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The strange ways some Chinese act around foreigners

This is a video post about the unusual habits that some Chinese people have when they come across foreigners. To switch on English subtitles, click on the CC button at the bottom of the video window.

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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 […]

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1000 tastes of China – 1. Peking Duck

Vocabulary 北京烤鸭 běijīng kǎoyā – Peking duck 半只鸭 bàn zhī yā – half a duck 鸭汤 yā tāng – duck soup 东坡龙利鱼 dōngpō lónglìyú – braised sole fish with sauce 豆泡烧娃娃菜 dòu pào shāo wáwácài – Chinese baby cabbage with tofu in sauce 豆腐 dòufu – tofu 娃娃菜 wáwacài – Chinese baby cabbage 脆皮 cuìpí […]

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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 […]

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Tips for remaining calm when speaking a foreign language

Controlling your anxiety and remaining calm is a crucial factor that determines how well you can speak a foreign language. Second language acquisition expert Stephen Krashen has also argued this point and it is also something that I have found from my own experience. Anybody who has taken an oral test in a language may […]

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10 Things You Need to Know About Chinese Characters

1) There are perhaps 50,000 Chinese characters in existence; but most of them are so rare you never see them. 3000 characters should pretty much cover you for modern Chinese. 2) It is not accurate to talk about drawing Chinese characters, or to think of them as pictures. They are written, stroke by stroke. There […]

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Is it possible for an English speaker to speak Chinese fluently?

Mandarin Chinese and the other dialects of Chinese are very different linguistically from English, which makes them challenging for English speaking learners. However, it is completely possible for a learner to get to a level of high fluency or near native fluency in Chinese, regardless of what age you start learning. In some of my […]

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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 […]

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Which is easier to learn, Chinese or Japanese?

People often compare Chinese to Japanese because they are both East Asian languages and both languages include Chinese characters. It is debatable which is easier or more difficult to learn. The big challenges with Chinese are pronunciation: Mandarin has four tones and Cantonese has six tone contours, and Chinese characters, you have to learn a […]

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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 […]

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