When you’re studying Chinese, learning to listen can be a bumpy road.
When I first started learning Mandarin in high school, it amazed me how many roadblocks I hit when it came to listening.
I was a master at …
If you’re learning Mandarin, you might also be interested in Chinese culture.
And if you’re interested in Chinese culture, you might have gotten into it through being captivated by Mandarin-language movies and television shows.
It’s how we all get sucked …
The smell of the holidays is in the air, whether you’re ready for it or not!
People are decorating for Christmas, prepping for cozy parties and preparing gifts for the ones they love.
And not just in the United States …
Who doesn’t love a good movie binge-watching session?
With streaming networks, it’s easier than ever to consume media from all over the world.
It’s no secret that watching films in Chinese can help learners improve their language skills. Watching a …
Remember when you were a kid and playing a game in class was the best part of your day at school?
Looking back as adults, most of us finally understand that educational games were definitely used to get our young …
If you haven’t heard of Chinese handwriting input software, we’re about to blow your mind.
It’s easy to copy and paste 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization and 汉字 (hàn zì) — Chinese characters that you …
Are you at the point of your Chinese-learning journey where you’re learning 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization?
This is when a lot of learners check out.
Well, English is a non-tonal language, and it’s full …
Vocabulary is the foundation of any language.
After all, you’re reading this right now, aren’t you?
Congratulations! You’re using your English vocabulary knowledge at this very moment.
We can’t deny that understanding grammar, context and sentence structure is crucial in …
How many words do you think you type in a day?
How fast do you think you can really type?
According to Ratatype, the average typing speed is generally between 37 and 44 words per minute. The fastest English …
Ah, Chinese grammar. The bane of every Mandarin language learner’s existence.
We know, English isn’t without its strange grammatical structures. But Chinese grammar is a whole ‘nother ball game.
Chinese grammar is both extremely similar to and ridiculously different …
You might already know the benefits of a good language-learning video.
You may be aware that the visual experience can hold your attention very well and the audio can help you nail pronunciation and improve accent comprehension.
But knowing …
It’s no secret that learning a new language takes time.
It’s also no secret that most of us don’t have a whole lot of time to spare.
It’s not even the actual coursework that takes so much time—it’s the practice. …
Learning Chinese through immersion is far from a new concept.
Think about it: Immersion is the perfect way to learn a language.
It’s the way many immigrants learn the language of their new country. When you’re thrown into a totally …
We’re lucky to live in a world where there are so many resources for learning Chinese.
Learners don’t have to shell out substantial tuition fees to attend a college course or study abroad to learn Mandarin anymore.
These days, people …
Remember when you were a bright-eyed, novice Chinese learner and first looked at 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization?
After the initial shock and wondering “What is that?” you probably thought about giving up.
Pinyin does this …
Are you applying for a job in China?
Maybe you’re just looking to study abroad.
Or you’re applying for a Confucius Institute Scholarship.
These are just a few reasons why you may need to take the HSK …
What’s not to love about Taiwan?
There’s the incredible scenery, complete with the crystal-clear Sun Moon Lake and the jaw-dropping Elephant Mountain that overlooks Taipei.
There are the people, a melting pot of diversity and friendliness.
There are the hot …
“I don’t think of cartoons or comics as being for kids.” – Jeff Kinney, author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
What a true statement!
Cartoons can be just as entertaining for adults as they are for children.
It doesn’t matter how strong of a student you are.
Taking a test is never fun. Especially if there’s something at stake.
Even if you enjoy a good challenge, there’s a lot of anxiety that builds up before an exam.…
Starting anything new is overwhelming.
Taking on a new job? The anxiety for the first few shifts is paralyzing.
Going to the gym every morning? You’ll probably hit snooze more often than you’d care to admit.
Learning a new language?…
We can’t deny that studying abroad is a life-changing experience.
If you can travel to China or Taiwan to immerse yourself in the Chinese language, you should go for it!
However, not every Chinese language student has the time or …
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 …
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 …
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, …
Chinese tones. The enemy of the native English speaker.
