Notes on Intercultural Communication

Learning Chinese Language

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Learning Chinese Language or The Journey is the Destination

After the first experience in communicating with Asian colleagues I was convinced, that most of our misunderstandings would be about the poor English. So I decided to learn Chinese language… My first words were 八 (bā – eight) and 〇 (líng). We were unloading a container and had to sort the boxes according to the numbers written on. My boxes were number 8 and 0.  It took me about a year to understand, that those “misunderstandings” were not about the language – it was all about the culture.

But the more I learned from Asian cultures, the more I was aware that the language is a key to a culture. So I got a self-learning book and began to learn Chinese language. Soon I found out, that intonation plays a key role in the meaning of words. I went out and bought another book, this time with a CD inside.

First encounter with learning Chinese language (self-learning)

In the mornings, when I was sitting in the bus to my working place, I listened to the recording and improved my intonation (I am a Laofutze, my dad is a Laofutze and we do not care for appearing stupid in public – except for the only aesthete of the family). And after a full working day with great Chinese business partners I simply was too tired of anything Chinese.After about six months my efforts in learning Chinese language faded out.

Second encounter with learning Chinese language (language-tandem)

Since we have a certain amount of Chinese citizens in the town I live in, it was easy to find a Chinese person, who would like to exchange language skills. After several attempts I gave up due to the inefficiency. Teaching a language requires more than speaking it.

Third encounter with learning Chinese language (learning Chinese online)

I came in contact with Ms. Clary Xue, who did an academic research on learning Chinese online. Unfortunately I was too late to take part on this research, but we kept contact. After some months I booked an introduction to Chinese learning InspiringChinese.com . Since Ms. Xue is located in Beijing, we communicated on different online based platforms. The online interactive whiteboard is a great help.

BTW: got a tablet meanwhile. Improves my life.

Lesson 1

Ms. Xue checked my skills first. Guess she found some basic ideas about intonation and Pinyin. After one lesson I had a set of vocabularies to cover the first words on a formal encounter. For communication we used VOIP and an interactive online whiteboard. The lesson included “homework” and documentation, which I received a few hours later by email.

Lesson 2

After repeating the previous lesson we started with new words. Ms. Xue has a defined curriculum and enlarged my vocabulary to the first sentences. Now I can introduce myself as well as other people. Chinese obviously people like relations, so often a title is attached to the family name (“laoshi Xue” for “teacher Xue”).

There are words for each member of the family, like younger brother “didi” or older sister “jiejie”. In the internet I even found the word “xiaojiuzi” for “younger brother of the wife”.

~

Happy Chinese New Year!

http://chinese-new-year-cards.blogspot.com

~

Lessons 5 & 6

In these lessons Ms. Xue had a hard time with me. Due to personal circumstances I could not focus well on the lessons. Some days later I received an audio file as a review of the previous lessons.

Lesson 7

As a customer of Deutsche Telekom (which provides my telephone and internet line), I sometimes can make phone calls and surf the internet. In trying to improve this state, an engineer of the Deutsche Telekom began his job shortly before the lesson and interrupted it later on.

Today we went through simple conversations. I learned how to invite someone and to make an appointment. Ms. Xue introduced me to the word “le”, which indicates a completion of an action.

Lesson 8

One of my favourite words: xǐhuan – to like…

~

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Lesson 9

Now I got a little further in conversation.

~

One year later…

历史 的 茶 在 德国

在 德国 我们 知道 茶  250 年 以前. 中国人 在 Java 卖 茶 给 荷兰人。 250 年 以前 啤酒 最 safe drink。 1750 年 茶 也 是 safe drink。开水 对 身体 很好。 德国的 政府 不 喜欢人们 喝 茶。 钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。

220px-Friedrich_Zweite_Alt

Frederick / Friedrich II 岁 68)

他的 外祖父 去 英国。 他 married 王后  Anne 也  是 国王。 他的 名字 George I.

1750 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialization (The „Königlich Preußische Asiatische Compagnie in Emden nach Canton und China – Imperial Prussian Asian Company in Emden/Germany to Guangdong and China” founded in 1751 already was 股份 公司!一半 shareholders 是了 荷兰人。

Koenig_v_preussen

词 “tea” (德语 “Tee”) 去 广东语 (caa4/taa4)。 欧洲人 说 “tea” 即使 我们 卖 给 广东。 “Tea” 去 跟 船。 别的 国 卖 茶 在 丝绸之路 (silk road)。 俄国人 也 阿拉伯人 说 “Chai” (Tshai). 他们 卖 给 中国 北方。 中国 北方人 说 茶叶 [茶葉] cháyè (tea leaves).

220px-Men_Laden_With_Tea%2C_Sichuan_Sheng%2C_China_1908_Ernest_H._Wilson_RESTORED

(Europeans transported the tea by ship from southern China, so they also took the Cantonese “taa4”. Other countries transported the tea by land, so they bought in northern China and adopted the Mandarin spelling “chaye”.

1840 英国人 作 茶 在  印度 and grew there with industrial methods for a much cheaper price. They combined an Indian tea-plant with a Chinese one and achieved a tea according to Indian climate.

有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多量 的 茶.

1920 it became popular for young people to go to a “Tanztee” (“Dance-Tea”). 和 茶 和 跳舞。 That young people 跳舞 Charleston and Foxtrott, which was scandalous that time. 1926 我的 外祖母  met 我的 外祖父  at a “Tanztee”.

