For the past 1.5 years my head has been tortured with learning Chinese… now I’m not saying I don’t enjoy learning it, of course I do… just sometimes you need a break from all those thousands of characters once in a while!
Since meeting my boyfriend and visiting Mexico and his family, I’ve become more and more interested in learning Spanish. In Secondary school and Uni I chose to study French instead of Spanish, so I’ve literally had to start from the basics with Spanish. haha now that my French has completely disappeared, (not that there was much in the first place) I don’t think I’ll have any trouble mixing the two languages up!
I’ve started using an application called Anki, where it makes flashcards and what not for you… I’ve been using it for my Chinese also, but to be honest it’s very hard to use,for me anyway, it’s a bit too technical! I’ve ended up having to delete my whole Spanish deck of words and download it again, as I messed with the cards and didn’t know how to rectify it. So it does take some time to get used to and know how to use it properly.
In comparison to Chinese… I must say I remember the vocab much easier in Spanish. No characters to learn, no tones… just a straight up spanish word and thats it!
My pronunciation needs work on though, as I still pronounce letters like in English.. oh and the ‘r’ sound still annoys me.
And because my head is also in ‘Chinese mode’, whenever I see a Spanish phrase like ‘Does he want a t-shirt?’ and I need to think a second for the answer, instinctively the Chinese translation of it will enter my head.
But I have to say, when comparing the two languages.. I really do appreciate some things about Chinese. The grammar isn’t as tricky as say English or Spanish. There are no conjugations or gender specific words. The language is also a bit more concise.
What I also enjoy about Chinese are how words are literally translated:
fridge = ice box (bing xiang/冰箱）
computer = electric brain (dian nao/ 电脑）
yogurt = sour milk (suan nai/酸奶）
And don’t get me started on the literal translations of animals!
dolphin = sea piglet (hai tun/海豚）
kangaroo= bag mouse (dai shu/ 袋鼠）
giraffe= long neck deer ( chang jing lu/ 长颈鹿）
These are just a few of the interesting translations!
I think every person studying Chinese gets a laugh when they find out the translation of different things in Chinese!
But anyway, back to Spanish!
As I’ve only been studying for about a week now, I know I’ve only barely touched the surface of this language. When I start to learn the grammar properly and the conjugations is when I might begin to tear my hair out!
Having had a week off from Uni, I’ve been studying more Spanish recently, so I’ll have to try and stick with it when Monday comes.
It’s nice though to be able to switch with the two languages…. I can have a break with Chinese but not feel bad, because I’ll be learning Spanish… I won’t feel lazy because I’m still technically learning!
So I suppose Chinese and Spanish has their own merits and why I like them!