Tag Archives: Chinese Numbers

CHI-GER | New Words and too many numbers | #2

8 October 2019: Second meeting at TAMK´s Campus

Our groups second meeting was dedicated to learning more advanced words and start to learn our first numbers. We exchanged important phrases like “You’re welcome” and more. The numbers gave us hard time differently, but on both sides we found some easier than others. We hope to become more confident in them and learn more and more in each next meeting.
For now, we look forward to strength our learned skills.

Getting along with Chinese (culture)

Hey everyone,
Me and my E1T1 partner Ethan from China had our first lesson on the 19th of September. I know it was a pretty long time ago, but I have been little busy lately and haven´t though about this so much. BUT! After all here I go!
Our meeting took place in a proper classroom and Ethan had a presentation for me. For some of you guys, it can sound pretty boring, but I spent really nice time by getting along with some Chinese traditions and knowledge about language as well.
Both of us agreed that we will focus more on cultural aspects than language. Although, there will be some basic phrases, common used words etc.

In the beginning of presentation Ethan showed slides about China in general- its divisons, population, cities. Next Ethan was speaking about wedding customs in China a.) in history b.) in the present. I wasn´t so excited by idea that sometimes people had to get married with a person who they didn´t love. It was because of social status and classes in society. A man from rich family couldn´t get married wtih poor girl or otherwise. I guess this wasn´t happening only in China and if I am right this situation still goes on in India, for instance. Nowadays it´s more relieved so I am happy for them 🙂

Ethan continued with birthday rituals and I got really excited about eating noodles instead of a cake. He also asked me about Slovak customs and we shared our thoughts as well. We continuted with a speech about such religions as taoism and confucianism. Ethan was a little surprised by my knowledge about these eastern beliefs. I told him I read a lot and I am curious about each religion and look for some unified essence of everything:)

I was told about feng-shui, we watched some videos and I asked Ethan about his family. He told me his father is really superstitious about this and there was a situation about Ethan´s coins on a shelf. His dad wasn´t so happy about those as it is considered as bad habit. But I was told it depends individualy on each one. Not everyone believes in this things.

We moved to another part of meeting. We started with numbers from 0-10 even with those strange looking marks. I was laughing and truly excited how they can remember all of those marks?! HOW ?! HOW ?!,, I respect Asians! I really do!
I remembered 7 numbers out of 10 in written form (not arabic :D), I was surprised of my memory. Then there were shown differences between words- in written form, in pronounciation and meaning. I put smile on my face when I heard that Chinese people don ´t use “How are you?”, they just kindly ask you if you have eaten already. I like it very much as I like food! 🙂 There is actually a hidden meaning in this sentence: if you have eaten- it means you are happy, doing well, if not- you are frown, sad, …

At the end we were watching a video about a guy from USA who visited China for few weeks. He was som depressed by this new world and I understood him! While we will not experience it we won´t understand this different/ nice culture and people. After all, I was reeally satisfied and I think Ethan is a natural born teacher, I could see his passion and I stayed after class really full of delight and enlightment.
See you soon

The first lesson

On the 19th of Sep 2014, Eric and I had our first lesson about Chinese Culture and Customs. The lesson took place within TAMK premises, if I am not mistaken I think it was at TALO B, in a classroom on the second floor. Eric is from Slovakia and I am from China. I was glad that I have this chance to deliver out the true image of China, spreading out the general knowledge of some Chinese customs. A lot of people know China, and whenever people hear about China, they immediately relate to KONG-FU and the Great-Wall. Nonetheless, needless to say, China has more things than merely KONG-FU and the Great-Wall. And I hope that after this one semester of teaching, Eric could know more about China and Chinese people.

It was agreed upon us that we learn more towards the cultural side of China rather than the linguistic part of Chinese as a language and I too, think this could be the best way to run our lessons, as it is indeed quite difficult to fully comprehend and utilize Chinese language in three-month-time.

I am comfortable to deliver my lessons with the aid of Power Point, for it better organizes my agenda of lesson and makes a lesson much more vivid than merely talking. For our very first lesson, We talked about a lot of things. I did a comparison in the difference of Chinese Traditional Wedding and Chinese Modern Wedding, What are the changes and what are the none-changeables. And Eric has also enlightened me with some Slovakia Wedding Customs which was of course intriguing and exotic to me ; )

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furthermore, we moved on to the topic of Birthdays, how do Chinese people celebrate their birthdays? I introduced him with the concept of Birthday Noodles that eating noodles at birthday symbolically represents long life-span. The longer the noodle is, the longer the life will be. Eric was very much intrigued with this idea, and I was happy that he was enjoying this : )

longevity_noodles8189e404d2e60e0b3bf7

after these two customs, we talked a little bit about Confucianism and Taoism. He actually knows a lot about these, since he’s been reading quite a lot, and I was quite surprised that he knew about Confucius even prior to our lesson. I used 3 videos on YouTube to further elaborate these two Chinese local beliefs, and showed him the autobiography of Confucius as well as basic philosophies in Confucianism. As for Taoism, it’s a belief of nature and harmony. I couldn’t talk about Taoism without talking about Feng-Shui. Feng-Shui originated from Taoism and it is a very interesting study. It’s about the idea of how the positioning of the furniture and fixtures in your home could actually affect your life. (Kindly refers to appendix for further details)

7779-confucius taoism sign

Though Eric doesn’t have a strong will to learn Chinese language, however, language is nevertheless always the key to a culture. I would still enclose some linguistic knowledge in every lesson. For this time, we learnt about numbering in Chinese from 1-10, both in writing and pronunciation. Eric was a fast learner. he could write Chinese number after 15 minutes of memorizing and he got 7 out of 10 correct. I joked him around that “you are born to speak Chinese!” … After numbering I showed him the ‘conjugation’ of Chinese characters and he commented that: “It’s such a magic that you Chinese ppl could all memorize thousands of those twisted characters..which doesn’t make any sense.”   I don’t know I should feel happy or sad..

We also learnt how to greet people in Chinese. The simple phrase: ‘ Have you eaten?’ and also the cultural background of this phrase. Why do people ask “Have you eaten?’ rather than ‘How are you?’ when speaking Chinese.

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For me, teaching Chinese Culture and Chinese language is both challenging and rewarding. The challenging part is that I need to deliver the ‘right’ information to my student and make sure the things I taught him is always correct and can be put into practice, such is the responsibility of being a teacher; I need to always plan ahead, listing in mind what are the things we are going to learn for a lesson and do the preparation beforehand. The rewarding part was that by teaching Eric Chinese stuff, at the same time I learnt some Slovakia stuff in return. We are mutually exchanging our cultural values and point-of-views. Of course, to me, the most rewarding part was that after 1.5 hours of lecturing, Eric told me “Your lesson is much more interesting than the basics of Finnish I had earlier!” This really put up a smile on me and also I feel what I am doing is worthy and meaningful!

I am a teacher, but most of the time I am also a learner. hearing from my student, getting renovated and inspired and most importantly, learning how to become a better teacher.

Appendix: 

Confucius & Confucianism

Feng Shui – Bed Positioning

Feng Shui – The Great Fortune Corner

Documentary – 21 Days Culture Shock in China