I have been studying for 2-1/2 years beginning with mostly podcasts, and see a long road ahead to feel conversational in Mandarin. For the last 6 months I have met one hour per week with a private tutor from the local university, which my company pays for. I also meet for an hour a week with a local colleague from China. Have been learning characters for a month. I probably get on average an additional hour of spoken practice per week, and 3 - 4 of reading, etc. But still my listening comprehension is terrible, I test in the middle intermediate level on the C-pod test, and my best sentence is "qing zai shuo yi bian", which I get sick of saying!
Does this mean I am to some degree retarded? I know the learning rate is a very personal thing, but I have been obsessed for a couple years now and feel no significant progress. Is this typical? What are some of your experiences?
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