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mandarin

Mandarin Lessons for Your Future Travels

Cover photo by Dongrui Yu

As the Middle Kingdom protects and heals itself during the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to share stories with you of the real people of China – the people that make this country so beautiful. Before we can welcome you back here in person, we want to bring the people to you. These stories illustrate the deep complexity, humanity, and beauty that resides across this vast nation, and we hope that by sharing stories of people with you, you’ll get to know a different side of China. This is #OurChina, from the #PeopleOfChina.

Although we can’t welcome overseas travelers here just yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t share insights into what you can expect when we can show you the Middle Kingdom. Read on the learn more about how Mandarin impacts daily life in China, and get ready to remember some phrases that will make your future journey remarkable. 

Article and photos by Daniel Lal. Follow him on Instagram: @indiandan04

“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is…” – Marcel Proust 

We travel to explore cultures that make our common sense feel not-so-common. We travel to learn that the world can turn differently without falling off its axis. We travel to discover how far from the truth our stereotypes of other cultures are.    

Languages affect cultures, which affect our viewpoints – our conclusions, beliefs, values, and behavior. The way we view a common concept could be completely different in another culture just because of the language we speak. This is a glimpse of Chinese culture through the eyes of its national language. 

Finding Mandarin Within the Daily Chinese Culture

Chūnjié, China’s Spring Festival that is sometimes referred to as the Chinese New Year, is based on the lunar calendar. A moon-based viewpoint of time will be cyclical as the moon goes through its different phases, whereas the solar-based viewpoint of time simply considers whether the sun is up or down. Although modern Chinese culture has no problem understanding the Western linear viewpoint of time, the traditional Chinese concept of time is cyclical. 

Fireworks celebrating the Spring Festival. Image by Daniel Lal

If today is Monday and you ask someone in English, “Are you free on Tuesday?”, they will likely respond: “You mean tomorrow?” Our view of immediate time includes yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Beyond that, we’re pulling out our calendars. 

If today is Monday and you ask someone in Mandarin, “Are you free on Wednesday?”, they will likely respond, “You mean the day after tomorrow?”, and they’ll respond that way for the exact same reason. 

In English, “the day after tomorrow” isn’t a concept that needs to be classified with one word. In Mandarin, each day in a week-long window has its own word: 

This is just one example of how language can affect cultural norms. Here are some other ways that Chinese culture can be seen through Mandarin, and vice-versa. 

Mandarin Moments for Your Travel Photos 

1. Héxié (和谐) – usually translated as “harmony” but generally referring to peaceful coexistence.  

The concept of héxié has thoroughly influenced Chinese culture for centuries. In medicine, it is eating foods that maintain a heat-cold balance. In religious beliefs, it accepts fate as an undeniable universal force. In architecture, it is symmetry in design and with nature.  

Photo: Grab a shot of people interacting with nature, or of a building in a natural setting, some of the clearest versions of héxié you’ll find. 

Woman feeding seagulls. Image by Daniel Lal

2. Jítǐzhǔyì (集体主义) – collectivism, the importance of a group over the individual. 

Chinese culture revolves around a sense of belonging and sharing, so while lumping an individual into a group is potentially offensive for Westerners – for example, nǐmen wàiguórén, literally meaning “you foreigners,” as if we’re all the same – the thinking behind that type of phrase carries no disrespect.   

Photo: Grab a shot of people eating family-style even though they aren’t from one single family.  

3. Xiàoshūn (孝顺) – a high regard for parents and ancestors, roughly translated as “filial piety.”  

It’s said that if a person has to choose between caring for parents or children, they must choose the parents. For this reason, many young parents work long secular hours so they can care both for their children and their parents. As a result, grandparents often raise the children.  

Photo: Grab a shot of grandparents caring for grandchildren, a common sight in China. 

Grandma and granddaughter. Image by Daniel Lal

4. Miànzi (面子) – a word that literally means “face” or “surface” but also implies “appearance” or “reputation.”  

If you say anything at all in Mandarin, your Chinese will receive very high praise because miànzi is important and not necessarily because you’re Mandarin is good (sorry). The compliments elevate you (called giving miànzi), and if you reject the compliment by saying nǎli nali, which literally means “Where? Where?”, implying there is no one within earshot deserving of those compliments, you will increase your miànzi 

Photo: Say ‘hello’ nǐhǎo, then grab a shot of someone excitedly complimenting you, an instance of receiving miànzi. 

5. Rénqing (人情) – the principle behind hospitality and relationship building that involves balance and virtue.   

Most people within Chinese culture are genuinely kind and unselfish, so don’t read this next thought the wrong way: rénqing is a social credit system. The ‘balance’ part is the balance between two parties, not within society. Even when someone does something nice for you without hoping to get something back, the concept of rénqing says you owe them.  

