Friday, January 6, 2006

21:29 Chinatown - Chinesepod

This was my first run for several weeks. My right knee was really bothering me for a while. The rest seems to have helped, and I also decided to go back to my old Adidas Super Novas, which really seems to have done the trick.

I ran through Chinatown. Philadelphia has a large Chinese community, and since Sonia started encouraging me to learn Mandarin, I have been spending a lot more time there.

As I mentioned in elsewhere (see ChinesePod), I've been listening to Chinese lessons from for a few days. I downloaded the podcasts to my MP3 and listened while I was running. Not much of a beat to it, but that wasn't what I was looking for.

The lesson I listened to today was the most basic one on the site. It looks like conversational Chinese has some points that make it pretty easy compared to, say, Spanish: no gender, no verb conjugation, a consistent pronoun structure. It also has some points that make it a lot harder than Spanish: tonal significance ("ma" can mean mother, horse, hemp, or scold depending on the inflection), and the writing system.

I found this article called "Why Chinese is so damn hard" at Very funny and insightful.

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