If you haven't noticed the trend... there is a lot of Chinese language here in Taiwan. The locals speak Mandarin and write in traditional Chinese (as opposed to the simplified Chinese characters often used in mainland China). Even though I am thankful for the extensive use and teaching of the English language here, I have been really looking forward to learning Chinese too! Friday night after work, I finally had my first official lesson!
I have browsed online a couple of times, to see if I could find a good evening Chinese language class for after work. It looks like there are definitely Chinese language classes available here, but finding something for the right schedule and the right price has been a challenge. Fortunately, there is a coworker in my office who recently became certified to teach Chinese, so she has textbooks and lesson plan ideas, etc - and she has offered to teach me! I am so excited!
In the US, I have heard people say before that Chinese is the #1 hardest language to learn, because of the way 5 tones are used in the language, but come to find out... the other language spoken here - Taiwanese - is a local variation based on Chinese that uses 9 tones! Wow. After the lesson, I am more confident about the Chinese language. There are so many differences between English and Chinese, and I am hoping they are in my favor (with the exception of perfecting the tones, which is just going to be hard no matter what). I guess I will have to keep you all updated as far as how my lessons are going! Our first lesson was really just practicing how to speak the different tones. Language practice drills. It seems that when I have someone to mimic, I follow pretty well. Repeating the same tones once I am on my own though - that is the hard part. For now - so far, so good. :)