Photo: Grab a shot of street vendors who go out of their way to help someone, hoping for a purchase in return. 

Extra credit: If they say something to you in English, give them miànzi by saying: nǐ de yīngwén hén hǎo, which means “You’re English is good,” even if it isn’t. 

Behold Chinese Culture Through Mandarin Eyes 

To travel is to reach out to other humans and understand the world and its variety of cultures the way they really are. The long and illustrious history of Chinese culture is best understood and appreciated within its original context, so why not read more about the language here before setting yourself the task of learning just a little bit more? 

Get in touch with us today if you’re dreaming of visiting in the future and we can talk you through everything you need to know. If you’re already in China, we can help you to travel sooner, so ask us a question anytime. 

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SUPER EASY to Speak Mandarin Chinese

The most important thing in learning Mandarin language is to have a teacher who can assist you.

Now… Finally… You found your Dream Teacher 梦想老师 !

1. Dedicated Teacher who can ensure you stay committed & inspired

2. Supportive Teacher who is always by your side anytime & anywhere

3. Competent Teacher who can provide systematic & relevant study materials

Lifetime Support Group via Whatsapp (Contact Vincent lao shi+6011-21021332)

Submit your audio files to teacher
– Speak with your classmates
– Ask any question

This content was originally published here.

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Chinese words in English list – Learn Chinese| Tutormandarin

A level Chinese vocabulary list

Ready to learn A LOT of Chinese vocabulary? A large part of learning a new language is just learning the new vocabulary. Chinese vocabulary is no exception. Once you get your pronunciation and tones straightened out, then you’re left with vocabulary and grammar left to do.

Today, we’ll give you a list of HSK1 words to get started with. This is the first level of Chinese. There are a total of 6 HSK levels that each gets successively harder. But, after only 6 levels — you are considered the highest level of Chinese!

Basic Chinese Vocabulary before Advanced Chinese vocabulary

Obviously, you started from basic Chinese first. This is because these words are considered “high-frequency.” You will see them ALL the time and will compose most of your early sentences. However, the other thing to know is that learning words make you more familiar with individual characters. A Chinese word is typically made up of 1 or more Chinese characters. Now, when you get to Advanced Chinese, you will find that the more difficult, more complex words are just a different/longer arrangement of these building block characters. Unlike in English, where you get words like “transphobia” — Chinese words don’t necessarily use complicated prefixes or endings. Just more characters. So, learn your initial characters well, it will serve you in the long run.

How to practice Chinese vocabulary

Obviously, you need to remember these words. Anki is a great resource as well as other flashcard sites like memories. Now, learning through rote memorization is not the only way to do this. You should hopefully be applying these words in context as much as possible.  Only once you can use words in unique, correct Chinese sentences are you really learning them. Plus, this helps with memorization! Being familiar with several examples of each word will give you the context to remember the meaning wherever you go. TutorMandarin has provided 2 examples sentences for each Chinese vocabulary word listed. This is to make sure you have a deep and thorough understanding of each.

List of Chinese vocabulary words

Ok! No further ado. Below is the list of Chinese vocabulary words. These all come from our 1-on-1 Chinese courses where we teach students online in our virtual classroom. You can unlock many of these lessons just be signing up. Also, if you sign up you get one free trial class just for yourself.

Start Learning Chinese Characters Today!

Sign up our free trial to learn Mandarin and download the Chinese App for more Chinese language materials and to learn Mandarin online.

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mandarin

Job Opportunity: Help Thousands Learn Mandarin Chinese by Creating Chinese Learning Videos and Materials

Location: Anywhere
Compensation: Competitive, hourly rate
Employment Type: Freelance, part time
Telecommuting: OK
Title: Chinese Content Editor

Are you passionate about language education?

Do you want to help thousands of users learn Mandarin Chinese?

Do you have a strong understanding of the English and Mandarin Chinese languages and their grammar?

You might be the perfect person for this job!

We are looking for a Mandarin Chinese content editor to create useful and interesting content for our users.

Job Description

Job Requirements

Please note that there will be a test that simulates actual FluentU work, and that also the first 90 days are a trial period. It’s difficult to tell whether we are a good fit without actually working together. (Don’t worry—the trial period is paid, of course!). Passing the trial will result in an ongoing position at our company.

To sum up: This is a chance to take a meaningful role in a startup that is on the cutting edge of language education. Perhaps the best part about working at FluentU is reading the user feedback and seeing what a huge impact you are making on their lives.

What Is FluentU?

FluentU is an online education company that helps people learn languages with real-world videos, including movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. We have a website, iOS app (usually in the top 20-50 grossing iOS education apps), and Android app. Founded in 2011, we’re a profitable, stable company with long-term focus, and we’re proudly self-funded.

FluentU is brought to you by a team of passionate language learners distributed around the world.

What’s It Like to Work at FluentU?

How to Apply

This content was originally published here.

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mandarin

Writing in Chinese Characters: 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children of How to Write Chinese Characters

Writing in Chinese seems like the hardest skill to master, especially for those are not attending any Chinese schools.

But we should not give up on this important skill.

What can we do to help our children start writing Chinese characters?

Today, I would like to share 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children to Write Chinese Characters: from pre-writing activities, recognizing Chinese characters, involve in reading, to using different media for practice, and teach the right stroke order.

There is also a 6-page of Chinese Practice Sheet FREEBIE for you to download at the end of this blog post, so you can start teaching your kids writing in Chinese characters right away.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

* Please scroll down to download a Freebie.

Working on copybooks, completing heavy loads of penmanship homework, and memorizing different passages and paragraphs for dictation was part of my life growing up in Hong Kong.

No one likes learning this way, but, sadly, it seems like this is the only way to learn how to write in Chinese. This problem is always causing headaches for students and their parents.

I know there are no shortcuts for my own kids when it comes to learning Chinese writing: repeated practice is the key.

However, can I make it a more pleasant and bearable experience?

Homeschooling allows me to help each child to learn at their own pace, and to reinforce their learning with different methods, games, and materials.

Today, I would like to share some tips on how I teach my kids to write Chinese characters, and these tips work for both fluent and non-fluent parents.

10 Tips for Teaching Young Children to Write Chinese Characters

Tip #1: Prepare for Success

With pre-writing activities, recognizing Chinese characters, and be your child’s example

Pre-Writing Activities

There are many fun ways we can help our children prepare to write.

To help them strengthen fine motor skills and gain more confidence, your child can prepare to write with pre-writing activities.

For example

  • Scissors skills
  • Shaping play-dough
  • Helping with chores
  • Coloring & painting
  • Tearing paper into shapes
  • Using a tweezer to pick up small objects
  • Using clothespins to clip things together.

* If you want to learn more about pre-writing activities, you won’t want to miss this article from Teaching Mama.

Start Recognizing Basic Chinese Characters

There is no way to learn writing without exposure to Chinese characters. The best and easiest resources are books.

Pick some Chinese books that are clear, big, and easy to read so your child can recognize them easily.

Any type of reading material with any simple Chinese characters will work too: such as flashcards, posters, Chinese labels, photos, and decoration.

The more Chinese characters your children get to see every day, the easier it will be for them to learn how to write them.

Be an Example

Having a role model is essential for children because they love to do what their parents are doing.

Imagine how powerful it will be for your children to watch you practice writing Chinese or calligraphy.

What a great message you are sending to your child by being their example.

Tips #2: Recognizing Chinese Characters’ Structure through Reading

Recognizing Chinese characters always go first, then writing after.

  • Pick out some common words that often appear, read it again and again. After that, you can cover the words and test your child.
  • You also can tell them a little bit about these characters by explaining its meaning, radicals, and strokes.
  • When you are learning a new character with the same radicals or meaning, connect them together, so your child will know how those characters are related, and the differences between them.
  • It’s ok to read bilingual books with both Chinese characters and English in the beginning. However, my kids usually end up focus on reading English instead of the Chinese, so I decided not to read bilingual books, and their Chinese reading has improved since then.
  • Even if you are non-fluent speakers,  don’t avoid reading Chinese books with your kids. Try to follow along with some audiobooks first.

I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to find simple beginning Chinese books, and not everyone can afford that ship them oversea.

I created some Chinese Children’s books that are affordable and easy to make, so you and your child can start learning Mandarin/ Cantonese with them.

As an adult, you can learn much faster than your children, so you will be able to keep up with them.

Tips #3: Use Different Media to Practice Writing

Growing up my teachers only allowed us to use pencils to write because they wanted to make sure we used the correct hand position for writing in order to ensure we had good handwriting in the future.

I’m sure because it’s easier to erase and make corrections.

However, I have learned so many other fun ways to practice writing after I became a homeschooling mom.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you know other ways for kids to practice writing in general?

Tips #4: Correct and Teach the Right Stroke Order

Following the correct stroke orders with exactness is important for developing good handwriting and memorizing characters.

When you follow the incorrect stroke order, it is very hard to correct it later.

