interest in chinese tea has lead me to learn some chinese characters and associations of characters, not only to be able to recognize them, but also to understand the idea they convey (in certain cases there is no direct translation anyway, we would have to make a phonetic adaptation of the word in our langages or use pin yin word, which btw happens already). then I got interested in very general notions on chinese langage (syntax eg), that do not enable me to speak chinese yet
. I have also learnt very basic phrases out of curiosity, and if i ever go to China of course i would make the effort to learn at least other basic phrases and words because it is more polite to the people you visit to be able to say something in their langage, even if you are far from conversational level (the japanese tourists in paris nearly always say smth in english or french, and it is very nice, very attentionate, well sometimes you are not even sure what they are saying exactly, but the simple fact that they tried is a huge step in relationship). I seem to have noticed many asian people show great flexibility and langage skills, eg members from HK or chinese members here speak and write amazing english. I must say this too is an encouragement to me, I mean, if they can go to such different langage and writing system, maybe I
can do it too but
, learning the langage and understanding the products are two different things. just like speaking french does not make anyone a connoisseur in french wine, having a whole list of chinese (or japanese) tea terms is not per se
the signature of any kind of knowledge/expertise as for tea.