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!


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