History/Language/Culture

This page is intended to be a reference for information about the history, languages, and culture of Hohhot.

I hope you find the following links and information helpful. If we’ve missed something important, leave us a comment!

 

Hohhot’s Government website: choose English (or other langauge) at the top right

 

Our friend Suragch’s explanation of Mongolian culture at studymongolian.net

Resources for Learning Chinese

 

Contact Caide Consulting for Chinese or Mongolian tutors and small group classes!

1. You can enroll in an official program  of study here. Nei Da, Shi Da, Gong Da, Nong Da, Hong De (and possibly others) have programs for studying Chinese. Check out our previous post here.
2. Blogs. There are many blogs that offer grammar explanations and other useful  study tips. One to try is http://www.hackingchinese.com/
3.  Pleco. Pleco is a dictionary for your smartphone.  My study would have been COMPLETELY different with if this app existed 11 years ago. I had to actually look up characters in the dictionary whereas with this  app you can draw the character on the screen and it will pull up the word. It  also has a flashcard program built-in. I use the free version, but you can also upgrade to a version that increases the dictionaries and allows you to look up words by scrolling your phone over the text (even lazier than drawing them yourself!) It’s very helpful!
4. Anki flash cards. This  is a memory system for studying anything, but it can be used for Chinese also. You can create your own lists or use their pre-made lists. You can set up the program to focus on learning pin yin or characters or any variety or combination. If you’re studying for the HSK they have ready-made lists of cards for each level.
5. Chinese Pod. A foreigner favorite. Listen to Chinese lessons on your smartphone or ipod. Many levels and  topics to choose from.
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6. Pera pera kun. This is a program for your computer browser (if you use firefox or chrome) that allows you to read characters by scrolling the mouse over it. Scrolling over it will pull up the pin yin and definition, as well as group words together for you.
7. The Peace Corps language training manuals are public domain. You can see their Chinese lessons here.
8. Study with a tutor. If you need help finding one, we can help. Leave a comment or post in the forum.
9.  My husband swears by the Pimsleur method of language learning. It’s an audio-based program that won’t teach you writing, but will help you communicate quickly.
10. Rosetta Stone. I’m not familiar enough with this one to write a good review, but, I know many have had success with it. I  understand it to be a computer-based program that uses images to teach.
11. Books! A friend recommended this one to us: Remembering the Han Zi It is designed to help you learn and remember the characters. And here is a list of other books Amazon recommends.

Resources for Learning Mongolian

We’ll have more information soon about Mongolian study, but until then, check out our friend at http://www.studymongolian.net/

If you are still pressing on in your study of Chinese, keep it up!

If you’re considering taking on another language, or just looking for a break from Chinese language study, here is some information about local resources for studying Mongolian.

A few basic facts that you may already know: Hohhot’s population is somewhere between 10-15% Mongolian, depending on which statistics you use. Not as many Mongols from Hohhot can speak Mongol, but most of them from the countryside can.

There are almost 6 million Mongols in China, less than 3 million in Mongolia, and another million plus in Russia and a smattering of other other countries. see wikipedia

The Mongolian spoken here and the Mongolian spoken in the country of Mongolia are different, but can they can communicate orally without many problems. However, in Inner Mongolia, the writing system uses the traditional Mongolian script. In the country of Mongolia, they use the Russia Cyrillic alphabet.

Most locals will tell you the most standard Mongolian is spoken in Xilingol, so if you get a tutor, get one from there.

And now, here’s some help if you decide to embark on the Mongolian study journey.

  1. First, there’s a great website to get your study started, also based right here in Hohhot.
    www.studymongolian.net This will get you started on learning the Mongol that is spoken here.
  2. Next, for the summer months there is a group offering free classes every morning 9:30-11:00 from June 7 to August 14. The address is: 蒙元素文化艺术中心文化沙龙(乌兰察布东路园艺所院内)This is on the southeast corner of Zhan Dong Lu and Wu Lan Cha Bu Dong Lu. Here is the posting announcement (in Chinese).
  3. I’ve heard the Mongolian Nationality Experimental School (corner of Xing An Lu and Da Xue Lu) also has free classes, but I don’t have the specific information or contact information.
  4. There are a few services you can follow on wechat. One is the “Meng Yu Jiao” or Mongolian Corner. WeChat ID: mengguyujiao. Information is in Chinese, but they have useful tips and often hold Mongolian corners (time to practice and use Mongolian) throughout the city. Another is called “Mongolian Guide” (my translation of Meng Gu Zhi Nan). WeChat ID:tenuun2014. They have good stuff, but don’t post often.
  5. Apps. I was recently recommended three apps for learning Mongolian, but I haven’t yet been successful getting them on my android phone. I’ve heard with iphone if you search “Mongolian” they will come up easily. But with Android we haven’t found the right app store to download them. The app’s website is www.miniovoo.net so try that too.
  6. Lastly, (at least for today) is another free class to study Khoomei (Hu Mai, homei, lots of spellings, who knows which one is right??). Khoomei is a traditional form of singing where two tones are produced simultaneously. The singing will be in Mongolian, so go give it a try! The free class in on June 12th. Here is the information. (in Chinese)
  7. Nei Da (and probably the other universities as well) have official programs to study if you’d like to take a formal class.
  8. Contact Caide Consulting for Chinese or Mongolian tutors and small group classes!

6 comments

  1. Cassondra says:

    Hi Jill,

    I am interested in learning Chinese, and am looking for a tutor/teacher. I did place a post on the forum regarding this, but wanted to see if you knew of anyone. Thanks for posting the info on the upcoming US Embassy meeting.

    Cassondra

    • weibaili says:

      You’re welcome! I’ll ask around, but finding someone with experience teaching foreigners will be difficult. Those who are experienced are the university teachers in the international programs at the school and most of them will not have/make the time for private students. My suggestion would be to find someone with standard pronunciation, who is reliable, and train them in the method you want them to teach you.

      • Cassondra says:

        Cool beans. I really want to starts some sort of lessons ASAP. I hate not being able to speak or understand what people are saying. Miming is getting old! LOL

    • weibaili says:

      OH! I also heard that Tyrannus Coffee Shop is planning to start a Chinese Corner for those wanting to learn/practice his/her Chinese. You can contact them at 4908302. The owners, John and Dora, speak English.

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