China - first of all it is an extremely fascinating place. For a start, it is one of the first 4 earliest civilization in the world. And with a history dating back to more than 5,000 years, it is not
surprising that it is a sophisticated society but not necessarily modern.
The country is a fascination by itself. I guess most of us has heard about how cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou has developed in such a short period of time. I akin that to the hunger that has been suppressed for so many years.
However, to understand any people or their culture, we need to learn the language.
I, for one is a Chinese but from Malaysia, a South East Asia country found it difficult. Like many Chinese immigrants my forefather seeks his fortune in South East Asia while the rest chose countries like Northern American, Europe and such.
As such I grew up without learning Chinese or better known as Mandarin or Putonghua. I grew up with English and Malay Language. I only started learning when I was 21.
And yes, I learned it like a native English speaker.
Is it difficult to learn ? You bet it is and still is. I gave up before several times but always my goal to be understood in China pushed me on.
The good news is that I had found a way or rather a system of my own to learn the language. The key was to be able to recognise as many characters as possible so that I can start communicating in it.
Will share more in my next post.