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My turn to say hi! 我叫 John


#1

Hi everyone, my name is John, I’m from Toronto, Canada!

I’ve been learning Mandarin for over a year now, using ChinesePod and another site for lessons, and Skritter for learning characters.

My knowledge of characters/reading is well ahead of my listening and speaking skills, I’m too shy to speak :slight_smile: I did the HSK Level 1 and Level 2 exams earlier this year, I’m planning on trying for Level 3 early next year.

I’ve decided that I want to improve my listening and speaking skills though, I can’t rely on characters all the time, I need to get out of my comfort zone! I want to visit China next year so I definitely need to improve.

Anyway, just wanted to hi! I really like the recent site redesign and the new content, and I’m looking forward to the new iOS app!

See ya!


#2

Hi John, welcome to the forum! It’s great to see there are more poddies out there (especially fellow Canadians) willing to change and interact with each other :slight_smile:

What sparked your interest in learning Mandarin?


#3

Thanks, Matt! I have a pretty good knowledge of Italian and French, and wanted to try learning a completely different type of language next. I thought, why not give Mandarin a shot, thinking that I’d try it for a while and then maybe move on to another, but I’ve fallen in love with it! It’s such a break from the things I didn’t like about the Latin languages.

I still want to learn some other languages as well, but I figure until I lose my passion for Mandarin (well, if that happens), I’ll stick with it!

You must have improved so much during your stays in China! Best way to really learn.


#4

Hey John 欢迎!欢迎!

So great to hear from you and looking forward to seeing you more on the forum! If there is anything I can do to help in terms of lessons/Qing wen’s just give me a shout. Thanks for the feedback re the website. I’ll be sure to pass that onto our tech team :smile:

I’m curious to know the popularity of studying Mandarin in Canada at the moment. Is it getting more popular or still quite niche? (@Matt_T also)

Fi


#5

In my city there doesn’t seem to be a lot of non-chinese people learning Mandarin. There are some classes for learning basics offered by the Chinese cultural centre in Chinatown but that is about it. There are no meetups that I have been able to find either so I have been thinking about starting one myself to see if there is interest. So far I have only met two other non-chinese people who are learning or can speak Mandarin and they both work at the same company as I do.

I’m sure there are a lot more people learning in other cities like Toronto or Vancouver but I have not personally encountered many. 4% of the population in Canada are of Chinese descent, there are also way more Chinese students who come to Canada to study so the total number is quite a bit more so it would be nice to see more non-chinese people looking to learn Mandarin (Perhaps I am a bit biased)


#6

Thanks, @Fiona!!

I would say that it is still pretty niche here. China and Chinese culture are very popular, always in the media, etc., due to our large Chinese population, but I don’t see a lot people learning Mandarin.

I do see there is a meetup specifically for Mandarin learners here in Toronto, but it appears only a handful of people ever attend, I’ve never done so myself. There are various learning centers around the city, but I’ve decided to go with the self-study route :smile: