Home Chinese Language Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong 麻將 (májiàng)

Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong 麻將 (májiàng)

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Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong 麻將 (májiàng)

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Playing Mahjong is an excellent way of learning Chinese.Why be taught Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong (麻将, májiàng)? As a result of it’s each enjoyable and efficient!

Probably the most necessary items of recommendation I give newbie college students of Chinese language is that they need to be taught by doing. This may be tough while you solely know a couple of phrases, however there are many issues in your life you possibly can convert to Chinese language after only one week of finding out.

Tune in to the Hacking Chinese language Podcast to hearken to the associated episode:

Accessible on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, YouTube and lots of different platforms!

The obvious instance is counting. Don’t simply research the numbers and be taught them for the check, depend in Chinese language everytime you get the possibility! Use 三 (sān, “3”) eggs on your pancakes, do (十二 (shíèr,” 12″) push ups, or depend 三十六 (sānshíliù, “36”) steps as much as your condominium.

Or you possibly can play video games like Mahjong, the place you employ the numbers on a regular basis!

Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong (麻将, májiàng)

After getting the essential numbers, down, you’re able to play Mahjong, or májiàng because it’s written in Pinyin. On this article, I exploit simplified characters for the secret, 麻将, which might be 麻將 in conventional Chinese language (learn extra about simplified and conventional characters right here). Within the phrase lists under, I’ll embody each simplified and conventional so you should use the set you like, however observe that the characters on the tiles within the recreation are hardly ever simplified.

Mahjong is extraordinarily standard all through the Chinese language-speaking world and past. It will also be a gateway to Chinese language tradition, each because it seems within the recreation and the individuals you get to know by enjoying the sport. Native audio system are often impressed when foreigners know learn how to play their video games, which isn’t restricted to Mahjong, however is true for different basic Chinese language board video games like 象棋 (xiàngqí, “Chinese language chess”, to not be confused with Chinese language checkers) and 圍棋 (wéiqí, “Go”).

Studying Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong can be nice enjoyable!

Aside from the numbers 1-9, you solely want a handful of phrases and most of them are helpful outdoors the sport as properly. I’ve performed in Chinese language with individuals who don’t even research Chinese language, so it’s positively doable for zero learners. From a language perspective, enjoying largely consists of naming the tiles you play and, typically calling an motion primarily based on what another person simply performed. Naturally, Chinese language individuals have a tendency to speak so much whereas enjoying the sport, however we’ll concentrate on the sport itself right here.

Tips on how to play Mahjong in Chinese language

The simplest method to get the dangle of the principles of Mahjong is to consider it as a card recreation (which it initially was). The sport is performed by drawing one new tile to your hand every spherical, then discarding one. Steadily, you improve the tiles you’ve gotten in your hand till all tiles are a part of completely different units of three or 4 of the identical tile or three tiles with consecutive numbers (a straight). The primary particular person to mix all his or her tiles on this means wins.

There are lots of alternative ways to play the sport relying on the place you might be. A few of thees variations have a big impact on how the sport is performed, however others are largely beauty. Since we’re serious about studying Chinese language right here, fairly than successful competitions, I can’t focus on particular rule units and variants. Nonetheless, except you’ve gotten performed the sport so much inside a sure neighborhood, it is advisable to test how they play the sport, even when you assume you understand how it really works. There are additionally many guidelines that haven’t any affect in any respect, however which can be necessary to many gamers, comparable to precisely learn how to setup the sport, learn how to decide who goes first, and so forth. Let your Chinese language pals take care of this, or when you play with different foreigners, do no matter you want.

If you need a beginner-friendly introduction of learn how to play, test this video on YouTube (in English). It’s also possible to test the Mahjong Competitions Guidelines (MCR) on Wikipedia.

Scoring in Mahjong

Learn Chinese by playing Mahjong requires only some basic words.I’ve performed Mahjong so much with completely different native audio system, and though the essential premise of the sport stays largely the identical, the scoring system will be fully completely different.

For those who care about video games and need to play properly (I do), that is irritating, as a result of altering the scoring system adjustments the way in which the sport should be performed. Additionally observe that many native audio system put actual cash on the road when enjoying, however in contrast to in most variants of Poker, this isn’t an integral a part of the sport, so enjoying for factors or worthless tokens is ok.

For some purpose, there was a Mahjong craze in Sweden within the 80’s, so I really learnt to play the sport as a baby. The scoring system we used was unnecessarily sophisticated, and I by no means actually understood why. Later, when enjoying with native audio system, it turned out that almost all used a system that each simpler and higher!

Solitaire variations of Mahjong

Mahjong as a tile-matching solitaire game.There are lots of solitaire video games that use the Mahjong tiles, however these don’t have anything to do with the sport I’m speaking about right here. These video games are usually about matching tiles organized in varied patterns with the end-goal of eradicating all of the tiles. There are additionally video games for a number of gamers the place tiles are performed face-up very similar to when enjoying Dominoes, however once more, this isn’t actual Mahjong.

