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Learning Chinese in China

Four years studying in Beijing

By Daniel Wolf   April 2014

Daniel Wolf (centre) with his fellow students on a language-learning trip to a cooking school

Five years ago, after my first year exams at the Beijing Language and Culture University (BCLU), I was sitting in the sunshine outside a campus cafe with a group of fellow students. A Dane in his mid-twenties, an excellent linguist with fluent English, German and French, remarked: “I have been studying for a year now, and I can still barely hold a simple conversation in Chinese.”

That is a common experience. It was certainly mine. Despite…

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