Wow! 9 weeks of studying Chinese online. It doesn’t even seem real!
It’s also a bit of a weird one for me because I was supposed to be taking my mock and final HSK 4 exam this week, but, as I mentioned in the last post, I decided not to go ahead with it because we were moving, the internet isn’t as stable here (until ours is transferred over!) and I definitely do not have a clear space to work in (I’m not complaining, I’m just saying). I feel a little disappointed, but it’s not the end of the world and has really given me the opportunity to focus on learning Chinese without too much pressure.
In week 7, I really did try my best to revise what I’d learnt so far and find some new phrases I could use with my friends and teacher, but I still found it quite tricky. The topics, the new words and just being able to express myself clearly, it was just not going well! As a result, I was feeling quite disheartened in week 7. I didn’t want to give up, but I was constantly thinking about whether or not I’d ever be able to speak Mandarin properly again. It was a tough one.
Week 8 was, thankfully, much more positive! My teacher helped me choose a new textbook (from the prestigious Shi Da University in Taiwan) and I’ve really made the most of my spare time by going through the articles and new words. The content is much easier, but what is really tricky is that I have had to start learning to read and write the traditional characters all over again. Something that I haven’t done since I was 13 or 14. It is so tough, but a great feeling and really helps me to connect with Taiwan a lot more.
Week 9 was even better than the previous two. I’m really enjoying the new textbook and am glad I decided to make the swap. I have spent hours going through the articles, writing out the simplified and traditional characters and also trying to review some basic grammar structures and I’m finally starting to feel as though I’m making some progress.
I have been using a homework / work book as well to supplement my lessons and I’m finally starting to see some green ticks instead of red crosses next to my answers – another great achievement and definitely a mood booster!
Heading into week ten I have even more traditional characters to learn, whilst also trying to become more fluent, as often when I speak I stutter or cannot think of the words to express myself clearly. This seriously highlights how one hour a week is not enough to improve your speaking fluency, but it’s all I can afford at the moment.
And since many of you seemed to enjoy the video of me trying to speak Chinese, I’ve taken another few for you. It’s a bit cringe-worthy, but it is also really useful for me to hear my errors and try and work on them.
Are you learning a language at the moment? If so, which one and how is it going?
Let me know!