This past month I participated in Lindsay’s Instagram Language Challenge. It looked like an interesting challenge and a fun way to boost my Mandarin vocabulary, so I was eager to try it out. Lindsay provided a prompt for each day and they were pretty open, leaving us to find a creative way to use them to learn new words. I chose to do both video and images as part of the challenge, but next month I’ll probably aim to do mostly video so that I can work on my speaking. It was really fun to take part in the #iglc along with a community of other language learners and I enjoyed learning new words as a part of it.
I decided on words based on whatever came to mind. If my first impulse was something I already knew, I tried to approach it from a new angle. For example, one of the challenges was “little useful word.” I decided to do husband because the word that first comes to mind for me is too formal for everyday use. I wanted to further instill the more colloquial way of saying husband and the challenge served as a great tool to help me do so.
Lindsay asked me how I planned to follow up and retain the words I learnt this past month which is why I created this post. It serves as a way to create a document to use for reference in the future and to share the vocabulary list with you.
Below are my photos from the past month, the new vocabulary I worked on, and the videos I made. I hope you enjoy! Please join us in February – I look forward to learning a new language with you.
Day 1 | Food
Today’s prompt was food 吃饭 chīfàn so today I am sharing cake or 蛋糕 in Mandarin Chinese.
Dàngāo ( pinyin )
Day 2 | Action
Our prompt today was action and I am hard at work 工作 gōngzuò so I thought I would share a photo of my work station with my computer 计算机 jìsuànjī.
Day 3 | Person
Today’s prompt is person, so I’m sharing a photo of my aunt working on one her chalk art. She’s a very talented artist and along with my mom a huge inspiration for me. The word for aunt (mother’s sister) is #姨妈 yímā and for artist/painter it is 艺术家 yìshùjiā or 画家 huàjiā and painting is 绘画 huìhuà.
Day 4 | Celebration
Today’s prompt is celebration which is exactly what M and I are doing with the release of our new single!
- music – 音乐 – yīnyuè
- saxophone – 萨克斯 – sàkèsī
- jazz – 爵士乐 – juéshìyuè
- celebrate – 庆祝 – qìngzhù
Day 5 | Sport
Today’s prompt is sport and I am going to totally embarrass myself by posting a video still of me learning a new form in the only sport I do, karate 空手道 kōngshǒudào or kung fu 功夫 gōngfū.
Day 6 | Number
Hello! 你好! Today’s prompt was numbers so I decided to count to ten in Mandarin with the hand signs for each number 一二三四五六七八九十 Yī èr sān sì wǔ liù qī bā jiǔ shí
Day 7 | Place
Day 8 | Adventure
Today’s prompt is adventure so I wanted to share a photo of one of our adventures this past year to Venice, Italy. In Mandarin, adventure is 冒险 màoxiǎn and #travel is 路行 Lù xíng.
- Italy – 意大利 – Yìdàlì
- Venice – 威尼斯 – Wēinísī
Day 9 | Interesting
Today’s prompt was to post something interesting. Reading 阅读 yuèdú is one of my biggest hobbies 爱好 àihào and something I am always interested in doing.
Day 10 | Action
Today’s iglc prompt is action so here’s a photo of our group in action on stage. We were clapping with the audience and apparently making weird faces. Photo by Jazzup photography. More music words can be found here.
- music – 音乐 – yīnyuè
- sax – 萨克斯 – sàkèsī
- stage – 舞台 – wǔtái
- musician – 音乐人 – yīnyuèrén
- live performance – 现场演出 – xiànchǎng yǎnchū
- applause – 掌声 – zhǎngshēng
- guitar – 吉他 – jítā
Day 11 | New
New! My two new language books.
- 书 – book – shū
- 语言 – language – yǔyán
- 中文 / 汉语 – Chinese – zhōngwén/ hànyǔ
- 克罗地亚 – Croatia – kè luó dì yǎ
- 克罗地亚语 – Croatian – kè luó dì yǎ yǔ
Day 12 | Digital
Today’s word for the is digital. A tool that has been a huge asset in my language learning journey is Memrise.
- language – 语言 – yǔyán
words – 词 – cí
vocabulary – 词汇 – cíhuì
study – 学 – xué
technology – 高科技 – gāo kējì
Day 13 | Friend
Today’s word is friend so I am posting of photo of a friend who I know will always be there for me.
My mother is my friend – 我的妈妈是我的朋友 – Wǒ de māmā shì wǒ de péngyǒu
Day 14 | Drink
Today’s word for the iglc is drink so I’m posting about tea 茶. This is the Chado tea room in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. My dad really wanted to go but the person working that day would not let us make reservations for a tasting.
