2009年 9月 30日, 星期三 - 格林尼治标准时间10:20

Emmet's Student Diary 伦敦学生博客

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

Wednesday, 30th September 2009 - Returning to University

Hi guys,

I’ve decided to go back to university this year. I’m studying Chinese and Linguistics in London and it promises to be a very interesting year. Starting this week, each Wednesday I’ll tell you all about my experiences of learning Mandarin as well as student life in England’s capital.

My full name is Emmet Conlon O’Reilly. I’m from the Republic of Ireland, about 100 miles west of mainland Britain with a population of about four million people. I moved to London in May 2008 to experience working life in one of Europe’s most vibrant cultural centres.

Emmet in front of the Houses of Parliament

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

This year, just before I turned 23 years old, I decided to seek out a totally new experience. I felt the need for a change, after having worked in restaurants and pubs for the past three years. I previously studied law in Dublin but the legal lifestyle wasn’t for me. Languages were always my forte in school and I can speak fluent Irish and good French (Irish is taught as a second language in Ireland and there are very few remaining native speakers).

So, eager to begin a new adventure and with an interest in Asian culture, I could think of nothing more challenging and daunting than learning Mandarin. I applied to the School of Oriental and African Studies (known as SOAS) in central London for a full-time, four-year degree course. With a year in Beijing as part of the study it was too tempting to resist.

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

I have not yet been to China but it’s a dream of mine to experience the oriental sights and exotic smells of your country. After seeing the success of the magnificent Beijing Olympics on television, I’d love to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and ancient Buddhist temples. Teaching English in China is something I’d love to do after, and possibly during, my four-year course.

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

This week I found out that I’ll have two courses in basic Mandarin (putonghua) as well as an introduction to Classical Chinese and a module in Linguistics. By the end of the year, I hope to have learned 800-900 Chinese characters. So far, I know only a few Mandarin phrases but I fully intend to be fluent in four years’ time after a lot of hard work.

Mostly, I’m intrigued by what lies ahead as well as slightly nervous. What’s it like to learn a completely new language that has little relation to your native tongue? I’d love to hear about your experiences of learning English and, as it’s been a while since I’ve hit the books, any advice you can give me would be very helpful. Have you ever studied abroad or returned to academic studies after a break? Can you remember your first week?

Wish me good luck: “zhù ni haoyùn!”

Emmet's Glossary

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

Question of the Week

Have you ever studied abroad or returned to academic studies after a break? Can you remember your first week? Any advice you can give me - or tips for studying - would be very helpful.

Email Emmet at 按键 chinaelt@bbc.co.uk

Your Replies按键


Note: We do not correct the English in comments posted.

Hello Emmet, This is Serena, so happy you love Chinese culture. I'm from Beijing. I have to say 祝你好运 (zhu ni hao yun) cause Mandarin is hard to learn, but I think you could overcome all difficulties. Good luck!

Serena, Beijing, China

Hi Emmet, nice to meet you. My name is Liu Yang. I was so interested in your motherland Ireland, I love the Celtic culture so much, the music, the dance, the fairytales. It is so nice to meet you. And to your question, I am a Chinese college student majoring in English language and literature, but I am studying French as a second foreign language and also studying Chinese on my own. Well, I haven't studied abroad yet. But I guess it would be an eye-opening experience. Haha. Nice to see you again... wish you good luck. Good luck!

Liu Yang, China

My English name is Feiaxy. I am from Beijing. I did not good at English, but I love it very much. And England is one of my favourite countries, I hope one day I will go there and make friends there.

Feiaxy, Beijing, China

Hello Emmet, After living abroad for 2.5 years, I have just gone back to school as well. I won't kid you, it's rough getting back into good study habits after time away. Luckily it all comes back to you pretty quickly and you will be back to turning down social events to learn vocabulary in no time. My first week was terrifying. I felt that everyone was smarter and more successful than me and that I had clearly been admitted on a clerical error, but now two months and two midterms in, I am more than holding my own. Good luck with your studies!! Cheers.

Karen, Texas, America

Hi Emmet, Well, it is a nice surpise for me to find someone who is interested in my motherland and native languague. And I hope there is some chance we can know each other. I am also fond of learning languages. But for many reasons, I did not major in my favourite subject. However, I am so desirable to have an job which I would like to, so I decided to get furthur education after graduation from my university. Now I am in Beijing, and learn what I like, international trade. The same with you, it is my first year here. Please let me to introduce myself first, my English name is Anthea. I come from a beautiful small city which is called LuoYang. It is famous for peony, Longmen Grotto, and White Horse Temple. I always admire the people who have the courage to say "no" to what they do not like, and can insist to make their dream come true. Maybe we can be penpal by the internet, if you like. I will be sincere to help you learn more about Chinese, the culture, also the customs here (to be honest, I am not very good at English, I learn it by myself now, but I have the confidence to do it well in the near future). I can not write too much in the first letter, now it is during our national day. All of us have a long holiday. Haha, my roommate asked me to get something back. So I must stop. Nice to meet you, and with my best wishes for you, no matter we can be friends or not.

Anthea, LuoYang, China

BBC © 2014 非本网站内容BBC概不负责