Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well, Me Old China

Another tale from uni

In my class preparing us for actual prac teaching we were assigned a group task of coming up with some practical methods of getting to know students, staff and parents at our assigned school. I was teamed up with M, a Chinese student. She was scrawling away at a million miles an hour while I wrote, 'Ask about pets', 'letter to parents' and 'social club' then started drawing jellyfish. After the alloted time we had to share our responses with each-other.

'What did you put for students M?'
'I will implore them with glorious example of the superior culture of China which is over 5000 years of civilization.'
'Right. But what specifically are you going to do? I reckon ask them about their pets.'
She blinked.
'Specifically I will model them to display the example of the intellectuals who will make the decisions for them and those that do not choose to make decisions will see that our culture is superior...'

It went on for quite some time and I wish I could do her grandiose soapboxing justice.

I couldn't tell if she was terrified I was going to report, Stasi style, back to the Communist Party if I thought she wasn't toeing the line, or if she actually meant it, or if it was just a major communication breakdown. Maybe Mandarin is an incredibly ornate language that just translates like that? Restaurant menus would certainly indicate that to be the case.

Kinda funny, a little sinister also.



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