First week of Chinese studies


My first lessons of Chinese language are behind. It's getting harder at this point because I also started to learn characters this week. I also got a Chinese version of my name, my teacher chose one pretty hard character which I'm learning to draw or write this weekend. It will be probably easier to buy a stamper later if I have to use it more often.


Chinese tones are not very easy for me to recognize. In Finnish language we usually use only one level of sound in Chinese it makes one word totally different with different tones in use. Something is also easier for a Finn, spelling R (er) or NG (ang) isn't so hard and also in Pinyin the writing is the same as speaking (same on our language). I guess this is starting pretty well if I work hard. In every new language it's important to be able to first speak, second listen to others and third reading, writing. Right now I'm struggling with mixing Thai and Chinese, there are similar words and sounds but the meaning is totally different (for example in Chinese ”maa/moaw” is a horse and in Thai it's a dog).


I'm also exploring new food. Some places they have only menus in Chinese, so I just pick one and order because not every time I can get service in English. So far nothing bad has been served for me but of course it would be also nice to know what's the name of the food before ordering. In my studies we don't practice yet a lot of different words – mostly just tones, characters and simple sentences. I try to challenge my teacher, she's starting to get an understanding why I want to know every single word also in English to be able to use it in another sentence, discussion or expression.


I did some touristic things last weekend but this weekend I have no plans yet. I visited a hot spring on Saturday which was a bit disappointment because of the small facilities and not a real spa experience I expected to get. But it was refreshing on a cold weather. On Sunday I met my friend in Tamsui to look around and try some local food. Actually we first planned to eat seafood but then ended up to a hot pot place. It was great because we had some rains as well and it was a cold day.


I've been a bit lazy to look for my own apartment but I think I will find a place before this month is ending. It just feels so simple to live in a dormitory at first where everything is close and someone is able to help me out if anything is needed. Other students have ”service hours” during day time to give an answer for everything and keeping track who's coming in or out. They are sometimes very funny to check my jacket is clean or firm before I go out. But yes they are Taiwanese and very precise how to look out.