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Language Instinct (Chinese and English) - Essay Example

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Unfortunately, I was not into Irish. The language I first studied was Latin. I studied Latin for two years in high school. The thought of being multilingual always intrigued me. When my father expatriated to Canada an opportunity presented itself, and I studied French to make blending in the Canadian environment efficient.
Out of curiosity and thrill I could read and understand French eventually. The skills improved adversely during the three years in Canada. Since English and French are both national languages of Canada, I used both languages. However, I had interests in French and used it frequently making English dormant. The mastery of French fueled my thirst of multilingualism. Therefore, I decided to include an Asian language in my resume. The pursuit of studying an Asian language was out of my linguist interest to know many languages. I picked Chinese as my preferred language. The choice was merely mathematical; I decided to start with the furthest country from where I am. In addition to that, Chinese language also has varied dialects that make the whole language tricky. This further heightened my interests to study Chinese language since it would give me the challenge I desired. The classes were really demanding, and the language proved tricky since it was different from the English language where most of the words are pronounced as they are put down. In Chinese, one has to balance between reading and writing, as well as listening and speaking. The vocabulary must be memorized the old fashioned way. The vocabulary is memorized word after the word, and failure to combine the different words results to words that does not make sense (Kachru, & Nelson 149). The construction is not a matter of trial and error since the words are not tested to see if they make sense. A particular word is chosen for a particular sentence; and two sentences may contain the same type of words though with different meanings. In summary, the Chinese language is a tricky one. For a full articulation into the language, the oral skills must be sharpened. Oral classes are different form listening classes, so are reading classes different from writing classes. The grammar knowledge has to rhyme with the practical skills. The written syllables also sound different from the way they appear. Comparison of sounds Chinese vowels will be described to shed light on the complexity that can be encountered by any English speaker. The Chinese characters, called han-zi, were developed long ago, and they have developed over a long history. The earliest forms of characters date back to over 3000 years. There are rules that are used to arrange the characters as well as punctuate them. The characters are not constituted by an alphabet as English is. They are written in a logo symbolic manner. Chinese language has six vowels and these vowels are pronounced similar to the way other languages pronounce vowels (Kachru, & Nelson 143). The table below shows the vowels found in Chinese. a As in “Star” e As in “Stir” i As in “bit” o As in “law” u As in “boot” u As in “yellow” Chinese syllable consist of 3 elements. The elements include the initial sound, final sound and the tone. The initial sounds are usually consonants. On the other hand, final sounds in a word must contain at least a vowel. There are syllables that consist of only an initial sound, while there are syllables that only consist of a final sound. In Mandarin Chinese, there are twenty one initial sounds unaspirated aspirated nasal Voiceless fricative Voiced fricative Labial B P M F Alveolar D T N I Velar G K H Palatal J Q X Dental sibilant Z C S Retroflex Zh ch sh r 35 final sounds Simple finals a,e,I,o,u, u Compound finals ai, ao, ei, ...Show more
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English is the first language to many people all over the world. It was and still is the rifest language in my native land. It was the only language spoken in my environs. My father being of Irish descent, my uncles and aunts used to teach me some Irish phrases when I was young. …
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