01/30/12

Sara’s Mandarin Monday: 跟中国人交朋友

Note: Incorrect in red, corrected in green.

上个星期我的第一篇中文博文出版了:为什么我的汉语口语还这么差?。 这个星期,我想说一下跟中国人交朋友时可能会有怎么样的困难。你们都知道我的男朋友(在广州我们也可以叫他我的老公)是中国人,但是我发现了交朋友不是那么容易。

我是外国人,很多中国人也说我是个白人。来中国之后我发现了中国人对外国人很有好奇心,每个人都问我是哪里人,觉得中国怎么样,喜不喜欢中国菜等等。有人说,跟中国人交朋友是很容易的事情,但我不同意。在我看来,很多中国人想跟外国人交朋友,随便·是谁,都可以。他们没有对我感兴趣,他们是对所有的外国人感兴趣。我不要是个外国人,我要是亚雪芳,我想交知心朋友。

还有些人想练习他们的英语,没问题,我也想练习我的普通话。但是我不是免费的英语老师。交好朋友后我可以帮助朋友学习英语,但是我不愿意对陌生人教英语 (但是我不愿意教陌生人英语)。如果中国人的目的是练习英语,那不行,如果他的目的是交朋友,那很好。我也想交中国朋友。

上个星期我写了我的性格比较内向,所以需要长时间交流才能交好朋友。我()习惯第一次跟陌生人见面,就叫他朋友,我也()习惯随便给我的电话号码,QQ号码。我宁可有几个很好()朋友,不可有很多熟人(也不愿有很多熟人)。

我想跟中国人交朋友的原因是我想多了解中国和中国人。外国朋友常常很快回国,但是中国朋友一般会留在这里。我已经跟很多朋友告别了,所以想跟留在广州的人交朋友。希望可以找到个知心朋友。

 

如果你是个老外,你有没有跟中国人交朋友?如果你是个中国人,你有没有跟外国人交朋友?

If you’re a foreigner have you made friends with Chinese people?

01/25/12

My Chinese listening goal for 2012

I already have goal for managing my vocabulary (Skritter goal) and for reading Chinese books, but of course that is not enough. So here comes the Chinese listening goal for 2012:

Watch as much Chinese TV as I watch American TV

You might think this isn’t a very good goal, how much TV watching does that mean? Let me first tell you how many American TV shows I’m following at the moment: Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Pan Am, Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth, Private Practice, Good Wife and The Lying Game. Oh my, that is a lot! That means 10 episodes every week (at the moment).

Here comes the catch! If I want to watch 10 episodes of American drama every week, I also have to watch 10 episodes of Chinese drama (or any other kind of TV show) a week. Now just forget all those series I listed and imagine I just told you I watch 10 episodes of Chinese TV series per week, sounds good right?

Keeping studying fun keeps me studying

I know that not everyone likes to watch TV and some of you might think I’m wasting a lot of time by watching my favourite American dramas. But watching TV gives me too things, language practice and relaxation. Remember that English isn’t my native language and I do have to practice it or I forget it (just like what happened with German and Swedish, and what is happening to my spoken English).

I have used ChinesePod before, especially when I was still at elementary level and couldn’t follow native material. I also started listening their upper-intermediate shows last Autumn, but gave it up a while ago. I have to keep my studies as fun as possible in order to keep enjoying Chinese, and to be frank watching TV is more fun than listening podcasts. But if you’re a beginner or at elementary level in Chinese I do recommend trying ChinesePod.

Chinese shows I like

Majority of Chinese dramas are too fake, too dramatic or too cute for me, but I have manages to find one show I like. 裸婚时代 is about young Chinese adults who face lots of pressure from the society and from their parents to live a life that is expected from them. A young couple find out they are going to have a baby, get married and try to figure out how to manage this new life situation. I can understand most of the dialog and I can enjoy the show even there are vocabulary I don’t know yet.

A bit more challenging one is a daily show 纪实 which introduces interesting and heart braking real life stories around China. It’s excellent listening material for intermediate and advanced learners. I have to concentrate quite a lot when listening to this show, but I think it’s needed in order to get my listening skills to the next level.

