The Most Embarrassing Moment while I Speak Chinese
National Taipei University of Nursing-Gnimbar Ghislain Poda

Having a conversation is a daily activity, so banal and commonplace that we do not always pay attention to the difficulties we may encounter.
Indeed, the banality of the act very often leads us to forget that talk is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to converse in a language that is foreign to us, like speaking Chinese in Taiwan.
In fact, living in Taiwan without understanding the Chinese language is something very difficult or impossible. Sentence construction in English does not apply to Chinese. Chinese is a language which is not easy to speak. For example, the rules of grammar and conjugation are quite different from English or French. Also, for the practice Chinese language, one must change his/her mindset to understand its logic. As an illustration, the Chinese does not look to the future but to history, because the ancestors are stronger than the generations to come. A rule that applies to the sentence construction, to the expression of thought; particularly to say the day after tomorrow or the day before yesterday.
Living in Taiwan, an obstacle when you do not understand the language to integrate more easily into the community, to move, take a train, and find a restaurant for example.
Look, I'm studying in Taiwan in recent months. When I arrived, I felt like being on another planet not only because of the culture, but mainly because of language barriers.
Imagine that even to find my hotel on my arrival, I've had to use signs and mimes. Although fitted with the city map, I had to ask for help about the streets and taxis leading to my hotel. Guess the language I used to get this information: well, it was signs. Indeed, I used hand signals to let him know I was addressing him. Fortunately, I can speak a little English. So I drew on my past linguistic resources to finally arrive at my hotel. Then I realized it was essential for me to learn Chinese to facilitate contact with my surroundings but also integrate into the community. So I had to take a Chinese class for 6 months.
But wait till you hear the next bit, this introduction was not sufficient to sustain a conversation in Chinese. For example, one day after class, a classmate wanted me to explain an exercise that was very easy for me to correct. When we started the exchange, at some point I felt uncomfortable because I had trouble finding an appropriate expression. I then used word I pronounced wrongly and which I felt frustrated him and finally made me feel uncomfortable. In fact, I used a wrong tone for a word and whose meaning has changed because of the tone. He then began to raise his voice. I tried to explain in English what I said but he said I had insulted him. As the atmosphere was warming up and, despite my attempts to explain he seemed not to understand, I finally called one of his country-mates to explain the context in which I used the word. Having understood what I meant, he replied with a smile and told my classmate what I meant by this word. I was so apologetic. Thus he finally understood me and smiled, and I continued the explanation of the exercise. At the end of our work session, I offered a little coffee to my classmate to be forgiven the misunderstanding.

Since this incident, I tried to continue my Chinese learning in order to avoid such situations in the future.The language of others allows us better to integrate its community!!!