Rewarding Moments when Learning Mandarin

1 Having your first small conversation in Mandarin…although there is a long way to go

2 Accomplishing small tasks in Mandarin- getting a haircut without looking like Kim Jung Un, telling a taxi driver where to go and actually getting there, ordering food and receiving the very thing you ordered.

3 Hearing someone talk about you in Chinese while you are standing there and confronting them in Chinese or laughing secretly.Them: 阿,阿,外国人,看一下,看一看! You:我不是动物

4 Texting solely in Chinese

5 Having a good Chinese comeback for something

6 Having a complete phone call in Chinese

7 Picking up a new word from a conversation by just understanding the two characters in the word 学+=学费

8 Having a conversation about a very niche topic like crime, the environment, technology, the differences between living in China and your home country

9 Chinese people who you are close to (not strangers) saying that your Chinese is good

10 Impressing a member of the opposite sex with your language abilities

11 Watching Rush hour and understanding the Chinese parts

12 Watching Chinese TV shows and being able to read the subtitles

13 Walking on the street and being able to read all the signs

14 When someone hears you speaking Chinese and thinks you are smart and hard-working (mistakenly naturally)

15 Getting your way in a situation using Chinese

16 Interviewing seamlessly in Chinese

17 Writing your CV in Chinese

18 Overhearing a Chinese conversation and understanding 大部分 of it

19 Using a new word that you have learned in class

20 Living in China and no longer having frustrating language experiences

21 That moment where everything you have learned in Chinese clicks and you feel confident in your Chinese

Kristen Carusos is from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a major in International Affairs and a minor in French. She studied abroad in China for the first time in Shanghai in 2010 and again in 2011 at Beijing Language and Culture University. She graduated and moved to Beijing in 2012 and has been studying Chinese since then. She works in the Marketing Department at the Sinology Institute.