Studying Chinese

Becoming Fluent in Chinese: February Goal Check-In


46 episodes of Chinese TV and 47 episodes of American TV since beginning of the challenge (mid January). I’ve been enjoining a Chinese TV drama called Happy Michelin Kitchen or 幸福三颗星. I would say that I did well this month because there is only one episode difference.


I published two blog posts in Chinese this month.


I’m reading 失恋33天 at the moment and it’s harder than the first book I read (单身公主). I’m currently on page 35 so I didn’t get to page 100 which was my goal. But besides reading that novel I also read 30 pages in Chinese from my textbooks (对外汉语教学导论 and 现代汉语). Those textbooks are originally meant for Chinese students who want to teach Chinese to foreigners.


I still haven’t managed to make Skritter a daily habit. This month I only used Skritter for four days, total of 0.8 hours.


I uploaded a short video clip of my self speaking Chinese. I also interpreted a lot when my friend was visiting Guangzhou for business. I learned some new words in the process like 不锈钢 or stainless steel.

Goals for March:

  • Find a new TV series to watch (I’m almost ready with 幸福三颗星)
  • Do well with my Chinese courses at the university (I need good grades because I want to apply for scholarship)
  • Study all the new words from 综合 (comprehensive Chinese) class with Skritter
  • Get to page 100 on my current book


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  • Becky

    I have a TV show to suggest. All of my students have been recommending it to me recently and they say it is really good. It’s called “Beijing Love Story,” 北京爱情故事 and it is set in modern day Beijing.

    I tried to watch it but they were speaking waaaaay to fast for me to understand or even read the subtitles. But maybe you can.

    Good luck on next months goals and good job with this months!


    Sara Reply:

    Thank you for recommendation Becky! I’ve actually seen a bit of the first episode, but for some reason, forgot about it. It might be a good choice for my next TV drama and it’s also a big plus if lot of Chinese people like watching it too because it gives me an another topic to talk about.


  • Frankl

    Wow, I really have to admire your dedication and organization. I’m studying Mandarin part-time in Canada. It’s just one class per week, but I try to fit in my own extra study in between. I’m a Canadian born Chinese and was not brought up speaking Chinese. If anything, Cantonese is what my family uses. So Mandarin is almost a foreign language to me. Anyhow, good luck with your studies! I wish I could dedicate as much time to study as you do though. 加油!!!


    Sara Reply:

    I started Chinese the same way, only had one or two classes per week back in Finland. When I decided to make Chinese my major I also found out it’s not a fun hobby anymore, but feels like work! Fortunately it’s a nice “job”, but it’s still hard work.

    I have a classmate who is in a similar situation with you, her native language is Cantonese and she is learning Mandarin.


    FrankL Reply:

    Hi Sara, I wish I could dedicate more time to studying Mandarin. Unfortuately (or is it fortunately? ha ha), I have a house, a mortgage to a job to pay for it all. I would love to live in China for a year or so and get more in touch with my roots. My wife (from the Netherlands) would also love to live in China. She’s had a life-long fascination with China and Japan. Anyhow, best of luck with your studies and life in China. What an adventure it must be for you. I’m envious!


  • Furio

    Hey Sara, your idea to track goals and results on a blog is great for motivation… I just started to study mandarin in a serious way ( : – 0 ) and I will do the same



  • Heidi

    Moi! Osaisitko sä suositella jotain kiinalaista sarjaa, jota 8 kuukautta yliopistolla kiinaa opiskelleen olisi hyvä katsella? Kyseessä voi hyvin olla joku lastensarjakin. :D Ja kuulisin kans mieluusti, että missä netissä moisia sarjoja voisi napitella?


    Sara Reply:

    Hmm, mikahan voisi olla sopiva. Voisit ainakin kokeilla talta sivulta loytyvia opetusohjelmia, itse olen katsonut jonkun verran ohjelmaa Happy Chinese. Vinkkeja helpoista TV-ohjelmista taas loytyy Chinese-Forums sivujen keskustelusta.

    Ongelmana yleensa on se, etta ulkomailla kiinalaiset nettisivut ovat monesti todella hitaita, mutta kannattaa kokeilla!


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