So, this is super late and I’m sorry. As I’ll explain in the video and from the last post, the Eurovision Song Contest took most of my time this weekend. Congratulations to Alexander Rybak and Norway for winning!
As you’ll probably definitely see in the video, Chinese tripped me up a few times. I feel so guilty saying this, but I’m glad to move on! There are so many wonderful aspects of Chinese, but this language seems like a huge road map with lots of twists and turns. And it doesn’t help that I’m not a good navigator.
I also wanted to talk about a common misconception (a mistake I made in the video). Chinese characters are NOT pictographs. According to the Chinese language wiki, many of the characters actually have phonetic bases, with phonetic and semantic elements added to them (I’m assuming this is where the strokes come in). Not quite an alphabet, but not hieroglyphs either.
SUMMARY: The Chinese language’s background is as long and expansive as the dynasties that paint the country’s rich history. The first dynasty, Qin, began in 221 B.C. and would begin a long series of empires, with the last one ending in the 1900s. Written Chinese was standardized during the Qin dynasty, and both written and spoken forms were influenced by the following Han and other periods; in particular, the Song dynasty saw a bloom in art, culture and literature. Written Chinese is thought to have appeared from ancient inscriptions on animal bones. Hanzi, modern Chinese characters, were modified to concur with the Mandarin dialect in the 1920s.
Did I say that I was glad to be done with Chinese? I probably did somewhere in the video recap below. My immediate thoughts: big, intricate and time-consuming. There are so many things to learn, but there’s still a big question mark as to whether this would be the right language for me.
COMING NEXT: Xhosa