Tag Archives: Wisdom

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 simple phrase – with a lot of meaning

Dear friends, When I first came to China to teach English I went through the classic stages of culture shock. As these have been discussed ad nauseam in other sites (one of the better discussions can be found here: http://middlekingdomlife.com/guide/culture-shock-china.htm) … 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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Greetings Comrades!

It has come to my attention that China, that great mysterious nation across the seas, is somewhat important and increasingly prominent in the news. Having lived and worked there for several years it is greatly dismaying there is so much … Continue reading

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