Mastering Mandarin: The Inspiring Journey of Mark Rowswell(DaShan)

Mark Henry Rowswell, also known as DaShan, was born in Ottawa, Canada. However, he is far more famous in China than in the Western world. From 1988 to 1995, he lived in China for seven years and frequently appeared on the Chinese New Year Gala in the 1990s. He spoke fluent, standard Mandarin Chinese and was deeply loved by Chinese audiences.

DaShan studied Chinese for 4 years in university. In the first two years, he used standard textbooks to learn Pinyin, basic Chinese characters, and basic grammar. Learning these things using textbooks was considered the best approach because textbooks are highly structured and organized, providing a systematic way of learning. However, language itself is not a purely scientific matter. In his third year of studying Chinese, DaShan’s teacher started showing him short stories, newspaper articles, or things related to daily life for learning purposes. Initially, it was quite challenging for him to engage with this material. However, in DaShan’s view, textbooks are written by Chinese people for foreigners, whereas novels or newspapers are written by Chinese people for themselves. He believed that once a certain level of proficiency is achieved, it is best to move away from textbooks and directly engage with the language as it is used in real-life situations.

DaShan believes that while it is possible to learn a language without being in a native language environment, having that environment is much better. When he first came to China, he could have conversations with people on the street without any problems and could perform comedy sketches on television. However, his accent was quite heavy. He believes that being in a native language environment provides a sense of the language. He hopes that young people have the opportunity to go abroad and experience this. He also believes that there is a great benefit to doing so, as it allows for a better understanding of one’s own country.

During his performances in crosstalk, DaShan demonstrated exceptional proficiency in Chinese, earning him the reputation as a refreshing talent in the field. Learning Chinese brought him significant opportunities and opened the doors to his journey in China. His experience of learning Chinese demonstrates the crucial role of passion for Chinese and the importance of the Mandarin environment in the process of Chinese learning.

If you are interested in making your kid as fluent in Chinese as DaShan, sign up for a free trial class via the form on this page, and we will be happy to help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top