akujunkan: (Default)
And on everything else as well. I've been managing a book a day, only to have one or more mooches arrive via post, so that I've been hanging strong at 65 for the better part of a week.

Still haven't decided on grad schools. Time is running out.

Ma Mere: How could you apply to two schools without thinking about which one you'd rather go to?
AJK: I did! The one I wanted to go to was the one that was eventually going to accept me. I didn't think I'd get accepted to both!

The devil is that I can neither get out of making this choice, nor have anyone else decide it for me.

Thursday Chinese class teacher (hereafter: Plateman) has been giving me intermediate level sentences to write in characters on the board at the beginning of each class. Thus far, I have been able to nail them all perfectly, just going what I know of characters and guessing at the grammar. This is a good feeling.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...finally occurred in my Chinese class yesterday, where I kept substituting Sino-Korean numbers into the example sentences (Jintian chil-dian shi-p'al fen) and using on'yomi (IOW the way the pronunciations of 6-13th century Chinese characters sounded to Japanese speakers) instead of the modern day Chinese pronunciations for said numbers. Boy howdy.

It also turns out that a guy in the advanced class is half-Japanese and grew up in Kanagawa-ken. We started a conversation in good ole Nihongo, during which time the Chinese/Korean/Japanese/English muddle in my head reached its apogee, and I ended up sounding as though I'd spent five days in the Dai Nippon, instead of years. Gah.

To top it off, the teacher of my Thursday Chinese class (who is a doorbell, btw) speaks a completely different dialect than does the teacher of Wednesday's class. Or rather, I think they speak a similar dialect, only Wednesday's teacher usually corrects her own pronunciation (although she never explains why), while Mr. Thursday just rolls with it. Good stuff.

And on a completely different language note, the new Latin textbook will be arriving in the mail any day now. Euge!

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...for I discovered, upon visiting the public library today, that free Chinese classes are on offer. You may imagine the speed with which I signed up. I will now be having twice as much instruction as I was previously. やった!

On a related note, my long held belief that the phrase book method of foreign language learning is utter shite was reinforced today. I'd been going through a series of Chinese language tapes my father had, as classes were canceled this week thanks to the rotten weather, and discovered that a given character's tone will change based on the other tones surrounding it; a fact which my professor has yet to mention. This goes a looong way toward explaining the problems I was having with the 2nd tone (for instance); I've spent the better part of four weeks trying to listen for sounds that aren't actually there. This is something I would not have done had the rules for tone changes been clearly explained to me at the outset, instead of the professor giving us the tone of each individual character and then the entire phrase or sentence without mentioning that those tones don't alter. Mystery solved. But still, grr.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...is now under my belt, and I find myself cursing that dratted 2nd tone. I can get all of the others, but for the life of me, I just can't nail #2.

Well, at least I'm literate. More or less.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Had my first Chinese lesson yesterday. The teacher is a doll and reminds me of a good friend. She was quite impressed upon discovering that I can already write characters, and stated several times that she wouldn't mind progressing beyond the syllabus should we advance fast enough.

The class itself is only four people, which is awesome for obvious reasons. (Although, major bummer here: if only one more person had signed up for my Burmese class, it wouldn't have been cancelled.) The mix seems pretty good, although I once again am a good 2-3 decades younger than any of the other students. There's a retired air force pilot, a woman whose family is moving to China (possibly for missionary reasons; she didn't seem too thrilled about it, at any rate), and an older lady. Good stuff.

We managed pinyin in its entirety, which is sweet because I was really able to shore up my previously questionable understanding of pronunciation. Ah, the beauties of a small class size. So, I have high hopes for my progress.

That will be all.

PS: [livejournal.com profile] firesign10, I'll do your meme tomorrow when I'm not exhausted.

Ack! [livejournal.com profile] metal_dog5, I totally missed you on AIM. Gomen!
akujunkan: (Default)
Because I just registered to take Conversational Chinese and Conversational Burmese through IPFW. I am now closer to my goal of having the three East Asian languages and one or more of the Southeast Asian languages under my belt. (Governments and Foreign Policy Thinktanks of the World, hire me!)

In other news, a bald eagle landed in the tree by the lake a few days ago. It was the first one I'd seen outside of a zoo. Man, do those birds have presence.

That will be all.

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