Learning Mandarin with the Language Bug Method

It’s one thing to say you have an excellent language learning method. It’s another thing to demonstrate it works, and provide a project template from start to finish.

If you follow the links, you’ll see we’ve done the first. The second is what we’re going to be doing for the next 90 days or so. Here is the plan:

1. Follow the Language Bug Method.

Start with making the sounds using the IPA, and learning characters using mnemonics techniques. Move on to simple words and sentences. Move onto my complex sentences, using a variety of grammatical devices. Do this in the form of usable material creation: Learning Mandarin by building a personal story. Talk about the past, present and future. Use conditionals and absolutes.

2. In Learning Mandarin, Spend Equal Time on Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

Reading is a no brainer, writing can be anything from rewriting what has just been read to notating ones “learning Mandarin” personal story. Listening will be important due to the tonal nature of the language. Speaking will be dependent on me finding ways to speak to native speakers, but ultimately, if I have to record my voice into a Dictaphone and match what I hear from my listening sessions, then so be it.

3. What are the Goals for this Project and in Learning Mandarin?

What are my goals? I have friends who are native speakers of Mandarin. I will communicate with them at various points. Another goal is to do as many project updates on this blog as I can about learning mandarin. I’d like to do at least weekly, if not daily updates, should time permit. Outside of that, I don’t believe in fixed time frames, nor final goals.

4. Why are you learning Mandarin instead of something else?

It’s a great language to start with on a site like Language Bug. It tests the robustness of the method. It’s also a language considered to be among the hardest, and it has trickiness embedded in the pronunciation, writing and cultural aspects. It’s also economically prudent, and many of the internet’s denizens are interested in learning it.


The basic conclusion is to tune in for the next few weeks to see real-time progress in learning Mandarin using the Language Bug method. We’ll be getting to the nuts and bolts of learning as a part of the language learning diary. Feel free to comment with any tools, tricks, tips or opinions you have on learning Mandarin in the comments below.



Language Bug

  • […] foreign language speakers face long before you try learning the language yourself. For instance, my Mandarin Learning Project is aided by the fact that I’ve taught Mandarin Speakers. The problems your students face are […]

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