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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Chinese Journey (Wǒ de zhōngwén Lǚchéng)

Dàjiā hǎo. Wǒ jiao Brad. Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ. Wǒ xuéxí Zhōngwén.

Hello everyone. My name is Brad. Nice to meet you. I am learning Chinese.

That's right, I have decided to take on the crazy, suicidal, insane, foolish, and downright STUPID challenge of learning another language...and I chose MANDARIN CHINESE of all the languages out there (what was I thinking?).

Ever since I finished my mission in Chile (where I learned to speak, read and write in Spanish fluently) I have always wanted to learn a 3rd language. Well, 11 years later here I am staring Mandarin in the eye, locked in a showdown to see who will flinch first.

So why Mandarin? Well, to be honest, I think part of it simply boils down to the fact that so many people say it's impossible to learn. That challenge alone makes me want to do it. In addition, it's no mystery that China is an emerging giant on the global scale. More than 1.5 billion people speak Mandarin as their native language, more than any other language on earth. Also, the historian in me has always been fascinated with "The Middle Kingdom"; a history that is full of rich culture and heritage. All of these factors made it a no-brainer for me. Mandarin is the PERFECT 3rd language!

Anyway, it is likely that my attempts to learn Mandarin will make a semi-regular appearance here on this blog. If any of you out there happen to have experience in Mandarin, please feel free to chime in and point out where I get things wrong. Heaven knows I need the help.


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