If you do not know or remember how to write a Chinese character, it is important to look it up and learn the correct stroke order when you have your child to practice.

Here are some useful tools that I found:

Standard Writing Chinese Guidelines and Stroke Orders

This blog provides a clear picture of all the different types of strokes and the standard guidelines of writing in Chinese.

Even if you don’t know anything about writing Chinese characters, this site will help you learn the different types of strokes, and find the different patterns while learning to write.

Look it up in the Dictionary

This online Chinese-English Dictionary from Arch Chinese allows you to type or copy and paste any Chinese character you want to learn into the search bar.

It will then give you useful information like definition, radical, animated stroke order, stroke count, antonyms, Pinyin, Jyutping, and more.

As you learn more Chinese characters, it will get easier to learn from others.

You will start to see how characters with a similar structure, stroke order, and radicals are related to each other.

This will help you and your child a lot as you contine to learn more Chinese characters.

Tip # 5: Find the Similarities and Differences between Characters

Identifying differences is a basic preschool skill, and it is also a very important skill for them to learn Chinese characters.

As you know, Chinese characters are like building blocks with different parts.

Some characters are built and formed with a left and right part, others are formed from top to the bottom, and some are made from outside to inside.

If we can help children find the similarities and differences between Chinese characters they are learning, it will make more sense to them and help them solidify their knowledge of the Chinese language.

From Radicals

Many characters share a radical, and this often means they have a related meaning.

For example

The words with the mouth radical “口” usually have meanings related to actions we do with our mouths:

From the Formation itself

It’s easier to find and group the same formation together whenever your child is learning new characters.

They will see the similarities and differences between different Chinese characters.

For example

These are the most common formation you will find.

Tip #6: Provide Real-life Reasons to Learn and Write Chinese

It’s important to provide real-life reasons for kids to learn Chinese and its culture because they are going to learning something different than their friends.

I don’t think being a successful businessman or having a good future is a good enough reason to motivate children to learn.

These are the parents’ reasons for having their children learn. If you and your child don’t have a good reason for studying Chinese, now is a good time to think and talk about it together.

For me, the biggest reason is my kids are able to communicate with my parents who don’t speak and write English. T

hen, of course, I would love my kids to embrace who they are from, and open their eyes while they are learning about other cultures and languages.

When we first told our oldest child that she is half Chinese, she was so confused. We tried to tell her that’s why we speak both Cantonese and English, why her grandparents look and speak differently, and why we moved from the U.S. to Hong Kong.

Even though she didn’t completely understand, this knowledge changed her life. Now she knows who she really is, why she is in Hong Kong, and why she is learning two languages. She has started to embrace both languages and cultures in her life.

For my children, their family is a real-life reason to learn Chinese. They can use their Chinese to write birthday cards, love-notes, letters and emails to my parents.

Additionally, if they want to read messages from their grandparents, my kids must know how to read Chinese too. These real-life reasons have helped motivate my children to learn Chinese more seriously.

I know not everyone has the same reasons for having their kids learn Chinese, but it is important to have good reasons that will motivate your children.

What are some of your reasons for your kids to learn Chinese? 

Tip #7: Practice Writing Often

There is no short cut to learning to write in Chinese. Your child must practice and practice, but you should not force them to practice, and the amount of practice should be age-appropriate.

I would say the best way to encourage your child to practice is to have consistent practice time each day.

You could even make a progress chart for your child to check off each day, and they can earn a reward when they complete the chart.

My two youngest children usually go to bed first, so I have about an hour of alone time with my oldest child.

During this time, she picks a quiet activity she wants to do, and I add about 10-15 minutes of writing time to that activity.

For example, I might pick a few Chinese characters from the book we read or some important sight words she needs to learn, and I will teach her how to write those characters.

I also encourage you to practice with your child too.

It’s easier to work hard when someone is doing it with you. Your child won’t feel alone or discouraged if you are practicing with them.

Plus, this will help you understand what your child is going through, and you may come up with easier or better ways to help your child practice.

Tip #8: Give a lot of Praise and Encouragement

We all know having positive feedback is one of the most powerful tools to motivate us to do hard things.

We also know writing Chinese characters is much harder than writing the alphabet. Children will struggle when learning to write Chinese, so we need to encourage them to keep working and praise their efforts.

It’s okay if their handwriting isn’t perfect or the stroke order is incorrect. When they finally master one character, celebrate with them.

Do a silly Chinese dance or simply give them hugs and kisses. They deserve it!

Tip#9: Make it a Family Thing

“Why I am the only one learning Chinese?”

“Why do I have to learn Chinese if there is no one using this weird language here anyway?”

