I haven't written anything or posted any videos for a few days, but rest assured, I have been practicing!
I am still doing Pimsleur everyday for 30 minutes and have reached Unit 15! It is hard to believe that I have been consistent for two whole weeks. Even when I was studying Mandarin at the university last year I wasn't this intentional with learning the language. What I enjoy about Pimsleur is that it is a slow build, but it's not totally boring either. In most audio courses that I have listened to, it is strictly vocabulary drilling and phrases. Pimsleur seems to do it all at once in a very natural way. I had read that you should listen to Pimsleur or other courses when you are not doing anything else. In other words, no driving or distracting activities of any kind. At first I didn't think much of that, but I actually agree with it wholeheartedly now. It is very difficult to learn a language in a passive way, at least it has been for me. I really have to concentrate to have it sink in, and if I zone out or get distracted I may miss something and become confused before I know it.
Anyway, I like Pimsleur a lot so far.
Memrise is also going really well right now and I have stuck to that every day as well. The more words I learn the longer each session is, but I am definitely making some progress. I just completed HSK 2 vocabulary today in fact! 151 words planted in my mind.
This brings me to 348 words (and some phrases) stored in my memory somewhere. Memrise tells me that they are in my long term memory, but we'll just have to see about that.
I can honestly say that I think I have a good program going on here and am looking forward to the end result. If it's even possible, I think it would be great to have finished Pimsleur Mandarin I, II & III by Christmas and to have about 2000-3000 words or more stored in my memory by then as well. I am also going to make more of an effort over the next few weeks to have more conversations in Mandarin so that I actually use what I am learning! I will try to post more videos as time allows.