The Most Embarrassing Moment while I Speak Chinese
National Taiwan University- Fatima Del Carmen Caceres Santamaria 

To start speak a language you need to feel and live it, as the way as you are learning your mother tongue, why? Because sometimes you make mistakes in pronunciation or want to express different sense and some other mean of your thoughts, that’s the main reason to learn language and communicate with friends, family, teachers, for business or just even know more cultures in the word.

I was thinking that Chinese was easy to learn and communicate with Taiwanese; for this new experience in my life I cannot compare Chinese with other language, because is really difficult the pronunciation (talking about the four tones) and speaking right and polite to people in Taiwan, I don’t have any strong background in Chinese but I suppose to take one course online just to improve my Chinese and learn the most common word to buy my books, cloth, shoes and other stuff, even to order my food at any convenience store or just talk to my friends in my Department and new friends that I could meet in my new country and my home “Taiwan”.

I realize that the four tones as the way I pronounce is the same, just the meaning is difference; The most interesting point is that in Taiwan’s Embassy in Nicaragua I try to speak my Chinese, ok to be really honest just the few words that I know, but they don’t understand me because my pronunciation was a failure and I start acting just moving my head like if I understood everything. My life continue, but I decide to learn Chinese like a Nicaraguan – Taiwanese Girl; When I arrive Taiwan I suppose to practice my Chinese as simple way just asking in the store for price or to buy food, however it was so difficult, because the people start to talk to me in Chinese but I didn’t understand nothing, I just thinking in my mind this people of course speak really Chinese because I cannot understand any word.

In National Taiwan University “TAIDA” as every knows my University the students speak English and help foreign like me, but you must speak their language if you live in their country. I was taking in my first semester a Chinese course for beginners and I learn how to introduce myself, how to buy everything at night market, for ask some easy address, and basic information that I keep learning and practice with my friends.

Now I have more Taiwanese friends than ever, some of them want to practice their English but I try to reply in Chinese and of course we understand each other, my roommate and friends that live in my dormitory building teach me some words that I use in daily life, I really appreciate to them the way as they are with me teaching more Chinese than I receive in class, why? Because we live together and try to communicate like a close friends and I feel open to ask everything to learn more Chinese.

Always I say that I like to practice my Chinese but is so funny because the people start to speak like if I’m a real Taiwanese but I when I feel lost to keep understanding what people try to say I stop conversation and just ask them if they could speak a little bit slowly and explain me some of the meaning that I cannot understand because my vocabulary is not enough to comprehend the conversation. In the activity of TICA CUP I saw that many friends speak fluent Chinese, most of them have Taiwanese friends than foreign friends and of course that help you to involve in real life to improve your Chinese. 

For Chinese New Year I apply to a program in TAIDA to exchange experience with a Taiwanese Family and I realize that I understand more Chinese than the time that I arrive Taiwan and now I speak I little bit much better and of course my Taiwanese Family help to explain some words and meaning that I don’t know.  

I feel that I improving my Chinese and I keep working on that, because I want to express myself like Nicaraguan – Taiwanese Girl.

XieXie