Have you ever heard this complaint from your child? When children are struggling to do something difficult, they like to know that someone else feels the same way.

If you are alone teaching Chinese and don’t have any Chinese neighbors, friends or family, don’t forget about your own family! Get the whole family involved in writing activities like:

For Example

  • Sending letters, notes, and messages in Chinese to each other
  • Create labels in Chinese and put the labels around the house together
  • Have competitions of who remembers the most Chinese characters, or who writes the most Chinese characters, etc.

Here are other Ten Best Activities You Can Do as a Family to Enhance Chinese Learning.

TIP #10: Avoid Comparision and Follow Their own pace

It is so easy to worry about our kids’ progress by comparing how many books they have read or how many characters they know how much other children can do.

To keep this from happening, set your own goals and design a plan to accomplish them. You and your child should focus on reaching your goals at your own pace.

Freebie: Chinese Practice Sheets

I have created 6-page different Chinese practice sheets that you can use.

Some with boxes on the whole page, some with an area to draw pictures, some can practice writing with or without the box, etc.

It’s perfect for ages 3 and up to elementary kids.

In the comment, let me know which tip(s) do you find useful for you?

What next steps are you going to do to help your kids in writing Chinese?

You Might be Interested:

You Are Not Doing it Alone

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

The post Writing in Chinese Characters: 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children of How to Write Chinese Characters appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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mandarin

How to Learn Chinese Fast – Best Tips To Improve Your Language Skills

Before you begin

Update: We’re republishing an updated version of this article, which was originally published in 2012.

This article introduces my plan to learn Chinese fast, where “fast” doesn’t mean that I hope to learn how to speak Mandarin within two months. Conversely, I intend to optimizing my time and efforts to learn Chinese by only studying an hour per day.

My goal is to be able to read Chinese newspapers, understand a talk show and have a “normal speed” conversation with any Chinese person. I want to achieve this purpose within one year.

Chinese is the sixth language that I’m learning so this plan is based on my past experience.

Also, I’m a big fan of SRS (spaced repetition software). If you are just starting to study Mandarin or you never heard the word “SRS” before, you should definitely keep reading!

My plan to learn Chinese

Commitment

I’m a lazy pig. However, when I pay for a gym I can easily motivate myself to train three times per week. So I thought that I could use the same strategy and I bought a Chinese course.

This is also what Napoleon Hill suggests in his book “Think and Grow Rich“, which is probably the best book that I ever read on goal achievement.

The idea is that we will only pursue our goals if we have invested some resources on them (time, money, face and so on). For the same reason, I also decided to make a public commitment and monthly update my progress on this website.

Immersion

I’ll watch at least two hours of Chinese television per week, hopefully, a good movie. I’ll upload the lessons of my language course and some Chinese music – so far I only got a couple of albums by the Fenghuang Chuanqi – on my iPod.

I will speak with local people in Chinese even when they try to switch to English (my Chinese is bad and people often get bored). This doesn’t include working time, as I have to speak English at work.

Context

If “sugar” then “sweet.” If “fire” then “smoke.” Our brain recalls information by generating connections. This is a well-known concept among the people that study memory.

This means that when we try to memorize Chinese characters one by one, we are slowing down our learning process. We can learn much faster by studying short sentences that provide a specific context for the characters.

I’m not saying anything new. I found this concept over and over again and this is the way kids learn a language. Also, Chinese characters change their meaning according to the context.

As an example, take the characters 小 (which means “small”) and 心 (which means “heart”). If you put them together you obtain the Chinese word 小心, which means “be careful.”

This is not an exception. It’s just how Mandarin works: changing the order of the addends you’ll get a different result.

By now it should be obvious to anyone that studying the Chinese characters one by one isn’t so effective. However, there are still a lot of people that choose to do so (I’ve been there too).

Memorize the most common 3,000 Chinese characters

I’ll use a free software called Anki to learn and revise Chinese characters through flashcards with a clever scheduling called SRS.

In order to exploit the “context” rule, I downloaded a deck of flashcards called Mastering Chinese Characters, which is composed of 14,000 sentences.

Smart.fm, the company that released it (you can download it for free once you installed Anki), claims that the deck contains the 98% of characters used in newspapers.

This deck mostly contains sentences so I can learn these 3,000 characters in the right context.

This should allow me to learn the WORDS used in the newspapers. Again, a Chinese word is often composed of two or three characters.

UPDATE 30/11/2015: The decks I was using aren’t available on Anki anymore; however there are plenty of decks to choose from on the Anki Database.