Managing my goal

This is simple! I have a post-it where on the left says Chinese TV and on the right American TV. Every time I watch an episode I mark it to the post-it and keep the tally marks even.

 

Do you think watching TV is a waste of time or a good way to learn languages?

01/23/12

Sara’s Mandarin Monday:为什么我的汉语口语还这么差?

Note: Incorrect sentences are in red and corrected ones (based on my readers’ comments) are in green. Thank you everyone for helping!

 

大家好!这是我的第一个Sara’s Mandarin Monday。每个星期一我的博客有新的中文博文。很多人建议我写中文博文,是因为写中文博客是个很好的方法提高自己的写作水平(写博客是个很好的提高自己写作水平的方法)。我希望你们可以帮助我改错,这样我的中文博文会越来越好。

今天的题目是:

为什么我的汉语口语还这么差?

我的同学对我说过:“你的中文不是那么流利,但是我们都可以听得懂你。” 对,中国人一般也()听得懂我的普通话,但是我的口语还不够好。我的语法有太多错误,我不知道怎么用我刚才学到的词语。那些词我()看得懂,但是说话的时候,我想不起(合适)的词。我的汉语有很多 “那个,这个”,比如说,“给我那个开电视的东西”,“那个东西是在那个红色东西的后面”。我的 男朋友当然听得懂,但是这还不算流利的汉语。

我应该多一点跟中国人聊天(我应该多跟中国人聊天),但是我的性格比较内向,所以对我来说,跟陌生人说话不是个很容易的事。Fluent in 3 months 的 Benny 可能会说“那不要那么内向!”,说的容易,做的难。已经24年过的这样的内向的生活,怎么样今天会改变我的性格呢?(已经过了24年这样内向的生活,怎么可能今天就可以改变我的性格呢?) 除了我以外,世界上一定也有别的跟我一样害羞学习中文的人(一定也有跟我一样害羞的(在)学习中文的人),对不对?我们怎么样可以提高我们的口语水平?

正确语法和巨大词汇(正确的语法和巨大的词汇)也不够。如果你要跟中国人一样说普通话,那你也必须认识很多成语。还不够!你也要知道中国人现在喜欢说什么话题,比如说新电影,新书,新闻等等。看电影,电视剧,书以后,我还有时间出去找中国人聊天吗?

以前学习中文只是个爱好而已,现在中文就是我的专业。有时候我觉得我的生活除了学汉语以外,没有别的内容。在教室说汉语,在超市说汉语,再家说汉语。连对我的猫说普通话!我每天说汉语,但是我的口语还很差。

那为什么我的口语是那么差呢?很简单,我太懒!是很容易说“那个蓝色东西”,但是我应该努力一点,查词典,才会知道那个东西的名字是瑞士军刀。到这个水平(我现在的水平)不是那么难,找中国男朋友/女朋友就可以了,但是从这个水平到流利的水平,对我来说,是很难。我必须学习新的词语,必须学习成语,必须学习语法,必须认识中国文化,必须跟不同的人聊天。只跟我男朋友说话一定不够!

我的普通话现在很差,但是我承诺一年后我的汉语会流利一点!以后我会告诉你我打算用怎么样的方法提高我的口语水平。

Briefly in English:

This is my first Sara’s Mandarin Monday where I will post blog posts, videos or something else entirely in Mandarin Chinese. I hope that all of you who can will help me to correct my mistakes so I can improve my Chinese. And if you’re learning Chinese, why not to leave a comment in Chinese?

In this first post in Chinese I wrote my my spoken Chinese still isn’t good enough. At least for now I’m not going to translate my Chinese posts, but I might reconsider that later on.

01/20/12

Living in China, but am I truly immersed?

Tom wrote a great blog post last summer about how immersed you truly are when living in China. I left a comment on his blog about my own experience at the time, but I think it’s time to re-evaluate my immersion rate.

Chinese language

My classes are completely in Chinese and I speak Chinese with my classmates. Only on few occasions I speak English with my American classmate, but she also prefers to speak Chinese (She’s actually native Cantonese speaker). Outside classes I hang out with my classmates or with my boyfriend (whit who I speak Chinese all the time). I meet English of Finnish speaking friends once in a while and sometimes speak to my cat in Finnish.

