Laowai Welcome! First steps with my Mandarin Lessons!

Welcome to the Chinese world!

My favorite word is Laowai, why? Laowai.  Lao, meaning old, and wai meaning foreign, translates literally (and rather innocuously) to old foreigner.

When you pronounce it with a French Accent, it’s sounds like if I was saying: « OUAIS » so LA OUAIS! I love it!

I’ve started to learn Chinese last month! I was back to the Language School where I teach French few hours a week. The Director of the school was there and asked me how was my trip to China. Then, she encouraged me to enroll to the next Mandarin Lesson for beginners. Ivy is the Chinese teacher and she is perfect! She is nice, explains well and she is interesting to talk with. There is another guy from Miami in the classroom which is great as the teacher is not only focused on me! He works at the University of Chicago and a lot of Chineses students are passing through him for the inscriptions or other administration form they need. He figured out that would be helpful for him to be able to speak in Mandarin to them when they are lost. As for me, when I was lost in Haikou and I needed to grab a taxi! We are slowly learning, I have to confess, you need to learn a lot by heart and the pronunciation is often different from what you can read. You need to learn the sounds first and then the logic of the way to build a phrase.

It’s hard to guess, but I am thinking with time some automatisms will come!

I am far away to have a conversation with my colleagues at work but sometimes and really sometimes I can catch few things I’ve learned!

What I like as well with that is to learn a third language which is certainly boosting a little my lazy brain! And let’s be honest, it’s great to learn something totally new!


Over to you, how many languages to you speak?

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Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.


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