Our language learning champion, Shu is learning Mandarin with Rosetta Stone. She has been using the app to do all sorts of daily routines around the house and, more generally, to reconnect with her cultural heritage. Here Shu provides us with an update on her – considerable – progress. She has been learning a lot about the language of food – as she cooks it. Have a look!
“Not only has learning Mandarin Chinese potentially helped with my future travels in China (where I’ll hopefully be able to order a wholesome meal without a series of questionable hand gestures), but it’s also taught me a life lesson on what it means to be Chinese.
Being born and raised in England, it wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I fully appreciated being British-born Chinese. Though I was bilingual and spoke Cantonese fluently with my parents, there was always a slight disconnect between my life in the UK versus the connection I had with Chinese culture. Whilst I grew up enjoying the food, traditions and music (my parents played their cassette tape collection of 80s music on repeat), it wasn’t until my travels in Asia during my early 20s that I finally embraced a key side of being Chinese.
I had briefly learned Mandarin for a year when I was 11 at Chinese school but a sudden house move meant we had to discontinue our lessons – and it’s remained something I’ve always wanted to continue since then. Through Rosetta Stone, we’ve gone straight back to the drawing board with learning basic words and everyday phrases. And trust me, things have changed a lot since my last language lesson. Through the app, I love the ease of being able to use it on the go whether I’m commuting to work, checking in for a flight or waiting for the bus to arrive. I can simply download the unit for offline use and away I go! Pronunciation had always been a struggle for me but by having native tutors (literally in my pocket) available to guide me through the learning process, I’m feeling increasingly confident about speaking it out loud! I’ve been testing it with my mum and I think she nearly cried tears of joy that she could finally understand what I’m saying in Mandarin – something she couldn’t do pre-Rosetta Stone. It’s been through their extensive variety of language learning units that I now have a new appreciation on why I’m now so proud of being Chinese. It’s unlocked a key part of what it means to be ‘me’ – a side that’s laid dormant for the past 20 odd years – and now I’m definitely making up for lost time.”
Thanks again Shu – keep up the good work!
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