Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding an Appropriate Mandarin Class

Close-up of a persons hand writing Chinese script Model Release: No Property Release: NA

I seriously want to learn Mandarin.  Trouble is that I can't find an appropriate class.  I speak Cantonese already, but my reading/writing level is almost non-existent (I can recognize no more than 50 characters).  In Toronto, there are two types of Mandarin classes.  One is for people who know no Chinese of any kind and the other expects one to have at least a Grade 6 reading level.  I really don't understand why there isn't anything for those who speak but don't read/write.  With more and more Canadian born/raised Chinese in this city, you'd THINK that there'd be something.  Google didn't turn up anything and contacting language schools didn't help, either.  They were directing me to programs for people who knew NO CHINESE whatsoever. Even after tons of explaining, they didn't seem to "get" that I was looking for a program for Cantonese speakers who don't read/write Chinese. A lot of people who already speak Cantonese want to learn Mandarin from Cantonese, not from English.  They want to know what "gai" is in Mandarin, not "chicken."  They want to know from "che," not "car." So why is it so hard?  Is it because our so-called multicultural society here in Canada expects everyone to know a great deal about their (non-Anglo/Franco) heritage(s), even if we were born/raised here?  No wonder most of our non-Anglo or French politicians are non-Canadian born (or even non-Canadian raised, for that matter).  I've been told that someone like me is "unelectable" because I'm too "white washed" for many minorities (so tell me why:  if it's my private school background, then every non-white kid who went to my high school with me is "too white-washed" too) and "too ethnic" for the Anglo and French Canadian public.  Whatever.

Just a note:  I *DID* go to Chinese school, but only lasted 2 years.  The teachers all sucked and treated us kids like dirt, probably because they didn't know how to work with Canadian-born children. We were wild monsters to them. 

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