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Somewhere Between Podcast
Somewhere Between Podcast

Episode 4 · 2 years ago

Lost in Translation ft. Laura Johnson and Melissa Mangold

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we share our awkward encounters when people find out we are unable to speak mandarin and the struggles we have encountered when learning a new language. We also recommend resources for fellow adoptees looking to improve their mandarin. We are joined by fellow Chinese adoptees, Laura Johnson, and Melissa Mangold. Follow Laura on Instagram:@laura.ekj and on YouTube: Laura E.K

Welcome back to the fourth episode of adopted, the podcast made by Asian adoptees for Asian adoptees. Are joined today by our special guests Laura and Mel Hi. I'm Laura. I was adopted from Houna and China and now I live in Toronto and Carrea, and I'm Mel I was adopted from Muhan, China, and I live in San Antonio, Texas now. So today we will be discussing whether or not we're learning our birth languages and the struggles that we've encountered if we are. The first question that we're going to start off with is how do you experienced judgment from people of your ethnicity? You don't understand why you cannot speak or understand your language. Meli, you can go first if you want. I unfortunately have experienced some awkward situations regarding that. Before the pandemic hit, I worked at a restaurant and I served and when I would get, you know, tables who were all Asian, they would get super excited when they saw me. Would ask know what nationality I was, where I was born, if I spoke Managin, and when I said no, they had always given me this book as like peer disappointment and they would ask me why, and when I explain that I was adopted and my parents are white and I just never picked it up, it would get super awkward, like I could tell they they were very upset about it. I guess so, I mean I've experienced situations like that before. HMM, just saying. I feel like for me I've definitely had a similar experiences, but also I I feel like where I grew up I've been judged by non Chinese people as well. So the first half with other Chinese people. Usually I don't I don't think I've ever told like another Chinese person who I don't know that I was adopted. It usually just when I was in high school, I used to work at a grocery store and I had a customer talk to me similar to your situation. Male and certain customers would ask me, I like, where you're from, and Yada, Yada, Yada. So I would just say I'm from China, I was born there, and then they would say things like Oh, like, you were born in China but can't speak Chinese, and then I again, I don't really tell strangers that I'm adopted, so they just, you know, they judge me as well? Are they like? I have one customer just make this exaggerated noise. He he was kind of just like you're born in China and can't speak Chinese. What he literally just kind of like did this little mini screen and in the store I was working in, and I kind of just sit there and just was like okay, I'm finished scanning your groceries. But Um, in terms of non Chinese people, where I where I was raised, it has a heavy Chinese community and and one of the other jobs I had worked before it was it was like involved children, so a lot of their parents or their grandparents would come to like pick them up or interact with them. Sorry, this is like another thing, and it was like expected by their families, or at least with the elder generation, that you could speak it. So it wasn't even a question, it was more just an assumption. So they would just start speaking mandarin or Cantinese to you and, you know, I would just kind of say sorry, I can't, like, I I can't help you, and then my co workers who weren't Chinese, a lot of them or some of them, would also kind of subtly try to see if I understood the language to like Oh, they were pretty respectful about it in terms of like not directly saying Heylore, like why can't you speak Chinese? But I had like there was one person who, like a CO workers event or...

