20 episodes

The goal of this podcast is to help you learn how to learn Chinese. I’ve been learning Mandarin independently outside China while working full time for five years. Each episode I will be discussing a new topic regarding how best to learn Chinese, drawing on stories and insights from my experience. For more content please subscribe and visit my blog at imlearningmandarin.com

I'm Learning Mandarin Mi Kai

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

The goal of this podcast is to help you learn how to learn Chinese. I’ve been learning Mandarin independently outside China while working full time for five years. Each episode I will be discussing a new topic regarding how best to learn Chinese, drawing on stories and insights from my experience. For more content please subscribe and visit my blog at imlearningmandarin.com

    What's the Big Deal About Sentence Mining?

    What's the Big Deal About Sentence Mining?

    *To contact Karl about his sentence mining app email ActiveLearningApps@gmail.com

    *For a full guide on sentence mining visit: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/07/03/your-ultimate-guide-to-chinese-sentence-mining-in-5-basic-steps/

    *Join the I’m Learning Mandarin Facebook Community on: https://www.facebook.com/groups/imlearningmandarin/ 

    Last Christmas I set myself a new years resolution to improve my spoken Chinese to the  point where I’d feel comfortable recording podcast interviews in  Mandarin.

    Of all the methods I’ve used this year the one that I feel has helped me the most towards my goal is sentence mining. The term basically means collecting large numbers of sentences  conveying key grammatical structures before revising them later.

    Each time you’re watching a TV programme or have a conversation with a native speaker, you listen out for  sentences you feel you might want use yourself and record them down in a  document or using flashcards.

    The idea is that by collecting and learning hundreds of these  sentences you will start to develop 语感, or a deeper sense of the  language.

    I recently wrote a guide to sentence mining for my blog and in this episode I’ve invited a few of my Chinese learning friends –  Karl, Ryan and Jorge – to share  they’re approaches and discuss how the technique has helped them.

    • 42 min
    Benny Lewis on Learning Mandarin in Three Months, Embracing Mistakes and Why He Doesn't See Himself as a Language Learner

    Benny Lewis on Learning Mandarin in Three Months, Embracing Mistakes and Why He Doesn't See Himself as a Language Learner

    Links: 

    Benny's Blog: https://www.fluentin3months.com/

    Benny's Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x2_kWRB8-A

    Benny's Book on Learning Mandarin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/LANGUAGE-HACKING-MANDARIN-Learn-Mandarin/dp/1473674271

    My Blog on Learning Tones: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/02/12/its-never-too-late-to-learn-chinese-tones-heres-how/



    On today’s episode I interview arguably the world’s most popular language learner, the one and only Benny Lewis. 

    To many listeners, Benny or Benny the Irish Polyglot as he’s also known, will need no introduction. 

    He first began blogging over a decade ago at a time when the online language learning community was still in its infancy. 

    His engaging style and optimistic message that languages is about communicating, having fun and embracing mistakes stood in contrast to other polyglots whose methods seemed more dull and academic. 

    Through his blog, books and Ted Talks Benny brought the idea of self learning a new language to millions of people, many of whom had been put off by bad experiences at school.

    In 2012 ago he set himself the challenge of becoming fluent in Mandarin within three months. Ten years on I caught up with Benny to reflect on his Chinese learning experience as well as discuss his approaches to language learning in general. 

    • 47 min
    Announcing The Chinese Writing Contest: Your Chance to Become a Published Mandarin Author

    Announcing The Chinese Writing Contest: Your Chance to Become a Published Mandarin Author

    Links: 



    Details of the Chinese Writing Contest: https://www.mslmaster.com/index.php/8-contest/196-chinese-writing-contest



    Link to last years contest book: https://mslmaster.com/index.php/9-books/222-easy-to-read-chinese-short-stories-book-1



    My blog on Chinese literacy: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2021/11/07/can-you-be-literate-without-writing-chinese-characters-by-hand/



    On today’s episode I talk to inspirational Mandarin Teacher and founder of the website www.mslmaster.com April Zhang. 



    April is also the brains behind the annual Chinese Writing Challenge, a competition for Chinese learners of all levels, who are invited to write a story using only 320 characters. 



    The winners of the competition will then have their story published in a book.  



    Last year, 82 submissions were received. The best 17 entries were published. These newly published authors were from eight different countries and regions around the world.



    This year Imlearningmandarin.com are proud collaborators of the competition. So I encourage all of you to take part to connect with other learners from around the world and for the chance to become a published Chinese author. 



    I spoke to April about her background in teaching Chinese  her inspirations for starting the competition as well as details of how those interested in participating can enter. 

