One Month Update 一个月的更新

It’s been a month of overwhelming Chinese learning. To take the HSK1 test, you have to know 150 Chinese words. I can now recognize 60% of those words. However, I’m still a total beginner and ‘tone’ deaf. 哈哈哈

Writing the lessons in a notebook allows me to review all the materials instead of having it saved on a word file. I’m kind of old school. This method works for me.

Here are my notes. I have a notebook for each learning source. They are ZerotoHero, Yoyo Chinese, Duolingo app, HelloChinese app and one for my Online Tutor. You may ask how I manage my time. I spend 30 minutes for each. That’s a total of 2 hours a day. My online tutor is 3x a week where we practice speaking and focusing on tones, listening and discussing my homework (sentences I made with new words from previous lesson.)

Here is a diy flashcard I created. I write down a new word and practice reading it everyday so I don’t forget.

Here’s another notebook where I log all the new words. If I don’t want to use my diy flash cards, I use this by just folding and covering the words. It’s a trick I learned from LissLearns (Youtube)

I bought a Tián zì gé notebook from Amazon. Here I practice writing the characters. HSK 1 does not include writing yet but I decided to start now rather than later. I follow the strokes from this website:

I also make it a habit to listen to Chinese music and watch Chinese dramas to immerse myself and get used to the tones and environment.

So, there you have it. My one month update. I’m looking forward to the day I will take my HSK1 exam.



What is HSK?

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK; Chinese: 汉语水平考试; pinyin: Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì), translated as the Chinese Proficiency Test, is the standardized test of Standard Chinese (a type of Mandarin Chinese) language proficiency of China for non-native speakers such as foreign students and overseas Chinese. The test is administered by the Hanban, an agency of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.

Duolingo App
HelloChinese App

Chinese Dramas:
Netflix and Youtube
Asian Drama Group Facebook
Rakuten VIKI







Family 家 and How Many 几

New Words:

家 Jiā – family
有 Yǒu – to have/there is/are
口 Kǒu – measure word for counting people in a household
奴儿 Nú er – daughter
几 Jǐ – how many
岁 Suì – year old
了 Le – particle to indicate change
今年 Jīnnián – this year
多大 Duō Dà – how much age


Nǐ jīnnián jǐ suì le?
How old are you this year?

Wǒ èrshí suì le。
I’m 30 years old.

Nǐ érzi jǐ suì le?
How old is your son?

Tā jīnnián qī suì le。
He is seven years old.

Kūn yīshēng duō dà le?
How old is Doctor Kun?

Tā jīnnián sìshí suì le。
She is forty years old.


Daily Conversation

These are the new sentences/phrases I learned.

fā shēng le shén me
What happened?

wǒ shì rèn zhēn de
I’m serious!

nǐ hěn shuài
You are handsome.

nǐ shì cóng nǎ’er lái de
Where are you from?

nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?
What country are you from?

nǐ guò jiǎng le
You flatter me.

tài guì le
Too expensive.

zǒu ba
Let’s go.

wǒ è le
I’m hungry.

wǒ è sǐ le
I’m starving!

chī bǎo le
I am full.




Sentence Structure


Today I learned the 3 simple sentence structures.

  1. One person doing two things at the same time.
    一边 。。。 一边 。。。
    Yībiān 。。。Yībiān 。。。

我一边弹钢琴 一边唱歌。
Wǒ yībiān dàn gāngqín yībiān chànggē.
I am playing the piano and singing a song.

  1. Somebody is doing something.

Wǒ shì zhèngzài kàn diànshìjù
I am watching a TV drama.

  1. Although…(but)…
    虽然 。。。 但是 。。。
    Suīrán … Dànshì …

Wǒ suīrán xǐhuān huáxuě dànshì tài nán.
Although I like skiing, it is very difficult.





我妈妈的名字是Minda. 我弟弟的名字是 Mark, Neal, Oliver, Patrick 和 Jan Michael. 我妹妹的名字是 Katrina 和 Naomi. 他们住在非鲁宾。他们有一只狗。他叫 Pencil.

There are 10 members in my family. What about you? I have five brothers and 2 sisters.

My mom’s name is Minda. My brother’s names are Mark, Neal, Oliver, Patrick and Jan Michael. My sister’s names are Katrina and Naomi. They live in the Philippines. They have a dog. His name is Pencil.



我是中文学生。他们是我的老师。Jon 和 Ken 是 ZerotoHero 的老师。Irene 是澳大利亚人。她是中文老师。她有一个猫。他叫 Billy.

I am a Chinese language student. They are my teachers. Jon and Ken are teachers from ZerotoHero. Irene is from Australia. She has a cat. His name is Billy.


Two week update

I learned how to pronounce the letters on the pinyin chart. It’s tricky with some of the letters sounding the same if you’re an English speaker. A lot of tongue twisting, lip rounding and jaw dropping haha. It’s suprising how one can learn that much with consistent practice and if you really give time and effort in studying.

I also learned some greetings and how to introduce myself.

你好, 我 叫 Jan。Hello! My name is Jan.

我是加拿大人。I am Canadian. 我会说英文。I can speak English.

我喜欢吃中国菜。I like to eat Chinese food.

我的家有十口人。 There are 10 members in my family.

我有五个弟弟和两个妹妹。 I have 5 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters.

I can now recognize below characters if I see it on the TV screen.

你好 – Hello

谢谢 – Thank you

不客气 – You are welcome

对不起 – Sorry

没关系 – It’s alright

早上好 – Good morning

晚上好 – Good evening

晚安 – Good night

再见 – Goodbye

I also learned how to count. One good thing about Chinese numbers is as long as you know 0-10, you will be able to count onwards which is cool.

I can now state the year, month, days of the week, time and price.

I’m excited what the next coming weeks will bring 🙂





My interest in learning the Chinese language started when I watched “The Rise of Phoenixes”. This was by far the best TV drama series I’ve seen in years. The actors, costumes, cinematography, musical score and historical story was awesome…and just like that, I decided to learn Mandarin.

I created this blog to record my journey in learning the language. I wanted to see how long it will take for me to be able to converse, read and understand Zhōngwén. I downloaded Duolingo and HelloChinese apps. I signed up to HerotoZero and Yoyochinese and I hired a native Mandarin speaker to be my teacher online twice week to practice my reading comprehension, listening skills and pronunciation.

I spend 2 hours each day for (ZerotoHero/Yoyochinese). If I have extra time, I spend half an hour for each Duolingo/HelloChinese apps. That’s 3 hours each day. That includes listening, reading and writing. Yes, I started to write whatever hanzi 汉字 I learned to get used to seeing the characters which I believe will benefit me in the future.

You might ask why I am doing this. My long term goal is to be able to understand (speak/read/write) Mandarin, watch Chinese movies without reading the subtitles and maybe start teaching English/Chinese in the future….who knows haha.

That’s all for now. 再见!Goodbye。