Chinese forensics

I gave my first speech in Chinese!  Friday was the foreign student recitation match, which my teacher encouraged me to enter.  I was the only student from the elementary class to enter the contest.  It was full of higher level students, many of whom had their speeches memorized.  I simply read my short essay from the phonetic transliteration, as Chinese characters still don’t quite flow off the tongue for me!

There were about 100 people in the audience.  I wasn’t very nervous, as I saw that even the advanced students had difficulty mastering the tough Chinese accent.  My teacher thought I had a good chance with the progress I made in this regard.  I thought that surely the girl who read with the thick German accent wouldn’t place as high as me.

After delivering my speech about the difficulties adjusting to life in Nanjing as a foreign student, I felt pretty good.  I even made the audience laugh at the description of not wanting to eat fish eyes (my first joke in Chinese!).

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it in the top three places.  The German student herself took third place, leading me to think that pronunciation wasn’t the sole criteria.  But I did earn the participatory T-shirt, so as not to lose face (very important custom here!).

I never thought that after three months of class I’d be ready to make my first public address in Chinese!



6 Responses to “Chinese forensics”

  1. 1 Chris Burgwald June 1, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Congats, JM! Glad the speech went well!

  2. 2 Becca Lloyd June 2, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Great prize for a runner! Wow, joking in Chinese? You really are making progress!

  3. 3 juliecmuller June 2, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Hello family! Let me just say again that I am SO GRATEFUL for how faithful you are with the blogging, it is such a treat. We have passed on the web address to the extended family – Aunt Shawna is keeping up with yall!

    I am very proud of you JM, and glad that you were able to save face with the particpatory t-shirt. Did they pick that up from the Americans, or did we learn that from them?

  4. 4 Becca June 4, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    I’m so glad you still have your face! ;o)

    (I am super impressed by the way)

  5. 5 Orianne June 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    JM- Wow!!! You are amazing! I am so impressed that you are making entire speeches in Chinese already. No matter where you placed, you really are doing so well over there and I couldn’t be prouder. I love you, Liz, and Leo so much!

  6. 6 Rhys July 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Julie,

    I went to bejing language uni last summer and wanted to try nanjing uni as the city is supposed to be fantastic..

    but i am having some difficulty with the lack of details on the site. for example, i want to take the winter course (hopefully for 10 weeks) but i cant find any dates for these courses. I assume the courses start in december, which given they only start accepting applications in october, seem to cut the timing rather app for beijing took months to turn around.

    are you still enjoying the course?


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