learning chinese #1: how did i start?

Beside all the thoughts and more like a diary rather than a blog, I never actually talked about learning Chinese in this blog. After a lot of wasted time, maybe this time I could make the most of this website by talking more about my journey studying what people often call as one of the hardest language in the world, Chinese or Mandarin language.

As the title say… how did I start?

It all started on 2019 when I was away from my homeland. In that year, I was in a very remote area with limited access to internet and a lot of stuff that usually existed in big cities, or simply say what usually existed in my homeland, Jakarta. Starting from July 2018, I was working in a coal mining company in North Kalimantan. The production site was located in a middle of a rain-forest. By the time I was there, it was still impossible to get a bar of signal from my mobile phone. All I could do after working hour is either watching series/television, reading a book, exercising, or talking/gossiping (admit it, when we are talking to people, it often goes to gossiping about people right? haha).

But the duration from when I arrived at the dormitory to the time I went to bed is almost like 4 to 6 hours. Those activities would get boring eventually if done everyday, and I could not benefitted anything from those things (it was proven when I started in Kalimantan on July 2018, but only started learning Chinese seriously on April 2019). And so I thought, what is one thing I could do everyday, in just a short amount of time, that could make me become a better person in after some amount of time —let’s say 1 to 2 years. One thing that came up to my mind was learning Chinese. So after some serious consideration, I signed up to an online course that let me take class everyday —literally every single day in a week.

To answer it shorter, I took an online course where I could have a phone call or video call (depending on how good the internet by satellite was that day) everyday for one hour. At first, I only studied simple materials from the textbook provided by the institute, but after some time (probably a year or so), the teacher recommended me to took a HSK 3 test. After that test, I requested to studied more on conversations through stories or things I went through that day, while once in a while also studied the textbook. In total, I studied for around 2 and a half years in that institute, before joining a university in China for their one year language online scholarship in 2021 to 2022 (due to COVID-19 that increased again that year, hence I could not go to China to attend the offline program).

Learning Chinese was and is always fun to me. Though it often has challenges that makes me question myself, why would I make my life harder by studying this language, but it always provides me a subtle calming, proudness, and joy in my life. It was a short escape for myself from reality, and it is something that I hold dearly to myself.

Photo by qi xna on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *