Many of you non-Mandarin speakers may have been wondering what the title of my blog means. “Wo shuo de bu hao” translates to “I don’t speak well.” It’s true. I really don’t speak Mandarin well. Apparently, I also don’t spell it well, considering that my blog is called woshOUdebuhao rather than the correct spelling of woshUOdebuhao.

I thought I was being clever, tongue-in-cheek, etc., etc. when I decided on the blog title. Little did I know how applicable the phrase would turn out to be. Thanks to a dear friend here in Haiyang (I won’t name names, but hers starts with an A and ends with an A), I was set straight. Her factoid was also verified by my Mandarin tutor. Oh dear. How embarrassing. At this point, I wish I could tell you that I have dyslexia, but that (as you and I both know) would be a lie. Turns out, I’m just a dunce.

The only word I knew in Mandarin before my arrival in the Middle Kingdom was “ni hao.” I’m slowly picking up others here and there. Maybe before we leave I’ll be able to accurately pronounce some of these words and also spell them correctly too.

Zai jian, wo de pengyoumen.

This entry was published on January 18, 2013 at 9:30 am. It’s filed under Dumb American and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “woshUOdebuhao

  1. Well Poods, we all know you have a tough time with your native tongue as well (and drawing) lol 😉 We still love you, dunce 😉

  2. Yes, I quite recall a famous FAH-KAIDE you mentioned in Quebec City. Or was that façade? Hmmmmmmm! Well, at least you know you’re not alone: I think you know of at least one other dunce out there!

  3. You might be interested to know that Google Translate has no idea of what ‘Zai jian, wo de pengyoumen’ means either (I don’t). But I have just started reading your blog and enjoy it a lot. I look forward to the rest of 2013.

  4. Learning language is a long process. I spend 12 years to learn English to communicate well with English speakers. And I am stilling learning. I saw so many people are struggling with learning Chinese in the U.S., especially the characters. I feel the most important thing is not how well you can speak Chinese. The most important thing is you are there, in that country, so that you can see, hear and feel languages and culture.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! It is so difficult. I have yet to learn more than 10-15 characters. Mainly because, in my case, the most important thing for me to learn is how to listen/speak so I can get around on my own.

  5. Love your blog!! I knew ‘ni hao’ and my name in Chinese before I arrived in China, then my next important words were ‘tai guy le’ – a necessary phrase when shopping anywhere in China. ha ha.

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