In these paragraphs I want to share my experience on learning Chinese language (中文 ), which hasn’t been an easy achievement and consequently I’ll explain the reasons. The first reason is finding the time to study because I’m also taking care of my classes in the university for my degree and this decreases the effectiveness of the learning experience.

If we talk about learning strategies, first I gather some vocabulary from TV. I listen to the words several times and this helps my pronunciation. Also, I see the Chinese word and it makes me curious to know what it means, so I look it up. I need to know how to satisfy my daily needs so I ask my Taiwanese friends how to say certain sentences. Still, it’s really pitiful when you can’t get what you want because of the barrier of language. But I understand is not a quick process to learn a new language so I will gather the language little by little and try to dedicate more time in the future because I’ve learned how important is Chinese language now days.

A second reason why it has not been easy is that the Chinese pronunciation is hard to achieve because each word has its own tone which has to be accurately pronounced, otherwise you can confuse people with what you want to say. At the beginning was hard to make people understand, but with some practice, watching some TV and listening to people my pronunciation improved dramatically. It was really frustrating at the beginning but it just takes some practice and time. I also try to speak some Chinese during the day to my friends to practice my actual vocabulary or extend it to gather new words.

As a third reason is the Chinese writing, which is impossible for me to understand for now but I try to learn some words by writing them down, learn its meaning and try to construct a sentence. I often do this with the food I like and the drinks in a tea shop. Also I’ve bought some books to gather vocabulary, practice writing and some reading in a beginner level. Sometimes I study by myself and sometimes I ask either my Chinese teacher or a friend if I have any questions to strengthen my Chinese language.

My main strategy to learn Chinese is by listening to radio and TV or people speaking Chinese. I also repeat some words I hear often on TV and then I’ll ask: “What are they talking about? “ I also gathered some Chinese vocabulary from menus that are bilingual containing Chinese/English for the meals as well as anything that has both languages written on it. So for now I just can say some daily useful phrases in Chinese, but it is not enough because I can’t make as good a conversation as I can in English or Spanish. Therefore, I have to be patient and try to learn little by little and put more effort into it.

Classes at school are also helping learn and motivate me to be more ambitious for learning Chinese language. I feel it also helps me to put fear to speak aside and give it a shot. Well, I guess I’m here for several reasons and one of them is for learning Chinese language. I don’t want to go back to America without gathering Chinese; it will be regretful.

Another method I use is watching movies with English audio and Chinese subtitles and vice versa to improve my English as well as to learn some Chinese via subtitles. If the audio is Chinese with English subtitles then this improves my listening in Chinese and also helps me gather more Chinese and improve it. To learn Chinese I’ve used the methods I utilized to learn English so I guess I’m doing well in my Chinese education. I hope I can get as much as I can and be able to make a fair conversation in Chinese language in the future.