How my Chinese improved. Before and after comparison.
When I joined the Chinese based team in my company in November 2017, I had been self-learning Chinese for a little more than 5 years (or about 1800 hours) in an English speaking country. A couple days after joining the team I wrote a text, here is a portion of that text:
Then after about 6 months living and working in the Chinese language environment and having realized that my Chinese has probably become better I have re-written this passage trying to express roughly the same thoughts:
不久之前我加入了Expedia的深圳团队。现在我在中国工作每天都会用中文交流。虽然我的口语水平已经能让我支持日常对话，我的技术词汇量还是很有限。 所以我希望写这种小文章能帮我提高我的中文水平。 昨天我跟一位同事在线开会一直在用中文说话，而且那是我第一次跟中国人开会的体验！ 我还学会了几个生词，例如：“竖向”，“实时”跟“扣分”。现在我觉得它们并不难，每天都会听见，但是以前并非如此。
Obviously the second example is superior, though still quite far from native level. Nevertheless, I find it amazing how moving to a country where the language is spoken helps you get to an entirely new level of language ability in a shorter period of time. I recommend it to anyone who is passionate about foreign languages!