Proficiency Report: Two Weeks


My Current Level

I've been learning Chinese for over two weeks and here comes the first report on my progress.

I'm using this method, which allows me to express my proficiency as the number of phrases that I know. Of course, two weeks is not enough to claim that I've achieved any decent standard. I'm still a total beginner. However I can already confidently say about two dozen short phrases. So, my level, according to the method's metric, is ~20-30 phrases.

I can say hello, introduce myself, ask what your name and surname are, and say goodbye. I also know how to say that someone is present/absent (e. g., at the office) and ask the respective questions.

I don't know how to write a single character or "spell" anything using Pinyin romanisation. This is an expected side effect of our speech-first method.



My biggest problem is that I tend to get the pitch of the 4-th tone a little higher than necessary. This actually became clear to me when I was recording and listening to the examples for this post. So, for those of you who are practising a similar method, recording yourself pays.

Another challenge was the pronunciation of 熱 (rè) but I think I got it right in the end.


Examples of What I Can Say

In the table below, you can compare my pronunciation against the original phrases recorded by native speakers. (I've recorded just 10 examples, even though I know 20-30 phrases.)


My Pronunciation Native Pronunciation Translation
What is your name?
What is your surname?
Do you have a Chinese name?
See you tomorrow
I don't have kids
It's Mrs. Li's kid
Is teacher Zhang in?
I'm sorry
It doesn't matter


How Much Time Did It Cost?

I've put in 9 sessions to date, 1-1.5 hours each. This pace may seem rather slow but I deliberately choose not to go faster at the expense of my pronunciation. My goal now is to make my pronunciation as close to native as possible because I believe that that will help me later to better understand fluent speech.