My name is Sophie O’Brien and I am a Transition year student in Coláiste an Átha. On November 6th, 2018 I started a Mandarin Module as part of my TY year activities. On the first day we went in and met Tammy Edwards who would be teaching us a basic level of Mandarin Chinese. The first day I learned how to say:
Hello: Nǐ hǎo or 你好, (nee how)
I am Sophie: Wǒ shì Sophie or 我是 Sophie (woah chow Sophie)
I am 15 years old: Wǒ shíwǔ suì or 我十五岁 (Woah shuh ooh say)
(the first way I wrote it is pinyin Chinese and the second way are Chinese characters and the third is the phonetics)
We also learned the numbers from one to ten and their hand gestures.
It was difficult at the start to properly pronounce the words but after practising it, it became easier.

On the second week we started learning how to say different types of fruit. We only learned the pronunciations and the characters for them:
Apple: 苹果 (ping guah)
Banana: 香蕉 (shang djow)
Pear: 梨 (lee)
Orange: 橙子 (sen juah)
Pineapple: 菠萝 (buwah luah)
Mango: 芒果 (man guah)
Again this was difficult at the start but got easier as time went on. We also learned how to say “I like…” : 我喜欢苹果 (woah she wen)

On the third week we learned more types of food and their characters and pronunciations, such as:
Fish: 鱼 (yuuu)
Egg: 蛋 (den)
Meat: 肉 (row)
Vegetables: 菜 (kai)
Bread: 面包 (miam bow)
Cake: 蛋糕 (den gow)
They sounded funny and were confusing at first but after saying them a lot over the class it got a lot easier.

On the fourth and final week we practised using chopsticks. I wasn’t very good at this but I tried and eventually picked up the marshmallows.

I learned a lot doing this module and I had a lot of fun in it. It really shows that no language is difficult if you put your mind to it and try your best!!
By Sophie O’Brien

Category: Transition Year