Most students are unaware that Chinese is a tonal language prior to the first time they enter a Chinese classroom or crack open a Chinese textbook.
Who knew that four or …
If you’re a native English speaker, you’re enjoying a luxury.
Not only do many non-English speakers say that learning English is incredibly difficult, but native English speakers also don’t have to deal with tones.
If you’re an English speaker …
Just about each and every one of us grew up with a favorite sitcom.
Sitcoms are token markers of our eras.
The 80s kids loved “Family Ties.” 90s kids loved “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” We all got addicted to …
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 …
Every Chinese learner wants to connect with native speakers.
So at some point, we download Weibo, make an account, customize a cute profile and then…
We’re left clueless about how to type in Chinese.
Or maybe a learner …
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 …
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 …
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, …
If you’re reading this, that probably means you did it.
You fought long and hard through learning basic sentence structure, hanzi stroke order and the dreaded tones.
You’ve officially graduated from beginner learner to intermediate learner! Woo …
It’s that time of year, readers!
Christmas is just around the corner.
You’re probably taking this holiday season to relax and maybe not go so hard on the Chinese studies.
After all, everybody needs a break and the holidays …
We get it.
It’s tough making time for anything new.
Be that going to the gym regularly, picking up a new hobby, learning an instrument or learning a brand new language.
It’s quite easy to make excuses for not …
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 …
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 …
Love reading but bored with your current options?
Don’t worry. Things are about to get more exciting.
Because we’re about to get you hooked on some engaging e-book titles for learning and reading Mandarin.
Whether we enjoy actual “books” or …
Could you get through a day without counting?
I’m guessing you want to know exactly how many dollars are in your bank account. Or how many minutes you have left in the workday. Or how many eggs …
Chatbots have been a trend for as long as this old writer can recall.
Remember in the early 2000s when everyone was using Cleverbot to kill some time?
Ever tried thinking of the most obscure character or concept in existence …
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 …
Ah, the cinema!
Our relationship with films has changed quite a bit over the years.
Once upon a time, people needed to purchase a ticket and climb into seats at a movie theater to catch a new release.
Now, we …
Remember when they said the ol’ email would be obsolete soon?
Remember when everyone thought social media would eat the original communication service of the internet and render it useless?
If you’re an online freelancer or someone who …
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 …
Chat rooms have been around since the dawn of the internet and they have yet to go out of style.
Why would they, though?
Chat rooms are a fantastic way to communicate with many people all at the same time, …
Learning Chinese is super easy, right?
I mean, the only things you really need to know are some words, phrases and speaking tones to get by… right?
Maybe this basic knowledge can get you by during a weekend stay …
Free entertainment doesn’t get much better than YouTube.
You can literally find just about anything that tickles your fancy on this massive streaming site, all while supporting independent artists as well.
You can also use YouTube for some entertaining language …
Getting in touch with the world around you is a powerful thing to do.
News media is an important part of Western culture, be it reading the news online or tuning in to news broadcast channels on TV or the …
I’ve noticed a common theme in my FluentU blog posts: More often than not, I’m a sucker for learning Mandarin through incredibly easy means.
Who doesn’t love entertainment paired with education?
From reading books to watching television shows to browsing …
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 …
Reading will never go out of style.
It’s true that we spend more time staring at screens than ever before, but for many people, there’s still nothing like the experience of reading a physical book.
Whether you’re curled up …
Reading manga is a very chill way to learn Chinese.
Well, chill for you, anyways.
The characters are always getting into some crazy drama.
I’m talking everything from secret high school romances to warfare between gods and humanity.
Ah, the art of learning.
Remember what it was like in middle school, high school or college?
No matter where you went for your studies, your classes were probably all arranged in a similar, rigid schedule.
Over the course of …
Music moves us.
It makes us dance, cry and laugh.
It puts melodies and prose to concepts that we think about constantly, such as love and anger.
It helps us cope and keeps us entertained.
Music can also help us …
Insert yourself into this dream.
The aroma of satay and fried noodles wafting from every alleyway.
