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Go School Forum > General discussion > Learning = awkward/embarrassing?

Learning = awkward/embarrassing?

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2007-10-23 02:23
Guo Juan For quite a while, there is no ‘noise’ at all on our Forum. Is that because we are perfect or everybody is so terribly busy watching the lectures and had no time to complain? Hehe, I am very proud then.

Well, since I am not noisy myself, I can not complain either. Am I horribly busy? No, I haven’t done much these days, told ‘boss’ that I am taking a break! Thanks to our teachers, they are taking care of new lectures.

Now, let’s make a little noise.

About awkward, yes I have just checked my Chinese/English dictionary for the Chinese word ‘尴尬’ (gan-1 ga-3). Please don’t try to learn these two characters, don’t even look at them too long or too closely, because that will make you dizzy. They look really awkward, don’t they? Why these Chinese make characters with so many strokes? The one reason I can think of is: they don’t want you westerners to learn their language, so when they talk about your awkward/embarrassing moves, you will not understand and they will not get awkward/embarrassed!

Instead of going to school, I learned English from Go players. Normally, when someone says a word I don’t know, I just nod my head and, looking into his eyes, pretend I understand. Often, from the contents of the conversation, combined with my intelligence, I figure out what he is talking about. But often this only happens after one or two or even three minutes. So when I give my opinion, it is always one or two or three steps too late. Sometimes, after one or two or three minutes, I still could not figure out: ‘what does that word mean?’, ‘which word?’, ‘the word you said just now, that word, oh something like…starts with E’, ‘oh, that word! It means…’ OK, now you know how I learned my English. Isn’t it a bit awkward/embarrassing?

I must check this word ‘awkward/embarrassing’. Yes, I must check it today! You want to know why?

Some time ago on KGS, a player talked to me: ‘I found your audio lesson site’, ‘’, ‘it looks very nice’, ‘’, ‘bargain price’ , ‘…’ I did not say anything but thinking… After one minute I thought I had understood him (I should have waited two or three more minutes until he says more): ‘you think it is expensive? Hmm……’, ‘???’, silence. I am not going to tell you the rest of what I said to this poor guy, otherwise I will be too awkward/embarrassed.

You know, this is not only my fault, but it is also the fault of awkward/embarrassing English language! I happened to know this word ‘bargain’ is a verb, but I did not know it is also a noun and an adjective. Chinese words have too many strokes because we don’t want you to learn. But your English words are verb and noun at the same time. You don’t want us to learn either?

I remember during my one minute thinking, there was a picture in my head: I was bargaining price with a farmer during the Culture Revolution. At that time the farmers were not allowed to sell their products in the city, but the shops in the city had nothing to sell. The little street outside of the University campus where we lived was a place we bargained price with the farmers. The deal had to be made within a very short time, one minute at most, otherwise the police would capture the farmers and kick them out of the city and give them a big fine. So the situation was like this: we were hungry, the farmers had no income, and the police were too busy…

I believe I was just like a farmer to this player: ‘you still want to bargain? Such a low price!!!’

I was and I am still awkward/embarrassed. If this player happens to read my article, please forgive me.

I was really awkward/embarrassed, but I learned one English word at least and I am going to use it in my new lectures.

So, learning = awkward/embarrassing?

2007-10-23 02:26
Guo Juan '?' should be a smiling face.

2007-10-28 00:17
thomas.pourcelot I understand your problem, as I'm not a native English speaker myself either. As a French, many words in my language are common with English, but sometimes the same word has very different meanings in French and English ! So when I'm speaking English, I often wonder if what I say really means what I want it to mean...

Anyways, I think your English is very good ; as far as I know, I've never noticed you making a mistake. And you make your lessons very clear to understand, which I think is already some achievement, even in one's mother language !

2011-07-09 20:58
osoraku Haha! Maybe someone just needs to break the ice...

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