Since I am not studying at a university or even going to classes of any kind, it makes language learning difficult (more difficult than it should be at times) and takes me even longer for me to learn than my roommate or several others around me. Yet, I still need to communicate with people somehow.
That communication often turns into me miming or halfway playing charades with people. When I go to the market and don’t know a word or have my handy dandy iPhone/App with me, charades and miming get even better. Sometimes I look at the faces of people around me when attempting to describe something to the lady at the market or the man running the convenient store. Their faces are priceless and I wish I had a camera – because if I saw people doing that in the US, I’d look at them funny too. At least now I feel the pain of international students and immigrants trying to adapt to a new language and culture…
But languages are hard. Let’s be real. Some are easier than others and some top the lists for being the hardest to learn. Mandarin is on the list of hard languages. Below is (as Business Insider puts it) a “nifty” infographic from Voxy.com showing difficulty, number hours needed to study, and resources available for someone learning the language.
I admit, things are so much easier for me a year in than they were 1 week, 1 month, or even 6 months in. But there are so many things I don’t know how to say. There are so many times where I just nod and hope I didn’t agree to help murder someone. – They usually don’t look threatening, but you never know …
So the next time you go to a grocery store, farmer’s market, restaurant … remember how easy it is to do things in your own language. Then think of me trying to play charades with common household objects or food items. You will laugh really hard, and then realize you are slowly becoming an expert in charades, miming, and word salad .
Now that I’ve lived in a place where I have pretty much figured out how to mime anything I need, I will beat you so bad at charades, you will not even know what hit you (probably the imaginary brick I just mimed at you).
*Featured image from shutterstock.com; Infographic from Voxy.com