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English LingQ Podcast 1.0, #270 Steve & Alex - A Korean and Chinese Learner Stops By

#270 Steve & Alex - A Korean and Chinese Learner Stops By

Steve: Hello there, this is our EnglishLingQ Podcast again.

A surprise today, it's not Mark and Steve, but it's Alex and Steve. Alex is visiting with us. Alex is a learner, a member of LingQ and he's also now helping us in a variety of ways. He's a keen language learner. What are your languages?

Alex: Well, first off, I'll say hello to everyone. I'm Alex. I'm a university student in Vancouver and my languages, as Steve puts it, are primarily Korean. I've been studying Korean for a few years and I just started to pick up Chinese about a year ago now.

Steve: I should say, as some of you may know, we launched Korean at LingQ and so we're trying to drum up a little more content for our library, Alex and I. I know a lady who runs the local Korean language newspaper. It's actually a branch of Joong Ang Il Bo which is a major newspaper in Korea.

Alex: Right.

Steve: So we went to see her and this lady doesn't speak very much English and my Korean is more for ordering beer than anything else, so I brought Alex along and I was very impressed with your Korean.

Alex: Oh, thank you, Steve.

Steve: You're very fluent.

Alex: Thank you.

Steve: Yeah.

How did you get so fluent?

Alex: I mean, I spent a lot of time just hanging out with friends and, you know, really immersed myself in the culture as much as I could. You know, even before I had the chance to go to Korean, I just met a lot of Korean friends and tried as much to just spend time with them and do whatever it was that they did, whether it was going out and eating food or anything like that, just to get that exposure to the language and try and be able to hear it and slowly be able to understand it. It was a long process, but I think it's paid off until now. I mean, of course, I'm still going, but.

Steve: And you're in what, third year at UBC?

Alex: Yeah, I'll be technically starting my third year in September.

Steve: But you've got some travel plans this summer.

Alex: I do. Actually, in about two weeks I'll be headed off to China and I'm going to be there for almost five weeks.

Steve: Whereabouts in China?

Alex: Primarily in Beijing and, really, I don't have plans really set in stone, so I can kind of just go wherever I like. I have a friend I know is going to be there. He's actually a university student and we took the same course and that's how we met.

Steve: Is that Aaron?

Alex: Yes, that's Aaron.

Steve: Okay. Oh, good. Okay.

Alex: And so, you know, I think I'm going to see The Great Wall of China.

Steve: Right.

Alex: You know? I mean there are so many different things to see in China.

Steve: But what are you going to do other than that? You're not attending a course there.

Alex: No, I'm not.

Steve: Yeah.

Alex: My primary purpose is just to get as much exposure to Chinese language and culture as possible.

Steve: I mean, I think that's a good strategy because, as I always say, attitude is so important. So the more positive you are towards the culture and the people the better you'll learn because you're not resisting. You're just sort of eating it all up.

Alex: Right.

Steve: And so, mostly, I'll tell you, in Beijing it's not easy to understand them because they speak Beijing, but there's a lot of “rah, rah, rah”. That'll be good.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: That'll be good.

Alex: I've had a few friends of mine who are also Chinese language learners and pretty much the consensus is that it's really hard to speak like people in Beijing speak.

Steve: Right.

Alex: But I think they all want to, you know? They like the way that they say stuff.

Steve: Well, I think, yeah. And, as I've said, for people who are interested in Chinese learning, get some Xiang Sheng CDs. You've seen me say that, right?

Alex: Right.

Steve: That's the best. That's the best. Because you can listen to them over and over and over again and at first you understand 20% and then it goes up 30-40-50-60.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: I wish we could get some transcripts of Xiang Sheng dialogues, comic dialogs for our library in Chinese. So you're going to be in Beijing and The Great Wall, of course, which isn't very far away.

Alex: Right.

Steve: And now there's a high-speed train in Shang Hai as well from Beijing.

Alex: Oh, is there?

Steve: Yeah.

I mean it's not like when I first went there in 1970. When I went there in 1970, I mean there was a car every 15 minutes.

Alex: Really.

Steve: And the city, I imagined it was as it must have been in the time of the Ming Dynasty.

Alex: Oh, really.

Steve: Well, it wasn't really, but there were very few new buildings. I remember it was October; they piled cabbage on the sidewalk because people would then store all this cabbage to get through the winter.

Alex: Oh, wow.

Steve: It was pretty basic.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: And you had this impression, I almost expected to see camels come walking down, you know, into Tian An Men Square because that's the feeling.

Alex: It was rather deserted, hey?

Steve: Oh, yeah.

Whereas, nowadays, you go there and it's of course a modern city.

Alex: Right.

Yeah, I mean it's amazing. I had the chance to go to China last year, actually. It was quite a short trip, only about eight days in China and five or so days in Korea, but I was amazed at really how modern it's become.

Steve: Unbelievable.

Alex: Yeah.

I mean the photographs I've seen in classes taken on China versus what I saw with my eyes when I went there, you know, even over the course of a period of five of 10 years, it's just radically changed.

Steve: It's absolutely astounding. I don't think there has ever been an economic transformation on the same scale and as rapid as what we're seeing in China today.

Alex: Right.

Steve: And the impact on the world is just…it's amazing.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: China, they say, is going to consume like 40% of all the world's energy.

Alex: Really?

Steve: Within, you know, five years or something like that.

Alex: Right, right.

Steve: I mean they consume 60% of the world's iron ore.

Alex: Wow.

Steve: I mean it's astounding if you have 20% or 22% of the world's population growing at 10% a year, you know? And now their economy is already equal to or greater than…I don't know whether it's Germany or Japan, but it's already humungous.

Alex: Right.

I think it's past both of them, actually.

Steve: So it's a humungous economy and it's doubling every seven or 10 years.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: It's absolutely extraordinary.

Alex: Yeah and, I mean, it's been growing like that for 30 years now or more.

Steve: Yeah.

Alex: I think it was Dung Chow Ping…

Steve: Yeah, Dung Chow Ping, but I think it didn't really pick up speed until the ‘90s.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: I mean it started from such a low level.

Alex: Right.

Steve: So it's one thing to go seven-10% growth a year, based on a very low level, but as you keep doubling and doubling and doubling and you're still moving at that rate of growth…

Alex: Yeah, exactly.

Steve: …it's astounding, absolutely astounding.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: But, so Beijing, you're just going to hang around and so forth? You know, are you going to go to the interior at all from Beijing?

Alex: I'm not sure yet. I'm on a bit of a budget.

Steve: Right.

Alex: But, fortunately, I have a friend who's there and he's offered to put me up for the entire duration.

Steve: Right.

Alex: That really takes a big burden off.

Steve: Right.

Alex: So I'll have a little bit of extra spending money. I would definitely like to go to, say, XiAn or something like that, if possible.

Steve: Yeah, yeah. That would be, I think, quite well, you know, worth it. Although, just exploring Beijing and the Forbidden City and the older part of Beijing and stuff.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: But it's just so crowded now. It's different. It's different. Yeah, interesting. So Korea, how many times have you been to Korea?

Alex: I have been to Korea twice now. The first time I went was about somewhere around six months after I started formally learning Korean. So I couldn't really communicate much at all, but because I had so much exposure, you know, for example, one instance I was in a taxi and I was going to the bus station, which was about 30 minutes away because I was in a rural city. My friend stayed back at his place, so I was there alone with the driver and, you know, we conversed to the best of my ability for pretty much the whole 30 minutes.