How to learn mandarinAnki’s screenshot: you can see how the flashcard for a question (on the left) and an answer (on the right) appears.

Evaluate my results

In order to achieve any long term objective, we need to set measurable short term goals. My weekly measurable goal will be to learn fifty new flashcards per day, to complete a lesson of my Chinese course and watch a Chinese movie in Chinese.

Also, I’ll try to talk in Chinese as often as I can. I may modify my goals if, after a while, I find them too easy or too difficult.

Frequently asked questions

How can I learn Chinese fast?
The best way to learn Chinese fast is to attend a course where you start and learn the basics from a Chinese teacher. They can provide you with a curriculum that helps you to learn the most important grammar rules and words in a chronological order.

Besides, they will help you to pronounce words and tones correctly, which is crucial to be understood. When you have learned the basics, you should start speaking with Chinese people earliest possible and further develop your language skills by expanding your vocabulary.

Is there an app that can read Chinese?
Yes, there’s a handful of applications that can instantly read and translate Chinese by using your smartphone camera and a scan-function. One example is Waygo, which can help you do this for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Another example is Pleco, one of the most popular dictionaries and tools in the market. The same as it goes with Waygo, you simply hover your phone over the text using your smartphone camera and the application pick up every word.

How fast can you learn Mandarin?
It depends. Generally speaking, you should spend at least 3 – 6 months to be able to have basic conversations with Chinese people. If you want to become fluent and perhaps look for employment where Chinese language skills are mandatory, be prepared to spend at least 2-3 years learning the language.
What is the best program to learn Mandarin?
There are plenty of applications available, as shown above. Thus, it’s up to one’s personal preferences and taste to decide which application is the best. Many claim that Anki, Pleco, and Skritter are the best programs to learn Chinese. You should try the applications available to see which one suits you the best.
How can I learn Chinese free?
Learning Chinese for free is easy and you don’t necessarily need to attend classes, even if that will result in more work on your side. First of all, you can learn the basics by buying books and watching videos on YouTube, for example.

As mentioned, there are also many useful applications available. A great way of improving your speaking and listening skills is to visit local language meetings. Here, you can become friends with Chinese who are often more than willing to help you speaking Chinese on a weekly basis.

Can you become fluent with Duolingo?
Not really. Duolingo can help you learn the basics, but you will need more resources than that to become fluent.
Is Hello Chinese free?
Yes, Hello Chinese is freemium and a great application if you want to get access to free resources and materials. It also comes with a paid version where you get access to more teaching materials. The premium plan costs USD 6.99 per month, USD 12.99 for 3-months, or USD 39.99 per year.

This content was originally published here.

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mandarin

Muslim Economist: China Will Triumph Over America Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, So Learn Chinese

At MEMRI.org, we find the predictions of one Saeed Tawfiqi, a Kuwaiti economist, as to the inevitable rise of China and the decline of the West.

Tawfiqi said in a March 30, 2020 interview on Diwan Al-Mulla Internet TV (Kuwait) that in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. and Europe will enter a sharp decline, and China will become stronger. He advised people in the Gulf states to start learning Chinese instead of English and using yuans instead of dollars.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

“Saeed Tawfiqi: “After the coronavirus the world will change its theories.”

“Interviewer: “The American-Chinese conflict will change..”

“Saeed Tawfiqi: “I’m telling you: The Chinese are coming. They are coming in strong. Not that they are not present now, but I’m advising you to change the currency of your credit card from the dollar to the yuan.

“American companies will face problems. The Americans will lose faith in the general political and economic system once their hospitals are overwhelmed and we will start to see patients in the hallways and in the streets – just like what happened in Italy… All the companies will move to China.

Mr. Tawfiq has been misinformed. There has been no discernible loss of faith “in the general political and economic system.” The Americans seem, rather, to be pulling together in this time of crisis. Unlike the Chinese government in Wuhan, violence has not been used to impose compliance with the new rules for social distancing, for curfews, for quarantines. The American public has been kept soberly aware by Dr. Anthony Fauci and his team of how the Coronavirus is spread, of how many have been infected, and how many have died, and what is the likelihood of success of various therapies and of potential vaccines. They are not being misinformed about the spread of the disease as have people in Iran; they are not being filled with crazed conspiracy theories as are so many people in the Muslim world. There are many people in the U.S. who have lost their jobs as a result of restaurants and stores being shut down; already about ten million are now unemployed. But can Saeed Tawfiqi really be unaware that in China, which he so admires, there are as many as 30 million Chinese workers who, as of early April, cannot find jobs or are unable to return to their previous posts.

