Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My first Chinese thoughts

今天我很累 [jīntiān wǒ hěn lèi ]. Nothing new there, infact I could probably say 每天我很累 [měitiān wǒ hěn lèi ]. There was something special about this particular day though. And why do I keep nervously checking my wallet?

I have had my first Chinese thoughts recently! not momentous thoughts to be sure, but even the great wall had to start somewhere.

What do I mean by a Chinese thought? Well obviously Chinese things (words and phrases) have been drifting through my head ever since I started learing Mandarin but they were simply visitors, selected and invited in to share space with all the English stuff already in permanent residence. A Chinese thought would be a Chinese word or phrase that started life in my head and wasn't prompted (even fleetingly) by an English thought.

Well last week I woke up and thought 今天我很累 [jīntiān wǒ hěn lèi ]. Only then did I think "what does that mean"? (today I am very tired).

I think this is some kind of milestone, the next thought that happened at the weekend was even more funky. I am just getting over a bad cold and sinusitis and at the weekend was a little out of it (not completly feverish but not making a lot of sense either). My family took the opportunity to do a little shopping and I couldn't even raise my usual miserly interest in what they were buying. Something was triggered in my sub-concious though. Throughout the rest of day I kept absent mindedly mumbling 多少钱 [duōshǎo qiàn] It wasn't until the evening I realised what I was saying and what it meant. It means HOW MUCH MONEY :0

7 comments:

John said...

Another nice milestone is the first time you speak to someone, they get a blank confused look on their face, and then you realise you were accidently speaking in Chinese. I've said Hao instead of OK a few times, and once I confused someone by saying in Chinese Wo qu cesuo (I'm just going to the toilet).

John said...

Another nice milestone is the first time you speak to someone, they get a blank confused look on their face, and then you realise you were accidently speaking in Chinese. I've said Hao instead of OK a few times, and once I confused someone by saying in Chinese Wo qu cesuo (I'm just going to the toilet).

iysam said...

I am to start learning mandaring also by myself suing sources from the internet. i am downloading pimsleur mandarin. So, I wanted to ask you, with what material did you start learning? when di dyou start learning how to write? and how many words can you write so far? and for how long hav eyou started learning and how many hours do you put per week on learning?
sorry for all this questions, but they could be of much help to me

Seal&Vito said...

im not to discourage you but i think i'll give some advice.

when you say 每天 youll need to add a 都[dou], which makes the sentence smooth. then the sentence would be 每天我都很累.

and its better to put the time after the subject or you should pause a bit between 每天 and 我. then the first sentence would be
我每天都很累. the second 我今天很累.

you can make it more colloquial(actually it can be written). leaving out the subject is ok in chinese. then it will be 今天好累.

jia you2!!

书伟 sylvio said...

congrats for the blog. And for your first thoughts too. But I've got to tell you've made a mistake in the tones: you wrote 多少钱 [duōshǎo qiàn] and it should be [qián], second tone : )

Anonymous said...

Money has a rising tone man

Chris said...

messed up the tones, oh well it was early days.