Language Evaluation | Month 1

I have been meaning to write this post since we have already passed the one month mark. Here is a basic evaluation from my standpoint about our first month of language studies.

1) Realized that this is going to be a long process. In the back of my mind I was hoping it would be easier than people made it out to be. But that is not the case, it is going to take hard, consistent work with the Lord’s blessings!

2) General memorization takes longer because you have to remember three basic things about every word: meaning, pronunciation, and tone.

3)By the end of our first month I was able to:

-Know some basic terms and greetings.

-Say my Chinese name, phone number, and address (for the most part).

-Say the cross streets I live near for the taxi drivers.

-Ask a few questions and understand part of the responses (not much conversation takes place yet).

-Have a good grasp on numbers 0-100.

-Can ask how much something is and usually understand the response.

-Can read pinyin, though, still with many pronunciation and tone errors and some understanding.

-Pick out a handful of words in a sermon.

4) Pinyin is helpful and tough. We are not currently studying the characters and are fully relying on the pinyin. I realize how much quicker (hopefully) that we can learn using the pinyin. Though pinyin is still tuff because the pronunciation of the letters are different than english pronunciation, as well as, sound combinations that we don’t use in english.

5) New slogan “We are making a little progress, but hey, at least it’s progress!” What I mean is that we are learning more every week and though it seems to being going slow, we are still moving forward.

3 thoughts on “Language Evaluation | Month 1

  1. Brother Eugene

    Did you see my article about how I learned Chinese? (

    I don’t recommend that everyone do what I did, but a couple of things I DO recommend for everyone:

    1. Force yourself to look up words in a real Chinese dictionary (especially the little rectangular red ones) instead of using an electronic dictionary. The experience of learning to recognize and endlessly searching for the correct ‘radical’ and then skimming through all of the Chinese words looking for the exact character you are trying to locate is immersion enough alone to cause the brain to hurt and to throw you into a world where your head swims with Chinese characters. Electronic dictionaries are too easy. No pain, no gain. Grab your dictionary along with a Bible, map, or walk the streets looking at signs (there are a few around), then dive into reading Chinese. And don’t forget to try to use all the new words in your spoken conversations!

    2. Learn Pinyin as a tool to help master real written Chinese! The Chinese language is so rich and Pinyin so limited in conveying that richness. Knowing characters is so rewarding and helpful in really grasping the language. I don’t know how to defend these statements other than saying that I hate reading something in Pinyin because the characters say so much more! (That being said, I do know Pinyin very well, so I see it as a tool to learning real Chinese.)

    There are probably more things I could say, but its late, I’m really tired, and I must teach all day tomorrow!

  2. Ednchina

    Let me recommend a word processing software that will help a great deal. It is called NJ Star. Download a trail version at I have used it since 1999. It is a big help! Especially in preparing sermons.


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