Introduction to Chinese: Jamie Burdick

Price: By donation
Tuesdays 3:15 - 4:15
May 5, 12, 19
Grades 5 and up

There are over one billion speakers of Mandarin Chinese in the world right now. This class will give its students the tools they need to engage in this entirely new world of language and thought. Students will study the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Chinese in addition to its culture and history. Chinese is part of an entirely different family of languages than English and its Romantic cousins. For example, Chinese has only one grammatical form for each word, so nouns and verbs do not change with their number or tense. This means no verb conjugations to memorize! But don’t think that means that learning Chinese will be any easier. The written language still contains more than 50,000 logographic symbols. Chinese is also a tonal language. With a subtle shift in pitch one word can have four totally different meanings. All of this is to illustrate how this class will challenge its students to think in an entirely different way.



Jamie Burdick has studied languages from Ancient Greek to Mandarin Chinese for over a decade. After studying classical literature at Brooklyn College, Jamie moved to Taiwan where he studied Chinese and taught ESL for five years. During his studies in Taiwan, Jamie taught both English classes and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Chinese. When he is not working, Jamie spends his spare time translating Tang Dynasty poetry.