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Studying Chinese

Important: This page is part of my a series of pages about the Chinese language, containing and organising resources, tools, articles, reflections, links, and much, much more. To explore the other areas, please visit my Chinese section!


Why did I start studying Chinese? How come I live in Taiwan? What proficiency level have I reached? Here, I will try to answer these questions (and some more). However, this page is not about learning Chinese in itself (for more about that, visit the learning Chinese page). To make it easier to find your way, I have included a navigation menu below.

List of related posts


It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when and why I became interested in Chinese language and culture, but it probably started around 2000 or so, when I first began to practise Taijiquan, which naturally lead to a deeper interest in Chinese philosophy (mainly Daoism), but in extension also to the language itself. In 2004, I made some half-hearted attempts at learning some Chinese on my own, but I didn’t achieve anything significant, although my fascination for the language remained.

I put tho project on ice for quite some time, before learning that the university in Linköping had opened a new one-year preparatory course (Asienkunskap) for students who later wanted to apply for some other economics and engineering programs with international focus. I was already into my second year studying to become a teacher at this point, but since it seemed possible to take this one-year break without financial problems, I decided to do so.

Thus my first year of serious Chinese studies began.  I enjoyed that year immensely and also performed quite well, or at least well enough to be able to acquire the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship in order to go to Taiwan to study Chinese for one year. This was too good an opportunity to miss, so in September 2008, I left Sweden for Xinzhu in north-western Taiwan, where I studied at Chung Hua University for one semester. In January, I moved to Gaoxiong in order to continue my studies at Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages, where I stayed one semester before going home to Sweden for the summer.

The next academic year (2009-2010) will be spent in Taiwan, but in neither of the aforementioned cities. Instead, I will study Chinese Language and Culture for International Students at National Taiwan Normal University, located in Linkou, close to Taipei. Expect more to be added here in the future!


I regard keeping track of and evaluating my language proficiency as a vital part of the learning process. In order to do so more effectively, I have continuously written proficiency reports since September 2008. These have several purposes, most importantly helping myself to learn more, but also telling other people how I’m getting along. Here they are in reverse chronological order:


The above proficiency reports are of course only my own opinions of my own ability, but now and then my Chinese is assessed by teachers, institutions and so on. These are my achievements so far, also in reverse chronological order:

Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages (Gaoxiong),  upper intermediate: 93/100
Chung Hua Universiyt (Xinzhu), lower intermediate: 94/100
Asienkunskap (Linköping), beginner: 5/5 average

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  1. Caroline’s avatar

    Linkou-Ping? :P


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      Heh, det har jag inte tänkt på. :)

      För övrigt skrivs Linköping som Linxueping med pinyin, en väldigt bra transkribering tycker jag, i alla fall med tanke på att Stockholm blir Sidegeermo och Los Angeles skrivs Luoshanji.