By this week I have completed one month of mandarin study.
Oh My Stars!
This is an expression my American classmate Brandi taught me to use instead of Paris Hilton's OMG! Not that I use that too often.. But cute right? Oh my stars...
Well, we are of course practicing our mandarin in class, not our American expressions anno 2014. And I can of course also share what the Chinese use for omg: Wode Tian! It means My Sky. Also very cute and it all kind of have the same ring to it: God, stars, sky.
The last month has gone by sooo fast. We have learned sooo much and know sooo little. Some days it is awsome - like the first day where I realized that I was actually reading Chinese. I of course just read something very simple but I read Chinese characters. Other days I just want to cry (I did actually cry one day).
We have 4 hours of Chinese everyday at Jiao Tong University divided between three types of courses: Spoken, listening and reading. The reading is the most challenging. New characters and tests every week. By now I would say 1/3 of my classmates have left and half of them have changed to another course similar to ours but without any characters, thus with a focus on speaking. Though difficult, demanding, frustrating and soo diffiicult to remember, I like the characters. They reveal a lot about Chinese thinking and studying them must be very healthy for my memory.
By now I can
- have a simple conversation (Chinese is a very simple language) about names, places of origin etc.
- order food without meat in a restaurant
- buy my fruits and vegetables at the markets
- ask for directions and hopefully understand the answers and explanation
- remember around 30 characters
It is definitely not getting any easier and my goal is to speak some more. On the streets, in the shops, at the foot massage, in Starbucks and on my next trip to one of the smaller Chinese villages. Confidence is so important when you learn a language and I am amazed how little of it I have sometimes. Coffee. Coffee is very important to.
Oh my stars!