Tag Archives: mandarin

Mandarin in Five Scenes

#1 I’m in Yantai, Shandong province, 2006. I’m just beginning to recognize Mandarin characters, mostly from a baby book I buy myself when it turns out that my school’s promised “English lessons” are curriculum-free hours with a teacher who’s too embarrassed … Continue reading

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Language Acquisition or Whatever

Me taking HSK practice exams: Yeah! 加油! Go me! I’m so good at Chinese! Me listening to native Mandarin at natural speed: Uh, what?  慢说. 我说的不好。   Right now, I’m studying the vocabulary for the HSK 1 exam. A lot of … Continue reading

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Essential Chinese: He Has Already Paid

I’ve started working a couple days a week at a Chinese restaurant near my house. Now, I’ve complained a great deal about how freaking slow everything is in the south, but that’s working in my favor as I earn endless praise for being mildly efficient … Continue reading

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Bu Chai

Tom Lasseter, who replaced Tim Johnson as the China correspondent for McClatchy, mentioned today on his blog that Beijing plans to renovate all the hutongs around the Drum and Bell Towers. Renovation is hardly news in Beijing, where the pre-Olympic … Continue reading

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Passionfruit Hutong

New development studio Passionfruit Games contacted me the other day about beta testing their new puzzle/adventure game Tiger Eye Curse Of The Riddle Box. Passionfruit is made up of many HER Interactive veterans — the team who worked on Nancy Drew … Continue reading

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Eight or nine years ago, I worked in a diner while on a, ahem, break from college. The Pioneer Valley is full of similar college-age breakers, finding themselves, forming bands, creating art, getting that awful first novel out of the … Continue reading

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Southern Mandarin

Raleigh graffiti artist Wang tags a downtown street.

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Mandarin Superpowers And More On China

Luke Gedeon is collecting China-related articles over on his blog. I’m really pleased to be part of this project, my contribution is a piece on my Mandarin superpowers.  Luke is well-connected among thoughtful bridge bloggers so it promises to be … Continue reading

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Everyday Expressions

When I first went to Yantai, I imagined I’d come home and slip effortlessly into fluent Mandarin to quote ancient Chinese wisdom. Fortunately for people who have to put up with me, that didn’t happen. A few characters have somehow … Continue reading

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American Mei You

I planned to write a post about starting a job today, teaching SAT prep. Towards the end of the job interview, when we were talking about where to park and what time to arrive, the main teacher (I’m the assistant) … Continue reading

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