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
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
Above you will see an advertisement from the back of a bus stop just outside of the U-Town shopping center. The poster shows two shop owners not accepting cash, stating they prefer customers use their digital wallets (不收现金). The poster was sponsored by the People’s Bank of China (中国人民银行) and interestingly at a time when the … Read moreFormal Mandarin Chinese (五道口 banner example)
Some of my best childhood memories are of going to hockey games in the winter time. My friends and I used to drive up to the local university on Friday nights to catch the game. Sitting in the bleachers, we ate popcorn while we watched big hits, slap shots, and good ol’ fashion hockey fights. … Read moreCan the NHL Help Ice Hockey Grow in China?
Today in Chinese class we came across a news article which showed a young man with 11 older sisters. Quite the big family, but not especially newsworthy. Why then did we read the article? In turns out that the eleven sisters recently bought their younger brother a house in Shanxi, China. Of course, we all … Read moreWould You Buy Your Brother a House?
The word 中国通 (zhongguo tong) means “China hand” or “China watcher” in Mandarin. It’s a combination of 中国 (zhongguo – China) and 通 (tong – to know well). The three characters, when combined together, create the meaning of one who knows China well, i.e. a “China hand”. Today it’s still used to describe foreigners in … Read moreIs the Term “China Hand” Still Relevant for Foreigners in China Today?
I always get surprised when I hear someone complain about their English very articulately. Normally, I have been speaking to the person for a while, perhaps even in deep conversation. “What do you mean?” I inevitably respond. “I think your English is great. Sure, you could probably work on your tenses and gender usage, but … Read moreFall in Love with Communication, Forget About Grammar
Do you know how to refer to your maternal grandmother in Chinese? It depends on who you ask. One way to say it is 外婆 (waipo). The first character, 外 (wai), means outside. The second character, 婆 (po), means grandmother. The two characters come together to mean your “outside grandmother”, as in traditional Chinese culture the women goes … Read moreThe Difference Between 外婆 and 姥姥 In Chinese
By all records and opinions, China has developed quite fast over the past forty plus years. Starting in 1978 with Deng Xiaoping’s famous market reforms, the country has maintained an annual GDP growth of 9% on average. In fact, if you were to compare a modern Chinese city (commonly referred to as “first-tier”) with one … Read more40 Years of Reform and Opening up in China – the Importance of Perspective
Will Digital ELL Products Eat Print? A lot of people believe that digitization is going to destroy print. But is that really true, at least in the context of the ESL industry? Recently, I came upon a report by Ambient Insight (now Metaari), which forecasted the outlook of Digital ELL products from 2015-2020. In this … Read moreWill Digital ELL Products Eat Print?