Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm Not Just Learning Language

Something I've noticed in my classes is that I need to not only pay attention to translation or meaning when listening, but I also have to pay attention to ingrained differences in thought. This isn't very clear, so I will give an example.

We listened to a text in my listening class today. The girl speaking talked about her sister with a man who asked about her. She said to not even ask. Her sister was unsatisfied and didn't want to get married. The question about the text asked us what the general meaning of her speech was. The correct answer was that the sister had alot of problems.

Not wanting to get married is a problem? I was thrown off in selecting an answer because of that. I had to get into a different mode to be able to get it right. Someone asked why that was the answer, and our teacher replied, "Remember? The girl said she doesn't want to get married. What girl doesn't want to get married? See, she has many problems." I'd go crazy if I heard an expectation like that in states. I would completely lose it. Here, though, I'm forcing myself to listen and try to understand where the ideas come from. I wouldn't say that I'm assimilating, but I'm being respectful and paying attention.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Nick said...

Awesome culture-post. Thanks for a good read before work.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Dave said...

When going through Constitutional Law class, I've actually heard people make statments that are similarly odd to modern American ears.

Hope your enjoying China.

Dave T. from GERI


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