Maria Holland

Ten Things I Hate About Chinese

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 12:47 am

Despite all the traveling I’ve done since coming to China (according to Carlos’ count, two out of my 7+ months here), I think I’ve also managed to stay on top of my studies.  Up until this week, though, I’ve never really not done something because of my classes.  I’m trying not to let school get in the way of my language learning, you know!

But I’m hoping that the 200 kuai I spent on the HSK will not be wasted, so I’m hitting the books this week.  I did flashcard reviews this afternoon and my first practice test this evening.  Grumble.


So, as promised . . . here’s the list of my least favorite characters:

  1. 七 (the number 7), 九 (the number 9), 尺 (ft) and 丈夫 (husband) because despite being ridiculously simple, they’re somehow just really awkward to write.
  2. 哭 (cry) and 器 (machine) because those tiny boxes are 3 strokes each and nearly impossible to make uniform and pretty – and that’s before you add in the other stuff. 
  3. 压 (to press), 厌 (to detest), and 国 (country) because I can never get those tiny tick marks in the right place. 
  4. 未 (future) and 末 (end), 入 (enter) and 人 (person), because I’m still mad about how long it took me to figure out they were different characters. 
  5. 相, 像, and 象 (xiang); 义, 议, and 忆 (yi); 据 and 居 (ju); 智 and 知 (zhi) because they sound the same and their meanings are too similar to justify their continued existence.  Just put some of them out of their misery . . .
  6. 照 (to illuminate), 鼻 (nose), 窗 (window), and 嘴 (mouth) because it’s seriously impossible to write them in the way they’re pictured.  Give me an entire sheet of paper and we’re fine, but a 1-cm-square box?  You’ve got to be kidding me. 
  7. 酸 (sour): this character and I have major issues; don’t know why.  I’m hoping we can move past them like 烧 (to burn) and I managed to make up, but we’ll just have to see about that. 
  8. 熟悉 (to be familiar with): someone do 1.4 billion people a favor and find an easier way to write this, please! 
  9. 得: really unfortunate, as this one is definitely in the top 50 most-commonly used characters, but . . . just look at it and you should understand my dislike.
  10. 圈 (circle) because it doesn’t look like a circle – it looks like a nightmare. 


I don’t want to end on a bad note, so I’ll share the small highlights of my day:

  • taking a pre-midterm practice test in Grammar class and getting a 90%
  • eating at Caiqingjie with friends, trying something new (炭烤肉, a kind of meat dish), and having it be delicious.
  • seeing Sietze’s new cell phone – a fake iPhone that just says ‘Phone’ on the back.  The silver apple-shaped sticker is falling off, too, but what do you expect for $70? 
  • eating spicy barbecue for dinner, followed by ice cream to soothe the tingling mouth.
  • watching Big Bang Theory, Season 1, Episode 17 (the one where Sheldon learns Chinese) for like the 5th time. 
  1. Too bad, that Big Bang Theory clip is blocked here.
    I kind of liked illuminate because it looks like lights!

  2. I got really excited because I saw that the big bang theory was linked to some sketchy Chinese website, and that I could watch it. Then “This clip has been blocked in your area” Thanks for the disappointment.

    • Sad! Youku actually hasn’t been working for me recently, but I figured you guys would be able to watch it . . . I’ll see if I can find another clip. BUT, I have the first two seasons on DVD so we can just have a marathon when I get back?

  3. We got it and watched it. Funny. Is it even funnier if you can understand what he is saying wrong?

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