Language School – yu yan de xue xiao

Seven wonderful hours of language school lie before me today… but it has been very exciting to see our communicating ability grow. Mandarin has proven to be extremely difficult, but hardly impossible. The sentence structure is what is really holding back my speaking. We just say things differently in English. So there’s barely any direct translations. This can prove to be very frustrating: the other day I was trying to spit something out in Chinese to my teacher. She could not understand what I was saying, but I knew every word in the sentence I was trying to say; I just had no clue how to put it together! To combat this, I’ve been trying to up my listening and reading dosage. If you put enough of the “right way” in, eventually it will start coming out in place of the “wrong way.” Not much different from our spiritual life…

So I try to read a lot. I’ve got a heap of children’s books that I beat my head against. We listen to a native speaker preach in Chinese every Sunday (more on that in posts to come). has a Chinese Bible with audio that I can listen to regularly. Plus I try to eavesdrop on every conversation. Kinda weird, but I have to learn this language somehow!

All told, this language shouldn’t take the eons to learn that everyone foretells. I’ve chosen to save writing characters until I can speak comfortably in the language. Language learning is a race to speak. The first one to speak always wins. So this frustrates most of my teachers as they think we should be poring over the characters day and night, but I don’t want to dilute my speaking practice. Pray for us – Mandarin is hard, and we’ve got a ways to go yet…

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2 Comments on “Language School – yu yan de xue xiao”

  1. David Gardner July 9, 2007 at 9:01 am #

    Hey man, I am so glad to hear everything that is going on, it’s really exciting. It makes me jealous I’m still on deputation, but I guess it’s a good incentive too. I don’t know if you knew I HAVE A BLOG, IT’S EVERYKNEE.BLOGSPOT.COM keep up with us also. Haha, thanks for the plug.

  2. John Pearson July 10, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

    Having read Jorge Curioso and El Libro de la Selva, there are head pound marks in those books. Shaped like my head. I feel for you. At least i had real letters to work with.

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