Who Are We?

I’m Learning Mandarin is an open, global community of Mandarin learners of all levels who wish to share tips, exchange ideas and pool resources for self-studying Chinese.

We post regular blogs about our experiences, share learning strategies and create visual guides for other learners. In our podcast we discuss Mandarin learning with seasoned experts. We also organise Mandarin immersion retreats and run a popular language exchange group.

These projects are possible thanks to the following people:

Mischa Wilmers | Editor

I’ve been learning Chinese for roughly five years while working in the UK. I was first exposed to Mandarin after taking a course of evening classes in 2017 on a whim. For the first couple of years I blindly explored different learning techniques without any direction, motivation or commitment.

During the pandemic learning Mandarin became my primary vocation and I began blogging about my experiences. Later I started a podcast interviewing other learners. By documenting my experience I hope to create a valuable resource, particularly for other learners seeking to become fluent from outside Mandarin speaking countries.

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Essie Birts | Illustrator

Hi, I’m Essie! I’m a UX Designer originally from the Netherlands but now I live in Bath, in the south of England. I began studying Chinese in 2020 as a hobby and have continued ever since.

When I’m not learning Mandarin I enjoy drawing. I create illustrations for the blogs and collaborate on visual guides for learning Mandarin such as this one on sentence mining. I also discuss my learning experiences on the podcast and keep a regular sketch diary of my progress which I share on my social media channels.

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Karl Baker | Mandarin Retreat Coordinator

I’m a computer programmer living in the UK and have been learning Chinese for three years. I’m a regular contributor to the podcast and also blog about my experiences of learning Chinese while living with my Chinese wife and our daughter who we are raising bilingual.

I help coordinate our weekend Mandarin retreats giving Chinese learners in the UK opportunities to immerse in the language whilst doing recreational activities with native speakers. For more information about these retreats you can read this page. To register your interest in participating please complete this survey.

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Lingo Geek | Blogger

I’m an avid language learner, teacher and blogger based in the UK. Before taking on Mandarin I had learned to speak French, Spanish and German as well as dabbling in half a dozen other other languages.

I started learning Chinese in 2020 and shortly afterwards began writing about my struggles with tones, reading characters and other issues on road to fluency!

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If you would like to get involved in our projects or have any ideas for blogs or podcasts you’d like us to cover please feel free to get in touch via the contacts page.