February 5th, 2008


First Quiz

So... We had a quiz yesterday. And, well, when the teacher expected us to completely whiff on it, I just took that as a challenge, and was determined to do it perfectly.

Unsurprisingly, I made two mistakes (but caught one before I turned it in). They weren't character or vocabulary errors, though, they were grammar errors (putting 吗 at the end of sentence beginning with 请问 -- it looked wrong, but wasn't sure why until the teacher pointed it out -- and forgetting 是 once after 也). Of course, no one else was even close, I think I was the only person who even finished -- but I have an unfair advantage, being able to read and write Japanese somewhat. I was already ready for the quiz a week ago. I was already studying for the next two, really (but I'm not there to take a class or get a grade, I'm there to learn Chinese, and if I'm studying ahead of the class, I'm going to keep on going).

I still can't speak worth a damn, though. I trip over the tones pretty badly, and while I can hear the tones well enough in class, and can repeat them accurately, I have trouble using the right ones sometimes from a dead stop, and since we haven't really gotten to the point where the tones actually matter, I dunno if I'd understand them in real speech. I seriously doubt it.

There's one girl who's my exact opposite, though. She speaks Chinese -- she's in class to learn how to read and write, which is the easy part for me (I wouldn't need a class for that). Everyone else is muddling through about how you'd expect without our unfair advantages. Some are doing pretty well, though.
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