My dream, failure and success

Thoughts, 香港 HongKong Add comments

2011 / 12 / 19

 “I would like to speak Chinese as a native speaker!” That had been my dream since 2006, when I started to learn Chinese from scratch again. At that time I decided not to give up. No matter how difficult it would be.
When I was a teenager I learnt Chinese for few semesters, but stopped after a while, because there was not any intermediate class in Germany, because there was not a good teacher, because I did not have time. Because, because, because. Nowadays, it sounds for me like an excuse and I really cannot remember why I did not continue to learn Chinese, although I love this language so much! I am pretty sure there would be plenty of ways to keep on learning Chinese, even without a class or a good teacher.

5 years passed, I CAN communicate, discuss, but I am unsatisfied as I still could not reach my target, my dream to speak native Chinese. I felt disappointed.

Then one day I met Forrest, a Chinese. We talked about dreams. I talked about my dream and failure. He asked me “Nobu, how long did you learn German?” I was counting and then answered “Well, in school I had been learning German for around 13 years. Why do you ask?” He continued “Same as me, I had been learning Chinese for more than 10 years. AND I had Chinese class every day!” I still did not get his point, thus I was just listening to him. “Even for me – I am Chinese -, it is not an easy task. I spent more than 10 years learning this language. How can a foreigner like you master Chinese within 5 years?!“  I was not sure whether it was a provocation. “Nobu, may I emphasize one more thing, you can NEVER reach the Chinese native level…” I wanted to interrupt him and say something, but he did not let me, instead he said a bit louder. “… because you are not Chinese!” I could not say anything any more. That’s true, I am not Chinese.

But… should I be Chinese in order to be able to speak native Chinese?

“Listen Nobu, you need to think about what is your strength. It is not native Chinese, but the Chinese you have archived up to now. You can write, read and speak! Not so many foreigners can do that.” Our conversation actually ended here.

I was thinking about our conversation. And I realized something. Something I may do wrong. Did I set up a too big dream? Is this the reason, why I always feel unhappy about my Chinese progress?

Yeah, it could be.

Therefore I changed my dream. I want to give myself a chance. Should I be wrong, I can always change back to my original dream. Now my dream is “to be able to speak Chinese fluently” and I have set up my action steps clearly:
1) Learn vocabularies every day with an example sentence.
2) Use the learned vacubularies in my daily life.
3) Don’t be afraid of doing mistakes. Just talk!
4) Improve my listening comprehension.
5) Improve my pronounciation.
In this frame, I also have changed my study plan. I can feel the little progress every day, which fullfill me with so much happiness.

Next time I will not talk about my dream and failure, but about my dream and a lot of little success.

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