10 Responses

  1. Ricarda
    Ricarda June 12, 2016 at 4:05 am |

    What a relief – so I am not the only one with experiences EXACTLY alike.

    And even worse: I am German. Supposed to learn a foreign language using another foreign language (which I am far away from fluent at!). From a teacher who has never been abroad. With material on didactic level for an elementary school.

    Against all odds, I meanwhile built up my own learning setting. It took me months. I first concentrated on tones and characters. Needless to say that this way, I am still not able to order a meal or ask for the way properly, but I finally got the impression to get somewhere close to be understood. Patience has not been my cardinal virtue so far in my live, but stubbornness has. Plus: I like the language, and diving deeper into it, I find it quite fascinating. Silly to study in terms of effectiveness, yes, but anyway: This whole China experience turns out to be somehow crazy, so what.

    Thanks for having set up this blog, btw. I very much appreciate your straightforward style, outstanding in Suzhou’s expat blogosphere. And the cooking! Am looking forward to reading more.

    Cheers from SIP!

  2. Marta
    Marta June 12, 2016 at 8:11 am |

    Hahaha, amazing. I completely agree with you. I say you go to Mandarin House and tell them that if in 3 months you are not fluent, they have to give you 1 billion RMB in cash.

    There is also a Spanish guy who invented a system to learn Chinese. He says you can speak fluently in 8 months, but it seems you don’t learn to read or write. Look, this is how someone speaks Chinese after studying with this system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR7HDdGcDX4
    (That guy is a famous Spanish tv personality and I think you can hear that absolutely ZERO Chinese people would understand him because his tones suck big time).

    I get so angry with these scams. Are they implying that we are stupid because we didn’t learn Chinese so fast? I studied part time for 4 years and full time for 3 years. I live with a Chinese guy and we always speak Chinese at home. And I am 200% sure that I will never, ever, be proficient in Chinese (meaning almost like a native speaker).

  3. Mary
    Mary August 10, 2016 at 11:38 pm |

    Ahaha maybe I’m one of those jerks or scammers since I have my “learned to speak Mandarin in 6 months” post on my blog :P

    BUT I did learn Japanese first (didn’t have to memorize the hanzi from scratch, which is obviously the biggest time suck) and I did nothing but study Mandarin for 24/7 during my 6 months of study. It was glorious and painful all at once.

    Your post is simply hilarious. You hit it right on the dot. There is no way in hell to learn Mandarin in under 3 months. I also hate the word “fluent” because.. what does that mean? If you can order food in Chinese and tell the cab driver where to go, does that constitute as fluent? To me, fluent is understanding 90% of what is said in media and around you and having a semi-intellectual conversation without stutter. I hate people like that fluent in 3 months guy (benny or whatever), I want to punch him in the face. Not only does his Chinese/Japanese suck but he’s trying to make money off of his shitty language skills. Augh, makes me upset!

    I will also probably never become “bilingual” in Mandarin. Even if I lived there for 100 years. I bet even Dashan struggles sometimes. It’s just… so different. And god, don’t even get me started on chengyu.

    I attempted to become an interpreter in Mandarin and I got my ass handed to me. Becoming “fluent” (like, just getting by in life) can be done in 1-2 years if you really bust your ass, but learning to understand EVERYTHING (like read a newspaper front to back without flinching) will take… forever. I don’t even want to think about it.

    Anyway, your post was hilarious! I love your writing!!! How did I not find your blog earlier!?!?


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