Learning Chinese in Beijing

單詞 immutable” by Simon D on Flickr.

Its been just over a month since I first landed in Beijing but it seems like so much longer. Learning Chinese here is probably one of the best and worst decisions I have made this year. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chinese is hard.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If someone says learning Chinese isn’t hard, then they are not studying enough. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because I set high goals for myself, but I didn’t quite expect the amount of new vocab I would be receiving every week.

So many words, or should I say characters, or character combinations?

Whatever the correct term is there sure are a lot of them.

So yea, there are a lot of words to learn, but at least the grammar isn’t too complicated. It’s mostly straightforward and not to hard for me to grasp.

I learned a long time ago, when it comes to grammar sometimes you don’t need to ask questions and just need accept that that’s just how you say it.

I spend a lot of time reading and learning new words and doing homework, but the best way to learn a language is to get out and use it. That is exactly what I have been trying to do in-between study sessions.

People in Beijing are surprisingly friendly and it is easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

From my experience most people assume that you speak Chinese, so I rarely have to worry about people switching to English and ruining the extra practice I get when struggling to remember a word.

I know I have a long way to go but I am excited about the challenge.

I will be sure to update you with my progress.

Listen to this week’s episode, Episode 119 — Dividends, Promise, and Thursday:

Written by Bashir of Comatose.

Comatose is a weekly series of amusing anecdotes, insightful commentary, and pithy stories. Every week three contributors are featured in short segments. The segments, though often unrelated, are tied together using music and narration to set the scene. Relax and enjoy the ride while listening to topics as varied as love, birthdays, and reciprocity.

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