Language Learning: Back on the High

2012: Yesterday, the club outside just put this up…Titanic… So interesting how today, people celebrate ‘festivals’ by the ‘media waves’ and by the fact that ‘everyone’ is watching it or talking about it that makes it matters.

I’ve been gone for a couple weeks in depression. I felt a little ill inside, as if something inside me died. But I was wrong! I was never dead, just hibernating.

I had midterms last week, and I felt like I did much better than all of last semester’s exams. Even though recently the nightlife people outside my window have been extra noisy, I was able to study, get some sleep, and even get up in the morning!

Before midterms, I’ve been having difficulties speaking Chinese. During tea time last Sunday, we had a guest (who I found out later is actually Japanese?), and I couldn’t say much while they were discussing tea buds and white fuzzy hair on the buds. I just sat there and listen to them. It wasn’t anything new that I haven’t heard of. Then later my friend was playing to my camera. I couldn’t say much either. Seriously, I was on a low point of using Chinese.

I still feel shy speaking to clerks, not much to waitresses. It just feels awkward when they fully expect you to know Chinese. If I look caucasian, people don’t expect you to understand at all. I noticed people do kind of closed their ears when it comes to foreigners. What I mean, is that they don’t think you’re saying what they think you are saying. I’ve never experienced this though.

My difficulty in this, as an Asian who looks very East Asian, is that they expect me to be fluent in Chinese when I first approach them, and to have that in mind, it really makes me nervous. After a few words, they get confused when they see I’m just mumbling. Sometimes, they switch to regular dialect when I say, “mei2 you3” instead of in Sichuanese “me-de-” (“don’t have”).

I don’t know how many people have realized I’m not Chinese. People don’t usually notice if I only say a few words. People often ask, “which country are you from?” Especially non-asian foreigners, I rarely see a Chinese not ask. So they ask me when they noticed, but I don’t get asked very often when I’m off by myself. The question is, do they know I’m not Chinese, or do Asian foreigners don’t spark their interest? Just something I find interesting.

Anyway, I’m back on a high. I know I just have to be speaking up in real life. I’ll continue to do my best during my remaining time here.

Using my language skills online has become easier than ever. After midterms, I came back on Lang-8 and wrote 2 entries, one in Chinese and one in Japanese. I respond to my comments in the according languages. On Youtube, I try to comment in Chinese or Japanese. And I noticed… I’ve improved a lot. I understand what people are saying now! Comments are usually simple language and colloquial. I learn how to respond from reading other comments. My brain is like a sponge! (Eh, means that I’m constantly losing too, as I have absorbed too much and squeeze my brain to death. If I squeeze it too hard, I’ll lose everything won’t I? Ha, I love playing with my metaphors)

My goal for Chinese was to get it the same level as my Japanese. I’m not sure where it is standing at the moment. My latest Japanese entry on lang-8 came out a little grammatically disastrous. So if I have reached my goals, what’s next? I’ll think about it.


I’ll conclude this week’s post with

My latest production:
A cover on Younha’s Omoide ni Dekinai (I can’t make it a memory). I wrote the chords for this awhile ago. My mood brings me to sing this. I got my Final Cut Express to work, and now I’m working on several short films. I used some clips from my winter break trip here.

ps. My previous cover on Sakura Girl, posted a month and a half ago, now has over 5000 views! That’s my highest record for one month!

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