Learning a new language can be humbling

I just saw an interesting “Chinese for beginners” lesson on YouTube where a parent interviews her child by asking her very basic questions about herself. The child was able to talk about herself, her hobbies and the languages that she speaks. She was able to ask her mother questions in return as well. 

It was then that I realized that even after I completed HSK1, I would have the vocabulary of just a four year old child and this four year old in the video would still sound more fluent than me. 

If I then went on to complete HSK2, I might get lucky and catch up to a six year old. 

Realizing that I can’t even keep up with a four year old and probably speak like a three year old at this point was a humbling experience. It definitely put my language skills in perspective. 

One thing that I also realized though, is that it took me less than two months to reach the level of this hypothetical three year old and hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with the four year old in another month or so. 

At this rate, I might be able to speak with the fluency of an 8 year old by the end of this year, which, if you’ve been around children, you should know isn’t a bad achievement at all.

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