Mumbo Jumbo and the Meaning




Catch Up

So I am excited to say that I scored great on my midterm. I was scared to death, but somehow I excelled. Aside from that classes, things have been going great with the new teachers. Although, they have a more intense way of teaching and I just feel like I am going to have to pick up my studying effort.

Mumbo Jumbo

Aside from the good news on the grades, my friends and I have been venturing around searching for clothes that have English typos on them. We have found a lot of clothes items that are very confusing. I have also realized that most people that I have seen walking around are wearing English shirts and not Chinese shirts. I wondered if they know the meaning of what their clothing says, because a lot of the shirts and articles of clothing don’t make any sense.

I have been collecting the weird clothing because it brings a smile to my face to know that other people struggle in understanding different languages too. It has even trickled down to effect people in my host family, where they wear things like socks that say, “car big” instead of big car. Whether it is misspellings or just a sentence of words that doesn’t make sense, I think that it encompasses the fact that understanding a language that is not your own is a very hard accomplishment.

Word Meanings

On another note, I am also learning the breakdown of words in Chinese and it is very interesting. I am mainly learning from my mistakes in speaking along with other people’s mistakes. Today in class, I had a presentation to do and before my presentation I looked up the word relaxing to help present my story about a bookstore. But apparently the word I used during my presentation meant that a person has just had a breakup and they are drinking and smoking their problems away to relax.

Our teacher is very animated and so she got up and acted out the motions of someone smoking and drinking their problems away, it was very embarrassing at the moment, but I laugh about it now. Literally, right after my presentation, my friend got up and said that his bookstore would have electric cars, but he meant to say that his bookstore would have a lot of electrical outlets for charging.

Someone else used the wrong word for cheating, as in an affair, and the teacher explained the breakdown of the word which was very cool. The word for an affair in Chinese is “chu gui” and the reason this word means affair is because “chu” means to go straight, like on a train track kind of, and the gui is to turn. So the teacher said that the meaning of this word is showing that a person is turning away from their course.

I feel like I am getting the hang of the communication glitches halfway through my trip. It is nice to understand the culture’s communication a little better, and if I don’t then there is always time to play charades. :)