Steve: Wow.

Alex: So I had some good opportunities there to really try and push the envelope and see really how good my Korean was at that time.

Steve: You know an experience like that, 30 minutes with a taxi driver in a real meaningful conversation, to my mind, is worth hours of class time.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely.

Steve: Hours of class time.

Alex: Yeah.

And I mean it was very encouraging for me because in the class that I was taking at the time, back here in Vancouver, we didn't really have the option to speak. It was more focused on, you know, the textbook and my teacher she did a great job. I've got to give her credit because, you know, she saw what our needs were and kind of deviated from this textbook and would always be willing to answer our questions, even if they had nothing to do with the lesson. But, at the same time, it was so limited, even the course time, so we didn't really get the chance to converse that much and especially with native speakers because none of the other people in the class were native speakers, so.

Steve: Right.

So, really, except that you have to pay for a taxi, the thing is to go to the country, get in a taxi and start yakking away, right? When I was a student in France I used to go into Spain hitchhiking.

Alex: Oh, really?

Steve: And that's where I learned Spanish because I would just be talking. If someone picks you up it's because they want company, right?

Alex: Right.

Steve: So you've got truck drivers and stuff like that, so I'd have my little Spanish book and, you know, I'd just talk and so hours and hours and hours. Of course, nowadays, hitchhiking is not as easy as it was when I was young.

Alex: Right.

Steve: It's been spoiled, but when I was young, I mean, you just leave any little town in southern France or anywhere in Europe in those days and there'd be four or five people lined up hitchhiking…

Alex: Really?

Steve: …and within 15-20 minutes you'd be picked up.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: And so you'd just get in there and talk.

Alex: Yeah.

That's pretty cool.

Steve: Yeah.

Oh, that's great. That's great. So, now, you've been to China.

Alex: Yes.

Steve: How did you find the China versus Korea culture? You know, what stuck you as the differences?

Alex: It's honestly entirely different and I think the biggest reason why is Korea is much more modern. Although China is very substantial in the global world, Korea is still much more modern, especially in Seoul. I think there's just a busyness in Korea, which I'm not really a big fan of. That's one thing that the second time I went back to Korea, or rather the first time I went back to Korea, it was something that I wasn't too comfortable with. But in China it seemed like there were a lot more people that were just friendly and there was this sense of community, even among these very crowded places.

Steve: Well, it's funny. Of course a lot of Koreans who are here in Vancouver, they'll tell you they find Vancouver boring.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: Because there's so much more action in Korea, so it's a matter of, I guess, what you're used to.

Alex: Right, right.

Steve: And, I must say, the Chinese are actually quite easy to talk to. Even when I was in China during the Cultural Revolution, where things were very tense and potentially they could get into trouble for talking with a foreigner…

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: …many people would shy away from you or give you dirty looks, but you'd always find people who were quite content to just “chew the fat”, you know, and just talk about whatever. Of course I had to be careful not to talk about politics because that might get them into trouble, but we could always talk. The Chinese, in that regard, I think are quite easy going.

Alex: Yeah, I think that's, you know, definitely a similarity among rural Korea. The urbanization of Seoul has just really changed the atmosphere there, but if you do go outside the city and, I mean, it takes a bit of time because the city is so expansive that you have to travel at least an hour outside, but if you do that's where you find that kind of home country, typical rural friendliness and hospitality.

Steve: Yeah, yeah. No, China, when I was there of course in the ‘70s, many of them had never seen a foreigner.

Alex: Right.

Steve: I can remember on one occasion I was in Shanghai with my wife and two kids and they were both blond, at that age; they're dark haired now. But we were walking down one of the major streets of Shanghai and we were surrounded by 200 people.

Alex: Oh, wow.

Steve: They were about 20 deep.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: Perfectly, you know, harmless, but they were just like curious.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: It was a hot June day and my kids started to cry as this crowd was kind of squeezing us. Similarly, I remember once in northern China in the winter, I was in Harbin. Not in Harbin, I was in a smaller town up in northeast China…

Alex: Oh, okay.

Steve: …and I went for a walk, as I always do. I mean when we're traveling, right, we like to walk around.

Alex: Right.

Steve: It doesn't matter what it is. Some little village, I wonder what this village is all about. So you're wandering around and I looked behind me and I had 200 little kids following me.

Alex: Wow.

Steve: Yeah.

So, yeah, we were a curiosity in those days. It's not the case today; although, I'm sure in China if you went out into the boonies you might encounter the same, but, certainly, you mentioned Xi An or Beijing or any of those major cities, they're quite used to seeing lots of tourists.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: So we're not the curiosity that we once were.

Alex: Exactly.

Steve: Yeah.

Well, now what are your plans with Chinese? Now you're in third year Korean.

Alex: No. Actually, I've finished fourth year Korea already.

Steve: You've finished fourth year Korean.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: And so you're going to come back to UBC and work on your Chinese?

Alex: I don't know if I have any plans on taking another Chinese course and I think the biggest reason is that it's just so expensive.

Steve: Right.

Alex: You know a year of Chinese is bordering on $1,000 now.

Steve: Right.

Alex: And, you know, I found that in the eight months of the course that I was taking, I didn't really learn all that much. Since that semester finished and I've just begun this kind of self-study type of learning…

Steve: Right.

Alex: …I've found that it's much more rewarding because I'm the one who chooses what I study.

Steve: Right.

Alex: But, at the same time, it's so much cheaper.

Steve: Oh, yeah.

Alex: So…

Steve: I mean absolutely. This is a common theme, you know, and we talk about it all the time, but there's so…I think…you know I was going to actually break down and tell you this fall I'm going to Italy with my wife. It's my 65th birthday and all.

Alex: Oh, congratulations.

Steve: Thank you. And so we were going to go; in fact, have plans to go to Sardinia. And I found this Italian language school and they rent out a nice apartment that belongs to the owner of the school and everything. I thought it would be neat. We know the local people and ah, what the hell, I'll enroll in a language course. And I spoke to the lady there today via Skype. It's four hours a day and they begin with grammar and then they have a break and then they have their communications part and then they do writing. I'm saying to myself, I'm going to be in Sardinia and I'm going to spend four hours of every day for a whole week sitting in a classroom. They're going to teach me grammar, which I can look up in a book.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: It's not that I don't know the verbs in Italian, I can't get them right and sitting in the classroom is not going to help me get them right.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: So you get a lot of explanation, then they're going to ask me to repeat it and reproduce it and get it wrong, which I don't like doing.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: So, actually, as a result of our Skype conversation, I'm not going to go there.

Alex: Oh, really?

Steve: I mean I'm going to go there.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: They have a cooking school thing, so I'm going to take the cooking school three times a week. Three evening a week we cook and we eat what we cook. I'll be there with my wife and I'm just going to visit around. It may be cheaper to get a taxi and just talk away in Italian.

Alex: Exactly.

Steve: But, no, I see what you mean. It is tremendously expensive, but, yeah. And the resources that are available, whether it be a book, whether it be the library, whether it be Internet, whether it be LingQ, whether it be using flashcard systems or, you know, whatever, the live mochas. I mean they all have their different flavor and different people like different things, but there's less and less justification for sitting in a classroom.

Alex: Exactly.

Steve: Okay. Well, there you have it. We kind of diverged from our normal. We didn't criticize anyone in Canada or the other stuff that Mark and I normally do. We were a little more serious. We talked about language learning with Alex, so thank you Alex.

