Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back from Asia ...

Hi all

Well, I'm back from Asia - having spent the last couple of weeks in Hong Kong, Taipei & Singapore on business.

On the right here you can see a picture of me at a late-night Pearl Bubble Tea place (珍珠奶茶) (zhēn​zhū​nǎi​chá​) in Taipei, near the main station. Medicinal purposes only, of course. :-)

I made some purchases while out there, including two Taiwanese TV series, a couple of Chinese movies, some Mandarin music, and a few cartoon books in simplified Chinese. I can't wait to get the time to start working (playing?) through them.

Ten months ago I came back from a business trip to China, unable to read any Chinese, and with a much more basic conversational skill. Being there at the time really gave me the incentive to boost my learning, which is why, upon my return, I started actively using flashcards, looking for a method to learn to read & write (I chose Heisig) ... and I started this blog.

And now I am pleased to see that the difference in my skill level was really obvious. I could read lots of the signs (although knowing the individual characters didn't always help me work out what it actually meant!) and my conversations were very much more, uhm, substantial. I'm very pleased.

And for the record - I've not been much of a student. I've only put in about 30-45 minutes a day, most of which is just listening to podcasts while travelling to and from work. But I was at least consistent.

Also, being in the environment, I was thinking lots about learning Chinese - and I drafted the skeleton of a number of articles which I intend to fully write up over the next couple of months.
I'd love you to follow along, so make sure you're subscribed - using the usual RSS feed, via email, or even on Twitter.

Speak soon


  1. Glad you had a blast sir, welcome back and look forward to hearing more about your experience as you're able to share it. Pics of the environment definitely a plus.

  2. Hey NightOwl. I'll be posting some stuff soon - stay tuned.

    Is there an interest by anyone else to see pictures too, and not just Mandarin-related material?

  3. Pictures always add to the story. Also, pictures would make the blog stand out from the rest.