My name is Serge, I am 70 years old, I am of French nationality and live in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
I started studying traditional Chinese medicine in the 80's and I remember buying a set of K7 audio “Let's talk Chinese” that I played and played again in the radio of the car I used to drive. I was even become able to repeat a number of words like a parrot! At the time, however, I neither had the time nor the money to afford a "real course", the only availability being to spend several evenings in a classroom.
Now, 2019, I am just retired, but still active, from my traditional Chinese medicine products sales company.
A professional trip to China was planned for October 2019 and I thought it would be great to converse a few words with my Chinese interlocutors (who only speak this language).
So I signed up for this online course at the beginning of July 2019 and, after devouring the graciously offered, superb and very lively videos, I started the HSK course in intensive format for 10 to 12 hours daily. So at the end of September , I had completed HSK 1 and 2. At least I thought being able to secure little conversation. Unfortunately, the growing social unrest in Hong Kong October 2019 forced me to postpone my trip to the following spring, which would be later canceled due to the covid pandemic.
So I continued to progress, in slower motion this time, and completed HSK 3 in February 2020. I have to say that from this level on that there is a lot more work and memorization which need to be achieved. If the first 2 levels can be considered simple and recreational, the 3rd and 4th, although being lively and attractive, are another „kettle of fish“ and require a lot of more attention and concentration.
I really appreciate this course for the originality, the lively, progressive and playful character given along, one can feel a presence behind each sentence pronounced by the speakers, it is so "as in China" and, advantage of working online, one does not mind having the phrases spoken over and over again until they are fully understood, noticing that some words were far more resistant to my memory than others.
Usually quite off-putting, grammar and syntax are tackled here brilliantly, in a simple and comprehensive way and immediately followed by exercises putting them into practice, all of this is very well organized, well done guys.
Finally, I enjoy particularly the HSK tests which "set the record straight" by clearly indicating where the deficits are to be reviewed. So far I have done all of the suggested tests as many times as necessary until no more mistakes, before moving on to the next level or sequence.
Moreover, quite often I had practical questions which were all answered almost immediately by our dear professor Tian Xiang, that would be very much appreciated and I am very grateful therefore.
To make my life easier and easier to visualize the Chinese words and characters, I created my own word database on Excell whch is always on hand on my work screen. In this database, I progressively inserted the Chinese characters and their Pinyin and French correspondance, organized by level and sequence. I also added the graphic component (s) for each character when available.
As in my company mostly uses traditional characters, I asked Tian Xiang for advice, and he kindly provided me with the appropriate transformation font.
I reached the middle of level 4.1 last May but would be abruptly stopped in my progress due to the general pandemic situation and other obligations that kept me extremely busy.
Since the beginning of December, I am back on track and currently reviewing the HSK 1, 2 and 3 in order to resume the course and be able to carry the follow up in good conditions.
Many many thanks to you dear Tian Xiang and your collaborators for this great job, your presence and your kind attention to our requests.