Alex: Thank you for having me, Steve.

Steve: Okay and that will be the end of our discussion today. Please let us know if you have any special requests; things that you would like us to talk about. We had that one request for us to talk about endangered languages. We were happy to do that. We will talk about any subject. What we have to say is not, you know, based on any depth of knowledge, but it does give you some vocabulary.

Alex: Yeah.

Steve: Thank you for listening, bye.

Alex: Bye-bye.


#270 Steve & Alex - A Korean and Chinese Learner Stops By #270 Steve & Alex - Ein Koreanisch- und Chinesischlernender kommt vorbei #270 Steve & Alex - korejski in kitajski učenec se ustavi

Steve:    Hello there, this is our EnglishLingQ Podcast again. Steve: Hallo, das ist wieder unser EnglishLingQ Podcast. Steve: Pozdravljeni, to je spet naš podcast EnglishLingQ.

A surprise today, it’s not Mark and Steve, but it’s Alex and Steve. Eine Überraschung heute, es sind nicht Mark und Steve, sondern Alex und Steve. Alex is visiting with us. Alex ist bei uns zu Besuch. Alex je pri nas na obisku. Alex is a learner, a member of LingQ and he’s also now helping us in a variety of ways. Alex ist ein Lernender, ein Mitglied von LingQ und hilft uns jetzt auch auf vielfältige Weise. Alex je učenec, član LingQ in nam zdaj tudi pomaga na različne načine. He’s a keen language learner. Er ist ein begeisterter Sprachenlerner. On se vneto uči jezikov. What are your languages? Was sind Ihre Sprachen? Kateri so vaši jeziki?

Alex:    Well, first off, I’ll say hello to everyone. Alex: Nun, zuerst einmal sage ich allen Hallo. Alex: No, najprej bom vse pozdravil. I’m Alex. Ich bin Alex. I’m a university student in Vancouver and my languages, as Steve puts it, are primarily Korean. Ich bin ein Universitätsstudent in Vancouver und meine Sprachen, wie Steve es ausdrückt, sind hauptsächlich Koreanisch. Sem študent univerze v Vancouvru in moji jeziki, kot pravi Steve, so predvsem korejščina. I’ve been studying Korean for a few years and I just started to pick up Chinese about a year ago now. Ich lerne seit ein paar Jahren Koreanisch und habe vor ungefähr einem Jahr angefangen, Chinesisch zu lernen. Že nekaj let se učim korejščino in šele pred približno enim letom sem začel pobirati kitajščino.

Steve:    I should say, as some of you may know, we launched Korean at LingQ and so we’re trying to drum up a little more content for our library, Alex and I.  I know a lady who runs the local Korean language newspaper. Steve: Kot nekateri morda veste, bi moral povedati, da smo pri LingQ lansirali korejščino in zato poskušamo pridobiti malo več vsebine za našo knjižnico, Alex in jaz. Poznam gospo, ki vodi lokalni časopis v korejščini . It’s actually a branch of Joong Ang Il Bo which is a major newspaper in Korea. Es ist eigentlich eine Filiale von Joong Ang Il Bo, einer großen Zeitung in Korea. Pravzaprav je podružnica Joong Ang Il Boja, ki je pomemben časopis v Koreji.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    So we went to see her and this lady doesn’t speak very much English and my Korean is more for ordering beer than anything else, so I brought Alex along and I was very impressed with your Korean. Steve: Also haben wir sie besucht und diese Dame spricht nicht sehr viel Englisch und mein Koreanisch ist mehr für Bierbestellungen als alles andere, also habe ich Alex mitgebracht und ich war sehr beeindruckt von deinem Koreanisch. Steve: Torej smo šli k njej in ta gospa ne govori veliko angleško in moja korejščina je bolj za naročanje piva kot karkoli drugega, zato sem vzel Alexa s seboj in vaša korejščina me je zelo navdušila.

Alex:    Oh, thank you, Steve.

Steve:    You’re very fluent. Steve: Zelo si tekoč.

Alex:    Thank you.

Steve:    Yeah. Steve: Ja.

How did you get so fluent? Wie bist du so fließend geworden? Kako si postal tako tečen?

Alex:    I mean, I spent a lot of time just hanging out with friends and, you know, really immersed myself in the culture as much as I could. Alex: Ich meine, ich habe viel Zeit damit verbracht, einfach nur mit Freunden abzuhängen und so viel wie möglich in die Kultur einzutauchen. Alex: Mislim, veliko časa sem preživel le v druženju s prijatelji in, veste, resnično sem se potopil v kulturo, kolikor sem lahko. You know, even before I had the chance to go to Korean, I just met a lot of Korean friends and tried as much to just spend time with them and do whatever it was that they did, whether it was going out and eating food or anything like that, just to get that exposure to the language and try and be able to hear it and slowly be able to understand it. Weißt du, noch bevor ich die Chance hatte, auf Koreanisch zu gehen, habe ich einfach viele koreanische Freunde getroffen und versucht, einfach Zeit mit ihnen zu verbringen und zu tun, was immer sie tun, ob es ausgeht und Essen geht oder irgendetwas in der Art, nur um der Sprache ausgesetzt zu werden und zu versuchen, sie zu hören und langsam zu verstehen. Veš, še preden sem imel priložnost iti na korejščino, sem srečal veliko korejskih prijateljev in poskušal preživeti čas z njimi in početi kar koli že, pa naj gre ven in jesti hrano ali karkoli podobnega, samo da bi bili izpostavljeni jeziku in ga poskušali slišati ter ga počasi razumeti. It was a long process, but I think it’s paid off until now. Es war ein langer Prozess, aber ich denke, er hat sich bis jetzt ausgezahlt. To je bil dolg proces, a mislim, da se je do zdaj izplačalo. I mean, of course, I’m still going, but. Ich meine, natürlich gehe ich immer noch, aber. Mislim, seveda še grem, ampak.

Steve:    And you’re in what, third year at UBC? Steve: Und du bist im dritten Jahr bei UBC? Steve: In ste v katerem, tretjem letniku na UBC?

Alex:    Yeah, I’ll be technically starting my third year in September. Alex: Ja, ich werde technisch gesehen im September mein drittes Jahr beginnen. Alex: Ja, tehnično bom septembra začel tretji letnik.

Steve:    But you’ve got some travel plans this summer. Steve: Aber du hast diesen Sommer einige Reisepläne. Steve: Toda to poletje imaš nekaj potovalnih načrtov.

Alex:    I do. Alex: Das tue ich. Actually, in about two weeks I’ll be headed off to China and I’m going to be there for almost five weeks. Eigentlich werde ich in etwa zwei Wochen nach China aufbrechen und dort fast fünf Wochen bleiben. Pravzaprav se čez približno dva tedna odpravljam na Kitajsko in tam bom skoraj pet tednov.

Steve:    Whereabouts in China? Steve: Wo in China? Steve: Kje na Kitajskem?

Alex:    Primarily in Beijing and, really, I don’t have plans really set in stone, so I can kind of just go wherever I like. Alex: Hauptsächlich in Peking und eigentlich habe ich keine in Stein gemeißelten Pläne, also kann ich einfach hingehen, wohin ich will. Alex: Predvsem v Pekingu in res nimam začrtanih načrtov, tako da lahko kar nekako grem, kamor hočem. I have a friend I know is going to be there. Ich habe einen Freund, von dem ich weiß, dass er dort sein wird. Imam prijatelja, za katerega vem, da bo tam. He’s actually a university student and we took the same course and that’s how we met. Er ist eigentlich Student und wir haben den gleichen Kurs belegt und so haben wir uns kennengelernt. Pravzaprav je študent in hodila sva na isti tečaj in tako sva se spoznala.

