I am having my first Mandarin class today at Langara. It is a Mandarin class special tailored for Cantonese speakers. Normal Mandarin classes start with learning the characters and grammer, which is too easy for me. I have learnt Mandarin many years ago back in HK. My listening is pretty good, if it is spoken slowly. However, talking is quite a challenage to me, I always use the Cantonese words pretending to be Mandarin. We started with pin-yin like every other Madarin first class. I think pin-yin is only good to help you prounce the word the first time. To be good at Mandarin, it is important to link the sound directly to the characters or even the meaning of the words. Almost everyone in the class are men. I guess woman has more talent in language, so they don’t need to learn Mandarin in a classroom. They can just pick up the language easily from daily usage. Hopefully, I would able to carry out basic conversation after finishing the level 1 and level 2 classes. I don’t need to speak perfect Mandarin Bejing accent. Actually as long as others can understand my Mandarin, I am proud to have a Cantonese accent. I always found the Bejing Mandarin sounds quite ugly, the Taiwan Mandarin sounds more beautiful. Luckily, my teacher was born in China but lived in Taiwan for many years. Her Mandarin is easy to listen and easy to learn.