My husband and I had a Mandarin Lesson taster session and it was so much fun. It was online, obviously, and we got the chance of learning about tones, which give a very different meaning to the words. As you can see in the picture, ma can mean either mother, fibre, horse, curse, or a question mark! That is as hard as it sounds.
Besides learning about Chinese tones, we also learned how to count to 10 (more or less), to say hello and good bye, and to sing. We had our session with Yi Zeng, and you can check her website at yicha.
I am great with languages. Besides English, I also speak and/or understand (I need a bit of practice for speaking, as I don’t have with whom to speak regularly) Spanish, French, and Italian. I can watch a movie in these three languages without problems. Even if I don’t understand one word, I can understand the overall meaning of that particular sentence. On top of that, I can also read in these languages, albeit slower. Over a decade ago I had some German courses and I can still understand some German words, but not enough to understand a conversation. I have some German cookbooks from my trip to Germany and I can understand those. I imagined that I will pick up some Mandarin words too, but it’s much more difficult that the European languages. Although there are similarities with Romanian, for the pronunciation of the letters, the tones are very hard to master.
What I found fascinating was that while the language sounds very upset, there is even an “upset” tone, the music is beautiful and calm and sweet. This is the song we sang. It’s called Moon Over My Heart and the words are lovely too.
I loved the experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn a bit about Chinese culture and Mandarin language. In tThe the taster lesson she told us about the tea ceremony and also showed a short clip with a Chinese traditional musical instrument.
zài jiàn (that’s good bye)