Monday, November 3, 2008

Mid Term Monday

Quite dull wknd. I spent Sat in bed, with fever and a cramping stomach (I couldn't eat all day -oh the pain. Eating is one of my fave things to do, especially on the wknds when u might actually feel motivated enough to cook something nice). When I woke up on Sunday I felt a bit better, although dehydrated, so I scraped my plans of going for a long run. Instead I was reminded by the fact that I have mid-terms this week, so I ended up studying the whole day. B-b-b-boooooooooring! But it had to be done.

Something that annoys me is that one of the chapters that is included in our exam we haven't even fully studied. I don't know why, but for some reason I need the teacher to first explain things to me, and then I get it much better... especially seeing that the English translation of so many Chinese characters is often a bit 'so-so'... like, you cannot fully rely on it being correct. Speaking of English translations of Chinese characters, have you guys (who studies or have studied Chinese) noticed how many books uses really OLD English words as the translation of words?! One of my friends who completed level 4 at Shanghai Uni last semester used to sometime ask her American boyfriend of the meaning of the English words as she simply didn't get them, but even he had problems with a lot of them. Just to give an example, does anyone know what a 'cordate houttuynia' (鱼腥草) is? Just like that? I mean, I can barely spell that word out? Then, there are also words that I question if they are worth the headache of learning: like 'poplar'? (杨树) Sure, I get that it is some sort of tree/pant, but, ehum.. it doesn't feel like the most important word to learn, especially since I don't even know the names of all the different trees that we have in Sweden...

Lucky Koreans/Japanese who get all the vocab explained to them in Japanese/Korean characters... but anyways (Maybe I should start making Chinese-Swedish textbooks?!?! Although... with Sweden being a country with a population of 9 million I don't think I'll end up making any best-sellers...)

Another frustrating thing about this exam (which is mainly about grammar) is that like always, I will be limited in my writing simply because there are so many (advanced) characters I still cannot remember how to write (is this normal at level 4, or am I... ehum... stupid/slow?! I know that there is this American girl who is also on level 4 -but in a different class than me- who writes fluently... I'm deeply impressed, although I don't know how she does it...she must have some sort of amazing memory as she can remember all those strokes?). Reading is not a problem anymore, but writing... aooch. When are Chinese universities going to start using computers for tests for lao wais? I bet it's going to happen just when I have finished all my Chinese studies. But on the other hand -I guess I should be grateful that I am learning things the hard way. I don't think I would be able to read as well as I can now if it wasn't for the hours I spend on writing characters. So I guess it is worth something. Enough about that -I always whine about this when it is exam time so don't take me too seriously. It has become a bit of a tradition I guess.

Although this wknd that just passed was dull and the beginning of this week is looking quite boring too (2 exams today and 1 exam tomorrow...) the next two wknds are looking up! I'm off to Hangzhou next Sat, and the following week I'm going to Dalian. Yey!

Plan for this Monday: study, study, study (speaking exam tomorrow morning), and maybe a visit to the gym. Who knows, I might actually also end up cleaning our flat today, sorting out boring papers and bills, and organize my wardrobe/bookshelf. These are the sort of things I normally feel like doing when I have something else that I am 'supposed to do'. Procrastination -always been a dear friend. Just look at me now....

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

鱼腥草 is a kind of vegetable, but more often is used as herb in Chinese medicine. This is indeed an uncommon word even for the Chinese. None the less, 杨树 is one of the most widely planted trees in China, so it's not strange at all.

zhou said...

too much spicy and oily food is really bad for stomach. (no Hunan & Sichuan dishes..)

have your dinner regularly and on time (especially proper breakfast and lunch), never get too full or too hungry, always eat well-cooked(烂)and warm food, pick up the love for soup(not instant soup..but 3-hour-boiled chinese soup 煲汤) in a cold winter.

try some rice soup (粥)when having a stomachach, chinese rice soup is really delicious with many kinds of flavours, and easy to digest. don't eat nothing for a whole day..

there is no instant cure for a weak stomach, you need to look after it all the time, as the chinese say "养胃".

that's what my mon told me when i had stomachache and it worked. hope it can help you. or maybe a Swedish stomach is a different thing..but as u are in china, why not do as the chinese do, at least with the stomach :)

zhou said...

forget to mention that, keep the belly warm in a cold and windy day especially when the wheather is changing. ok,ok, no more odd chinese stomach caring theories..

in terms of OLD English translations, all i want to say is in my high school English textbook (2002), London was still "foggy"..

Emil said...

Oh, what you should have done that morning was actually to watch the bicycle race. It was pretty spectacular with a lot of drama and crashes.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Emil -what a shame I didn't, considering one of my exams went totally downhill... how did you go, did u win?

Mark's Blog said...

It seems everyone is busy now

EXAM! EXAM!

Kate said...

!!!!! are you using "New Practical Chinese Reader"??? Yesterday's lesson just had 鱼腥草 and 杨树

:P

Jonna Wibelius said...

Kate -we do!!! haha, funny! It's an OK book although too many new words/chapter!? Gosh, I get tired just by looking at them... Did u also just have your midterms? Where do u study?

Kate said...

we did just have midterms haha! we only started the new book after the midterms. and, yeah- soo many 生词!we spend 2 nights on each chapter so it makes it more tolerable but still arg! especially when it is a character that means "cordate houttuynia" :p i wouldn't know a cordate houttuynia if it hit me between the eyes. still at least that chapter and the next one were a bit more upbeat than the first two :P i'm studying at Donghua University, but i'm in China on a study abroad program separate from Donghua so even though my classmates and i live on their campus and we take our classes in their building i'm only in classes with other people on the program instead of the regular cultural exchange school's classes...which is actually too bad, because there are laowais everywhere and I want to meet them but never have a chance to (not to mention other chinese people obviously but that's not always the easiest either). what school are you studying at?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Kate -I'm right now studying at Suzhou Daxue.. Before I was at Jiaotong in Shanghai... how long is your program. Sounds weird that u don't meet the other lao wais... does that mean u have private classes?! That would be great.. my class it jam packed with 26+ students... hard to make your voice heard at times!