I’ve been learning Mandarin for about nine years now. Over time it has become my hobby, passion, obsession, source of endless frustration with the most rewarding outcome I’ve ever experienced.
My study methods vary. This keeps me interested and engaged. I started out with evening classes at UVIC’s Continuing Education program in Victoria. ChinesePod was my main resource for a while afterwards. Then I discovered the winning combination of travel & study using one-on-one classes which brought me to Guilin’s Chinese Language Institute (CLI), The Harbin Mandarin School, and Kunming’s Keats School. For a few months I had subscribed to the The Chairman’s Bao.
Lately I enjoy watching all kinds of Chinese TV and web dramas, follow China Daily Bilingual daily (really!), listen to podcasts and read the transcripts at Slow-Chinese.com.
On WeChat, I communicate with my friends in Chinese, and I love my (bi)weekly language exchange sessions with Eric where he speaks English and I speak Chinese. Of course, my all-time favorite study method is traveling to China and being part of everyday life.
Below are some resources that I currently find very helpful. It’s just a short and very personal list.
Dictionaries and Translation Tools
Podcasts and Reading Material
Language Schools in China
Over the years I had 12 different teachers. Many have become good friends, and we are still in touch. I only 'lost' my very first teacher Peixi - WeChat didn't exist back then. Each one of them was excellent and enriched our lessons with unique cultural, lifestyle, historical and philosophical insights. I usually study for four weeks at a time.
I'll write more about my study experience in a separate article. In the meantime, feel free to contact me through the form below or discuss on my Facebook page.
Both aren't bad.
TV Shows & Movies
For learning purposes, I still prefer TV and web dramas (电视剧) over movies because they give me time to slowly get to know the characters and the overall story. Family and love stories usually provide a lot of cultural and life style background.