IS ALL THIS BANGING ON ABOUT CHINESE annoying y'all?
I was desperate for a hobby, desperate for a heroin-replacement (granted: Chinese wouldn't make a good heroin-substitute for most people, but it does for me).
I was also desperate to educate myself. I wish to speak Chinese and Japanese fluently. There is nothing new about this goal, which has been with me since my teens. So I have decided (or fixated) on training myself up as a translator. To be a qualified translator, you need a postgraduate degree on top of a language BA. Most translators can offer at least two languages on top of their own, so there is no conflict between improving my German and French and studying Chinese. Especially as I could do that post-grad in Germany, which would effectively qualify me to translate Chinese into German as well as English. German is the number one business language of Europe (after English, of course) and Chinese, as we all know, is the most-spoken language anywhere on earth. So I doubt I'd be out of work...
I've been looking into BA courses in Chinese actually in China. Annual tuition fees start from about £1600 ($2500US) pa for four years.
One of the websites I consulted complained that many of these courses concentrate on reading and writing at the expense of listening and speaking. But who cares, when you can pop outside to an authentic Chinese noodle-stall and listen and speak to your heart's content?
One major major hurdle is that every course I have looked at imposes a meximum age limit of between 30 and 40 years ~ I am 39 next spring.
But where there's a will there's a way. I have a cunning plan up my sleeve that might hopefully put some oomph behind my appeal against this ridiculous regulation.
Oxford, Cambridge and London universities offer Chinese and Japanese studies, but the prospectuses state rather bafflingly that a prior knowledge of the language won't help your application that much. Plus they specify that their courses aren't suitable for native speakers. Looking closer I see why: these courses promise only to take you to about a year past A-level ~ which is where my German is now! Which all in all suggests that if I cannot do Chinese in China I may as well get on to a "Sinologie" course in Germany, killing two linguistic birds with one stone.
I desperately need a copy of Hammer's German Grammar (the standard advanced reference work). My written German is still pretty dire ~ despite my daily blogging attempts. I'm having less and less trouble reading zentraleuropäische books and websites as time goes by, which shows I'm at least making some progress. (And I do know the German for a corpse (eine Leiche), which means I can describe my face in the mirror at six in the morning...)
I do apologize once more if my whittering is boring. I have a slightly obsessive temperament, you might see... Which also might explain why I've found heroin so very hard to kick.
Right from the word go I had a sense that my drug addiction had turned my strengths against me ~ so now my strengths were weaknesses. When I love something I give it everything. I have loved "B" like nothing else. So I gave my entire life to heroin.
And that, my friends, has been the crux of my problem...
Illustrated: Chengdu (top), home of the University of Sichuan... famous for its Szechuan chicken (bottom)!
Chinese for today:
Zhe4 这=this shi4 是=to be ren4shi 认识=recognize
zhen1 真=really gao1xing4 高兴=happy bei1 杯=cup
jiu3 酒=alcohol ba 把=suggestion particle
ne 呢=question particle hui4 会=know how/can/will
ju2zi 桔子=orange 橘子 also = ju2zi, orange
ju2zi-zhi1 橘子汁 / 桔子汁 = orange juice
ma 吗 = question particle
The numbers refer to tones: 1 high level; 2 high rising; 3 mid-low-mid dipping 4 falling. No number=neutral tone (the de facto 5th tone).
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