...like an employee event, they had asked me like don't don't get your parents teach you, and I was just like no, my parents don't speak Chinese, and then they asked, well, what about your grandparents? Just going down the line expecting me to be able to speak, especially in this, you know, job position, where the community I was in was so it was so like a Chinese that speaking the language just it was definitely something that would have come in handy and it kind of just made me feel like I'm disappointing everyone, like you should be able to people are expecting me to and like an unfortunately, I just can't help in these different scenarios, especially when you're working with kids and there's certain information you have you have to, for safety reasons, relate to their families, but you can't. So you kind of just have to deal with it, or you you type things out into Google translate and print it out and like put it on the table for them to read. I can definitely understand that. I feel like when you have to divulge like the language portion, like it's kind of like a coming out of its own, you know, like you have to expose that you're adopted to these people, if even if you don't want to, because they'll just keep pushing until they find, you know, whatever is the thing that made you not want to connect with the culture to the level that they feel is approken. You know. Yeah, it just makes me sad when I feel like people take it personally that I didn't learn it or I don't know it, because I don't think it reflects my pride in my culture, because I'm very proud to be Chinese and I love being a Chinese American and I just wish that me not knowing mandarin didn't look poorly on my part in that aspect. Yeah, so have you guys tried, or are you currently trying, to learn your language? I definitely am right now, like, all right, because you have your channel, right. Yeah. Yeah, so, for anyone who doesn't know, I just I put out a couple of many videos of just ways that I'm trying to learn mandarin at the moment. I've been trying for aally long time and it was just such an on and off process that nothing was retaining long term. It would just be like kind of like in school, where you study so much and then you take the task and then you forget all the material. That's kind of how it's been for me for a while. But right now I feel like every time I start trying again, I learned in increments. So like random stuff sticks, if for in the long, long term, and then other stuff again. It just depends on how consistent I am with it. So I would say reading for me right now, like reading the characters, has been the easiest, just because hearing people speak Mandarin and to understand it is difficult because they speak really fast. And then it's also like paying attention to the grammar, at the grammar structure while you can't see the words. It's kind of like French, like in Canada we learned French in schools, is very similar. Like I can't or it was more challenging for me to hear French and understand it then it was for me to do the reading exercises or you like translate different stories or other those kind of exercises. I also find to add onto that. What's difficult is also hearing the different tones. Oh Yeah, because you know they're speak there are speaking very fast and also, even if they were speaking slower, just hard for because I didn't grow up listening for those tones, so it's harder for me to recognize them. Yeah, totally. As far as I understand, I don't think Chinese or Mandarin has the same conjugations that French to us, so I'm kind of thankful about that. Oh Yeah, how about you, Mal I actually am not looking to learn Mandarin. So I took Spanish for a lot of years. I think it was like...

...six or seven throughout school, and I a stell the classes and I'm even like living in San Antonio, I'm surrounded by the language. My ex has family only spoke Spanish and I went to Mexico with them a lot and everything, and I just can't pick it up. And actually, listening to Laura, I think it's because I'm a visual learner. So when she was talking about it was easier to read and write than to pick it up like orally, I totally felt that because, like I said, in my Spanish classes I did fine, but when it comes to conversation. I just couldn't grasp it and, based on the fact that I couldn't even get down Spanish, I tried to pull up to a lingo and tries to get into Mandarin, but I just could not get it. So I kind of stopped. And I'm not really in a place that supports the language or even my culture, unfortunately. Like we don't have a chinatown here are. Growing up, I was in a military and moved around a lot and those places, the only place that had like an Asian influence was Hawaii. Everywhere else was very like we saw diversity. It wasn't all Caucasians, but there was definitely like an absent of Asian culture. Well, I'm glad you brought that up actually, because growing up for me, when I was really young, the Chinese language, any any kind of dialect or or any like part of Chinese culture really really was kind of made fun of by a lot of people. So the language itself one of the experiences I had as a kid. Like this group of guys they saw me, they saw that I was, you know, Chinese, and or they assumed, like, you know, how like all Asians look the same. We ought to Gota pinpointed me as Chinese, and they got it right, but they would mock, you know, the language, you know, do the whole Ching Chong thing. I mean like as a kid, when you're especially a like when you're adopted into like a Trans Racial family. For me at least, I didn't grow up understanding those like racial differences and people or it was like more challenging for me to see like like white Asian or not, like White Asian, black, etcetera, because those are more like, I guess, obvious. But ethnicity was like ethnicity breakdown. I really had no idea what people will talk we're talking about and those stereotypes. They just didn't grow up like in a family that really promoted those kind of story of pipes. So like when people were making fun of the Chinese culture, including the language, it almost kind of it discouraged me from wanting to be a part of it, because it was like why what I wanted to associate myself with something that apparently everyone else thinks is really like mark like marginalized and just not, I guess, quote unquote, cool, like why would I want to like not fit in even more than I already don't fit in when people are making fun of the language like front like of the country that I'm from, you know, and at this time I was probably around ten years old. So, you know, you for me again. It was just like I wanted to fit in with people and you know, people are making fun of Chinese and, you know, doing the Ching Chong thing. It's like why, what? I even want to learn that language? Right? I can definitely really like to that, because that exact situation happened to me in high school. I still remember it as if it was yesterday. I was walking out the cafeteria and these group of guys pulled their eyes and Yelled Ching Chong Chanin at me, and I just remember was super awkward and unfortunately it's still around today. I was actually observing in a fourth grade class about a couple months ago and this one boy I kept shouting out numerous times I can speak Chinese Ching Chong throughout the class. So unfortunately it's still around today and it still happens. HMM, and I do agree with you that I think it's a discourage is as from wanting to embrace our...

