Life-sized, Blue, and Completely Plastic

At the entrance of the grocery store is a life-sized, plastic blue hippo. Next to the statue, a young man stands half-erect, staring at the floor. As I walk into the grocery store, my gaze pauses on the young man. Ostensibly, he was hired to watch over the entrance. But, in fact, he seems more … Read moreLife-sized, Blue, and Completely Plastic

Proficiency in the Four Arts: 琴棋书画,样样清通

The saying “qing, qi, shu, hua” (琴棋书画) refers to the four ancient arts of guqin, chess, literature, and painting. This phrase is also used in the saying “qing, qi, shu, hua, yang yang qing tong”  (琴棋书画,样样清通), and can be translated as “proficiency in the four arts of guqin, chess, literature, and painting is to be … Read moreProficiency in the Four Arts: 琴棋书画,样样清通

Beijing Daxing International Airport: Worthy of Speculation

There are approximately 137 Starbucks in Beijing International Airport, but only two inside of Terminal 3: the waiting area for international flights (1). In Terminal 2, there are none. How do I know this, well, because I like to drink coffee when I write. That’s just one example of how Beijing’s main international hub has … Read moreBeijing Daxing International Airport: Worthy of Speculation

Soviet-Style Messaging on University Campus in Beijing

I took the picture of the above slogan “为祖国健康工作五十年” on the fence next to the track at China Geology University in Wudaokou, Beijing. The phrase can be translated as “work for 50 years to keep our country healthy”. This is a great example of the soviet-style messaging that I’ve been noticing more and more of … Read moreSoviet-Style Messaging on University Campus in Beijing

Does Mandarin Have a “Soul”?

If you try to translate the word “soul” into Mandarin, then you might find it particularly difficult. In fact, you’d be right to think that it’s downright impossible because there doesn’t actually seem to be a direct translation for the word. I came upon this translation problem one day at work, when looking over an … Read moreDoes Mandarin Have a “Soul”?

Blogging to Learn: How to Leverage a Blog as a Learning Tool 

Today we are able to read countless personal blogs on the internet. However, it’s important to remember that readers don’t consume blogs like they might a book or a magazine article. More often than not, a reader will probably find a blog they enjoy, bookmark it, and return every once in a while to see … Read moreBlogging to Learn: How to Leverage a Blog as a Learning Tool 

Translating the Mandarin Word for Festivals: 节日

The English word “holiday” is seemingly not that complicated − simply two words, “holy” and “day”, stuck together. However there are differences between the way the word is used in American English and British English. In American English, we normally reserve the term for a religious or culturally significant day; while in British English it can be … Read moreTranslating the Mandarin Word for Festivals: 节日