Who am I?
As this is the first of an on-going, running blog that I will keep to document my own personal journey into Chinese Mandarin, through a Chinese learning blog, let me start with a brief introduction.
I am from the UK, and discovered my love of learning languages a bit later on in life. I am currently 32, and have been studying Chinese Mandarin for around 4 years.
Chinese Learning Blog – The Journey So Far
How learning Polish inspired me to learn Chinese
My journey started somewhere unexpected. It was in a small restaurant in Krakow, Poland. Having ordered, eaten and paid for the meal, I realised I had no idea how to say something as simple as “thank you” in Polish, whilst the waitress was speaking perfect English.
My Polish colleague was with me, so I asked them how might I say thank you in Polish. After a couple of failed attempts, and a few notes later, I finally added “thank you” to my repertoire.
After this I found myself working in either Krakow or Gdansk often, and slowly added a few words to my vocabulary. My colleague also let the cat out of the bag and told my other Polish colleagues that I was learning Polish
In fact at this point I wouldn’t have said I was learning Polish, more learning a few key words to not seem ignorant. As with moth native English speakers, there isn’t a great need to actually learn a foreign language as the rest of the world seems incredibly adept at learning English.
From here, I found my colleagues incredibly helpful, sharing new words and tips about the language with me, even making a few friends along the way.
Why Learn a Language?
“How does this tie into learning Chinese, isn’t this a Chinese learning blog?” I hear you say. Well, it would be an understatement to say that Polish is hard, its very hard. I reached a point where to take it to the next level would require dedicated study.
I had totally fallen in love with the feeling of connecting with another culture and learning about the history, the food etc that comes with studying a language, but I had run out of fuel and motivation to continue with Polish. This decisions as fueled mainly by the few speakers of the language.
If you’re struggling to find your motivation for continuing your Chinese learning journey, check out this article.
So my decision point came, to continue to study a language that I felt wouldn’t give a lot of benefit, or change.
So, Why Chinese?
Now it’s hard for me to define in this Chinese learning blog exactly why I chose to pursue Chinese instead of any other of the numerous languages. Ultimately it came down to the potential career and business opportunities that are linked with the massive and rapidly growing economy of China. However the huge amount of native speakers and the difficulty of the language also drew me in.
I was also influenced by a number of the Youtube videos, like this one.
Fast forward 4 years, through mostly consistent, part time, self study I am on course to pass HSK5 in the next few months.
Although the logical points started me on this journey, the career motivation and the numerous native speakers, it was the culture of China which has kept me studying.
To learn a language also means to learn about the country and its culture, including the people, the food, the history and more. I would say most native English speakers aren’t familiar with the real China, and it has been an exciting part of studying the language, to learn more and more about China and its people.
The Chinese Learning Blog
I started this Chinese learning blog to share my experiences in learning, the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned along the way to help others. Feel free to check out the articles and resources available on this site, to help you start and progress on your Chinese learning journey.
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