1) Preaching. The goal for this month was to preach for 20 minutes but I came in a little short around 18 minutes and 45 seconds. But this month still was a giant leap forward because I prepared my entire sermon in Chinese. I didn’t write out my thoughts in English first and then translate them, I wrote them down directly in Chinese. Also, I used my notes a lot less this time during preaching, making it more natural and comfortable. Instead of adding five minutes, I will try to preach for the full 20 minutes in month ten.
2) Translating. I have actually learned a lot through translating this month. First, I worked on translating the entire song book (with a friend) that we use in the church, so that I could understand all of the songs and the vocabulary. Second, we have been spending a little time translating menus for places the we frequent often (Chinese names for food and dishes is quite complex and hard.)
3) Reading. I finished reading through a book (with my teacher) of Chinese Contemporary short stories. This has been helpful to introduce new vocabulary, learn the ranges of how some words are used, grammar and some cultural insight. We have started reading the second book in the series which contains about 3,000 different words.
4) Characters. This month I started a soft approach to learning characters. I consider it a soft approach because:
- I want to have at least one year of spoken language study completed before I dive into the characters.
- I am mainly learning to read and recognize the characters and putting little to no emphasis on writing them right now (writing is the last stage).
- I only have a goal to learn about 18 a week.
- I only use one hour out of my 26 hours of class time to be taught characters.
- Most of the characters I am learning are easy, common, or everyday characters that I choose.
- For the most part, I already know the meaning, tone, and pronunciation; so I am just adding the symbol.
The goal right now is to slowly become more familiar with the characters and use them for practical purposes.
5) Prayer Request. Please continue to pray as we continue to learn. Pray for our tones, pronunciation, grammar, and listening skills to develop stronger and stronger. Pray for opportunities for us to confidently share the Gospel and interact using the level of Chinese that we already currently at.