Then there is the American stock market. No doubt it experienced in March and April some astonishing declines, but Saeed Tawfiqi chooses to ignore the fact that it has also exhibited some astonishing increases, and it appears to be stabilizing, not with a 35% loss since January 1, but after the recent rises, with a 15% loss – not good, but not nearly enough of a loss to begin predicting, as the Kuwaiti economist does, the dramatic decline of America and the irresistible rise of China.

America is in a recession, not a depression. The bipartisan support for the first $2 trillion dollar stimulus package and the promise of more to come show that the government has not been, and will not be, passive. After the stock market sank, predictions of worse to come followed, but it didn’t; the economy did not “collapse”; now that the market has recovered nearly half of what it had lost, perhaps Saeed Tawfiqi should be a bit less certain of his grim futurology.

“The headquarters of [multi-national companies] will now move to China. They will say that in China, it is easier to deal with.. Sometimes, decision-making is easier in non-capitalist, non-bureaucratic regimes.

Saeed Tawfiqi should know that foreign companies have over the past six months been leaving China — that is, even before the coronavirus outbreak. They don’t want to depend for such critical goods as medicines and medical equipment, on China, and have made the decision to bring such businesses back home. They don’t like their supply chains so dependent on decisions made by Communist Party apparatchiks. They are well aware, too, that the Chinese steal intellectual property from Western companies.

Decision-making may be “easier” in top-down Communist China, but Party bureaucrats in their ideological straitjackets are not necessarily more effective economic actors than are Western businessmen.

The closing of many Chinese factories during the coronavirus outbreak revealed to Western companies just how dangerously reliant they had allowed themselves to become on the Chinese, both for parts and for finished products, too. Their conclusion has been not to move even more of their operations to China, as Saeed Tawfiqi claims, but to do the opposite: they are replacing Chinese suppliers of parts with those in other low-wage countries, such as Vietnam. And even more significant, American companies are abandoning China altogether. The global manufacturing consulting firm Kearney released a report on April 5 that shows American manufacturing companies are leaving China en masse, spurred first by the trade war and solidified by China’s inability to contain COVID-19 for months after unleashing it on the global community. Americans are especially determined never again to rely on China either for medicines or medical equipment, and are hurriedly moving those operations back home. In the midst of all this movement out of China, it is at least bizarre to have Kuwaiti economist Saeed Tawfiqi predict the very opposite: a move of all the large multinationals to China, bringing about the permanent Decline of the West and the Rise of China.

“No civilization lasts forever. Western civilization now…”

As a Muslim, Saeed Tawfiqi is used to thinking of the West as the only rival to Islam. Muslim animus, while it is theoretically directed at all Infidels, is in the main directed at Islam’s historic enemy, Western Christendom, not China. Indeed, he seems unaffected by the savage Chinese mistreatment of the Muslim Uighurs. He is pleased with the thought that China will dominate the West; being non-Western, China in his reckoning is thereby closer to the Muslim camp. He’s prepared to overlook the Uighurs.

Interviewer: “Europe is sick…”

Europe may be “sick,” but if so, it is “sick” only because of one thing – its failure to protect itself from the horde of Muslim migrants who, by the tens of millions, now live in Western Europe. Their large-scale presence has created a situation for the continent’s indigenous Infidels that is more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than would be the case without that presence. Late in the day, Europeans are waking up to what this Muslim presence has meant. Muslims are largely unwilling to integrate into non-Muslim host societies. They are not, however, unwilling to take advantage of the largesse that have lavished upon them by the European welfare states. They enjoy free or highly subidized housing, free medical care, free education, unemployment benefits, family allowances. and more. At the same time, Muslims exhibit much higher rates of criminality, and much higher levels of unemployment, than either the indigenous non-Muslims or than other, non-Muslim immigrants. The quality of life in major European cities is diminished as the crime rate skyrockets due to Muslim criminals; single women no longer dare to go out at night, because of the rise in rapes; Christians hide their crucifixes, and Jews cover up their kippahs or other identifying garb, for fear of Muslim attacks. The police and firemen worry about entering No-Go areas where they may be attacked by Muslim residents. Teachers worry about antagonizing their Muslim pupils who have been known to object, violently, as to how certain subjects –the Crusades, the Holocaust, colonialism — are taught. And of course, Islamic terrrorism has created a fear that all Europeans must now endure.

Saeed Tawfiqi: “In 1990, when the Berlin Wall and Communism came down, it was a surprise and it happened fast. So this is not out of the question. I’m not talking about collapse, but about a decline, and then a sharp decline in favor of China.”

