Once my gut told me to stop and my brain told me to go. My heart said nothing, it was beating too fast to give impressions. A few moments later I was sliding on the asphalt. Close but no cigar. Cycling always gave me a rough ride. 

Mixing In 2.0

Every Friday is scheduled a 3 hour Chinese language lesson.  Learning the language is also a part of mixing in.  It's said Chinese is the second hardest language to learn in the world after Arabic.  I'm starting to think that's true.

I've been around for 50 days now and have been some places, done few things.  If there is one thing constantly holding me back, it's my horrific Chinese.  "So get to it Adrien!" would one say.  Well, if only it was so easy.  While practicing, a teacher or private tutor is quite necessary.  The hardest part isn't assimilating the non-existent grammar or conjugation, no.  The hardest part is pronouncing correctly, and without someone to correct you if you're wrong, studying it at home may just be sending you down the wrong road.  

That's half the truth, half the bullshit story I've been feeding myself since I got here.  

So today I've decided to really lean into it; get it going.  When fixing a goal, I always first ask myself 3 questions: Why, How and When? 

Why?

If I don't have answers to this question at the very second I ask it to myself, it's not worth pursuing and I wouldn't succeed in reaching my end term goal(s) anyway.  So why do I want to learn Chinese?  Perhaps the biggest reason is just because it's cool.  Not the language itself, just the fact of being European and speaking Chinese.  It's something out of the common, almost awkward looking.  I'm okay with looking awkward; I'll learn Chinese.  

How? 

I'll spare you with this one, because I'm thinking you really don't care what resources I'll be using.  Or do you?  If my technique does end up working I'll share it for who ever wishes to learn Chinese out there.  Let me crash test it first.  

When?

Deadlines, I ALWAYS fix deadlines.  It's the best way of getting things done fast and on time.  Sometimes I fix myself deadlines for finishing my lunch.  Time can be better spent.  I know people who fix themselves deadlines to finish their cocktail to get sky high a bit faster.  Time could be better spent.  We all have our own priorities, one of my new ones is speaking Chinese.  It'll be a 45 minute morning lesson before class each morning.  I'm an early bird so that should be okay. 

Goals

If I come back to France absolutely fluent in spoken language, which is said to be possible within 6 months working day in and day out, it would have no resume value.  You can't claim things there, you need proof, so I'm going to need to pass the one and only Chinese Proficiency Test: the HSK.  I've committed myself to taking a first test in January, the HSK 2 and a second one just before returning, the HSK 4.  FYI, the test goes from 1 to 6 and level 2 implies the following:  

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level II) have an excellent grasp of basic Chinese and can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.

Sounds reachable, almost easy. 

But level 4:

 Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level IV) can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.

That'll be the tough one... 

I'll tell you how this went in 3 months. 

 

  

China, two months after

Mixing In