The Introduce Yourself Topic

Hey everyone. I’m Max (I actually work at LTL) and I’m currently studying Chinese to around a HSK5 level.

My speaking is tailing off not being in China but my reading is improving.

I take Flexi Classes when I get time so hoping to meet some of you soon :slightly_smiling_face:



This is Andreas, I am the admin of this Forum and also in charge of running Flexi Classes.
I am originally from Germany/Austria and first came to China in 2002 to study Mandarin.
I am very bad at learning languages but found speaking foreign languages very helpful for my life. I guess I have been doing it for so long that by now I sometimes even enjoy it.
What I really like though is practicing a language to discover a new culture. It is a completely different experience to speaking English.

I am a native German speaker and Mandarin and English are my main two work languages. I am currently studying Vietnamese even though I had promised myself that after Mandarin I would never study a tonal language again. Oh well, sometimes life just decides itself…Vietnamese is great, but I find the pronounciation very tough.

This is still Andreas, but this time as a normal user not admin.
I speak German, English and Mandarin at a fluent level and am currently studying Vietnamese. My next aim is to learn Spanish, but maybe I switch to Japanese. Definitely no more new tonal languages for me!


Really impressive. I found to learn a language is so hard, I am really struggling with mandarin and admire your enthusiasm to continue learning. Keep going.


I’m learning Italian and Chinese at the same time and I always have moments where my motivation drops.

I found for me, the key is to keep the daily habits active.

Recently for me I missed 3 weeks of Italian classes but I kept my daily Duolingo and flashcards up. This has helped keep things active in my mind.

It’s always good hearing other stories, they help all of us stay motivated! 加油大家!

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Which flash card system do you use?

Du Chinese/Pleco and Hack Chinese - all have flashcard systems built into them.


Hey everyone. I’m Marco and I’m currently at around HSK 4. I’m from Mexico and currently live in Mexico City, and I speak Spanish, English, and French at a fluent level, and got to B1 level in German a few years ago but I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near fluent in that lol.

I’m currently studying Chinese full-time as my goal is to start a master’s degree in Chinese in autumn 2022, which is extremely ambitious and may be impacted by China’s (understandable) reluctance to let students in, but oh well. I guess there’s not much I can do but 加油!


Welcome Marco and thanks so much for joining Flexi Forum. HSK 4 is a good level. There are some universities in China where you can start a Masters program with HSK 4 already. However, the more famous programs require HSK 5 or 6. With full time study that is definitely very achievable. Where do you want to do your Masters program? I have done programs with quite a few students to HSK 6, is there anything I can maybe help with?
Beijing has 80% of its adult population vaccinated and the hope is that in the late summer things will relax a bit. Of course nobody knows and anything can change, but things at the moment are looking positive.


Hey Marco, good to see you. We had a couple of classes together before with Lydia! How’s everything going? Still making good progress?

Hopefully you’ll get to China one day soon and it’d be good to meet you there when you do!

PS - thanks again for your video, our Marketing team absolutely loved it!

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Thanks! I’m shooting for the Masters of International Studies program at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. They unfortunately do not accept the HSK as proof of proficiency—you have to take a test called STAMP that I had never heard of and couldn’t find much about online. All I know is that I need to score 1300 (out of ?? points), so I don’t have much of a reference. Any experience with that test? In any case, the expectation is that I should be able to follow graduate-level courses in Chinese without much trouble by the time I start the program.

And that’s great news about Beijing! I was feeling discouraged because Taiwan and Singapore have gone back into lockdown, but I’m glad that the vaccination programs are going smoothly in Beijing. Mexico is getting a ton of Sinopharm and Cansino vaccines, so hopefully I can get one of those since I’ve heard people with them are having an easier time getting back into China.

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Hey Max! I’m doing well how about you? I remember last class you mentioned that you were going to London’s chinatown and sure enough, the next day I saw all about it on the LTL Instagram stories haha. I must plan a trip to Mexico City’s chinatown once Covid calms down a bit more.

And yes, I’m hopeful we’ll get some good news soon and we’ll be able to meet up in Beijing! :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

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Haha that’s the one, well remembered. Had some great food and it was nice to feel “back in China” for a few hours!

I’ve never heard of the STAMP Exam by the way. Sounds very vague, hopefully someone on the forum will be able to help though.


We have had several people who graduated from Nanjing John Hopkins university apply for jobs with us over the years. All proper China hands, seems like a good program for China nerds like us

No idea regarding that exam though I have to admit. Never heard of it. Let us know of you find out anything.

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Hello every one I am Nathaniel, I can speak French, Portugese, Spanish and English, currently chinese HSK4 and a beginner in japanese also.

That’s good to know, thanks! I’ll be looking at other programs from other Chinese universities as well, but Nanjing-Hopkins is my #1 for now.

What I’ve found about the STAMP is that it only tests reading and listening comprehension. It’s not too expensive, only $30 a test, so maybe I’ll take a test soon to figure out my level and report back with any insights.

Hi Max and everyone. I’m Vicki. :wave: As everyone seems to be introducing themselves by referencing their languages, in descending order of competence, I speak English, Swiss-German / German, Italian, French and Mandarin. I still struggle to swap between languages freely and really admire people that can do so easily. If I use one language too much for a few days, then I get tongue-tied when changing. :confused:

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Hi everyone! I’m Kate (or Katia in my native language, though I’ve been using Kate for a while now :slight_smile: ). I speak English, Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian. I’ve started learning Chinese just recently and was looking for some online classes while I wait for an in-person course at my university in September. I found LTL by chance and I grew to love it after the first lesson, though I often will silly speaking and making all the mistakes. :sweat_smile: I have a lot of friends from China so hopefully one day I can speak with them in Chinese and they can understand me!


Great to see you all here. Love hearing the languages people speak. As I’m sure @Vicki-Mandarin-HSK_2 will agree with, we aren’t so strong in the UK at studying languages!

I know very few people who speak more than English here so it’s always amazing to see people speaking 4-5 languages with no issue!

My life language goal is to get “fluent” in Italian and Chinese and then let’s see about Japanese and Korean as a hobby!

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Totally agree @Max! Having English as a native language is a blessing and a curse. But I know quite a few people who can speak their native language plus English and that’s their limit too. So don’t be disheartened by our motherland!

I remember my first trip to Japan 15 years ago when nobody spoke English. Within 10 days I could introduce myself and go into a restaurant and book a table in Japanese. It’s amazing how quickly you can learn when you really need to to survive!