we spent 4 weeks beginning to learn Chinese. Our team was in class everyday with a tutor. We learned the phonetics of their alphabet and learned some basic conversational stuff. We could get by on our few phrases "hello, how are you?" "My name is ___, what is your name?" "That bag is expensive, cheaper?!" "I don't have any bread" "I like coffee" We all loved using the the Chinese word, kafei because it sounds the most like our english word coffee, and because we were all thirsting for some coffee in a land dominated by tea!John really picked up what we learned and quickly started putting sentences together. It also might be because he looked over what we learned once every night. (He had the book we shared . . . thats what East Asia gets for putting us in separate dorms!)
Here is our beloved teacher Anna. She was very patient with us 10 Americans. We got off track only a few times with her!
these videos are very representative of our time in class. As we learned different phonetics, we would practice by repeating them three different times. They sound a little strange, and you might notice us laughing a little as we repeat. Our laoshi (teacher) would also ask us questions in chinese, we would ponder a minute wondering if we have any idea what she just asked, and then try to assemble an answer that made any sense to her! In the second video she asks if I have a younger sister. Once I actually understand what she is asking, I say "no, I don't have a sister."