Contest: Name the Book I Wrote

I just completed writing the manuscript for a book on how to learn spoken Mandarin Chinese. The only thing missing at this point is the title. That’s where you come in. I’ve got the subtitle (see below), but I would love to hear your ideas for catchy, suitable, and generally makes-everyone-who-sees-this-book-want-to-buy-it kinds of titles. In fact, since you’re going to be doing me a huge favor, and spending a lot of creative energy, I’d even be willing to make it worth your while. How about we have a little contest:



  1. Contestants may submit title suggestions in the comments section of this post until I close the comments for this post.
  2. Comments will close at Beijing Time 12:01 AM, Friday, Aug 24 (which is Pacific Time 9:01 AM, Thursday, Aug 23).
  3. Contestants may submit multiple titles in the same comment or in separate comments (so keep thinking).
  4. If two duplicate titles are submitted by different contestants, the first person to submit it will be considered that title’s “creator.”
  5. Any titles submitted that appear to be irrelevant to the book or inappropriate for this contest will be deleted.
  6. After Phase 1 is finished and the titles have all been submitted, I will choose my favorite ones and create a new blog post with some sort of voting poll (does anyone know a good one for WordPress?). We will all vote on our favorite title.
  7. After the results of the voting are in I will choose the title I would like to put on the cover of my book and announce the winner on this site.

The Prize:

  • If you are the creator of a title that has been posted in the comments section of this website that ends up making it onto the cover of the book when it gets published, I’ll announce your name on this website AND you’ll get a free copy of the book. So please, include your real email address and name as you want it to appear when submitting your entries. Your email address will NOT be made public.
  • Subscribe to receive email updates or RSS updates including the beginning of the voting phase and the ultimate winner.

About the Book:

I thought it would help get your creative juices flowing if I told you a little bit about the book you’re trying to name.

It contains tips and strategies for learning spoken Mandarin Chinese, some of which are already published on this blog. The book and accompanying CD set don’t get into learning the hanzi characters at all (but they’re included of course). The sentence examples and vocabulary in this book are all chosen for maximum usefulness using common vocabulary that reflects the way people in China really talk every day. The CD recordings are of male and female native speakers pronouncing vocabulary and sentence examples. A few examples of my blog posts that have been included are:

So now the only thing left to do is imagine what text belongs between the brackets:

[Title Here]

Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

By Albert Wolfe

(I’ll take out the word “Chinese” from the subtitle if it appears in the main title).

64 Replies to “Contest: Name the Book I Wrote”

  1. First of all, I have been following this blog for a few months now and though I’m stuck at the beginner’s level in Chinese, I recognised a lot of situations and felt encouraged by realising I wasn’t the only one struggling. So thanks Albert for keeping my spirits up when I didn’t feel like trying to learn Chinese any more.

    As for title suggestions:

    1. Unravelling the secrets of Chinese (or Unravelling the Chinese secret)
    2. Conquering the Great Wall
    3. Breaking through the Great Wall (2 and 3 meant to be metaphorical)
    4. Beyond the chopsticks
    5. (Get ready to) Order your own food!

    Personally I wouldn’t opt for a title in Chinese. The course books I have now have Chinese titles and because of that it took me about 1.5 years to discover the local bookstores actually had courses for Chinese learners…

  2. “When Mandarin goes beyond the Orange”
    “Ping Pong, or as the Chinese say…”
    “Chinese Chops”
    “Mandarin Chops”
    “Mandarin Chopsticks”

    Good luck Albert. Seems like quite a task to choose!

  3. Albert,

    Remember when Munish broke the window? Anyway, here’s my two cents –

    885 Million People Use It, So Can You: Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

    The Most Popular Language in the World: Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

    Become a Translator: Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

    – Brad S.

    The Second Most Popular Language on the Internet: Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

    Homegrown Mandarin: Tips and Strategies for Learning to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese

  4. 1. the title: “平上去入” (píng shǎng qù rù –the basic tones in Chinese)

    2. Do you have Chinese tongue twisters in your book? That’s also a good way of practicing Chinese.

    Good luck!

  5. ABC I Can Speak Chinese
    The ABC’s to Speaking Chinese
    I Learned! So Can You.
    From English to Chinese