Learning Mandarin, My 3rd Language

Mandarin is indeed an amazing language to learn and explore. It is one of the last surviving pictographic languages, and as a language enthusiast, this might get you excited! 1.3 Billion people and a lot of my neighbors know Mandarin – a good enough reason for me to pick it up!

Apps

I have tried Duolingo. Altho it was a great choice for me for learning Deutsche (German), it turned out to be quite the opposite for Mandarin. So I tried a few apps and finally settled on Memrise (Premium). The app has quite a few interesting features to trigger memory and learning. I became a regular user.

Writing

I practiced writing both in Pinyin and Hanzi, on paper and on my devices. I wanted to ensure I had enough practical practice every day to make Mandarin relevant to my life.

Reading

I started off, funnily enough by going around my neighborhood and trying to read store names, signs and public service notices. In Singapore, almost everything essential is written in 4 languages, English, Chinese (Simplified), Malay and Tamil, side-by-side. I tried to cross-match words I knew with new words, and worked my brain on the problem! Sometimes I tried to use Google Translate to help out.

Listening

Mostly this is on the app. However, sometimes I try to listen to people having conversations nearby at shops and try to comprehend what they’re saying. Yes totally not ethical but come on, most people are asking prices and stuff.

I hope my colleagues will come in handy for this exercise.

Speaking

Again, this is completely limited to my app. I need to gain the courage to speak Mandarin when applicable, and while having fun with colleagues. Needs some work here.

Settings goals

I have seen that I usually work really well when I have something to work towards. I made HSK 1 my goal, for now, to make sure I really learn Mandarin in a deadline for a specific goal.

Yeah, so that’s that. I abandoned Deutsche, Spanish, Arabic before; however, do want to follow through with Mandarin 😀

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