Thursday, 15 May 2008

Made a start, at last!

This morning I went through chapters 5, 6 and 7 of 'Teach Yourself Beginners Chinese', just noting the words I needed to learn/revise etc. I marked them in orange when I needed to sort out the tone and green where I needed to learn either the whole word/expression or look at the uage point more closely. Included in the 'orange' section was the word chà - 差, 'lacking' or 'short of', frequently used in time expressions such as 差一刻两点 chà yíkè liǎngdiǎn, 'a quarter to two', or one I use a lot: 我的中文很差 wǒde zhōngwén hěn chà, 'my Chinese is naff (lit 'lacking'). I tended to prove myself right there by always saying: wǒde zhōngwén hěn chá, when chá 茶 means 'tea'. Hmmmm!!! So, the listener knew to believe me at least!!!

So, the plan for the summer is this: There are 18 weeks (starting next week) left until teaching begins again in late September and I plan on joining in as many level 2/3rd year classes as I can (2nd year is study abroad and not given a university level). I may only be able to get to the main grammar class and do the readings etc and the listening work alone, but that will at least give some structure. Anyway, I'll have about 3 weeks off for my sister's visit in mid-June and our trip to the continent in July and I'd better take something later too, so that leaves 14-15 work weeks. The idea is to finish this book and get as far through 'Schaum's Outline of Chinese Grammar' as I can in that time and also to move on to another textbook, such as 'Coloquial Chinese 2'. When classes start, I also have texts I plan to do alongside that, but we'll get to that when it comes as, knowing me, I'll be pitifully behind from day 1!

OK, back to the scheduling. Feels good to have made a start at least!

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