No Language called Chinese


You may have encountered many situations where people refer "Chinese" as Mandarin. This is somehow confusing. Based on a small research that I have done, Mandarin is not actually a name of a language. It refers to one of seven Chinese dialects, the Beijing dialect, which becomes the official language in China. It is generally called "Mandarin Chinese" or "Mandarin". It is called Putonghua 普通話 in China, Guoyu 國語 in Taiwan and Huayu 華語 in Singapore.

Learn in a Foreign Language

(Photo credit: Kumon)

Have you ever thought about learning a foreign language in another language? This is what I have been doing so far. I learn many languages in English, which is a foreign language for me. If I were asked about the difficulty, well, I have not encountered any difficulty in learning languages in English. Perhaps, English has become my almost-native language. I use it anytime, anywhere. Because of the frequent use of English, I feel quite strange when I switch that to Indonesian. I feel strange too when I use my father's computer, which is in Indonesian language interface.

Learn Mandarin: New Method

Logo of the TOP
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been quite busy preparing for my Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) exam, a Mandarin certification exam held twice annually. There are five levels and I started from the third level. I passed the third and fourth level in the same year, which I did not believe that I could make it. It left me with the highest level, the fifth level. I have taken twice pre-test on this level and I scored quite badly, 47 and 44. Honestly, this level is really challenging. The minimum passing grade is 62. The formal test will be on early May, so it is one month later.

My Language Background



Many friends asked me about how many languages that I know. 

I was born in Medan, Indonesia. Luckily, Indonesia is a diverse country and so does Medan. You can find the diversity of Medan in almost anything, such as ethnicity, culture, language, culinary.

Native Languages

Born as a Chinese-Indonesian of Fujian (Hokkien) ancestry, I speak Fujianese (Hokkien). This language is widely used among Chinese-Indonesian in Medan. However, there is also Chinese-Indonesian like Cantonese, Hakka, etc. Therefore, they may have their languages too!

Latvian Language

Latvian Flag
(Photo credit: mightymightymatze)

Latvian is quite an interesting and challenging language to learn. The pronunciation is simple, what you see is how you read. However, I should say that the grammar is quite difficult for me. There are two genders: masculine and feminine. Then, there are different words for masculine singular and masculine plural, and feminine singular and feminine plural. Therefore, there are four forms for a word! 

Singing Latvian Songs

Song and Dance Festival - Riga, Latvia
(Photo credit: whl.travel)

I sometimes think that singing in a foreign language is easier than speaking in the foreign language. I don't know why but that is what I feel. What about you? Here are videos of me singing in Latvian language, a language that I have been learning for a year. I have never thought that singing in Latvian will be so much easier than constructing the sentence.

Watch Listen Online (WLO)

English: Keyboard of Sony Internet TV with han...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Internet has changed our life so much, even on watching and listening. Here are several WLO websites that I have got through my friendships. Million thanks to my friends that have contributed these websites.

Arabic


    Blogging in Foreign Language

    Writing
    (Photo credit: jjpacres)

    I used to wonder why many of my friends write blogs in foreign languages. English was my choice of content language when I wrote blog in high school. I did that because I am interested in writing in a foreign language. Several advantages that I can achieve by composing writings in this way are improving the habit to exercise writing skill, and having the chance to put my English in practice. English has been widely used in education, society, and almost anywhere. Several people have even created their own English styles because of the influence of their local languages.

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