HOW to learn and improve Chinese: Nobu’s methode

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25th April 2017

“Purpose +(Love+Passion) = Improvement”

A lof my friends asked me how I am learning Chinese.
很多朋友问我怎么学中文。

There are a lot of methods of learning a language. Beside that, everyone has her/his own preference of learning method. Some people prefer to learn by her/himself, some people prefer going to language school.
学语言有很多不一样的方法。而且我们都有自己的习惯。因人而异。有人比较喜欢自学,有人比较喜欢去语言学校。

In fact, the method is not that important. From my point of view, the purpose is most important: Why I want to learn Chinese? What I want to do when I am able to speak Chinese? This is something (for me) I need to think about and define before I start.
其实呢,方法不是最重要的,但是对我来说目的是最重要的:为什么我想学中文?学完以后我想做什么?一定要考虑清楚。

When I started to learn Chinese, I had a dream: One day I will move to China, settle down there, get married, enjoy the Chinese culture, make a lot of Chinese friends etc.
我开始学中文是因为我有一个梦想。有一天搬到国内,在那里安家,结婚,了解国内的文化,交很多国内的朋友。

Learning a language is not that easy. Not seldom I face the resistance or feeling of give up. In such situation, I remind myself about my own purpose, which I defined earlier. I came so far. Do I really want to give up?  By reminding myself,  I would be able to find back my confidence and continue learning.
我觉得学语言不是那么容易的。想放弃时,让自己想起目的,为了目的重拾信心,会继续再努力。

Beside the purpse, passion and love towards the Chinese language are important factors as well. If I do not have these, I can use a book, CD, DVD, APP or what so ever, there are just useless tools and/or my progress will be slow.
除了目的,还有对中文的激情很重要的。如果没有的话,即使有书,CD,DVD,APP 等,也是没有用的或者进步很慢。

Frankly speaking, when I have just started learning Chinese, I did not have any passion at all. I tried different methods, my progress was very slow, I was afraid making mistakes and I was basically unsatisfied.
真诚地说我开始学中文的时候,我对中文没有激情。我试过很多方法, 进步却不太大,一直很怕说错了或者不满意。

Learning Chinese at that time, was just a struggling process. And I have changed teachers several times.
那时学中文很辛苦,换了几次老师。

One day, when I was traveling in Guangzhou by my own, I got lost. The only way to find my way back was talking to a local. So, I did. And the lady did not understand at all what I was talking about, because my pronunciation was not that good. I used body languages, drew pictures on the map, finally she understood what I was talking about. I got the help I needed and in the end I was able to arrive safely and relieved in my hotel.
有一天在广州旅行时,我迷路了。但是没有方法,问本地人路。因为我说得不好,所以她听不懂我说什么。我用手话,加上在地图上画画,最后她才能明白我的意思。我终于安全地回到了酒店。

This experience reminds me that not the method, but the target/aim and being are very important.
这个经验让我才知道方法不是很重要的,但是目的和感觉是很重要的。

There are not any limitation for learning and practicing Chinese. As long there is motivation, every method works.
学中文或者练习中文没有限度。有动机的话,什么都可以。

Beside learning with a book and with a teacher, I am making friends from Mainland China living in Hong Kong, learning Chinese songs, reading books, watching Chinese dramas and TV –Shows as “You are the one!”, and talking to random people I met in the supermarket, in the air plane, in the train, on the street, in the restaurant etc. This way, I created my own Mandarin Chinese environment in Hong Kong,
除了用书和跟老师学中文以外,我还交了在香港住的国内朋友,学中文歌, 看中文书, 看中文的电视剧和电视节目 “我们约会吧”,跟任何地方 -例如在路上, 餐厅, 超级市场, 飞机里, 火车里,- 月遇到的人说中文等。我创造自己的语言环境。

This way of learning Chinese is much more interesting and amusing.  My Chinese has improved ever since.
这让我觉得中文越来越有趣,我的中文也越来越好了。

Thank you

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2013 / 07 / 03

最近通过了这次比较长的困难和难过的时间,因为朋友们和家人支持我,因为他们相信我,因为他们在我前,后,左,右边给我加油,所以我勇气回来了,决定再努力,能再”呼吸人生”。因朋友们和家人,我新人生的chapter刚刚开始了。
有这样的朋友,我是真很幸福的人的!!非常非常非常感谢他们!!

