Learning To Read and Write – In Chinese!!

I’ve been taking Chinese lessons for a couple months now and let me tell you, it’s hard! Learning any language is hard and Mandarin is no exception. It’s fun and engaging and I’m really enjoying it, but you know my favorite part? Learning to read again. ๐Ÿ™‚

benzi

Chinese characters were like this enormous mystery to me when we first got here (and, um, they mostly still are. I know maybe a few dozen). But in the last few months, it’s like the world of characters has started to reveal itself to me. Every once in a while I can catch a character while I’m out and about that I actually know and recognize! Huzzah! Of course, this usually does me little good – it’s really not much help to know that the word ‘good’ is in the sentence without being able to read the rest of it. But still – I’m reading!

In fact, every once in a while, I can read a whole sentence! A whole paragraph, even! Granted, these are sentences from my workbook so they’re using only words I’ve already learned, but that’s way more than I could do a few months ago.

Notice my child-like handwriting. Who knew it would be so hard to write little shapes and lines?!
Notice my child-like handwriting. Who knew it would be so hard to write little shapes and lines?!

And it’s so exciting! I find myself pointing to each character like a little kid points to words when they’re learning to read, and racking my brains trying to remember 1) what the word is and how to say it and 2) what it means. I can’t help but think this is like a second chance to feel how it isย for kids learning to read. I remember how exciting it was when those squiggles on the page finally started to make sense to me. And I’m feeling that again now as I learn to read Chinese characters.

Do you remember learning to read? Were you excited to read or not so much? Did you find it frustrating? Fun? A little of both? I’m so curious!

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One comment

  1. I don’t remember having a hard time learning to read. I just absolutely hated it. My Mama would have to bribe me with candy and money to get me to read for just an hour. Then you came into my life and we became best friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Harry Potter came out shortly after that and you had a hard time convincing me to read it. But I finally gave in…and I read the first book in like a day! I was hooked! I’ve been hooked on books ever since. My Mama joked and used to say she would have to start bribing me to STOP reading ๐Ÿ™‚ I love reading thanks to you and Harry Potter!

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