Adam DiFrisco

Adam DiFrisco – Bilingual Tour Guide on How He Mastered Mandarin

Podcast Duration: 01:09:01
Adam DiFrisco - Bilingual Tour Guide on How He Mastered Mandarin

After accidentally stumbling into a Chinese class, Adam started a Chinese language learning journey that would change his life. Adam is now the lead tour guide and marketing manager at MaxTour ( where he leads Chinese-speaking tourists to spectacular destinations like Antelope Canyon and The Grand Canyon (

In the podcast, we discussed a range of topics including:
How a good teacher inspired him to learn Chinese
What captured Adam about Mandarin Chinese
Going to Beijing and falling in love with the culture
Setting a goal to become a tour guide and pass the HSK 5
His methods for transitioning from intermediate to advanced
How learning characters makes everything easier
How learning “top-down” is possible but super challenging
Obsession being a prerequisite if you don’t have a strong methodology
Is it necessary to be in China to reach fluency?
How there are many different ways to say the same thing
Opportunities to be curious about the language
The relationship between language & culture
What people are missing about the political dialogue around China
What is fluency and what does it mean to Adam?
Fluency vs. Efficiency
Adam’s experience being a bilingual tour guide
Chinese tour group’s reputation for being culturally insensitive
Humility in Chinese culture
A funny story about a motorcycle gang meeting a Chinese tour group
Chinese parents’ laissez-faire attitude towards children in public places
Adam minimum daily habits for learning
…and much more!

Thanks again to Adam for joining us.