Author Archive | Em Casalena

7 Polite Ways to Say Thank You in Chinese for Any Situation

If you’re learning Chinese, you might discover the many ways native Mandarin speakers can express gratitude beyond bowing or the basic 谢谢 (xiè xiè) — “Thank you.” We’ll show you seven useful words and phrases to say “thank you” in …

7 Handy Tools That Give You the Pinyin Subtitles You Want

If you’re interested in Chinese culture, you might have gotten into it through being captivated by Mandarin-language movies and television shows. But unfortunately for beginner learners, watching Chinese films authentically usually isn’t possible. Most Chinese films offer 汉字 (hàn zì)…

4 Chinese Grammar Checkers All Mandarin Learners Need to Bookmark

Chinese grammar is both extremely similar to and ridiculously different from English grammar, which can leave even advanced learners scratching their heads. There’s a lot to absorb between word arrangement, morphology, sounds, tones, semantics and sentence structure—but it’s not …

6 HSK Apps to Help You Ace Your Chinese Proficiency Test

The HSK exam is also known as the Chinese Proficiency Test. It’s an official exam used to test the practical language ability of a Chinese speaker. If you’re considering taking the HSK, you might be wondering how to …

Are You a Kid at Heart? Learn Chinese with These 9 Cartoons

If you’re struggling as a novice student of Mandarin, enjoying some Chinese-language cartoons may be more helpful than you ever imagined. Utilizing Chinese cartoons is also the perfect introduction to Mandarin for kids, especially if they’re learning the language …

Need a Little Variety? Watch These 5 Chinese Variety Shows

Bless the day that Chinese variety shows first came to be. How else were we going to learn Mandarin while feeding our need for instant gratification? Jokes aside, Chinese entertainment is a solid tool for improving your listening, reading and …

7 Entertaining Websites to Read Chinese Manhua Online

Comic book nerds unite! Love reading comic books? Love studying Chinese? There’s a way to combine your two passions: Read Chinese manhua online! Chinese 漫画 (màn huà) — manhua are Mandarin-language comic books that are heavily …

Spread the News! Here Are 5 Chinese News Apps for Android

Your Twitter feed. The morning paper on your doorstep. Televisions in the doctor’s office waiting room. The news is everywhere you look! It isn’t surprising—the news is important. People want to know what’s happening in the world, …

6 Apps for Enjoying and Learning from Chinese Music

Music is in the air. And it’s here to teach you Chinese! We may not generally think of listening to music as a tangible and effective way to learn a new language. But while supplementing music-listening with a course or …

Chinese Typing Practice: A 4-step Resource Guide to Get You Started

If you’re learning Mandarin Chinese, being proficient at typing 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization and 汉字 (hàn zì) — Chinese characters is essential. Being able to speak and understand Mandarin is important, but if you plan on really communicating …

5 Chinese Cartoon TV Shows for Learners of All Ages

It’s no secret that kids can pick up languages more quickly than adults. But how can we bridge the learning gap between the two?  Watching Chinese cartoons is a great way to learn Mandarin with a child, especially if you’re …

Hanzi Dictionaries: 9 Smart Options for Mandarin Learners

If you go to a Chinese-speaking country, you’ll see them everywhere. Those characters. You know the ones. One big aspect of Chinese that leaves potential learners (and those who have been learning Mandarin for quite some time) stumped is 汉字 …

10 Magical Chinese Web Series for Learning Mandarin

Non-English web series are becoming hugely popular around the world. This is true even in primarily English-speaking countries. Netflix has quite the variety of foreign films and series, and Asian media streaming websites like Crunchyroll now have millions of members …

Learn Chinese with WeChat: All About This Killer App

In a world where there’s an app for everything… …one brave piece of tech manages to be an app for everything. 微信 (wēi xìn), or “WeChat,” is a Chinese app that packs many features into the user experience, …

The Mobile Mandarin Life: How to Learn Chinese in the Car

Adding a new hobby to your schedule can be tough, especially something as demanding as learning a brand new language. But you don’t have to dedicate hours every day to learn how to speak and understand Mandarin Chinese. …

Aha! 13 Online Tools for a Revelatory Chinese Learning Plan

There’s a certain formula to “formal” learning. You go to class, listen to the lecture, go home. You practice reading, writing, speaking and listening for an hour or so. Rinse and repeat. Some Chinese learners might find this a bit …

Next Level! 6 Top Advanced Chinese Lesson Resources Online

Congratulations! You’ve really leveled up. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably feeling a little dizzy from the altitude. And as an advanced learner, you may not know what to do next with your Chinese learning. Chinese is often …

