27 August, 2006

Language tutor vs. language exchange partner

I've mentioned how a lot of people have told me that the easiest or best way to learn mandarin is to get a chinese girlfriend that speaks very little english. I guess this would force me to learn, or maybe would just drive me completely insane. Then again, a girlfriend that you can't really communicate with? ... That may not be bad for a while.

So, I have a tutor, someone I will pay to teach me mandarin. A language exchange partner is someone you meet up with, informally to "exchange languages." This is someone who wants to learn English, and will help you to learn Chinese. No money exchanged, just dialouge. I think I'm going to find an exchange partner. This will supplement the lessons nicely (I hope). I think this is something I'll only do on the weekends though, no time for it during the week.

Now, if I also find a chinese girlfriend, this will give me three ways to learn the language. Though, I think one or two of them would end up going away at some point. First to go...would likely be the exchange partner (unless she becomes the girlfriend, that is).

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

It sounds like in China, the term girlfriend my have broader usage than it does here. Is that the case? Here, girls can have "girlfriends", guys can have friends who happen to be girls, but if they become a 'girlfriend', the official girlfriend takes a rather dim view of the others. In some of your posts the way you convey it, especially in the clubs, it sounds like they may have a little different definition. Platonic, ah, non-platonic, what have you... Interesting those cultural morays.

manninchina said...

In the bar/club view, most seem to be non-platonic here. However, there are plenty of girls here that are looking for serious relationships, and I've seen some foreigners in those relationships.

Esteban said...

I can't help but wonder if any of those "serious" relationships ever last longer than the time westners spend in china...

Anonymous said...

Mike,

If I were you I would go with finding a Chinese girlfriend. I don't understand why it is even a question. It would be ideal if you found one that had sisters, perhaps in the 18-25 age bracket. For your sake of course.

Tim

Dave said...

Mike,

That would be great if you brought a Chinese girlfriend back to the states because it is customary to let her whole family live with you.

Does your Uncle Brian have the room?

manninchina said...

Esteban... typically not, unless there is a marriage involved :)

Tim...most have brothers, you can deal with that, right?

manninchina said...

Dave...when I come back to the States, I'm moving back to Buffalo...do you think Gram & Gramp have room?