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My postponement of Mandarin until I go monolingual with Japanese may have been premature. I think some of the difficulties I had earlier stem from the Pimsleur tapes I was litening to. I do not recommend Pimsleur, but I happened to have a copy anyway so I used it. Pimsleur uses basically the same script for all of its language programs, and I had already completed the Japanese tapes way back in the before time. So the C-E and E-C drills I were doing were exactly the same as the J-E, E-J drills I had done earlier… and I’m sure that was a big factor in my mental confusion.

So to test that theory, I’ve slowly been adding Chinese back into my daily routine. I’ve started with ChinesePod.com newbie lessons, and have been focusing solely on the pronunciation. I’m also listening to the FSI Standard Chinese pronunciation and romanization module. The newbie lessons are simple enough as it is, and not paying attention to the translations is (so-far) preventing any Chinese/Japanese mixups. The FSI tapes have the best explanation of Chinese pronunciation that I have ever found so far. That and John Pasden’s frequency analysis of Mandarin tones.