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我差点儿忘记明天要开学了!!!

Technically it’s not 明天 anymore, but 今天. I was writing trying to write this post entry last night when, once again, I fell asleep in front of my laptop.

Yes. First day of classes.

Today I’ll have a history class. Then a Mandarin class.

Huhuhu. It’s not the fact that school starts today that I forgot. It’s my Mandarin that I have forgotten.

Summer came and went and I haven’t reviewed my Mandarin.

I’m so dead later. OTL

Oh well, I still have a few hours to review my Mandarin. 加油!

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Passing my Chinese class! ^___^

I thought I’m going to get a very low grade, but I ended up getting a decent one (given that I messed up my oral exams!). I realized that I could’ve gotten a higher grade if I only worked harder.

Nonetheless I’m happy, not just with my grade but with the class as well. I never got the chance to enjoy my Japanese class 2 semesters ago. O.o

I have to take 4 more Mandarin classes, so I have to study harder. It’s been 12 days since I last opened my Mandarin textbooks and it seems like I’ve forgotten more than half of what I’ve learned in the past few months. I must study this summer vacation!

Here’s our final project for our Mandarin class. We were required to sing a song and make a music video out of it. We’ve kinda taken it seriously and I’m happy with our output. 🙂 This song has been playing on my head for many weeks while I was editing the video. I had fun doing this. I love my groupmates!

Learning Mandarin: 塞翁失马,焉知非福。

Everyday my laoshi starts our class with a 成语 [chéngyǔ] (idiom/proverb) and 塞翁失马,焉知非福 (sàiwēngshīmǎ, yānzhīfēifúis one of my favorites! (Not to mention I know the character 福 from one of my favorite Korean Dramas Tree With Deep Roots.)

Chinese Character Break Down

塞 – here: something like a border (read as sài)
翁 – old man
失 – to lose
马 – horse

塞翁失马: The old man from the border loses a horse.

焉 – how
知 – know
非 – not to be
福 – good fortune

焉知非福: How do you know it’s not a good thing after all.

Idiom Meaning

Indicating, that something seemingly bad may turn out to have been a good thing in the end. A blessing in disguise. The story below explains it pretty well. It can also have the opposite meaning (a good thing becoming a bad thing), the former is used more often though.

Chengyu Story and Background

There once was an old man who lived with his only son at the border of the state. They liked horses and often let them graze freely. One time a servant reported to the old man, “A horse is missing! It went into the neighboring state.”

His friends felt sorry for him, but the old man was not bothered at all by the loss. In fact, he said: “Who knows! The loss may bring us good fortune!”

A few months later, a weird thing happened. Not only did the missing horse return home safely, it also brought back with it a fine horse from the neighboring state.

When his friends heard the news, they congratulated the old man on his good luck. But the old man said, “Who knows! This may bring us ill fortune!”

One day, when the old man’s son was riding the fine horse, he fell off it, broke his leg very badly and became crippled. Many friends came to comfort the old man, but the old man was not disturbed by the accident in the least. “Who knows! This may bring us good fortune after all!” he said.

A year later, the neighboring state sent troops across the border. All young and strong men were drafted to join the fight, and most of them got killed. The old man’s son however was not drafted because he was crippled –  and so his life was spared.

Source: Chinese-Chengyu.com

Dedicated to my dear동생 Hazel, who will never sit beside me again in Intsik 10 class (ㅠㅠ).

Learning Mandarin: 老鼠爱大米

I used to take Mandarin (or any other Chinese language) as pure noise. When I was in Taiwan last 2010, I shut all the “noise” up and just filter English and Korean.  After about 4 months of attending a Mandarin class (and watching one Taiwanese drama), Mandarin had started taking its form. I no longer hear “noise” when I listen to Mandarin. Rather I hear sounds that form words. And words that form sentences. And I know that these sentences carry meanings. Of course I can only understand and recognize words and sentences that are on my textbook, but it’s fun because listening to Mandarin now is like a mini game for me. A try-to-catch-as-many-words-as-you-can game. If only I had known that I’ll be taking Mandarin as a language elective, I would’ve listened more to my surroundings well while I was in Taiwan instead of blocking all those “noises” off.

Last Friday our laoshi taught us a song – 老鼠爱大米. And I’m loving it. The melody is very catchy.

I also found a Korean version and I love it too more (simply because I can understand it more).

I spent my Saturday listening to C-pop while trying to choose a song for our final project and I am loving what I am hearing.

I guess I’m really starting to love Mandarin (but not as much as Korean, of course). Though it’s still not enough for me to learn beyond our classroom lessons. However I’m kinda feeling a bit sad because I know that once our class ends, I’ll stop learning Mandarin and will most probably forget everything I’m learning right now. Well, I still have almost a year with 3 more Mandarin classes lined up. Who knows where it will take me.

[드라마] Drunken To Love You – My Taiwanese “My Name Is Kim Sam Soon”

It was my mom who’s into this Drunken To Love You (醉後決定愛上你) thing (just like how she was into My Name Is Kim Sam Soon first). I was actually in the middle of watching a different Taiwanese drama In Time With You. It was o~k, and Ariel Lin is so pretty and all, but the drama is not good enough to hold my interest thus I stopped watching midway. Maybe I just can’t relate to it.