...culture and learn because we're getting made fun of, as it is like doing so just feels like you're encouraging them, I guess, which is shouldn't be that way. I definitely don't agree with it, but that's sometimes how it feels. Yeah, for sure, I'm sorry that that's happened. We've all had those like experiences when each one of them are just so horrible. We should just I don't know, I don't understand why people need to be so judgmental and spewed about, you know just who people are. It's just a shame. Yeah, because I know for me, and like you guys who said as well, you shouldn't feel shame and wanting to connect with culture, especially since we're toting that line, as being adoptees, of trying to find our place in the world between, you know, the cultures that we are adopted into as well as the cultures of our birth hmm, already struggling that, you know, precarious line and just struggling with those identity issues, let alone the ones imposed on us by the general public. Yeah, I'm very honored to be on this podcast speaking because I do think a lot of the hatred and inappropriate comments are due to ignorance. So I do believe that spreading awareness and education will help in the long run. The more people you can reach and open their eyes, like, the less this will happen in the world. Glad you guys have come on to our little podcast. Also hope that people who have experienced racism as a child you don't feel like alone about it. HMM. And at the same time, they also for me, I didn't, I experienced like switching Chong. There's also like a face w people would hold it the middle are, their pinky finger. They say meet me in China. I don't know people that. I wonder what. No, Oh my God. Well, basically I was just told, oh, Chinese people are dumb and they think that's like your pinky's your middle finger. What? I've never heard of that. I've heard that before, like Oh, yeah, like people would do their pinky at me and do that, but like never like the meet me in China. That's so I don't know why. That just seems so much more aggressive with that like voice, and I just I was pretty young, so I didn't really understand what was going on. Hm, so I think that's that's probably a good thing. Yeah, I was, I was kind of I was confused by it. Yeah, that's strange. And then I remember on time there's this one kid. He he had some issues, but he called me a flat face and I had no idea what that meant. I went home to my dad and I was like, what's the flat face and then he got really mad because it's a it's a racist term. Obviously it's gonna like call this school and at this kid like depended or something, because that was but yeah, yeah, I guess for me I was kind of lucky that I was a bit naive to what was going on. Looking back, I'm like, I realize I've how messed up it was that little people might ter saying things like that, right, yeah, and that's the really sad part because when you see kids saying that stuff, you know they've had to hear it from someone else. And Yeah, at that age it's makes likely from home, and that's the really, really sad part about it. Yeah, sure, I'm so I'm going to bring the conversation of back to language, because we can do a whole nother episode on just racism. Absolutely so. So. Well, who are learning Chinese or another language? What were some struggles that you've experienced grow so so for me, as I said, the tones, the four tones and Mandarin. Cannot hear them. I understand. You know what. You're supposed to go down there. I was supposed to go like down a little bit and go up, but I just I just can't wrap my mind around it. That makes sense, like my tongue just hasn't listened. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense for me. I'm so I actually studied Chinese in college and a little in high school. I ended up minoring and I'm Chinese...

