Author Archive | Ben

Introducing FluentU!

Since our public beta launch last month, we are excited and humbled to have welcomed thousands of new users to FluentFlix. It has been thrilling watching the feedback and support continue to roll in, and we encourage you to continue …

FluentU Now Features Traditional Characters!

Since launching public beta last month, we have welcomed thousands of new users eager for a new way to learn Chinese through authentic online video.  Many of you have been forthcoming in feature requests and suggestions, and we encourage …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Yangyang Cheng

Today we are thrilled to talk with Chinese teacher Yangyang Cheng, founder of Yoyo Chinese, and host of one of the most popular Chinese teaching Youtube channels (with over 4 million views!) If you like learning Chinese with interesting …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Phil Beckwith

This week on our Lessons in Learning Chinese series we are happy to feature Phil Beckwith.  Without further adieu, “My name is Philip Beckwith. My hobby used to be music, performing it and listening to it, etc., but that all …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Joyce Cai

For the first time in this Lessons in Learning Chinese series, we will be featuring not a learner of the Chinese language, but a teacher! Today we talk to Joyce Cai, a Marketing Assistant at Open Language, and a …

At a Loss for Words: Top 6 “Aargghh” Words

Perplexing language mistakes.  Bewildering cultural chasms.  Head scratching conundrums. Learning Chinese, it can often feel as if you are simply jumping from mortifying moment to puzzling predicament. As dedicated language learners, we all know the feeling of …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips: Four 喜欢 Alternatives

In this installment of No Nonsense Newbie Tips, we want to help our readers escape the 喜欢 (xǐ huan) rut. Found in chapter 1 of all beginner textbooks, 喜欢 is an easy catch all for anything and everything. 中国菜? …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Greg Bell

Today we feature Greg Bell.  Originally from New Jersey, he went to college in Michigan, then proceeded half way around the world to  Taiwan, where he is now studying for his Master’s degree in history.  He discusses his adventures …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Matt Owen

Today we feature an old friend of ours here at FluentU.  Matt Owen came to China on a whim in 2006, and ended up studying Chinese at Tsinghua University for 3 semesters.  I can personally say I’ve never seen anybody …

Top Chengyus to Describe FluentU Launch!

If you are currently reading this, no doubt you have already signed up for FluentU beta (and if not, then stop reading and go!) After months of humbly blogging away while quietly designing and building our buttery-smooth video engine …

FluentU Launching Public Beta in 3 Days!

Since announcing our planned beta launch less than two short weeks ago, we have welcomed hundreds of new users, uploaded dozens of new videos, and been featured on some of our favorite Chinese learning blogs (all the while …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Kevin Lewis

Today we are proud to feature Kevin Lewis.  As Principal of Mandarin World in Shanghai, we are thrilled to get his tips and advice for learning Chinese.  In his own words, I am originally from Adelaide Australia, and I’ve been …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips: Question Particles 吗, 吧, 呢

One of the pure joys and enduring charms of spoken Chinese is the prevalence of “exclamatory particles”.   These are one syllable, neutral tone words which slip off your tongue at the end of a sentence to add emphasis, soften or …

FluentU Launching Public Beta September 3rd!

Over the past year, we have worked hard bringing you some of the web’s best Chinese learning content on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Yes, you may already be familiar with our essential chengyus, Chinese learner …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Allan Ngo

Next in our series is Allan Ngo!  Allan has been a good friend of FluentU over the months, and we are happy to have the chance to feature him today. A bit about Allan: Allan Ngo helps busy people like …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips: What the Heck is up with 了?

The mother of all Newbie conundrums: 了 This is one of the simplest of all Chinese particles, one which you probably encountered in Chapter 1 of your textbook. However, after the initial “new word glow” wears off and …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Matt Johnson

In the 15th post in our Lessons in Learning Chinese series, today we feature Matt Johnson. Matt has had a few exciting years in China, and is now in Beijing working as a tech-journalist. He brings his …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips: 会 vs. 能

After tackling 知道 vs 认识 and 觉得 vs 想, lets continue with a distinction a few readers have written inquiring about: 会 vs. 能. Like “to know” and “to think” before it, “can” or “able” is an English word …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips:想 vs. 觉得

In the next installment of our No Nonsense Newbie Tips, lets examine another important distinction long giving Chinese learners grief. Like “I know“, “I think” is one of the very first phrases learned when studying a foreign …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Dan Jones

Next up in ourLessons in Learning Chinese series is experienced learner Dan Jones.  Be sure to check out his blog here, where he posts lots of great photographs from China.  In his own words: I’m from the Wales …

No Nonsense Newbie Tips: 知道 vs 认识

For the first in our series No Nonsense Newbie Tips, let’s tackle the particularly thorny issue of 知道 (zhīdào) versus 认识 (rènshi). Both approximately hover around the English “to know”, but there are very important differences between the two…

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Natasha Lutes

There are countless fascinating Chinese language learners out there, and we are honored to feature interviews with many of them here. Next up in our series is Natasha Lutes.  In her own words, I’m 25, married to a Taiwanese …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Olle Linge

Next up in our Lessons in Learning Chinese series is Olle Linge.  He is behind one of our absolute favorite blogs on learning Chinese, and we are thrilled to feature him!  In his own words… I’ve been interested in Chinese …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Benjamin Dickman

In the 10th (!) post of our Lessons in Learning Chinese series, we are thrilled to speak with Benjamin Dickman.  In his own words: I’m originally from Brookline, Mass., and currently living in New York City.  After majoring in …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Hamish Young

Next up in our Lessons in Learning Chinese series is Hamish Young.  As an experienced Chinese translator, we thank him for sharing his unique insights with us!  In his own words- I was tricked into coming to China in 2005 …

Attention Bachelors- Describing Chinese Beauty

Good news for our single male readers- Chinese has dozens of fantastically descriptive terms and idioms describing feminine beauty.   Next time you eligible bachelors out there spot a beautiful Chinese woman, stand out from the crowd and ditch the tired …

Lessons in Learning Chinese: Nancy Zhang

In our eighth installment of our Lessons in Learning Chinese series, we’re happy to feature Nancy Zhang.  In her own words- I am a rising senior at Vassar College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese and French.  …