Taking stock of my first year of Chinese lessons

How much of the Chinese language can one master in one’s first year?

Here are some facts. Engineers like facts, usually.

  • 290 words and expressions, allowing oneself to
  • Say hello and goodbye
  • Introduce friends and family – including the dog
  • Order food and beverages
  • Talk about basic school and study situations
  • Invite a friend to the Beijing Opera, go for a swim or play ball

That’s not too bad.
Considering this includes memorizing 268 characters and pronouncing 21 tong-twisting consonants and 38 syllables in 4 tones.

This takes 40 weeks of 3 hour class-room sessions, plus – on average – 3 hours of private study time a week.
It’s an effort that’s sustainable for a 7-year stretch, given a demanding job, spouse and children and something that resembles a personal life.

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One Response to Taking stock of my first year of Chinese lessons

  1. Pingback: Rehearsals and impressions « Willy Druyts learns Chinese

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