1 month left… and a lot left to do…

Although my Mandarin learning is going at a sufficient pace, there is still a lot of topics that I want to learn and master. Since learning a language is a such a broad topic and difficult task, I haven’t been able to move as quickly as I imagined, especially when learning a language as difficult as Chinese Mandarin! Nonetheless, I am making great progress, and I feel confident that the learning I complete during my in-depth study will be a sufficient amount to present on In-Depth Night. Allow me to walk ¬†you through my progress this week.

Last week, Hannah was really starting to push me to master the pronunciation of “pinyin” and be able to effectively read using perfect pronunciation. We started the lesson off by reading and honing my pronunciation. Then, Hannah introduced me to poems that were 4 sentences in length. Hannah says this will allow me to apply all the pronunciation rules I have learned and introduce me to new vocabulary. If there is one thing that is extremely difficult about my in-depth, it is learning Chinese vocabulary. When Chinese children begin to learn how to read and write Chinese, Hannah told me, they already know how to speak because the language is actively around them all the time. In your case, it is much more difficult to learn how to speak because you have only been exposed to Mandarin for the length of your study, she added. I am going to do my best to learn as many words as I can in order to broaden my vocabulary.

In addition to reading text and additional Chinese words, Hannah introduced me to Chinese characters. The first task she gave me was to learn the numbers (1-10) in pinyin and Chinese character form. Using my pinyin book, my task was to write the numbers, 1 through 10, in pinyin form with the respective character underneath. She asked me to copy them several times in order to help me memorize them. I use this method of repetition a lot in piano to help me learn and memorize a concept. In terms of writing out the characters, it is quite difficult. Writing Chinese characters, even simple ones, is like writing out calligraphy. In other words, it is pure art. I can see why my good friends, Lori and Crystal, are such good artists!

I am meeting with Hannah again tomorrow to continue reading and mastering my pronunciation. In addition, Hannah will attempt to widen my vocabulary and further expand on the topic of Chinese characters. Learning Mandarin is something I have always dreamed of, and I am so proud that I am learning so much in so little time. I will continue to work hard and learn as much as I can to ensure a great presentation on In-Depth Night.