Monday, 17 June 2013

Learning Chinese in 90 days - Day 2: Of Pimms and Plimsolls

Cannes Festival?
French Open?
Summertime in London?
Not last time I checked.

It's 27 C (that's about 84F) in Shanghai. I'm just putting that out there. Make of it what you will.

Where was I? Day 2 of the Mandarin Chinese lessons. Here's something weird: I'm remembering words today that I couldn't remember yesterday during the lesson. It's like my brain's been studying in its own time.

Worth every penny. (Now if only I could get my body to exercise in its own time, like when I'm sleeping. I'm just saying.)

So what's the secret?

It's called the  Pimsleur method (as created by the late Dr. Paul Pimsleur). The whole caboodle is based on something called "graduated interval recall" which goes something like this:

Listen - Repeat - Repeat - Listen - Don't Stress Isabelle - Repeat - Don't Stress! - Listen to this other word - Repeat - ...

You get the drift.

At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie (get it! Fortune Cookie, Chinese restaurant...) KNOWLEDGE IS THE WISDOM TO LISTEN MORE AND STRESS LESS.

So what have I learnt so far? Hello, Goodbye, Excuse Me May I ask, I am an American (which is untrue but one of the more benign forms of American Imperialism),  I speak English, do you speak English?   And just as importantly, I can now understand these short sentences/expressions as spoken by a native speaker - and the metaphorical tickle this gives me is too good not to share, like a freshly made pitcher of Pimms.

So onwards and eastwards... see you tomorrow on the other side of Day 3.

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