Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chinese: Day 1

I work with 2 Chinese employees who are more comfortable speaking Chinese to each other than English. Understandably so, if I were in China, I’d be speaking English whenever possible. Sometimes it is interesting to listen to them speak, and other times I wish I knew what they were saying. So this has sparked my quest to learn Chinese…

(cue inspirational music like “Eye of the Tiger”) Oh yeah! Rock out.

Learning other languages has always piqued my interest, but I have never learned a language proficiently. In school, I took 5 years of Spanish, 1 year of Chinese, and 1 year of Latin. I know a few things in French thanks to MKD, but these are things that would probably get me jumped in France. Oh and I know one Russian curse word thanks to my Russian stalker back in the day.

So this Chinese language undertaking is a pretty overwhelming task. According to one of the people I work with, there are only around 3,000 characters. Pshaw. I can totally absorb that in my sleep!

But to not overload the 3.57% of my brain that I actually use, I am going to concentrate on the oral stuff. Heh.

Given that MKD and I be po’ from the house/wedding (AKA “sudden death” in financial terms), there will be no investment in nifty learning aids like the Rosetta Stone. No, no, I must learn things via the Internet…the free (and sometimes inaccurate, unreliable, and just plain frightening) web o’ knowledge.

I did find this site which has audio features since I suck at deciphering diacritics. So I learned how to describe the color of clothing I was wearing today…hui, lan, and hei. Of course when I relayed this new learning to my co-worker, she thought it was hilarious. Apparently, after saying words like color names, you add a “se” sound at the end. Hmm…seems like an important/practical thing to have conveniently omitted from this website. Bastards.

So if anyone wants to throw money at Rosetta Stone for me to learn Chinese that would be greatly appreciated. I tried to get my co-workers to start immersing me by only speaking Chinese, but they wouldn’t go for that. I guess I would not be very productive for like a year trying to figure out what was being delegated to me.
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