In an effort to expand my world, I've started a language program to learn Mandarin. The program is called "Ni Hao, Kai-lan."
With the help of Kai-lan, YeYe, Rintoo, Tolee, Hoho, and Lulu, Mandarin is both easy and fun to learn. The program also teaches additional life lessons, such as the value of family, friendship, and perseverance.
So far, after having viewed a handful of episodes, I have effectively doubled my Mandarin vocabulary. Here's a list of the vocabulary I have learned thus far:
grandpa (paternal) = yé yé
1, 2, 3 = yī, èr, sān
goodbye = zài jiàn
up = shàng
down = xià
blow = chuī
carrot = hú luó bo
While I feel that this language program is highly effective, they don't cover nearly as much Mandarin per episode as I would like. I also would have preferred to learn Cantonese, as that is the Chinese dialect predominantly spoken by my Chinese friends, but you go with what's available. Hopefully if I keep this up for a year, I might know about a hundred Mandarin words or phrases, although I don't know if I'll ever be able to properly ask for a carrot in Chinese.
For more information on "Ni Hao, Kai-lan" and how you can learn Mandarin, visit their site: Ni Hao, Kai-Lan