• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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Do you understand the words that are comin’ outta my mouth?

When I first arrived in Beijing, I wasn’t too excited about learning Chinese.  I’ve changed my mind since then and have been making baby steps in the right direction.  I often get comments like “Three years – you must be fluent” or “Can you really understand anything at all?”  The real answer lies somewhere in the middle (although admittedly closer to the latter), so today’s post is for anyone wondering how much Chinese I can actually speak or understand.  Because I’m lazy I’m not going to include the Chinese characters or the tones, and I don’t think it makes much difference to anyone who reads this anyway.  This is a fill-in-the-blank homework assignment that I had to turn in this morning.  Excuse the Chinglish translations and enjoy.  =)

jintian huidao jia, wo jia dishang luanqibazaode, yinwei wangle guan chuanghe, zhuoshang de huaping suile, zhen zaogao, nage huaping bushi wo mai de, shi pengyou songde.
(Today I have returned home and my floor was a mess because I forgot to close the window.  The vase on the table was broken, how unfortunate.  I didn’t buy that vase, my friend gave it to me.)

shangge xingqiwu youren gei wo da dianhua, keshi wo bu zai, wo zai louxia fuyin. wo de tongshi zhuangao wo hui dianhua.
(Last Friday someone gave me a phone call, but I wasn’t around, I was downstairs making copies.  My colleague let me know that I should return her call.)

dianhua datong le, shi wo de tongxue.  ta yao lai beijing chuchai, women haoji nian mei jianmian le.
(My call went through, it was my student.  She is coming to Beijing on a business trip, it’s been a few years since we last met.)

zhoumo wo youkong, suoyi mai le liang zhang dianyingpiao, qing ta qu kan.  women yue hao yi dian ban zai dianyingyuan menkou jianmian.
(I have free time this weekend, so I bought two tickets to treat her to the movies.  We agree to meet at the entrance of the movie theater at 1:30.)

wo qi zixingche, banlu shang che huai le, 2 dian cai dao dianyingyuan.
(I rode my bike, along the way my bike broke down, I arrived late at the movie theater at 2:00.)

natian ta chuande hen piaoliang, yifu yanse ye hen haokan.  ta gaosu wo yifu bushi maide, shi ta mama zuo de.
(The clothes she’s wearing today are pretty, the color of her clothes also looks good.  She told me that she didn’t buy her clothes, her mother made them.)

gang xiang jin dianyingyuan, youren gei ta dadianhua, gongsi rang ta mashang huiqu, you ji shi.  tai yihan le, dianying mei kan cheng.
(Just as we’re about to enter the movie theater, someone gives her a call.  Her job requires her to leave immediately.  It’s too bad, the movie hasn’t finished.)

wo zhihao mashang pei ta qu mai piao, ranhou song ta qu jichang.  ta song le wo na ge hua ping, hai rang wo duo gen ta lianxi, women yue hao xia ta lai beijing shi women zai yiqi kandiangying.
(I have to immediately accompany her to buy a ticket, then take her to the airport.  She gave me that vase, also requires me to stay in touch, we agree that next time she visits Beijing we will see a movie.)

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6 Responses

  1. Nice commentary…sorry, can’t check the homework! 🙂

    Enjoy your day and enjoy the time you have remaining there!

    P.S. Jessica (sophomore) visited Grove City College with us 2 weeks ago and one of the student speakers was associated with the group you are under in Beijing. Laura (8th grade) wants to attend GCC…I hope more of my kiddos do too. Who knows, more Beijing stories perhaps, but from somebody in this house!

    • That would be great if one of the Sayre kids got to experience Beijing!

  2. That is really impressive.

    • Embarrassingly, it’s not. I should be so much further along than I am after three years. 😦

  3. Some of us would have enjoyed the 汉字!

    加油!

  4. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian

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