...area language studies. It was very so we learned about like culture as well as the language. It was just hard. I think the biggest struggle for me is just not having, you know, that immersion which they always say, you know, if you want to learn a language, you got to live in a country for a while, just throw yourself in their full send and you know that's kind of hard to get in the middle of Connecticut, even with Yale so close and you know we have a, you know, relatively wide population of people from China and just Asian Americans in general. Still not having those like full people to practice with consistently just really made it difficult. One of my classmates ended up studying in China for even I think just a summer his mandarin was significantly better than ours. And then some other students. They were also Chinese, but they were able to practice at home with their families and I was just, you know, Little Amy China, our best to study in the quad. So that was definitely just the biggest struggle that I encountered. Just practice, practice, practice, and you know, I did have one fun who was Chinese and I she would help me. She she was actually she moved here from China, but every time we talked she would do this thing. It was adorable, like I mean this with love, but I would say something and she would go yeah, okay, like no shoe, like what did I do? was she's like no, nos find. I know what you're saying, no, but why you laughing? Get me. Yeah. So those are my struggles trying to learn Chinese. And you know, now that I'm not practicing it as much as I used to in college, it's just slowly swepping away. I can do it. Try to watch Taiwanese dramas to kind of keep hearing it in my ear. Yeah, that's what I do. So I'm like that is how a Rasma is watching Chinese. Lash was only Oh, you know, I'm like hearing the language, so I kind of helped me to pick it up. Yeah, I think for me one of the challenges, I would also agree with Maya. I've had difficulty under comprehending the tones, or I understand the concept of the tones. I think just hearing people say them in real life is so different than when you study it like throughout Youtube video or one of those like free, like learned mandering courses online, because in the in the lessons, when it's more like an educational resource, they obviously, I think, at least, exaggerate it more. So it's wombous. You can hear the difference, but when you're hearing people in like in real life say the word, everything kind of just starts down in the same because they're so used to you know, obviously they're speaking the language, so it's very fast, and then it's also a bit more difficult to hear those tonal differences and then even pronounce, pronounce the the tones as well. But I think speaking mandarin is probably the weakest part of the language for me, like I feel like I could understand it better than I can speak it. You guys, it's just so it just fluctuates so much more than English. I mean, yeah, they're definitely similarities and ways that people try to give examples as to how similar English phones can be too, like Chinese tones. It's like a local language and whatnot, but it's still a little bit difficult and then you have to get over the embarrassing part of saying it really like embarrassingly. Yeah, have you ever heard the song Dreboucchi will the Don'Leman Buhou? Yeah, that would my way. He says like I want to dumplings and he's like why you sleepy, it's daytime or something like that. Is like that is so like summarizing of like China. Get the tones correct, in my opinion. Oh Yeah, even even stories or Chinese people talk about other Chinese people saying...

...the words incorrectly. It's like wow, native speakers are doing it wrong too. I feel like a lost cause. Totally understand. I think a huge challenge also with trying to learn a new language is the classes or courses. They teach you formal, yes conversation. They don't teach you slang or casual conversation. So you can say really formal things or as really formal things like where is the bathroom, but they don't teach you to say stuff like Hey, what's up? Do you want to hang out later? Yeah, yeah, I agree with that because I learned French in school Um and so one of my friends in university is from Montreal and just for fun, because he knows that I speak some friend, you'll just speak cover all French on me, but you'll also use slay and I have no idea what the flag means, so I'll just like smile and odd. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think kind of like we were saying about resources or just like learning from I guess. So you guys mentioned that Taiwanese dramas. I think that's probably helpful. Like that is helpful. I've done that too, where you hear people speak a slightly more casually, because it's like dialog in conversation as opposed to the formal like let's learn, let's learn Mandarin. Yes, how you think all the formal phrases? Yeah, the problem for me is that I watch a lot of historical dramas. It is a formal and so I'm also not using, like not learning words that will come up in every day conversation. So now I I know how to like recognize like your highness and your manches. I don't think that's I really it's going to be useful, but that's pretty funny. You know, just casual. You Know Your Highness, you know, walking down the streets. It could be a good way to pick up guys I don't know what calling or can you tell them how to like what to call you? One thing that there was was interesting was for everyone who's learning Chinese, you are learning mandor not kids neese or another dialect. Is there reason behind that or I think generally, I mean mandarine is like the Big One, even though canton is the second one. Mandarin is the one that, like, when you go places, everyone really speaks that one, so it feels a little bit more accessible. And I've never actually seen like a Cantonese class too. Is Interesting in that HMM. Yeah, that's a that's actually true. I don't know. I've never met anyone that's like, yeah, my parents sent me to Cantonese school, or maybe they have and I'm just not remember it right, but I've heard from my friends that speak Cantonese, like whose families also speak Cantonese. A lot of them say you can't, not to discourage people from trying to learn, but a lot of them would agree that it's a language that you kindn't have to be brought up with to to learn because it's so complicated. Like my Cantonese speaking friends, some of them even like struggle to speak it to their their families. But in terms of like what my Ha's question was, like why did I personally learn mandarin? kind of like they were just saying it, I think seventy percent of China speaks Mandarin. It's the national language. Now I always just assumed, like for my biological family, probability was I like to just think they speak Mandarin. I tried to like there's so many dialects in China, so I don't really focus on those because I've just like in my head I'm like I'm just hoping that they speak Mantin because I would just learn whatever my biological family knows if I knew the answer. But because I don't know, I just kind of think, you know, Mandarin also just really...

