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My Chinese

weather: sunny-ish
outside: 18°C
mood: contemplative

The Chinese version has been moved here.

I was chatting with katie_ah today and I realized that I have never written anything of significant length in Chinese.

When Husband Guy's Grandma was still alive, I had the thought of writing to her for practice. But every time she went back to Taiwan, she didn't stay that long so I never got around to writing. Phoning them was a lot more convenient anyway.

I'd never had a Chinese Penpal either.

So, my Chinese still sucks. I know my parents are disappointed... and, honestly, so am I. It's embarassing that I'm Chinese, I can't read, I can't write and some of the North American kids in the zhongwen community are better at it than I am. I did go to Chinese School when I was younger, Mandarin and Cantonese classes at different times. But I never got to use what I learned in class, so it was kinda useless.




( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2002 06:16 pm (UTC)
I can only read about 50% of what you just wrote. My chinese sucks even more than yours. I can get by with conversational Cantonese, but that's about it. My grandma can speak fluent Mandarin, but she didn't pass any on to me (or my mom, for that matter). I'm so jealous of those that can read it. Those that can write Chinese are even cooler...

I know a family where the mom speaks in Mandarin to the kid, and the dad speaks in Cantonese. And the boy answers accordingly, depending on who he's talking to. Lucky kid - he'll grow up knowing both languages...
Aug. 6th, 2002 06:17 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, just because I can read the chinese character(s) doesn't mean I understand the sentence!
Aug. 6th, 2002 06:28 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah, I think it's time to get off my butt and practice. Go back to the basics, get feedback and correct it... like in Elementary school =)
Aug. 6th, 2002 06:19 pm (UTC)
over the years, i've noticed that my writing style has become more informal. it's weird when i try to write something formally because it feels like i'm writing a chinese-novel. but that's okay, it's actually easier for me to read it when it's informal because i read out loud in my head (okay... not really 'out loud'.. heh).

the best way to improve your writing and chinese skills is to read chinese newspapers... and i don't mean the chinese tabloids!
Aug. 6th, 2002 06:25 pm (UTC)
I write the way I speak in Mandarin. My grammar must be attrocious... I know my Dad would have a cow with the red pen. =P
Aug. 6th, 2002 11:34 pm (UTC)
You can read & write Chinese too? Damn!!!
Aug. 7th, 2002 12:45 am (UTC)
dude, we didn't pay to go to a private school with mandatory chinese and mandarin classes everyday for 8 years for nothing! there are perks to telling ppl that you don't know a single word of chinese or mandarin... sometimes u hear pretty interesting stuff... =P

actually, nevermind. ur school's tuition was probably much higher than mine.
Aug. 7th, 2002 01:27 am (UTC)
ur school's tuition was probably much higher than mine

Hmm, maybe not... VC's tuition was only about $2500 a year. And I only went to a private school from Grade 6-12...

(There she goes using "dude" again...)
Aug. 7th, 2002 02:01 am (UTC)
opps, i was thinking of st. george's tuition.
Aug. 7th, 2002 09:38 am (UTC)
Oh my gawd. I nearly dropped dead when I saw the tuition there. Senior year at St. George's costs about as much as my whole Bachelor of Science degree!

But the guys I know who come out of St. George's are really smart...
Aug. 7th, 2002 10:51 am (UTC)
they have to be smart. the school had to maintain a 95ish% of grads that gets into a university after highschool.

Aug. 6th, 2002 07:20 pm (UTC)
Bah. I tried reading it. I suck more than you do. That, and I should really download traditional chinese font or learn simplified.
Aug. 6th, 2002 07:40 pm (UTC)
I wrote in Traditional characters. Were you expecting Simplified?
Aug. 6th, 2002 07:43 pm (UTC)
It's not that... it's my computer. It only has simplified, so any character will show up as simplified whether it was written in traditional or simplified. Sucks. I'll just install traditional font. I understood most of it though, especially the part about you considering the temptation of lesbianism.
Aug. 6th, 2002 07:46 pm (UTC)
Aug. 6th, 2002 07:35 pm (UTC)
I think the best thing is just to practice, practice practice. I know my writing and grammar is *atrocious*, but if I don't use it, I lose it.

