How to Say Hello in 15 Languages

One of my goals in life is to be able to greet someone in 15 different languages. So here is my list on how to say hello in 15 different languages:

  1. Hello/Hi-English
  2. Hola-Spanish
  3. Olá-Portuguese
  4. Bonjour-French
  5. Hallo/Guten Tag/Servus-German
  6. Hej/Goddag-Danish
  7. Ciao-Italian
  8. 你好 (nĭ hăo)-Mandarin Chinese
  9. こんにちは (konnichiwa)-Japanese
  10. 안녕하세요 (anyeonghaseyo)-Korean
  11. नमस्ते (namaste)-Hindi
  12. Salve-Latin
  13. привет (privet)-Russian
  14. Merhaba-Turkish
  15. مرحبا (marhaba)-Arabic

hello

2019 Life Update

It’s been a little over 2 years since I have last written. Unfortunately, time has slipped away from me for various reasons. A lot has happened since 2017. First off, I have been on several trips both internationally and domestically. The first being the Europe trip that I mentioned in one of my previous posts in 2017, but never got the chance to update about it. One of the next posts that I plan on writing will be about the Europe trip for sure.

The domestic trips that I went on last year were to Niagara Falls and to Wildwood beach. I’ve been to Niagara Falls several times since I have family living in that area, but my boyfriend and daughter have never been so I thought it would be nice to take a trip there again for their sake. The beach was also a nice little getaway to enjoy the ocean and the boardwalk. Plus it was nice to have my daughter enjoy the beach, now that she’s old enough to actually enjoy it.

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Next important event that happened was that I finally graduated college last fall with a Bachelor’s in German and also a Bachelor’s in Multidisciplinary Studies. It’s been a long couple years in getting my bachelor’s degrees, but it can be done with hard work and determination. Now I am working on my Master’s in Secondary Education. I just finished up with my first semester in my master’s program, so I finally have some time to relax a little until the fall. Now now I finally have some time, I can finally get into the groove again on posting about different languages, cultures, and places around the world. So stay tuned!

Baek-il: 100 Days

Baek-il (백일) is a Korean celebration of a baby’s first 100 days of life. It is a big milestone for a baby to reach 100 days. Back in the day, babies would pass away because of illnesses and poor living conditions. Parents would try and avoid bringing their babies outside until they were 100 days old, since 100 days was a sign that babies would see their first birthday.

On baek-il, parents pray and worship the spirit, Samshin. They offered rice and soup to the spirit to thank her for helping the baby and the parents through this difficult time period. Afterwards, family, friends, and relatives celebrate with rice cakes, fruits, and other treats. Usually during this celebration, the parents dress their baby in a traditional Korean hanbok.

Creating & Maintaining a Blog

If you decide that you want to blog, then that’s great! There are many different reasons why people blog. People blog to share their experiences to the world, to inform others about topics they are passionate about, to write their opinions, etc. No matter what the reason why you want to blog, there is a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, you have to consider where to write your blog. There are many different free blogging websites to choose from: WordPress, Weebly, Tumblr, and so on and so forth. Once you have explored the different blogging websites and have chosen a website that works best for you, then you have to create a domain name aka your blog/website name. Make sure when you are creating a blog name that is something unique and easy to remember. After creating your name and password, then it’s time to start customizing your blog’s theme and background. There are many free themes to choose from. Once you finally finish customizing your blog, then it’s finally time to start writing! 

You can write as much as you want or even as little as you want. If you really want to maintain your blog, then try creating a schedule or write as much as you can. Sometimes life does get in the way and you don’t get to blog as much as you would like to. And that’s okay. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and there are some times that I go on a hiatus. I am guilty of forgetting to write, because I’m so busy with schoolwork or doing other things. But I always try and write after I travel or want to talk about something I care about like culture, language, photography, etc. Your blog will always be there whenever you decide you feel like writing.

So if you want to blog then blog, add pictures, and most importantly, have fun!

Planning a Trip to Europe

In a few months, I will be going back to Europe for the third time! The past two times I went to Europe, I traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Holland, and Denmark. This time I will be going to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Italy, Luxembourg, and France. 

So far, I’ve traveled to 13 countries. After this trip, though, I will have traveled 17 countries in total. Right now, I’m still currently in the process of planning the trip. Some of the places I’ll be revisiting and some of the places are going to be completely new to me. I’m not going to say exactly where I’m going just yet. I’ll leave that for after I come back and can post pictures. 

