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Learning Chinese
发布时间: 2013-11-27 09:35:06   作者:本站编辑   来源: 本站原创   浏览次数:   我要评论()

 

In August, the Senior 1 oral English teachers Jessica, Callum and I arrived in China with little-to-no ability to speak Chinese. We spent 2 weeks in Beijing being taught how to say some helpful Chinese phrases, which resulted in me only being able to say “I am hungry” and “I want coffee”.
 
When we arrived in Guangzhou, we realised that we really needed to get a better grasp of Chinese if we were going to feed ourselves or get around the city. I only know conversational British Sign Language – hand, body and facial gestures that communicate spoken words to the deaf – and basic Spanish, so I've not had much experience learning languages. We have been fortunate to have lovely students and teachers who told us how to pronounce difficult, in our minds, Chinese sounds, for example “egg plant”, mine and Jessica's favourite food from the school canteen. I, however, realised that I needed proper Chinese lessons when I told the school guards one day “I don't eat Chinese (the language)” when I meant “I don't speak Chinese” as I got “chi” and “shuo” mixed up. It's safe to say that the guards were very confused about what I was talking about!
 
Three weeks ago, Jessica, Callum, Megan (a teacher from the affiliated Tianhe middle school) and I started Chinese lessons. So far it's going well! We can now (sort of) talk to the locals in Kengkou market – they practice the English phrases they know and we practice our Chinese – but it's still early days with our language learning. I'm happy that I can now order food without meat (most of time, that is...).
 
In my opinion, Chinese is a much more interesting language than English; it seems so logical! English seems quite flexible in its structure which, as a native speaker, can be confusing even to me some times. We're learning the grammar of Chinese, but when we were learning English we were never taught WHY we say what we say and what's the 'proper' way to structure a sentence.
 
I just hope that I don't confuse the school guards even more with my Chinese!
 
Natalie Vass


 
 

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