Hello ladies and gentlemen! 大家好!
Monkey Mandarin is a result of my personal Chinese learning journey.
I am Chinese by descent but I am unable to speak Chinese. This has always bothered me.
Over the years it has led to many awkward and embarrassing moments where my Chinese friends or any Chinese people I met would give me bewildered looks and I bet were probably thinking to themselves “what’s wrong with this guy” the moment they found out I couldn’t speak Mandarin.
Despite the strong desire in me to learn Mandarin, I really had no idea what to do or how to even begin – and little wonder considering Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world to master for English speakers. So I almost gave up many times.
However as fate (天意) would have it, one day I was fortunate enough to meet Nicole who is also Chinese by descent (but of the Chinese-by-descent-folks-who-can-actually-speak-Chinese-variety 🤣). The rest is as they say, history. She is now my wife and of course my Chinese teacher!
Suffice to say, meeting Nicole finally gave me the final motivation and the impetus to actually make a breakthrough in my Chinese learning journey. The biggest push was when I went to China to meet Nicole’s parents who spoke zero English. This led to many awkward moments and amazing feats of sign language on my part!
By the end of the trip, her father’s parting words to me were (translated roughly to) “David, I only have one request to you, please learn some Chinese so we can actually communicate…”
You can probably imagine how I felt.
Enter Nicole (Chinese teacher extraordinaire)
So this is where my bit ends. I would have continued to fail but for Nicole’s fantastic teaching!
Thanks to her tutelage, after years of frustration, I was finally able to make a breakthrough!
As she reiterated to me many times, learning Chinese boils down to simplicity and thinking as a child would, and the core is around reading, writing and conversing. After all, a child born in China knows zero Chinese to start with. Therefore I just needed to work backwards and go through what children in China go through when they first start to learn Chinese.
I discovered that her teaching method really resonated with me where previous ways of learning didn’t “stick.”
One day I half-jokingly told her she should become a Chinese teacher.
And since I had some experience with making websites, what originally started as a joke led to Monkey Mandarin!
So that’s the reason why we started Monkey Mandarin – so that now everyone can benefit from Nicole’s excellent teaching, patience and guidance.
The goal of Monkey Mandarin is to share with everybody the good news that learning Mandarin doesn’t have to be as scary, difficult or painful as it seems! Like everything in life, you just need a good mentor.
Enjoy and 加油! 🙂
Lots of love,
Nicole (Chinese teacher extraordinaire) & David (IT website guy and Chinese student) 🐵