Hi, my name is Chris Parker. I’m 27 years old, and I’m here to share my passion – learning Mandarin Chinese.
People always ask me why I wanted to learn Chinese.
For some reason, I always find it difficult to give a decent sounding answer to this question, so I’m going to give it a go now.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by ‘the world outside’. I always found it ‘boring’ to just think about my own neighbourhood, or the things happening around me.
As a child, my walls were covered in maps and I got lost in atlases. I learnt to recognise all the flags of the world. I was fascinated by the exotic and the unknown.
This naturally led me to be interested in languages. At school, I took all the language classes I possibly could, in French, Spanish and German (I don’t remember any German now). I begged the only Russian teacher in the school to give me classes in lunch break.
When I was choosing what to study at university, I knew it had to be a language: I was addicted. But French and Spanish weren’t so exotic to me any more. I wanted a new challenge and a new high. It was between Arabic and Chinese, and I went with Chinese. I was lucky enough to be accepted by the University of Cambridge.
Chinese has been a big part of my life ever since. I started learning it, aged 17. I took trips to China every summer. After I graduated, I taught English, I worked as a Chinese translator and interpreter, and I taught at a university. I’m currently working in online media and I live in Beijing.
Learning to speak Chinese takes time and a lot of commitment – I’m still learning new things after more than 7 years. But I’m here to share with you the message that speaking fluent Mandarin is within anyone’s reach.
I really hope you like the site and I hope that my story and experience can inspire you as you move ahead on the road to fluency in Mandarin!
Articles I have written for other websites:
Fluent in 3 months – How persistence can get a beginner learner to expert level
The Polyglot Dream (Luca Lampariello) – Think in another language without translating
Lingholic – How to Become a Fluent Speaker of a Foreign Language
Digmandarin – How to Improve Your Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation
Chinese-tools.com – 5 encouraging things they don’t tell you when you start learning Chinese
Lingholic – Learning Mandarin Chinese – myths busted!
Learn Mandarin Now – How to Learn Chinese: Learn Chinese the way 50+ professional bloggers do
Learn Mandarin Now – How long does it realistically take to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese?
Interview with Lingsprout – Becoming fluent in Mandarin with Chris Parker
Appearances in the Chinese media (in Mandarin):
Tianjin TV – Discovering Chinese magic
Tianjin TV – Talking about marriage customs around the world
Tianjin TV – Discussing drinking cultures in different countries
China.org.cn – Talking about life in Beijing, knock-off goods, and different Chinese dialects
China.org.cn – ‘Online Valentine’s Day’, expressions of love from around the world