Steve:    Is that Aaron? Steve: Ist das Aaron? Steve: Je to Aaron?

Alex:    Yes, that’s Aaron. Alex: Ja, das ist Aaron.

Steve:    Okay. Oh, good. Okay.

Alex:    And so, you know, I think I’m going to see The Great Wall of China. Alex: Also, weißt du, ich denke, ich werde mir die Chinesische Mauer ansehen. Alex: In tako, veš, mislim, da bom videl Kitajski zid.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    You know? I mean there are so many different things to see in China. Ich meine, in China gibt es so viele verschiedene Dinge zu sehen. Mislim, na Kitajskem je toliko različnih stvari za videti.

Steve:    But what are you going to do other than that? Steve: Aber was wirst du sonst machen? Steve: Toda kaj boš počel drugega kot to? You’re not attending a course there. Sie besuchen dort keinen Kurs. Tam ne obiskuješ tečaja.

Alex:    No, I’m not.

Steve:    Yeah.

Alex:    My primary purpose is just to get as much exposure to Chinese language and culture as possible. Alex: Mein Hauptziel ist es, so viel Kontakt mit der chinesischen Sprache und Kultur wie möglich zu bekommen. Alex: Moj primarni namen je čim bolj izpostaviti kitajski jezik in kulturo.

Steve:    I mean, I think that’s a good strategy because, as I always say, attitude is so important. Steve: Mislim, mislim, da je to dobra strategija, ker, kot vedno pravim, je odnos tako pomemben. So the more positive you are towards the culture and the people the better you’ll learn because you’re not resisting. Je positiver Sie also der Kultur und den Menschen gegenüberstehen, desto besser lernen Sie, weil Sie keinen Widerstand leisten. Bolj kot si pozitiven do kulture in ljudi, bolje se boš učil, ker se ne upiraš. You’re just sort of eating it all up. Du frisst einfach alles auf. Samo nekako vse poješ.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    And so, mostly, I’ll tell you, in Beijing it’s not easy to understand them because they speak Beijing, but there’s a lot of “rah, rah, rah”. Steve: Also, ich sage Ihnen, meistens ist es in Peking nicht einfach, sie zu verstehen, weil sie Peking sprechen, aber es gibt viel „rah, rah, rah“. Steve: Povedal vam bom, da jih v Pekingu večinoma ni lahko razumeti, ker govorijo pekinško, vendar je veliko "rah, rah, rah". That’ll be good. Das wird gut sein. To bo dobro.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    That’ll be good. Steve: To bo dobro.

Alex:    I’ve had a few friends of mine who are also Chinese language learners and pretty much the consensus is that it’s really hard to speak like people in Beijing speak. Alex: Ich hatte ein paar Freunde von mir, die auch Chinesisch lernen, und es herrscht weitgehend Einigkeit darüber, dass es wirklich schwierig ist, so zu sprechen, wie die Leute in Peking sprechen. Alex: Imel sem nekaj prijateljev, ki se prav tako učijo kitajščine, in skoraj vsi so si enotni, da je res težko govoriti tako, kot govorijo ljudje v Pekingu.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    But I think they all want to, you know? Alex: Aber ich denke, sie wollen das alle, weißt du? Alex: Ampak mislim, da si vsi želijo, veš? They like the way that they say stuff. Sie mögen die Art, wie sie Sachen sagen. Všeč jim je način, kako povedo stvari.

Steve:    Well, I think, yeah. Steve: Nun, ich denke, ja. And, as I’ve said, for people who are interested in Chinese learning, get some Xiang Sheng CDs. Und, wie ich schon sagte, für Leute, die daran interessiert sind, Chinesisch zu lernen, besorgen Sie sich einige Xiang Sheng-CDs. In kot sem rekel, za ljudi, ki jih zanima učenje kitajščine, si priskrbite CD-je Xiang Sheng. You’ve seen me say that, right? Du hast gesehen, wie ich das gesagt habe, richtig? Ste me videli to reči, kajne?

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    That’s the best. That’s the best. Because you can listen to them over and over and over again and at first you understand 20% and then it goes up 30-40-50-60. Weil man sie sich immer und immer wieder anhören kann und am Anfang versteht man 20% und dann geht es 30-40-50-60 hoch.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    I wish we could get some transcripts of Xiang Sheng dialogues, comic dialogs for our library in Chinese. Steve: Ich wünschte, wir könnten ein paar Transkripte von Xiang Sheng-Dialogen bekommen, Comic-Dialoge für unsere Bibliothek auf Chinesisch. Steve: Želim si, da bi dobili nekaj prepisov dialogov Xiang Shenga, stripov za našo knjižnico v kitajščini. So you’re going to be in Beijing and The Great Wall, of course, which isn’t very far away. Sie werden also in Peking und natürlich an der Chinesischen Mauer sein, die nicht sehr weit entfernt ist. Torej boste v Pekingu in seveda na Velikem zidu, ki ni zelo daleč.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    And now there’s a high-speed train in Shang Hai as well from Beijing. Steve: Und jetzt gibt es in Shanghai auch einen Hochgeschwindigkeitszug aus Peking. Steve: In zdaj je v Shang Haiju tudi hitri vlak iz Pekinga.

Alex:    Oh, is there? Alex: Oh, gibt es?

Steve:    Yeah.

I mean it’s not like when I first went there in 1970. Ich meine, es ist nicht mehr so, als ich 1970 zum ersten Mal dort war. Mislim, ni tako kot takrat, ko sem prvič šel tja leta 1970. When I went there in 1970, I mean there was a car every 15 minutes. Als ich 1970 dort war, da kam alle 15 Minuten ein Auto. Ko sem šel tja leta 1970, je bil avto vsakih 15 minut.

Alex:    Really.

Steve:    And the city, I imagined it was as it must have been in the time of the Ming Dynasty. Steve: Und die Stadt, ich stellte sie mir so vor, wie sie zur Zeit der Ming-Dynastie gewesen sein muss. Steve: In mesto, predstavljal sem si, da je takšno, kot je moralo biti v času dinastije Ming.

Alex:    Oh, really.

Steve:    Well, it wasn’t really, but there were very few new buildings. Steve: Nun, das war es nicht wirklich, aber es gab sehr wenige neue Gebäude. Steve: No, res ni bilo, vendar je bilo zelo malo novih zgradb. I remember it was October; they piled cabbage on the sidewalk because people would then store all this cabbage to get through the winter. Ich erinnere mich, es war Oktober; Sie stapelten Kohl auf dem Bürgersteig, weil die Leute dann all diesen Kohl lagerten, um über den Winter zu kommen. Spominjam se, da je bil oktober; na pločnik so nalagali zelje, ker so potem ljudje vse to zelje shranili za preživetje zime.

Alex:    Oh, wow.

Steve:    It was pretty basic. Steve: Bilo je precej osnovno.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    And you had this impression, I almost expected to see camels come walking down, you know, into Tian An Men Square because that’s the feeling. Steve: Und du hattest diesen Eindruck, ich hätte fast erwartet, Kamele auf den Tian An Men Square kommen zu sehen, weißt du, weil das das Gefühl ist. Steve: Imel si tak vtis, da sem skoraj pričakoval, da bom videl kamele hoditi dol, veš, na trg Tian An Men, ker je tak občutek.

