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China Flag

Chinese is such a visual language. I see it when I talk. I absolutely love Mandarin. A language so complex that without an understanding of several thousand characters, you can’t even start to comprehend everyday text. Yet so straightforward that you can dispense with all worries about conjugation, tenses and pluralisation.  Its tones, which if you get wrong, can turn a promise into a slip of the tongue, or change you from discussing a poet to talking about a lion. 

The “chengyu”, where four characters can tell a story of a thousand words – and a language that connects you to a billion people.

Once grasped, it can take you “behind the scenes” and on innumerable adventures around the vast and diverse land which is China – from the evocative scenery over which runs the Great Wall to the fabulous landscapes of Guizhou, from vibrant Shanghai to tranquil Lijiang, and from the icy masterpieces of Harbin to the scorching beaches of Hainan.

Catriona Llanwarne