‘My blossom, your bosom’; learning another language

Whilst travelling, it helps to pick up a few key phrases to help you get along.

At school I never appreciated my French lessons, and wish now I had learnt as much as possible! So at 23, I decided to take up Mandarin. I’m learning the speaking side although I can understand a little pinyin and a couple of symbols. It’s notoriously difficult, but fun too! Here are 5 of my favourite things about learning Mandarin.

1. You feel proud of yourself when you can understand even a snippet of conversation, and know that it’s down to your hard work that you can understand it!
I was in a shop recently and heard a wife ask her husband if they had any spicy herbs. He replied they didn’t have any spicy herbs for another 2 weeks. No, it wasn’t the most enthralling of conversations- but I knew not to ask them for spicy herbs!

2. You don’t have to learn past, present, future tenses etc.! You would just use the day, time, week or month to indicate when you’re talking about.

3. The question and answer structures can be simple to understand. In some cases, the way you structure a question is the same way you answer it; just replace the measure (or question) word with your answer.
Example Q. ni jia you ji kou ren? (How many people are in your family?)
A. wo jia you san kou ren (3 people are in my family) replacing the measure word with your answer!

Loved this translation from a park I passed in Xindu!

4. Mamahuhu- my Mandarin teacher rolled my eyes and told me how so many of her foreign students find this word hilarious. I am now one of that many. It just means ‘so-so’, but I love saying it. SAY IT.

5. My teacher! She is very kind, funny, and most importantly, patient. It helps when you have things in common with your teacher too, and I know that when I go back out to China I will have another friend to visit out there.


Are you currently living abroad, and learning a language? Or are you learning a language before a big trip? Let me know in the comments below!


7 thoughts on “‘My blossom, your bosom’; learning another language

  1. Chinese is my first language! I imagine that Westerners might find the language challenging, since the grammar and writing system is very different, but I am so glad that you’re learning my mother tongue. Still in the process of perfecting my French even after returning home after eight months in France, but my next language would be to learn Italian! Keep up the progress!

    1. Yes, I’m definitely going to take it one step at the time! It’s such an interesting language to learn. Thanks! You too- it helps when you live in the country you’re learning it!

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