30 Chinese characters with multiple pronunciations that you should know about

Every Chinese character is pronounced as one syllable. A two character word will be two syllables. Most of the characters in Chinese have just one pronunciation, but there are a few that make life difficult. In this post, I'm going to cover all the common characters that can be pronounced different ways. You don't have to learn them by heart, but if you've been learning Chinese for a while, you might be able to avoid some of the more subtle mistakes by having a look through. Most of Continue Reading

Those Chinese characters that are really easy to get mixed up

Chinese characters are made up of components, which means that you just have to get used to writing the different radicals and parts. But sometimes, when different characters contain the same components, it can make things more confusing rather than easier.... Here are some of the characters that I have found the most 'confusing' characters. I'm explaining them here so you can identify the ones you might have seen, and prevent potential confusion in the future! Don't look at the Continue Reading

How to access the Chinese dictionary on the iPhone/iPad

Another great feature for Chinese learners which is built in to the iPhone is the dictionary. Sure, there are a number of dictionary apps that you can install that have much more advanced capabilities, but for the convenience of looking up words in any application, this is a useful feature! Ever use your phone to read websites or books in a foreign language, but find it impossible because there are too many words you don’t know? Now you can look up words as you go, and do a little reading Continue Reading

The History of China in Less than 20 Minutes

Learn the history of China in both English and Chinese, in under 20 minutes! If you can't see the subtitles, move your mouse over the video and click the 'CC' button at the bottom.   Update May 27, 2014 :   Chinese text added. Translation courtesy of  Wen Guo, Ed.M., University at Buffalo The Chinese often say that their country has a history of more than 5000 years. 中国人常说他们国家有五千多年的历史。 The exact length is open to interpretation, but the earliest archeological records Continue Reading

How to Learn Chinese Fast – My Best Way to Learn Mandarin

Here is my new resource for everybody: how to learn Chinese fast. In the video I  talk about three things. 1)       What resources do you need to study Chinese? 2)       How should you start to learn? 3)       How can you progress?   What resources do you need? A lot of people want to learn Chinese fast, but they pay too much attention to what books, CDs or software they start with, when the most important thing is always getting started. Still, my advice would be try to Continue Reading

How to create a Chinese name for your brand

Ever since China opened up its economy, more and more Western companies have been flooding into the country. Branding in Chinese is an essential element of any Western company’s China strategy, and a big part of this is the decision about what name to use in China. As you can imagine, this can be a crucial. One of the major things I have been involved in over the past few years is helping companies to brand themselves in Chinese, and I can share a few tips with you. The problem is that you Continue Reading

101 Reasons Why Learning Chinese Is Easy

Is learning Chinese hard? An age-old debate among language learners is whether Chinese is exponentially more difficult to learn than other languages. Here are 101 reasons why it is easy to learn to understand, speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese, why there are actually a lot of things in your favour and how there are a lot of tools that can help you. Chinese, like any other language, is just made up of repeated patterns, which can be practised and learnt. Verbs don’t conjugate in Continue Reading

How to Watch Chinese TV Online

Watching Chinese TV online is a great way of increasing your knowledge of China and improving your language skills at the same time. Learners who don’t have so much exposure to the language can watch Chinese TV to keep the language in their heads and make sure they don’t get rusty. Gone are the days when watching Chinese TV online was almost impossible abroad due to buffering and slow speeds. Online streaming services have improved a lot over the past year or so. Here are some websites that I Continue Reading