I have been meaning to write this post since we have already passed the one month mark. Here is a basic evaluation from my standpoint about our first month of language studies.
1) Realized that this is going to be a long process. In the back of my mind I was hoping it would be easier than people made it out to be. But that is not the case, it is going to take hard, consistent work with the Lord’s blessings!
2) General memorization takes longer because you have to remember three basic things about every word: meaning, pronunciation, and tone.
3)By the end of our first month I was able to:
-Know some basic terms and greetings.
-Say my Chinese name, phone number, and address (for the most part).
-Say the cross streets I live near for the taxi drivers.
-Ask a few questions and understand part of the responses (not much conversation takes place yet).
-Have a good grasp on numbers 0-100.
-Can ask how much something is and usually understand the response.
-Can read pinyin, though, still with many pronunciation and tone errors and some understanding.
-Pick out a handful of words in a sermon.
4) Pinyin is helpful and tough. We are not currently studying the characters and are fully relying on the pinyin. I realize how much quicker (hopefully) that we can learn using the pinyin. Though pinyin is still tuff because the pronunciation of the letters are different than english pronunciation, as well as, sound combinations that we don’t use in english.
5) New slogan “We are making a little progress, but hey, at least it’s progress!” What I mean is that we are learning more every week and though it seems to being going slow, we are still moving forward.