Author Archive | Daniel Lal

How to Learn Chinese by Reading It, Even If You “Can’t”


Some friends of mine recently organized a hike that ended up being a steep, arduous, bruising climb.

When they got to the top, they found a group of nicely dressed people, young and old, picnicking.

Turns out, if they had …

Simple Chinese Words: Vocab to Tune Your Learning


A man sat down at a public piano and played an entire Beethoven piece from memory.

It sounded beautiful, so I approached him and asked what other songs he could play.

“That’s the only one I know,” he replied.

“Even …

Don’t Panic: Your Guide to the Chinese Pronunciation Galaxy


My uncle picked us up from the airport in Suva, Fiji, around 4 a.m. local time.

As we drove to his house, I leaned my head back and looked through the sunroof at the stars.

Being from California, I was …

60 Chinese Restaurant Phrases That’ll Give You a True Taste of China


In my second week of learning Chinese, my teacher taught us the phrase “你吃饭了吗” (nǐ chī fàn le ma).

This literally means, “Have you eaten?” but it’s often used the way “How are you?” is used in English.

The …

Lost in China? 30 Mandarin Chinese Travel Phrases to Help You Find Your Way


If you travel in China, you’ll be given this style of directions. Give them one quick read:

  • Exit the apartment complex from the side gate.
  • Go to the right and walk to the Songyuan Road subway station.
  • Take the