Adventures to Nagoya and Kyoto

It’s been about a few weeks since I’ve came back from my trip to Japan and since school is canceled again because of the recent snowstorm, I decided to write about my trip.

Before even going to Japan, I had a layover in Beijing, China for 2 hours. Well that was a trip itself…While I was on my flight to Beijing, they decided to cancel my flight from Beijing to Nagoya due to the lack of people. So you can pretty much understand how worried and confused I was when I arrived to Japan. First off, you are not even allowed to stay in China for more than 3 days without a visa. Second off, I had to explain my situation to customs and the ticketing officers with the basic Chinese
I know which still led to confusion from the language barrier. And third off, trying to figure how and when I would be able to get to Japan while trying to find my suitcase.

All in all, after a few hours everything worked out. I found my suitcase, the airplane carrier I was traveling on was able to book me a (free) ticket and hotel room, and the next day I was able to fly to Nagoya.

*Note: when traveling, expect the unexpected. You’ll never know what will happen. Make sure you have enough money, a way to contact someone from home, and keep track of your belongings at all times.

When I finally made it to Japan and my friend picked me up, I felt like I was in a whole new world. Everything was in Japanese, smaller, and the very best-cuter. You could see mascots and pictures of famous anime characters from e.g. Pokemon or Love Live!

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We were around Nagoya for about a week and then spent about 2 days in Kyoto. Even though I was only there for about a week and a half, we were still able to see and plenty of things.

The first day we went to the aquarium in Nagoya. There I was able to see not only fish but seals, turtles, penguins, whales, dolphins, and some really ugly fish (and I mean ugly).

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Throughout the days in Nagoya, we did a lot of shopping, went to Nagoya castle, Nabana no Sato (a winter wonderland of lights, a science museum, and one of my all time favorites-the Pokemon Center.

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Before New Years, we visited Kyoto for about 2 days. Each day we went to about 3 different sites. This included Kiyomizu temple, Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kinkakuji temple, and Sanjusangendo (Buddhist temple with 1000 statues). On the way to all the places, there were vendors and souvenir shops all over the place. One of my favorite things I saw at most of the shops were the amount of kokeshi dolls. If you’re not sure what kokeshi dolls are then you can read about them in my blog post here:

https://christinathepolyglot.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/kokeshi-dolls/

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Visiting all the places was definitely a lot of fun. Another thing I enjoyed about being in Japan was the food. I was able to try so many different foods and desserts while I was there. And there’s so many I already miss eating. I tried tonkatsu (pork cutlet), okonomiyaki (vegetable pancake with meat and sauce), fried shrimp, loco moco (even though it’s technically Hawaiian), kishimen noodles with miso, different types of soups, real ramen with dumplings and rice, melon bread ice cream, cakes, strawberry cheesecake kit kat, and so much more!

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All in all you can say I had a great trip. I’m so lucky and thankful to have such a good friend (who’s like my twin) to allow me to stay with her and her family and show me around like she did.

Japan is definitely a great place to visit and I highly recommend to go if you ever get the chance!

How Do You Say ‘Ghoti’?

The English language is definitely a complex language to learn. For us native speakers, it may not seem so since we’ve been learning it since we were born. However if you look more closely at English words and even pronunciations, you’ll understand why English is so difficult to learn for non native speakers.

If I gave you the word ‘ghoti’, how would you pronounce it? Perhaps like [go-tee] or [guo-tee].

What if I told you ghoti was pronounced like fish? You might be thinking, how do you get fish? It doesn’t look it would be pronounced as fish. But there’s where you’re wrong. If you look closer into the English language and into pronunciations, you’ll see exactly how this word could be pronounced as fish.

Take the gh in ghoti. What words do you know with gh sound like f?
Enough – f

Now take the o.
Women – I

Lastly take the ti.
Nation – sh

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And there you have it. This is one of the things I learned in my Linguistics class, which I find absolutely fascinating. It’s so interesting to learn about the background of language and everything that goes into language like phonetics, phonology and so on. Even though I just started learning about linguistics, it’s already helped me understand more about not only foreign language but even my own language. If you, too, are serious about learning languages, I would highly recommend studying at least some about linguistics. It will definitely make learning languages a little easier and everything will start to make more sense to you.