- drink – 喝 – hē
- beverage – 饮料 – yǐnliào
- I like tea – 我喜欢茶 – wǒ xǐhuān chá
- cheers – 干杯 – gānbēi
Day 15 | Light
Catching up on the iglc because I’ve been sick. So here is light – a birthday candle for my dad tomorrow
- tomorrow – 明天 – míngtiān
- January – 一月 – yī yuè
- birthday – 生日 – shēngrì
- Happy birthday – 生日快乐 – shēngrì kuàilè
Day 16 | Color
The next iglc is color and my favorite color is green or in Mandarin Chinese 绿色 Lǜsè. Here are some koi fish 锦鲤（jǐnlǐ in Mandarin and nishikigoi in Japanese) at the Getty Museum in Malibu.
Day 17 | Talk
One more today to play catchup talk is the next prompt for IGLC so I am posting iTalki – a place to do a language exchange 语言交换 yǔyán jiāohuàn discussion 讨论 tǎolùn.
Day 18 | Action
Today’s iglc word is action. Still working on tones and not sounding like a robot when I talk.
- word – 字 – zì
- action – 会议 – huìyì
- conference – 行动 – xíngdòng
Day 19 | Little Useful Word
Today’s iglc is little useful word. So my word is husband – there are apparently different ways to say this is Mandarin. Chinese
- 先生 xiānshēng is a formal way, most likely used to refer to the spouse of an acquaintance (your boss’s husband). It also means Mr.
- 老公 lǎogōng – a more colloquial way to refer to your own spouse or maybe that of a friend. I love this term because it basically means get old together.
- There is also 丈夫 zhàngfū but I am not as familiar with it. It apparently is formal.
- There is also 爱人 which means lover and I heard only older generations still use this term. It has fallen out of popular usage (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
Day 20 | Language
Some of the 语言 yǔyán (language) 书 shū (books) I am working through for 法语 French, 日语 Japanese, 德语 German, 克罗地亚语 Croatian, 意大利语 Italian, and 汉语 or 中文 Chinese 普通话 Mandarin.
Day 21 | Best
I had one of my best moments in language learning this past weekend – I had an entire conversation in Mandarin Chinese and bought these wood inlays for my dads reed case business.
- best – 最好的 – zuì hǎo de
- business – 业务 – yèwù
- business – 商业 – shāngyè
- wood – 木 – mù
Anyone know how to say saxophone reed in Mandarin? I have no clue.
Day 22 | Song
The next iglc is music! Here is Funkadelic at Namm 2015. Funk in Mandarin Chinese is 放克 fàngkè.
Day 23 | World
The iglc is world this past convention I had the opportunity to see friends from all over the world and catch up. We only get to do it once a year and I love every minute of it friends 朋友.
- Jam session – 即兴演奏 （I am hoping jíxìng yǎnzòu is in fact jam session in Mandarin).
- I saw friends from 法国 France, 德国 Germany, 美国 the US, 加拿大 Canada, 日本 Japan and other guójiā 国家 countries.
- musicians – 音乐人
- once a year – 每年一度 – Měinián yīdù
Day 24 | Clothes
Today’s iglc prompt is clothes. Here’s a photo from when I lived in Europe wearing far more layers than I do now in California.
- scarf – wéijǐn – 围巾
- jacket – jiákè – 夹克
- jeans – niúzǎikù – 牛仔裤
- boots – xuēzi – 靴子
- mittens – shǒutào – 手套
- shirt – chènshān – 衬衫
- clothes – yīfú – 衣服
Day 24 | Home
Back when I lived in Ireland 爱尔兰 àiěrlán this was my university 大学 dàxué and my home 家 jiā was just around the corner. I think a lot about Europe 欧洲 #ǒuzhōu lately and how much I miss it. Can’t wait to go back.
I can’t wait – 我不能等 – wǒ bùnéng děng
Day 26 | Person
For the next iglc I’m sharing a photo of my dog 狗 gǒu who thinks he is a person 人 rén because he is often treated as such. He is bilingual 双语 shuāngyǔ because he responds to commands in both English 英文 and French 法语 and would sell his soul in exchange for biscuit 饼漧 bǐnggān. 他的名字是Ziggy。
Day 27 | Day
Today’s iglc is day 天 tiān.
- Today is Wednesday – 今天是星期三 – jīntiān shì xīngqísān
- Today – jīntiān – 今天
- Tomorrow – míngtiān – 明天
- Yesterday – zuótiān – 昨天
- Two days from now – hòutiān – 后天
- Day before yesterday – qiāntiān – 前天
Day 28 | Little Useful Word
Last for the iglc is a useful little word so I have chosen
- ocean – hǎiyǎng – 海洋
- ocean – hǎitān – 海滩
- beach – ànbiān – 岸边
- (since I live in) California – 加州 / 加利福尼亚州 – Jiāzhōu / jiālìfúníyǎ zhōu
- water – 水 – shuǐ
- sightseeing – 游览 – yóulǎn
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