Whereas these variants of Mahjong will be enjoyable, they provide little or nothing for us language learners, so I’ve omitted them from this text. I assumed I’d point out that they exist, although, to keep away from confusion. You may nonetheless play actual Mahjong by yourself towards AI opponents, after all, however extra about that later!

Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong with these phrase lists

Under, I’ve included the essential vocabulary it is advisable to play. There are extra helpful phrases than these, and there are additionally variants of a few of them, however that is simply meant to get you began, not educate you every little thing there’s to know. There are additionally regional variants, so don’t be stunned if this record isn’t similar to what you’ve gotten heard or what your Chinese language pals educate you. Many of the phrases are common, although. First, right here’s a picture of what the tiles seem like:

  1. Bonus tiles plus cube
  2. The 4 winds, the three dragons and two clean tiles
  3. The characters suite (1-9)
  4. The bamboo suite (1-9)
  5. The circles suite (1-9)

Numbers

  • 一 () “one”
  • 二 (èr) “two”
  • 三 (sān) “three”
  • 四 () “4”
  • 五 () “5”
  • 六 (liù) “six”
  • 七 () “seven”
  • 八 () “eight”
  • 九 (jiǔ) “9”

Normal

Regular tiles

  • Mahjong tile Green Dragon (發/发, short for 發財/发财).筒 (tǒng) “circle (suite)”
  • 条/條 (tiáo) “bamboo (suite)”
  • 万/萬 (wàn) “characters (suite)”
  • 东风/東風 (dōngfēng) “east wind”
  • 南风/南風 (nánfēng) “south wind”
  • 西风/西風 (xīfēng) “west wind”
  • 北風 (běifēng) “north wind”
  • 红中/紅中 (hóngzhōng) “purple dragon” (lit. “purple centre”)
  • 发财/發財 (fācái) “inexperienced dragon” (lit. “make a fortune”)
  • 白板 (báibǎn) “white dragon” (lit. “white board/slate”)

Bonus tiles for playing Mahjong. Top row: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Bottom row: plum blossom, orchid, chrysanthemum, bamboo.Bonus tiles

  • 春 (chūn) “spring”
  • 夏 (xià) “summer time”
  • 秋 (qiū) “autumn”
  • 冬 (dōng) “winter”
  • 梅 (méi) “plum blossom”
  • 兰/蘭 (lán) “orchid”
  • 菊 (jú) “chrysanthemum”
  • 竹 (zhú) “bamboo”

Please observe that the bonus tiles merely add randomness to the sport and are due to this fact typically excluded from aggressive play.

If I’ve missed something necessary, please depart a remark under!

Study Chinese language by enjoying Mahjong with native audio system

You can learn a lot of Chinese by playing Mahjong with native speakers.As talked about earlier, I’ve performed a good quantity of Mahjong video games in Chinese language with native audio system, and the one downside is that when you’re not already fairly good on the recreation, it’s laborious to talk and play on the similar time. Skilled gamers often play whereas speaking about different issues, don’t name out tiles and use hardly use any of the vocabulary listed above, besides when calling the eye to one thing necessary.

It will also be laborious to maintain up, as a result of many individuals play very quick and have lengthy since forgotten what it was wish to be new to the sport.

Don’t be afraid to ask them to decelerate a bit and to name out the names of the tiles they play. For those who don’t perceive what’s happening and tiles simply appear to fly round with out rhyme or purpose, it received’t be enjoyable and also you received’t be taught a lot Chinese language both. You may at all times allow them to play with out you later when you assume you’re intruding an excessive amount of.

In my expertise, Chinese language persons are often welcoming to foreigners enjoying with them. You won’t be invited to the high-stakes video games late at night time, however that isn’t the purpose!

Tips on how to get higher at enjoying Mahjong and be taught extra Chinese language

Mahjong is like most different card video games the place you draw and discard playing cards to finish units. You’ll want to be conscious of what you might be doing, what you assume the opponents are doing, and potential dangers and advantages of every play.

There’s additionally a good quantity of luck concerned, so even somebody who performs completely will usually lose. Naturally, over longer video games (a full recreation encompass a minimum of 16 rounds), luck evens out and robust gamers prevail over weaker ones most of the time.

An excellent tip if you wish to familiarise your self with the sport by yourself is to obtain a Mahjong app and have a go. When you have any particular suggestions for good apps, please depart a remark! If you need suggestions for good apps, there are already a lot within the remark part already, so test these out!

10 methods of utilizing video games to be taught and educate Chinese language

Mahjong is only one instance of a recreation that may show you how to be taught Chinese language. The truth is, video games are highly effective studying instruments if used correctly. That is true not only for basic Chinese language board video games like Mahjong, however all video games! Learn extra right here: 10 methods of utilizing video games to be taught and educate Chinese language

https://www.hackingchinese.com/10-ways-using-games-learn-teach-chinese/


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I have been studying and instructing Chinese language for greater than a decade. My purpose is that will help you discover a means of studying that works for you. Signal as much as my publication for a 7-day crash course in learn how to be taught, in addition to weekly concepts for learn how to enhance your studying!

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