So it’s 6am and I haven’t managed to fall asleep at all. What’s the first thing that came to mind? Let’s finally start up my language blog!
After a few years of learning Mandarin, I’ve finally decided to start blogging about my language learning progress and the various useful resources I’ve discovered and continue to find. But if we’re journeying through this together then I’d better tell you a bit more about myself first so you know what to expect.
I’m a 3rd year student at the University of Sydney in Australia and I’m studying to become a Mandarin teacher in the future. If you meet me your first impression might be that I surely speak fluent Chinese because I look Chinese however, like many others who have parents from overseas but have grown up in Australia, this is not the case. The only language I’m fluent in is English so when I began studying Mandarin in the first semester of 1st year, I was a beginner like the other 100+ students. I can speak a tiny, tiny bit of Cantonese but I think my Mandarin may have already surpassed my Cantonese in some aspects already haha.
I didn’t actually enter uni and plan to become a language teacher but that’s how things have turned out. Being known as an Australian-born Chinese (ABC) swayed me to choose Mandarin as part of my Arts course and I don’t regret it at all. I think I might be one of the few ABCs who actually go back to study some form of Chinese at a university-level despite having close to no background abilities at all. Being in this situation has actually spurred me on to encourage those around me to learn Mandarin rather than relying on English alone (though it can get you quite far). I want to reverse the trend where children are limited to and complacent with using English to communicate and encourage them to consider re-connecting with the other half of their identity (if they’re in a similar situation to me) or opening up the door to a new culture. From my experience, I’ve learned that I’m less Western than I first thought and by embracing my Chinese cultural heritage alongside with the influences of Western culture, I’m able to better accept, appreciate and understand myself as a whole.
So whether you are friend or stranger, a beginner or native speaker, I hope you come along on this adventure with me as we discover the hidden treasures of this intricate language 🙂 我们一起学汉语吧！(Let’s study Mandarin together!)