Let’s do as if I were back on track with my learning (instead of chatting on QQ with Google Translate opened).
Above is most of the learning material I use (or should be using):
- Short term spoken Chinese: good book serie. I started with the pre-intermediary (how foolish of me…) ordered on Amazon and got hit with a solid wall of pure Chinese characters. So I bought the elementary while in Beijing. Explanations are both in Chinese and English, 3 dialogues by lessons exercises. So far, so good
- Complete Cantonese and Complete Mandarin. First books I bought, first for Cantonesebecause this was the only one available and being satisfied with it, bought the Mandarin course when I understood Cantonese wouldn’t be of much help. A bit disappointed right now because not so many practical, Hanzi are studied quite late and some grammar points are piled in some lessons while others are really light. Thus my focus on the Spoken Chinese serie
- A practical Chinese Grammar for foreigners. Last minute purchase in Beijing. Just as a reference later on.
- Laozi and Confucius. Well a bit of a mad idea of mine. Wanted to learn writting the ancient way and it looked like a good idea. These (chinese) editions come with both translation notes and explanations so one day, I might also understand what I have written all along…
- HSK: to assess my level from time to time. Haven’t used it yet.
- Extreme Chinese: just to have a look at some funny idioms
This said, maybe I should start studying.
But no, tonight is ironing night…
As long as the Great Firewall is standing, I can’t access my own WordPress blog. If you want to leave a comment, please do so on the original post here
So sorry for the broken post. I will BURN this "phone" and its lousy cursor positionning system.
For those who were asking, I met a girl. And she meets the above description and the rest is my problem ^_^
So I now have no choice but to get better. Especially when a chat around a drink is coming into the cinversation…
I may also have written about this but living in Taishan is a chance for me to learn. Two recwnt examples have thrown this to me.
First, a very good friend if mine just moved to Japan, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Full of good intent, she brushed up her Japanese before her departure, dealt with the first days then started to live. And realized she could live speaking English without too many problems. And stopped learning.
Then, during the past days in Beijing, I heard people speaking French, almost as much in two days than in the whole three last months. I saw foreigners proud to meet only foreigners.
This can’t happen in Taishan. I have to fit in. First for respect, then because I want to. Now back to textbooks…
Three posts in two days, I am on fire (or just feeling guilty not to write more / more regularly). Please excuse me for the typos, wrting on a mobile phone on a bus is not the best way to be accurate.
I just went through a difficult time learning Chinese. I must hace made some progress but hit the wall and lost faith. Vocabulary wasn’t helping me. Answering the phone is a challenge. Saying more than hello to people in my company is impossible. In short, after three months, I suck.
Strangely enough, I am kind of better at writting. Writting un Chinese is iften seen as difficult task at best. For me it is a challenge. A positive one. I havr always been more confident among writting than people and herre there is so much to read. Every sign is an adventure, a hill waiting to be climbed.
So I quickly registered a QQ account. For thise who are not familiar with it, let’s just say it like MSN Live Messenger. Just bigger. And omnipresent. People use it partly like Twitter, with friends, at work, for work (product quotation built all over QQ) …
It also the advantage that i can use tranlation tools like Google Translate, Baidu Fanyi or Nciku whilr chatting and it us a huge plus.
And sometime you meet people. Who can’t speak english. People you definitely want to discuss with. oOK
Just sitting in the airport right now writting this while waiting for a flight due in two hours, delay not included…
Two days in Biejing. Some spend this long during a trip in China and find themselve happy to know the city but for me, it was too short. But it may be an excuse to come back.
First, because I worked on the first day. And work, wherever it takes place, is the same. I sat in a Starbuck, very similar to one in Paris/Tokyo/Wherever and that was all.
Yesterday was a day off, so I could really visit and try to feel the city. As most tourists, I went to Tiananmen and the forbidden city. Everyone warned me I was only about to see people but going there at 08:30, I had whole part of the Forbidden City for myself. The freewing cold my be another reason why people stayed at home (even found a small patch of snow).
I found the Forbidden City monstruously huge but near empty. It lacks contents except big walls and colourful paintings. I was told many of the objects were taken to Taiwan around 1949. Maybe I will have to go there sometime to see that too.
3 hours later, I was out by the north door and wondering where to go. The Summer Palace was on possibility, the Bird Nest, the other.
I did none of these.
Instead I walked to Wangfujing, a pedestrian street not too far from the forbidden city. I had some shopping to do (finding a dictionnary with pinyin, you wouldn’t imagine how hard it was. Needed 2 bookstore and 2 hours to find it). As a tourist two things are intersting in this street. First the Beijing Handcraft center, where, if your purse can handle it, you can find many souvenirs. The second is the Dajian Shuijing Hutong where you can find other (manufactured) souvenirs but mostly food. If you have seen picture of silk worm or scorpio brochettes, some may have been taken here. Hopefully, there are many other food to be tested.
So actually, I didn’t visit much. But maybe some other time, with some better ideas of what to see and where to go
Final note: I may soon migrate the blog to another platform. WordPress is blocked in China and publishing everything by mail does not offer half the possibility of a true blogging platform. Stay tune, more news at the beginning of next year
After 3 months kind of locked in my home town, I finally made plans to visit a little, first in Hong Kong then in Beijing.
I spent the last week-end in Hong Kong. My very first impression was bad: surprisingly many foreigners (remember we are about twentish in Taishan…) and a faceless. soul-less town in the Central Area where m hotel was. On the second day, I went to Tsim Sha Tsui. And I understood the attraction Hong Kong has on everyone. It is alive. It is a true city. To be sure, people will say it has change too much during the last 15 years and the retrocession to China but it is still very alive. It has the energy that is lacking in France and even in Taishan…
I am currently spending the end of the week in Beijing. So far, I can only say that it looks like almost every big city I have seen: I lodge in a French Hotel (bread for breakfast. Bread. BREAD !), and I am wrtting this in a Starbuck Cafe looking the same as the one I used to study in Paris…
Maybe an update post in the beginning of next week if I am not too lazy this time