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!

Ethnic studies

Malaysia is a Nation Without State. Negara Tanpa Bangsa. We are not like Indonesia yet where its citizens are identified as bangsa Indonesia. A person may be from a Chinese ethnicity but his name is probably Ari Wastroyo something. She may be a non muslim by the name of Siti Murni. In Malaysia, we are still identified by our race and religion. It’s not really a bad thing to be honest, in fact, multiculturalism is worth celebrating.

In this semester, ethnic studies or Hubungan Etnik is a mandatory subject. Browsing the topics, it looks a bit like history class. I am intrigued to see how the tutor is going to bring forth this subject in a neutral manner. This is because the last thing I want is for us learners to feel like we are being brainwashed in a camp. We’ve only had 2 classes so far and it seems OK. Of course, the topic will get more difficult and challenging as time goes by as we navigate around the sensitive issues of social contracts and such.

The Assignment

The question is about kesepaduan sosial dalam mewujudkan kestabilan dalam konteks Malaysia where we base our essay on the local animation, Upin Ipin. The essay is to be written in Bahasa Melayu. The assignment itself carries 70% of the total marks. That is a lot of weightage. Screw this up, it brings down the whole grade.

That was what happened with my Cognitive Psychology subject last semester. (sob)

The deadline for this assignment is next month. Time is running out. I need to start soon.

Final assignment submitted ABCC1103

I am exhausted. Stressed. Fat. Lonely.

HA HA HA HA. All this Korean OST’s on my Spotify list is making me sappy but ironically beautiful inside. – __ – Korean songs give you that pretty lead actress effect. I cannot help feeling very dreamy while listening to these songs although I haven’t seen most of the drama on the OST list. I cannot wait for my exams to be over so that I could binge on Vincenzo Cassano. Grrrrr..

Phase 2 of Malaysia’s vaccination programme is starting soon. I am so glad that I applied for a day off this Friday. I needed that rest before I am reassigned to various working locations in the many months to come. An altercation happened at the workplace between ‘two elephants’. Me and my friends are trying very hard not to be the deer caught in between. Anyway, I am so glad that ABCC1103 is over.

ABCC 1103 – Introduction to communication

I actually overlooked that my assignment had 2 parts to complete. The essay and the 5 minute video presentation. As always, the expression is ‘nak tergugok jantung/ mok pisan nyawa’ when I realized my mistake. I was already struggling with the essay. This assignment reminded me of the horrible semester I went through in Sem 2 – that feeling when I thought I did well only to discover that I got a B minus for my essay. Adehhh.. and I had thought I could get at least a B+. Or an A minus. Tapi tkpe.. yg tuh dah lepas.

So, for my video I decided to do mine like some sort of Live interview with an influential figure during primetime news. That influential figure being me of course. I downloaded free video templates of the news studio from Youtube and then I got stuck. Ha ha ha. I did not know how to put myself inside the template. After intense googling – I learned that I needed to record myself with a green screen. I was tempted to buy a 4M green cloth from Kamdar or Gulati’s but thought wiser. Celah mana nak pegi tu.. nak ambik bebudak sekolah lagi.

On further research, I discovered that we could use a blue screen or even of other colours as long as it doesn’t match your face and the clothes you wear. It seems that I could use red although my complexion would look a bit odd due to the underlying red colour tone everybody has (I think?). Still, I gave it a shot. Although my husband thought I was weird. ha ha.

I recorded myself in front of the red curtains I have in my living room.

I tried using the green curtains I have at my workplace but I guess the green wasn’t bright enough, so it didn’t work.

Using the free version of Kinemaster, I was able to use the Chroma key button and make that red screen invisible so that I could appear in the video template as a news anchor. The rest was just the layer editing I have come to be more well versed now as compared to before. Studying in OUM has definitely sharpened my skills in using digital technology to complete my assignments.

It is not perfect and I have no idea what the outcome will be. Either way, as the saying goes..

There is no day in which you learn something is a complete loss