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Irina Xiang
A small investigation about learning Chinese

I am a Chinese teacher here, if you can help me do the investigation below, that would be great!

Thank you for your time!


1 Why do yo want to learn Chinese?


2 How long have you been learning Chinese?


3 What are the most difficult parts for you?


4 Have you ever been to China?


5 Do you think you can recognise Simplified Chinese easily after you become familiar with Traditional Chinese?

Mar 12, 2013 6:51 AM
Comments · 3

1. 就是我的爱好

2. 已经学了好多年的中文了(但是都是自己学的)

3. reading and hand-writing - listening to CCTV - trying to read sub-titles at speed

4. quite a few times, and I've travelled extensively, since my first trip in 1978

5. not at all, but I find now I can start to recognise a small number of fantizi from the corresponding jiantizi; I managed to make my way around Taiwan, and also HanCheng and Dongjing



March 13, 2013

1. I have a life goal to learn the United Nations languages, but for Chinese specifically I'm fascinated by the depth of the language's history, its idioms, and its really rich range of expressions. And yeah, part of it is that I like a challenge and I'm a little bit masochistic.

2. I've only seriously studied it for about six months now, but for a year before that I *very* casually played around with some phrasebooks and audio materials just to get a basic familiarity with things. I was focusing on Spanish (and some Arabic) at the time, though.

3. The sheer number of characters you have to remember is a big issue, especially with handwriting. To be honest I really haven't bothered with handwriting so far, because I'm just focusing on oral communication and reading, and can use pinyin input on the computer/phone. Also, listening is definitely harder than speaking, just because of the language's large and idiomatic vocabulary, and the wide variety of accents in 普通话 that people from different dialect groups have.

4. I've been living in Nanjing since September! First time in China.

5. I've heard this, and it seems to make sense. But since I'm on the mainland I've been doing simplified first. Still, I do think that the traditional character system is more consistent and "logical." It's just obviously harder to write by hand. Then again, now that texting and e-mail makes up the majority of written communication, I wonder if simplified characters will ever be considered not necessary anymore. 

March 12, 2013



1. I live in China so started to learn to make life easier.

2. I have been studying for one year

3. Listening is most difficult

4. Yes I have lived in Shenyang for 1 year

5. I have never studied traditional mandarin characters.


Hope this helps! 

March 12, 2013
Irina Xiang
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language