Cool World Language Stats Graphics

(I… can’t… quite… remember how to use my blog… Oh yes. It’s coming back to me now. I type here, right?) I saw this fun article “The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts” from the Washington Post today and wanted to mention it. Notice where Chinese shows up in each graphic, for example: It was also fun […]

Another Facelift for the Blog

It appears that every 7 years or so (that often?!), I update my blog’s appearance. This new layout, while feeling a bit… umm… “thick” to me, actually works much better for mobile devices so all my readers with smart phones (aka me and my mom) can enjoy all the non-stop action of this blog while […]

Free Hanzi Reader for your Smart Phone Camera

Yesterday a friend showed me Waygo, an app that uses your camera to read hanzi off menus in restaurants, etc. (By the way, that feature is called an OCR = Optical Character Recognizer.) What impressed was that it’s free! Here’s the catch: you get “10 daily translations” with an optional paid upgrade to “unlimited translations for […]

Video of Q & A Broadcast with Yangyang

As I mentioned before, on July 17 Yangyang and I did a live broadcast answering viewers’ questions about learning Chinese. We had a GREAT time (and I hope the viewers did too). Just so you know how the technology works: viewers type in their questions, and then other viewers can vote for the questions they like […]

Why I Love Laokang Lookup for iPhone

Yesternight, I was on the bus and saw this fairly typical sign: I’ve taken this same bus lots of times, but never really paid attention to this sign. I found I could read every character except the one I’ve circled in blue. I also couldn’t use my usual trick of guessing from the context (because this […]

Five Two Zero So Much

The month of May sports one of what I call (for the first time) “fakie-sounding pun-tastic number-slang days”: 5/20. (Here’s a Baidu link so you know I’m not making it up.) May 20th, pronounced in Chinese as “wǔ èr líng” 五二零 is supposed to sound like “wǒ ài nǐ” 我爱你 (“I love you”). As best as […]

The 5th Skill: Handwriting

WARNING: This article is an explanation of the footnote in my conceptual breakdown of foreign language teaching. It’s really written more for language teachers and testers than learners. Language instruction is typically divided into four skills: 4 Skills for Most Foreign Languages Aural Visual Reception Listening Reading Production Speaking Writing But for learning Chinese, the […]