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”?

Tea Chart: Classifying Teas by Fermentation

Here is a “tea chart” created by a friend from work. It’s goal is to separate tea types by percentage of fermentation, which is a chemical process brought about from exposure to heat and oxygen. Useful Mandarin 绿茶 – green tea 红茶 – black tea / red tea 黑茶 – black tea If you thought … Read moreTea Chart: Classifying Teas by Fermentation

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

Mandarin Vocabulary: “消费降级” Consumption Downgrade

Today’s Mandarin language point is 消费降级. 消费 (xiāofèi – to consume) + 降级 (jiàngjí – to downgrade) = 消费降级 (xiāofèi jiàngjí – consumption downgrade).  From a cultural perspective, the phrase 消费降级 symbolizes the current idea business/economic climate in China; i.e. the cooling off of the Chinese economy. As of writing today, the Shanghai Composite Index … Read moreMandarin Vocabulary: “消费降级” Consumption Downgrade

Language Learning Documentation: Translating an App Notification

Interested in learning a language outside of the traditional, sugarcoated world of textbooks and classrooms? Why not try using your phone? Today I used a notification from the update of my bank app as an opportunity to study some more Chinese (note: bank is 农业银行 – Agriculture Bank of China). I’ve documented my translation process … Read moreLanguage Learning Documentation: Translating an App Notification

Tea and Tea House Culture

One of the coolest parts about living in China is the opportunity to refine your tea drinking palate. Although I still haven’t given up coffee completely, there are lots of interesting, different types of teas which I’ve come to know since moving here. One type which is relatively unknown in the U.S. is pu’er (普洱茶). … Read moreTea and Tea House Culture