★〓★〓★

Earlier this year I decided to be brave towards my uncertain future. Ever since, my life was still an emotional jet coaster. It was terrible, I struggeled a lot.

Recently I was able to come over this tough time. Compared to other unhappy times, this was pretty long and very difficult.

Because of my friends and family’s support, because of their belief and because they are there for me, I was able to be brave again, ready to fight again and finally be able to enjoy life again. Because of my friends, my new chapter in life has just started (finally!)

I was and am lucky having such a great support around me. From my bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you them and appreciate their great help. Slowly, but safely I am on the right track now. Let’s have happy time together again!

Is this really you?

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2013 / 05 / 23

在中国的海关又出问题了。海关员觉得护照里面的照片不像我。他问“这个人是真的你吗?!” 我就点点头了。好像他不相信我。他继续说“不可能吧!”他叫他的同事。突然我很惊慌,因为以前我在差不都一样的情况。那时候他们的态度对我非常不好。他的同事到,看我护照里面的照片,跟他同意, 这个护照可能有问题。我很怕。他的同事说“Follow me!” 我心里觉得,我不想跟他,不想去那个房间。我说 “这张照片是真的我。是五年前拍的。” 他们惊讶我说中文。他问我 ”那,为什么这张照片不像你?“ 我回答 “因为我每天跑步,所以越来越来瘦。没剪头发。而且今天化妆了。今天比五年前漂亮,对不对?!” 他们大笑了,然后说“漂亮得多!” 我“。。。那没有问题吧,请换给我护照。”他的同事说“等一下儿,还有问题。”  我”。。。有什么问题?“ 他回答”你很可爱。你有没有男朋友?”

★〓★〓★

Let me share with you my experience at the Chinese boarder, where so many “problems” occurred due to my passport, e.g. in 2011 “Where do you come from?”.This is just another story.

I left HKG and I was going to cross the boarder in China. The officer took my passport and found out that photo does not match to me at all. He asked me “Is this really you?!” I just nod my head. Obviously he did not believe me and continued roughly  “No way!” He asked his colleague to come for further study this case.
Suddenly I got panic, because I have been in this kind of situation before. At that time I had been interviewed by several officers in a separate room. Although I did not do anything wrong, the feeling was not that good and I really did not want to experience that again.
However, his colleague came,  took my passport, first looked at the photo, then me and then the photo again. This passport might have some problems. Finally he ordered in English (!) “Follow me!” Frankly speaking, I did not want to follow him. I did not want to go to the separate room be interviewed by strict, emotionless officers.
Therefore I decided to speak out in Chinese (!) in order to emphasize “THAT photo is really me. It has been taken nearly 5 years ago!” Both officers were surprised about the fact that I DO understand Chinese. Then one of the officers asked me “Then, why this photo does not look like you?!” I needed to explain “Because I was jogging every day, lost weight, get slimmer and slimmer. I did not cut my hair during this period. Besides that, I am wearing make up today! Today I am more beautiful than 5 years ago, you do not think so?” Both officers laughed and agreed “Ha ha ha, much more beautiful!”
I felt so relieved “… then there is not any problem, right. Could you return my passport to me, please?” His colleague answered “One moment please, there is still a question.” All the problems should have been solved, so I felt uncertain “… what kind of question?” He answered “You are so cute! Do you have any boyfriend?”