...it's like so prevalent that it's probably a good business move to yeah, and like what you guys are just saying, it's majority like mannagers spoken by so many people that even abroad, like out of side of China, that it's just like you might as well if everyone that's the one that everyone else knows. That makes sense. My friend who grew up in China and came to America when she was like ten or eleven. She spoke can't Muse at home, but Mandarin is what they spoke at school and stuff. So she speaks both. But like there was that whole like Mandarin is what we're acknowledging to teaching and all that stuff. So that was something I thought was really interesting. HMM. Also, just to my ears, who can't understand like Bandurin or Cantonese and her just sound snighter. Can't chooses. It's I feel like it's harsh around the ear and makes sense. Yeah, my exboy friends parents that he grew up Peking a mandarin and Cantonese by his parents only speak Canteus to him and then speak Mandarin her sister. But just like listening to all the conversations that they have in Cantonese for's my ears a little not in not in like a mean way. Yeah, the stress certain yeah, letters in a different way and they also have like, I think, nine tones. Yeah, we've got more before and the neutral. They have the eight in the neutral, and so I'm like double the tones, double the brain. Yeah, props to you for speaking Cantonese, because my brain is just wrapping around the floe in the neutral. I don't speak Cantonese. Yeah, I'm POPs to anybody listening who speaks Cantonese. I was gonna say yeah, I if I could, I would, but I can't. Mother, my most is I know a couple of swear words. Always is for the swear words. I'm like, I don't they're not going to teach me that. And Mandarin one all, one not do one that. But doesn't mind me, though, when I was in grade six there was a student who came from Korea and he didn't speak any English, but within like first week he knew all the swear words, priorities. So what a baller, honestly. So he could say you're an idiot, but he couldn't say, Oh, how are you? Like being ridiculous, necessarily because if someone says the swear words to you, you know that they're swearing at you. Yeah, that's true. That self preservation kind of yeah, well, I guess with Spanish, the biggest issue with me, and I think this is why you can't speak it fluently. They say to be fluent in another language you cannot translate between the two. You kind of just have to switch and I have to translate, even if it's like a quarter of a millisecond, like even saying Ola and Spanish, like I don't just think Ola, I have to translate super super quick to hello. MMM. So I think that's my issue. That's why I struggle with most of the language, just not to translate it back to English, even if it's super super quick in your brain. Interesting, right. I just can't understand, like I think it's so cool when I meet someone who can speak multiple languages, because I just cannot understand that switch that they do, that where they just can like change the different language and not think about the other language. It's almost like the words and the other language becomes like the synonyms exactly, and apparently when you speak fluently you're not supposed to do that at all. You just pulled like a deep memory from the races of my, like Middle School brain. My Spanish teacher told me. When I hear the word tree, in Spanish. Instead of thinking, okay, whatever that word is, tree to tree, to picturing a tree, she immediately pictures a tree, which, like I never connected the two with what you just said, but what you said now makes so much sense now. Yeah, random. I heard someone explain it that way. Yeah, it's definitely a complex idea and I just can't grasp it, so I don't. I think that's honestly one of the leading reasons why I don't attempt...

