Chinese Level 3: Nailed it!

Well, I’ve finished Chinese Level 3. The capstone is in place, the race has been run, and now I speak fluent Mandarin, right? Well, not quite—although, looking back, I feel amazed by how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. The sheer quantity of information that my brain has absorbed is a little startling.

I’ll admit, there were a couple of times that I didn’t quite see why certain words or phrases had been included in the lessons. Learning how to talk about a hammer, nails, screws, and a screwdriver felt a little foolish at the time. I thought I’d never need to use that vocabulary and that it would just molder away in the depths of my memory. I thought wrongly, of course.

tools e1310761493932Here in the heartland of China, people believe in repair over replacement, which is an admirable sentiment that I wholly support. The problem is that unless top-quality products are used, repairs end up being fairly frequent. More of our apartment’s appliances and fixtures have failed, sometimes spectacularly, than I could have anticipated—burst pipes, stuck toilet valves, wobbly couches, and sparking microwaves. I’ve had ample opportunity to appreciate the breadth of material served up by Rosetta Stone, even though it may not have made sense to me when I first learned it.

So, when the software asks you to learn the verb for “to fix,” trust it. It’ll be useful.

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Andrew Buckwalter Fairfield

Andrew Buckwalter Fairfield and his wife, Molly, are English teachers living in China. They currently reside in Leshan in Sichuan Province, where they teach at Leshan Teachers College. Prior to moving to China in August 2010, Andrew worked as a carpenter while taking seminary classes. Andrew is the son of John Fairfield, one of Rosetta Stone's founders. Andrew and Molly are learning Mandarin with Rosetta Stone and private tutors. As teachers and learners of second languages, they are career collectors of language-learning methods and stories. Andrew and Molly keep a personal blog at http://inmediumregnum.wordpress.com, in addition to writing for Language Journeys.
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