Reviews Sundry

Mandarin Lesson

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.

Mandarin Lesson

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)

11 Comment

  1. What a fun lesson! Learning languages can be so rewarding. I’m not particularly good with languages, though I enjoyed studying French and Latin at the University. You’re very clever to speak several languages, and read even more.

  2. That’s impressive! I understand a little Spanish, but that’s it. One of my goals is to learn to become fluent in another language….

  3. I really enjoy learning about different cultures. I’m not great with languages except French and a little Ancient Greek.

  4. That sounds amazing, and a great way to start learning a new language. As China becomes ever more important on the world stage, there is clearly a strong case for learning at least the basics of their language.

  5. That’s so interesting that you’re learning Mandarin. My daughter wants to learn another language and she’s found some YouTube videos that she’s using at the moment to learn Chinese. She keeps testing me too, which is hilarious as I have NO clue what she’s saying! Good luck if you continue with Mandarin 🙂

  6. How great you had a lesson in Mandarin. I think Chinese culture is fascinating and there is much to learn. Asian languages are harder to learn for an European and vice versa but that shouldn’t discourage us. Learning a new language opens so much possibilities for us and it is educating in many ways. . It is always easier to learn a language from the same language group, but with enough practice and work it is possible to learn any language from any language group. I love learning languages. I also enjoy reading in different languages. Besides English, I read in Croatian, Italian and Russian. I wouldn’t say that I speak Russian (yet!) but I understand it enough to read books in it.

      1. Yes, passive and active knowledge of language are quite different. I struggle for words and expression when talking in Italian or Russian and am always tempted to revert to English but I can understand them without any issues.

  7. I do think some folks have an inclination for multiple languages and you’re fortunate to be one of them! I’m definitely not. Of course English is my native tongue (Americanized… and even then, there are many regional colloquialisms and accents), but other than that, I’m pretty limited. I studied Spanish for a number of years, (Mexican as opposed to Castilian) and can still speak, read, and understand some, but am in no way fluent at this point. I can count to ten and know a few select words in French and German. 🙂

    The song you shared is lovely.

    1. The thing with languages is that if you don’t practice you forget them. I studied French for A-levels and got a high mark, but now I understand much better Spanish, a language I didn’t study at all (movies, songs, listening to interviews, things like that). It’s the same with other subjects I’ve studied in high-school, I can’t remember much of what I studied either.

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