Thursday, March 6, 2014

Putting Chinese into Context

So some of you might want to know what it is like to study Chinese. I really can't explain it well, because it is the single must frustrating thing I have done in my life. Just today I was reading out loud a text in my one-on-one and my teacher continuously corrects me on every second or third character, because I can't get the tones right. (Chinese has four and they are very crucial, even though I like to ignore their importance for the majority of my studies). 
When I read out loud in front of my teacher its particularly frustrating, because its basically like being told straight into my face every third character that I have accomplished little to nothing in the past 3 years. 

Learning Chinese is filled with these moments. It really is like a frustrating relationship: you hate it so much, but always find yourself coming back. 
Just yesterday I went to a chicken farm (600 000 chickens are being raised there) and I was given a 2.5 hours long presentation all about raising chickens. (Actually really fascinating!) I went there with my part time job that I am doing on Wednesdays. (i have been meaning to write more about them) I understood so much and I was incredibly proud of myself. Afterwards I had lunch with the manager and we continued talking (in Chinese of course), but I am always weary, because I know that moments of euphoria are quickly leveled out by frustration. 

When I learn character I usually don't write them out all the time, but have picked up the famous Chinese habit to write out the characters with my finger on the palm of my hand. I like to think that it saves the environment, but four weeks ago I started practicing all my characters that are due for homework on paper. What you see in the picture is 4 weeks worth of practicing characters. I spent some time adding everything up and all together there are roughly 3500 characters on that wall right now. 

Thats what learning Chinese is like: writing out 3500 characters in 4 weeks and hearing your teacher correct you every second along the way about your pronunciation. Chinese is also the exact opposite of the frustration I face in front of a desk. That is probably why I keep on studying it. People really respect you here if you know the language. 

Putting accomplishments into perspective really helps with the whole motivational aspect. 

That's all! 

I am sorry I haven't been 1.) good about replying to personal emails and 2.) about posting things frequently.... I have so much to do!!! I will try my best to post a couple things this weekend maybe. 

No comments:

Post a Comment