This week I've uploaded the first in a series (hopefully) of video updates. Check out my first YouTube clip this blog:
It's been a pretty busy week for me since I began this "Journey into Mandarin" last Friday. It hasn't left me with much chance to study, but I have made some progress nevertheless.
My week was filled with the study of a different language! I was busy in the books (or actually, in the computer) preparing for a Russian language / culture / law exam, which, if I pass, completes the first step of the process in becoming a temporary resident here in Russia.
That's another story.
The fact is though, that Russian and English are quite far removed. Russian grammar is particularly hard for me, as a native English speaker.
However, it's turning out that Chinese involves a complexed NEW set of challenges! Grammar isn't a part of that challenge yet (so far, so good). The lack of a real alphabet adds a new level of difficulty - says I.
That's not where the difficulties end. Enter the tones!
Let's say I do remember how to recognise, for instance, the Chinese character for King （王）, and I remember the word is "Wang". If I fail to remember the tone, I'm gonna sound like a tool.
So for WEEK ONE I've just been learning vocabulary using what have become my two favourite apps. Memrise and Chinese Skill. I'm finding that only a very few words hang around in my long term memory (though 1 week is still hardly long enough to qualify as long-term). And by "hang around", I mean both the WORD, TONE and MEANING. The character itself is a bonus.
One thing I have been trying to do, in order to consolidate what I learn, is to try and write the characters as I learn them and occasionally draw a little pic.
For your humour, on the right is a page of my first attempt at Chinese characters. I have no idea at this stage of the correct stroke order. Hook me up with an online tutorial if you know one!
Until next time... 再见！