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Personal stories

January 2010


Click play () to listen to the story.  

Learning to write

This is our English class at Bow Valley College in Calgary. We are all seniors and immigrants. We are interested in languages.

Lai-Ching tells us about learning to write

Lai-Ching grew up in Canton and Hong Kong. Her first language is Chinese.

Lai-Ching learned to write Chinese over 60 years ago. She learned to write as a little girl. She learned many Chinese characters (word pictures).

Lai-Ching wonders, "Is it more difficult to learn English because my first language is Chinese?"

Some Chinese characters tell a story

  • Lai Ching showed us the character for "woman."

  • The character looks like a woman who is graceful and relaxed. It is from a time when most women stayed in the home.
    • Lai-Ching showed us the character for "man."

    The character "man" is two characters put together. It is from a time when most men worked in the fields.

    No wonder our English alphabet seems strange to Lai-Ching!

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