One month into the new job!
Work is going great. Lots of new responsibilities. So many things to learn. We have over 1700 employees in my business unit so tons of people to meet and to get to know. I’ve learned more Tagalog, Hindi, and Arabic this past month than my last 9 months put together.
And I’ve even learned some Chinese as well. What? Don’t I already know Chinese? Did you know that there are an estimated 8,000 dialects of Chinese. Only about 1000 have been officially recorded to date. So with that many dialects of Chinese going around, there had to be one unifying dialect – And that official dialect is Mandarin. Although my parents speak Mandarin, they only taught me Cantonese (something about the grandparents being from Canton). They also speak Vietnamese but neglected to teach me that too. Bummer.
At work, out of over hundreds of Chinese colleagues, I have found only one – ONE! – that speaks Cantonese like me. She also speaks Mandarin so is teaching me simple things like numbers, hello, good morning, etc. I find it quite difficult – like learning French because of the pronunciation – I tend to pronounce French words like English and I tend to pronounce Mandarin like Cantonese but they’re completely different. But I think I’m making some progress!
As for Tagalog – I can say Kumusta, Salamat, and Magandang Umagi. One day, after killing too many brain cells the night before, I walked into the office screaming, “Salamat!” with upraised arms thinking it was good morning but in reality it means, “Thank you,” so I got a couple confused stares a then bursts of laughter. Ah, the joy of languages.
Don’t test me on Arabic and Hindi just yet. I’m trying to progress beyond Salam Aleikum, Sabah al Khair and Namaste. Although Namaste is cheating because we all learn that in yoga class. So I guess that would mean that I have learned nothing new in Hindi. Drats.