I would be more than happy to be your pen-pal, if not just online. It would be kinda fun! I need incentive to practice, and you can be the wielder of the red marker!

Ohhhh! However did you do the < lj user > user thing with different names? Do tell!
Aug. 6th, 2002 07:45 pm (UTC)
Semagic generates the HTML. =D Get it here: ljwin32_sema
Aug. 6th, 2002 08:13 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! I'm not sure if I'll d/l it since I mostly update from work and those IS (tech department) people are so anal about what we d/l.
Aug. 6th, 2002 11:08 pm (UTC)
Here's the HTML if you want it:

<a href="http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=[USERNAME_HERE]"><img height="17" border="0" src="http://www.livejournal.com/img/userinfo.gif" align="absmiddle" width="17"></a><b><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/[USERNAME_HERE]/">[LINK TEXT HERE]</a>
Aug. 7th, 2002 05:06 am (UTC)

Aug. 6th, 2002 10:49 pm (UTC)
Nice photo again
You're wrote very intresting thinks.
I happy to see you again & again. ^_^
Aug. 6th, 2002 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice photo again
Thanks =)
Aug. 7th, 2002 05:46 am (UTC)
You're not alone. I also find it embarassing that I'm Chinese and can't read nor write. My parents are somewhat disappointed I'm sure. I can read basic characters and being the practical guy I am, can do well enough to stumble my way through Chinese menus but that's all.

Also went to Chinese school when I was in grade school but I had very little interest in Chinese at the time. I was so stupid. Now I wanna go to Beijing and study Chinese there for a year or so at a university there. Even flirted with the idea of getting an internship at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing too (but the pay was miserable). But giving up on my job to pursue this interest is something I'm not willing to do right now.

Aug. 7th, 2002 09:51 am (UTC)
I would go to Taiwan instead. For several reasons...

A) Husband Guy's family is there. I'm not sure if I'd want to live with them, but at least there would be a support network if I needed help. I have family in Shanghai, but they're not as close and I wouldn't want to impose on them.

B) They use Traditional Characters in Taiwan. The Mainland exclusively uses Simplified Characters. I vehemently HATE Simplified Characters and avoid them wherever possible.

C) Taiwan is slightly less of a culture shock (to me at least) than Beijing. I've been to Beijing (not to study though) and I couldn't see myself living there for more than a week. I just don't like the general attitude - if you look Chinese, they can tell you're a foreigner and they treat you badly. There is no such thing as "customer service" in China. It might be different if I were in a University program with local friends who knew their way around and could take me places.
Aug. 7th, 2002 01:17 pm (UTC)
I vehemently HATE Simplified Characters

I second that!! The simplified characters just look so UGLY. They've converted the intricate traditional chars into silly stick drawings. I'll see you in Taiwan then. :)
Aug. 7th, 2002 01:29 pm (UTC)
Heh, I have been starting to accept it as a part of the evolution of the written language. If you've ever seen Ancient Chinese (not the pictograph glyphs though), you'll know that Traditional characters are a huge simplification from that too.

What I can't stand is surnames in Simplified characters. Maybe I hate this because I don't like the way my own last name is, in Simplified, but it feels very demeaning and disrespectful - like not capitalizing someone's name in English.
Aug. 7th, 2002 09:34 am (UTC)
Heh, you're a hell of a lot better than me. I can recognize some Chinese words but I can't read and write, although when I speak, I don't SOUND like some Canadian kid who stumbles for the right words, so at least I can pretend. :) (For some reason, I'm more comfortable with speaking Cantonese than most Chinese-Canadian teens I know. Probably because my nanny only spoke Chinese and she took care of me for almost all my life.)
Aug. 7th, 2002 09:53 am (UTC)
It's good to at least get speaking and understanding down pat =) It's a matter of practicing reading and writing now. This is kinda like my ever-failing New Year's Resolution. =P
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


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