Friday, December 13, 2013

For You Language Buffs .....

I've been using this cold weather as an excuse to spend lots of time inside my cozy RV doing lots of computer projects, interrupted by reading and watching Netflix and TED Talks.

When I was living in Guatemala I made great friends with a young lady, Jessica, from Taiwan.  In addition to studying Spanish, she also gave classes in Mardarin Chinese to some Guatemalan children
[she pronounces it MAN DA REEN'].  I occasionally asked her questions about this ancient language - especially the incredibly huge number of Chinese characters.  It was overwhelming for me at the time, as I was so entrenched in learning Spanish.  I wish I had learned more.

This is Jessica holding my little Bella and a little package of Guatemalan chocolates

A few months ago I came upon this TED Talk, which I found very interesting.  It's a 6-minute video that introduces one to some very basic Chinese symbols.  Once in a while I'll see some Chinese characters in print and have found that there are a few I can figure out with this simple little lesson.  Fun!


7 comments:

  1. Very cool! When I was in China we used a book with Chinese characters next to English words or phrases. It worked pretty good because although there are many major dialects in China, it's my understanding that all Chinese use the same characters for reading and writing.

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    1. Yes, and I've also learned that the Japanese written language has many fewer characters; but they and the Chinese, no matter the dialect, can read with little difficulty the other language. I will state without reservation that the spoken Mandarin is very difficult to pronounce. I tried with Jessica and routinely had her in stitches with my poor pronunciation. I thought I was saying one thing and she heard something very different!

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  2. LOVE it.... what fun is this... I could never understand 'markings' for words... I'm bookmarking TED ... glad you posted this, Mary-Pat!

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    1. TED is a treasure trove of great, short videos on all kinds of things. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, to choose from.

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  3. I download Audio podcasts of TT to my iPhone and video podcasts of TT to my iPad Air. I use the Downcast app which works much better than iTunes.

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    1. I'll look into that. I assume it's in the apple app store?

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