Photos forthcoming?

Well, we're back in the blogosphere, but for some reason photos won't upload. You'll all have to live in suspense to see Lee eating giant Malaysian shrimp and chasing away little beach snakes for a few more days. Until then, here is some evidence of a cultural difference between West and East to ponder...

Every night, part of my Chinese homework includes previewing the next day's lesson. Each lesson has vocabulary and a dialogue based on a specific theme, things like "Greetings and Introductions" and "Time and Date." Tomorrow we are studying Unit Seven. The dialogue (in English because it seems a waste of time to type the phonetic Mandarin) looks like this:

Visiting the Teacher
A: David, I want to visit our teacher.
B: So do I.
A: When should we go?
B: The teacher says she would be at home in the evening.
A: But I have got something to do in the evening. I have to go to class.
B: What about Saturday night?
A: Saturday night would be all right. I'm free.
B: Shall we go at half past seven?
A: All right. I will wait for you at home and we will go together.

Now bear in mind, this is only unit seven of an introductory-level book. We haven't even discussed such basics as "Weather" or "In the Hospital." This means that whoever wrote this text decided that acquiring the language skills to show up at your teacher's house uninvited on a Saturday night is more pressing than learning how to say "Today is sunny" or "I drank water from the tap and I might be dying of cholera."

1 comment:

Michael Ouellette said...

I think it is building to unit eight where you find out your teacher has reneged on his gambling debts resulting in a bout of alcohol poisoning. Allowing you to learn how to navigate to the hospital.