Last time in the restaurant …

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2011 / 11 / 02

因为我日本的朋友和我想吃广东菜,所以我们进去广东菜的饭店。进去的时候,我们说普通话。我们坐以后,服务员来给我们中文的菜单。我们看一看。虽然我常常来这个地方,但是我找不到我喜欢的菜。怎么办呢?”我想吃很甜的猪肉跟。。。“服务员不知道我想吃什么。我朋友也不知道。我突然记得这个饭店也有英文菜单,所以我问服务员”请问你有没有英文的菜单?“好像我让服务员生气(??)一点儿。 服务员回答”为什么你们要英文的菜单?你不们是中国人吗?!?!?!为什么你们看不懂中文?!?!?!“ 。。。我给她说明”其实,我们就是外国人。请给我们英文的菜单。” 但是服务员没相信我 “你骗我!“。。。

其实我有一点高兴服务员觉得我们就是中国人, 因为好像我们的中文不错! (^_^)b

★〓★〓★

My Japanese friend and I yearned for Cantonese food, so we went to a Cantonese restaurant. When we entered the restaurant, we spoke Mandarin Chinese only. After we sat down, the waitress brought us the menu. We had a look. Although I came very often to this restaurant, I just could not find my favorite dish. What should I do? Ok, let’s describe (in Chinese) “I would like to eat sweet pork and…” The waitress did not understand what I would like to eat, also my friend could not guess. Suddenly I remembered that they also had an English Menu, thus I asked (in Chinese) “Do you have an English menu?” It seems this request made the waitress angry (??) She shouted at us (in Chinese) “Why you are asking for English menu?!?!?!?! You are Chinese or not?  Why you cannot read Chinese?!?!?!?!” … I tried to explain to her (in Chinese) “Actually, we ARE foreigners. Could you please bring us the English menu?” But the waitress did not believe us, she answered (in Chinese) “You are lying!’’

Actually I was a bit happy because the waitress was thinking that we are Chinese. That means our Chinese is pretty good! (^_^)b

★〓★〓★

Meine japanische Freundin und ich hatten grosse Lust kantonesich essen zu gehen. Als wir das kantonesische Restaurant betraten, haben wir nur Chinesisch gesprochen. Nachdem wir uns hingesetzt hatten, brachte die Kellnerin uns die chinesische Menuekarte. Wir stoeberten ein wenig darin. Obwohl ich oft hierhin komme, konnte ich mein Lieblingsgericht einfach nicht wiederfinde. Was nun? Lass mich das beschreiben, natuerlich in Chinesisch  „Ich moechte gerne suesses Schweinefleisch essen mit …“ Die Kellnerin verstand leider nicht, was ich essen moechte. Und auch meine Freundin konnte das Gericht nicht erraten. Ich gruebelte. Dann ploetzlich fiel mir ein, dass es hier auch eine englische Menuekarte gibt. Also fragte ich in Chinesisch „Haben Sie auch eine englische Menuekarte?“ Dieser Satz loeste totales Unverstaendnis bei der Kellnerin aus „Warum fragt IHR nach der ENGLISCHEN Karte?!?!? Ihr seid doch Chinesen oder, nicht??? Koennt ihr kein chinesisch lesen oder, was?!?!?“ … Daraufhin versuchte ich ihr auf Chinesisch zu erklaeren „Ja, also eigentlich sind wir tatsaechlich Auslaenderinnen. Koennten Sie uns bitte die englische Karte bringen.“ Allerdings glaubte sie uns kein Wort, sie antwortet „Ihr luegt!“ ..

