I want to learn Mandarin well. I want to be able to talk, read and write in this fantastic language, and today I did a little bit. Twitter with it's #MandarinMonday search term is a great way to communicate to other people and learn more about this language.
I must admit to somewhat cheating with a translation service I have found, but it seems to work remarkably well (as for now) and has helped me devolop some key words and recognise key characters in sentences. I feel a little bit cheeky for having used it, in time I promise that it will become all of my own hard work translating sentances myself.
Today I leave myself, and anyone else in a similar position with this mantra;
Wǒ xiǎng xuéxí pǔtōnghuà liánghǎo.
Wǒ xiǎng xuéxí pǔtōnghuà liánghǎo.
Wǒ jiāng xuéxí pǔtōnghuà liánghǎo.
I Will Learn Mandarin well.
The twittering, though not as much as I wanted, did re-inspire me to dig back into Rosetta Stone and my books to increase my vocab and reading. *Excited*
China has sealed off Ziketan, a remote northwestern town of 10,000 people for quarantine purposes, state media said Monday. Two People have died and another ten people had contracted the disease in the ethnically Tibetan region of the sparsely populated province of Qinghai, Xinhua. World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the outbreaks are nothing new though and have said;
"There have been sporadic cases reported over the years. We are not surprised that it has come up. We're in constant contact with the authorities to make sure things are under control."
An official at the Qinghai government's health department said authorities were confident of keeping the outbreak under control.
"We have already closed off the infected area. We are currently treating those who are sick."
Pneumonic plague is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing. It is caused by the same bacteria that occurs in bubonic plague - the Black Death that killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Today, is the day where I can say, I have now been learning Mandarin for a Month. Technically I have been learning for almost two, although with holidays and moving house I have only been able to settle down this month to start to properly learn.
Now I started out and promised myself that I would spend an hour a day learning, and to be truthfully honest, it has not happened. Some days I have spent learning for a lot longer than an hour, but more often than not, due to me wanting to read, everything there is out there about Mandarin and Chinese culture, and the various other things I do, I just have not had the time.
However, I have still learnt a lot, and will continue to do so. I can now count in Mandarin, although my pronouciation still needs considerable work, can recognise more characters and can read pinyin infinitely better than I could a month ago.
You hit a stage when you start learning Mandarin after the first barrier, where you bound along learning many new (easy-ish) words. You make real progress, but suddenly you will hit another harder barrier, and it can be easy to stop there. Which I have been guilty of so far. It is so much more pleasing to burst through the barrier and make even more progress.
I cannot wait to bring this to two months of Mandarin. Or six. Mandarin seems to me to be a language you will never stop learning once you start. I was seriously scared and put off this week when Bill posted this link: voicesinshanghai.posterous.com/, which has lots of Chinese natives speaking in dialect as they really do in China, and it is great to hear the people really speaking the language, and not just the studio-learning accent. However it did make me realise how much of an enormous task I have started, and it was rather humbling to see how far I really had progressed this Month.