Finished the Chinese Tree on level 2 ^^
In this post I would like to talk about my small journey of learning Chinese, my experience with Duolingo and my current comprehension of the Chinese Language. My English isn't great so I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. I would love it if you would share your thoughts here in the comments :)
It started when I was learning at secondary school. We had some classes that were supposed to inspire you on topics different from the standard subjects. Following my friends (I could never make choices myself) I decided to do Chinese. It didn't take long for me to fully fall in love with the language and China as a whole. Unfortunately the lessons ended just when we had learned some very basic vocabulary. I've always wanted to continue learning.
Six years later it was finally the time. That was three months ago. I tried to do some research about here and there on the internet but everything was a bit overwhelming and I didn't know where to start. When I found out about Duolingo I was skeptical at first. You know these sites that praise themselves for sharing the best ways to learn, sometimes even 'hacks'? And by the time you signed in, it does not turn out to be as good and has advertisements after every question? Well, the fact that Duolingo has such a lot to offer for free really surprised me. So I started learning on this site.
For the past three months I've made a huge improvement on my Chinese. Although I love Chinese with all my heart, the different lessons, levels and the leader board really motivated me to keep on learning. I am probably the only one saying this, because it does require you to keep focusing on the learning process and not to get caught up in the competition. Besides that, I also had to force myself not to use shortcuts all the time. With that I mean knowing literally all the answers by heart and not even having to look at the sentence, or not truly listening to the listening practice because you can see the characters already, or not trying to say sentences out loud.
Yes, these are some disadvantages about Duolingo. That is way I regard the site as a great start for learning a language. Since now I know some vocabulary and grammar, and be able to recognize characters by their radicals, etc., I now will be able to actually make more improvement outside Duolingo by searching things myself on the internet. It won't be that overwhelming anymore after all.
So now to the point where new people will probably be must curious about: what is my Chinese level now? Well, I think I've made a good start. :P
My reading is definitely the best. I'm able to read the sentences I come across most often. I can at least recognize the parts in every character I see, though not knowing the meaning of them. I get really enthusiastic every time I see characters I know on the streets and everywhere else (annoying right). It is fun and I can't wait to start practicing reading some more serious stuff (like children books). Thus if you are looking for reading comprehension, Duolingo is a good way to start for sure!
On second place is speaking. That isn't because of Duolingo really, not at all, actually, obviously. But because I think the pronunciation of the Chinese Language is so funny and I also am able to talk English with a bit of a Chinese accent. Sorry for being stereotypical there, but really, I am fond of it. I focused on the tones and I think I'm doing it quite right, at least Google Translate understands me. Though I speak veeery slowly and just basic sentences, sadly..
Listening is not too good. I tried to listen to Youtube videos but it is way too fast. Probably because I used the short cut too often while doing the listening exercises. But sure, if you force yourself not to look at first, you can learn listening well on Duolingo. But I will stick with Youtube because the content is always new, fun, there is no cheating involved and the playback speed can be adjusted.
My writing is horrible. But if there is anything a really want to be able to do, is writing the gorgeous Chinese characters! And I think it is about time now to start practicing. Before I wouldn't have had a chance since I didn't know enough words. So now I can start writing in Chinese, and knowing what I'm actually writing about at the same time.
This is where I am know. My three-and-a-half-month-long free time is almost over and I will start with my study. Which isn't Chinese. However, it is possible that there will be international students from China who will study at the same university. They will probably think I am a creep and honestly maybe I am but I'd like to bring my knowledge (says someone who is only level 2 on Duolingo) into real life.
I've enjoyed this learning experience a lot. I have to focus on my study from now on. But maybe maybe besides that, I will slowly try to start writing, continue listening to Chinese Videos, random Chinese talking and cooking, repeat vocabulary and of course try to level up my skills on Duolingo!
Hey, great to know you like learning Chinese too! Out of curiosity, what resources outside of Duolingo do you use to help with your Chinese?
hello, I tried to reed all the way to the end. sorry I skip a line or two. What is your native language?. I am learning some chinese from english, but my native is spanish so sometimes I got confused about the form of the sentences.
Hi! My native language is Dutch. I am also learning Chinese from English and it can indeed get confusing sometimes. But it is fine by me because then I also improve my English a bit