#Add1Challenge 18 Day 8: Learning Mandarin in 90 Days

by Hannah

OK – this is the first of what I hope will be weekly videos updating / documenting to the wide world (or likely just myself) on my progress in learning Mandarin.

Since I began learning Mandarin, I am THRILLED!  It feels different than any other language I’ve ever worked on.  I can’t explain how happy I am that there are no masculine / feminines to consider, no Conjugations, no difference between I & me, She & Her, He & His, super simple past tense, etc.

Full stop.

Did you see that in there?  NO CONJUGATIONS!  None.  (At least none that I’ve encountered none so far.)  This is SO incredibly freeing.  I can’t believe how much you can say so much quicker because you only have to learn literally ONE word for each verb instead of 6-15-ish.

That being said, you are left with fighting your way through tone recognition, / pronunciation, hearing & producing sounds that we typically don’t make in English.  Seriously – I think this is not a bad trade off.  I think I’d choose that any day.

Since Ryu & I are running out the door right now, here is my extremely embarrassing Mandarin Day 8 video, documenting where I am right now generally when someone says: “OK – say something…” with no (or very little ) preparation.  This one’s for the patient people:

You can see what I was (trying) to say written in English below the video on YouTube, or at the bottom of this post.

I spent the great majority of the week on modal sentences, which I think greatly increase the number of things you can see (at least for me – although I think I may use modals more than others?)  Modals include things like:

I can X, I need to Y, I’m going to X, I want to Y, I have to X, etc

Only “We’re going to…” made it into the video since I was trying to talk about how we’re getting on a 5-ish hour flight tonight, but I can and do use all of these now.

I also learned a basic way to make Gerund (-ing’s), which did show up in my little video.

You can see that my word order when I’m spontaneously making up my own sentences is starting to be a major trip up, although I feel like I understand it generally, throwing in the double verbs present in modal sentences sometimes makes me double take about where the “-ing”, “now”, “later”, “with me”, “with you”, etc go.  I need to review that.

I tried my hardest to not re-use sentences that I used in my previous (Day 0) video, although didn’t entirely succeed there.

Anyway – It was a great week of moving forward and seeing some definite progress, even if it looks like I’m speaking more haltingly than the previous video, I’m pretty proud of where I’m at for Week 1.


What I was (attempting) to say in the short ~15 seconds of actual speech in the video:

My name is Hannah.
I live in Israel.

We are going to Utah…(no -)
We are going to Utah today.
We are going to be in Utah for 2 months.

I can speak a little Mandarin
but I want to speak better Mandarin (confused on word order…)

I studying/learning Mandarin for 1 week
Forgot to add the past tense “I have been studying” here – (Guo4, yes?)

I need to speak better.

SO many things sound FAR more terrible when I listen to my recordings vs. how I think I’m speaking! Be gentle – I’m a beginner!!


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