Laoshi hao

by

Tonight we have our first lesson with a Chinese tutor of whom we met briefly last Tuesday night. Her name is Ying (said: Ing) and she is a mother living in Box Hill North who has been in Australia for approximately 1 year. Her english is good but she was quick to point out, not that good. To us her english was completely fine. This was precisely the type of person we were looking for.

To date we have had really no trouble communicating with non-english speakers – particularly when they are trying to teach us Chinese. It can be difficult getting a point across sometimes, or explaining something intricate, but when it comes to language learning we would rather someone who actually has a true to life Chinese accent and is sometimes difficult to understand as it makes the learning experience that much better.

So tonight we have our first lesson and I am keen to see what we are taught. I often think back to a lesson we had with Mr Pan where he tried to teach us a few simple phrases. The funny thing about that lesson was that both Courtney and myself remember what he taught us perfectly to this day. Thanks to Mr Pan we can say, “Is that your pen?” “That pen is mine!” which we adapted into, “Is that your cat?” As you can see, highly worthwhile knowledge! In return for him teaching this, we taught him the word ‘Short-cut’, and how and when to use it – to which he must have used it at least once every time we saw him from that point forward.

I wish to continue learning Chinese as I feel I already know enough to form a platform from which to learn more. I am highly interested in foreign languages, and while I find it considerably hard to stay focused and motivated, I have a real desire to be able to hold a conversation. I find myself constantly wanting to be around Mandarin speakers, my ears pricking up at each and every recognisable word. I find myself in shopping centre massage stores more intent on listening to them speak than the actual massage.

Courtney likewise has a keen interest but also the additional factor that she is returning to China for several weeks in August and in order to impress her bosses with her language ability, wishes to build on that. She’s going to primarily Cantonese speaking areas – such as Hong Kong and Macau, but they’ll also be visiting GuangZhou on the mainland, where Mandarin is freely spoken.

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