“Chinese is so difficult to learn! You have to put lots of time and efforts to prepare before and after the classes, in order to memorize a large number of characters and grammars,” says Stoszek Roman, who hails from Slovakia and has studied Chinese in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) for eight months.
Roman in the interview.
Roman loves studying languages and has studied Italian, German and English in college. He is also learning some Russian as there are many Russian students in GDUFS. For him, language is the entrance to people. “To understand a nation’s culture, you must know the language,” says Roman.
“I feel somehow in my heart that I would like to experience Eastern things. China not only has huge commercial potential, it is also a country that you can get lots of experience and become internal rich,” explains Roman who prepared for a year to get the Confucius Scholarship while working as a legal translator in Slovakia.
Roman picked up a private teacher for learning Chinese and spent three to four hours after work every day studying the language. “You had to put aside many opportunities or hobbies, and just learn, learn, learn,” said Roman.
The scholarship prepared him for life in Guangdong which covers accommodations and provides a 3,500 RMB per month stipend. It saves him from worries of making a living and gives him more time and energy to study here.
Roman works as a part time legal translator and learns business and law as well. He has found some business opportunities in Guangdong.
“The food industry is interesting. Here I have problems finding foods that I used to in my country, like cheese. The choice is limited and the price is double or even triple. When prices differ that much, there are huge commercial opportunities,” said Roman.
Roman plans to stay in China for five to seven years until he is fluent in Mandarin. After this semester, he plans to apply for another scholarship to continue his studies. Guangdong will still be his first choice. “Shanghai is isolated. Guangdong is near Hong Kong, and it’s quite good,” says Roman.
“I want to have some major success in Chinese. I’m still preparing for the HSK 5 test. It’s hard, but I have to try,” Roman said. “If I fail to get the scholarship to continue my studies, then I will apply for it next year,” he said. It seems that either way, Stoszek Roman is determined to be a master in Mandarin.