In the summer of 2018, I moved to Shanghai and back then I only planned to stay maybe two years in China, so I didn’t consider it necessary to learn Chinese. In Shanghai, it’s OK to get by without speaking Mandarin. You either point at pictures or show the translated sentence on your phone. For […]
All the Chinese I encountered in two weeks in the Netherlands. 1. This is a Chinese store near my former high school, named after the Chinese city Wenzhou (温州). When I entered, the owner was calling (via WeChat) with his family in China and later we spoke about living in China and the Netherlands (he’s […]
Reading ”A Trip to Mountain West Village“ with my GoEast Mandarin teacher Lilia. A poem about hardship; the road is difficult, but suddenly you arrive in a village.
Here’s a tiny story in Mandarin, about the first astronaut in space (第一个在宇宙中宇航员). From ‘The strange ticking sound‘, based on a scene mentioned in the 2011 movie Another Earth. More about learning Mandarin at GoEast here.
(This was my speech at GoEast‘s 10th anniversary, Saturday 22 October in Shanghai.) So if you are a bit like me you probably brush your teeth every day. Twice a day, maybe thrice. And the thing with brushing my teeth is, I don’t particularly like it. I don’t hate it either, I just do it […]
After 3,5 years of Mandarin classes I took to Taobao to buy a gaming console to play Pokémon LeafGreen from 2004: 口袋妖怪-绿叶. Here I take you through the process and adventure of learning new words and catching Pokémon. Google spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GhwzcucQiNB0QzTtAa7mc_Y_16YF0r1Ic9WH1ofS_tA/edit?usp=sharing Spreadsheet tip: – For Chinese to English, use a formula such as =GOOGLETRANSLATE(A1,”zh-CN”,”en”) – […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]