My classmates in this program have taken more academic experience with Chinese than I do. They are more literate, in that they read and understand written Chinese better than I do. They are much more comfortable with the heavy focus on memory recall than I am.
Here are the things things they seem comfortable saying/talking about in Chinese.
- situation, circumstances
- western influence
- social change, social phenomena
- the importance of tradition and modern society
- the impression than beggars leave on passersby
I have studied Chinese in three summer-intensive programs, plus I worked in Shanghai for a year and a half. Here are the things I feel comfortable saying/talking about in Chinese:
- turn right, turn left, do a U-turn, pull over, right here’s good.
- don’t push me, don’t cut in line, we are waiting in line. how uncivilized.
- i don’t want to buy anything, I’m here to take the subway.
- that’s too expensive. is that supposed to be RMB? you’re kidding for such a small thing.
- don’t explain, i’ll look by myself.
- you’re sick? is it diarrhea? drink more water. next time i’ll treat you to japanese-style fried porkchop