Chinese as a SEAS student?

<p>How feasible is it to learn Chinese from scratch as a SEAS student?
I have a bunch of AP Credit to help out, but I'd like to study abroad in China second semester of sophomore year. I've heard Columbia's Chinese is very difficult and utilizes traditional characters, which might make it less useful as a business tool?
Anyone have some experience with this? Thanks..</p>

<p>As a student from HK, China, I would say the Chinese language is not difficult to learn at all!!</p>

<p>1, Chinese language has may be the simpliest grammar in the world!!
There is no tense, so you do not need to remember the go-went-gone difference.
Just said: I go to school yesterday. each verb has only one form!</p>

<p>2, Chinese kids begin learning our own language from Pingyin. Pinyin is using 26 English letters to mimic the sound of a word. Just need to know that A E I O U are prounced in French way.</p>

<p>3,Chuang(means bed), may be the longest individual word, so remembering words are not that hard</p>

<p>4, the most difficult thing is learning the Chinese figure. However, it is not necessary at all!!
You can write sentences in Pinyin and all people understand that. If you use Chinese in Business,you may only need to speak but not write them!</p>

<p>Chinese goes Introductory, beginner, intermediate, advanced. Advanced you get to switch from traditional characters to simplified.</p>

<p>It’s much easier to learn traditional then switch to simplified, all you do is change some radicals to things much simpler to draw…</p>

<p>So do you think it would be possible to finish the introductory, beginner, intermediate courses in my first 1.5 years, then take the advanced course in China as I study abroad? My only fear is that with all the SEAS Core requirements, I might be overwhelmed.</p>

<p>As for the difficulty aspect, I’m just a little worried because I’m so used to Romance languages (English as well as four years of Spanish). </p>

<p>Finally, SEAS works differently than most Engineering programs at universities because students aren’t allowed to take courses from the college, they can only take CC courses offered through SEAS. Is Chinese one of these courses?</p>



<p>I forgot to mention that introductory is usually skipped. All the other classes in the series are 5 credits tho which is the max for any course and requires a ridiculous amount of time. They go through 1 chapter a week. That said, if you take the 1400physics level and gen.chem., it’s probably not TOOOOO bad…</p>



<p>This is absolutely false.</p>

<p>yeah you are allowed to take any course you want so long as it is not closed to a major (or with instructor permission) and this includes courses that are not offered by arts & sciences (the division that corresponds to columbia college), but other schools as well, which is why you can take a class in the med school for instance.</p>

<p>as for difficulty, as someone with only experience with indo-european (english is not a romance language), i found chinese very easy to learn though certainly requiring not necessarily a lot of work, but consistent work on a daily basis. but in truth i found this no different than the other language classes i took at columbia. if you don’t work on it daily for at least 30 min if not more you wont do well. just keep that in mind i’d say. as for the language itself - it is hyped up that it is hard, i just gathered that students didn’t do daily work and fell behind, and once you’re behind it is hard to catch up. i will say that i think some people just have more of a knack for languages than other folks, an ear for it, so this of course will determine how easy or hard it is.</p>

<p>is it possible to finish through intermediate level? yes. but i’d also consider doing things like the summer intensive program and the summer business programs to supplement your learning. you’ll learn chinese far better when you don’t have distractions of other classes and daily life in another language.</p>

for an anecdote, a friend of mine the year above me was valedictorian from SEAS in electrical engineering, and had taken chinese through advanced level, including doing a summer in beijing.</p>

<p>haha, well obviously I’m no expert on language (thinking English was romance, at least I got one out of two) but I did pick up Spanish with relative ease. In my freshman year as a SEAS student, first semester I plan on taking Calc III, an Accel. Physics course and an accelerated Chem course (assuming I place into one, I got a 5 on the AP Chem test this year so I assume I will) plus University Writing and Gateway Lab. Will adding on Chinese to these four make things too overwhelming? I come from a large public school that poured on work, so I’m ready-ish for a lot of work, but I also enjoy having my fair share of fun.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the help so far, I’ll have a lot more knowledge going into orientation.</p>

<p>i say try because seas has a pretty generous drop deadline, so let’s say you do a month and you can’t stand it, you’re not beholden to staying (i think the drop deadline is like 7 weeks in).</p>

<p>Do it. Take it with Wang Xiaodan. You will have no regrets.</p>

<p>The merits of the different physics and chemistry tracks have been discussed in excruciating detail on this board. Look in the helpful threads post. Read about them before deciding phys1600 and intensive g.chem are for you.</p>