As August draws to a close, Ghost Month also comes to an end. To celebrate this ~haunting~ month, we are going to showcase four fantastic ghost stories from the famed Pu Songling. Pu published a collection of ghost stories in the early 1700’s and today, these stories remain some of the most well-known supernatural tales in Chinese culture.
Read more to learn about how this anthology came about and our picks for the top four ghost stories! Continue reading →
When you think of Valentine’s Day, you probably think of roses, chocolate, heart decor everywhere.… or the alternative: a bitter hatred of the holiday and all the sappy reminders of love around you.
So you are probably wondering: what the heck is up with Chinese Valentine’s Day? Why does the picture above have a bird on it against a starry sky? Well for starters: throw your understanding of Western Valentine’s Day out the window. Chinese Valentine’s Day doesn’t take in February. It take’s place on the seventh day of the seventh moon of the Lunar Year… or today, August 20th, 2015. The holiday is rich with mythology and tradition, with an origin tale dating back two thousand years ago to the Han Dynasty.
Read to learn why this holiday take place, how Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated, and key vocabulary for the day.
When I was eight years old, my grandma asked me where I wanted to go for vacation that summer. Although I was born and raised in the United States, I quickly replied “China!” Unfortunately, traveling across the globe wasn’t in the cards that summer, but my family soon realized how Asian culture had sparked my imagination.
Fast forward nearly thirteen years, and I’m still obsessed with China. The food, history, culture, and of course the language are all so fascinating. With over 1.3 billion people, China holds major influence in our ever-changing world. When I entered my freshman year of high school, I registered for a Mandarin class to get more connected to this significant portion of the global community. I’m happy to say that Asian Studies with a concentration in Mandarin is now my major at college, and I’m hoping to finally visit Asia sometime this year.
That’s why I’m so grateful for ChinesePod. As I’ve continued on my language learning journey, it can be frustrating to forget what I’ve been taught at school. In so many ways ChinesePod has been an invaluable resource, but read more to find out the top three ways that ChinesePod has helped me master Mandarin!
1. Keeps me focused
Language is tricky, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the new information. Even though I’ve been studying Mandarin for a number of years, I still feel like a beginner most of the time. Vocabulary, dialogues, and classroom lessons often go in one ear and out the other – not to mention how difficult it is to have a consistent language learning practice when you don’t live in the native country. For this reason, having ChinesePod with their comprehensive lesson library keeps me on track and allows me to remain on top of my Mandarin studies.
2. Learn language that makes sense for me
Another reason ChinesePod has been so useful, is that they have courses that are so specific that I’m able to gain valuable exposure to a range of topics. After I finish undergrad next year at Wayne State University, I’m going to move on to law school. I’ve often thought about how wonderful it would be to specialize in legal translation in order to maintain my rich connection with Mandarin. I’m also a yoga teacher, and I dream of someday being able to teach a yoga class in Chinese. ChinesePod has so many specific lessons, quite a few of them covering situations that allow me to learn Mandarin that aligns with my life ambitions and dreams. I feel so prepared heading into my future with these tools at my fingertips.
3. Deepens my cultural understanding
As I mentioned earlier, China is a largely significant player on the world stage. It is also home to beautiful art, delicious food, and a rich history. Knowing how to speak the language can only enhance one’s cultural and historical understanding. Learning Mandarin with ChinesePod means that I’m able to learn more about Chinese cuisine, traditions, and how a Mandarin speaker might think. That way when I finally visit China, or just am at my local Chinese restaurant I know what I want to try first hand.
I’m currently reading “Debating China: The US-China Relationship in Ten Cultural Conversations” by Nina Hachigian. In the book they discuss the very complex relationship that exists between the East and West, and how there is a mutual distrust between the US and China on many fundamental issues. A large part of this misunderstanding boils down to simply failing to grasp other cultures. That’s the biggest reason I’m grateful for ChinesePod: I feel like I am slowly eroding that cultural miscommunication by learning more Chinese. There is so much more to learn, but the beauty of experiencing China as a Mandarin speaker is just waiting to be had. Thank you ChinesePod for helping me take full advantage of that opportunity!
