentences.
    I've had a look at some exam boards but I've got some general questions which I would like to ask about taking this exam.
    Please note: I have no Chinese background and I started learning from scratch around January.

    1) Roughly how many characters would you say are involved to know all the content?
    2) Is there a lot to know? I.e. grammar, vocabulary etc.
    3) Would you think its possible to learn the content needed for the GCSE whilst balancing 4 Alevel subjects + GCSE Russian?

    Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Hey, I'm sort of a native speaker, but I came to England real early and so I kind of had to start from scratch but when I did my Chinese GCSE last year (I'm assuming you're doing Edexcel?), the thing that struck me the most was GRAMMAR. Obviously, I picked up the grammar really easily because my parents and all my family speak it etc so I would first advise you to GET THE GRAMMAR RIGHT. Everything else then follows smoothly.

    If you're worrying about vocabulary, you don't need to. 200 is fine but I would suggest you learn more just in case, espeicially for the reading because at the end they will throw in a word or two to put you off. Basically, for GCSE, we did loads of practice papers at my Chinese school and the same topics come up again and again. For example, writing about an event at school, wether it's a sports day or a chinese speaking competition. So I would practice for those kind of essays. Keeping a diary in Chinese also helps. My teacher always said around 100 words would be enough for writing which is nothing compared to the modern foreign language exams for German etc. So knowing 200 characters already is a great start.

    If you're worried about timing, there are loads of things you can do for revision outside of school and do your A levels at the same time. I listened to TONS of music and this way you can really pick up some basic spelling of the most simple vocabulary. I only went to Chinese school on Saturdays for 2 hours. True, I was attending for a full year before my GCSE but if you're willing to spend just 2-3 hours each week (maybe more) on your Chinese, then you're going to be just fine with timing. Also if you have Sky, watching the Chinese channels helped me lots, apart from the news...because to this day, they're still incomprehensible to me

    The list of Edexcel vocab would also definitely come in useful. And make sure you do past papers so that you know what the questions are asking etc etc. I had a few problems with question words when I started.

    Anyway, to be a non native speaker and get this far in 6 months is amazing! Chinese is a really useful language to learn now so congrats and I wish you the best of luck for July/August. If you need any help, just PM me. Preferebly in 5 days (end of GCSEs)
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    Hi... I did this exam 3 years ago.. n my chinese was rubbish >< I was the worst one in my chinese class but I ended up getting an A! =D
    I think all yu need is jus know how tu put sentences together n understand what its saying jus the basic things yu need tu kno0 for example words/phrases ppl use everyday..
    I found the writing quite hard as I couldn't write what I wanted to because I fuhgot the words x_X
    but go0d luck!! hope yu do well!!

    I duno about the speaking cos I didn't have a speaking exam only reading n writing =D
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    Are there any statistics of how many people take Chinese IGCSE and how many of them are not from a Chinese background?

    My friend goes to Brighton College and I believe everyone has to take it in the sixth form, but other than that and kids with a Chinese background I wonder how common it is.
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    I do Mandarin (in Year 10 atm), for me it is very easy because I have a eidetic memory; for others the grades achieved range from Cs to As.

    Our school offers Mandarin/German in compliment to Spanish or French. The C-A* achievers is around 90%, and A* achievers is actually 25%.

    You will have to learn a large amount of characters, but you will only have to recognise through hearing/reading the rest. I wrote a 250 character essay on hobbies for a GCSE exam and I got 25/30 which is an A*, generally others got around 19-23.

    You will be expected to use complex but relatively simplistic sentence structures. It is much easier than Spanish and French. The tenses are made by adding one simple character into the sentence. The only downside is that you have to know many characters, whereas in Spanish you at least have a common alphabet.


    Summary:
    - Easy to conjugate sentences.
    - Easy to adjust tenses.
    - You won't be expected to make as sophisticated essays as Spanish/French.
    - All verbs and characters are regular, you do exactly the same thing to them to modify them.

    - But you will need to learn to say/write about 250 or so characters.
    - You will be expected to recognise through hearing/reading about 500 characters.
    Very impressive, when do you sit the exam?
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    I sit mine in 3 weeks.

    Really focused now. Hoping for an A.

    An A* will involve some luck on the days.

    A B will not look good on my record for uni and so it is a risk but if I wait another year it will clash with my main GSCEs.... After that we're into ASs and so it has to be now.

    Been studying one hour per week plus homework for 3 years - I do not have your memory unfortunately.
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    Did my IGCSE yesterday and today. Was harder than I thought. Hoping for an A. Outside chance of an A*... boundaries have been verry high in recent years.

    I will be (ironically) in China on holiday when the grades are released.
 
 
 
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