...to learn me engine, because I couldn't even successfully get over that hurdle with Spanish, and Spanish is one of the easiest languages. Besides all the what is it called, the like gender pronouns and stuff. Hmm, I just feel like I just have no chance with manager manner doesn't even have gender. That's also interesting. Yeah, see, you think would be easier. Yeah, at least when you speak you don't have that. When you write it's I like the one like speaking that there's not you don't have to contribute the for about the adjective to go with the Pronoun. It's like well, I mean that goes into like a whole like topic on my sexism certain words, but Um, I kind of like that yeah, I remember, like when we're learning French and high school, there are some professions that want, until recently, only at the male conjugation. Yeah, has like masculine, feminine, you know, find you had you everything, you know, like objects to yeah. So are you guys fluent in any language aside from English? Sometimes that I have flown in English. Yeah, honestly, really sometimes I'll mess up and I'll say English is hard and people are like is it your second language, and I'm like, Oh no, I'm just badsting. I wish I had that buffer. Yeah, just English for me. In America, do they teach you French? Um Or is a? Do you have a required language course? WHO's in Canada? We are hard to take up until grade nine. Yeah, but just don't get the wrong and fresh and because a lot of people let's be French. Oh Yeah, sorry, it's the quality of the French learning is questionable, especially if you're not in Ottawa. Yeah, at least for where I grew up. So starting in I think sixth grade to Middle School for us, we did like an explore to it of the different classes that we could take. Starting in seventh grades, You could either take French, Spanish, German or take a study hall, and that was kind of how, you know, the whole process went from language. It was an option that was there, but it wasn't just kind of know, my wish that America would be a little bit more embrasive of you know, it's important to learn other languages, especially young because you know, once you start developing that like picking up languages and learning it's it's so much easier to learn more. So they say, yeah, I definitely agree that it's easier to learn when you're younger, and I believe that if you learn older, you kind of have to have that language gene in you in some way. When you pick it up from a younger age, it's less likely that you have English accent. HMM, that's true to that's discouraging and trying to practice speaking on new language, is the judgment you're going to get on your accent or pronunciation. Instead of helping, people are more prone to criticizing. MMM, for sure, and that's something I'm super aware of because, I mean, when I kind of have to sink spinish at work, I mean I can, to a certain extent, get that Spanish accent down, but I don't even want to try, because I don't want to try and it's still be criticized. So I just totally keep it like whitewashed spinich with like a super white accident on it. Like I don't emphasize accent as much as I could it, just because I guess I don't want to get criticized for putting all, putting like a hundred percent efforts into it, if that makes sense. Yeah, no, absolutely. Something I always found interesting was when people try to learn English, or like least to North America. What I find is when people from outside of the continent come here and speak English, it's like Oh, like that's kind of like you're due diligence. You know, you're in whatever, like you're either in like Canada or the states, and it's like speak English right. But then, and it's not really recognize that these people have either like taught themselves or, you know,...

...they went through the process of learning another language, but they're still made fun of for their accents or millionaire made fun of for just not knowing English that well. But then a lot of people in North America who travel abroad, if they speak any any language, even like minorly. A lot of people abroad or like wow, like it very encouraging, or yeah, like that's great that you're learning and it's very impressive. Like there's so many instances where I see people travel to China who are not Chinese, especially. That's another hope whole description. How like if you're not Chinese and you can speak funnies, it's like Oh my God, like that's amazing and people will flock over to you and they'll help you practice and it's this super cool accomplishment that you're trying to you're trying to do. But then if your Chinese and you didn't grow up speaking Chinese, it's like well, you, you, why not like kept up? You're behind. If they don't know, obviously, like, especially for us, like being adopted, and people don't know you weren't raised with that language in your home, it's just more of an initial reaction of Oh, like you just you just didn't embrace your culture. But if you're not Chinese and you can do it, it's like wow, that's really impressive, you're so smart. Kind of thing. Definitely, now that you mentioned it, is it's really prevalent how people who don't speak English in the United States when they try to, they get more made fun of and criticized, versus people who speak English and go to other countries and attempt to speak their language, they're very supportive and get very excited and want to help. Yeah, and I think that's really sad, considering most other countries are like monom ethnicity, like China's mostly Chinese. You don't really see Mexicans or African Americans over there. You know, the United States is supposed to thrive off of diversity and you know it's so not as the melting pot yet, especially now with the pandamic pandemic and stuff, I feel like it's not being supportive of those. Like it's very by US a products learn to speak English. It's just kind of contradictory to me. I don't know. Yeah, my city where I grew up as well, like I was saying way way before, there's a lot of Chinese people. So in a lot of the stores, they in the malls, they actually write the signs in Chinese characters, all because the the population. It just especially the older generations that have come like from China or Hong Kong or Taimean Echethera. A lot of them actually, you know, they can't speak English at all and they can't read it either. So the stores have put those signs up, but then you have backlash from the rest of the community. I remember in high school like this. They started doing this a really long time ago, but I remember in high school we we take a civis class in the grade ten, I think, and I remember a discussion that my class started having and it actually made me upset with how little my teacher got involved, because it actually got super in my opinion, I got really at a hand. So a lot of the Caucasian students, they kind of started complaining, like why is their Chinese? Why are their Chinese characters in Walmart? And one of the students actually said like it really irks me and it's like and then they started complaining like how cant like like French is like the second language of Kaida. Literally none of them know how to speak French. And I in my head, I'm just sitting there with my other classmates who are also like Asian. Some of them weren't even Chinese, and they are also just really quiet about this, and it was it was just it was like upsetting to hear how, like how look down upon it was that, you know, this city that we live in is probably at this time and when I was back in high school, the populations, you know, like maybe sixty percent Chinese is and it was like, if you live in that area where a lot of people can't speak English, it is like, like I can get it from their standpoint...

