妵澳李’s Adventures in Chinese

I have a new name: 妵澳李. Can’t read that? Neither can I.

But that is my new Chinese name, given to me by my friend Nial Rele, who is attending the Chinese School here this summer. He assures me that the individual characters mean: (respectively) beautiful, bay, plum; and is pronounced (in pinyin) tǒu ào Li. However, Google translate (which I have grown to love) tells me that the name means “Spiffing O Lee”. I kind of like that better than “Beautiful Bay Plum” anyways. It seems that this week has been very Chinese-heavy, whether it be at work in the Helpdesk or just around campus. Some interesting anecdotes:

  • Language pledged for 9-weeks, Nial enjoys texting / facebook chatting in Chinese. But not in Chinese characters; in pinyin. In case you don’t frequently use google translate in Chinese, there is no option for Pinyin to English, or vice-versa. Therefore, when he texts me, I get to play the fun game of guessing what he says. A useful tool has been mdbg.net, which allows you to search for the English meaning of pinyin words, but only one at a time. My attempts at deciphering his texts usual end with me saying “Wǒ bù zhīdào nǐ zài shuō shénme.” Meaning “I don’t know what you’re saying.” It has been interesting to say the least.
  • One day I helped a woman at the Helpdesk who was in Chinese Level 1, or Beginning Chinese. Starting off the study of a language at Middlebury Language Schools is a pretty ambitious endeavor, so I asked her why she decided to study Chinese. She said that she was a French teacher from North Carolina, and that her district was cutting the French program, replacing it with Chinese, and they needed her to learn how to teach it. Reactions: Anger (I’m a probable French major looking to eventually teach French), shock (that they didn’t just let her go), and fright (at not being able to find a job as a French teacher in 3+ years). I guess I should start memorizing characters…
  • Today I helped a Chinese professor with the wireless on her laptop. Or well I tried to help her. But I’m learning it’s really hard to troubleshoot a problem when the computer is not in English. Or at least a romance language..

So, needless to say with all this Chinese language school interaction, I’ll pretty much be fluent by the end of the summer.

再见,

妵澳李 (Audrey)

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One Response

  1. […] in Translation As mentioned before, Cody and I have a good friend, Nial, who is currently studying at Middlebury’s Chinese […]

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