Alex:    It was rather deserted, hey? Alex: Es war ziemlich verlassen, he? Alex: Bilo je precej pusto, hej?

Steve:    Oh, yeah.

Whereas, nowadays, you go there and it’s of course a modern city. Wohingegen man heutzutage dorthin fährt und es natürlich eine moderne Stadt ist. Medtem ko dandanes greš tja in je to seveda moderno mesto.

Alex:    Right.

Yeah, I mean it’s amazing. Ja, ich meine, es ist erstaunlich. I had the chance to go to China last year, actually. Letztes Jahr hatte ich tatsächlich die Gelegenheit, nach China zu gehen. Pravzaprav sem imel lani priložnost iti na Kitajsko. It was quite a short trip, only about eight days in China and five or so days in Korea, but I was amazed at really how modern it’s become. Es war eine ziemlich kurze Reise, nur ungefähr acht Tage in China und ungefähr fünf Tage in Korea, aber ich war wirklich erstaunt, wie modern es geworden ist. Bilo je precej kratko potovanje, le približno osem dni na Kitajskem in pet ali več dni v Koreji, vendar sem bil presenečen nad tem, kako moderno je postalo.

Steve:    Unbelievable. Stefan: Unglaublich. Steve: Neverjetno.

Alex:    Yeah.

I mean the photographs I’ve seen in classes taken on China versus what I saw with my eyes when I went there, you know, even over the course of a period of five of 10 years, it’s just radically changed. Ich meine die Fotos, die ich in Kursen gesehen habe, die in China aufgenommen wurden, im Vergleich zu dem, was ich mit meinen Augen gesehen habe, als ich dort war, weißt du, selbst im Laufe von fünf oder zehn Jahren hat sich das einfach radikal verändert. Mislim na fotografije, ki sem jih videl na tečajih, posnete na Kitajskem, v primerjavi s tem, kar sem videl s svojimi očmi, ko sem šel tja, saj veste, celo v obdobju petih ali desetih let se je preprosto radikalno spremenilo.

Steve:    It’s absolutely astounding. Steve: Es ist absolut erstaunlich. I don’t think there has ever been an economic transformation on the same scale and as rapid as what we’re seeing in China today. Ich glaube nicht, dass es jemals einen wirtschaftlichen Wandel im gleichen Ausmaß und so schnell gegeben hat, wie wir ihn heute in China erleben. Mislim, da še nikoli ni bilo gospodarske preobrazbe v enakem obsegu in tako hitre, kot je to, kar smo danes priča na Kitajskem.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    And the impact on the world is just…it’s amazing. Steve: Und der Einfluss auf die Welt ist einfach … es ist erstaunlich. Steve: In vpliv na svet je preprosto … neverjeten je.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    China, they say, is going to consume like 40% of all the world’s energy. Steve: China, sagen sie, wird etwa 40 % der gesamten Energie der Welt verbrauchen. Steve: Pravijo, da bo Kitajska porabila približno 40 % vse svetovne energije.

Alex:    Really?

Steve:    Within, you know, five years or something like that. Steve: Innerhalb von fünf Jahren oder so ähnlich. Steve: V petih letih ali kaj podobnega.

Alex:    Right, right.

Steve:    I mean they consume 60% of the world’s iron ore. Steve: Ich meine, sie verbrauchen 60 % des weltweiten Eisenerzes. Steve: Mislim, porabijo 60 % svetovne železove rude.

Alex:    Wow.

Steve:    I mean it’s astounding if you have 20% or 22% of the world’s population growing at 10% a year, you know? Steve: Ich meine, es ist erstaunlich, wenn 20 % oder 22 % der Weltbevölkerung um 10 % pro Jahr wachsen, weißt du? Steve: Mislim, osupljivo je, če imate 20 % ali 22 % svetovnega prebivalstva, ki raste za 10 % letno, veste? And now their economy is already equal to or greater than…I don’t know whether it’s Germany or Japan, but it’s already humungous. Und jetzt ist ihre Wirtschaft bereits gleich oder größer als … Ich weiß nicht, ob es Deutschland oder Japan ist, aber es ist schon gigantisch. И вот их экономика уже равна или превышает… Не знаю, Германия это или Япония, но она уже огромна. In zdaj je njihova ekonomija že enaka ali večja od… Ne vem ali je Nemčija ali Japonska, ampak je že ogromno.

Alex:    Right.

I think it’s past both of them, actually. Ich denke, es ist tatsächlich an beiden vorbei. Mislim, da je oboje mimo, pravzaprav.

Steve:    So it’s a humungous economy and it’s doubling every seven or 10 years. Steve: Es ist also eine gigantische Wirtschaft und sie verdoppelt sich alle sieben oder zehn Jahre. Steve: To je torej ogromno gospodarstvo in se podvoji vsakih sedem ali deset let.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    It’s absolutely extraordinary. Steve: To je popolnoma izjemno.

Alex:    Yeah and, I mean, it’s been growing like that for 30 years now or more. Alex: Ja, und ich meine, es wächst jetzt schon seit 30 Jahren oder länger so.

Steve:    Yeah.

Alex:    I think it was Dung Chow Ping… Alex: Ich glaube, es war Dung Chow Ping … Alex: Mislim, da je bil Dung Chow Ping ...

Steve:    Yeah, Dung Chow Ping, but I think it didn’t really pick up speed until the ‘90s. Steve: Ja, Dung Chow Ping, aber ich glaube, es hat erst in den 90ern richtig Fahrt aufgenommen. Steve: Ja, Dung Chow Ping, ampak mislim, da se je zares pospešil šele v 90-ih.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    I mean it started from such a low level. Steve: Ich meine, es begann auf einem so niedrigen Niveau. Steve: Mislim, začelo se je na tako nizki ravni.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    So it’s one thing to go seven-10% growth a year, based on a very low level, but as you keep doubling and doubling and doubling and you’re still moving at that rate of growth… Steve: Es ist also eine Sache, ein Wachstum von 7-10 % pro Jahr zu erreichen, ausgehend von einem sehr niedrigen Niveau, aber wenn Sie sich weiter verdoppeln und verdoppeln und verdoppeln und sich immer noch mit dieser Wachstumsrate bewegen … Steve: Ena stvar je torej doseči sedem- do desetodstotno rast na leto, na podlagi zelo nizke ravni, toda ko se nenehno podvajaš in podvajaš in podvajaš in se še vedno premikaš s to stopnjo rasti …

Alex:    Yeah, exactly.

Steve:    …it’s astounding, absolutely astounding. Steve: …es ist verblüffend, absolut verblüffend. Steve: ... to je osupljivo, popolnoma osupljivo.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    But, so Beijing, you’re just going to hang around and so forth? Steve: Aber Peking, du wirst einfach herumhängen und so weiter? Steve: Ampak, torej v Pekingu, se boš samo zadrževal in tako naprej? You know, are you going to go to the interior at all from Beijing? Weißt du, wirst du überhaupt von Peking ins Landesinnere gehen?

