Generally speaking, knowing how to “fish” is usually more important than how many “fish” you get. In explanation, “method” is the key part in doing a lot of things, such as learning languages. It is also useful for you to know what other successful language learners do when they learn a new language or even several new languages.
In today’s post, my friend Aaron Miller, an Asian-born-American, who is known as the “grammar editor” among the Chinese students, will share with us his experience learning Chinese, Cantonese and a little Korean.
As a native Chinese speaker, I was pretty surprised by Aaron’s Chinese level and his language talents at the first time when I met him and heard him speak. Here are the first part of recordings I got during the interview with him.
Q01. Aaron, can you greet our readers with the several languages you can speak?
Q02. Languages are usually considered as the indicators of different cultures. Since you are such an expert in learning foreign languages, I guess the readers must be really curious about what kind of background you come from that makes you so good at languages?
(Click the Above Image for Detailed Map)
Q03. What is the reason that made you choose Chinese as you major here in the University of Florida? Up till now, how long have you been a Chinese learner?
Q04. As a lot of Chinese learners complain, Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Do you think so as well? Do you have your own method to conquer this problem?
Q05. Who teaches (or taught) you Chinese? Where do they come from? What kind of learning materials have you been using?
Here are the screenshots for the textbooks Aaron has been using for his Chinese study.
Qo6. At the baby level of your Chinese, how did your teacher(s) do to guide your learning tour? And what method are you using at this level?
“Just have fun with it” is what impressed me the most in Aaron’s talking. Indeed. Interest is the most necessary and effective motivation in doing and succeeding in one thing. One will never do something well if he finds the thing boring. Neither can he do it well if he “hates” the thing.
So, play with Chinese and try to get the most fun out of it. If you can manage to do that, you will make a good Chinese learner.
Please come back and check out for the second part of my interview with the advanced-level Chinese learner, Aaron Miller!
Got more interesting stories of Chinese learners or your own experience learning Chinese to share with us?
Know more useful and efficient ways of Chinese learning?
Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!
Language is a very important part of any culture since it can keep record of and be counted as the reflection of a culture’s evolution and development.
^ Do you want to get closer to the Chinese culture?
^ Do you want to learn to read and write Chinese from the very first step?
^ Do you want to know how to read and write Chinese characters?
^ Do you want the skills necessary to do more self-learning after you have mastered elementary Chinese?
If so, you are at exactly the right place!
Welcome to “The Path to Chinese Characters” (let this be for a while before anything better comes up)！
There are lots of people who have a strong desire to learn Chinese as their second language. According to my findings, the Chinese learning blogs and websites focus more on pinyin (a concept we will cover later in the learning) other than how to actually write the characters. Since I have been practicing Chinese calligraphy since I was six, I can simply and effectively teach you how the strokes in Chinese characters are written. My blog will give you access to Chinese language instruction featuring over both reading and writing without the fuss of going to class or paying tuition!
Here in “The Path to Chinese Characters” blog, you will be exposed to instructions on both reading and writing Chinese. As to the reading part, you will learn not only what the pinyin is, but also how the pinyin is formed. You will learn how the twenty-six English letters are pronounced in pinyin and how the four intonations should be pronounced; As to the writing part, you will learn what the writing order is like for every single stroke that forms the Chinese characters, Chinese grammar and Chinese punctuations.”)
To sum up, I will begin teaching starting from the elementary-level, to give you a foundation of basic skills and knowledge needed to learn Chinese. From here you will be able to design your own learning if you want to learn more.
You, of course, won’t be alone!
I will invite some of my American friends, the Chinese majors, to our “classes”. We will be having them to talk about how they learn Chinese and what suggestions they will give to the starters. I will also link you to some Chinese learning blogs and websites, which I find helpful.
Well, Well…A Little Bit about ME
Well, about the blogger, me, I guess that’s also something you might be interested in. I am Xuan Tian, a first-year journalism graduate student from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. I am from Hebei Province, China. My first name is pronounced as [xuan] with a second raising tone. Do you think yourself getting the pronunciation of [xuan] right? Most of my (non-Chinese) friends can’t get it right when they try to pronounce it at the first time. But I am sure that all of you will know well how to pronounce it after you start your journey of Chinese learning with me by following or subscribing to this blog.
I am into journalism and mass communications. I have done a lot of hosting and broadcasting in both Chinese and English since my high school. I maintained three radio programs of my own in a provincial broadcasting and television bureau since my second year in college. I love singing English songs, especially Christina Aguilera’s, Kelly Clarkson’s and Celine Dion’s songs.
Things You Need to Know Before Getting On Board…
Actually here are a few points I think you should know before our “classes” start:
1: Learning Chinese is a long, profound process, which takes time, effort and maybe confidence. Such persistence is required when you are learning any language. Remember, you really, really need repeated practice.
2: You will go through a hard time learning “accent issues” due to the four intonations in Chinese. I cannot guarantee that everyone will take the same length of time
3: Being able to speak Chinese well doesn’t necessarily mean you will also be close to a high level of writing Chinese characters. You will find out why later in the learning.
4: The pinyin, which incorporates the exact same twenty-six English letters with much distinguishing pronunciations.
Let’s work together for a wonderful and challenging experience learning Chinese !