25 August, 2006

Results are in...first Mandarin lesson

Well, this evening I began the long, long road to trying to understand the Chinese language. My tutor, Linda, brought me my "repeat recorder," the tapes for the recorder & my first lesson book. Tonight started my 2 x week lessons / 2 hours per lesson. I think that's all I can handle for now & it will give me time in between to practice what she taught me.

Linda is a good teacher, very patient, which she'll need to be with me.

We started off with PINYIN. PINYIN is the international form of the Chinese alphabet. It was developed in the 1950s. There are three parts to PINYIN ... 1) Initials (the beginning of the PINYIN word) ... 2) Finals (the ending of the PINYIN word) ... finally, 3) Tones (there are four tones in the Chinese language).

This is a very, very difficult language to learn. So many different ways to pronounce (at least, you think there are!). This is where the "repeat recorder" will come in handy. I'll be spending a lot of time in the evenings in front of that thing, talking to myself trying to stick this stuff to my brain.

I'm looking forward to the challenge, I just hope this stuff sticks to me. I'll be practicing it at work, in taxis, at restuarants, with other foreigners here...as much as possible.

Now I'm off to celebrate a week of accomplishments and my first mandarin lesson. Heading out to meet some friends for a few beers, maybe I'll try some of my newly learned words on the locals (local girls), ha!


Mark @ Lenovo said...

Mike, Your off to a great start, and I'm tuning in daily to see how your doing. Don't worry about your blog "getting good" - it already is. The commentary on getting connected, and the technical work arounds are interesting. Perhaps even more interesting to me, and perhaps others who haven't been are your eyes and ears on life in China - People's reaction to you, Social perceptions about Westerners, and of course all the sordid details of your evening's out on the town that you care to publish. :o)

manninchina said...

Mark, thanks...glad to hear you enjoy the blog. I'll try to publish as much as possible ... ;-)

There will be plenty of "through my eyes" types of posts. I'm really interested in the culture here, how the chinese people interact with each other and their perceptions of the foreigners in their country.