Two months studying Chinese in China
I have been in China since two and a half months now (yes, sorry about the serious lack of updates) and I wanted to share some thoughts on my learning Chinese.
So far, I suck. I can’t express anything except "my colleagues are not here", "I don’t now" and "I don’t speak Chinese". It helped me so far but it is not of much use to get things done in everyday life.
On the plus side, I feel several years younger: there is so much to read and I don’t understand anything. I take it as a personal challenge and I am starting to get the meaning of words, sentence, street signs… but without being able to say them… It is useful for my work because I handle many documents and I am now really busy translating things from French to English with a hint of Chinese or trying to understand what the Chinese law requires from a Foreign Company…
Among my french colleagues, there is one speaking Chinese because he spent quite a few years here on construction sites and a girl from Shanghai who spent 12 years in France. Both are trying to teach me some Chinese but with different methods. For the French guy, speaking is the most important thing and he is quite fluent but with a strong french accent. On the other side, she put tones and general pronunciation first and makes me repeat every time I dare say a word… Given the success rate, I will stick for the first method for now.
As for the studies, I went back to the routine I used for Japanese:
- Grammar based on Teach Yourself Mandarin Chinese
- Anki for the vocabulary
- Lang-8 to try to write my own texts and practice on my own. Actually it is the harder part
I will also try Rhinospike soon but I can’t give any feedback right now.
Write you soon…