My New Zealand

The first online series in Chinese, for Chinese, by a Kiwi

Mandarin for Lazy Learners: A taste

This is embarrassing.

For about a year (a YEAR!) I’ve been planning to write the book on how I learned (am learning) mandarin Chinese through social media.

It’s got the attention of a lot of people, and I think there’s a market for it.

So, I’m finally putting virtual pen to virtual paper. And I’m going to share bits and pieces of it here. Why? Because I want to make this the best book possible, and I need your help to do that.


Here’s my introduction, please comment!

I love learning. But I’m not very good at it.

At least, not in a formal sense. The last exam I sat was in 1993, and I’m glad I haven’t sat an exam since then.

I know (in my head, anyway) that formal, structured learning is good for discipline.

But in reality, I’m busy, easily distracted and stressed.

And yet, in the past three years I have achieved a level of Chinese mandarin speaking that has Chinese people asking how long I’ve lived in China. But I’ve only spent a total of 30 days in China!

So how did I do it? That’s what I’ll be outlining in this book. It comes down to a few factors:

1. Insatiable curiosity.

2. Being friendly.

3. A natural affinity for languages.

4. Access to some amazing (and constantly developing) technology.

5. An addictive personality.

Numbers 3 and 5 are all about what you’re born with. All the other things can be learnt.

Update: see the next post here, “Why Learn Chinese?”

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4 comments for “Mandarin for Lazy Learners: A taste

  1. November 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Nice intro – I’m a bit outta luck for 3 though 😉

  2. Simon
    November 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Haha, never mind, Sally, you might be surprised what you can learn! When we get in touch with our child-mind, we are pretty good at recognising patterns.

  3. November 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Oh that’s cool, I’m pretty good with patterns – some hope for us visual peeps then 😛

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