Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sums up how I feel about Mandarin

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Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sums up how I feel about Mandarin

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this language and I love every waking moment I can dedicate to it. However – former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd one of my greatest Australian heroes – sums up – so perfectly – how I (often) feel about learning Chinese. Recently a video was leaked onto YouTube that [...]


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I’m not procrastinating! I’m using Chinesepod.com

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I’m not procrastinating! I’m using Chinesepod.com

A short while ago a tweet by @JonAndyMills caught my eye: Tip for learning foreign languages: stop wasting time endlessly searching for tips and pick up one of the many resources you’ve already got. A very wise tip indeed. I think we can all relate to this (especially if you’re on Twitter). I’ve been subscribed [...]


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What’s in a Chinese name?

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What’s in a Chinese name?

Before you choose a Chinese name it’s probably a good idea to understand how you might use it in China – and when and how it would be useful to have a Chinese name. As far as I am concerned, these are some of the reasons you should consider getting a Chinese name: You’ll often [...]


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Heaven and hell with Heisig – 800 hanzi update

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Heaven and hell with Heisig – 800 hanzi update

Just because I’ve been quiet doesn’t mean I have lost interest. And just because my title indicates such extreme opposites does not mean this post is going to discredit any previous opinions I had about Heisig – but I had to make you wonder, didn’t I? How else would I get you to read this [...]


By peckishlaowai | Category: Heisig, Learning Mandarin Tags: , , , , ,
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The ups and downs of tīng bù dǒng moments

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‘Tīng bù dǒng’ or 听不懂 – the most comforting phrase I know in Mandarin Chinese – yet the one I despise the most. The phrase I always revert to when my listening skills have failed me – failed me completely with the most basic of sentences. This “safe” phrase – is one that has the [...]


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The concept of “fluency” in Mandarin

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Like every other Mandarin learner I dream of becoming a “fluent” Mandarin Chinese speaker, but this goal can seem pretty unattainable and daunting if not broken down into smaller achievable milestones. You can also dream as much as you want about it but if you have no plan of action and no regularity in your [...]


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Heisig 500: Why penguins rule and Lucy Liu ain’t my taskmaster

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Some progress with Heisig - being able to recognise characters that was just a blur before...

If you stumbled upon this page and you had no prior context you’d probably be wondering just what the heck this post is about. And if you’ve visited this blog before you’d be excused if you were still baffled by the title – but be baffled no more – I’VE JUST REACHED MY 500th HANZI [...]


By peckishlaowai | Category: Heisig, Learning Mandarin Tags: , , , , ,
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Heisig: 399 hànzì strong…

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Heisig: 399 hànzì strong…

Ok so this is where it’s at – I’ve studied 399 simplified Chinese characters using the Heisig & Richardson book – “Remembering Simplified Hanzi: Book 1, How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Chinese Characters”.. (I had reached 225 characters by the end of late September – see this post if you’re interested [...]


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What’s the worst that can happen?

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Tomatoes or fānqié (xīhóngshì) 番茄(西红柿)

The comments in the last post ‘Accidental conversations in Mandarin’ inspired the post for this week ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ when having/starting conversations in Mandarin – a question posed to me by Greg from Mandarin Segments. In my last post I also mentioned that I met a Chinese lady on the bus who [...]


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Accidental Conversations in Mandarin

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Accidental Conversations in Mandarin

In China I didn’t hesitate too much when it came to starting conversations in Mandarin – as long as I sort of had the vocab for the scenario I would have given it a go. There are several reasons for this: firstly in China it’s the expected thing to try and speak the language if [...]


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