This is a topic designed for New Members. There are no wrong answers and there's no reason to be shy - it's just an easy way to get started by taking 1 minute to type a reply to try and predict your future. If you want to say a little more, go for it!

An example:

I studied for 1.5 years already and I will probably study for 2 more years because I want to be able to use Chinese in a casual work setting. I don't see myself taking any formal tests as I'm more interested in speaking fluidly rather than knowing lots of non-frequent words.

So... how long do you think you will study Chinese? And why that long?

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I've studied for about 10 months now and will probably study for the rest of my life because I want to become fluent. My best friend in the world speaks Chinese as their native language and they really don't speak much English. I have a few other Chinese speaking friends as well, so it makes sense for me to learn how to speak Chinese well.

@Dave - that's cool, how did you meet your best friend if they don't speak much English? Was in language exchange or chance or...?

Well, my friend lives in Malaysia, and I live in America. We met over a now defunct photo sharing app that was similar to Instagram. I think that they followed me and I followed back and we started chatting a bit. It quickly became clear that Google Translate wouldn't cut it, so I volunteered to learn Chinese.

@Dave

Welcome to join us.

谢谢。 Thank you.
I studied Chinese for 12 years within the Singapore education system, and back then me and my friends didn't take it seriously at all. We cut classes, made a joke out of failing exams, and basically hated Chinese because it was compulsory.

20 years down the road, I regret those wasted opportunities I had in school, and I'd really like to be more proficient in a society that is increasingly Chinese speaking, and where Chinese nationals are currently 1 out of every 4 persons in the population. I don't even have the foggiest idea how to type Han characters on my iPad, so I'm not sure how I'll fare on this website.

I have a long way to go, and I'm a pretty mature student, so yeah, I'm going to be learning Chinese for the rest of my life.

Hi Edeline & welcome! I had quite a similar experience in high school with Spanish - just really didn't like it at all for a long time then came to regret it later in life. I ended up learning mostly on my own and just have to find ways to make it interesting. For me, it was watching movies I knew (but with Spanish soundtrack) and reading translations of books I read in the past. 

For typing on ipad, you should be able to go to...

Settings -> General -> Keyboard then scroll down to "Keyboards" and click "add new keyboard". There you can add Chinese - Simplified (pinyin) & Chinese - Simplified (handwriting). When using the handwriting app, the stroke order is quite important for it to find the right character. I think almost as important as how the character actually appears on screen. It's good practice though. 

After enabling keyboards, when you type you will see new button just to the left of your space bar, looks like a globe. Clicking that will toggle between the various keyboards you have enabled.

Let me know how it goes. Are you taking classes or just studying on your own?

Thanks so much, Brandon! Crystal clear instructions. I've added three Chinese keyboards, will play around with them and see if they work for me. 谢谢! (My first typed Chinese characters. So cool! )

I'm going to study on my own and see if I can be disciplined and self-motivated enough to make progress. I have resources - a good conversational textbook, Chinese radio stations, Chinese TV channels. I just need to make good use of them.

Thanks for the help!

Hi Edeline.

Maybe this website could give you some help with Chinese characters.

http://www.zdic.net/

For me, the short answer is I plan to study it indefinitely.

It's been a goal for my partner and I to spend some time in China together since we met and, when we get round to it, I'd like to be able to communicate with other people effectively.  Learning the basics I need to get by is my first goal (ordering food, using public transport, etc.) but ultimately I'd like to be able to work and socialise in Chinese.

Hey Steven - that's great... I feel like a future trip, especially once it's booked, is a very solid motivational tool. Have you booked it yet or just a hope? I also have found that transport language is useful no matter what but that sometimes it's different regionally. You might want to lookup where you plan to go to find the more common expressions used. taxis are cheap and in shanghai at least, they always use cross streets for directions (not addresses) unless it' s major landmark. if studying indefinitely, do you have a regular study schedule to keep to?

Hello Steven.

It is great when you have a clear goal.

What kind of food you want to eat? 

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