Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language
Deborah Fallows has spent a lot of her life learning languages and traveling around the world. But nothing prepared her for the surprises of learning Mandarin, China's most common language, or the intensity of living in Shanghai and Beijing. Over time, she realized that her struggles and triumphs... show more
Deborah Fallows has spent a lot of her life learning languages and traveling around the world. But nothing prepared her for the surprises of learning Mandarin, China's most common language, or the intensity of living in Shanghai and Beijing. Over time, she realized that her struggles and triumphs in studying learning the language of her adopted home provided small clues to deciphering behavior and habits of its people, and its culture's conundrums. As her skill with Mandarin increased, bits of the language - a word, a phrase, an oddity of grammar - became windows into understanding romance, humor, protocol, relationships, and the overflowing humanity of modern China.Fallows learned, for example, that the abrupt, blunt way of speaking which Chinese people sometimes use isn't rudeness, but is, in fact a way to acknowledge and honor the closeness between two friends. She learned that English speakers' trouble with hearing or saying tones-the variations in inflection that can change a word's meaning-is matched by Chinese speakers' inability not to hear tones, or to even take a guess at understanding what might have been meant when foreigners misuse them.Dreaming in Chinese is the story of what Deborah Fallows discovered about the Chinese language, and how that helped her make sense of what had at first seemed like the chaos and contradiction of everyday life in China.
Publish date: September 13th 2011
Publisher: Walker & Company
Pages no: 208
Edition language: English
, Asian Literature
, Biography Memoir
Deborah Fallows and her family move to China for two years, and Fallows recounts the experience of living in China through the lens of her attempts to learn Mandarin. I enjoyed this a lot. I am always fascinated by cultures different from mine, and Fallows' point of view is sympathetic with mine. ...
A memoir with a focus on language and sociolinguistics--therefore, very enjoyable for me. Read with some of Peter Hessler's China books for interesting contrasts and comparisons.
Fallows accompanied her journalist husband to China. She tried to learn Chinese during her time there, but found this task to be much more daunting than she’d expected. She also learned many strange things about the Chinese language which she shares with us in this little book.
Deborah Fallows is a linguist, but still she struggled to learn Chinese when she and her husband spent three years living and traveling in Shanghai and Beijing. Using insights she gained from her language studies, this short fun book explores Chinese culture through the idiosyncrasies of Mandarin, C...
Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love and Language is a nonfiction work that gives a brief yet comprehensive look at Deborah Fallows life while in China and the way that the language of tongue, body and soul influenced her and others.The way the the book flows reminds me somewhat of a ...