Learning Chinese: 2021-2022 Progress


Quick summary:

I’ve been learning Chinese on and off, both officially and on my own, with varying degrees of seriousness, for over 20 years, at this point.

At my current level, I can understand (listen to and read) Chinese as long as it’s not overly technical. I am able to write simple blog posts (with mistakes) and have been dabbling in translation as well (working toward bigger goal).

2021 Recap:

My last written goal was to increase my vocabulary and comfort with the language. The primary measuring stick is my reading/writing ability. I wanted to increase my reading speed, reduce the number of words I don’t recognize, and be able to handwrite simple poems and diary entries without having to look up words.

I THINK my reading speed has increased, SLIGHTLY, but truth be told, the last two years I haven’t been working on my Chinese skills very seriously. However, I do consume a fair amount of Chinese media, and I’ve been using Readmoo to read books, and so I think I may have improved in Chinese by “osmosis.”

A few other things I’ve done:

  • Started a YT channel to teach Chinese through music. Used it to translate songs, make a few teaching videos and vocab song videos.
  • Read these books in Chinese: Kimi no na wa (Chinese version, of course), halfway through Hao Hao Shuo Hua, Falling In Love With a Korean Oppa, some science-philosophy book on perfectionism and gene therapy, a short story mystery about a kidnapped girl, Liu Xing Zhi Ban (a murder mystery translated from Japanese)
  • Finished the zhuyin/pinyin chart and am using it for an email bribe

But I stopped updating my Medium blog for about a year.

My strategies for 2022:

  • Resurrect my Medium blog, but this time focus on speaking. Read aloud my old posts and record it and post it on YT and post the link to Medium articles. Why? Because reading aloud
  • Read aloud Chinese self-help books like the Steven Covey translation and Hao hao shuo hua, then write an article on what I learned. Do this weekly, instead of daily.
  • If I still have time, I want to also re-read/read aloud Kimi no na wa, and compare it to the audiobook on YT that nukemarine put up.

In the future:

  • I might finish my hand copying project that I started in 2019. There’s half a book left.
  • I want to finish my rhyme dictionary/spreadsheet (at least the first 1000 words first, then eventually the other 6K words I have in my spreadsheet)
  • Keep growing my vocabulary using the wiki list I hand-copied into my red spiral notebook years ago
  • Revisit/finish RDE YT courses

How I’ll know if I’ve reached my goal:

Reading and speaking will be less and less slow and painful, and it will be easier to express myself in Chinese.

By Month


Stated goal/strategies for this month: Resurrect my Medium account, monetize it, start reading aloud project on Saturdays, and see how it goes…

Actual updates: