Stewart Lee Beck became proficient in Chinese thanks to a great teacher and not being afraid of making mistakes.
Reflecting on his own experience, he reassures Westerners that learning Mandarin is not as difficult as many are led to believe.
His book, China Simplified: Language Gymnastics, explores the most fascinating elements of Chinese and offers practical avenues for improvement.
About The Book
''I'm a long-time language student who has yet to fully master the language, but i have a lot of experience speaking it.''
''I find it incredibly interesting and pleasurable - the experience of interacting with Chinese, who are gracious in helping language students as they go.''
''I partnered with my long-time language teacher, Katie Lu, who runs her own language translation and teaching business. She is smart, an excellent teacher, and even helped someone like me become reasonably proficient.''
The story-telling process is here’s this long-time language student, and all the mistake he has made, and here is the expert, and what she can add in terms of additional stories, insights and guidance to the readers.
''The average student has a lot of books which they have gone through. What is missing is a way to take a look at the language with a new set of eyes.''
"We hope this book will inspire people to re-invigorate their Chinese studies, or tempt them into considering to start learning Chinese."
You Can Start Simple & Fast
''Chinese as a spoken language is easier to get into than most people think. To become reasonably proficient in Chinese is not that hard because of pinyin, with immersion, only skype studies with tutors and so on.''
"Everybody knows it is difficult to get to fluency because of characters and tones. But starting into the language you don’t have to study characters. You can start with pinyin and get going reasonably quickly."
"That enjoyment of the language can take you through the hard parts and get you to whatever level you want, whether it is basic competency when travelling in China; intermediate level, interacting with co-workers for instance; or something more advanced."
Overcoming The 'Blockage'
''All of that is possible. I think that there is a major block out around the world. Everyobody thinks Chinese is an impossible language and unfathomable culture.''
''That is what China Simplified is about, to help people understand that it is not that complicated, that you can in a short period of time understand the people, the culture and the country, much more than you thought you could.''
"We want to take away that intimidation factor, that complication, just get people going, and hopefully once they get into it, their own passion and interest will take over and they can take it wherever they want."