How good were you after four months of studying Chinese?

Yes. Starting to learn it. That’s the point, in case you aren’t picking up on the distinction between learning and acquiring. There is plenty of discussion about this in other threads.

If you’re acquiring, particularly through CI-based instruction rather than hope-for-the-best immersion, the lack of Latin roots is not particularly troubling. If you’re learning – yeah, it makes things difficult.

I love how people who’ve never experienced anything different just assume. For example, that reading and writing are difficult in Chinese (I mean difficult to the point where it’s a deal-breaker). They don’t have to be. Neither do tones. But it requires thinking about the features of the language, contrastive analysis, Western educational psychology, and literacy a bit more than the average buxiban teacher. And they can’t really be blamed personally, as creativity and new methodology is not really rewarded in Taiwanese education.

OP, you could also try to find a language exchange partner/tutor and go out on language missions – buying fruit, ext. The LE partner could teach you what you didn’t understand. And then you could try it again later. That will bring some much needed feedback to your efforts to communicate with the locals.

[edited by mod to remove quote that no longer belongs in this thread]