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Here it is, another Chinese proficiency exam opportunity. This one is only pilot test and it is free. I definitely will attend this exam. Need to study harder and smarter to beat this fifth level. I have been struggling with fifth level since last year.  By the way, fifth level is the last level in the exam. Therefore, it is obviously not easy. However, I need to pass it as long as I still have the chance to take the exam. 

Talking about Chinese language, I have read a lot in Internet discussion that it is one of difficult languages for English speaker and, I add, for speakers whose languages use Latin alphabets (I am one of this!), or others like Cyrillic, etc. I just found out that even dictionary cannot be helpful in learning Chinese because there are simply more ways to say a particular thing than in English. This is the most complaints made by my friends in Chinese learning center. An English word can have several corresponding Chinese words that are used in different situations.

Another characteristic of Chinese language is no space is used in written text. This one is quite troublesome because everytime I check on dictionary about a character, I do not know if it serves as an individual word or a combination of characters in a word. The very easy example that I can give is 加油 (jia1you2 = good luck). 加(jia1 = to add), 油(you2 = oil). People who understand Chinese language will immediately know that this is a word of combination from 2 characters. Nevertheless, it also means, "to add oil/ fuel/ gasoline/ any kind of oil".

I have a friend that has difficulty in studying Chinese simply because of his undisciplined behavior. Learning a language requires much discipline effort from the learner. I do not like being controlled by books or classes. That is why I learn by myself freely in any way and with any materials. If I feel like watching movie in the target language, I will find it. If I feel like using the language, I will use it. However, I train myself to get input as much as possible from watching/ reading and listening. I like to start using the language by writing than speaking because it gives me a while to check on dictionary. My advice is if you cannot get anybody around you to write to, get online friends, they are available 24/7.


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