...to feel like left out or like isolated in that way. But also I'm like the still English. It's not like they took away the English language, you know, like Chinese characters are not dominating over English, that kind of thing. And then one of the students, I'm glad he said this, he spoke up and he was like, you know, if I visited China, I'd appreciate to see a little bit of English to like kind of I think the fact that Chinese people in our city that came from China like could use a helping hand to get around here as well. So it was just a very awkward class, like it's just sex when you you don't know a lot about your own at least for me, like I didn't know a lot to defend it Orly speak up about it because I didn't know what to say. Good resources you'd recommend people learning Mandarin and is and or to have any general advice on how some should go about learning a language. I watch a lot of variety shows to like to learn mandarin, kind of like we are we're talking about with form formal language versus casual conversations. Sometimes I'll listen to songs and little songs are kind of a bit more poetic sometimes, so it might be difficult, but for ones that are a bit more basic and slow. That's that's helped me. And then just listening to lady like Chinese celebrities or other other people just kind of talking in casual conversation as opposed to the formal lessons that we were discussing before. It's helped just to start recognizing how people kind of tend to like either merge certain words together or how, like they drop certain parts of certain words, Oh for like ease of conversation, a guess or efficiency or whatever. So that's kind of some stuff that I've been do. I would definitely agree, especially with just the music stuff. I do that a lot and, like you said, even though it is a bit more on the poetic side of things, just hearing that because we're used to, you know, the idea of like tones and like changing our timber and pitch when we sing, and it actually, for me, it translated really well into class. One time we're studying one of the songs, Durim and the new high congle ie, but we would have to sing the song, but then my teacher also would pull up the lyrics and make us ay the words. I'm going to be honest, I did not study the characters in that word but like just from knowing song, I could say, Oh yeah, dray and the new high, I was like speaking the lyrics and apparently my tones. She was like, Amy, your tone sound great today and I was like yeah, did I just really studied these tones and these characters. So it helped me in a way that I didn't even expect it to. Really Cool. Yeah, I guess for other people trying to learn Chinese in songs, what I found is they actually drop the tones a lot. Like my friends, who's my Cantonese speaking friends, when they hear music, they or one of my friends, he can't understand the song lyrics because there's no tones or like or it's like different, more difficult to under like to recognize them, as opposed to when he listens to his parents tongue. So it's like am like can you understand the layers? And he's like I'm struggling right now. There's a study of textbooks, or a series of them, that I used when I was learning in college and I actually really enjoy it. It's called Um basic spoken Chinese and then in a minute spoken Chinese, and then there's the spin off series basic written Chinese. I think that it's really comprehensive. It throws you into a lot of different scenarios. They are DDS that pair with the textbooks and you can also buy like the writing books to go along with it to do examples and practice writing and tones and all that. And the CDs have people with different accents all over China, which I don't know. I think that that's a place for me.

