Welcome to the I’m Learning Mandarin Podcast, now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google and Anchor. The goal of this podcast is to help you learn how to learn Chinese. Each episode I discuss a new topic, drawing on my experience and guest interviews. Please subscribe on your favoured podcast provider and leave a review. To suggest ideas for future episodes please get in touch via the contact page.

“Wow! Your Mandarin is Awesome!” Decoding Chinese Politeness I'm Learning Mandarin

Anyone who has learned Mandarin will be familiar with how encouraging Chinese people tend to be towards those of us who take an interest in their language. For the most part this is great. All we have to do is say 你好 in order to be showered with praise and encouragement. But at times it can also be quite tricky to navigate the unwritten rules of Chinese polite culture. To the new Mandarin learner it isn’t always clear when praise is sincere as opposed to merely small talk. Throughout my learning experience I’ve also found it a challenge to get honest feedback on my Mandarin as opposed to exaggerated and undeserved praise. On today’s podcast I invited three of my language buddies, Helen, Mingna  and Katherine. Helen, like me, is a fellow Mandarin learner while  Mingna and Katherine are both students from China. Together we explore  how Chinese politeness can impact language learners in both positive and  negative ways.
  1. “Wow! Your Mandarin is Awesome!” Decoding Chinese Politeness
  2. Benjamin Zephaniah on Learning Mandarin Chinese
  3. Expectations Vs Reality of Learning Chinese (With Luke Truman)
  4. Learning Mandarin with Graded Readers
  5. The Key Predictors of Mandarin Success