My mom loved Drunken To Love You and I got envious so I downloaded it and started watching it on my own. And I loved it!

It reminds me so much of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon. There were a lot of similarities, but of course Kim Sam Soon is a hundred times better (forgive me Drunken To Love You fans).

I thought it was just me because I have a tendency to compare each and every romantic comedy to Kim Sam Soon, but a friend also shares the same thought (but please note that my friend is also a Kim Sun Ah fan. XD).

So we both have a girl that is far from being feminine (though Lin Xiao Ru’s character is not consistent and can be oh so feminine at time, then be so rough the next) who loves cooking and eating (and I wonder why Lin Xiao Ru is not fat!). Both were betrayed by their first great love and the lead guy coincidentally witness the gruesome and break-up. Lead guy is also suffering from a heart break from a very lovely girlfriend whose looks are far better than the lead (or at least that’s what they want to imply. I believe both Kim Sun Ah and Rainie Yang are very pretty!). The lovely girlfriend thinks the guy can’t let them go because they are very confident because they are the prettiest thing on earth and it’s very unlikely that their men will fall for someone like Xiao Ru and Sam Soon. Guys get into a contract relationship with the girl. Girl agrees because she needs money all of a sudden. They have a contract that they will later on violate each and every clause. Girl ends up preparing for ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Then the girl falls for the guy. Guy falls for the girl after realizing they are better than pretty ex-girlfriends. Ex-girlfriends obsessively try to get the guy back while a half-Westerner loves them unconditionally. Ex-girlfriend won’t succeed and will end up with the half-Westerner. Lead girl and lead guy will end up being together and will have sweet moments together. Oh, not to forget, the pig!

Of course there are lots of differences as well and there’s more to Drunken To Love You than what I’ve mentioned above.

Sometimes I hate Lin Xiao Ru. Because she is just too good to be true. If it was Sam Soon on her place, Sam Soon would definitely raise hell. I also hated the adoption thing, kidnapping, gansters and all the action stunts. It was sooo Filipino drama. And I hate it. I also hate the kisses! Darn! There were a lot. But they wasted each one of them. Do Taiwanese kiss that way? Or am I just too spoiled with Kim Sun Ah and her hot kisses on her dramas? I am often thrilled during kissing scenes, but on this drama I think it’s even better not to have any kissing scenes if it would just be as lousy as that (the bed scene was better though! haha!).

But I love Samantha. For once, there’s a mother-in-law who doesn’t hate her future daughter-in-law – finally! And I also love Song Jie Xiu more than Sam Shik. He is sweeter and caring and more matured.

And I love the OST as well. Just like how I love Kim Sam Soon’s.

Despite its flaws, I still love it. It has captured my heart in a way that no other dramas within the past few years had. I also can’t help but love Lin Xiao Ru. It feels like how I felt when I watched my first Korean drama and my all time favorite Kim Sam Soon (coincidentally, they have a similar plot line).

What’s important to me though, is it’s helping me a lot with my Mandarin lessons. Just like how My Name Is Kim Sam Soon has helped / is helping me with my Korean. Although it didn’t spark my interest in Mandarin, just like how Kim Sam Soon has sparked my interest in Korean, it did increase my interest in Mandarin a few notches higher.

I’m just so glad that I liked my first Taiwanese drama this much. Thanks mom!

I don’t think I’ll watch some more Taiwanese dramas, especially when my Korean drama to-watch list is getting longer and longer each day. I’ll just watch Drunken To Love You over and over until I get tired of it (though I think that won’t happen soon. Ha ha!) 🙂

Learning Mandarin: Beyond our class

In learning Korean, I want to greedily learn each and every thing I encounter. Beyond books, beyond classes. I want to be able to talk to my Korean friends confidently. I want to talk to Kim Sun Ah. I want to understand my Korean dramas without subtitles. I want to understand news and books. I want to say my opinions and thoughts. I want to spazz. In Korean.

Though I’m enjoying Mandarin, I have no intention of learning beyond the required lessons in our class. I don’t want anything more than getting a decent grade in class. Yup, not even a high grade. Just a decent one will do. That’s it.

But after finishing our textbook in advanced, I craved for more to complement what I’ve learned. I ended up finishing the Language Cast Chinese Lesson podcasts  . Then I also saw some quick lessons from Chinese Tools, and ended up finishing the first few lessons. Then I also follow video podcasts of ihcahieh. And I said that’s it and that would be all for now. I’ll just review our class textbook over and over and I’ll be good to go.

But then I thought it would be more helpful if I can find the audio file of our textbook. That way, I can listen to it anytime and improve my pronunciation and tones and help me remember vocabs.

I don’t know the title of our textbook (yes, welcome to the University of the Philippines where we photocopy our books!). I tried searching for it, but I can’t find it. So I decided to ask my laoshi. She told what was the title but asked me why I was asking. So I told her I want to find the audio file of the book. She told me that unfortunately she doesn’t have it either but she can lend me a different book with an audio CD.

