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

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.

Continue reading

Culture Shock

IMG_1788

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.

Continue reading