Posts Tagged ‘language’

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

I felt like writing an e-mail to the math TA I had last semester, so I wrote this:

你好 Alan!

我现在学习汉语。汉语很有意思, 可是有点儿难。我星期一到五从十二点半到三点半上课。今年你去中国吗?我八月去土耳其。你的中国名字是什么?(and how do you pronounce it?) 你的头发还很长吗?^_~

ok, I guess you could try answering but I probably won’t understand parts of it. haha.

Hope your summer’s going well,


translation (hopefully it’s right):

Hi Alan!

I am studying Chinese right now. Chinese is interesting, but a little hard. I go to class Monday thru Friday, from 12:30 to 3:30. Are you going to China this summer? I’m going to Turkey in August. What is your Chinese name (and how do you pronounce it)? Is your hair still long? ^_~

etc. etc. Haha, I’m not too sure about the “chinese name” sentence, but I’m pretty certain that the rest are right.

It’s kind of depressing, because I wrote four or five sentences in Chinese but they only took up a little more than a line. Chinese text is so compact.

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

I think my Chinese teacher likes me too much. On the tests, he marks my mistakes but doesn’t take off points, so I’ve been getting 100s on all of them. I guess I made a really good first impression. That’s my tactic so that near the end of the semester, when I start slacking off, the teacher likes me so much that he doesn’t notice (or care).

Last night, Lawson, Kat (Lawson’s girlfriend) and I went to eat crèpes. We were sitting at a table outside, when this guy came up to us and said, “excuse me, which one of you girls isn’t dating this guy?” I said, “Uh.. me..” and he asked me my name, and I told him I already had a boyfriend, so he apologized and left. Afterwards, the three of us had a discussion on what the best comeback could have been. We were satisfied with this one:

me and Kat: We’re dating each other.

Lawson: … but I’m single!

So next time something like this happens, we’re prepared for it.


Sunday, July 4th, 2004

Today let me introduce to you two of my favorite Chinese characters:

The first one is fei:

It means “to fly”, and the character is a bird. This is the simplified version. The traditional version has two birds in it (and looks more complicated). Sadly, I don’t know how to write it on the computer (or on paper; in class we’re only learning simplified Chinese), but take my word for it; it looks really cool.

The other one is nin, which is the formal “you”:

I like the character because it is a combination of “ni” (你), which is the informal “you”. The 心 underneath is the radical for “heart.” I think it’s cute. 😛

Enough Chinese lecture for now.

choir geekiness.

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004

Last night, Charles, Aimee, and I went to Tom’s house. Tom had picked two madrigals, one French and one in Spanish, to rehearse that night. First we read through it on ‘la’, then worked out the kinks, then added words. It sounded pretty good! We practiced for two hours straight without even noticing. Then, it was past Charles’s bedtime so we broke up for the night (it was 9:30, seriously). Haha. We’re gonna meet up again tomorrow night.

My mom and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond tonight, and while we were waiting in line, I was looking at the paintings and pictures that were hanging on the wall.. There were some with Chinese characters and a small translation underneath (like “Meditation” and “Joy” and such), and I recognized some radicals in the characters (heart and field). About 80% of Chinese characters are pictophonetic compound characters, which means they are composed of two characters; one usually hints at the meaning, and the other hints at the pronunciation. The one whose radicals I recognized was “field” (田)with “heart” (心) underneath it. It was soo cool. I still have to learn quite a bit of characters to be able to understand random things I see in stores, though.

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

Last night I figured out how to write Chinese on my computer. It’s actually quite amazing. I wish I knew more things to say so I’d write paragraphs.

现在二十三点五分。 (Right now it’s 11:05 pm.)

My goal is to learn Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu this summer. I’ve been practicing a bit, but I need to practice a whole lot more. So it should follow that I’m going to increase my practice times, hopefully.

Chinese 1

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

Today I started taking Chinese classes at the local community college. It’s 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. The teacher’s rather funny and Chinese is interesting. We spent the first day learning how to say pretty much all the possible syllables. There are about 400 syllables and 4 different intonations for each syllable. But that’s nothing, the Cantonese dialect has 11! I can’t even begin to understand that.

We didn’t even learn how to say “Hi” or “What is your name?” Hopefully we’ll be learning that tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

I’m in Japan right now, and that’s why I haven’t been writing these past few days. We’re staying at a hotel in Kyoto. Today was our first day here, and we spent hours walking around in the city, visiting shopping places and temples. Right now I’m so tired, and it’s 4:30 am in California right now, so I whipped out the computer to try and stay awake.

