Tag Archives for grammar


Learning Mandarin: Week 4

Shangri La Sign

“If you finish this book,” Sophie reiterates, “You’ll be able to get all around China with no problems.” I wouldn’t have thought it possible when we started learning Chinese. But, weirdly, I think she’s right. A month ago we couldn’t tell where one sound ended and the next one began. A Chinese sentence was a […]


Learning Mandarin: Week 3

Kunming Sea of People

A week to go before we head out of Kunming into the great wide open, over 30 hours of language lessons in, and we are, both of us, beginning to wonder whether the blood and sweat we’ve invested in learning Chinese is going to work. To understand and be understood in Chinese, I’m finding, you […]


Learning Mandarin: Week 2

Mandarin Week 2

So the boy and I have completed our second week learning Mandarin in China. We’ve only got a week’s more learning before we’re out on our own exploring — although I think we’ll carry on via Skype. If you’re a language geek, or planning to study Chinese, you might want to read about our first […]


Learning Mandarin: Week 1


Learning from our experiences in Indonesia, I figured it would be wise to start our sojourn in China by actually studying a bit of Mandarin and (hopefully) learning the basics of Chinese. Z was up for this too. At least until he realised Mandarin is a tonal language. Which means that every syllable has five […]