It's a really good place and I still have the textbooks and I will try to go back and, you know, we study them. It has cultural notes so that if anybody's looking for a little bit more of a formal way to teach themselves, I would definitely recommend that series. UNSPONSORED, but if you want to sponsor, you know, listen Quinn alias, see cobbler you you trying to sponsor something, because we out here. There's also facebook groups. So if anyone is not part of a subtle Asian adoptee traits, I highly recommend if you an adoptee, you should join it. They've recently started in Asian adoptee Chinese language people and they do, I think, weekly zooms or beginner intermedia and advanced. So that's one resource that you guys can check out. I personally haven't used it because I'm not compident enough in my Chinese, but one day maybe I'll be able to join. Also our verd is. I know if you guys have heard, they're doing some free courses. They've made some of their course of like online and therefore free, and one of them is the All China Xbook Club. Five authors, five books, five years of China. This isn't specifically related to language, but if you wanted to learn like out culture, technis livnature. So I'm being a good course for you guys to look into, and it's free, unless you want a certificate that says you completed this course. Then it's ninety nine oh when you can put on your as Ames. That's true and also well I can talk about this, but she also has a youtube channel, as I mentioned. You want to talk about that? Yes, so my youtube channel. If you start shit into youtube, it's just my name, Laura, and then the letter e and the letter K, so Laura Ek. Basically, I just started it too, I guess, kind of dealing vert video journals of just thoughts I have about adoption, different topics. Definitely all my opinions. I don't I try to remind people in my videos like I don't speak on behalf of everyone. It's just my personal perspectives and stories. And then I just have a couple of videos about different ways I'm learning Mandarin. Yeah, just kind of sharing those kind of stories and anyone's welcome to like comment below or share anything that they want to share ask questions. It's very new, my channel, is it? I kind of straightaway from it for a little while, but I'm trying to get back into it now, especially after finding communities with people like you. Guys, definitely been very encouraging and more motivating for me to continue doing these kind of videos. So yeah, if you're interested, go ahead and check it out. Awesome, I love your thumbnails. I think they're so cute and so original. I just I really like, Oh, I think thanks. That's actually so funny because they're just could be like a whole other topic for you guys if you ever want to do a podcast on this. But like the eyes I gave my little person there's so like big, like there's a tie. Hours Ione told me like when I was playing the Vintendo we way back when I was a kid. So and I was like, Laura, like, your eyes aren't that big. Oh my God. It's just funny that I in my thumbnails I have a little careacre of myself, but I use all of them and the eyes are like they take up a huge portion of my face, if that means if you want to visualize that. But thank you. The background is always Chinatown also. I get picture in Chinatown and back. So do you have any final thoughts aments? I think you want to add for me and this episode, I guess I would just say definitely thank you to you guys talking...

...about these topics. It's helpful for me, especially because I didn't grow up really talking about being adopted with a lot of people, despite having a community of other adoptees to be able to talk to. It was in something that I really was comfortable doing. So I just want to you know, again, thank you guys and the other adoption communities out there that I've joined recently that help people do this kind of stuff, because I would highly recommend it to anyone who's struggling or wants to feel like they are part of a community, because it's helped me a lot with, you know, personal growth and just, I guess, more confidence. I definitely agree with that. In terms of like joining communities, I totally agree, my especially now with everything going on. A community is more important than ever, as they say. Sure, and I think that's like one of the fact good things about quarantine and like covid is that that's the Asian adoptee communities have really come together and like there's a lot more people joining and being active in them, which I really like. Mm Hm, and also happy. What is the official title Asian Pacific Heritage? Have the Asian American pacifical I liked month. I don't know what the official title is, but it's our month. Go May. Okay, that's something I don't teach us and here at least, where I want. Yeah, and teachers like Maze Asian History Man, happy Asian, Pacific American heritage month. There it is. That's the official way because it is American. Does that mean it's not a Canadian I don't know if it's recognized in Canada, but I'm going to call it. I'm going to call it too, but happy our month. We'll go with that. Yay Um. I also wanted to think mel because I was actually looking for an adoptee who was comfortable about talking about the fact that they don't want to learn mandering. I feel like sometimes there's a bit of a pressure and like judgment if you don't want to learn, and I really glad that she was able to come on and be comfortable speaking about that, because I'm sure that there's lots of adoptees who also feel that pressure, which vision for sure. I definitely appreve Shaite you guys allowing me to come on and speak on that persussive, because I know it is kind of a struggle sometimes saying like I'm not interested whatsoever and learning my name of language again. It's not that I'm not proud of my culture anything, but I just want everyone to remember that your cultural journey is personal and there's no right or wrong. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not being interested in a certain aspect of it or being interested in a certain aspect of it, because it's your story and it's your past and as your culture. So I just really stress Commons within yourself and to be true to yourself, especially in this world right now. It's not the easiest, but there's always support grooves out there. Stay confident with yourself and true to yourself and, yeah, just choose your own journey, your own path, because there's no right, you're wrong. Thank your Mol yes, yeah, it's a great way to end off to this episode. So thank you, Laura and no for joining us today. Tune in next week for our fifth episode, where we would be discussing food, since everyone's doing their quarantine cooking right now. It's if you're interested in participating in one of these episodes, send us an email to adopted podcast at gmailcom. You don't forget to follow us on Instagram at adopted understore podcast and stay connected with us. See you guys next week.

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