International exchange language is considered to be English, however, Chinese is getting more and more important in the world, due to the development of Asian countries. Being in Taiwan is a huge opportunity to learn Chinese behind my study. Before leaving my country (Burkina Faso) for Taiwan, many friends including high ranking governmental officers and businessmen suggested me to learn Chinese as much as it is possible as I couldn’t say anything in Chinese, except: Ni hao and Xie xie. At that time I was not so confident that I shall be able to speak even basic Chinese one day.

My first Chinese class took place in National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and we start learning Pinyin pronunciation, then some important and simple words related to greetings, numbers counting and so, for about one week. After that, we start our Chinese class for two (2) semesters at National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU).

For two semesters I got three hours of Chinese each week. That was really enough for more practice during the week. And after five (5) months of training I got confidence that I can one day speak Chinese. All Chinese teachers gave me impression that Chinese is easy to learn by the way they use to teach. I then kept on reading and practicing with some friends.
As a non expert in languages, I think: Chinese expresses meaning simply. But one needs to pay attention to the phonetics. As I know now, some sentences are so similar at the pronunciation even when they are usually expressing too different meaning. In my own language (Goulmancema) many words are similar at the pronunciation but different meaning. That made me pay more attention to the pronunciation and made it easy for me to learn at anytime I have any opportunity to practice. Chinese Characters are so funny to learn but the ‘infinity’ of words and time limitation made it difficult. Sometimes It can discourage people to learn. Now I can write my Chinese name and many simple words like: “you (Ni)”, “called (jao)”, “not (bu)”, “too (ye)”, “people (ren)”, “all together (igong)”, “numbers”, etc.

I remembered when exercising with my soccer team mates. They counted numbers in Chinese and sometimes said: “left side”, “right side”, “this side”, “take a rest”, “two by two”, “quickly”, “the day before yesterday”, “tomorrow”, “good bye” and so, all in Chinese. That was my best opportunity to practice Chinese, and I enjoy this great opportunity.

The other opportunity to practice Chinese is at the laboratory. Sometimes I need to know more about my laboratory mates and also to know what kinds of experiment they are doing. It is always a great moment to practice Chinese, by using gestures when is needed. At the end we all understand each other.


NTOU-Cyrille_Karim_Dahani.doc481.5 KB