Hello fellow Newbies--
I just took the plunge and signed up for a Premium membership...am super impressed with what I've seen of ChinesePod now that I have access to everything.
Was raised in Taiwan in the 50's and 60's but wasn't assimilated into the local culture sufficiently to really learn Mandarin well at all. Now am wanting to go back and visit so am going to see if I can muster the necessary self-discipline to master this language at, at least, a rudimentary level.
Love the Flashcard section...let's see what my aging brain can do. --Deborah
hkboyApril 04, 2011, 04:36 AM
Welcome to Chinesepod. I think you will enjoy your time here. There are so many nice lessons. There are many knowledgable learners in the community section who will help you out with any questions you may have.
I remember taking a trip to Danshuei several years ago.
Good luck with your studies!
I'm actually at your level now too. I've been here for many years but I've been putting all my efforts in Cantonese. However, recently I've been putting more effort in Mandarin.
If I recall I bought a small wooden cat from one of the seaside shops there at Danshuei. It was a hot day in July.
Those are great memories. I guessed that you spoke Cantonese because of the hk in your name. I'm impressed that you are taking on Mandarin now. I questioned whether I wanted to attempt to learn Taiwanese instead of Mandarin but decided that 2 more tones (Taiwanese has 6) was not something I wanted to take on. Also Mandarin would open up China for me.
My father was fluent in Mandarin...in fact, spoke it like a native and did advanced Mandarin studies at Stanford in later life. He was also learning Hakka dialect when we had to leave Taiwan. He died 2 years ago at age 90. How I wish he was available for me to practice with now. I think I'll add that to my profile as he is a major motivating force behind me wanting to learn.
Okay, let me get down to studying now.....
Yes, when I first arrived in HK, I started studying Mandarin but found out that few people were interested in or spoke it. I later married a nice girl from here and the rest is history.
I'm sure you will do well with Mandarin. Maybe later you can try some other languages. Good luck! When did you say you are going back to Taiwan?
Honestly, I have no idea. I'm in a period of transition in my life right now...have recently begun a program in mental disability law as well...so I don't know when it will come together for me and, hopefully, my husband as well, to head over there. He's a bit older than me and will retire in 6 years...we might wait until then. I think if I do well with my studies, I may have the urge to go over sooner than that. I'm okay with everything being up in the air as I really don't have a choice right now....trusting that the path ahead will become clear. BTW, I said that Taiwanese has 6 tones...I don't think that's right. I've seen 7 or 8 in different articles but thought I remembered it being 6. Oh well.
cinnamonfernApril 04, 2011, 04:40 AM
Welcome to CPod Deborah! Isn't premium great? I also started at a Newbie almost three years ago and am now up to Upper Intermediate lessons. If you ever need help, as hkboy says, there are lots of people on the boards who are extremely helpful and knowledgable, so don't be shy. Good luck and have fun! :D
dreumannApril 04, 2011, 05:01 AM
Thanks for the warm welcome hkboy and cinnamonfern. Hearing about your progress was very encouraging too. It does seem daunting when you begin.
hkboy, when I started to think about my childhood I checked out Aletheia University as it was located just above our home. I was delighted to find pictures on their website of the same view I used to gaze at as a child. The university's motto is "Humble, Humane and Humorous" by the way....ya' gotta love it!
I'll try to use a little Pinyin in my next post!
xiao_liangApril 05, 2011, 07:59 AM
Hi Deborah, and welcome to Chinesepod. I read your profile, since you prompted us to in another post, and really love the way you write about growing up. I bet you'll find all sorts of memories cropping up as you progress through the language in an unexpected way! Look forward to hearing from you on the message boards.
dreumannApril 07, 2011, 02:53 AM
Thanks xiao_liang...and yes, I've had to begin telling myself to just study and not worry about all of the things that are confusing me because I remember them one way and folks on these boards are talking about them in another way. For example, we introduced our nanny as our amah and I never heard the term băomŭ before the Tomb-Sweeping lesson.
And, yes, this is, indeed, triggering so many wonderful memories. I'll chime in when its relevant but won't bore everyone with too many tales of the past. That's for sharing over a feast of 饺 子 and Soju some day.
dreumannApril 07, 2011, 03:31 AM
Sorry any fellow Newbies that read my last post. 饺 子are the characters for those little Chinese dumplings called jǎozi and Soju is a favorite Korean alcoholic beverage that's popular in other countries in Asia as well (or so I've heard). They drink this all the time on K-dramas which are my ultimate zoning-out (guilty) pleasure. -Deborah
BTW, I lifted the characters from Collins Reverso Dictionary and now feel duty bound to learn them. :-)