The Most Embarrassing Moment while I Speak Chinese
Yuan Ze University-Michael Smith

 

The most embarrassing and funniest moment that has occurred to me, to date, while I was speaking Chinese during my Chinese level one class. We were in the second or third week of class and the teacher was introducing a couple of new words to us and going over the pronunciation of them. Also, we were given many useful ways we can use these words in our day-to-day life while speaking Chinese and a few conversation encounters we might come across with these words while speaking. After the introduction of the words and possible usage of them in conversation, the class was paired up in groups of twos and given fifteen minutes to practice asking and answering questions using the same words. After the fifteen minutes had past, we got back to our seating arrangement and the teacher decided to start to pick people in the class at random to answer a few questions she can think of to ask them, since everything was going great so far. Therefore, the teacher when ahead and started to ask questions to random people in class, by first calling them by their Chinese name and then asking a few funny and casual questions. This part  was the part everyone enjoyed the most because we all would try our best to answer the questions as quickly and correctly as we can. Also, everyone wanted a chance to get to answer a few questions.

 

So, as the teacher when on calling name and asking questions, I heard my name called next. I was so excited; I quickly listened patiently to my question so I could give an answer. The first question the teacher asked me in Chinese was “How are you feeling today Michael?” I replied in Chinese I am feeling okay today.” Since one of the words we learned to pronounce and practice today was boyfriend and girlfriend, the teacher asked everyone she picked one or two questions using these words. Thus, the second question I was asked in Chinese was “Do you have a girlfriend?” and I quickly replied back in Chinese “Yes, I have a girlfriend. Next, to try and check if I understand, the teacher asked again in Chinese “How many girlfriends do you have?” and in my quickness to answer, since I was getting everything correct so far, I answer in a hurry in Chinese I have one hundred girlfriends.” Instantly all eyes were on me and then I realized what I had said. Instead of saying one in Chinese I said one hundred, the whole class, the teacher and I could not resist laughing. It was so funny I almost fell out of my chair laughing. After we all regain composure, I corrected my mistake and the teacher had one final question for me. Ask we all giggled together the teacher asked in Chinese, “Are you sure you have one girlfriend?” We all giggled again and I answered “Yes, I am sure. The funniest and most embarrassing part of this moment was that my girlfriend was in the class with me too. After class, we could not resist laughing some more and make jokes about the situation and how it happened, since my girlfriend was in the class too. As me, my girlfriend and friends when home giggling, my girlfriend said to me as a joke in Chinese so you have one hundred girlfriends.” We all continued laughing hysterically and walked home since Chinese was our last class for the day. Thus, I have learned to be more patient in answering questions in Chinese and I enjoy learning Chinese and thinking about the fun moments I had while learning Chinese at the beginning.