Chinese Lesson 1: DàiWéiDàoism

Wellington Chinese Language School

Enrolling at Wellington Chinese Language School

二月 十四天 February 14, 2009

Wellington Chinese Language School

Intermediate Chinese 3

So excited to be back in Chinese class. It’s been a long time since I’ve been conversing regularly in Mandarin. The last time I was in a Chinese class, I don’t even think there was a word for online (上网 shàngwǎng). I’m going to log my class and study notes on this site to help me study and learn.

Enrollment was a bit stressful — I couldn’t remember how to write my Chinese name: 戴維道 Dài Wéi Dào. Luckily, younger me blogged it in 2006, so I was able to find it through search on my mobile phone. Thanks, younger me! Thanks also to thank my awesome high school Chinese teacher, Robert Demerrit, for giving me this uncommonly beautiful name that’s not only a transliteration of my English surname but inspiringly aspirational.

Dài is my surname, and it also means ” to support.”
Wéi means “to maintain or hold together.”
Dào you may know as Tao, the road or way, the ineffable essence of the universe pointed at by 老子 Lǎozǐ in the 道德經 Dàodéjīng, more commonly known as the Tao Te Ching.

The next step was a conversational interview for placement. I was shocked and delighted to be in Intermediate 3, led by the lovely 樊晓莉 Fán Xiǎolì. There is no advanced, because they don’t want students to slack. This is going to be good for me!

We introduced ourselves 介绍 自己 jiè shào zìjǐ. We’re a diverse group — one other 美国人 and others from:

  • 香港 Xiānggǎng Hong Kong
  • 阿根廷 Āgēntíng Argentina
  • 越南 Yuènán Vietnam
  • 菲律宾 Fēilǜbīn Philippines
  • 韩国 Hánguó Korea (Republic of Korea)

The words for New Zealand were new to me – there are two ways to say/write it:

新西兰 Xīnxīlán – literally New Western Orchard

纽西兰 Niǔxīlán, which is the same Niǔ as 纽约 Niǔyuē, from where I’ve just come.

惠灵顿 Huìlíngdùn – Wellington
奥克兰 ào kè lán – Auckland

介绍 自己 然后, 我们 游戏 [charades].
Jiè shào zìjǐ ránhòu, wǒmenyóuxì [charades].
After introductions, we played charades.

There were 4 categories:

  1. 体育运动 tǐyùyùndònɡ sports
  2. 电影 diànyǐng movies
  3. 电视 diànshì tv
  4. 名人 míngrén famous people

My offering was Slumdog Millionaire, which was guessed from a rough sketch of a dog and a dollar sign.

An auspicious beginning.

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3 Responses to “Chinese Lesson 1: DàiWéiDàoism”


  1. 1 Dylan C. September 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I’m a student of R. DeMerrit’s from the mid-nineties and am looking for a way to contact him. Can you help?


  1. 1 Learn chinese In china or taiwan Trackback on November 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

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