This week we talk to Von, an American who grew up around Mandarin Chinese via martial arts and later intentionally slid into learning to read the language as well. Von thought the first 4 of the 5 years he studied Chinese were easy because he viewed it similar to the frequent practice of any new skill. But then the grammatical difficulty, script changes, and genre differences kicked in and the “brain burn” began.
But that has not stopped his progress at all. He studies usually in intensive two week increments of about 6 hours a day and then pauses until the desire to learn returns (usually a few weeks later). His patience, persistence and contextualization of the language are ideal characteristics for what I wish were called the “Slow Language Learning Movement.” In a world where people strive to learn a language in 30 days, his views are refreshing and his approach is inspiring. Come along and listen to how he wants to use language to “speak the story of what he wants to say."
12: Mandarin Chinese and English Simultaneous Interpreter & Natural Storyteller, Chinese National Liz, 沃维薇 (Wò wéi wēi)
In this episode we talk to 沃维薇 (Wò wéi wēi), also known as Liz, about her dual Mandarin Chinese-English language experiences. Liz grew up in Shanghai, China with a passion for books and languages, which explains why and how she was reading English Sci-Fi at 14 years old. She is now a Simultaneous Interpreter, which is someone that is translating one language to another during a conversation at regular conversational speed. Yes, wow is the correct response to that.
11: American Expat in China, Matthew Boyle, Created Mandarin Chinese Card Games After Becoming Fluent in Chinese
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In this episode we talk to Matthew Boyle, who started learning Mandarin Chinese thanks to an administrative error in his Arabic class registration at university. In 2011, he moved from the East Coast of the United States to Southern China and started to “play with the language” immediately.
Since then, he has progressed from learning Mandarin Chinese to making games so other people can learn the language with his company, Language Card Games. In this conversation, Matthew shares his experience with tones, language teachers, phrases to use as a vegetarian in China and so much more.
Serial expat who loves diving into the communicative messiness of a global life.