When did you start learning Chinese? What inspired you to take up the language?
I started learning Chinese three years ago when I was a year 9 student of Rotorua Boys' High School. I have always thought that learning another language is a very good learning experience, to learn the countries and its culture. So seeing that Chinese was an option at Rotorua Boys' High School, I decided to take it as one of my subjects.
Tell us about your Chinese language learning journey? What has been the most unexpected or rewarding part of the experience?
My Chinese language learning journey so far has been a very fun and interesting one, as I have been able to be confident when I speak Chinese to natives whenever I meet with them. I know that learning Chinese is a long process that takes time and dedication to master, and I am excited to continue my studies into the language and culture. The most rewarding part of my Chinese experience was when I received 2nd place in the Wellington region of the Chinese Speech Competition, as when I heard that both me and William both got through to the next round it felt like all the effort has finally paid off.
What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your Chinese speaking ability?
Some of the opportunities that have opened up due to my Chinese speaking ability is me doing able to use these skills in the real world. As know I am able to converse with Chinese people, as well as enrich myself in their rich culture.
What do you like most about the Chinese culture?
The thing I like the most about Chinese culture is the language, specifically the characters. As these characters all have meanings, as well as stories behind them which interests me very much.
What are the most striking differences between Chinese and Kiwi culture?
The most striking difference between Chinese and Kiwi culture is that they are completely different from one another. Kiwi culture is more western based and as such, one who is not familiar with eastern values and traditions are more than likely going to experience a culture shock when they arrive in China.
Why do you think other New Zealanders should learn Chinese? Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of taking up the language?
I think that other New Zealanders should learn Chinese as it is something that will be completely new to them. As they will be able to learn about a different part of the world. Some tips I have for people thinking about taking up the language is to enjoy the experience. As enjoying the experience will accelerate your learning as when you enjoy something you will be more invested in improving.