Alex:    I’m not sure yet. Alex: Ich bin mir noch nicht sicher. I’m on a bit of a budget. Ich habe ein kleines Budget.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    But, fortunately, I have a friend who’s there and he’s offered to put me up for the entire duration. Alex: Aber zum Glück habe ich einen Freund, der da ist und der mir angeboten hat, mich für die gesamte Dauer unterzubringen.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    That really takes a big burden off. Alex: Das entlastet mich wirklich sehr. Alex: To res razbremeni veliko breme.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    So I’ll have a little bit of extra spending money. Alex: Also werde ich ein bisschen mehr Taschengeld haben. Alex: Torej bom imel malo dodatnega denarja. I would definitely like to go to, say, XiAn or something like that, if possible. Ich würde auf jeden Fall gerne nach, sagen wir, XiAn oder so gehen, wenn möglich. Vsekakor bi rad šel recimo v XiAn ali kaj podobnega, če bi bilo možno.

Steve:    Yeah, yeah. That would be, I think, quite well, you know, worth it. Das wäre, denke ich, ziemlich gut, wissen Sie, es lohnt sich. To bi bilo, mislim, kar dobro, veš, vredno. Although, just exploring Beijing and the Forbidden City and the older part of Beijing and stuff. Obwohl, ich erkunde nur Peking und die Verbotene Stadt und den älteren Teil von Peking und so. Čeprav samo raziskovanje Pekinga in Prepovedanega mesta ter starejšega dela Pekinga in podobno.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    But it’s just so crowded now. Steve: Aber es ist jetzt einfach so voll. It’s different. Es ist anders. It’s different. Yeah, interesting. So Korea, how many times have you been to Korea? Also Korea, wie oft warst du schon in Korea?

Alex:    I have been to Korea twice now. Alex: Ich war jetzt schon zweimal in Korea. The first time I went was about somewhere around six months after I started formally learning Korean. Das erste Mal, dass ich dorthin ging, war ungefähr sechs Monate, nachdem ich offiziell begonnen hatte, Koreanisch zu lernen. So I couldn’t really communicate much at all, but because I had so much exposure, you know, for example, one instance I was in a taxi and I was going to the bus station, which was about 30 minutes away because I was in a rural city. Also konnte ich überhaupt nicht viel kommunizieren, aber weil ich so viel ausgesetzt war, weißt du, zum Beispiel war ich in einem Taxi und ging zum Busbahnhof, der etwa 30 Minuten entfernt war, weil ich es war in einer ländlichen Stadt. My friend stayed back at his place, so I was there alone with the driver and, you know, we conversed to the best of my ability for pretty much the whole 30 minutes. Mein Freund blieb bei ihm, also war ich allein mit dem Fahrer dort, und wir unterhielten uns die ganzen 30 Minuten nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen.

Steve:    Wow.

Alex:    So I had some good opportunities there to really try and push the envelope and see really how good my Korean was at that time. Alex: Ich hatte dort also einige gute Gelegenheiten, wirklich zu versuchen, an die Grenzen zu gehen und zu sehen, wie gut mein Koreanisch damals war.

Steve:    You know an experience like that, 30 minutes with a taxi driver in a real meaningful conversation, to my mind, is worth hours of class time. Steve: Weißt du, eine solche Erfahrung, 30 Minuten mit einem Taxifahrer in einem wirklich bedeutungsvollen Gespräch, sind meiner Meinung nach Stunden der Unterrichtszeit wert.

Alex:    Yeah, absolutely.

Steve:    Hours of class time. Steve: Stunden Unterrichtszeit.

Alex:    Yeah.

And I mean it was very encouraging for me because in the class that I was taking at the time, back here in Vancouver, we didn’t really have the option to speak. Und ich meine, es war sehr ermutigend für mich, denn in dem Kurs, den ich damals hier in Vancouver belegte, hatten wir nicht wirklich die Möglichkeit zu sprechen. It was more focused on, you know, the textbook and my teacher she did a great job. Es konzentrierte sich mehr auf das Lehrbuch, und meine Lehrerin hat großartige Arbeit geleistet. I’ve got to give her credit because, you know, she saw what our needs were and kind of deviated from this textbook and would always be willing to answer our questions, even if they had nothing to do with the lesson. Ich muss ihr Anerkennung zollen, weil sie sah, was unsere Bedürfnisse waren und irgendwie von diesem Lehrbuch abwich und immer bereit war, unsere Fragen zu beantworten, auch wenn sie nichts mit dem Unterricht zu tun hatten. But, at the same time, it was so limited, even the course time, so we didn’t really get the chance to converse that much and especially with native speakers because none of the other people in the class were native speakers, so. Aber gleichzeitig war es so begrenzt, sogar die Kurszeit, dass wir nicht wirklich die Gelegenheit hatten, uns so viel zu unterhalten, besonders mit Muttersprachlern, weil keiner der anderen Leute in der Klasse Muttersprachler war.

Steve:    Right.

So, really, except that you have to pay for a taxi, the thing is to go to the country, get in a taxi and start yakking away, right? Also wirklich, abgesehen davon, dass Sie für ein Taxi bezahlen müssen, ist das Ding, aufs Land zu gehen, in ein Taxi zu steigen und loszufahren, richtig? When I was a student in France I used to go into Spain hitchhiking. Als Student in Frankreich bin ich immer per Anhalter nach Spanien gefahren.

Alex:    Oh, really?

Steve:    And that’s where I learned Spanish because I would just be talking. Steve: Und dort habe ich Spanisch gelernt, weil ich nur geredet habe. If someone picks you up it’s because they want company, right? Wenn dich jemand abholt, dann weil er Gesellschaft will, richtig?

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    So you’ve got truck drivers and stuff like that, so I’d have my little Spanish book and, you know, I’d just talk and so hours and hours and hours. Steve: Sie haben also LKW-Fahrer und solche Sachen, also hätte ich mein kleines Spanischbuch und, wissen Sie, ich würde nur reden und so Stunden und Stunden und Stunden. Of course, nowadays, hitchhiking is not as easy as it was when I was young. Heutzutage ist Trampen natürlich nicht mehr so einfach wie in meiner Jugend.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    It’s been spoiled, but when I was young, I mean, you just leave any little town in southern France or anywhere in Europe in those days and there’d be four or five people lined up hitchhiking… Steve: Es wurde verwöhnt, aber als ich jung war, verließ man damals einfach jede kleine Stadt in Südfrankreich oder irgendwo in Europa und da standen vier oder fünf Leute Schlange, um per Anhalter zu fahren … Стив: Это было испорчено, но когда я был молод, я имею в виду, вы просто выезжаете из любого маленького городка на юге Франции или где-нибудь в Европе в те дни, и там выстраивается очередь из четырех или пяти человек, путешествующих автостопом…

Alex:    Really?

Steve:    …and within 15-20 minutes you’d be picked up. Steve: …und innerhalb von 15-20 Minuten würdest du abgeholt.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    And so you’d just get in there and talk. Steve: Also würdest du einfach reingehen und reden.

Alex:    Yeah.

That’s pretty cool. Das ist ziemlich toll.

Steve:    Yeah.

Oh, that’s great. That’s great. So, now, you’ve been to China. Sie waren also jetzt in China.

Alex:    Yes.

Steve:    How did you find the China versus Korea culture? Steve: Wie fandest du die Kultur zwischen China und Korea? You know, what stuck you as the differences? Weißt du, was ist dir an den Unterschieden aufgefallen?

