Feb 7, 2013

Why Chinese is Easy.

(Post was written yesterday, but because of crappppp internet, is being uploaded today. Thanks, Chinatown censors!)

People don't believe me when I tell them that Chin.ese really is not a difficult language to learn. It's really not. If you can wipe all Western logic from your brain and speak from a new reference point - one that involved putting words together to form literal meanings, then you can totally speak Chin.ese easily.

I'm always finding holes in my language arsenal that make me think I'll be here forever if fluency is my goal, (it's not). For example, today I realized I don't know the word for "solution," i.e. "contact solution." I know how to say, "contacts," 隐形眼镜 (yinxing yanjing - 'invisible glasses'). But had no idea how to say contact solution.

Nevertheless, I marched myself across the street to the glasses store (the only place you can get contact solution, they don't sell it at Walmart - go figure), and announced that I needed, "隐形眼镜水“ (yinxing yanjing shui - 'invisible contacts water.") It was just a guess.

"MMMhhh," the worker dude grunted in typical Chi.nese fashion, "Inside." And he led me to the back to gaze at the glass case of contact solution formulas and pick out my favorite, "invisible glasses water."

My hunch was correct. Invisible glasses water = contact solution.

It makes so much sense.

Ch.inese is so easy. Trust me.

walk slow. xoxo.


Danji said...

I'm nowhere near fluency (6 months studying Chinese on the side) but even I can see the ridiculousness of the argument that Chinese is inherently more difficult than every other language ever. Sure, like all other languages, Chinese has its lapses in logic (马上? Who came up with THAT?) but for the most part, its beautiful in its methodicalness. I love your anecdote about the contact lens solution.

Just discovered your blog and am working my way backwards through some posts. Loving your writing style, I expect I'll be checking back in every so often!


- "Danji"

Xiaohua Ge said...

Hi Jess,
This is Jimmy. How's everything going? Have you finished your PhD yet? It is such a long time since our last talk. I tried several times on QQ, but it seems you were not online. Luckily, I saved your blogger and found you there, lol. Hope everything goes fine to you. Please email me at 'ifensi@foxmail.com' when you saw this message. Cheers.

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