First time understood a phone call to me in Chinese, and could answer back, all in Chinese. Friend asked where China Construction Bank was.
hamshankFebruary 18, 2011, 08:23 AM
I love hitting those kinds of achievements. The smug/proud feeling you get for the rest of the day (or till the next conversation brings you back down to earth) is worth all the hours of study.
Judging from the phone conversations I hear day to day, you can probably get by in most situations...
Joking aside...heres to the next milestone. The dream in Chinese!
Thanks! Meanwhile, you indeed dream big. I was thinking the next milestone might be:
1: successfully ordering a pizza over the phone, and getting it delivered to your correct address.
2: someone unknown to you asks you for something in Chinese. You get none of the usual cues that suggest the conversation might be about something with which you are familiar (those are previous milestones). You have to figure out what they want.
3: Dreaming in Chinese (nirvana)
I'm not sure why you seem to be implying that dreaming in Chinese is some sort of pinnacle. I have been doing that since early on when other milestones would have been beyond me and still are. I now quite often dream in Chinese...that's not to say it's good Chinese, but the beauty of dreaming is that unlike real life, the other folk don't seem to have any problems understanding, hehe :)
Not at all. I'm not within cooee of fluency. Real life conversational fluency would be my pinnacle....just a distant dream. As I said, it doesn't mean the dream stuff is quality...I think it's basically just at the same level as what I can speak [or type] when I'm awake...basic stuff. Think about it...little Chinese kids I'm sure dream in Chinese...doesn't mean they have much vocab if they're very young or adult like fluency. For me I don't think it's an indicator of level or proficiency at all...it more depends on how much I've been thinking about Chinese/ in Chinese while I'm awake.
bodaweiFebruary 18, 2011, 11:04 AM
Yeah, good on you pretzellogic. Have you ever wondered why the big banks in China each have an English name? The vast majority of the population have no idea of these English names - ie. there is no recognition.
what's worse, is that it takes effort for English speakers to learn the Chinese name. And the characters for "Construction" in China Construction Bank aren't in the first few hundred characters you learn (or at least in the first few hundred i've learned).
hkboyFebruary 18, 2011, 11:33 AM
Great job! Yes, phone conversations can be tough. We should all post more of our successes.
I agree. I was thinking that there were a lot of little successes along the way that I never documented, as have others:
First time taxi took me to the place I wanted based on my own instruction.
First time I answered a question correctly that wasn't asked in a classroom.
First time ordered at mcdonalds without just pointing at the picture menu.
First time ordered at a restaurant
First time bought something by myself, and asked someone to do it.
First time told a humorous story in Chinese
First time told a humorous story in Chinese and the Chinese person laughed.
bababardwanFebruary 18, 2011, 11:43 AM
btw interesting that you used the "milestone" synonym "milepost"..is that more commonly used in the US? Has your distance running had an influence in your choice of words here?
yeah, after the fact, I was wondering why I used milepost. Attribute this usage to a one time fluke. I was thinking my favorite TV show at one point used milepost, but likely on further reflection, they use milestone. Maybe it is the running. Odd, since i'm using a treadmill during the winter.
..the other thought I had at the time I saw it but forgot to mention was that you were starting a "post"...so perhaps that had an influence...a milestone post...why not just compress that into the alternative milepost.