Learning Chinese Language; Living Chinese Lifestyle

Living Chinese Symbols homepage : Learning Chinese Language; Living Chinese Lifestyle Blog : June 2005

June 2, 2005 07:24 - Getting used to life in China

When was the last time that I wrote something new? I must have lost track of time with all the stuff going on :P. Ah well, let's see what kind of new stuff have I learned? Hmmm... I guess that my vocabulary increased and I can now converse about almost anything related to weather, my background and also other stuff that are required in order for me to be independent in China.

In class, we've recently changed and adapted to a new way of learning that was suggested by all the foreign students :). We now have 30-40 minutes of debate all in chinese as we requested (yay!). With this now I think that improving our oral skills will be a blast! It's always fun to argue in a different language ;). Plus, the teacher is always there to correct us.

Lately, I think I've gotten to accustomed to the Shanghai lifestyle. I feel as if I was at home in my own country. Everyday is almost the same routine, I get up early in the morning go to school then come back home during the afternoon. Then I either go to the gym or do some homework before dinner. Usually, dinner is always interesting because there is so much variety in Shanghai that you can go eat outside for a months without going to the same one twice. Even during dinner, I learn about different cultures through their food, clothing and language.

Usually during the night when Shanghai shines it's brightest, the fun really begins! Every morning in class my classmates would always tell me about how much fun they had last night or who they met and etc. (All of my classmates are at least 10 years older than me). It seems that almost every night they go out to bars or clubs to party and make friends with either the locals or other foreigners studying the language. They said that there are even bars specially designed for foreigners to meet. Anyways, the way how my classmates always describe it sounds a lot more fun! Well that's all for now :D!

June 8, 2005 09:24 - Along with ABCs, some are learning "yi er san si wu.."

Though the numbers are small, looks like Chinese language learners in the US are starting younger...

Chinese, a language most school systems don't offer until high school, if at all, is becoming popular in elementary classrooms around Greater Boston, as well as elsewhere in the nation. Spanish still reigns as the most popular language, but parents and lawmakers hope that Chinese soon will become commonly taught. School systems are starting the lessons with the youngest students in hope they learn the language well enough to compete in the new world economy, as China becomes an economic and political superpower.

The Asia Society in New York City estimates that about 24,000 of the 49.5 million elementary and high school students in the United States are studying Chinese, even though nearly 1.3 billion people speak Chinese in the world; the smallest proportion of US students studying the language are in elementary school. By comparison, more than 1 million students study French, a language spoken by 80 million people worldwide.

''China just is going to be a future power," said Marie Doyle, Carlisle superintendent. ''It behooves us to make sure the children are really studying the culture, the customs, and the language. The more they know, the more successful they will be in the business world."

Read the full article here

June 12, 2005 09:01 - East meets West in this US school

Here's an excerpt about a high school in the US which has implemented a Chinese language and culture program:

St. Edward's student Rory Hatch said learning Chinese history is important because of China's influential past and emerging force in the future.

"Right now, there are rapidly growing economic ties between the U.S. and China," said Rory, 16. "These connections are only bound to increase in number."

American schools traditionally have taught world history with a Western, European bias, Rory said. But China's ancient culture needs to be included in lessons, he said.

"China, throughout history, has been an economic force in Europe," said Rory, pointing to the silk industry and the quest to find a northwest passage to China as examples. "You can't ignore the influence of Asia."

China also has some of the largest orange groves in the world, Mitchell said. Because of China's connection with citrus, knowledge of the country and language would be beneficial to business leaders in Florida, he said.

Students aren't just learning about the country in books — they're traveling to China to see it for themselves. The school's Model United Nations group went to Beijing this spring to attend the International Model U.N. Conference.

Christina Herbach, 17, who attended the conference and took the class, said students who get just a basic understanding of the Chinese culture will benefit.

"There is such a difference between the West and the East," she said.

Initially, learning Chinese is difficult because characters are so different, she said.

"After a while, it clicks," Christina said. "The language isn't as complicated as most people think."

Read the full article from TCPalm.com

June 13, 2005 08:54 - Learn Chinese on the Cheap

Learn Chinese on the Cheap...through internet phone.

Learning Chinese is all the rage in Korea these days. So much so it is replacing English as the foreign language of choice for Koreans. Many Korean businesspeople see China as the biggest market for their products and investments now and in the future. So having at least a basic command of spoken Chinese has become important for Koreans. This phenomenon has created opportunities for enterprising types just across the border...

A publishing company chief identified by his family name of Chung received a call on his cell phone from a woman in her 20s living in Yanji, China.

Introducing herself as a Korean-Chinese who graduated from Yanbian University, she asked Chung if he would like to learn Chinese from her over the phone for 15 minutes a day at W50,000 (about US$50) a month, using textbooks available at Korean bookstores.

Chinese conversation lectures over the Internet phone are becoming widespread through telemarketing calls from China to Korea.

Person-to-person Chinese conversation lectures over the phone cost at least W100,000 (about USD100). But Koreans can learn Chinese directly from native speakers at lower costs if they use Internet phone connections linking China and Korea.

Read the full article here

June 18, 2005 20:30 - Chinese Dragon

I was in Hong Kong last week and caught sight of this dragon symbol on the express train from the airport:

I thought it's an interesting visual design billing Hong Kong as "Asia's World City". Pretty creative. It
manages to incorporate both the English letters "HK" and the Chinese characters for Hong Kong. See if you
can spot them...

For those "culturally-challenged" :-), these are the Chinese characters for Hong Kong:

Can you see a glimpse of these two words? They're rather stylized so you'll have to use a little imagination.

BTW, the "official" explanation of the symbol goes like this:

"The design symbolises a blend of East and West. Its flowing lines impart a sense of speed and change."

What do you think of the design of this dragon symbol? Go here to read the article I've written about the Chinese dragon symbol.

Kah Joon

June 28, 2005 07:35 - Chinese symbol crisis - opportunity in a time of danger?

Is "danger" plus "opportunity" equal "crisis" in Chinese?

Is the Chinese symbol crisis made up of "danger" and "opportunity" as is often quoted?

First of all, the Chinese symbol crisis is not one symbol but two.

The symbols for crisis in Chinese are made up of these two words:

They are pronounced wei1 ji1.

Read more here...

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