I started my first lesson in conversational Mandarin today.
I had the opportunity to learn Mandarin during my childhood days but it never took off because to put it plainly, there were better things to do on early Sunday mornings. Sleeping in was a good enough reason! I quit the tuition the first instance I could.
I found myself wanting to learn this language at a later part of my life. I realized that I was listening to more and more Mandarin songs. At first I was contented to just listening to the melody. Later, I realized that I wanted to know the meaning of some of the lyrics.
Due to the recent turn of events, I wanted to fill up my time with more productive endeavors. I also want to dedicate 2010 to a year of learning, unlearning and relearning.
The class was a pretty big class. The teacher was a local who has been teaching for more than 4 years. He was working in broadcasting and is pretty animated and expressive. Save for two Malaysian Indian schooling teenagers, the rest were working adults. Two Japanese, one Uruguayan, two British, one Polish, one Australian and the rest of us Malaysians made up the rest of the class. We were thought pronunciation and we were taught using Hanyu Pinyin. It kind of reminded me of Mr. Brown and his students from countries all over the world!
I was a bit hesitant during the afternoon before the class because it means going to a new place, meeting new people - something I am never comfortable with which I have always tried to avoid. I told myself that I have always wanted to speak Mandarin and I have paid for the lessons. Anyway, I suppose it will do me more good too if I get to arrest this fear of mine.The traffic was bad but I managed to get to class on time, thanks to paying the tolls twice for a half a kilometer distance to avoid the traffic jam.
I was a bit loss in class. I suppose everyone was except those who already had a bit of understanding of the language. The two hour session was fun and I am looking forward to the second class.