Another attempt to learn a language

Life’s really been boring for me these past few weeks. I am losing interest in my classes and I have nothing to look forward to in school. I am working on my thesis but besides that, there’s nothing interesting going on. Well, I am currently studying a language and I think that’s a far more exciting activity than schoolwork!

I am taking Mandarin classes in a language school near the university I’m attending. My parents encouraged me to learn this language because it is not only useful in the corporate setting, we also have Chinese blood (I’m 25% Chinese but what the hell, it’s still Chinese haha!) and NO ONE in our family knows how to speak Mandarin. At first the thought of studying a complicated language scared me. But as of the moment, my Mandarin class is the only reason why I go to school. I think it’s great that the teacher is able to make me more and more interested in the language. When we’re studying, we always practice speaking and I think I am able to pick up the lessons pretty well, since she speaks our lessons in straight Mandarin and it’s up to me to figure out what it means. Usually she will just show pictures or actions, but I’m learning well that way! I find that it’s faster for me to memorize the words when I figure out for myself what it means, unlike in high school where we just read the Pinyin spelling, the meaning, and the character. Here, I was able to speak, ask, and respond in complete sentences after three weeks of lessons.

Out of all the languages I have studied, Mandarin is what really piqued my interest for so long. I have studied various languages in school such as Spanish, Japanese, and Korean, but none of those seemed as interesting to me as Mandarin. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s also because of the way I was taught. I’m sure it’s not because of the grammar because I really speak the language I’m studying, no matter how slow I am in thinking of the right sentence structure and all that. That’s why I think it’s because of the teaching style. Anyway, I really want to take the next level of lessons if I can afford it because I’ve never felt so passionate about a language before. I want to be able to speak well after a few levels and maybe I can learn how to read characters already. Actually, I already know what some characters mean since Japanese also uses Chinese characters. It’s just that I don’t know how to read them in Chinese. I’m excited!

So have you ever tried learning a language? Did you succeed? 😉

6 Comments

  1. That’s great that you’re taking Mandarin classes! I took 5 of them while I was in college 🙂 I’m pretty rusty on it though because my family mainly speaks Cantonese.

    I think that teaching style is a good way to learn! After a while, my Chinese professors also switched to speaking mostly Chinese. That’s how Rosetta Stone does it too, which I’m using to learn Japanese right now. Except for the program’s basic menus, there’s no English explanations for any of the lessons. I’ve gotten a little lazy on my Japanese lessons, but I’m still working on it!

  2. Glad to hear you are so enthusiastic about learning Mandarin! I think that makes the learning process so much easier. I took Spanish in high school, and some Mandarin too, but I want to focus on improving/perfecting my Canto before I jump into other languages. I tend to confuse things easily so :/

  3. I’m on my semester break right now but reading the first paragraph of your entry reminds me of how I feel for college. I’m losing my motivation too, like everything is to be done as a daily routine, making me feel like a total robot… I sometimes tell myself that I still have photography to hold onto, that one subject in my major I can find enthusiasm in. It sometimes work, other times it doesn’t and I doubt if this is the kind of major I want to take. but what can I say, quitting isn’t an option.

    I wanna say you’re doing it right, finding the enjoyment in mandarin class…mandarin class to you is probably photography class to me so keep that up. at least there’s this one tiny thing you can hang on to so you won’t feel like a walking dead sometimes 😛

    I used to love mandarin so much and was so fluent in it until I get all crazy over Japanese then English skill started to level up and now I read mandarin/chinese kanji as japanese… lol. my parents are scolding me for it though 😛 then again it’s really tiring because my parents are biased they think mandarin is the only important language in this world and that once i master it, i’m good to go. blah.

    I wonder myself where did the passion goes missing… i’m interested in languages, especially french but mandarin is like..at the bottom of my list? Lol. i’m so dead.

    i’ve been learning japanese by myself and yeah i guess i can say that all the anime/drama watching alongside video game “practice” really helps my understanding in it. hm, well…. i guess it’s a success because i managed to talk to a japanese without sounding like a drunk goose xD

  4. I want to learn Japanese. That’s all! XD
    HAHAHAHA! But learning alone is tiring~ I want to enroll in a class buy waaaayyy too expensive 🙁

  5. I am learning a new language currently. I am having Korean classes now. Is your class conversational Mandarin or do you also have to learn how to write? I find writing tougher than Korean. >.< Glad that you are having fun!

    On your comment on my blog, have you tried putting on makeup before? I was initially scared about makeup and stuff. But after some practice, you will get better at it and be more encouraged to put on makeup for photos. It will make you look really pretty. 🙂

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