Benny’s 1 month level of Mandarin: Lantern festival interviews!
[Make sure to enable captions in either English or original traditional Chinese. If Youtube is blocked for you, you can watch the video on Youku]
Here it is! My one month point in my 3-month Mandarin mission, shared on video!
The first few seconds are me reading a prepared text off camera to practice speaking a little quicker, and then the rest of the video is saying some things that I ran by my (native) cameraman just before saying it to make sure I was pronouncing everything correctly. This is very different to the several days of preparation that went into for the first video!! And it's way more interesting 🙂
Useful feedback appreciated – as you can hear, based on changes in my strategy for the last two weeks, I am saying words separately rather than syllables separately. I still speak slowly when doing it without reading, but it's manageable enough for natives to understand me fine.
Unfortunately, while recording I only understood a few words that were said in reply to me (like dragon, tangyuan (the food), lantern, friend, new year etc.), and needed help with the subtitles. So the purpose of this video isn't to show that I can speak with any native, but to use the tiny amount of Mandarin I have, to share some cool insights into the Lantern Festival with you all!
In future videos I plan on interacting much more with the person I'll be interviewing.
I hope you liked this little glimpse into the Lantern Festival! Taipei was really boring during the Chinese New Year, since most people went to the countryside to be with their families and a lot of businesses were closed. It's more like Christmas than the western New Year in this sense. But luckily things are busier for the Lantern Festival and I got to see lovely fireworks and lit-up dragons!
More cultural investigations like this is something I plan to do as my language skills improve. Hopefully you enjoyed this short video!