My name is Matt and I am from Canada. I started my mandarin learning about in mid 2012 after my first trip to China with my (now) fiancée. That trip to China really changed my life as in ways that I never would have expected and I fell in love with Chinese culture, history and general life.
Most of my fiancée’s family speaks only mandarin so I decided to start studying Mandarin so I could speak with her family without relying on someone to translate for me. I always had a an interest in language learning but still only spoke one language for the majority of my life. Once I started studying Mandarin I realized how challenging and fun it can be and have been hooked ever since.
My initial goal with learning Mandarin was to be able to have general conversations with people without using English. I focused just on speaking and didn’t really learn characters. As I learned more and gained more experience with the language I realized that to really further my learning I needed to not only be able to speak fluently but also be able to read book and newspapers. I have recently started studying Chinese characters to further my learning and reading ability, and even though it feels like a step back I know it is necessary to reach my goals and further my learning.
I listen to Chinesepod every single day, typically listening to the newest lesson several times and then reviewing the lesson dialogue and vocab list to create my flashcards. Chinesepod has been my primary resource for studying over the past 2 years and find that the lesson topics have allowed me to keep up with all the relevant and current vocabulary.
Over the past year I have also really focused on my speaking and conversational ability as I may have a lot of vocabulary knowledge I don’t have tons opportunities to put it into practice. I try to speak in Mandarin with my fiancée while at home or out running errands and have been booking coffee with other friends who speak mandarin as an opportunity to get more conversational experience.
Other than studying Chinese I also love travelling the world, photography, snowboarding in the winter, anything related to tech. I just recently picked up video editing as I got a GoPro camera so that has also been something that has been keeping me busy in my free time.
If you guys are interested you can check out my instagram; it’s where I post photos from my travels along with some general life stuff.