Friday, October 20, 2006

I Have To Know Them ALL!!

Searching for an easy way to learn Chinese without too much effort on my part* (dream on!) I found this nice little list:

This is a list of 400 Characters that was described as
"Minimum Level of Characters Knowledge"

And this is the Characters I know very well
(meaning without thinking too hard about it)
That’s 40 Characters

After a simple calculation I realize that after 2 months here and knowing 40 characters (i.e. 10%) I will know the 400 characters by the time I’ll be on my way out of China. And since everybody is telling me that it’s amazing how fast you forget Chinese, two months back home over the summer and you don’t remember anything, why don’t I just quit right now…. Oh yeah I need some more vocabulary for the driver, the ayi, the waiter at the restaurant, the guy at the local shop, etc… and for BARGAINING.

In my defense I’m the only one I know who is even considering learning the Characters. Call me a masochist but I need to know some of them, cannot stand looking at all of those signs and thinking it’s just hieroglyphic. Besides the 4 tons in oral Chinese are not easy on my deaf ear and I found out that writing in Chinese characters (no pinyin here) to my ayi gets my point across a lot faster and clearer. Once again why make life easy when you can make it more difficult!!!!

* it doesn’t exit and I will have to write future posts on some interesting facts I came across (later, later… when I have time!!!)