It might appear a little out of context, but I'd like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone at ChinesePod - the teachers and voice actors, the producers "behind the scenes", but also the truly amazing and helpful community.
When I stumbled upon your podcasts in a podcast directory of a major internet company little more than one year ago, I almost immediately resolved to start studying Mandarin. Prior to that, I had always wanted to learn a non-Romance language but I'd never been able to muster the courage to do so. In retrospect, your podcasts were an extraordinarily precious gift. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to subscribe for more than 4 months (being a secondary school student, the amount of money I can spend freely per month hardly ever exceeds 20€), but I kept using the free audio material for several months after that.
Remembering how I would sit on the tram listening to podcasts or spend hours trying to decipher texts in a writing system that seemed so incredibly obscure at that time... Those were hours well spent and I have to admit that the time I spent studying Chinese when I could have revised more for school exams instead doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all.
To cut a long story short, the learning process has been, albeit frustrating at times, extremely enjoyable (在自学汉语的过程中我发现其乐无穷; I keep my fingers crossed that it'll stay this way for many years to come, studying Chinese seems to be a lifelong endeavour, even for someone at my age).
Perhaps you're wondering why on earth I wrote this post? Well, (mainly) thanks to ChinesePod I was able to succeed (still feels like a miracle) in a national language competition, so I have been granted a scholarship to attend a language course in China. Thank you all so much for helping me to realize 我多年的愿望.
Bianca T., Germany
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