I took a few years of Chinese lessons in high school and some more in Masters program. Reading that you might get the idea that I am pretty good at Chinese.
You are wrong.
The classes I took during high school and those during when I was in graduate school were absolutely pathetic. This is because the classes teach the wrong things. All they cared about was teaching very basic vocabulary in order to pass a test.
I don’t care about passing tests; I care about actually speaking the language.
In first grade I made one of my first life long friends, Ryan Hu. Ryan is Taiwanese and when I started high school my options for choosing a language were Spanish or Chinese. While I do want to learn Spanish as well, I went with Chinese first.
Over the years it has really annoyed me that I have spent so much time and money on Chinese classes with little to show for it. When I moved back to Los Angeles I contacted Ryan and asked him if he might know anyone that could teach me Chinese. He got me in contact with his friend Cindy and today I had my first lesson.
We met at the mall today and strictly worked on conversational Chinese. We walked around the place together and constructed more and more sentences in Chinese. Of course at times I had to ask Cindy for help, but as we time went on I was improving.
I already have Chinese pronunciation down pretty well, and I do have a solid vocabulary so Chinese classes from earlier weren’t absolutely worthless, but this conversational practice is leaps and bounds much better. I’m going to keep at it and soon you will see me on stream playing in the Chinese servers.
Wan Shang Jian,