How to Choose Your Chinese Name

Obtaining a proper name is something every Chinese self-studier has to deal with before they use mandarin abroad. This is imperative because Western names are inherently toneless and clash with the Chinese phonology. Many people try to come up with their Chinese name on their own, but this almost always results in a strange sounding/looking,Continue reading “How to Choose Your Chinese Name”

The 4 Best Methods for Memorizing Vocabulary

The biggest headache for those learning a new language is certainly the amount of vocab that has to be memorized. Perhaps you’re learning words one day and forgetting them all the next. Maybe you’re learning a bunch of vocabulary but actually have no idea how to properly use it. It can be frustrating feeling likeContinue reading “The 4 Best Methods for Memorizing Vocabulary”

Learning Japanese After Chinese

Ever since coming back to America from studying/working/生活ing in Taiwan, I’ve been looking to move to a new country where I don’t know the local language. I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been selected to become an ALT with the JET Program in Japan! This is going to be a big challenge for meContinue reading “Learning Japanese After Chinese”

The Truth About Zhuyin

There are several reasons why you would want to use zhuyin instead of pinyin. However, I’ve seen pretty much everyone point out the wrong reasons. For example, people say it is a more accurate portrayal of Chinese pronunciation. This is kind of true, but if pronunciation is an issue for you, that has nothing toContinue reading “The Truth About Zhuyin”

What It’s Like Learning Chinese at the ICLP in Taiwan

From February to August of 2019 I studied for one academic year at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University. Individual student experiences of the program are hard to come by, so in this post I will outline in full what it was like for me during those seven months.  First, some infoContinue reading “What It’s Like Learning Chinese at the ICLP in Taiwan”

My ICLP Final Presentations

The following presentations were given at the end of the level 4 and 5 courses at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University. Final presentations are required assignments to prove successful study of the grammar points and vocabularly studied during the semester. Every level is required to give a final presentation. The trickyContinue reading “My ICLP Final Presentations”

The Top 100 Chinese Surnames in China and Taiwan

Unlike European languages, it can be difficult in Chinese to know when a character is representing its actual meaning, or if it is simply part of someone’s name. This can be particularly annoying for the learner because Chinese has no uppercase or spaces between characters. For this reason, names are an important type of vocabularyContinue reading “The Top 100 Chinese Surnames in China and Taiwan”

My Advice for Study Abroad

Studying abroad can be a very important step in one’s language learning journey. The benefits of being in a native environment are invaluable, but the cost of going abroad can be quite steep. Based on my own experience, I’ve come to a conclusion about when to study abroad, and for how long. Should you goContinue reading “My Advice for Study Abroad”

Ever Wondered Why Learning Chinese Is so Hard?

The difficulty of learning Chinese is twofold, but has nothing to do with any aspect of Chinese writing, speaking, listening, or reading. Furthermore, the two reasons why Chinese is hard have nothing to do with the intellect, or discipline of the learner. So why is Chinese hard? The two reasons are: Chinese language education isContinue reading “Ever Wondered Why Learning Chinese Is so Hard?”

The Best Way to Learn Chinese: Mastery of the 4 Skills

The most common questions I get asked about learning Chinese are as follows: Q: What’s the best way to learn Chinese?A: Watch people speak Chinese. Q: What’s the best way to learn characters?A: This is a vague question. Q: How long does it take to become fluent?A: Depends on how you define fluent. These questionsContinue reading “The Best Way to Learn Chinese: Mastery of the 4 Skills”