Several months ago I made a couple of New Year's Resolutions. One of these was setting up a bug tracker - yeah, well, that's still in progress, though I'm thinking of going with the appealing (and Ruby on Rails written) SimpleTicket.
But one resolution I have already been following through with is learning a non-western language. I chose Mandarin Chinese, one because it seems very useful considering the future outlook, and second was that it was available on a night I had available.
Chinese is actually easier to learn than I had thought at the outset. Some of the annoyances of English, such as conjugation aren't present. For example,
"I be" "I am", "He is", "She is", "We are", are all just "- be". Though these are replaced by equally difficult translations. For example, there is a different word for Maternal Grandmother and Grandfather vs. Paternal Grandparents. There is even a different term for older vs. younger brother and older vs. younger sister.
We've also learned some of the country names. America is "Meiguo", or ç¾Žå›½. Literally, this means "Beautiful Country". I found this very endearing... until I learned it's because the character ç¾Ž (Mei) which means beautiful just has the same sound as the "me" in America.
Other countries include:
- æ³•å›½ ï¼ Faguo is France (lawful country)
- å¾—å›½ ï¼ Deguo is Germany (moral country)
- åŠ æ‹¿å¤§ ï¼ Jianada is Canada (just sounds a lot like Cha-nah-dah)