Tutty is a photographer from Germany. She just came to Shanghai with her familly for 4 months. Tutty chose to study Chinese with us three times a week and has made great progress since she started it, as she is not afraid of making mistake and tries any chance to talk in Chinese. Let’s see what tips she can share in picking up the language.
Q: Do you speak to Chinese friends?
A: I don’t have a lot of Chinese friends, but I have an āyí whom I have to speak mandarin with. Yīnwéi tā búhuì shuō yīngwén。
Q: When you have to speak to āyí, how do you make sentence in Chinese?
A: I think the sentence is not always correct in gramma but I just talk. And I am not shy talking and not afraid of making mistake. If you think too much then you will not talk. Just keep talking, you will improve by listening to her, or she corrects me. This is how I think I can make progress. I also don’t study within the book. I ask lǎoshī: "What is this?", "What is that?", which helps a lot.
Q: Is there any problems that you have caused by language?
A: Yes, I ordered something on Hémǎ, and the shipper delivered the wrong item. Luckily my āyí was with me. In China it is very progressed in IT technology like Wechat pay, Alipay...everything paying with the mobile phone. At the beginning, it was very difficult as everything takes time. I used a lot of Baidu to translate for me. It is not quick. I don’t know which button to press.有，在盒马上买了东西，快递送错了。幸好阿姨在。中国的科技发展很超前，微信支付宝，什么都用手机操作。最初的时候，花很长时间解决一件事，我用百度翻译，但也很慢，不知道按哪个键。
Q: So, the problem is Chinese characters?
A: Yes, so I started to pick up a little bit Chinese characters. Learning Chinese is difficult for me because of many characters, it’s getting confusing that the same pinyin has different characters. That is why I cannot read the menu so far. My aim is to read the menu in restaurant. 😊
Q: Some think as many people know how to speak English in Shanghai so foreigners don’t have to learn Mandarin. Do you think it is useful to learn Mandarin?
A: It is a must to learn Mandarin! Otherwise, you cannot "survive". For example, if kuàidì comes, he does not speak English…so for the sake of daily things, it gets necessary to speak Chinese. And it is also show respect to the country where you are living in to learn the language.
Q: As a good student, how do you learn Mandarin? Tips for classmates?
A: You need to know whether you are a group learning person or what. Regarding to language, I prefer studying alone. I was thinking of joining a group class but I was not sure if it would fit into the speed when I learn alone. So, it is important to know what fits best to your learning style. Also, it is better to do homework on your own. I can ask anything, everything without worry that if it is interesting to other classmates.
Q: Till now, does mandarin Inn’s course meets your requirement of learning Chinese?
A: I am already happy with Mandarin Inn. I like the E-learning. I used that quite often, the audio and workbook exercises. For me, also the structure of the book prepares me for the HSK test with the same structure.
Q: How do you think of your teacher?
A: Jane is funny where we had a lot of fun. She is very open to all my questions. I think it is a good connection between Jane and I. Because of the teacher, rarely cancel my Chinese lessons. That is how I like the class with Jane. I cannot recommend her being afriad that she will not have more time for me...lol
Q: We also hold culture workshop every month. If it meets your schedule, what kind of culture workshop do you expect?
A: I would be interested to learn more about socializing in China. For me it is not easy to get in touch with others here if you don’t speak Chinese. Maybe they can not speak English. I think it might be interesting to know people who would be interested to talk to foreigner without talking English, to have a little connection to the Chinese people.
Q: We would like to create a community for students to get more involved. Any advice?
A: Maybe it is because I am learning alone, it would be good to know how many students are here, and which level other students are. For me there is not much transparency. I don’t know if you can show like "there are model students in your level, would you like to connect with these people?"(End)