Alex:    It’s honestly entirely different and I think the biggest reason why is Korea is much more modern. Alex: Es ist ehrlich gesagt völlig anders und ich denke, der Hauptgrund, warum Korea viel moderner ist. Although China is very substantial in the global world, Korea is still much more modern, especially in Seoul. Obwohl China in der globalen Welt sehr bedeutend ist, ist Korea immer noch viel moderner, besonders in Seoul. I think there’s just a busyness in Korea, which I’m not really a big fan of. Ich denke, es gibt einfach eine Geschäftigkeit in Korea, von der ich nicht wirklich ein großer Fan bin. That’s one thing that the second time I went back to Korea, or rather the first time I went back to Korea, it was something that I wasn’t too comfortable with. Das ist eine Sache, mit der ich mich bei meiner zweiten Rückkehr nach Korea oder besser gesagt meiner ersten Rückkehr nach Korea nicht allzu wohl fühlte. But in China it seemed like there were a lot more people that were just friendly and there was this sense of community, even among these very crowded places. Aber in China schien es viel mehr Menschen zu geben, die einfach nur freundlich waren, und es gab dieses Gemeinschaftsgefühl, sogar an diesen sehr überfüllten Orten.

Steve:    Well, it’s funny. Steve: Nun, es ist lustig. Of course a lot of Koreans who are here in Vancouver, they’ll tell you they find Vancouver boring. Natürlich werden viele Koreaner, die hier in Vancouver sind, sagen, dass sie Vancouver langweilig finden.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    Because there’s so much more action in Korea, so it’s a matter of, I guess, what you’re used to. Steve: Weil es in Korea so viel mehr Action gibt, ist es wohl eine Frage dessen, was man gewohnt ist.

Alex:    Right, right.

Steve:    And, I must say, the Chinese are actually quite easy to talk to. Steve: Und ich muss sagen, mit Chinesen kann man sich eigentlich recht gut unterhalten. Even when I was in China during the Cultural Revolution, where things were very tense and potentially they could get into trouble for talking with a foreigner… Selbst als ich während der Kulturrevolution in China war, wo die Dinge sehr angespannt waren und sie möglicherweise in Schwierigkeiten geraten konnten, weil sie mit einem Ausländer gesprochen hatten …

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    …many people would shy away from you or give you dirty looks, but you’d always find people who were quite content to just “chew the fat”, you know, and just talk about whatever. Steve: …viele Leute würden vor dir zurückschrecken oder dir böse Blicke zuwerfen, aber du würdest immer Leute finden, die ganz zufrieden damit wären, „das Fett zu kauen“, weißt du, und einfach über was auch immer zu reden. Стив: …многие люди будут сторониться вас или бросать на вас неодобрительные взгляды, но вы всегда найдете людей, которые будут вполне довольны тем, что просто «пожуют жир», знаете ли, и просто поболтают о чем угодно. Of course I had to be careful not to talk about politics because that might get them into trouble, but we could always talk. Natürlich musste ich aufpassen, nicht über Politik zu reden, denn das könnte sie in Schwierigkeiten bringen, aber reden konnten wir immer. The Chinese, in that regard, I think are quite easy going. Die Chinesen sind in dieser Hinsicht meiner Meinung nach ziemlich locker.

Alex:    Yeah, I think that’s, you know, definitely a similarity among rural Korea. Alex: Ja, ich denke, das ist definitiv eine Ähnlichkeit zwischen dem ländlichen Korea. The urbanization of Seoul has just really changed the atmosphere there, but if you do go outside the city and, I mean, it takes a bit of time because the city is so expansive that you have to travel at least an hour outside, but if you do that’s where you find that kind of home country, typical rural friendliness and hospitality. Die Urbanisierung von Seoul hat die Atmosphäre dort gerade wirklich verändert, aber wenn Sie aus der Stadt gehen, und ich meine, es dauert ein bisschen, weil die Stadt so weitläufig ist, dass Sie mindestens eine Stunde außerhalb reisen müssen, aber wenn Sie finden dort diese Art von Heimat, typisch ländliche Freundlichkeit und Gastfreundschaft.

Steve:    Yeah, yeah. No, China, when I was there of course in the ‘70s, many of them had never seen a foreigner. Nein, China, als ich in den 70er Jahren dort war, hatten natürlich viele noch nie einen Ausländer gesehen.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    I can remember on one occasion I was in Shanghai with my wife and two kids and they were both blond, at that age; they’re dark haired now. Steve: Ich kann mich erinnern, dass ich einmal mit meiner Frau und zwei Kindern in Shanghai war und beide in diesem Alter blond waren; Sie sind jetzt dunkelhaarig. But we were walking down one of the major streets of Shanghai and we were surrounded by 200 people. Aber wir gingen eine der Hauptstraßen von Shanghai entlang und waren von 200 Menschen umgeben.

Alex:    Oh, wow.

Steve:    They were about 20 deep. Steve: Sie waren ungefähr 20 tief. Стив: Они были примерно на 20 глубине.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    Perfectly, you know, harmless, but they were just like curious. Steve: Perfekt, weißt du, harmlos, aber sie waren genauso neugierig.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    It was a hot June day and my kids started to cry as this crowd was kind of squeezing us. Steve: Es war ein heißer Junitag und meine Kinder fingen an zu weinen, als diese Menschenmenge uns irgendwie drückte. Similarly, I remember once in northern China in the winter, I was in Harbin. Ähnlich erinnere ich mich einmal im Winter in Nordchina, ich war in Harbin. Not in Harbin, I was in a smaller town up in northeast China… Nicht in Harbin, ich war in einer kleineren Stadt im Nordosten Chinas …

Alex:    Oh, okay.

Steve:    …and I went for a walk, as I always do. Steve: …und ich bin wie immer spazieren gegangen. I mean when we’re traveling, right, we like to walk around. Ich meine, wenn wir auf Reisen sind, gehen wir gerne herum.

Alex:    Right.

Steve:    It doesn’t matter what it is. Steve: Es spielt keine Rolle, was es ist. Some little village, I wonder what this village is all about. Irgendein kleines Dorf, ich frage mich, was es mit diesem Dorf auf sich hat. So you’re wandering around and I looked behind me and I had 200 little kids following me. Du wanderst also herum und ich schaute hinter mich und hatte 200 kleine Kinder, die mir folgten.

Alex:    Wow.

Steve:    Yeah.

So, yeah, we were a curiosity in those days. Also, ja, wir waren damals eine Kuriosität. It’s not the case today; although, I’m sure in China if you went out into the boonies you might encounter the same, but, certainly, you mentioned Xi An or Beijing or any of those major cities, they’re quite used to seeing lots of tourists. Das ist heute nicht mehr der Fall; Obwohl ich sicher bin, dass Sie in China, wenn Sie in die Wüste gehen, auf dasselbe stoßen werden, aber sicherlich haben Sie Xi An oder Peking oder eine dieser großen Städte erwähnt, sie sind es gewohnt, viele Touristen zu sehen.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    So we’re not the curiosity that we once were. Steve: Wir sind also nicht mehr die Kuriositäten, die wir einmal waren.

Alex:    Exactly.

Steve:    Yeah.

Well, now what are your plans with Chinese? Nun, was sind deine Pläne mit Chinesisch? Now you’re in third year Korean. Jetzt bist du im dritten Jahr Koreanisch.

Alex:    No. Actually, I’ve finished fourth year Korea already. Eigentlich habe ich das vierte Jahr Korea bereits beendet.

Steve:    You’ve finished fourth year Korean. Steve: Du hast das vierte Jahr Koreanisch beendet.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    And so you’re going to come back to UBC and work on your Chinese? Steve: Und Sie werden also zurück zur UBC kommen und an Ihrem Chinesisch arbeiten?

