I've outlined my motivation and backstory for learning Mandarin before. As a Hong Kong-born Australian, learning Mandarin isn't just about being passionate about languages. It's a personal project that's about getting in touch with my own Chinese background and being able to connect with and help out my community, including the Chinese-speaking patients I'll be encountering as a healthcare worker. Then 3 months ago, I posted about how my exposure to Cantonese as a kid could make my Mandarin journey easier and more intuitive.
Since then, I've posted about various travels to places where my target languages are spoken, as I embark on a mission to become a practical polyglot. I've managed to spend some time covering Cantonese, French and Spanish (reflections coming later). Now comes time for the 1 language I haven't had a proper chance to focus on yet: Mandarin.
A month in Singapore = a chance to focus on Mandarin
I'm currently in Singapore for a 4-week placement as part of my medical degree. Singapore is interesting to a Mandarin learner in that both Mandarin and English are official languages there. In practice, I've found that in the past I get spoken to in both English and Mandarin (probably because I'm ethnically Chinese). So this sets the scene for Singapore as a semi-immersive environment for learning Mandarin. I say semi-immersive because I'm not expecting to have to get by in my target language like I did in Hong Kong or France. On the other hand, I'll have a whole 4 weeks here which is more time then I've had for any other of my immersion travels, so it balances out.
So what can you expect from 'A Month of Mandarin'?
In contrast to my 3-part series for Paris where I was quite methodical and laid out a plan for French, I'm going to take a different approach here. In Singapore, I'm going to 'go with the flow' and experiment on the fly with different resources and approaches for Mandarin. My end goal at this stage of my Mandarin is the same as it is for my other language WIPs: to focus on getting by (i.e. conversational level) with the spoken language first. So my first priority will be spoken Mandarin but I'm also expecting to learn about spoken Cantonese as well as the written Chinese language in general.
Since I'm varying my approach, you might also see me vary the format of my content to include both short and longer content. Longer content includes the familiar blog post format you're reading now but short content may include posts and stories on my IG account or other social medias.
I'm also hoping to start focusing on content that isn't just about sharing specific language learning experiences. This might include resources to help with your own language learning journey, more content about language learning more generally, and of course content relevant to WIP as a whole. I've alluded to this in several posts including my recent crash course French series where for example, I mentioned creating glossaries of key words and phrases for travel.
A Month of Mandarin starts now
WIP is ultimately is about putting dreams into practice so that's enough discussing and musing for now. It's time to get down to business; make sure you follow along to follow my Mandarin WIP as it progresses.
You can follow all of my current WIPs by 1) subscribing to this blog or 2) following my current Instagram pages: general account, lifestyle, drums, languages.