Nichts desto trotz, ich habe mich gefreut, dass die Kellnerin dachte, dass wir Chinesinnen sind. Wenn ich den Spiess umdrehe, heisst es doch, dass unser gelerntes Chinesisch gut ist! (^_^)b

My japanese friend Mayizi

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2011 / 09 / 11

有的人觉得我和我日本人的朋友的关系很奇怪。他问我“虽然你们都是日本人和可能说日语,但是为什么你们一直用普通话说话?我们回答“我们一起学习普通话!而且我们已经习惯了!”那一天我们参加一个日本人的活动,是第一次我们说日语。我们觉得很奇怪。我们说日语的话,突然开始说普通话。哈哈哈

Some people are thinking that my japanese friend and I have a strange relationship. He asked me “Although you both are Japanese, why do not you speak Japanese?” We answered “We are learning Chinese together. Besides, we have already get to use to it!” That day we took part at the gathering with other Japanese. It was the first time for us to talk japanese. The feeling was very strange, so we suddenly switched into speaking in Chinese. Hahaha.

Es gibt einige Menschen, die sich ueber unser Verhaeltnis, die von meiner japanischen Freundin und mir,  die Stirn runzeln.  Einer davon fragte uns: “Warum sprecht ihr nicht japanisch, obwohl ihr doch beide Japanerinnen seid??” Wir antworteten darauf: “Wir lernen zusammen chinesisch! Ausserdem haben wir uns schon daran gewoehnt!” An jenem Tag nahmen wir an einem Aktivitaet mit JapanerInnen teil. Es war das erste Mal fuer uns, dass wir japanisch miteinander gesprochen haben. Das war ein sehr eigenartiges Gefuehl. Waehrend wir japanisch sprachen, sind wir ploetzlich ins chinesische uebergegangen. Hehehe.

Where do you come from?

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2011 / 06 / 21

在中国的海关官员觉得我是一个日本人有一张德国的假护照,因为我不像德国人。我说“不是。我是德国人。我是真的德国人。。。可能我不是真的,因为我本来从日本来的。。。”我让自己和官员非常乱T__T。他问我“你从哪里来的?” 我马上回答”从香港来的!” 官员真的很乱“你不是从德国来的吗?”我给他说我的简历”我在日本生,在德国长成,在香港工作,想去中国出差! 而且我妈妈是日本人,我爸爸是德国人。最后他相信我以后,他开看我的护照的话再问我”你可能泰国人吗?去中国找老公。“我想哭!
 
At the immigration in China the officer suspected that I am a Japanese with a fake German passport,because I do not look like a German, not even as an European. I tried to persuade him “No, I am German, I am really German… but might be not really, because orginally I come from Japan.” I started to think loudly and not only confuse myself, but also the officer. Then he asked “Where do you come from?” I immediately answered “I just came from Hong Kong.” Now the officer was really confused and did not believe in me at all “You are not coming from Germany?” I decided to give him a brief introduction of my life and my purpose “I have been born in Japan, grew up in Germany, currently working in Hong Kong and I would like to go to China for business trip. Further on, my mom is Japanese and my father is German.” Finally(!) the officer opened my passport and looked at my photo “You are not a Thaigirl…? Looking for husband in China?” Sigh, I wanna cry!!!!

Letter to my stomach

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2011 / 06 / 02

你好我的肚子 ,
你好吗 …? …对不起问你, 我已经知道了. 你不好了, 对不对?
虽然我给你好吃的东西, 虽然我们好玩  但是为什么你的心情最近那么不好  ?
你是不是不满意? 如果有不满意的事, 请告诉我 .
我想帮你, 真的 , 请让我帮你.
你和我 ,我们都开心就是最好的.
情快要好起来了, 我们打算一起参加划龙舟的比赛!
你记得吗 ?
 
Dear my stomach,
How are you…? Oh yes, I am sorry to ask you. Actually I know you are not good at the moment. Right? Altough I always give you nice food and although we have nice time together, how come you are in that bad mood?
Are you unsatisfied? If yes, please let me know.
I would like to help you, really, let me help you, please.
You and me, we, all in good mood, this would be the best.
Please recover soon, because we are planning to take part at the dragon boat races.
Do you remember?

Hallo mein Magen,
Wie geht es Dir…? Oh ja, entschuldigung, dass ich frage. Ich weiss, dass es Dir zur Zeit nicht gut geht, richtig? Obwohl ich Dir immer leckeres Essen gebe und obwohl wir immer eine schoene Zeit verbringen, wie kommt es dann, dass Du so schlecht gelaunt bist?
Bist Du unzufrieden? Wenn ja, dann lass es mich doch bitte wissen.
Ich moechte Dir gerne helfen, wirklich, lass mich doch bitte helfen.
Du und ich, wir, in guter Stimmung, das ist das beste!
Werde bitte bald gesund, denn wir planen zusammen am Drachenbootrennen teilzunehmen.
Erinnerst Du Dich noch?

Chinese makes me happy

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最近我说很多普通话。非常非常高兴。越来越不怕!谢谢我朋友们支持我梦想!最近我也开始mix up语言。昨天我跟德国的同事说德文,突然开始说中文。他听不懂。我跟香港的同事说英文,我也突然说中文。但是他们听懂因为他们也说普通话,所以没关系。虽然mix up语言是不好,但是现在很高兴。At this moment I would like to treasure this feeling, which makes me truly happy.

Recently I started to speak more Mandarin Chinese, I am very happy about it. I am not that afraid any more to talk Mandain Chinese. Thank you to my friends supporting my dream! Recently I have also started to mix up languages. Yesterday I was talking to my German colleague, suddenly I switched to Chinese. He did not understand anything. When I am talking English with my HKG colleague, I also switch into Mandarin, but I think it does not matter so much, as they can also talk Mandarin. Although I know mixing languages, is not good, I am very happy. At this moment I would like to treasure this feeling, which makes me truly happy.

In letzter Zeit rede ich immer mehr Mandarin Chinesisch, ich freue mich sehr darueber. Je mehr ich Chinesisch rede, desto weniger wird meine Angst. Danke an all meine Freunde, die meinen Traum unterstuetzen. In letzter Zeit habe ich auch angefangen Sprachen zu mischen. Gestern redete ich mit meinem deutschen Kollegen Deutsch, dann habe ich auf einmal angefangen Chinesisch zu reden. Er hat im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes nur Chinesisch verstanden. Wenn ich mit meinen HKG Kollegen spreche, kommt es auch vor, dass ich auf einmal Mandarin spreche, aber ich finde das ist nicht so schlimm, weil sie auch Mandarin sprechen koennen. Auch wenn ich weiss, dass mischen der Sprachen nicht gut ist, geniesse ich zur Zeit diesen Moment. Dieses Gefuehl moechte ich erstmal geniessen. Es ist ein schoenes Gefuehl.

介绍我看过的一个叫“等一下儿,上帝”的电视剧 // Introduction of a drama I have seen called “Wait, God”

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2011 / 03 / 04

“等一下儿,上帝”是日本的NHK在二零零四年上演的晚间电视连续剧。
“Wait, God” is a Japanese NHK evening drama shown in 2004.
这套电视剧是根据日文的一本叫”秋日子かく語りき“的漫画改编的。
The storyline has been adapted of the manga called ”秋日子かく語りき“
它的作者是大岛弓子。
The author is Yumiko Oshima.
虽然她的漫画很有名气,但是我还没有看过。
Although her manga gained great reputation, I have not read it yet.
我看完“等一下儿,上帝”以后,也想读原著,因为很感人和很有意思。
After watching “Wait, God”, I would like to read the original work, as it is very emotional and interesting.

这个电视剧有两个女主人公, 一个是中学生,还有一个是大约四十岁的主妇。
There are two female main protagonists, one is a high school student and the other one is a housewife around 40 years old.
演女学生是宮崎葵。
The actor of the student is Aoi Miyazaki.
她是我最喜欢的演员,因为她很美丽,有个性,而且演得很自然,很真实。
She is my favorite actor, because she is beautiful, has personality, and also she is acting naturally, real.
因为是宮崎葵演的这部电视剧,所以我开始看。
Because of her, I have started to watch this drama.

