OUMH1403 – video making process

My assignment for this subject has a few questions. One part is about making sentences based on a picture. The other part is to film a video – a scene asking a friend to come by for dinner. I have a few Chinese friends at work but the challenge is to find time to make that video. I find that we can squeeze at least 15 to 20 mins creating the video nearing the time to punch out at work.

  1. Students are required to write the script in Pinyin but first I created the storyline and dialogue in English. I read all the chapters in my module and tried to incorporate all the different elements of everyday speech into the story.
  2. I translated English into Chinese using sentences in the OUM module or Google Translate. Using Google translate is inaccurate though. Especially if you type it using the English sentence (grammar) cause the translated lines would be jumbled up.
  3. This was evident when I asked my Chinese friend to help check if the dialogue is OK. Turned out I had a lot of corrections to do.
  4. I tried to memorize my lines for the scene but gave up. I couldn’t be sure if I could even memorize the dialogue in English, what more in Chinese. So, I placed the script on the table. It was printed in really huge fonts.
  5. I recorded my video with my Samsung A32 and a mini microphone I bought from Shopee to enhance the audio.
  6. Obviously, there were loads of bloopers as my OCD Chinese friend had to correct a lot of my pronunciations. Ha ha ha. Behind the scenes, it was a session full of roaring laughter.

Here is the final product.

Trying to make sense of the Chinese language

Random thoughts on the language.

Pinyin is meant for you to know how to pronounce the word.

To write a Chinese character, you use various strokes. These strokes have names and ways how to write them. It is a very fine form of art.

The Chinese language has 4 different tones. A word may have the same pinyin spelling BUT will bring different meanings depending on the tone used.

If I understand this correctly, to be at a certain level of mastery of the language, you need to know a certain number of words. This means you need to memorize thousands and thousands of words. I think I am beginning to see why young children have loads of homework pertaining to the writing exercise.

The current OUMH1403 course is aimed at students to know basic communication – to listen and speak. Knowing how to write and read Chinese characters is a more advanced lesson but students are welcome to delve into the language and steer through the course in any way they wish. Maybe this is the pathway I am looking for as a motivation to sit for the HSK exams.

OUMH1403 – The registration

It was a choice between learning Chinese and Japanese by substituting one of my subjects. I swapped SBFS1103 : thinking skills and problem solving with OUMH1403. I figured it would be more interesting to learn a new language. It was a bit confusing for me at first to sign up for this subject. I had thought that when we dropped a subject, we would be automatically enrolled in it. Or it would be offered as one sometime during the semester.

This is why I waited and waited for the subject to appear as an offer. But it never happened.

Time is running out though. I used the UKR06 form to add the Chinese language as a subject. It worked this time. I will be learning Chinese for semester 8!

Exam in Ramadhan

Exams for the January semester fall in Ramadhan. I thought it would be no biggie until I find that the format for my exam question is a take-home examination, in the format of an essay (of course). I had thought to take leave on both exam days but competition is tough to apply for it. In the end, I managed to secure one of the days and wished hard that the roster maker would put me in a zone where it is less busy the next day. At the end of Day 2, I managed to write up my essay in between patients and complete them later at night at home.

Mental note: fight for leave. use whatever means necessary to have that leave. writing an exam answer in between patients is not a good idea.

On both days, the exam questions are released by 10am. Students have 24 hours to complete and submit it online. Therefore, on Day 1 I did have time to get groceries for my empty fridge at Lotus. The rest is the battle with time. To complete the essay, fetch the kids and prepare for Iftar.