Category Archives: Learning

How hard is Chinese, really?

When I tell people in the US that I can speak Chinese the usual response is shock and amazement that someone could learn such a difficult language. Of course I must always disabuse them of any fantasies that my Chinese … Continue reading

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A few thoughts on teaching

For many travelers, an easy way to remain in the Middle Kingdom without breaking the bank is to teach. The Web is full of recruiter sites, ESL pages, message boards, job listings, etc, all claiming they can help you find … Continue reading

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You say dialect, I say language….

The Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich famously penned: “אַ שפּראַך איז אַ דיאַלעקט מיט אַן אַרמיי און פֿלאָט” I could try to impress you and pretend I can read that. Maybe if we write it this way: “语言是有陆军及海军的方言” To cut to … Continue reading

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Do you speak English?

Unfortunately the answer all too often is “Ting bu dong.” (I don’t understand) But then we must always remember, this is their country, not ours. Just as we expect the whole world to speak English within 10 minutes of their … Continue reading

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Complain Complain – What to make of online feedback?

We all want to have the best experience possible when we travel. Indeed, the last thing we want is to book a place and find out it is a dump (been there, done that, used the scratchy towels). Obviously the … Continue reading

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