TV Shows

I’m watching (listening) to a few Chinese dramas right now as a way of simply getting my ears used to hearing Mandarin at full speed. The two I’m mostly spending my time with are The Imperial Doctress and The Empress of China, but I’ve got a few others in queue or on my radar to start watching (such as Braveness of the Ming, with an air date of sometime this year). I’ve found it’s most helpful to just watch them without any English subtitles, and read the Chinese characters underneath them to try to follow along if I’m having a hard time understanding what I hear.



Here’s The Story…

I studied Mandarin many years ago in university. As much as loved (love) the language, I never really did anything with it, and my skill dwindled, faded, melted and virtually disappeared. It has lain dormant for years, occasionally picked up and played with – and then disappearing again through lack of use.

But now: now, it can’t afford to. I’m moving to Beijing in August, and my goal is to be passing the HSK6 within 1-2 years and taking courses at a local Chinese university in Beijing. I’ll be living there – I can’t afford to try to live a life of ignorance and not bother learning it. We’re hoping to be there for 2-6 years. Proficiency is required.

So… Project: Putonghua (since Mission: Mandarin was taken!) is born. Here’s what I’m going to try to do:

  • update this blog once a week with something. It might be a progress update, it might be a review of some tool, or a summary of learning techniques, or something I’ve run into.
  • if I can get over stage (internet) fright, I’ll do YouTube videos and link them from here, for actual progress.
  • take on any challenges folks feel like posing me, about either learning Mandarin or about living in China (e.g. “Go out and have a 15 minute conversation about vegetables”. “Can you get a picture of 4 different vegetable stores?” “Where’s the best Peking duck?”).


Let’s see if we can get this going!