    • 25 min
    Achieving a Near Native Chinese Accent with Professor Karen Chung (Podcast)

    Achieving a Near Native Chinese Accent with Professor Karen Chung (Podcast)

    Links: 

    Karen's Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQEWEPIHLzQ

    My Roadmap to Learning Mandarin Tones: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/02/12/its-never-too-late-to-learn-chinese-tones-heres-how/

    On today’s podcast, I chat with a very distinguished guest. Someone  who has designed a technique she believes can help learners of any  language achieve near native accents.

    Karen Chung from the USA has lived in Taiwan for more than 30 years  and for most of that time has worked as a linguistics professor at the  National Taiwan University.

    In 2018 a Ted Talk which she delivered in flawless Mandarin received over a million views  and brought her methods to the attention of a large international  audience.

    In the video she explains her accent training technique which she  calls the echo method. The method which is based on her own learning  experiences takes advantage of our echoic memory.

    First we listen to a sentence or phrase in our target language,  waiting for the audio to replay or echo in our minds, before finally  mimicking it out loud. Doing it this way allows us to mimic native  speech much more closely than conventional listen and repeat methods.

    In this podcast, we explore her own language learning journey, how  she learned Mandarin to such a high level and why she disagrees with  conventional language learning opinion which argues accents don’t matter  as long as we can more or less make ourselves understood.

    She also kindly agreed to give me a brief demonstration of her method to help improve my own Mandarin accent.

    • 42 min
    How This Medical Student Became Totally Fluent in Chinese Within One Year While Living in the UK

    How This Medical Student Became Totally Fluent in Chinese Within One Year While Living in the UK

    Links: 

    I'm Learning Mandarin Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/imlearningmandarin/

    Will's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7LmgMa8XhIusF7RI7YI_KQ/featured

    Will's interview in chinese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CggHugyhyJU

    My Blog on Interviewing Will: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/06/04/interviewing-this-master-of-oral-chinese-made-me-rethink-everything-i-believed-about-language-learning/

    My Blog on learning chinese tones: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/02/12/its-never-too-late-to-learn-chinese-tones-heres-how/



    On today’s episode we delve into one of the most remarkable language learning stories I’ve ever come across.

    It’s the story of Will Hart, a 20 year old medical student who on the eve of the first UK lockdown in 2020 had never been to a Chinese speaking country, had no Chinese family and had never had any meaningful contact with the language in any form.

    Fast forward 12 months and he posted a short video to YouTube speaking with the kind of fluency many people fail to reach after more than a decade studying the language immersed in Chinese speaking countries.

    Recently, a second video appeared on YouTube in which he was interviewed in Chinese at length at the 1.5 year mark. Watching that video I was astonished by how fast he had progressed.

    A lot of people upload videos claiming to have reached fluency in as little as six months. I've written previously about why I'm usually not a fan of this kind of content.

    But Will's case really is different. His Chinese is genuinely phenomenal, as any native speaker or advanced learner who hears him speak will confirm.

    So I decided to invite him on the podcast to see what I could learn from his methods. What he told me is, I believe, utterly invaluable to all Mandarin learners, especially people with an interest in making their learning as efficient as possible.

    • 40 min
    Mental Health, Language Learning & the Psychological Highs and Lows of Learning Chinese

    Mental Health, Language Learning & the Psychological Highs and Lows of Learning Chinese

    Links:

    I'm Learning Mandarin Language Exchange Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/imlearningmandarin

    My blog on learning Mandarin tones: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2022/02/12/its-never-too-late-to-learn-chinese-tones-heres-how/

    Karl's blog on using flashcards to learn Chinese: http://imlearningmandarin.com/2021/03/10/how-useful-are-flashcards-for-learning-mandarin-vocab/

    Many listeners of this podcast are people who, like me, get immense joy and gratification from the language learning process. However, it’s also worth being aware of the psychological pitfalls which those of us studying Chinese intensively commonly fall into. 

    On my podcast today I discuss this issue with two friends who have both experienced the ups and downs of Mandarin learning. 

    Karl Baker is a language app programmer who has appeared on the podcast before. Esther Spiering is a UXP designer who is currently on a secondment from work during which she is self-studying Mandarin intensively. 

    We talk about dealing with comments and judgments from native speakers, coping with those moments when we failed to live up to our expectations of ourselves and much more.

    If you enjoy this podcast please subscribe on Apple, Spotify or on imlearningmandarin.com to have new blogs and podcasts pinged straight to your email. 

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Katherine_Ji ,

Interesting topics

I really enjoyed the discussions on various topics. It’s inspirational to hear the language enthusiasts’ stories!

Will Hart med student ,

Great podcast

Awesome podcast with useful study tips based off real learning experience. Highly recommend to learners of all levels!

jgal7 ,

Review

Mischa is a great host and I recommend the pod for anyone passionate about the Chinese language. Mary Lu, Isle of Skye

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