More than anything, this project is about diving deep into a culture.
It’s for people who so badly want the experience that comes with being able to speak Chinese well.
For people who want to have a relationship with Taichung, Hualien, Taipei, or Kaohsiung.
For those who want to reconnect with their heritage or are learning it because love has made it a must.
And finally, for people who like to laugh and who like weird things.
Welcome to the project.
You’ll make friends here.
Here is how The Iceberg Project will make studying Chinese feel like less of a time suck and more like a TV show you just can’t stop watching:
1.) The project focuses on real connection between real people. – Boring example sentences bore me. Boring phrases bore me. Boring grammar explanations bore me. (Seriously, I’m yawning over here just thinking about them.) You won’t find any of that stuff here.
2.) It’s about being conversational instead of being fluent. – Because really, what is fluent? It doesn’t exist. I just want to talk to people, make friends, and order the exact meal that I want when I want it.
3.) It will show you a friendlier side of grammar. – Even though I don’t believe that grammar should come first, it’s still necessary, but just because it’s necessary does not mean it needs to be bogged with words like “intransitive whatsitcalled.” I’m not saying these terms are bad. I’m just saying I like simple explanations, preferably explanations with a dose of humor.
4.) It will help you feel like you’re making progress. – Language learners don’t need award ceremonies because being able to see their progress feels like an Emmy. Here I offer tools, tips, and resources to help you constantly see the progress you’re making and keep moving forward.
5.) It will encourage you to keep going. – You need grit to stay in this game, and it’s easy to get lost. I can be both a cheerleader and a coach. When things get tough, I’m here for you.
Where the name comes from
The Iceberg Project is based on the theory that most of what you learn about culture when visiting a new country without speaking the language is just the tip of the iceberg.
You see what they wear, what they eat, and the environment of their most touristy attractions, but it isn’t until you speak the language and get to the bottom of the iceberg, that huge mass beneath the glacial waters, that you discover their values, their traditions, and their mindset as a people.
Read me, too! All of my posts are written for the serious language learner. We don’t learn languages aggressively here on a strict time schedule, but if you’re not actually going to commit to learning Mandarin, it’s best that you close this tab. No dabbling allowed. ;]