Mandarin mastery poll. choose 2

  • ni hao
  • 你好
  • toddler spoken proficiency
  • 6-yr old spoken proficiency
  • conversational
  • business/ specialized fluency
  • Read/write 200 words
  • Read/write 500 words
  • Read/write >1000
  • Read/write >3000

0 voters

Poll: Do Forumosans Know Chinese?//

I started studying Mandarin in ‘95. I still suuuuck. But I’m only in tw 3 months each year


How’s your English?


I can speak pretty well. But I’m not so sure I can even write 200 words off the top of my head.


In college I used to keep a journal in hanzi. I can no longer read my own words.
I’m sure it’s for the best. It’s probably all mortifyingly stupid shit.


I didn’t know which on to click for read or write. I can read significantly more than I can write. I just never write so I forgot everything I learn. But I can still recognize words, especially with other words.


I used to minor in Chinese literature so I guess it was like >30,000. Now probably a bit less as I’ve forgotten a lot of the ancient stuff.


This is much better.

Also I hard a hard time picking for words!!! Even in English I could tell you I know 1,000 words but could not prove it on the spot and it is my native language!

But if I had to say something I would find a way – Chinese is magical in this way.


I know daily use Mandarin and specialized vocab in baseball and religion. I’d get lost if I watched the news.


I should have put ‘natve’ on the poll


I assume typing using pinyin input counts as writing nowadays.


These days, probably toddler, although I’ve been low conversational at different points over the years. Reading, I’ve probably been over 1,000 words, with writing maxing out at about 500 (assuming typing; maxing out at about 40 assuming writing by hand!), but again, these days I’m lower. I frequently find that I can read more than friends who have far more proficiency with spoken Chinese than I do.

Kind of amazing how little Chinese you can use if you work in an English language environment and are a bit of a hermit.


This is crazy but I think facebook has helped my Chinese quite a bit. My wife is Taiwanese and I speak with her and her family and friends all in Mandarin. So they seem to assume that I can also read and write well. I think I have kept up the facade fairly well, but I think some of them have caught on that my ability to answer back in Chinese is somewhat limited. I didn’t see that you could choose 2 in the poll. Oh well.


My Chinese is fair to middling…I can have a superficial chat with just about anyone, and read quite a bit now, but it’s still hard for me to express myself fully. I know the word when I read it, but can’t always summon it up when I want to say it. My passive skills are a lot better than my active skills.


I’ve gotten too comfortable with my 6 year old speaking level over the years. I can function in daily situations, and “get by” in more important matters.

I was so gung ho about learning Chinese when I first got here; now I’d rather be doing the things I enjoy. I am embarrassed by my level after ten years in Taiwan, but I’m not so worried about it anymore (old man privilege?)

Talk to me about mahjong, though, and I’m fluent! :mahjong: :grin:


That’s my issue. I can understand fairly well but speaking sucks. That’s likely a confidence issue as I innately hate making errors so I say nothing



How the words count? I can understand many words that are combinations of characters I know. Each of them is counted?


Yeah I’m kind of self-defeating about it so it’s hard to improve. For me it’s a shame thing because I feel like I should be able to speak better than I do.


You lie on your back and think of Beijing? :slight_smile:

My Chinese ability is a lot like this. I can follow most conversations, but I can’t participate in any meaningful way. I’m not even sure how many characters I can write (=type). I guess it’s several hundred, but a lot of them I’ve just absorbed with no real intent.


Same here. I’m considering taking the Mandarin course at a training centre again since my mornings are free but it’s quite pricy.

However it was the only thing that worked