January 28, 2012

I'm Learning Chinese

While waiting for Article 5 for the adoption (should come by Feb. 8) I'm learning Chinese.

I bought one year worth of Rosetta Stone. I completed 21% of it and realized it was pointless for me to try to learn the Chinese characters, so I axed that part of the curriculum and am now 37% of the way through.

Here's more or less what I can say in Chinese:
- Hello
- Goodbye
- This boy is running.
- I am American.
- What is this?
- That's true.
- I drink/eat milk/water/rice.

So, when I run into Chinese speaking-only people in the park in Nanjing, here is how our conversation might go - in Chinese:

Them: Hello.
Me: Hello.
Them: Where are you from?
Me: (smile)
Them: Where are you from? (louder)
Me: (smile...) (and nod)
Them:  (confused look) Are these your children?
Me: uhh, this boy is running.
Them:  What?
Me: uhhh, I am American.
Them:  (big smile) Yeah, you are. (turns to friend, laughing and says - she's an American idiot)
Me:  That's true. (smile) (I turn to Steve) See, she understood me, I told you I knew some Chinese.  (Steve beams with pride for his wife, then back at the hotel blogs to the world about how great she is.)
Them:  You don't speak Chinese.
Me:  No.  I drink rice. (smile)  I am American.
Them:  (laugh) Good-bye.
Me:  Good-bye. (I turn to Steve) Why were they laughing?

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