Started in March 2014. For nine months I listened quite a bit and repeated what I heard on the Pimsleur program. I got it from the library.
At that point I began to explore other options. I knew a few people who spoke Chinese and I began taking a beginning Chinese class. I also joined something called the ‘Add 1 Challenge’ with Brian Kwong. That is a group of people learning languages together.
The idea was to be able to have a conversation with a native speaker after 90 days. So having that goal in mind, I found ways to make it happen.
I started talking to people that I found through iTalki. Got some apps like Chinese Skill and HelloTalk. Read about strategies online, talked to people who also learned Chinese. Signed up for Chinese Pod for a bit. Did many different things and figured out what was effective for me at different points in time (that kept changing).
Even made up a game that helped me (described on this site).
I was working on learning Chinese every day. I had a bit of a strained 15 minute conversation at the end of the 90 days of the challenge. During the summer I kept working on it, but slowed down a bit. Then I joined the challenge again in the fall of 2015.
After another 90 days of working on Chinese pretty much every day I had a much more comfortable conversation for about thirty minutes.
Realized that I posted 12 videos showing my progress throughout the last twelve years.
12 videos through Two Years of Learning Chinese
January 7, 2015 (After nine months working through Pimsleur)
January 13, 2015
February 13, 2015
March 15, 2015
April 12 2015 (First Recorded 15 Minute Conversation)
July 29, 2015
August 29, 2015
September 7, 2015
October 10, 2015
October 15, 2015 (Chinese teacher asked me to make a video for her class)
November 7, 2015
December 8, 2015 (Final recorded conversation for second round, 30 minutes)