My Yangshuo Study Abroad

-Calligraphy is relaxing because you’re essentially painting words. However, I now understand why so many struggle learning the written form of Chinese. It’s somewhat like when you paint with colors. Mixing red and blue makes a new color in purple just like putting different characters together makes a new meaning. Same concept with how there are multiple shades of blue, there are multiple forms of Chinese characters and even cursive to write the simplest of words. This is why most people outside of Hong Kong and Taiwan opt towards simplified Chinese (pinying) because it is exactly that. Easier to write and type.
-Writing pinying with a pen isn’t overly complex but painting is, as the brush strokes dictate the word. So thicker or longer brush strokes will change the character somewhat like comparing a “c” to an “o”.
-I came to Yangshuo at a bad time. The town is so deserted due to COVID and the weather has been a mixed bag of sunshine and gloom. That being said, I have no regrets. I knew the risk I was taking and still absolutely love the nature and scenery out here.
-There are three main spots to see in Yangshuo: West Street, hike the TV tower, and to take a bamboo raft on the river. Of course, I did all them all and recommend all three.
-The hardest parts about learning the spoken form of Chinese are:

  1. The tones, if you haven’t studied a tonal language before. Saying a word with a higher or lower pitch completely changes the meaning.
  2. The dialects, as Chinese has a multitude of those as well with the main two being Mandarin and Cantonese.
  3. The hardest, in my opinion, is learning the syntax – the sentence structure. I don’t know where to start explaining it but basically I feel like I’m playing scrabble, but with sentences, every lesson I have.

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