Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Benny is learning Chinese!

Quick post this, I have been far too busy recently. Benny is learning Chinese! I have not exactly been a fan of Benny in the past or his approach however I found his post quite refreshing.

Crucially I expected a lot of the usual 'negativity by proxy', I have suspected that he often courts negativity so he can then rant against it, I don't detect that in his post or video.
I have my doubts about him reaching the conversational fluency level described, three months is not very long. To offset that somewhat Benny does have a lot of experience learning languages. It is undeniable that the more experience you have in this respect the better.

I will be interested to see how the conversational level is tested, will Benny take a risk on a total stranger? It is quite a tall order to listen fluently and allow a native speaker to express themselves comfortably in their own language. Keith was very brave in his first chatwithout safety net.

I am not sure also what the reading will demonstrate in this time, Chinese signs could to a large extent be learned symbolically rather than phonetically and a menu can be learned in a similar manner. Different menus from different restaurants could be challenging. I wouldn't make a big thing about the simplified vs traditional, simplified does not mean simple and in some respects the more complex characters are easier to read unless on the small side (then they become squashed insects and blur together ;) ) Traditionally would be harder to handwrite I think.

I hope Benny enjoys the experience, that is the most important thing 加油