>>1039997 Really make an effort to be able to hold a conversation in Mandarin. Seriously, you will make friends and feel very welcomed by taiwanese people if you made an effort to learn their language. It will open up many doors for you. As someone who has learned Mandarin as a second language I can ASSURE you that it is not as hard as people think; speaking is actually really easy grammatically. Tones take awhile to get down but people will always understand what you're trying to say.
>>1040316 Taiwan is everything you like about Asia but without most of the cons. It's a great place with awesome people and awesome scenery. Did I mention the food? It's fucking brilliant. Taipei is a very modern city and as mentioned before, has Hong Kong feel but way more relaxed. Even though I love concrete jungles and big cities, Taiwan is definitely a place that needs to be explored in the small rich towns in the country side.
>>1040781 >As someone who has learned Mandarin as a second language How long did it take? I took a year in college, so I basically remember the tones / a few characters / enough to say I'm American and want to order a beer.
I got the Pimsleur Mandarin, trying to work through 1-2 hours a day. Am I going to make it by February?
>>1040849 Depends what your goal is. I used Michel Thomas, did about 30 minutes a day for two months and that was enough to be able to meet all travel needs and have the most basic of conversations. It gives you enough of the basic grammar so that you can immediately apply new words as you learn them.
As other anon said speaking really isn't that hard, the hard part is listening and making out what others say to you. I often found that if I spoke to someone in Chinese they would overestimate my ability and reply as if I was actually a decent speaker, at which point it is necessary to polite ask them to speak slower (same as when you speak to a foreigner who doesn't know English that well).
So by February you will know enough to travel in places with no tourism infrastructure, meet all your basic needs, and endear yourself to locals who will usually appreciate your effort. As for reading, writing, or complex conversations...forget about it.
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