I decided to learn mandarin. I found out Cantonese is used by less and less people although the parents of my girlfriend speak Cantonese. But she told me even in HK, more and more people start to speak mandarin. She also suggest me to learn mandarin in Beijing because there is no good enough mandarin teachers in UK. Most of mandarin teachers in UK are not professional. They generally immigrated to UK with their husband or married with British people. Because they cannot find formal job position in UK, they decide to make money through teaching Chinese. I do not think they are professional, but I also have no time and money to go to Beijing. How should I do? Maybe e-learning is ok. But I do not think course ware and podcast mp3 is enough, I need to learn conversation, not only listening. I also hope to find an official mandarin school to get a certificate, not small and private one. I found too many private sites or individuals to teach Chinese on Instant messenger. They are not good.