Interviewer: “Britain has left [the EU]…

Saeed Tawfiqi: “I say that we should get ready. I said this a few days ago. In Kuwait and in the other countries, we are used to speaking English and saying: ‘Hi, good morning..’ From now on, we will say ‘zaijian’ – ‘Goodbye.. Good evening…’ If it isn’t you and me, it will be our children.”

Interviewer: “So you say to people in Kuwait, the Gulf, and other Arab countries that they should learn Chinese..”

Saeed Tawfiqi: “Yes. It’s in their best interest.”

Saeed Tawfiq offers no statistics on China’s economy, on its unemployment figures, or on the country’s GDP. It is strange that, though he is an economist, he offers not a single datum to support his assertions. All the signs are against his prediction of China surpassing America as an economic power. America’s economy has been far less damaged by the coronavirus — judging by the unemployment figures — than China. The current numbers for the U.S. are 10 million unemployed, with some analysts suggesting a worst-case scenario of 30 million unemployed later in 2020. Meanwhile, in China, while the official figures are 10 million unemployed, unofficial figures have been as high as 60 million. And while no companies are pulling out of America, companies from all over the Western world are pulling their operations from China; they had started doing this even before the coronavirus outbreak. They do not want to be dependent on a supply chain that is controlled by a fundamentally hostile and aggressive Communist regime. As a health and security matter, they don’t want to rely on China for medicines and medical equipment. They don’t want to collaborate too closely with Chinese businesses, given that China has long been known to steal enormous amounts of intellectual property from Western companies.

Saeed Tawfiqi sees China as rising inexorably to become the world’s largest economy. I find more convincing the many Western analysts who have concluded that China saw its economic high-water mark just as the coronavirus began to spread in December, and that in the first quarter of 2020 China’s growth streak ended when the economy contracted for the first time since 1976. More companies in the West have become anxious about the very great and –they now realize — dangerous reliance of Western companies on China, a reliance that has been laid bare by the shutdowns of Chinese businesses in Wuhan and elsewhere that led to the breaking of supply chains on which Western companies have long relied. There has been a steadily increasing exodus of Western companies out of China since late in 2019, a massive decoupling from the Chinese economy that accelerated when Wuhan shut down.

Saeed Tawfiqi’s prediction of China’s inevitable economic triumph is, I think, colored by his desire, as a Muslim, that a non-Western power should defeat the West’s most powerful nation. In his view, the West has always been the main enemy of the world’s Muslims, and while all Infidels are “the most vile of created beings,” some are apparently more vile than others. Despite China’s persecution of Muslims in “re-education camps,” and the veritable war on Islam in Xinjiang that the Chinese state has declared, he is prepared to overlook all that – even encouraging Arabs to learn Chinese instead of English. In the Muslim worldview – despite the trillions of dollars America spent in trying to improve life for Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq— the Muslim’s historic enemy, deserving of defeat, will always be America. Just ask Saeed Tawfiqi.

This content was originally published here.

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Chinatown’s venues are sharing recipes, tai chi tutorials and Mandarin lessons for free

London’s businesses are having an extremely tough time at the moment, none more so than those in Chinatown. The usually bustling tourist hub has suffered from a slump in trade since February with many restaurants in the area being forced to close weeks before the government’s lockdown was introduced. 

For anyone missing the vibrant, lantern-strewn spot, you’ll be pleased to hear you can now experience it from your living room. Chinatown’s venues have come together to create #BringingChinatownHome, a programme of online mindfulness workshops, language lessons and cook-alongs designed to transport the W1 enclave to you. 

The weekly activities will begin with Mindfulness Mondays, letting you join workshops including beginners’ tai chi with the Deyin Tai Chi Institute, meditation with Just Breathe and Chinese calligraphy. Throughout the week there’ll also be online lessons in basic Mandarin, a virtual tea house from vegan Chinese food champion Celestial Peach and weekend recipe inspiration, featuring home cook-alongs with some of the area’s top chefs.

‘MasterChef’ champion Ping Coombes and Dumplings’ Legend founder Geoff Leong are lined up to share recipes, and a number of Chinatown’s best restaurants will be recreating their signature dishes. If your local deli doesn’t have all the ingredients you need to join in, you can get them delivered to you by Chinatown’s supermarket, See Woo, as long as you live within a five-mile radius. 

Chinatown London said: ‘The aim of this campaign is to celebrate the wider Asian community and show support for Chinatown’s culinary scene in light of the recent downturn in business and unfortunate cases of prejudice. We hope to continue to cultivate the community spirit of Chinatown, whilst retaining positivity and engagement in this culture and cuisine.’

Join in with #BringingChinatownHome by visiting any of the @chinatownlondon social channels. 

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This content was originally published here.