Berlin, Tanztee im "Esplanade"

在 德国 我们 迟到 茶  250 年 以前.    知道(zhīdào)

中国人 在 Java 卖了 察 茶 to the 荷兰人。

卖(mài)茶(chá)给(gěi)荷兰人(hélánrén),or: 卖给(màigěi)…茶(chá)

以前 1750 啤酒 最 safe drink。1750年(nián)以前(yǐqián)….

1750 也 茶 是 safe drink。 1750年(nián)茶(chá)也(yě)是(shì)….

德国的 政府 不 喜欢了人们 喝 茶。 不(bù)喜欢(xǐhuan)

钱 去 在 荷兰 和 中国。 去(qù)了(le)

Boiled 水 很好 身体。

开水(kāishuǐ)对(duì)身体(shēntǐ)很好(hěnhǎo)。

1750 也 土豆 在 德国 去。 到(dào)了(le)德国(déguó)

这个 时间 是了 beginning of industrialisation  是(shì)

1840 英国人 作 茶 在  印度 。生产(shēngchǎn):produce

有意思 德国人 跟 中国人 喝 差不多amount of 茶.

喝(hē)差不多(chàbuduō)量(liàng)的(de)茶(chá)

~

Sexy Mandarin

sexy mandarin

~

sexymandarin_charly_bit_my_finger

… on my knees.

(retrieved 12.12.2012 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkvGhSDFo6s / http://www.sexymandarin.com)

~

Hans im Glück

幸 运儿 / 汉斯 很 高兴

很都 年 以前 有 一个人, 他 叫 汉斯 。 汉斯 工作了 七 年. 现在 他 要 去 在 他的 妈妈家。

他的 老板 给 了汉斯很多 的 金子, 汉斯 的 妈妈 家在 很 远.。汉斯 很 高兴。

在城市 很 热,有人和马,(or 有人卖马), 汉斯 买了一匹 马。 汉斯 很 高兴。可是他 不会 骑马, 汉斯 不 喜欢 马了。

他 看到了 牛。 他 觉得 牛 比 马好。 牛 有 牛奶 和 肉。 他 用马 换了 牛。 汉斯 很 高兴。但是 这头 牛 没有 奶。

ìng yùn ér / hàn sī hěn gāo xīng

hěn dōu nián yǐ qián yǒu yī gè rén , tā jiào hàn sī 。 hàn sī gōng zuò le qī nián . xiàn zài tā yào qù zài tā de mā mā jiā 。

tā de lǎo bǎn gěi le hàn sī hěn duō de jīn zǐ , hàn sī de mā mā jiā zài hěn yuǎn .。hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。

zài chéng shì hěn rè ,yǒu rén hé mǎ ,(or yǒu rén mài mǎ ), hàn sī mǎi le yī pǐ mǎ 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。kě shì tā bù huì qí mǎ , hàn sī bù xǐ huān mǎ le 。

tā kàn dào le niú 。 tā jué dé niú bǐ mǎ hǎo 。 niú yǒu niú nǎi hé ròu 。 tā yòng mǎ huàn le niú 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。dàn shì zhè tóu niú méi yǒu nǎi 。

在 城市 有 人 和 猪在一起。 汉斯 觉得 猪 最好。 他 用 牛 换了 猪。 汉斯 很 高兴。

在 城市 另一个 人 说: “你 从 小偷那里买了猪, 如果 国王 你 看到, 你 有 麻烦。 如果你用猪换鹅,就没问题了!” 汉斯 很 快 用猪换了 鹅。 他 很 高兴。

在 别的 城市 他 看到 Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer 做 刀子 最好. Scherenschleifer 说: “我 有 很好 的 石头。 如果 你 有 石头 你 可以 总是 赚钱。” 汉斯 用 鹅 换了 石头,他 很 高兴。

zài chéng shì yǒu rén hé zhū zài yì qǐ 。 hàn sī jué de zhū zuì hǎo 。 tā yòng niú huàn le zhū 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xìng 。

zài chéng shì lìng yí gè rén shuō : “nǐ cóng xiǎo tōu nà lǐ mǎi le zhū , rú guǒ guó wáng nǐ kàn dào , nǐ yǒu má fán 。 rú guǒ nǐ yòng zhū huàn é ,jiù méi wèn tí le !” hàn sī hěn kuài yòng zhū huàn le é 。 tā hěn gāo xìng 。

zài bié de chéng shì tā kàn dào Scherenschleifer. Scherenschleifer zuò dāo zi zuì hǎo . Scherenschleifer shuō : “wǒ yǒu hěn hǎo de shí tou 。 rú guǒ nǐ yǒu shí tou nǐ kě yǐ zǒng shì zhuàn qián 。” hàn sī yòng é huàn le shí tou ,tā hěn gāo xìng 。

现 在 汉斯 到了 妈妈的城市附近。 天气很 热 , 汉斯 要 喝水。 在 河里他 喝水, 石头 丢了。 他 很 高兴, 因为, 现在 他 不 用带着石头去找妈妈。 汉斯 很 高兴。 在家里 汉斯 很 高兴。

xiàn zài hàn sī dào le mā mā de chéng shì fù jìn 。 tiān qì hěn rè , hàn sī yào hē shuǐ 。 zài hé lǐ tā hē shuǐ , shí tóu diu1 le 。 tā hěn gāo xīng , yīn wéi , xiàn zài tā bù yòng dài zhe shí tóu qù zhǎo mā mā 。 hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。 zài jiā lǐ hàn sī hěn gāo xīng 。

~

Useful links:

Study Droid: nice DIY flashcards for Android smartphones.

Pinyin editor from Chinese-Tools for entering phonetic symbols.

~

(reviewed 04.04.2013)

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