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My turn to say hi! 我叫 John


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!


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?


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.


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)



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)


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: