What kind of attainable level you wish to get in learning Chinese?

I just want to know everybody’s objectives in learning Chinese. There must be a reasonable level you want to reach.

When I was first learning Chinese back in Jakarta 1995, I wished I could reach a level of being able to read Wen Yan Wen or at least ChinYong’s novel.

When I arrived and lived here a sometimes, I wished I could just read and write Chinese enough to get my job.

Now I wish I could just speak as good as that guy IGOR on CTI TV.


I’d like to able to tell fellow road users EXACTLY what I think of their constant lane-changing and overall driving etiquette.

you need only to memorize the

I’d like a very strong grasp of reading listening and speaking. More exact:

Listening - Being able to watch TV, listen to the radio/music and go to movies with little to no problem.

Reading - Being able to flip through magazines and read comic books. I don’t care much for reading the newspaper, but expect to be able to. I’d like to read a good modern book if someone reffered one to me (when my level is good enough).

Speaking - Just be able to say what’s on my mind efficiently. Crack a joke every now and then. Be able to ask technical questions about electronics.

I don’t plan on doing much writing, but if I one day did, the above three would assumingly be outstanding.

I used to want to possess all Mandarin-related linguistic knowledge. Now, I’m happy just to keep expanding my vocabulary and listening comprehension, and to be able to read most of the popular media I pick up. My only goal, per se, is to read more literature in its original form. I can read some authors in Mandarin, like Chu Zi-Ching and Lao She, with little trouble, but others’ writings are still too difficult to get through.

I’d like to be able to read novels and academic papers in the humanities (which I can, for the most part, albeit slowly), and to chatter without difficulty in Mandarin (which, alas, I can only do on good days). I find a lack of vocabulary slows me down when I try to read literature with “big words” or move too far beyond general conversation, so, like Tomas, vocab expansion is my goal to the extent that I have one. Mostly, though, I don’t study Chinese anymore (boring, and I’d rather go hiking or study something else) so my learning, I suppose, now takes place passively and through attrition. I move towards my goal by continuing to assault my brain with good conversation and interesting books — 15 minutes for the first page, 14 for the second, then 10, 5, 2 … or something like that. :wink:

I would like to be able to read newspapers and magazines and understand radio and TV news properly. I would like to be able to express advanced and complex ideas in Chinese without sounding the slightest bit awkward.

I still have quite a way to go. I have virtually abandoned any formal study of Chinese. My main way of learning Chinese at the moment is just going out on the street and talking to people. My speaking and listening is slowly improving and I occasionally go and look up new words I hear in the dictionary. Unfortunately my reading and writing is going nowhere as a result of my own laziness or lack of motivation perhaps. I found that once I knew enough Chinese to effectively communicate with people my interest in studying it formally waned strongly.

I would like to finally be able to be rhetorically superior to my boyfriend next time we discuss a subject on which we have different opinions.
And I really admire that Igor guy in the news… :shock:

Why? He’s not a native English speaker, nor a native Chinese speaker. I once had the misfortune of having to edit something translated by Igor, and when I had finished the painful process of turning his mangled English into something publishable, thought to myself: “Why would anyone want to hire a person who is not a native speaker of either source or target language?” I suppose for TV, as in the classroom, a foreigner’s entertainment value lies in his his “foreignness,” and not the content of his script.

Well, I admire him for his great command of Chinese and since he seems to work for some Taiwanese news agency, I don’t really see, why he ought to be a native English speaker.

yeah mesheel, I think native speakers have to work hard to maintain their nativities while living abroad, otherwise, they will slowly lose the touch, while non-native speakers everywhere around the word are keeping up.

even if they swear not to learn a foreign language, and stick to their own. They won’t have much exposure to their own language anymore, and therefore their nativities are on the wane…


I’ve seen this bloke on the TV, but what I don’t understand is how he gets away with it – after all, aren’t you required to be doing a job that a local couldn’t do in order to get a work permit? He reads the news in Chinese but he’s not a native speaker of Chinese. What’s with that? I guess the TV channel gets away with the “he’s our very own trained monkey” excuse. :unamused: Does he also have some other function that I’m not aware of, or does he have a JFRV or something?

I think someones said here in forumosa that he reads russian and arabic which made him perfect to report the war in iraq a while ago. I think he skyrocketted at that moment.


Ok, you’ve got me all curious … what channel/time is this Igor character on?

So why should I watch Igor for his ‘great command of Chinese’ when there are native speakers I can watch and learn from? I am sorry but I just don’t see how any non-native speaker can ever attain the fluency of a native speaker.

See my post above, with reference to the TV channel’s “very own trained monkey.” He’s not there for your benefit, he’s there so Taiwanese viewers can say “waaaaaaah” whilst awaiting their next video clip of an attempted suicide or Annette Lu gibbering about Hello Kitty love.

I totally agree. I was referring to an earlier post where someone said they admired his command of Chinese. :slight_smile:

I can do that, but be forewarned: just because they understand, doesn’t mean they understand