HOW I MOVED FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO ASIA
Fresh from High School, I applied for a job and was called in for an interview. Everything was going so well until I was asked, " what is a team player and how important is a team player?"
I never heard that word "teamplayer" in my my whole life. I couldn't answer, got nervous, lost confidence and subsequently failed the interview.
Almost 90% of the interviews I went to after that, the interviewers told me I was too young for the job and that I should go back to school. I never gave up. Finally my age was not an issue when I was interviewed for the position of office clerk at the Jamaica Observer.
I couldn't afford to go to college right after High School and I was unsure about what career I wanted to focus on. So I figured that while working at the Newspaper company I would figure it out.
Again some of the staff there were telling me to go back to school, it began to annoy me but I kept quiet. I saw an opportunity to grow because it was a big place with so many jobs.
There were reporters, editors, secretaries, managers, drivers, telemarketers, sales reps, marketing reps, customer service reps, telephone operators, subscription co-ordinators, graphic, artists, photographers, accountants, newspaper dispatchers, janitors and so much more.
I moved from office clerk to telemarketer to subscription sales rep to customer service rep and telephone operator in a very short time. Then I started to have thoughts of learning a new language and work at a hotel as a translator or travel like a Diplomat in the Foreign Affairs department.
I was taught Spanish for 5 years in High School and I was nowhere near fluent.
Watashi wa Tina Desu. One day I made contact with an exchange student from Japan who was studying in the Liberal Arts Department at UTECH. I learnt so much in a short time just by communicating everyday.
I recieved a special notebook and audio cassettes , now we have podcasts lol. I sat down and practiced writing everyday.
I was ejoying my japanese lessons and decided not to over do it. So I took a short break to watch something on Netflix. As I browsed through the titles I came across,
I thought the actors were japanese so I decided to watch it. Ohh my gosh I could not understand what they were saying. I had no dictionary. I checked for the subtitles, it was Korean!
After I watched "You're Beautiful" starring Jang Geun Suk and Park Shin Hye, I cried so much while watching that drama. When the season ended I was hooked on Korean Drama. I got a notebook and downloaded a Korean dictionary app.
I started to write down every phrase or new word I learnt while watching the dramas. Especially the most common phrases like "Annyeonghaseyo". I was speaking Korean to myself in no time. I had no one to practice with.
Then I watched,
"Boys Over Flowers" with Li Min Ho
OOh my gosh, I watched it a hundred times.
Then I watched,
Then I watched,
I couldn't get enough I started to listen and download the music especially " I Can't Let You Go Even If I Die" by 2am.
I was singing even in my sleep. Then came "School Boy In Love" by BTS, the lyrics were so fast but I loved it. My favourite Korean girl group was 2NE1 who sang "Come Back Home", "Lonely" , "Falling In Love" and "I'm The Best."
I was about to have my dinner one evening and I switched on the Tv to continue watching a Korean drama, I glimpsed the title
" Waking Love Up"
starring Roy Qiu and decided to watch it.
Low and behold It was definitely not a Korean drama because I saw no Hangul and it was not Japanese because there were no Kanji, Katakana or Hiragana.
I saw Zhongwen, Hanzi, Putonghua Zhong Guo ren and Taiwanese. I knew it since childhood because it was basically on every food, clothing or toy label I came in contact with.
I watched "Waking Love Up", I laughed, I cried and fell in love. The soundtrack was so beautiful I listened to it everyday while I did chores or chat online.
After all of that drama I decided to continue learning Chinese Mandarin because I had many people to practice with. The words are shorter.
The sentances are shorter. Easy grammar. Challenge to read and write but lots of fun. My favourite Chinese songs are , "Pi Li Pa La" by Zhou Li Ming and "Wo De Hao Xiong Di" by Gao Jin and Xiao Shen Yang. JJ Lyn is one of my favourite singers.
No Chinese alphabet, just characters. A single character can also represent one word. The characters are also used in combination to make words, phrases and sentances. There are thousands of Chinese characters to learn. It is said that you only need to know about 3000 in order to communicate and about 2000 to read a chinese newspaper.
Chinese Pinyin is the standard romanization of the chinese characters developed in the 1950s in order for foreigners to learn or teach Standard Chinese Mandarin . Chinese pinyin helps with the reading and pronunciation of the chinese character.
Kanji was adopted from the Chinese writing system. Kanji is used in combination with katakana and Hiragana.
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