Favourite Mistakes

Slide4Yes, we all enjoy having a giggle over the myriad of ‘Chinglish’ mistakes we see all around us in China. I myself was posting a picture of a menu offering “catch-up sauce” when it occurred to me: what about the other way around? Do our mistakes in Chinese get laughed about? So I investigated the most common and the most embarrassing mistakes made by foreigners and have distilled my favourites into a nice list below – over which you are welcome to ‘LYFAO’. Continue reading

Foreigner Faux Pas: Too Many Words (2)

Continuing on from the last article where we dealt with the tempting trap of adding too many articles and too many ‘的’s to your Chinese sentences, this article will look at how to whittle your sentences down to sheer succinct masterpieces, just like a real native speaker. Continue reading

Chinese Feats: Olof and Gamification

There are some people who have really made friends with the Chinese language and it comes out of them so naturally that you need a double-take to make sure they are not Chinese. I was so inspired by these people’s ability that I decided to interview them for some tips and wisdom to help the rest of us on our journey towards fluency. 

Name: Olof
Nationality: Sweden
Learning Chinese for: 7 years (on and off, mainly self-taught)
Chinese Proficiency: HSK5-6 Continue reading

Chinese Feats: Bjorn and Traditional Chinese

There are some people who have really made friends with the Chinese language and it comes out of them so naturally that you need a double-take to make sure they are not Chinese. I was so inspired by these people’s ability that I decided to interview them for some tips and wisdom to help the rest of us on our journey towards fluency. 

Name: Bjorn
Nationality: South Africa
Learning Chinese for: 9 years (on and off)
Chinese Proficiency: Fluent Continue reading

Chinese Feats: Rebecca and Raspberries

There are some people who have really made friends with the Chinese language and it comes out of them so naturally that you need a double-take to make sure they are not Chinese. I was so inspired by these people’s ability that I decided to interview them for some tips and wisdom to help the rest of us on our journey towards fluency. 

Name: Rebecca
Nationality: USA
Learning Chinese for: 10 years (on and off)
Chinese Proficiency: Fluent Continue reading

The Acupuncturist

photo-3Half Thai, half Mauritian, living in China, Jade is mastering her fifth language with the help of her Bolivian boyfriend, and works as a sort of freelance acupuncturist. She basically makes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) more accessible to foreigners by administering in-home treatments and saving them from the hassle and confusion of a visit to a local hospital. Genius.

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Culture Shock

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First milestone reached: six months in China. What does that feel like? What am I supposed to feel? Acclimatised? Adapting to a new culture, apparently, is supposed to happen in stages:

Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage

When you first arrive in a new culture, differences are intriguing and you may feel excited, stimulated and curious. Like any new experience, there’s a feeling of euphoria when you first arrive and you’re in awe of the differences you see and experience. You feel excited, stimulated, enriched.

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