Learning Mandarin in Three Weeks: Progress

This is the latest update in the language learning project. So, How have I done when it comes to Learning Mandarin in Three Weeks? Before I get to my Day 21 update, my apologies for not uploading any project updates the past few days… real life called. As such, there hasn’t been much progress. I’ve been working on sentences in much the same way as in the last update.


Learning Mandarin in Three Weeks: What I’ve Achieved Thus Far

  • A vocabulary of several hundred words.
  • The ability to build and join basic sentences, and answer basic questions.
  • Three weeks worth of Pimsleur Lessons
  • Knowledge of Pin-Yin and the sounds that occur in spoken Mandarin
  • Understanding of how the tone system operates, and the ability to read a Pin-Yin + tone and pronounce it.

Learning Mandarin in Three Weeks: Overview for Next Week

This week will be week four of my Mandarin language learning project. As such, by the end of it, I’ll have been learning for one month. This week, I’ll be looking to find some way of determining exactly how far I’ve progressed in the first month. Month two can then concentrate on finding native speakers, working on issues, and rapidly expanding my grammar. More on that though next week.

The overview for the next week of learning is as follows:

I will start big time with grammar. I don’t know if this is atypical for language learners, but I really feel that to avoid stagnation, there comes a point where I have to learn grammar. Sentences are great, and can probably help me order a meal at a restaurant or tell people that I’m learning Chinese, but I want to be able to construct sentences from every new piece of language I learn, regardless of tense.

Hence, I’ll be starting a grammar book. Month 2 will focus on fleshing out my grammar knowledge, and so this week is a stop-gap. It’s not essential to practice everything, but to get an overview before starting the grammar. If I find something intuitively easy, then I’ll add it to the personal story paragraphs I’m building. If not, I will just make a quick note of it. My goal then, is to simply read a basic grammar book through to the end. I have the grammar book already, so I will start reading it tonight.

Pronunciation is something I need to work on as well. Most of this will come from working through with native speakers, but I’m conscious of the fact that I spend a lot of my time building sentences (and speaking them aloud) with no real feedback. This is something to think about correcting.

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