Thursday, 3 January 2013

Rebel Mandarin: And so I begin...

Today heralds the day I create my first ever blog.  I have decided to log my experiences of attempting to learn Mandarin Chinese through various different methods and at times simultaneously.  Please bear with me while I get to grips with this whole blogging experience, its all new to me.  I welcome all comments.

I am lucky enough to be working full time so getting the time to study requires a lot of structure after work and some very late nights...yawn....!  I have to say for me I really enjoy leaning Chinese but sometimes get extremely frustrated with how easy one can lapse particularly with character recognition, stroke order, sentence structure, grammar etc.,  it really only takes a few days of a break to fall behind... . characters you have spent hours practising can just vanish from your memory bank...and unfortunately they don't come flooding back.

Therefore, as an added incentive to increase my character recognition I have decided to take on Olle Linges Chinese Character Challenge over on Hacking Chinese.

I attend a night course at a local University which has an accredited Certificate which is a great driving force to make you commit.  I really enjoy it.

It's primarily based on the New Practical Chinese Reader series.  The textbooks and workbooks are excellent at introducing you to sentence patterns, new words etc.  I would highly recommend this series even if you were doing it on you're own.  The textbooks and workbooks are found on many online sources like amazon etc at a good price and come with an Audio CD.   I have also flirted on and off with various online leaning sites i.e. Chinesepod, Busuu and so many more over the last 2 years. While I found them great I also felt I needed a little more structure like a University course that I could actually attend in person and interact with people. 

Anyway that's just a start to the blog ....lets see how things progress!    



  1. I've personally found character recognition the hardest part of learning the language. For a few years I've been trying various apps and tools, without finding anything that really suited my learning style.

    I bit the bullet and built something that I find more intuitive. I wanted to construct the phrases myself, character by character. Video below of how it works. It appends the meaning as you construct the words, it then tests your ability to reconstruct the phrases.

    I would be very interested to know what you think. Is the basic premise useful to you?

  2. Hi Alan,

    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, initially I found character recognition the hardest and initially was reluctant to tackle the problem. However, I have now grown to love learning new character and especially being able to write them. This takes a lot of practice but when you learn the components , radicals etc it can be quite fulfilling. Applications like yours certainly help the cause.

    I bought the app and quite enjoyed it - the reconstruction aspect of it was great and really useful for sentence patterns - well done, it was definitely worth the €2 I paid for it. I will write a short review on it soon on Google play. I also tweeted about it earlier. Well done on a great little app! :)