Scroll down for an infographic on how ChinesePod can help you discover the treasure of learning Mandarin! Don’t miss the exclusive offer at the bottom of page.
Anyone who does business in China will come across the word “Guanxi” ［关系／關係］ sooner than later. Guanxi is one of those words in Chinese that can only be explained conceptually — it does not translate directly to the English language. It essentially refers to the interpersonal networks of people one builds that helps them succeed in business. There is a saying in Chinese: duō yīgè péngyǒu, duō yītiáo lù; this means ‘to have one more friend, to have one more way’.
Read more for a brief cultural explanation and five tips on how to achieve the elusive Guanxi.
If you own a tablet and enjoy using the ChinesePod.com website, why not study your lessons on the built in browser. Our website is responsive which means that no matter the screen size or orientation, all the elements should fit nicely.
In today’s video I take you on a quick guide using my iPad mini 1st gen showing you that the experience is identical to using the site on the desktop.
Why not give it a try and see if you prefer this tactile way of studying Chinese
Tap on any word to show translation
drag and drop exercises
Listen to audio in the background (even if browser is closed)
Fast and responsive
Did you like it?
Why not save the page to your home screen for easy opening.
For those who don’t know — a Reddit AMA is an open “Question and Answer” session that takes place on Reddit (AMA=Ask Me Anything). Two weeks ago, we opened up our laptops and held our own AMA on the Chinese Language subreddit. The questions ranged from “How does one improve listening skills?” to “How do you pronounce Gwilym?” It was a great opportunity for us to directly communicate with the Chinese language learning community and we plan to continue these AMA sessions monthly… subscribe to our Facebook Events to get notifications on when a session is coming up!
In the meantime, read more for our six favorite questions from the session with extended answers for this blog! Also, don’t miss the exclusive Promo Code for a free month of our Annual Premium Subscription on ChinesePod at the end of the post. Continue reading →
Chinese cuisine has a history that is steeped in tradition. These traditions vary as you move across the land; influenced by the diverse geography and available resources. China being as big as it is has nearly infinite options for what you may find, even on a village-to-village basis. Even with so many different traditions, eight stood above the rest and today are classified as the Eight Cuisines of China. Read more to find out key information about each cuisine, useful vocabulary words and, of course, a delicious recipe for you to have a go at these delicious traditions.
Twenty-two years after the original Jurassic Park hit cinema screens, the highly anticipated reboot of the popular tale, named Jurassic World, is set to be released this weekend (July 10th in China). But what will they be calling Jurassic World in China? How will you know how to order a ticket for your date without fumbling over the title? Take a look after the jump. Continue reading →
It doesn’t matter if you’re in China for a few days or commute everyday for work: this video post will teach you the essential vocabulary and sentence structures you will need to ride the subway train.
Read more for the full lesson notes, including vocabulary and sentences found in the video. Continue reading →
Chinese cinema is often overlooked by Westerners and this is a serious mistake — the film industry in China is humongous, and offers up options on par with some of your favourite Hollywood movies. Furthermore, watching a movie in Mandarin Chinese is a great way to brush up on your language skills (check out this great post by FluentU on how to learn Mandarin from watching movies). Analyzing the dialogue with the subtitles is an easy way to find colloquialisms that you might use everyday in English, but have no idea how to say in Chinese. We have put together a must-watch list of seven essential movies that you have got to watch… we have also included some Chinese keywords for each film so you can come up with a sentence describing the film.
Write a sentence about your favorite film from the list in Mandarin Chinese in the comments — We will respond with corrections!
Read more to check out the list of 7 Movies in Chinese You Have to See Before You Die.