Alex:    I don’t know if I have any plans on taking another Chinese course and I think the biggest reason is that it’s just so expensive. Alex: Ich weiß nicht, ob ich vorhabe, einen weiteren Chinesischkurs zu belegen, und ich denke, der Hauptgrund ist, dass er einfach so teuer ist.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    You know a year of Chinese is bordering on $1,000 now. Alex: Weißt du, ein Jahr Chinesisch grenzt jetzt an 1.000 Dollar.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    And, you know, I found that in the eight months of the course that I was taking, I didn’t really learn all that much. Alex: Und weißt du, ich habe festgestellt, dass ich in den acht Monaten des Kurses, den ich besucht habe, nicht wirklich viel gelernt habe. Since that semester finished and I’ve just begun this kind of self-study type of learning… Seitdem das Semester vorbei ist und ich gerade mit dieser Art des Selbststudiums begonnen habe …

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    …I’ve found that it’s much more rewarding because I’m the one who chooses what I study. Alex: …Ich habe festgestellt, dass es viel lohnender ist, weil ich derjenige bin, der auswählt, was ich studiere.

Steve:    Right.

Alex:    But, at the same time, it’s so much cheaper. Alex: Aber gleichzeitig ist es so viel billiger.

Steve:    Oh, yeah.

Alex:    So…

Steve:    I mean absolutely. This is a common theme, you know, and we talk about it all the time, but there’s so…I think…you know I was going to actually break down and tell you this fall I’m going to Italy with my wife. Das ist ein gemeinsames Thema, wissen Sie, und wir reden die ganze Zeit darüber, aber es gibt so ... ich glaube ... Sie wissen, ich wollte eigentlich zusammenbrechen und Ihnen sagen, dass ich diesen Herbst mit meiner Frau nach Italien gehe. It’s my 65th birthday and all. Es ist mein 65. Geburtstag und so.

Alex:    Oh, congratulations.

Steve:    Thank you. And so we were going to go; in fact, have plans to go to Sardinia. Und so wollten wir gehen; tatsächlich haben Pläne, nach Sardinien zu gehen. And I found this Italian language school and they rent out a nice apartment that belongs to the owner of the school and everything. Und ich habe diese italienische Sprachschule gefunden und sie vermieten eine schöne Wohnung, die dem Eigentümer der Schule und allem gehört. I thought it would be neat. Ich dachte, es wäre ordentlich. We know the local people and ah, what the hell, I’ll enroll in a language course. Wir kennen die Einheimischen und ach was solls, ich melde mich für einen Sprachkurs an. And I spoke to the lady there today via Skype. Und mit der Dame dort habe ich heute über Skype gesprochen. It’s four hours a day and they begin with grammar and then they have a break and then they have their communications part and then they do writing. Es sind vier Stunden am Tag und sie beginnen mit Grammatik und dann haben sie eine Pause und dann haben sie ihren Kommunikationsteil und dann schreiben sie. I’m saying to myself, I’m going to be in Sardinia and I’m going to spend four hours of every day for a whole week sitting in a classroom. Ich sage mir, ich werde in Sardinien sein und eine ganze Woche lang jeden Tag vier Stunden in einem Klassenzimmer sitzen. They’re going to teach me grammar, which I can look up in a book. Sie werden mir Grammatik beibringen, die ich in einem Buch nachschlagen kann.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    It’s not that I don’t know the verbs in Italian, I can’t get them right and sitting in the classroom is not going to help me get them right. Steve: Es ist nicht so, dass ich die Verben auf Italienisch nicht kenne, ich kann sie nicht richtig verstehen und im Klassenzimmer zu sitzen wird mir nicht helfen, sie richtig zu verstehen.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    So you get a lot of explanation, then they’re going to ask me to repeat it and reproduce it and get it wrong, which I don’t like doing. Steve: Du bekommst also eine Menge Erklärungen, dann werden sie mich bitten, es zu wiederholen und zu reproduzieren und es falsch zu machen, was ich nicht gerne mache.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    So, actually, as a result of our Skype conversation, I’m not going to go there. Steve: Als Ergebnis unseres Skype-Gesprächs werde ich eigentlich nicht dorthin gehen.

Alex:    Oh, really?

Steve:    I mean I’m going to go there. Steve: Ich meine, ich werde dorthin gehen.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    They have a cooking school thing, so I’m going to take the cooking school three times a week. Steve: Sie haben eine Kochschul-Sache, also werde ich dreimal pro Woche an der Kochschule teilnehmen. Three evening a week we cook and we eat what we cook. An drei Abenden in der Woche kochen wir und wir essen, was wir kochen. I’ll be there with my wife and I’m just going to visit around. Ich werde mit meiner Frau dort sein und ich werde mich nur umsehen. It may be cheaper to get a taxi and just talk away in Italian. Es kann billiger sein, ein Taxi zu nehmen und einfach auf Italienisch zu reden.

Alex:    Exactly.

Steve:    But, no, I see what you mean. Steve: Aber nein, ich verstehe was du meinst. It is tremendously expensive, but, yeah. Es ist ungeheuer teuer, aber, ja. And the resources that are available, whether it be a book, whether it be the library, whether it be Internet, whether it be LingQ, whether it be using flashcard systems or, you know, whatever, the live mochas. Und die Ressourcen, die verfügbar sind, sei es ein Buch, sei es die Bibliothek, sei es das Internet, sei es LingQ, sei es die Verwendung von Flashcard-Systemen oder, wissen Sie, was auch immer, die Live-Mokkas. И ресурсы, которые доступны, будь то книга, будь то библиотека, будь то Интернет, будь то LingQ, будь то системы с карточками или, знаете, что угодно, живые мокко. I mean they all have their different flavor and different people like different things, but there’s less and less justification for sitting in a classroom. Ich meine, sie haben alle ihren eigenen Geschmack und unterschiedliche Menschen mögen unterschiedliche Dinge, aber es gibt immer weniger Gründe dafür, in einem Klassenzimmer zu sitzen.

Alex:    Exactly.

Steve:    Okay. Well, there you have it. Nun, da haben Sie es. We kind of diverged from our normal. Wir sind irgendwie von unserer Normalität abgewichen. We didn’t criticize anyone in Canada or the other stuff that Mark and I normally do. Wir haben niemanden in Kanada oder die anderen Sachen kritisiert, die Mark und ich normalerweise machen. We were a little more serious. Wir waren etwas ernster. We talked about language learning with Alex, so thank you Alex. Wir haben mit Alex über das Sprachenlernen gesprochen, also danke Alex.

Alex:    Thank you for having me, Steve. Alex: Danke, dass du mich hast, Steve.

Steve:    Okay and that will be the end of our discussion today. Steve: Okay, und das wird das Ende unserer heutigen Diskussion sein. Please let us know if you have any special requests; things that you would like us to talk about. Bitte lassen Sie uns wissen, wenn Sie spezielle Wünsche haben; Dinge, über die Sie mit uns sprechen möchten. We had that one request for us to talk about endangered languages. Wir hatten diese eine Bitte an uns, über gefährdete Sprachen zu sprechen. We were happy to do that. Das haben wir gerne getan. We will talk about any subject. Wir werden über jedes Thema sprechen. What we have to say is not, you know, based on any depth of knowledge, but it does give you some vocabulary. Was wir zu sagen haben, basiert nicht auf tiefgründigem Wissen, aber es gibt Ihnen einige Vokabeln.

Alex:    Yeah.

Steve:    Thank you for listening, bye. Steve: Danke fürs Zuhören, tschüss.

Alex:    Bye-bye.