Mandarin for “Dummies”

Much attention has been paid to the current craze for studying Chinese, especially in the U.S., and Mandarin programs in public and private schools are mushrooming, as an article I posted last week demonstrates. The obvious line of reasoning goes that China’s increasing clout on the global economic stage means that learning the language will present future financial benefits for today’s young learners. All true, but there can be other more compelling reasons to learn the language as well. On her blog, Aimee Barnes writes movingly about how Mandarin helped save her from her learning disability and a troubled family life. “In Mandarin, as in poetry, I had finally found my own path through memory, cadence and tone. Through the rhythm of a character,” she writes. Read the rest of her beautiful post here.



  1. Loved that link! Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for that link. How very inspiring. It gives me a boost to continue teaching my son, who has some learning disabilities we think, mandarin characters as well as our other languages. And indeed, one does need to enjoy learning a language (at least in the absence of necessity). I do learn mandarin for my own enjoyment in large part. But then as a teen I also wrote notes to myself in runes after reading the Hobbit!

  3. Beautiful! I agree there are so many other reasons to learn this language! I hope people with only money as a motivation will learn the other reasons along the way!

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