Just a week ago, I started a new challenge for myself called “The Language Challenge” to begin pursuing a personal interest of learning new languages. I have been interested for the longest time to pick up Chinese, but had not actively pursued it since I left it behind years ago without much progress.
To motivate myself and to add some gaming element to my interest, I decided to challenge myself to pick up a new language and be at least at the upper-intermediate conversational level within 90 days. This means, I should be able to learn enough vocabulary words, phrases, and be able to carry a normal conversation about general topics at a daily conversational level with a fluent and/or native speaker at a normal pace.
Now that I’m one week into studying Chinese intensively with the goal of speaking at a conversational level within 90 days, I can say that it has been an exciting adventure to finally pursue something which I have been holding off for way too long! Although, I’m not learning Chinese from zero this time, my current knowledge of Chinese is at a basic elementary that is barely enough to get around the city and place simple orders/requests at restaurants or get a taxi driver to a specific location.
With my study efforts during the last 7 days, I’ve used a mixture of study materials to memorize vocabulary, phrases/sentences, as well as improve my listening comprehension and speech.
Below is my video of my first week studying Chinese, with plenty of mistakes and improvements to be made.
Before are the following study materials I used this time round:
1. Assimil Chinese with Ease, which is a useful audio language learning book that covers dialogue to help build up vocabulary and improve listening comprehension of commonly used phrases. I’ve studied about 39 lessons this week. Some of the earlier lessons served as a “refresher course” for me to get back on track. Beijing Chinese appears to be used in this book.
2. ChinesePod is a online language learning podcast channel based in Shanghai which is quite interesting with weekly updates with interesting dialogue available in a series of levels such as Newbie, Elementary, Intermediate, and upwards. As long as you build up within a certain level, it doesn’t matter which order you study for the lessons. Just choose the topics that interest you and learn relevant vocabulary words, phrases, and improve your listening comprehension.
3. [Music Video] Wang Leehom – Yi Ran Ai Ni (王力宏 – 依然愛你). I decided to use a Chinese pop music video and memorize vocabulary words and phrases from the lyrics for a change. Although, it is highly unlikely I will speak poetically on the street with a bunch of romantic words, i’m pretty sure the vocabulary words in the songs will come in handy to use in normal conversations. Check out the music video below:
Below is my current progress as of Day 8:
Vocabulary words: 214
Total time studied to date: 17 hours
Below is the Introductory video for “The Language Challenge” to kickstart my intensive studying of Chinese: