Hello and welcome to the JinbuPal Blog!
My name is Mike and I’ve been learning Mandarin Chinese for about a year and a half now. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade and I am always trying to learn something new. Through my interests as an engineer, I’d worked on several side-projects in the past that I was seeking to get manufactured, potentially in China. I felt like I was already constantly scouring Chinese language websites looking for manufacturers and existing products in the marketplace. I figured things would be a whole lot easier if I could read Chinese, but I had heard (as I’m sure you have) that Chinese is incredibly difficult to learn. Spoiler alert, I’ve found over time this is a gross exaggeration.
In 2017, I went on a trip to South East Asia and visited Hong Kong. I loved it! The city and culture were so exciting. I was only able to stay in Hong Kong for a few days, but the city left a huge impression on me. At that time, I had absolutely no clue how the Chinese language even worked, much less how you could go about learning to speak it.
On my long and crammed return flight home, I happened to listen to a podcast by Tim Ferriss which touched on language learning techniques and how to incorporate the Pareto’s Principle (or 80/20 Rule) for rapid progress. Having enjoyed my time in Hong Kong and always seeking a challenge, I figured I would take Tim’s word for it and dive head-first into learning Mandarin.
I started studying within a few days of returning home and I still enjoy spending my free time reading and studying Mandarin daily. I will continue posting on this blog regularly, discussing tools, tips, and other things I’ve learned along the way. So stay tuned! My goal is to present Chinese learning in a way that allows anyone to feel confident in their ability and rapidly succeed. Learning a language (especially Chinese) isn’t exactly easy; but when you have the most efficient techniques on your side, you will be shocked by how much easier it can be than you might have thought!
The most important aspect to efficient language learning is that you are making daily meaningful progress from the very start. And not only do you need to make progress, you need to track your progress! This is the foundational topic that I will discuss in my next post.