我不太喜欢大部分的摄影场,因为那里的风景不好看,不自然,所以我觉得拍的地方一定是影城。
Most locations shown in the drama, I do not like so much, because the landscape looks not good, it looks unnatural. Therefore I am thinking they filmed this drama in a studio.

剧情是主妇走了以后,让上帝借给她女学生的身体开始生活。
The story is about after the housewife passed away, God let her start having a new life by renting the body of the female student.
女学生的生活不满意,她很难过,因为妈妈和爸爸打算离婚。
The life of the female student is unsatisfied. She is very sad, because her parents are going to divorce.
她觉得没有人爱她,突然离开也没关系,所以那一天她骑自行车的时候故意撞到了一辆大车。
She thinks nobody loves her. So if she disappears, nobody will care. Therefore one day she bumps into a truck on purpose with her bicycle.
之后背景是女学生和主妇站在上帝的面前。
Then the scene changes: the female student and the housewife are standing in front of God.
上帝告诉她们刚才的交通事故是主妇死了。女学生还在,她一定要回去人间的世界。
God is telling them, that actually the housewife was killed by this accident.
The female student is still alive and she needs to go back to the human world.
但是她不想去。主妇想回去,因为她还想做很多事儿。
But she does not want to go back. The housewife would love to go back, because there are still a lot of things she would like to do.
但是她的身体不能用,所以上帝解给她女学生的身体。
As her own body cannot be used any more, God borrows her the student’s body.
因此活在学生的身体里,主妇就可以在人间的世界解决自己的问题。
Because of living in the body of the student, the housewife is able to solve her own problems in the human world.
女学生看到了主妇的顽强的生命力。
The student can watch the strong living power of the housewife.
即使主妇的生活不如意,有很辛苦和难过的时候,她也能保持快乐。
Even life is not going so smooth as the housewife wants, even there are a lot of struggling and sad moments, she is able to keep her happiness.
主妇教她,有问题的时候不要逃避。
The housewife is teaching her, not to run away whenever she faces a problem.
主妇给女学生生活的勇气。
The housewife gives her the strength and braveness to live.
最后主妇向自己的家人辞行,还给她的身体。
At the end the housewife says goodbye to her family, and returns the body to the student.
现在女学生回去人间的世界开始了她的新生活。
The female student returns to the human world in order to start a new life.

这部电视剧给我们很多重要的信息。你同意吗?
This drama gives us a lot of important messages. Do you agree?

好玩的卡拉OK Enjoyable KTV

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2011 / 02 / 27

五年前刚来香港的时侯,我不太喜欢卡拉OK。
When I came to HKG 5 years ago, I did not like KTV/Karaoke at all.
朋友们问我 ‘Nobu,今天晚上我们去卡拉OK。你想参加吗?’的时候,我一定回答 ‘对不起,我已经有别的安排了。’ 但是这是借口。
Whenever my friends asked me “Nobu, tonight we are going to KTV, would you like to join?”, I always answered “I am sorry, I have already an appointment.” But this was an excuse.
现在我还不喜欢去卡拉OK,但是我常常跟朋友们一起去,因为很好玩儿。
I still do not like to go to KTV, but I often go with friends, because it is a lot of fun.
虽然我唱歌唱得不好听,朋友们和我觉得没关系。
Although I cannot sing very well, my friends do not mind.
我唱中文歌的时候,他们给我加油或者一起唱歌
When I am singing Chinese songs, they support me or singing together with me.
大部分的朋友唱歌唱得非常好。他们一边唱歌一边跳舞。
Most of my friends sing very well. They are singing and dancing.
看到朋友们高兴的样子我觉得很好玩儿。气氛很好。
Watching them having fun, is fun as well. I like the atmosphere.
我们都很高兴。
We are all happy.
对我来说,这是最重要的。
From my point of view, THIS is most important thing!

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