The job thing is something that hurts me because I think it would be mad useful. Thing is, I don’t want anything more than a part time job (10 hours a week). I’ve got a unique working arrangement, as you know, and can do everything from my house. So if you know of any magic part time job that is chill, fun, and would force me to speak Chinese, I’m all ears.
I’m envious of your lifestyle. I left the state and came to Asia for that, and then ended up working just as much as I did in the States. I wouldn’t sweat it though, you can reach the same level of proficiency on your own if you’re suitably motivated.
I’m not advanced yet but I’m far enough along where I can do most everything I need to do. Language does not hinder my life, but my Chinese is far from where I want it to be. Do you have any strategies for later on in the learning process? Reading and writing are good theoretically but hard to maintain. This is where my man Khatz comes in because he really advocates you read/write about things that you care about. Like comics? Read comics. Dig video games? Play video games.
You perfectly describe the plateau, where your skill level isn’t truly fluent, but it’s good enough to communicate everything important. Most people won’t go past this level but in my experience, the ones that do have specific goals that Mandarin helps them achieve. Goals exactly like you mention: reading books or comics in Chinese, watching movies in Chinese without subtitles, practicing kung fu, learning mahjong, etc.
Last, I’m real familiar with both of these guys. I actually just read the 4 hour work week in Chinese as my first little project because everyone and their mother has been tlaking about tim ferris recently.
That’s impressive – I don’t imagine that’s a particularly easy book to read.