What level was your Mandarin when you first moved to Taiwan?


What level was your Mandarin when you first moved to Taiwan? What level is it now?


Nihao, xiexie, zaijian


I would say that it’s slight worse now , than 10 years ago :blush:

  • duo shao qian

zero. was taught “li oo gao swee” by Taiwanese Americans before coming over. Didn’t realize it was Taiwanese.
Took less than 2 years to read newspaper level at 師大. higher than that level for reading and speaking a few decades later


ting bu dong

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Cow yow … more of a tong


When I came a year or so ago, basic functional mandarin, like where are we going for dinner, what time are you coming home etc.

Now - big improvements in really basic day to day descriptive language, like careful here it is slippery or I’m not feeling well. Like a small child really. Still, could never hold down a conversation with an adult. I do try make the odd quip with other parents at the school, but as the conversation progresses it typically ends in me being lost and pretending I understand… I dunno, people just say different things at different junctures in the conversation here than I am used to, maybe that makes no sense. But that, as well as my crap Mandarin, throws me every time.


Two semesters of college-level Mandarin classes taught with textbooks and tapes from Beijing University. Got a lot of strange looks until I adjusted my accent.


Yes , I believe you :smirk: Perhaps if you tried a British accent ?


Not a lot of Anglophiles around back in those days. Probably not a lot these days either.


Ha, that was the first thing I said to someone, was getting a fan. Remembered from my studies. I was so stoked


I could read it but I couldn’t speak any. Came here having already fluent Japanese.


For me it was 1 / 10 (non existent)

0 / 10 = people who think that Taiwan is Thailand


I know the difference between Wo yao yige jipai and wo yao yige jibai now…


Did you learn that the hard way?


I innocently mis-pronounced 700 for years , trying my mandarin out on Taiwanese speakers :pensive:important to get the “chi” sound right and not make it sound like “ ji”


You got er.




Arrived with none under the belt. Left after 3 years with a bit more. Went to the mainland and had to up my game significantly - can hold a conversation now quite well, on a variety of topics.

Thought I’d lose it coming to Vietnam, but there are a couple of Chinese folk in my building who I get to chat with, so I’m maintaining but not growing my Mandarin.

Vietnamese - a whole different ball game. Quite a tricky language. 6-7 tones I believe.