Did you know that Horse-Horse-Tiger-Tiger, is translated into, Mǎ Mǎ Hǔ Hǔ? Of course, the literal translation would not help you speak about two horses and two tigers with someone who speaks Chinese, but instead literally means, "so-so," to tell someone how your day is going. Okay so it is obvious that English is totally different than Chinese both in written and verbal communication. The pronouncing "four" in English is the sound quantitative to mean four units of something. However, uttering "four" to a Chinese person will have them thinking you are referring to death and this is considered impolite. The difference between our two worlds is like the polar opposite charges of subatomic particles. Literally the difference is black and white. Americans use white to celebrate weddings, baby showers, and black to give condolences to the deceased, however in China, white is used for respecting the dead, and black reflects life itself.
In order to appreciate such a drastically different culture, Summer of Service is providing the student ambassadors Chinese Lessons written and facilitated by Elizabeth Whitney, the Chinese Adept coming along to guide us on our trip. The first lesson covered the following topics: