How to know whether you’ve found a good language teacher

I’ve done over 600 class hours learning Mandarin Chinese, the vast majority with teachers from GoEast, but also with several from other schools, freelance teachers, or simply Chinese people functioning as teacher but without the proper education for it. Throughout these lessons, I’ve been making notes about my learning observations and my relationship with teachers. […]

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Chinese language in The Wire

During the Shanghai lockdown, we took up watching The Wire for the first time. We even joked we were released too soon (after 61 days) because we only finished the final season a few days after our release. We semi-binged it with Chinese Hanzi subtitles, under the guise of making it more educational. It’s interesting […]

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Should you learn Mandarin despite China’s zero covid policy?

There’s a huge overlap between politics, culture, and language. And even though I’d like to focus on the latter, China’s future will also affect many potential Mandarin learners — especially those not in China now, but looking to study or work in China in the future. Regardless of whether you agree with zero covid or […]

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Developing Chinese

Developing Chinese: Advanced Speaking Course 2 review

Firstly, I love the HSK system because it’s clever and introduces compound words/characters really well. In HSK1 you may learn 谢谢Xièxiè (Thank you), in HSK3 觉得Juédé (Think), in HSK4 感谢Gǎnxiè (Thank) and 感觉(Gǎnjué). You can forgive HSK for becoming increasingly written language (especially HSK5 & HSK6). And although I cannot really compare HSK1 to 高级口语, […]

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Learning Chinese at GoEast Mandarin

If you wish to sign up with GoEast, use my referral link and you’ll get 1 free private class when you sign up for a course. In the summer of 2018, I moved to Shanghai and actually, I only planned to stay maybe two years in China, so I didn’t consider it necessary to learn […]

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My first speech in Mandarin

My first speech in Chinese after learning for 3 years with GoEast Mandarin! I didn’t speak perfectly, but I’m pretty satisfied! It’s a bit above my language level, and I rehearsed pretty hard for this, the new vocabulary and sentence structures. This speech was given Saturday 4th of December 2021 in Shanghai — during the […]

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Experience of Spoken Chinese language courses at GoEast Mandarin

This summer, I joined GoEast Mandarin‘s summer intensive course intended for students who finished HSK4. Here’s my brief recap and whether you should do it too. Why Spoken Chinese and not HSK5? Several reasons. First, I live in China, but I don’t need the HSK exam for my visa, nor am I studying at a […]

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9 things I learned about Mandarin and about myself

(Originally written for GoEast Mandarin.) I’m nearly finished with HSK3, starting from zero Mandarin skills just over a year ago. Here are 9 things I learned about language and myself. 1 — Learn to enjoy learning Don’t aim to learn faster and faster. Learn to enjoy learning, then everything else will follow. 2 — Keep […]

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Learning Mandarin isn’t spiritual in itself

Learning Mandarin is often described as something deeply cultural or spiritual. Yes, it’s interesting that the character for home/family (家) originates from a pig underneath a roof, because livestock used to be in every home, or that 目 (eye) coupled the water radical becomes 泪 (tear). But it’s pure trivia, just as interesting as that […]

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