So what are my goals that I want to attain? My long-time goal is to be fluent in Chinese. And with fluent I mean perfectly fluent, indistinguishable from a native speaker. I know, that is a very very ambitious goal and we might be talking about decades to pass until that stage is reached. ;) However, why not set yourself hard to reach goals, you will be even more happy if you do achieve them.
Studying Chinese makes me happy, or to be more concrete, seeing the progress that I make with studying the Chinese language and being able to understand more and more. It is a wonderful feeling to walk the streets of Taipei and recognize more and more of the Chinese characters that before just seemed to be impossible to ever read, not to mention write. It makes me feel more close to this culture that I admire so much. Therfore I feel very happy and blessed to have the chance to be in this country. And believe me, Taiwanese people are so friendly, I always felt so welcome here.
I told you about my long-time goal. Another goal, that I set myself is to be able to read my favourite book in Chinese. My favourite book is "The Alchemist" from Paulo Coelho. "A Fable about following your dream", which is the subtitle and describes the book very well. This here is the Chinese edition:
And since I so like to see my progress, I have thought about a little idea, my personal progress-o-meter you could call it. :) Here is a random page of the book:
And here is the same page after I digitally removed (quite fantastic what is possible these days, hm?! hehe..) all the characters that I cannot read so far:
I admit, this would have been more impressive, if I wouln't just have worked through the first book already. But still, due to the gaps this is not readable at all! As I learn more and more characters, I will always update this picture, fill the gaps and post the new version here on my blog. "The Alchemist" uses a very easy language, so I think this book is a very good first approach to reading a Chinese book.
I will keep you updated! :) Bye, Sebastian (that is my real name, I guess I haven't mentioned it so far...)