April 27, 2006

Learning the world's most difficult language - using only online resources

Via the PiE blog, Mark is setting himself a real challenge - trying his own medicine, if you will:

Welcome to this blog, a journey in one person's attempts to master a new language. My name is Mark Pentleton and I have set myself a challenge: to learn Mandarin Chinese. My language-learning career began in 1983 when, as an 11 year-old I started French at secondary school. Since then I've formally studied Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and in later life picked up some German, Norwegian, Catalan and most recently Japanese.

So... I've decided to make this a linguistic and technical challenge: I'm actually challenging myself to learn Mandarin Chinese only using technology-based resources. That means no books, no audio cds, no teacher or class. Only what I can find online!

You can follow Mark's Virtual Mandarin learning log and diary as he struggles - or maybe doesn't struggle too much - in his bid to learn a language entirely online. Should make interesting regular reading.

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There are some free podcast mp3 Chinese lessons designed by Shanghai East Radio Station on Learn Mandarin. You can try.

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Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

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