Author Archive | Alan Park

20 Best Classic Movies for Learning Chinese

Learning Chinese can be as entertaining as it is educational. Keep scrolling down to check out my favorite films for Chinese language learners! [fluentu-toc] Best Strategies for Learning Chinese from Movies Don’t get the popcorn popping just yet. First, …

Learn Mandarin Chinese with 12 Viral YouTube Channels

So you want to learn Chinese. You’re probably using most of the tools that people use to improve their listening. and you might already be reading most of the popular blogs. And you might even be watching Chinese …

10 Famous Chinese Actors You Oughta Know

Chinese fluency is about more than just chengyu, grammar, or even pinyin and tones. It’s also about learning Chinese culture. After all, learning Chinese is about establishing a connection. And there’s no better way to do that …

How to Learn to Speak Perfect Mandarin Chinese Tones

There’s a secret to learning the four tones in Mandarin Chinese. They might be the part of the language that learners struggle with the most, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be one of them. I’m going to …

6 Ways to Say Hello in Chinese Like a Native

Do you know that awkward moment that every Chinese learner experiences? When you realize that “nǐ hǎo” is actually not how Chinese people say hello? If you don’t, then this post is for you: now you can say hello in …

A Gentle Introduction to Mandarin Chinese Sentence Structure

Is Mandarin Chinese as difficult as everyone says? For beginners whose native language is English, and who haven’t studied a foreign language before, initially it can feel like quite a daunting task. The challenge lies in the fact that there …

Get Early Access to the FluentU App!

We’re happy to announce that development for our smartphone apps are well under way (finally!).     Our app will continue to deliver more of what you’ve come to expect from FluentU: learning through the web’s best real-world content but …

How to Speak Chinese Fluently: A Foolproof Method

Chinese people can’t tell that I’m not Chinese. You might think that if I speak Mandarin Chinese fluently, it must be because I have a natural talent for languages. But if you had been in my first year Chinese language …

9 Useful Ways to Say Goodbye in Chinese

Perhaps you know how to say “nǐ hǎo,” but not goodbye. Or perhaps you already know how to goodbye in Chinese – “zài jiàn” – but you’re looking for a new and interesting way to say it. Here are 9 …

SRS For the Rest of Us

Top language learners swear by it. It’s scientifically proven to be the best way to memorize anything. So why hasn’t spaced repetition learning gone mainstream – in language learning and elsewhere? How come people are still studying words in the …

Presenting… Our New FluentU Demo Video!

We’re proud to present our new FluentU demo video! (If you are having trouble watching the video above, then you can watch it here.) We made FluentU to improve on traditional tools for language learning, which too often are …

3 Ways to Say Funny: 好笑 vs 可笑 vs 幽默

Do you know these 3 ways to say funny: 好笑 , 可笑, 幽默 ? How about the differences between them? They might sound similar but they’re actually different – don’t get them mixed up! The best place to start is …

Top 5 Jeremy Lin Puns in China and Taiwan

“Linsanity!” “Lincredible!” “All he does is Lin Lin Lin!” Jeremy Lin has not only revived the slumping NY Knicks, but he’s also enriching the English language. And not just the English language, but also Chinese slang. We’ve picked for you …

Chinese Words for “Fake”: 山寨 vs 盗版 vs 假冒

Eskimos have hundreds of words for “snow.” Actually, that’s a widespread misconception.  But what about Chinese words for “fake”? Just off the top of our heads here, you have 7: 山寨 (shān zhài) 假冒 (jiǎ mào) 盗版 (dào bǎn) 高仿 …

Valentines Day, aka “Catch Your Lover Day” in China

A Valentines Day billboard has Shijiazhuang residents talking: “Don’t get off track on Valentines Day — Let love return home (不要出轨情人节,让爱回家 – bú yào chū guǐ qíng rén jié ,ràng ài huí jiā).” Apparently, Valentines Day is a special …

China’s Group Buyers – 拼客

You’re probably familiar with Groupon. But did you know that China also has more than 800 group buying websites, of which Groupon is just one?  In fact, in China group buying is said to be more than just a way …

Chinese Vocabulary Word List: Shanghai Cuisine

Are you eating the same things all the time at Chinese restaurants? Are your Chinese friends not impressed anymore when you order Chinese food? If so, maybe it’s time you got out of your Chinese food ordering rut. To that …

7 Awesome Chinese Idioms with Dragons

Do you know what the dragon symbolizes for Chinese people? The dragon has been a sacred creature since ancient times. It is the king of beasts and represents strength, wisdom, rule, and unlimited potential. Chinese people still consider themselves descendants …

Chinese idiom for “strong start, weak finish”

Are you off to a strong start for 2012? Then don’t forget to keep pushing for a strong finish. Because otherwise you’d just end up with 虎头蛇尾 (hǔ tóu shé wěi). 虎头蛇尾 (hǔ tóu shé wěi) literally means a “tiger …

Chinese Slang: The Naked Series

Do you know the 3 nakeds in Chinese slang? If not, would you like to get to know them?   Chinese Slang’s Naked #1: 裸婚 (luǒ hūn) – “Naked Wedding” It means getting married with nothing but a wedding certificate …

Chinese Vocab Word List: Christmas and New Year’s

This Chinese vocabulary word list has everything from “Santa” to “wrapping paper” to “New Year’s resolutions.” Hope you find it useful this holiday season!   Christmas – People or Tangible Objects angel —— 天使 —— tiān shǐ Bethlehem —— 伯利恒 …

Tired of 累? Try this instead

If you’re tired of the word “tired” (累 – leì), it’s your lucky day. We’ve got a chengyu (Chinese idiom) that’s much cooler: 有气无力(yǒu qì wú lì). 有气无力 (yǒu qì wú lì) literally means “to have breath but no strength,” …

5 Ways to Say “Excuse Me” in Public

Crowds are a fact of life in China. So what do you say if you’re in a hurry and have to get past people? Perhaps you’ve been silently bumping into and running past them… Just in case, here are 5 …

5 reasons to learn Chinese through authentic video content

I have a secret to share with you. It’s embarrassing, but I want the best for our readers. It’s how I broke through Chinese learning plateaus. What’s my secret? Hours upon hours of Chinese dating shows and the Chinese version …

Business Chinese Vocabulary List: Job titles and positions

Do you want to use Mandarin Chinese professionally? Then you wouldn’t want to call your boss or client by the wrong title right? To help you get this sorted out, we’ve put together a business Chinese vocabulary list on job …

Chinese Slang: “Leftover Girls” and “Diamond Wangs”

We couldn’t make this up if we tried. A new Chinese slang word has emerged in recent years that literally means “leftover girls.” It’s used to describe urban women who enjoy a high level of education, income, IQ, and have …

Use the right “experience” at your Chinese job interview

It seems like everyone is interviewing for a job in China these days. And such interviews are often in Chinese. One word will separate the winners from the not-quite-winners: “experience.” There are two words for it in Chinese – 经验(jīngyàn) …

Chinese Slang 101: Chinese geeks and nerds – 宅男

Did you know there are more Chinese internet users than there are Americans? You can bet that many of them are 宅男 (zháinán). 宅男 (zháinán) is Chinese slang for a male geek or nerd, and it literally means “house male.”  …

China has many kinds of fools – 傻子 vs 呆子

You’ve probably come across tabloid headlines slamming celebrities as 傻子 (shǎzi)  or 呆子 (dāizi), but have you noticed the context in which each expression is used? Both 傻子(shǎzi) and 呆子 (dāizi) describe people who aren’t smart/intelligent and can be …