In September 2016, I decided to take on language learning’s toughest challenge – Mandarin Chinese. Is it one language, or many dialects? What do the tones mean? And how do you draw the characters in the first place?
Many of these questions put many adult learners off, but it’s claimed that it’s much easier for children to learn languages than adults, so (possibly naïvely) my young age should give me a distinct advantage.
China and Eastern Asia are often seen as mysterious and impenetrable in the West, and that needs to change. The modern world is more connected than ever before. Over 1 billion live in China, and is projected to rise to 1.6 billion by 2030. China is one of the world’s fastest growing nations, and as a generation we need to unite the East and the West in the globalising world of today.
The Great Wall of Chinese is the story of a British teenager setting out on a mission – to scale the world’s hardest language and break down the possibly more important wall than the one in China – the one dividing the East and the West.