Originally Posted by Paul B.
I'm in Makati, Metro Manila.
Are you saying you already speak well after one year in Shanghai? Or did you know how to speak before that? I ask because I just started getting Mandarin lessons and I wanna gauge how long it will take for me to become competent.
Does it get chilly at all?
Have you been to Angeles City before? If so can you describe your observations.
I'd say my spoken Chinese is at about lower-intermediate. I have never taken official Mandarin classes and it was just after 1 year of casual language exchange and self-teaching that I got to that level. I learned probably 85% from www.chinesepod.com
and 15% through extensive travel. I know next to zero characters and I would'nt suggest studying them unless you plan on investing many many years. Not to mention you won't need to use them if you can speak and ask questions fine.
My advice is to download the ChinesePod Beginners torrent and listen to 1 audio/PDF combo once a day. The things they teach (for the most part) are practical and people actually say those things. You can probably find some Taiwanese girl on Skype to practice speaking with. Once you know the beginner's vocab/pronunciation and have a general understanding of the grammar (very easy) you can get by extremely well and the locals will love you for speaking the language.
If you study 1 hour a day for 2-3 months you'll be in v. good shape.
Sub-tropical climates rarely get very cold. I'd suggest having a jacket for the months of December - March (Wikipedia) but that's it. I've had to throw on a jacket maybe 10 times so far since December. Lots of 25C blue sky sunny days this past month.