Uh-oh! I have no intentions of studying another book. I’d rather study Korean. I’m just hoping I can find the audio file for our textbook. I also don’t want to give an impression that I’m very interested in studying Mandarin. I just want to do ok in class. No more no less. But how can I decline such an offer coming from my laoshi?

She lent me New Practical Chinese Reader Textbook 1.

And I’m loving the book and been listening to the audio file over and over. I can’t thank my laoshi enough!

But this will be the last, I swear. I just want to study more Korean. And finish my linguistics papers on time. 🙂

Learning Mandarin: Why I like it?

Not too long ago, I’ve read a very interesting post from Creativity Japanese’ blog that it’s important to maintain interest to learn languages. I can’t help but agree. Especially after suffering experiencing one semester of struggling towards Japanese.

The fact that I’m enjoying Mandarin makes me think how it is different from my Japanese learning… hmm…

1.) First I didn’t enroll in an integrated class. :p Classes in our university are usually 1.5 hours and conducted twice a week. But for integrated language classes, it’s conducted 4 times a week because we have to finish one module by the first half of the sem, then the next module by the second half. Integrated Korean was so much fun! Having to attend Korean classes everyday brightens up my day. But I was so stressed with our Integrated Japanese class because the pacing was too fast for me. Now, I’m not stressed at all with our Mandarin class since the pace is just right.

2.) I have more time to study – review, practice and study in advance. I have lesser subjects this semester compared to the semester when I took Japanese. I also just need to go to school twice a week, giving me more time to stay at home and study. Plus this semester have a Christmas break. And I used that to slowly review our previous lessons and to study in advanced. In fact, I have finished reading our entire textbook! And even managed to study some lessons online. So I was at ease in class now and can follow the class discussion. In fact, when we were discussing telling date, my laoshi said her birthday very fast in the hopes that none of us could get it. But I got it (my seatmate didn’t ㅋㅋㅋ So I know how old my laoshi is! ㅎㅎ).  I often go to my Japanese class unprepared so I was lost in the class discussion most all the time.

3.) I don’t feel it a ‘hindrance’ in my Korean learning. They say that Japanese is similar to Korean. But I dunno. Instead of finding it helpful, I get confused with similar sounding words. The opposite in Mandarin. I am often thrilled recognizing familiar words with Korean. At the same time I get to understand more about Korean, like words that are based/built from a particular hanja. I was also happy to come across the Chinese lessons in Language Cast. I was actually trying my luck as I search for Chinese lesson podcasts similar to Talk To Me In Korean, but I found the lessons in Language Cast instead. I thought it will be conducted in English, but it was conducted in Korean instead. At first I don’t have enough confidence listening to it. But I decided to try listening. I thought it doesn’t matter if I understand the Korean discussions, I just have to focus on the Chinese sentences. But I ended up understanding 90% or even 95% of the lesson! And it makes me so happy learning Chinese through a Korean class. I can learn Chinese easier and I get to practice my Korean at the same time. Awesome! Too bad they only have 20 podcasts and I have finished all of them. I’m just listening to it over and over now.

4.) I like writing the characters! Of course I love and adore 한글 more than anything else and thinks it’s the best set of characters in the whole world. But the Chinese characters are nice too. I don’t feel anything towards Hiragana nor Katakana (and I’ve forgotten all of them by now!).

5.) Kim Sun Ah speaks Mandarin. Alright, irrelevant! She knows little Mandarin. If it’s really about Kim Sun Ah, then I should’ve learned a lot of Japanese since she’s fluent with it. Well maybe because Suna’s Mandarin is at a beginner’s level so I enjoy listening to her because I can understand her. While her Japanese is so good, I can’t understand a thing.

5.) Fangirling. Alright, that’s more like it. Kim Sun Ah have lots of Chinese-speaking fans. And they have great community websites with tons of goodies. Also Kim Sun Ah just opened her webio account for the Chinese community, so I frequent webio too!

6.) I have a lot of Chinese-speaking friends. All of them are fans of Kim Sun Ah. I also have some very good Japanese friends, but most of them are shy. So I don’t get to practice my Japanese with them because we don’t talk much, and if we do, we talk in Korean! My Chinese friends love talking. Some of them are also learning Korean. And most of them talk to me in English. And they are very enthusiastic teaching me Chinese.

7.) I found a Taiwanese drama that I love so much! Hahaha! I guess I can’t learn a language without watching dramas. Sadly my Japanese learning is just restricted to our classroom. Even though I wanted to watch a Japanese drama, I was too busy then to find time to watch a drama. I’m not into Taiwanese dramas, and just decided to watch one during my Christmas break. And I guess I was lucky to find Drunken To Love you among many others. I love it to death! I learned many words and expressions and even practiced spotting the characters I know from their Chinese captions. It was something I can watch over and over. And I guess that’s an important thing. I’m using it for my listening practice. In fact I’m listening to the audio of this drama right now. 🙂

8.) And lastly, I love my laoshi! She is good and she is so cute and funny too. I also love my seatmate (but she going to leave me soon because she’s going to SNU!!!).