Mad Max has hit cinemas again after a hiatus of almost 3 decades. In today’s post I’m going to show you what it is called on the cinema posters in China and Taiwan, as well as breaking down the titles and tagline. Continue reading →
In this article I’m going to show how you can read your ChinesePod lessons on your Kindle with just 2 clicks. (You don’t need to own a kindle to do this: The app is available for free on all platforms).
I’ve been a huge fan of the Kindle line of e-readers for a long time, and have owned the Kindle with keyboard for many happy years, but this Christmas I decided to treat myself to a gift, and bought the new flagship model, the Kindle Voyage.I could barley justify the price difference between that and the paperwhite, which looked to have pretty much similar specs on paper, but knowing that Kindles don’t go out of date nearly as quickly as smartphones, and it would be something I would be using on a daily basis, I decided to splash out.
Learning a language can be brutal; especially those that aren’t comprised of Latin letters, which are what native English speakers are most familiar with. Even when it comes to learning a foreign language in school, our choices are often limited to Spanish or French-two languages that essentially use the same alphabet as English.
This is a guest post from friend of the site, Furio of Saporedicina.com. I’ve been a long time fan of Furio’s and it’s a great pleasure to share some of his ideas on our new blog. To read more about Furio, check out this page.
Why is it important to turn your study of Chinese into a habit?
Learning a foreign language requires consistency and Chinese is no exception. Read more to find out what I believe to be the most important piece of advice I can give you for learning Mandarin. Continue reading →
Learning Chinese can be a struggle, especially if you’ve just started out on the path to fluency. The tones, the characters, and the difficult sounds that you might not be familiar with can be a challenge to grasp.
However, once you’ve spent some time learning the basics, next comes reading articles, writing short in-class essays, and even perhaps the ability to understand TV shows and movies.
The cosmopolitan city that never sleeps encompasses all types- young, urban professionals, struggling artists, bewildered tourists thumbing through their guidebooks and a slew of others- a wash of color and culture all blended smoothly together in one of the world’s largest melting pots.
Of course in a city so rich with the vibrancy of variation and individuality, you’re bound to find the voracious learners; those who take great pleasure in the pursuit of knowledge. Read more to hear about the great time we had together!
Taiwan is known for its wide selection of food options. And “wide” doesn’t even cover it. As I outlined in a previous post, the breakfast options alone are quite extensive.
However, the one thing that I’ve heard many people say about food in Taiwan is that it’s sometimes quite greasy. But while this may be true, there are also lots of other options out there if you’d like to be a bit healthier.
Ever wanted to look up a Chinese character quickly and conveniently without disrupting your reading? It’s easy to do on your Mac with a 3 finger tap and it works offline, system wide! Read more to find out this brilliant tip. Continue reading →
Todays post will try and explain how you can study your custom ChinesePod decks in Anki. It will also teach you how to add native audio to each card, and provide an custom template that I have made to help you with your studies. Read more for the full picture tutorial.
The one thing you’ll continuously hear if you visit Taiwan is how good the food is. This is not a lie, and not even some sort of disillusion on the part of a small group of people who just like to eat stinky tofu all day. It’s actually true.
First things first, I LOVE the look of this traditional character for turtle (龜 gūi). I might go as far as saying that it’s my favourite. It almost looks like the special ninja swords (Sai) that Raphael uses. It’s as if all those years back when someone was creating this character, they foresaw a future where turtles would wield ninja swords! Continue reading →
This post was written before it came out in Mainland China since it didn’t get released until some time later. It then got posted on Reddit, and was the #5 ranking article on there. Then it began being mentioned on numerous blog sites* and now
Even the Director of Guardians of the Galaxy has coined my English translation!!!
Two weeks ago we went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, (2014).
It’s a pretty confusing name, especially since the predecessor was called “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” They definitely have too many “of the” in the titles. What will the third one be called? Rise of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes!?
It’s part two of the rebooted franchise, which had already been (badly) attempted by Tim Burton and “Marky Mark” Wahlberg in 2001 which itself was a remake of the 1968 Charlton Heston movie. Continue reading →