Your experience speaking a language in the country it's used in

I recently came back from a LONG (a whole month!) holiday in Taiwan. At first I was kinda anxious about speaking Mandarin there because I only spoke it in a classroom setting before… but to my surprise it went way better than I expected! I chatted with people a lot, they had no trouble understanding me, most of the time there were no issues communicating. It really made me happy and gave me motivation to keep studying. Have you also had an experience like this?


That’s so awesome to hear! I’m glad you became even more motivated after that. I actually had the opposite experience initially with learning Chinese and coming to Taipei :laughing:

I’d put all my effort into learning simplified Mandarin with the Beijing accent - also with more of a focus on reading/writing. So when I arrived in Taipei I couldn’t read a thing or understand what anyone was saying - even 四 and 十, here they both sound like si! So initially my confidence took a knock and I avoided Chinese for a while (I spent far too much time in Starbucks!) BUT then I found a really great Chinese teacher who reminded me that progress is progress and even if it takes a while to learn/adjust, I’m still moving forward. And after about 3 months of intense classes on Mon-Fri mornings, I started feeling a lot more confident :smiling_face: and now I’m actually a lot more comfortable with the Taipei accent than the Beijing one!

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I had a very similar experience to Hannah’s, I studied simplified characters and lived in Beijing, so I’m used to the strong accent there. It took me weeks to get used to the soft accent of people in Taipei, and I am still learning to recognise traditional characters.

I recently came back from 2 weeks in Seoul and realised when listening to ppl speak around me that I understand Korean a lot more than I thought I would! Speaking is not easy but I’m glad to see my listening skills have improved

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@Marine @Hannah Sounds like I’ll have the opposite experience in Beijing then! :laughing:



If you’ve studied traditional characters before, transitioning to simplified should be a lot smoother :wink:

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