Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Yesterday my beginners course in Mandarin Chinese started. We are a group of about 20 students. To my surprise a third of them are ethnically Chinese - born here and not speaking a word of Chinese just like me. The teacher is a youngish woman from China, I don't think she is very experienced and her Dutch is so-so which is not ideal as she can not explain everything easily. I always believe that to study a language as a beginner it is better to have a teacher from your own country (non-native speaker of the foreign language), as they know much better what is difficult for the students and how to overcome these difficulties. When you reach a more advanced level it is better to have a native speaker as a teacher.
Anyway, it was funny to see that the teacher expected more from the ethnically Chinese people in our class. You could see her think: "Of course these hairy big-nosed white devils don't know a word of Chinese, but these Chinese people should know more." After a while one of the Chinese guys got irritated and snipped to her: "If I spoke Chinese I wouldn't be here, or would I?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mandarin? How sophisticated. The rest of us poor uneducated country people only speak Cantonese. hahahaha.