Hello everyone! 大家好！
There is a Chinese saying: 喜光似虎 „When your life is good, time flies as fast as a running tiger.“
I am finally writing a new article in English!
I don’t know how to start this article… So much has happened since my trip to Beijing with Catherine in October and since my very first days in Shanghai. Nearly three months have already passed since I started living in Shanghai and the „time tiger“ is running without taking a breath. I feel like every new week is a new adventure and unexpected things happen.
I guess the most important part of my life here in Shanghai are the Chinese classes every day and my wonderful classmates. 🙂
I am attending Chinese classes in reading, writing and listening every day from 8 am to 12 am and although I am slowly catching up with my classmates in the D class, they are still better than me. I like to challenge myself and I hope that during the following weeks and months I can focus more on speaking Chinese and practice what I have learned so far!
慢慢来！Take it easy.
Just a little patience
For the moment I have to be more patient and give myself some time to get better. Chinese is not easy and I am not a genious and that’s ok. In the future I want to reach a level where I can write stories in Chinese and speak fluently without thinking about what I am going to say next and I will get there one day.
I just have to wait patiently like this cat and let the rain and the clouds pass. I let people rush by, who learn faster than me and take my time, going my own way. There is no need to pass the HSK exam 4 or 5 or 6 right now, because I am still in the learning process. As long as I keep studying and challenging myself I will only get better every day.
Philosophy in Chinese
Last week I attended a presentation about the School of Athenes in the Sino German library and apart from learning more about Raphaels painting and the history of philosophy, I had an interesting experience. The professor was speaking in German and during his speech he combined it with the translation of some Chinese quotes.
我明白了！I can understand it!
It felt great, because that evening I managed to understand about 80 % of the Chinese quotes. There were still some characters that I didn’t understand, but at least I reached a level where I can try to guess the meaning of the unknown words.
Chapter 10 of the textbook
If I want to understand 100 % of a text in my textbook, I need to look-up a lot of words in order to understand the text, but if there are too many unknown characters I have the tendency to feel like this:
I am a very serious student (most of the time) but sometimes I get creative. During one Chinese lesson I got inspired by my cookies and created this:
Bird: „Hey, can you help me?“ Ape: „Sure!“ Sheep: „Is this flower tasty?„ Rabbit: „Zzzz…. It is soo comfortable!“ Baby rabbits: „Where did dad go?“ Lion: „Ahrr… I want to eat you!“
Learning like a child
This is why I love Chinese! I would never feel like drawing something like this in any other language I have learned so far, but because I started to learn Chinese in a way children learn the language and I have been struggling with the basics for a long time, I am still happy to be able to write those kind of simple sentences and get creative.
Big city life
Whenever I have free time or I don’t feel like studying, I go out and explore the city of Shanghai. There is still so much to see! After few hours of the colourful, noisy and crowded city center I am always happy to come back to Tongji University and enjoy the more calm and peaceful environment and visit the cats of our campus (I am a cat lady!) I feel grateful to have a place to stay in the dormitory on campus and I simply can’t imagine how life must be like, if you live in an appartment inside the city center. I miss the nature of Germany and Switzerland everyday, but at least we have some trees and a small lake on campus.
„Mum, can I please get one?“ „You are grown up, Jori.“ „No, I am not…“
Rush hour in Shanghai
Weekend trip to the French Concession in Shanghai with my friend Catherine
Panorama view from one of the windows of my dormitory. (This is not what I see from my room everyday, I wish it was…)
„Awrrrr…“ This is our chubby, wonderful cat living in front of the dormitory number one.
This is the cat living next to the tennis court. Every cat has a fixed place on campus and I fell in love with them!
This is my most favourite cat and I call him Felix. He is great. It is a boy! I once thought it was a girl, but I was wrong. We met on a very rainy and cold day and he fell asleep in my arms that night. I can spent hours with this cat, he is so cute 太可爱了！
Danke Mama 🙂
First of all I have to say a huge: “THANK YOU MUM, YOU ARE THE BEST! 妈妈, 谢谢你, 你最棒！”, because I received so many wonderful packages in the past week with winter clothes, small things that I needed from home and chocolate 巧克力 from you! Tusind tak fra hjertet!
The best surprise was a home made Advent calender (we call it „Adventskalender“ in German, but this special kind of Advent calender is called „Adventskette„). It makes me so so so So happy! 让我非常高兴！ I can still remember that I once told my mum: „I am grown up now, I don’t need this anymore.„, nevertheless my mum surprised me this year with a huge 2kg package full of small presents for each day of December! I tried to explain the German tradition of the Advent calender to the nice lady 阿姨 at the reception who gave me the packages, but I failed… Sometimes it is still hard to explain in Chinese what I want to express!
The small packages are now decorating my room and I feel like Christmas is coming soon.
Can you still remember my wall of vocabulary sheets? It is continuosly growing and has now reached my bed. I can now learn Chinese while sitting on my bed!
My Chinese Learning Process
Since the first week I tried to regularly sit down in front of my camera and talk about the things that happened to me during the week. I think it is a great way of practicing to speek Chinese and I am really looking forward to listen to the recordings in some months or years. I can already feel a difference between the first few weeks and now. Despite all the progress I made so far, I am still doing a lot of mistakes and I have the tendency to use Chinglish when I am talking, (Chinese mixed with English) but I guess that is part of the game and it makes it very funny to listen to. 🙂
Here I am explaining the German word for glove „Handschuh“ (Hand = hand; Schuh = shoe) Hand + Schuh = Handschuh (handshoe)
Sometimes I like to send the videos to my parents and ask them what I am talking about. They don’t understand Chinese and when I sent them the video with this lion, my dad wrote me: „That was easy. Catherine nearly got eaten by a lion, but she survived it!“ I have to admit this is clever 聪明，but wrong 但是不对！🙂
There is still a lot to write about and share, but I will save some things for my next article. I hope to write more and more 越来越多 articles in English, so that all of you can be part of my experiences here in Shanghai!
Greetings to all of you!