What is your Chinese language learning Holy Grail?
bodaweiDecember 21, 2011, 07:49 AM
That's a hard one - the Holy Grail is the ultimate end point isn't it? I already dream in Chinese, although I'm not sure that I understand any more asleep than awake. I need to make a list of things that I haven't done in Chinese (the list will be quite long.)
Invent crosswords that work with Chinese characters - I believe that this is beyond the most accomplished linguists. (Has anyone ever seen a crossword in a Chinese newspaper?)
Write a novel in Chinese.
Give a speech to the United Nations in Chinese.
Understand the CCTV News.
Read a newspaper in less than 6 hours spread over three days.
Undertake all my communication with a newborn baby entirely in Chinese.
Understand a Media lesson on ChinesePod on the first run through.
A short term goal is to read 《边城》(I think that is what it is called), in Chinese. Co-author a paper published in Chinese. Remember how to hand-write my address without checking a character each time. Memorise my new Chinese phone number. Engage in casual chatter in the staff room. Learn how to discuss all my increasing number of ailments and their related therapies as I get older.
Whoa, 了不起！ I was mighty impressed by "write a novel in Chinese" but then even more impressed with "give a speech to the United Nations in Chinese". You do aim high....I guess I might have considered writing some short piece, but not a novel and certainly not addressing the UN. There must be some apt Chinese chengyu or saying about aiming high, right?
The short term goals seem doable enough. Of the longer term goals I'd say communicating with a newborn in Chinese should be easiest, as well as fun...I like that one.
'I'd say communicating with a newborn in Chinese should be easiest, '
I'm not quite sure what to say and you don't get any feed back. :)
'Write a novel' etc. I was trying to draw the upper bound. Something we do in economics when we have no idea of the answer ... you try and define the boundaries of possibility. And then say that the answer is 'somewhere in there.' :)
Haha - I'm guessing your meaning is 'listen well to what I have to say'?
孩子应该听柏子的话，的意思？(Sorry about the new dialect - 方言的柏子。。呵呵 )
Actually I was just listening to a Freakonomics podcast talking about the behaviourists who would describe my 'writing a novel' comment as anchoring - meaning that rather than the answer being just 'somewhere in there' (my view expressed in a previous post, due to my being hard-wired by the agnosticism of my 1970s-era training) economic behaviourists believe that I have anchored your expectations somewhere in the vicinity of writing a novel, simply by mentioning it. Even though you know rationally that all I have done is describe the boundaries. Just thought I'd throw that in. I am after all a converted behaviourist.
bababardwanDecember 21, 2011, 08:25 AM
hmm, having just given it some thought, I've realised my Holy Grail would being having a lengthy intellectual conversation with a native Chinese adult who couldn't see me [so I guess it would have to be on skype or phone or some such] and for them to genuinely mistake me for a native. I'm off to seek the grail now, clip clop, clip clop......
ouyangjun116December 22, 2011, 06:47 AM
这个是个很好的问题，我刚刚考虑考虑但是想不出来我最大的目的是什么。如果我不得不选个Holy Grail那我就跟baba的Holy Grail差不多一样，在电话里让一个中国人以为我也是个中国人。
pretzellogicDecember 22, 2011, 09:24 AM
1) Understanding CCTV News (all programs/all channels)
2) Understanding the Chinese when Formula 1 is televised in Chinese
3) Understanding the Chinese when the Superbowl is televised in Chinese