This is my fourth day learning Mandarin. I’ve logged more than eight hours of study time so far. I’m quite happy with my progress.
Last night I searched for iPhone apps that deal with teaching Mandarin. I landed on one called HelloChinese. This app helps you to learn the language in every way possible: hearing, speaking, writing, reading. It has allowed me to progress faster and farther than watching YouTube videos would have. The user interface is easy to navigate as well.
My friend is also from China, and I’ve asked him to check my pronunciation a few times. The most difficult part is distinguishing between tones. There are four tones in Chinese, and if you improperly emphasize a syllable, you completely change the meaning of what you’re saying. For example, the verb for “to be” in Mandarin is “shì” and the word for “ten” is “shí.” It can get confusing at times. (At least there’s no verb conjugation in Mandarin!)
I know about a hundred words in Mandarin now. The app is very elementary, and I expect I’ll be through the whole thing within a week. Then I’ll move on to a more advanced learning system.
More updates will come.