My boyfriend is Chinese, sigh, if only i could understand what he was saying….. 6 months ago
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How I did it: I finished studying enough Mandarin Chinese at UT and in Taiwan that I was surprised to find that my level of speaking and listening ability rapidly advanced ONLY when I visited China. Just living in China for the first few months seemed to have a profound effect on my ability to use the Chinese I learned and actually become fluent. Nothing can replace complete immersion in a language by living in the land where it is the first language and where it is prominently displayed everywhere, even in common and inconspicuous places where one normally doesn't intentionally look for its presence or use. In the background at all times it is heard, it is seen everywhere one looks, in many styles and formats, in longhand, shorthand. It is seen directly and in the peripheral vision. It is experienced in many states of mind, in many different moods and during many different phases of thought and action. The whole being of a person is literally saturated with that language, and thereby it is truly learned. Indeed, in this way it will never be truly forgotten. Later, the learner may need to "refresh" a bit, but as soon as one comes into contact with the language by a natural user or in a context where it has some significant proportion of presentation that has a parallel with the "immersive" experience, it will be re-stimulated with surprising crispness. Read how I did it… 3 weeks ago