Vibrant Hindu and Buddhist temples side-by-side in an array of kaleidoscopic colors.
Cities that never sleep with rich nightlife not unlike what you’d expect …
Who doesn’t love making people laugh?
Now can you do it in a foreign language?
It’s so rewarding to make someone chuckle, and it’s especially rewarding if you can make someone from a totally different culture laugh in a …
Whether it’s an action or a moment, the small things matter.
But you know that already.
You’ve worked hard for every little bit of Chinese you know at this point.
You should definitely be proud of yourself!
And as we …
Had enough of the radio?
Done with being stuck in rush hour traffic with the same top 40 hits?
Do you take daily walks or work out regularly, finding yourself growing bored with the high-energy electronic music?
Or maybe you …
It might seem like cheating, but it’s not.
Learning Mandarin Chinese while wearing your pajamas and lounging in your favorite chair is allowed.
While learning a language in a school setting has its merits, but …
Interviews are great, right?
Who doesn’t love the sleepless night before, the panic over what to wear in the morning, the sweating in the waiting room while thumbing through your resume looking for errors?
Alright, interviews aren’t that great. But …
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, …
Want to change the world?
Make a documentary.
Just look at the impact it can have!
After Morgan Spurlock’s expose on the dangers of fast food in “Super Size Me,” McDonald’s overhauled their menu to offer healthier options. Kirby Dick’s …
What’s the most basic conversation-starter you can think of?
Ah, yes. “How’s the weather?”
Sure, it may be a bit default and typical. But asking about the weather is one of the most common ways to break the ice with …
Remember, if you can, the days of the early internet.
When we were online but not yet connected by social media.
Before we carried super-smart communication devices in our pockets at all times.
This was the time when chatrooms …
Just about every ’90s kid can remember this type of glorious sick day:
Home from school, lying in bed, lazily watching talk show hosts chat about basically everything.
News, celebrity gossip, books, dubious lifestyle advice, you name it.
Shows like …
How often do you help your child with their homework?
Do you find yourself struggling sometimes?
Do they seem to figure things out before you do?
Isn’t it great being shown up by children?
Don’t feel too bad about it. …
Ten years ago, I embarked on my journey to learn Mandarin Chinese in high school.
I had a very high-energy 老师 (lǎo shī) — teacher that made learning this seemingly impossible language actually pretty fun and interesting.
Going to her …
FThink of a time where you were really grateful for something.
Did a beloved friend give you a really heartfelt gift?
Has a coworker covered your shift on a Saturday?
Chances are you can definitely think of a time …
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 …
How many times have you checked Facebook, Twitter or Instagram today?
If you’re like most people, then the answer is probably a lot.
Who can blame us? Social media is a fun and easy way to see what our …
There’s nothing like getting a sweet bargain.
Don’t you just want to brag to all your friends when you find that perfect trendy sweater for half off?
Can you ever resist slapping a coupon on the table when it’s time …
Are you beginning your journey through Mandarin Chinese?
It feels pretty overwhelming, right?
There’s the whole tone thing and the scary spoken speed of native speakers (say that ten times fast!).
Then you’ve got the wildly unfamiliar terrain of 汉字 …
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 …
The Library of Congress. The British Library. The Library of Alexandria.
…And your e-reader.
Want your Chinese learning library to compete with those famously massive ones? You can download hundreds of Chinese e-books straight to your favorite device without spending …
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 …
Time to get #fluent.
Just turn your binge-scrolling time on Twitter into Chinese learning time.
We’ve got 10 super interesting, smart and fun Twitter feeds that’ll get you there!
By following these accounts, you’ll get everything from daily vocabulary lessons…
A language barrier can be most frustrating when you’re trying to cross it for love.
Or even just for a crush.
Or for that cutie at the other end of the bar.
Flirting is Chinese can be pretty scary—it’s …
Have you found yourself staring blankly at a Chinese dictionary full of characters?
Thinking that they make about as much sense as Egyptian hieroglyphics?
Since you’ve started your journey in learning Mandarin Chinese, this has probably happened once or twice.…
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 …