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

Is the Term “China Hand” Still Relevant for Foreigners in China Today?

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?

40 Years of Reform and Opening up in China – the Importance of Perspective

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

5 Useful Attitudes and Habits to Adopt When Learning Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is a notoriously difficult language to learn. When I first came to China in the summer of 2013 I knew zero Chinese, but still I had hope that I could succeed where other language learners before me had failed. In the beginning I learned the easy stuff. Phrases like “听不懂 (tīng bu dǒng)” … Read more5 Useful Attitudes and Habits to Adopt When Learning Mandarin Chinese

Using Movies to Increase Fluency and Cultural Knowledge

Watching movies in Chinese is a great way to improve your fluency in the language. Similar to learning a language through immersion, this technique forces you to progress via context and setting. If used effectively, this technique will not only increase your listening comprehension, but will also increase your vocabulary and cultural knowledge. How I … Read moreUsing Movies to Increase Fluency and Cultural Knowledge