Learning Mandarin: It's a Lifestyle

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Tuesday, 27 October 2009
This is another Guest post from a friend that continues to learn Mandarin. Today's guest post is from Boyd, who runs several successful and interesting blogs related to Chinese culture. Boyd runs an Business English course for Chinese speakers. Chinese speakers My favourite of Boyd's blogs is Boyd's Bijou or his Musings on China. Here is a little about Boyd's journey Learning Mandarin.


Chairman Mao famously dictated that one should 活学活用 - "live learn and live use" -- perhaps translatable as "learn by living and doing and utilize or implement by living and doing." Since I started learning Mandarin in 1987, I have taken this aphorism to heart. Attempting to implement this saying, I used some methods as follows to learn Mandarin:

  • Forcing myself to interact with Mandarin speakers daily.

  • Moving to and spending time in Mandarin-speaking areas such as Taiwan and China.

  • Working in local companies and immersing myself in Mandarin-speaking environments.
  • Reading Chinese-language newspapers daily (with dictionary in hand) and attempting to write letters to the editor.

  • More recently, reading Chinese-language blogs and using character recognition input devices (so I can practice writing) and pinyin input to comment.
In a word, I try to incorporate Mandarin into daily life and business - Chairman Mao would be proud?
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