Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Language still there

Yey, finally a good day! And it’s already Wednesday, which means the weekend is one step closer. Wo-ho!

First of all, I am finally typing on my beloved computer again. It was the re-charger that had broken, so I got a new one. Phew!

Second of all, my foot is doing better. I can walk quite well now. Still far away from running but all I want is to be able to move normally a.s.a.p.

And finally, I spent last night speaking Chinese (+ eating Chinese, yum!) and I could still follow the conversation…. Meaning: I haven’t lost all my language skills this summer… wiiiiii!

Yeah, since I was seriously craving spicy food (+ in a slightly bad mood) in the beginning of this week I decided to ask a Chinese friend to join me for a meal at the only “real” Chinese restaurant in town (I say “real” because they still serve the sweet and sour pork/the deep fried chicken/ the bamboo and the banana –but it is run by a Shanghai family so those times I’ve been there I have asked for the “real” menu in Chinese, and last night we simply asked for some dishes out of the blue and the kind manager made them all for us. She’s such a doll!). That turned out to be a good idea! My friend, oblivious to the fact that I was actually nervous about speaking, rambled on in a speedy Chinese, expecting me to follow everything (we have been chatting for days on Skype and there I have had no problems keeping up + a dictionary on hand, so I assume she thought my spoken level would be the same). Although I felt a bit odd in the beginning (the young Chinese guys left our company so I haven’t spoken a word of Chinese for the last 3 weeks) I realized that I actually hadn’t forgotten so much. Or, more importantly, I could understand everything she said (to the point that I could reply correctly, obviously I missed out on some details), and my answers were grammatically correct/understandable. Yey!

I know this may sound like a silly thing to even write about, but you know, I have been seriously worried that 2 months in Finland would result in me forgetting a lot of my Chinese vocab. Last summer I was here for only 1 month and when I eventually came back to China I felt really stiff trying to communicate in Chinese. Sure, my level is higher now than then, but still. It’s always a relief when you realise that your level can actually keep itself up, even when you are not in the “foreign language environment,” I mean, that’s what I’ve been aiming at all along.

So, happy Wednesday in other words. It doesn’t matter that it’s raining and 14 degrees outside my window (hello, it’s supposed to be summer? See now why they love their saunas so much over here?! Might have to de-frost in the middle of the “warmest season” of the year….), I’m still heading to work with a big grin on my face.


Jim said...

Well done with the Mandarin, I wish I was as good and I have a Chinese wife .....

It is 19 degrees here in Perth and raining but it is the middle of winter!

I'm not sure that I could handle Finnish weather.

Brad Farless said...

I miss those nice cool temperatures. I've been in Singapore and other hot places for over a year.

When it comes to language you can definitely lose vocabulary quickly. Glad to hearthat you're retaining a lot. It would be a pain for youto get back to China and start at that new school after forgetting so much. Or had you already started there before you left? All I remember is your amusing story about withdrawing from your old school.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Jim- ah, you're in Perth?!?! Lucky thing. I'd give u my Chinese skills in exchange of being able to live in Perth... hehe

Tales -Yeah I have to say that 3 years in humid Shanghai/suzhou has made me appreciate the somewhat cool Scandinavian summers... :)

I am still to start the new uni. I have only been there a few times talking to the teachers etc... Classes are still to come!

Brad Farless said...

Jonna, I'm looking forward to hearing about how that goes for you. I wonder if it will genuinely be a better experience than the last school? I hope so! Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself there. Before you know it you'll be sweating here in Asia again! ^_^ By the way, when is it you're coming back?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Tales -I know that my new classes will be different because either it will be private classes, or, I will study with only 2 other students. And I have already explained that I am not interested in the old-fashioned model to my new teacher. She's a young, friendly woman and we have already chatted a lot... so I really believe this time it's going to be different!!

I'm flying back on August 28... weehooooo! Two days later I am off to Yunnan. Can't wait!

Brad Farless said...

Jonna, sounds like it's going to be fantastic!

Funny, the 28th huh? On the 26th I'm flying to Phuket in Thailand, and then on the 28th I'm flying back to Singapore. It's just going to be a short holiday. ^_^