Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Making the leap to Intermediate

Something is definitely happening. There have been a number of recent indications. I've been trying to learn this language for almost a year and a half. When I took stock of things after the first year, I came to the conclusion that all I had managed to do was remove the initial strangeness of the tones, the characters and the strange grammatical structures (whadya mean, shi4 doesn't mean 'to be'?!). The sounds and the concepts were a little less foreign to me, even if I still couldn't understand or say much.

Perhaps I've become a bit more diligent, or maybe I've paid enough dues now, but it feels like I've moved up in the bus. When I hear a sentence on Chinesepod, or read my teacher's notes for a new lesson, the number of percentage of new words compared to ones already seen, is smaller. Often the old faces appear in new company, but still make some degree of sense or have some recognizable logic to them.

Yesterday, during our weekly lesson, I found myself listening to and understanding longer and longer sentences. Even the structure are coming a little easier.

Don't get me wrong - I'm still a crap Mandarin speaker. But I'm a crap Mandarin speaker who's started listening to (and kinda getting) the Intermediate Chinesepod lessons!


Jeremy Uriz said...

All I can say is congratulations!
I'm not quite a year into my studies and am on shaky ground with Elementary lessons though I can go though them a few time and follow them.
Continued good luck in your studies.

Brendan Lawlor said...

Hi Jeremy,
I think congratulations might be premature :-) but thank you in any case.

The intermediate lessons are different compared to the last time I listened (and ran away from) them. There's a nice combination between Jenny and John. Jenny pitches it at a good level (i.e. out of my reach but with occasional phrases for me to rest my brain on) and John pulls it back from the brink of incomprehensibility.

The very best of luck in your own studies.