Thursday, September 25, 2008


I would exaggerate to say that I learned to write my name in Chinese last night. But I am beginning to learn. Alice, my Conversation Pod partner from Taiwan, showed me how to form the symbols and I attempted to copy them. She had no trouble translating my first or middle names, but my last name was "difficult, very difficult." She thought about it and then produced two symbols that would do. I asked what the word for "cooking" was. I wondered if it might work as a translation (we use verbs as proper nouns for last names in English--cook, baker, miller). I didn't know if last names in Chinese could represent an occupation or action. My guess is not. Alice laughed when I suggested it.

Alice brought me a handful of snacks in case I was hungry after class. The bottom package contains a chocolate treat, while the one on the top is blueberry.


  1. This sounds like a fun assignment. How is Alice's English. Are you able to communicate easily or is the flow of the conversation hampered by a language barrier?

  2. It's fairly easy to communicate with Alice. It took us a few minutes when she described her sister as an architect. I couldn't understand the word she was saying, but eventually I understood that her sister drew houses. Alice told me that English teachers earn a big salary in Taiwan. I asked if she wanted to teach English. She said she would like to, but isn't good enough at the language yet.