Kyoto is an awesome city. I’d like to live here for a year or two. Everybody’s so friendly. It’s so frustrating to look around me and not understand a single written thing, though. I haven’t had this feeling since we first came to the United States 12 years ago and the only words I knew were “yes,” “no,” and “My name is Melike.” (I’d memorized it verbally as “mayneymis Melike” and it reminded me of mayonnaise. I remember watching Inspector Gadget without understanding a single word.) I really want to learn Japanese, though. I will (hopefully) take Chinese I this summer, but then I want to learn Japanese also. Actually, I just want to intuitively know all the languages that I’m interested in, but since that’s impossible, I have to take classes. I’m already beginning to forget my Spanish, though, and I took AP Spanish Literature only last year. Last week I had to look up what the Spanish word for January was. It’s kind of embarrassing.

Anyway, I’m going off on huge tangents in this entry, because I’m starving. My parents are probably jetlagged and are sleeping upstairs in the room (well, I know my dad is). I’m gonna go wake them up and force them to go eat dinner.

school ponderings

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

It hasn’t been a week since school ended, and I’ve already started thinking about next semester’s schedule. There are so many classes I want to take that I am feeling conflicted!

Classes I have to take:

5.60 – Thermodynamics

5.12 – Organic Chemistry

21M.302 – Harmony and Counterpoint II (if I want to also major in music)

Classes I want to take:

18.075 – Advanced Calculus for Engineers

21F.302 – French II

21M.480 – Advanced Music Performance (if I can get in)

21M.026 – Jazz (I love the teacher)

If I take a math class each semester from now on, I can minor in math; so I’m going to try taking one every semester, and if it gets too hard, then oh well, I will have learned new and exciting math! I can’t think of an academic existence without math. Am I the same person who ran around the house yelling “I hate math!” when I was 8 years old?

Of course, there is always UROP (research), which I definitely want to do. I’m just about the only person left who hasn’t done a UROP yet. I also want to take a higher level French class (like French 3), but neither that nor French 4 fit into my schedule. This means they never will, because I have choir during those times.

So long story short, I need to eliminate some classes. Blah! I don’t feel like it! I want to force myself to do it all! Yes, in one semester.. because there are also other classes I want to take!


Sunday, March 14th, 2004

The reason I haven’t been posting here for days is because I haven’t been in my room most of the time.

Yesterday was kind of fun. For lunch, a group of us went to Anna’s Taquer�a (it’s a big thing around here) in Davis Square, then went candlepin bowling. It’s like regular bowling, but the balls are smaller and the pins are cylindrical (they’re not wider in the bottom). I thought it was easier than regular bowling.. I suck at regular bowling. My first game I scored a 68 and won, but in the second game I performed embarrassingly poorly. Oh well, it was really fun.

Then at night, Cindy’s sorority was hosting a fondue event that featured Resonance (an MIT a cappella group) and a local acoustic band. I walked around, eating cheese and crackers, grapes, cookies, and chocolate. Oh, and I got to dress up. I looked nice! I think more people know me than I think.

I have most of my fun when I go to Next House. I have more friends on Jonathan’s floor than I do on my own floor. For some reason I couldn’t really connect at all with people on my own floor. Maybe it’s the suite system? Jonathan’s floor rocks. People all get together and do math homework together, play poker, or just hang out and do random stuff. I want to live there.. :\ But I think the reason why I’m lonely in Burton-Conner is because my suite only has three people in it. I heard that larger suites with 6-8 people are more fun and social. Next year I’m definitely going to try and get into a larger suite, and maybe on a different floor.

Last night I learned how to say chicken, fried rice, August, egg, hello, and good night in Chinese. I learned how to say “thank you” and “goodbye” too, but those don’t count because I don’t know if I can say those right yet. I learned how to write hello, too. I can also say, “I am a chicken.” Well, it started out as learning how to say “I am Melike,” but I wanted to incorporate some of the vocab I’d learned. It’s soo hard though. I agonized over just a few syllables for an hour. It is so easy to accidentally say “breakfast” instead of “fried rice.” I want to learn Chinese. No, I’m serious. I’m seriously thinking of taking a summer class or taking Chinese 1 next semester. aldkfjadl;fhja!!

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

This morning my alarm woke me up, and I got up to turn it off (it’s on my desk, away from arm’s reach!) and realized my foot was asleep, so I almost fell over. I had to hold onto a chair or something to push the button.

Anyway, today I went to watch some presentations on the kinds of chemistry research projects that upperclassmen were doing. So basically the best time to start it is over the summer. This means I’ve decided to go on and participate in the linguistics research that I’ve found, then start a chem-related one in the summer. That’s all up in the air still, but at least I’m nearing a decision. Oh, I hadn’t told you guys about this. Well I found a research project about the Turkish language and how Turkish people process relative clauses. I wanted to take it, but my major has nothing to do with the Brain and Cog. Sciences department, so I was trying to decide whether it was worth my time or not. Anyway.

Then I went to a Listening Skills Workshop. We went over some techniques, and listened to roleplaying tapes, and analyzed the conversations. It was pretty enlightening.

So now I’m here. I’m going to finally watch the Turkish shows that my parents taped me and sent over. Then at 8 I will hopefully go to an improv comedy show thing… and that’s pretty much it for now.

My fingers are weak.. I’m having a hard time typing.