Does anyone know of any Home stays or anything like that in Beijing area?
pretzellogicNovember 14, 2010, 03:05 AM
Oh, and if you want more information, just put "beijing home stay" into google, or your favorite search engine, and there are quite a few agencies that will hook you up.
jodesDecember 30, 2010, 11:04 AM
Where to learn Mandarin in China
If you could be based anywhere in China for 6 months to learn Mandarin, where would you live and why? I'm looking for not just the "obvious" options like Shanghai & Beijing.
Sorry to post a different question in this thread, but my browser will not let me start a new discussion.
Lanzhou. Not the most exciting of towns, but the lack of a big foreigner community forces you to use the mandarin you know on a daily/hourly basis, without relying on another English speaker. This is GUARANTEED to bring your mandarin up to snuff relatively quickly, unless you're a guy, and start dating one of the Chinese girls with half decent English, then all bets are off ;-)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the accent there isn't too bad, but there's definitely some Lanzhouhua going on. If you leave Lanzhou and head toward Tian1shui3, the local accents stray from putonghua a bit more.
Thanks for that. I will check out Lanzhou. Also heard Kunming is possible, but not sure about dialects/accents. Freezing temperatures are ok, going to check out the Harbin winter festival this weekend.
If I had the choice.. I would pick Hangzhou. The reason is that the city is big and modern enough to have all the comforts you need but not so big and modern that it loses its traditional charm. It is also only 1 to 1.5 hours (depending on which fast train you get) to Shanghai.. which is the time it takes me to get to work each day anyway. This makes it an ideal location because not only are you living in one of the nicest cities in China but you have quick and convenient access to the largest, most modern and western populated city in China as well.
Having not been to Suzhou, I am unsure if the same can be said of it as it is also very close to Shanghai. Nanjing would be my next choice though it is starting to get too modern/city-like for my tastes. Don't get me wrong though.. I love the fast-paced energy of Shanghai and the big cities.. but it can wear you out if you're not careful.. :)
'Mostly mandarin speaking, ie relatively accentless mandarin, is important'
Be careful what you ask for. :)
My advice (if you're serious) is to try Hong Kong or Guangzhou and get a teacher no older than say 24 or 25 years old. These kids learn Standard Chinese more or less as a second language so they can have fairly 'accentless' Chinese.
Or .. you could think about Chinese as being made up of a lot of different accents, just like English, and learn anywhere. Learning about different accents can enrichen your experience with the language.