Stumbling with chinese

It didn’t took me long enough to realise my Chinese language of command have degraded substantially since graduating from secondary school. I hardly have the opportunity to “keep in touch” with it, less reading or even writing it. The only time I’m able to use it is during interaction with friends or family.

Our government have been actively prompting the use of proper mandarin, placing emphasis on the post-65 generation where the majority comes from English speaking family. Everyday, I read from the newspaper on how China is rapidly expanding into the global market and why is it important to master the Chinese language and even the culture to stay competitive. I have to admit that I dislike Chinese for the numerous strokes in characters and difficulty in using the words correctly. I’ve always barely passed my Chinese tests and exams while in school and I regretted not putting in more effort. Unlike English where one can roughly try to spell the words correctly by placing the letters around, Chinese requires a little more patience and understanding of the culture in order to master it.

With my current job, there’s almost zero possibility of using Chinese at work. All the presentations, briefs and even conversations with superior are in English. This made it tough for me to practice and master my Chinese language. However, I’ve thought of alternatives to counter this problem and could help me to improve or at least maintain my Chinese language standards. One of the most efficient and effective way is to read Chinese newspaper. I know it’s going to be tough as most probably, I would have to refer to the dictionary for every few words I read. (Yes, this is how bad I think it’ll be). Another way is to read from past Chinese textbooks and even well written composition books. I guess all of these would help to maintain my Chinese and speaking of proper mandarin.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to kick-off this idea and this shall be one of my new year’s resolutions for 2007.