What is the 15-Days-Mandarin-Challenge?
Learn Mandarin in 15 days is a challenge to learn how to speak about a specific topic in Chinese within 15 days. (i.e pitch your startup in Chinese).
Learn more in our previous article: 15 days Mandarin language challenge.
Who is Ben Baldieri?
I’m the host of the “Rolling Forward” podcast, which explores the intersection between mental health and sport, and provides value by giving listeners actionable ideas from high-level performers across all walks of life. Mental health has historically not received the attention it deserves, so I’m trying to do my bit to broaden the dialogue!
I’m also a community leader, and marketing lead at MOTIVATE Shanghai. MOTIVATE is an organization which helps people execute on their goals, and move forward in achieving them. We do that as a community of like-minded people and provide the means for members to expand both their skillset and network. Weekly workshops with the best speakers in Shanghai give our members the opportunity to learn novel skills, and a road map for how to implement them in their life.
Pre-Challenge Pitch in English
Post-Challenge Pitch in Chinese
Why are you learning Chinese?
"China is a huge country, with a huge number of people. The challenge is communicating with them. I’ve found that being able to speak even a little bit of Chinese is received with smiles, curiosity, and encouragement, no matter how badly it’s been butchered. I’ve also found that my quality of life has improved as I’ve become more proficient with the language. Breaking out of the “expat bubble” is hard work if you don’t speak the local language, and I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least try and learn. You’ll never know what opportunities you may be missing out on."
How was your experience of the challenge?
"Challenging, for lack of a better word. My pitch revolved around a topic that isn’t really the easiest thing to talk about in my native tongue (mental health), so learning how to speak about it in a language that I can just about get by with on a day to day basis was not an easy thing to do. That being said, there’s nothing like a goal to focus the mind. Over the 15 days of the challenge, I was able to improve more than I ever expected, and my vocabulary is significantly broader than it was before. The challenging aspect kept me motivated to practice on a regular basis, and the group format provided some accountability too. Fannie is a fantastic teacher and was incredibly supportive throughout the whole experience.
If I had the chance to complete the challenge again, I’d go for a slightly shorter pitch, but keep the topic the same. My pitch wasn’t perfect in the end, but that’s fine because it means there’s still room for improvement."
Nominate 3 friends to take the challenge.
Ready for your personal challenge?
Scan the QR code with WeChat to start.
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