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Motivation to Study Mandarin With Khalil Fong

Chinese Singer Khalil Fong

Just after New Year’s 2016, I created an Instagram feed specifically designed to force accountability on myself, @Mandarin_Mania.  Although I love the Chinese language, I found myself wishing I could just “will” speaking ability into existence.  Back then, “lacking” is how my motivation could best be described.  Although I had no problem binge watching Asian dramas into the wee hours of the night.  

How I would love to morph into a female clone of my Chinese friend, Evan Li.  He recently graduated from Cornell, and promptly started working on his Ph.d.  He grows bacteria in a lab that he hopes to manipulate into solving some of China’s pollution problems.  Yeah, no…Mensa denied my application.  I do not have Evan’s drive.

By June of the following year, I had a humble Instagram audience of about 1K people, most of whom like me are attempting to learn Mandarin.  To entertain myself, and them in the process, I decided to translate Mando Pop songs as a fun way to supplement my studies.  

Not being well-versed in trending Mando Pop songs, so I asked my followers for suggestions on what to translate.  One of my followers, @jaymusicgirl, really loved 方大同 Khalil Fong’s 巴黎 “Paris,” and wanted to find out just what he was saying.

And that, my dear Watson, is how this lyric video was born.  I hope in some small way I have given you motivation to study Mandarin today.  You can also check out all the songs I have translated here.  Happy listening!

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