First Two Weeks

Tomorrow is the two week mark since I’ve been in Germany. Before I came here, I thought the German culture and American culture/lifestyle were at least a little bit similar. Well, I was wrong. The food/meals, school, transportation, etc. are a lot different.My life here is completely different than my life in America.

Food/Meals: The meat and other foods are a lot larger here than I expected. The food is always fresh, and almost always prepared-unlike in America where we seem to just grab something out of the freezer and cook in the microwave. For Fruhstuck (breakfast), I normally eat muesli on schooldays and eggs or bread with meat, cheese, and meat on weekends. During school, I’ll have Pausenbrot (bread or a sandwich eaten during breaks). Then after that is Mittagsessen (lunch), which is the largest meal of the day. Lunch for me is always something different: Maultaschen (my favorite), spaghetti, pizza, cordon bleu with french fries, sausage, doner, etc. And then is Abendsessen (dinner), which is usually just bread or brezel with meat, cheese, butter, etc. German food is delicious, especially the desserts.

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School: The school I am attending is called a Gymnasium. In the Gymnasium that I’m attending, there are Grades 5 through 12 (I believe). My classes change everyday, and each class (or lesson) is 90 minutes long. 3 days a week I have 3 classes (or blocks) and I get to leave at 1 pm. In between each period is a 15 minute break. On Monday, I have 4 blocks and I get to leave at 3:30 pm. After the third block, there is a 30 or 45 minute break for lunch. On Thursday, I have 5 blocks..which means I don’t get to leave school until 5 pm. Leaving at 5 pm isn’t actually all that bad. The class subjects are almost all the same like in America except for Religion. All my classes (except for English and Spanish), are taught in German (of course). The first couple days, I didn’t understand at all. But everyday, I learn more German and understand more and more. Something else that is different is that we are allowed to leave the school during the breaks (well, not leave leave), to enjoy the fresh air or go into town to get food.

Transportation and Punctuality: I go to school everyday by bus, however, not a “school bus.” Every school morning and afternoon, I get on the public bus and it is always packed of school kids-so it seems like a school bus. But on the bus are kids from different schools and can get off wherever they want to. Public buses here are really convenient, you can pretty much go anywhere by bus-but you have to wait sometimes awhile for them to come. The cars here, I was told, are mostly manual and not automatic. And the trains and subways..can’t say anything about them yet because I haven’t been on any so far. As for punctuality, when the bus is scheduled to come at a certain time-it will be there exactly at that time. If you have plans to meet someone, always be there at the schedule time.

Environment: The Germans definitely care about the environment. The streets and sidewalks are always clean, and never littered with trash. They recycle and have individuals recycling bins for paper, glass, plastic, etc. And they conserve water. I really wish we did this in the United States. I never really realized how much we’re wasting until coming here.

So far, I like my new life in Germany. Like I said, it is definitely different. Sometimes it can be a little difficult being in a new culture. So far, I made a lot of mistakes and mispronounced a lot of words. But it’s from these mistakes, that we learn the most.

Below are some pictures of Wertheim, two of the castles in my area, the Main and Tauber rivers, etc.

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Chinese Dumplings

I have less than one week until I depart for Germany, and in exactly one week I will arrive in Germany! To keep my mind off my anxiousness, I decided to write about Chinese dumplings. Why? I absolutely love dumplings, and I especially love Chinese dumplings.

So today I will be writing about the five types of Chinese dumplings (and buns) I mostly came across (and ate) while I was in China: baozi, tangbao, xiaolongbao, jiaozi, hundun (aka wonton).

包子 Baozi is a steam filled bun. Baozi is filled with either meat or vegetable fillings. Two types of baozi are 大包 dabao (big dumplings) and 小包 xiaobao (small dumplings).

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汤包 Tangbao (“soup dumping”) is a large baozi filled with soup and meat (usually). There are two forms of tangbao. The first (traditional) looks like a regular baozi, and is directly bitten into and drunken. The second (modern) is that the soup liquid is drunken by a straw and the skin is eaten afterwards. Tangbao is my favorite Chinese dish. 我要吃汤包!

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小笼包 Xiaolongbao (small basket buns) is a small baozi that is steamed in a small bamboo basket.

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校子 Jiaozi is a dumpling that is filled with meat and vegetable filling. It is wrapped with a thin piece of dough, and is compressed and compressed with the fingers. There are three types of jiaozi: steamed, boiled, pan fried.

