I’ve now come to the end of the second week of my Chinese Challenge, and I’m quite happy with my progress so far! I’ve completed the first CD of the Collins Easy Learning Mandarin Audio Course, and had a little chat with Lin, a native speaker, to get used to the tone system and work on my pronunciation. I’m hoping that next time we speak we’ll be able to have a bit more of a conversation! The writing system is proving to be challenging, but I’ve found that I can remember characters more easily for words that I’ve already learnt, so I think I’m going to try and focus more on building my vocabulary first, and then make a bigger push for writing later on in the challenge.
Chinese seems to be gaining every day in its importance as a world language. The New York Times recently launched a Chinese language site, joining hundreds of other Internet companies lining up to try and crack the Chinese market. Maybe we will see a day when Chinese leapfrogs English as a lingua franca, and maybe that day’s not as far away as we think. Here’s even more motivation to get learning!