I started a podcast series in Mandarin

In my latest episode of the I’m Learning Mandarin podcast, I speak in Chinese about three things you should know before you go to Taiwan to study Chinese. It’s based on my experiences of living and studying in Taiwan in 2023.

You can follow along with a transcript and English translation here: Three Things You Need To Know Before You Study Chinese in Taiwan (Podcast) – I'm Learning Mandarin

Going forward, my plan is to post weekly episodes of the podcast. I’ll continue doing guest interviews and discussions (in English) about learning Mandarin once a fortnight. Then, in between each interview, I’ll post shorter episodes in which I speak in Mandarin about a topic.


This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing Mischa :star_struck:

1 Like

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

Just checked it out Mischa, looks on point!
If I may ask, what kind of topics you would want to discuss in each episode?

Hey Rushi! I will mainly talk about experiences and stories to do with learning Chinese and traveling in Taiwan.

Mischa, you spent some time in Taipei, right?

How did you find the accent compared to your friends you know from the mainland? Any struggles or was the transition fairly seemless?

Hi Max. Taiwanese contains more contractions than mainland Chinese. Not just different contractions, more of them. Lots more.

Young people, especially, tend to run all the words in a sentence together to an exaggerated extent that even their older relatives can have trouble understanding. Half the syllables in a sentence are routinely swallowed in a slur of vowels.

This takes time to get used to.

But perhaps a bigger issue was Taiwanese people dealing with my mainland accent.

I remember when I first arrived in Taiwan I was talking to a Taiwanese woman about how I sometimes found it hard to communicate with shopkeepers. I wanted to explain that this was because they spoke so fast in an accent I wasn’t yet familiar with. But before I’d got to the “because…” part of the sentence: “I sometimes find it hard to communicate with shopkeepers because…” the woman blurted out “…they can’t understand you!”.

In general though, besides a few funny anecdotes, it wasn’t a major issue. Over time the initial issues became less frequent (though they never disappeared entirely) and communication usually wasn’t a problem.

1 Like

This is really interesting insight Mischa, thanks a lot for sharing.

Well done on persisting hard and sticking with it!

Having lived and learned Mandarin in Beijing, I definitely found Taiwan Mandarin a bit strange at the beginning. In general I dont find it a problem though and it is not more difficult to understand that the Mandarin of someone from Shanghai - and much easier than someone from Guangzhou.
Just recently discovered some differences like that 和 is pronounced differently in Taiwan - that really blew me away.
Also that 奔驰 (Mercedes) has a different name in Taiwan I only found out via an LTL Instagram post. Never stop learning…

Also this!

I keep getting scolded when I say 视频 in Taiwan instead of 影片. Harsh lessons learnt!