Monica is a German- Italian, who has lived in Shanghai for 3 years, and start to study with Mandarin Inn 3 months ago. She think it is really important to learn Chinese as a foreigner! Not being able to communicate at least a bit with people in a new country is too frustrating. Interested in what she considers the most important method of learning Chinese? Let's have a look together!
Q: Please tell us how long you have stayed in China, how long you have studied at Mandarin Inn, what kind of course you are learning, and which level you are.
A: My name is Monica, I am German-Italian, and am a sworn translator and foreign language teacher for Italian, German and English.I was born in Italy, my mother is German, my father Italian, and at the age of 18 I moved to Germany for study and work.So I grew up bilingual, and with a sort of “double cultural identity”, living my childhood and teen years in a Mediterranean country and carrying the German language, culture and mentality with me.Having gone to the linguistic high school and learning with passion foreign languages as English and French, I always had a deep interest for knowing new cultures and new languages. At that younger age I would have never imagined, one day, to learn Chinese and to live in China, Shanghai, where I have been living already for 3 years.
Q: Why did you come to China?
A: I came to China because of work. I am a German teacher at a university. My students learn German in an intense course for about 2 years and try hard to reach a good level. After passed a difficult exam, they obtain a study place in Germany, where they keep doing their study in German and even make their final exam in this foreign language.
Q: Do you think it is useful for foreigners to learn Mandarin? Why? And why you’d like to learn Mandarin?
A: I think it is really important to learn Chinese as a foreigner! Not being able to communicate at least a bit with people in a new country is too frustrating. After some time of private Chinese lessons at home, I needed a pause because I was too busy with family and work. But after a while, I really noticed how terrible it is not be able to communicate quite well with people in a foreign country where one lives. So I made up my mind to look for a good Chinese language school. As I got to know Mandarin Inn School some time ago because of a nice Dragon Boat Festival program, I decided to give it a try with this school. So I started a course the beginning of May, and was able to develope good progresses in my language learning process.
我认为作为一个外国人，学习中文真的很重要! 在一个新的国家，一点都不能跟当地人沟通真的让人很沮丧。 我在家里上了一段时间的私教课，但由于工作和生活太忙暂停了。但一段时间后，我真的注意到，居住的国外，不能很好地与人交流是多么可怕的事情。因此，我下定决心要寻找一所好的中文学校。之前，我参加了Mandarin Inn的一个端午节活动，我决定在这个学校试一试。于是我在五月初开始了课程，我觉得我进步了很多。
Q: As a good student, how do you learn Mandarin? Would you like to share your tips?
作为一名好学生，你是如何学习中文的? 你想分享一下自己的学习建议吗? 你学中文的时候是怎样激励自己的?
A: I really enjoy being student of Chinese Language at Mandarin Inn School because here I can get a lot of so interesting and helpful digital material to study with, everywhere, at any time!Also having been invited into a Mandarin Inn students chat with a nice teacher really encourages me every single day to read, listen, speak and understanding better grammar. This is so gorgeous because just some minutes a day at cellphone are so effective for a successful learning habit.
Q: Would you like to talk something about your teacher, do you like him/her? And What kinds of teacher’s behavior will encourage you to learn Mandarin?
A: An important motivating factor in the language learning process is the teacher, of course. I really like my teacher Lili!She is so calm and positive, explaining with patience and even trying to sometimes challenge me to train my foreign language ‘intuition’. Having studies foreign languages, I learned Such a behaviour encourages me time after time to be constant and not give up when I am tired and some grammar or characters seem quite difficult to me.
Q: We just got through a very tough time in Shanghai, during these time, how do you keep learning Chinese?
A: During this so hard time in Shanghai we have gone through, I really appreciate the online modus and the possibility, to access to the whole course material by Wechat.Without this and without my gorgeous teacher I would probably have given up. I was happyto take part to the online free evening class which Mandarin Inn offers once a month, to meet people who are ‘in the same boat’, going thorough pandemic and also still willing to keep studying Mandarin.
在我们刚经历的这段在上海很艰难的时间里，我真的很感谢在线上课的模式和通过微信上的服务号来获取学习资料的方式。如果没有这些，如果没有我优秀的老师，我可能已经放弃了。我很高兴参加了Mandarin Inn每月一次的在线免费公开课，以结识 "同道中人"。疫情当下，但仍然愿意继续学习中文。
Q: You are keeping doing online class, how do you feel about it?
A: No suggestions it is very well organized, I find. If I will later, I will let you know.
Q: We are doing free public online class recently, how do you feel about it, and do you have any suggestion, or do you have any subject you are interested?
A: I find your online free classes a very good offer to encourage students and persons, who did not yet book a course at Mandarin Inn, to start to learn or improve Mandarin.I participated in most of them and liked to meet and see other students, through out of China, too. Please, don’t stop this nice evenings where people of different coins can meet and learn new things with so professional Teacher Sofia.
Q: Do you have any interesting thing during your Mandarin study or the problems you meet in your daily life as the language to share to us？
A: My biggest problem is to have too many people around me who speak English or German,it is sometimes difficult to train my Chinese. I would like to try to speak more what I actually know. Mandarin is for me a fascinating language, so challenging, which really needs time dedicated to. I am going to plan more time and opportunities to better exercise my oral speaking.
Q: Finally, please say a your favourite Chinese sentence, and why.
A: 留得青山在， 不怕没柴烧。（liú dé qīng shān zài ， bù pà méi chái shāo）It means ”there is always hope“.Hope for a better future, hope for learning a difficult language as Mandarin at a good level to be able to communicate better with Chinese people.