Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reverie (wo3 yao4 cheeseburger)

Ok so you can use some of your dead time in the car etc. to listen to language podcasts but what about when you don't have an mp3 player handy. I think it would be great to spend some time daydreaming in Chinese. 我要大 cheeseburger [wǒ yào dà cheeseburger]

My favorite definition of reverie is an abstracted state of absorption. For some reverie is that "Walter Mitty" state where you can daydream that you are the hero, super-stud, rock musician etc. etc. Others use reverie as for more constructive purposes , creative people create things whilst sitting on the bus, programmers and mathmaticians solve problems. This constant reworking and reworking of a problem is to my mind the basis of the sterotypical absent minded scientist, who has taken it so far that they often seem phased out of the real world.

How does any of this help with learning Mandarin? Well assuming that you are disciplined enough to use reverie for a useful purpose (hey you can still put aside a little time to imagine that you are a super-stud ;)) then you can constantly practice your Mandarin whilst standing in queues etc.

My working example came from a blog comment on from a Chinespod user called "Mike in Jubei". Mike's comment about wǒ yào cheeseburger made me realise what I had already started doing. Imagine you are standing in a long queue waiting to order a cheeseburger. Think .... 我想 cheeseburger [wǒ xiǎng cheesburger] the queue is long you get more urgent think .... 我要 cheeseburger [wǒ yào cheeseburger] actually you don't want a small 我不要小 cheeseburger [wǒ bū yào xiǎo cheeseburger] but a big 我要大 cheeseburger [wǒ yào dà cheeseburger] etc. etc. I think you get the point. What is more you will probably be prompted to go home and find out what the heck cheeseburger is in Mandarin.

My last thought on the matter, once you get good enough at Chinese you can do all your daydreaming in Mandarin. How about being a super-stud in China? everyone is a winner :).
P.s to anyone who knows me and is saying "yeah in your dreams mate!" thats the whole point :p


Anonymous said...


Thank You for the little acknowledgement. Reading your progress.

Don't forget 不 用 mayo "Bu yong mayo" Don't want mayo or even better 沒 有 mayo "mei you mayo"

Mike in Jubei

Jason S. said...

I think that's an awesome point. I've been trying to do that as much as I can. And, not only is it helpful in reinforcing what you know, like you said, it also helps me come up with things I realize I want to/ or should know. (Like: damn, that's a long line.)

Anonymous said...

This is Mike from Jubei

Just wanted to say you are now contaminated with Chinesepod join the club.

BTW I stay away from MacD's but that's what popped into my head. I could have equally sadi Wo yao BMW!

chinese language said...

I want to say you are now contaminated with Chinesepod join the club.