Why learn Mandarin? Why start Mandarin Monkey? I hear you scream. I will tell you.
Starting to learn Mandarin for me was, upon reflection, mainly out of jealousy.
I worked at a reasonably large software company and was part of a great team of very smart individuals. Most of which we employed to call into various countries using their awesome bi and sometimes trilingual prowess.
There was members of the team of whom spoke French, Dutch, German, Spanish and even Welsh! I had to sit back after we gathered them all together and listen to them call. Green with envy that they could operate with such linguistic finesse. Where as I, was a simple monologuist. I listened intently trying to pick up any vague sense or meaning from their secret conversations in impeccable French. So, inspired by my lack of language based skill I made the life decision to learn another tongue.
French? no thanks. Did that in school and it wasn’t my favourite. German? A little harsh for me. Spanish? possibility. Chinese? Hmmm this is an interesting one. Spoken in Taiwan, China and Singapore, a decent future proof business language. AND added bonus, its rumored to be really hard to learn! Love that challenge. Ok it’s set, I thought. Chinese it is!
I went about booking a Chinese teacher for private one on one lessons every week, studying for two hours every Wednesday or Thursday. Using Post-it notes, stuck to all of my household furniture with new vocab on them. I bought dictionaries, China and Taiwan travel books, Rosetta Stone software, Flash cards, language exchange apps and decided to move to one of the countries. A fair old commitment. Various life changes fell into place and allowed my move out to Taiwan.
Whilst in Taiwan, I studied Chinese some more at a recommended language school but ended up having to work to maintain my residency. This slowed my learning somewhat. During work, I met my wife, who, being Taiwanese and a teacher helped me re-invigorate my passion for the language.
My biggest passion in life since school has been in the creative arts. Video, film, acting, editing, graphics and drawing have always been high on the list of things to do for me. BUT life doesn’t always take you to Hollywood to star in or direct the next Marvel movie. So, After understood my wife’s passion for teaching Chinese and English we decided to combine my love for creativity and her love for instruction and BOOM. Mandarin Monkey was born.
From the bowls of insecurity, jealousy and passion grew our Youtube channel. We had and still have no plans for monetizing what we do currently, we just want to be good at it.
Without Jealousy I wouldn’t have moved to Taiwan, I wouldn’t have wanted to learn an amazing language, I wouldn’t have met my beautiful wife and had two children I adore. So, I guess, sometimes, out of jealousy come come great things.