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馄炖 Hundun (wonton-Cantonese) is a type of dumpling usually filled with meat. It is usually mixed with spices, salt, and garlic or green onion. Wontons are boiled or deep-fried. In China, each region has its own variation (Beijing, Sichuan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Cantonese..).

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CIEE Leadership Academy in China

I am finally back from 4-week my study/visit in China. I must say, I had an absolute blast. At the beginning of the trip, I met the 7 other students and my group leader accompanying me on this trip. We were complete strangers, intimidated by each other. However, by the end of our 4 weeks together, we grew closer and became close friends-we learned there was nothing to be afraid of.

The CIEE Leadership Academy in Nanjing, China is mainly composed of 6 components: living (host family), service, language (Mandarin), leadership, and the week-long tour.

The first 3 weeks, we were in Nanjing, China. Our first two days in Nanjing consisted of orientations, meeting up with our Chinese host siblings/co-teacher, and moving into our new host families.

Living: We were matched with our siblings by our interests. And I must say, CIEE couldn’t have done a better job with matching me to my host sister, Tracy. We had identical personalities and the same interests: music, languages, etc. She was shy at first, but she quickly opened up to me and we quickly became close. My host parents were also very warm, kind, and passionate people. They made me feel completely at home. One of the biggest pluses is that my host mom loves dumplings (and making them, too)-I absolutely love dumplings!

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Service: Monday-Friday morning, the 8 of us students and our Chinese peers became English teachers to migrant children (5th graders) at the Yuhuatai Elementary school. We taught from 9 a.m.-11:20 a.m. Each class was 40 minutes long with 10 minute breaks between each of the three classes: English class, games component, and the cultural component. In my class, I had 14 students (10 boys and 4 girls). By the end of the third week, I had only 12 students (8 boys and 4 girls). I did have some troublemakers in my class, some quiet students, and some in between-but they were all eager to learn and have fun!

Afterwards at 11:30, we would have lunch at the school cafeteria.

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Leadership, Language, and Cultural Activities: After lunch, we would go back to CIEE Center where we would have classes 5:30. Everyday, however, composed of different classes:

Monday: Taichi, Leadership, and Lesson planning

Tuesday: Chinese, Leadership, Lesson planning, and Chinese

Wednesday: Lesson planning and Field trip (lasted until at least after 7)

Thursday: Chinese, Leadership, Lesson planning, and Chinese

Friday: Taichi and Lesson planning (we got to leave early on Fridays)

On our field trips, we went to the Confucius Temple, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Masoleum, Ming Tomb, Presidential Palace, Yangzhou, etc.

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On the weekends, we all had free time with our host families to explore or do whatever we wanted. My host family arranged for me and my host sister to go to Suzhou for the second weekend, and stay at my host dad’s younger brother’s home with him, his wife, and their 10 or 11 year old son. When I was in Suzhou, I went to three beautiful gardens, a temple, the Suzhou museum, and also went to a movie theater (or cinema as they call it there in English). During this same weekend, several other members of my group also went to Suzhou while others did other activities in Nanjing like going to an opera and/or climbing the Purple Mountain.

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Week-long Tour: After our three weeks of living, teaching, and learning in Nanjing, we said goodbye to our host families and hopped on a train to our first destination: Shanghai. We stayed in Shanghai for about 3 days. There we went to the Chenghuang Temple area, the Bund, the French Concession, the Shanghai Museum, an acrobatics show, and went to Zhujiajiao-a Shanghai river town.

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Our next stop on the tour was Beijing. In Beijing, we went to Tiananmen Square, the Wangfujing shopping area, the Great Wall, 798 Art Zone, Kungfu Show, the U.S. Center in Beijing, the Forbidden City, and the Silk Market.

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This experience was an once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am extremely glad I decided to do this program. A month of my summer to go to China and learn the Chinese culture, learn to become a leader, learn Mandarin Chinese, live with a host family, make new friends and connections, and most importantly, make a difference in the lives of others. There is no better feeling that that.

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I highly recommend this program to all high school students. It is only 4 weeks to go to one of the following countries: China, Japan, Spain, Dominic Republic, Czech Republic, Senegal, Ghana, Jordan

CIEE Leadership Academy website:

http://www.ciee.org/high-school-summer-abroad/