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Learning a new language

I've had about 12 hours worth of mandarin lessons. It's a slooooooow go. I'm living in a bit of a sheltered reality here at school. Everyone here speaks English. I don't get the chance to practice much because I'm not thrusting myself into situations where it's necessary to communicate in Mandarin. Further, at 53 years old I'm way past the optimal age to think in another language.



I'm investing another hour on every Tuesday and Thursday after school as part of a class

for beginners. It's been a bit of review, but that's a good thing in my case. Focus in my new class has been greetings and being polite so far. Looking forward to the next lesson where we focus on numbers and days of the week.


The vocabulary and sentence structure and much simpler than English, but the six vowels all have four "tones". Remembering which tone means which word is rough. Saying "shi" can have four means depending on which tone you use. Shi with the tone going down is yes. Shi with the tone going up means the number ten. I don't even know the other two tones for Shi. Ugh.


I'm trying. I'm learning, slowly. At this moment, I'm exhausted. It's 8:30 at

night and I'm headed to sleep. I didn't leave my classroom until close to 7:00 tonight. Just finished watching the Seahawks highlights. Super shocked they won on Monday Night Football. I thought Denver would thrash them. It's never a good idea to count out Coach Pete. He's an inspiring motivator.

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