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”

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”

Should You Learn Traditional or Simplified Characters?

Simplified or traditional? This is a choice that can appear almost identity defining for Chinese learners. There are a couple reasons why someone might consider studying traditional characters instead of simplified and I will certainly list them in this article. However, I believe for almost all learners it is best to start with simplified characters,Continue reading “Should You Learn Traditional or Simplified Characters?”

Rock Climbing Terms in Chinese

My sources for this list come from Chinese language forums, blogs, and videos. Terms without any Chinese are probably ones where you would only use the English but I’m interested to see if anybody has Chinese equivalents for those ones that are blank. As you can see, there can be differences between the mainland termContinue reading “Rock Climbing Terms in Chinese”

How Do You Actually Learn Chinese Characters?

There are two questions new Chinese learners often ask when they start their journey into mastering Chinese characters. These questions are as follows… What characters should I learn? How do I learn them? The first question is relatively simple to answer. I recommend learners consult the HSK vocabulary lists to start learning the most commonContinue reading “How Do You Actually Learn Chinese Characters?”