7 Great Kindle Books to Learn Chinese That Won’t Bore You

Love reading but bored with your current options? Don’t worry, things are about to get more exciting. We’re going to get you hooked on some engaging e-book titles in Mandarin. We put together a list of some fantastic Kindle e-books…

7 Chat Platforms to Learn Chinese with Chatrooms and Chatbots

Technology has created endless opportunities when it comes to language learning, and chat software is only one of them. When it comes to Chinese, there are so many options available when it comes to chatrooms, chatbots, etc. that are sure …

How to Stream Chinese TV Online: 5 Rad Resources

Streaming television is all the rage now, isn’t it? Who even has a cable account anymore? With websites like Netflix and Hulu around, people can tune in to their favorite shows with nothing more than a laptop and a WiFi …

How to Write an Email in Chinese: The Business-ready Guide

Emails are a form of formal communication in Chinese.  So if you find yourself in the position of needing to write an email in Chinese, you may be sweating a bit. Still, it’s definitely doable, even for a beginner Mandarin …

How to Talk to (or About) Family and Friends in Chinese

Friends. Food. Feelings. Identities. Weather. Family. Maybe you’re someone who believes labels are too restrictive. That’s totally understandable and okay. Lots of labels can be unnecessary and limiting! But on a practical level, language irrevocably revolves around labeling just about …

Learn Chinese with News: 9 Mandarin Channels to Bookmark

The news keeps us in the loop, highlights culture and facilitates knowledge. You can also benefit in a linguistic way from watching the news. Mandarin-language news channels are abundantly available, and consuming Chinese news is incredibly valuable when it …

Looking for Chinese Channels on Roku? 6 to Check Out

Roku has become a real game-changer. It lets you customize your TV options in a way traditional cable hasn’t. It’s also a massively useful way to learn Mandarin. For those who need to be brought into the loop, Roku …

7 Awesome Mandarin Movies You Can Marathon on Chinese New Year

Think your last ugly sweater party was fun? It’s got nothing on Chinese New Year. This massive annual celebration has everything you need for an awesome party: huge family feasts, parades, music, elaborate decorations and tons of fireworks, …

10 Must-watch Documentaries for Chinese Language Learners

Documentaries , like “Super Size Me”, have proven they can have a large impact on the world.  By watching Chinese documentaries, you can brush up on your Mandarin listening skills, with English and Chinese subtitles to further boost your …

Chinese for Kids: 18 Fun Ways to Teach Chinese to Young Learners

Children have a knack for grasping concepts quickly—and this is especially true with languages.  By using handy apps, fun games and other learning tools, we can absolutely teach children about the Chinese language. The 18 resources below will help kids …

7 Dream Jobs Requiring Chinese Language Skills

Having your dream job isn’t just a flighty wish. It can become an absolute reality. Do you want to travel abroad? Do you want to find a job where you can use the skills you’ve worked so hard to hone—speaking …

Learn Mandarin Chinese Step by Step: The Newbie’s Road Map

Are you beginning your journey through Mandarin Chinese? Compared to other languages you might know, Chinese is a completely different ballpark of sentence structure, tones, slang, alphabet, writing and everything in between. The best way to learn Mandarin …

6 Useful Chinese Gestures for the Chinese Learner

What’s the most insulting gesture you can think of? If you’re from the States, we’re probably both thinking of the same thing. In every culture, people communicate with body language and not just to express romantic interest. Body language …

Do Yourself a Favor and Learn These 9 Funny Chinese Phrases

Comedy means a lot to people. The average adult laughs at least four times a day at something. And that something usually involves communication and, ultimately, language. But what’s funny in English may not be quite as funny in …

Learn Chinese on Twitter: 10 Fun Feeds to Follow

Time to turn your binge-scrolling time on Twitter into Chinese learning time. We’ve got 10 super interesting, smart and fun Twitter feeds that’ll bring you everything from daily vocabulary lessons to insights on Chinese slang and idioms. Let’s find out …

Love Beyond Language Barriers: How to Flirt in Chinese

Flirting in Chinese can be pretty scary. Where do you even start? Right here! I’ve got tons of vocabulary and phrases that’ll help you impress native speakers who’ve captured your eye. Plus, I’ll give you some cultural context, since flirting …

33 Basic, Everyday Chinese Phrases That You Need to Know

Imagine you’ve just met a native Chinese speaker and they’re trying to communicate with you in English. Even if they’ve learned a lot about the structure of the English language, it’s not all that useful if they don’t know basic …

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 …