What would it be like to be dropped into another country and to have to figure out what was going on when you don’t know the language?
It’s been a while since I’ve tried learning a new language, so I decided to check out Candice Chiang’s Mandarin Chinese class. Though these students have been in session for just a couple months, they can already follow a lesson that is mostly in Mandarin.
Why take Chinese? Pearce Leavey ('16) said she already knew a little Japanese and she was ready for the change from Spanish class. Senior Allie Melendez (‘14) loves languages and is thinking of majoring in international languages. “It’s my favorite class of the year,” says Allie. “I like speaking it around my house.” And writing in a character language? No problem. “It’s like taking an art class,” Allie says smiling.
And special guest student in the class is Windward French teacher emeritus Annick Bellorde. Annick had traveled to China several years ago, and as a polyglot, was humbled that she was unable to communicate; so she vowed to study Mandarin so she could return to China empowered to connect with others.
Can you follow along? See if you can figure out how to introduce yourself and talk about colors as the students did in class.