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Hong Kong

An optimistic pessimist.

Heroine Of My Opera

May 2, 2016



GROUP: True Stories

“Congrats Mrs Cheng, it’s a girl.” The nurse spoke to my mother in the dialect of
my hometown, and then showed me to my mother, who was half unconscious
due to the effect of narcotic. She kissed my forehead and smiled, as if nothing
could ever be greater than what was happening then.
Starting from that moment, everyone around began to speak to me in the dialect
of Chongqing. The relatives were expecting me to say out my first word, and after
6 months I was born, I spoke out the very first word of my life in the dialect of
my hometown. The word was “Popo,” which means grandmother in Chinese.
After I spoke out my first word, the second and the third came along with it
smoothly. When I was two years old I could manage to speak normally like an
adult at 80 percent of the time, and that was the time when I started to learn
Mandarin from the television programs. I had this special obsession with
romantic dramas when I was young. Words like “love”, “husband” and “wife”
were the fruits of watching romantic dramas. Sometimes my sister and I would
even act one whole scene from a drama out in Mandarin, I guess that was one
way to learn, too.
When I reached the age of 3 my mother sent me to kindergarten, and I learnt
Mandarin officially since then. I remember the number one rule in the classroom
was “No dialect”, anyone found speaking dialect would get a punishment from
the teacher. The teachers were forcing everyone to fit in the mode of speaking
Mandarin, yet I thought that was pretty easy, some of my classmates seemed to
have difficulties switching modes. The teachers had no choice but to slow down
their paces for those children, and that gained me time to learn more things from
my sister.
Being eight and half years older than me, my sister was around my age when I
was in kindergarten; she was a super fan of pop music, just as I am now. My
sister and I are both language and music lovers, when she listens to music she
does not just stick with one type of language, but instead she listens to all kinds
of music in different languages. Due to the influence of my sister, I listened pop
songs with her, and I especially loved Japanese songs. I have loved singing since I
was young, but I did not know Japanese at all, so how could I sing my favorite
songs out? At first I simply tried my hardest to copy the singers’ pronunciations,
but that only made my Japanese sound like gibberish. Luckily, my sister heard
me singing in that extremely horrific Japanese, she knew I was interested in the
language, so she taught me some simple words. After I got older, I began to learn
Japanese by myself from watching animates and listening to songs.
When I was nearly 9 years old my parents decided to send me to Singapore. That
was the first time I formally started to learn English. Before that, I thought I
would be spending my whole life in China, so I did not take English seriously
despite it was a main subject. Besides, the English taught by the schoolteacher
was very simple, too; I did not strive for getting an A. I started my English
learning journey by memorizing some basic vocabularies, which made my life in
great misery. I set a target for myself that I must memorize 30 vocabularies
everyday, and it gradually increased from 30 to 50, then 50 to 100. After a few
month memorizing, my sister, who is a master in English suggested that I should
start working on oral and listening. She encouraged me to listen to English songs
and watch American dramas. Thanks to all those Lady Gaga songs and The
Vampire Diaries, my English can be considered as above average now.
After watching The Vampire Diaries, I was totally immersed into the world of
supernatural creatures. I went on watching movies like Twilight and The Lord Of
Rings, sometimes when I was too eager to find out what would happen next, I
would start to read the original novels. Therefore, I read quite a lot of novels and
I think that was how my grammar and writing improved silently. To improve my
oral, I was so extreme that people might think I was insane, because I would
record down the lines from an English book or a movie, and I would act the
scenes out in front of a mirror all by myself.
A lot of parents think that TV shows and pop music are the drugs that corrode
teenagers’ minds, but looking back at my own experience, is it true that the
entertainments are only having those negative impacts on kids? I learnt so much
from things that might be prohibited in a family and it is not just English I learnt
but life facts through the characters of every story as well. Despite there might
be disputes, the “entertainments” made me the heroine of my opera, and I am
sure I will continue with this way of learning languages in future life.


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  • May 2, 2016 - 8:29pm (Now Viewing)

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