Most of what I write is in English or Finnish, that’s an area I should improve. Just wait for Monday and my first blog post in Chinese!

For spoken language my immersion rate could be somewhere between 80-90%.

Chinese food

Because it’s a holiday now I’ve eaten more Finnish food than usually. When the semester starts I will probably eat out more and that means more Chinese food. I’m also lucky to have such a great cook at home who can cook delicious Chinese food for me!

So perhaps about 50-60% what I eat is Chinese food.

People

All of my teachers are of course Chinese and two of my classmates are originally Chinese. Other classmates come from many different countries, but we almost always talk in Chinese with each other. At home I have one Chinese boyfriend and one Chinese cat, but I’m not sure if my cat Lucy meows in Finnish or Chinese.

I’m still trying to find good Chinese friends, that could almost be my most important goal for 2012. I don’t make friend easily or quickly, I need time to get to know someone and let someone to get to know me. I don’t expect my friends to teach me Chinese and I’m not teaching English, but I still hope to make non-English speaking Chinese friends. I think my Chinese is good enough to be a friend.

It’s really hard to rate this one. 11% of my classmates (and friends) are Chinese (even though they don’t speak Mandarin fluently), 100% of my teachers are Chinese, 95% of people I see outside are Chinese.

Pop culture

This is the section I hope to improve this year. If I listen to music I do listen to Chinese songs, but most of the TV shows I watch are American ones. It’s hard to find Chinese TV series that I enjoy because all of them seem to be too fake and too dramatic. I do like 裸婚时代, are there other series similar to this one? And where are Chinese versions of Desperate Housewives or Gossip Girl? Or where can I find them dubbed into Chinese?

All the magazines I read are basically in Finnish because my mother sends me new ones every month. I’ve tried buying Chinese magazines, but then in the end I didn’t really read them.

For pop culture my immersion rate is only about 20% at the moment and I have to get it up. I’m thinking of a goal for this section, but I’m not sure what if could be. How many episodes of 裸婚时代 I should watch per week? How much American TV am I allowed?

 

Thank you again Tom for your great original postNow I just want to know how immersed are you, my Chinese learning reader?

01/18/12

I just read my first Chinese novel – and an another goal for 2012

Last summer I thought that it will take a long time before I’m able to read books in Chinese. But one of my teachers had a different idea and made us all read one book during the autumn semester. Now I can say that I can read and enjoy reading easy Chinese novels!

I used dictionary only two times, as my method was to enjoy reading, not killing the fun with checking every tenth word or so. There isn’t any pinyin, English or Finnish written on the pages. When I encountered a word I didn’t know I tried to guess based on the context and then just moved on.

The book I read is 单身公主 – 相亲记 and I chose it randomly at the biggest book stores in Guangzhou. Our teacher said that love stories are usually easier to understand and I wanted to choose a book which title I could read without a dictionary. The book isn’t the most interesting book out there (so I spent months to read it), but it’s good practice for intermediate learners like me.

How much did I understood?

I’m sure some of you are interested to find out how much I could actually understand from the book, so here is a random page where I underlined in red all the words I could understand. Those that I didn’t underline are the words I didn’t know or wasn’t sure about.

Some parts of the book were as easy as this page and some parts were more difficult. I could follow the main plot quite well, but of course didn’t get to enjoy all the nuances of the writing. I know that some people might think reading this kind of books is a waste of time and I probably wouldn’t read this in English or Finnish. But I want to read some easier books first, and from these kind of books I can learn the modern language. The language that young Chinese people use at the moment.

My goal for 2012

This is just the beginning. Because I love reading in English and Finnish, I also want to be able to read in Chinese. It’s time to set my book reading goal for 2012! I first thought of reading three books this year, but it’s quite an easy goal to reach. I’m going towards fluency so I need to aim higher.

I’m going to read at least five Chinese novels in 2012

Now some of you might think that even five books isn’t enough, but I want to save some time to read my other books aswell. Besides learning Chinese I also want to know as much as possible about Chinese history, so reading about history in English is important for me too.

How many books in Chinese will you read this year?