Author Archive | Sheena Dizon

30 Must-have Chinese Apps for Spending Time in China

No access to Google, YouTube, Facebook or Whatsapp in China? No problem! The Great Firewall of China might prevent you from browsing your usual sites and platforms, but there are plenty of alternatives and essentials that will tide you over.…

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)…

TGIF! Counting Down the Days of the Week in Chinese

The Monday blues. Hump Day (a.k.a Wednesday). Thirsty Thursdays. Whether literal or symbolic, each day of the week has meaning for us. And given that we’re always looking forward to the weekend, we talk about the days of the …

Cha-ching! Money in Chinese and How to Talk About It

Money makes the world go round, doesn’t it? Okay, money isn’t everything, but it does play a huge part in our lives. Financial security is important, though—that’s for certain. There’s even a study that suggests counting money relieves pain. …

30+ Must-know Chinese Honorifics for Being Polite Like a Pro

I never really liked being referred to as “ma’am.” It always makes me feel old. Although it sure beats hearing people shout “lady” to get my attention. It might not be rude in every culture, but it definitely isn’t polite …

13 Beautiful Chinese Words with Fascinating Hidden Meanings

Serendipity. Ethereal. Limerence. These are just a handful of the most beautiful words in the English language. What deems a word beautiful? Is it the way it rolls off your tongue? What about the word pulchritudinous? It doesn’t exactly …

10 Unique Resources to Easily Learn Mandarin Online

Are you learning Mandarin with textbooks and would like to have online resources to supplement your learning? Or, are you looking to study Mandarin without textbooks altogether? If so, keep reading because, in this blog post, I will give you …

Beyond the Farm: 50 Symbolic Animals in Chinese

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: In English, being referred to as pig-headed or a one-trick pony isn’t exactly the nicest thing someone can say about you. Mandarin also has its own share of animal idioms to describe …

The 10 Best Chinese Songs of All Time for Your Next KTV Party

If there’s one activity that Chinese people love, it’s karaoke. Whether they’re social drinkers or don’t drink at all, there’s nothing that’ll easily bring people together like a KTV party. You might not be as enthusiastic about it, but …

Just Press Play! 16 Chinese Movies with English Subtitles

Watch movies to learn Chinese, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. But if you aren’t already proficient in the language, watching Chinese movies is just plain overwhelming. It’s a tricky language! How are you supposed to follow along …

Wondering How to Order Food in Mandarin? Start Here!

Deciding what you want to eat can be very difficult when you love food. But deciding what you want from a foreign-language menu? That’s even harder. In this post, we’ll help you get up to speed on all the …

How to Memorize Chinese Characters: 7 Simple Steps

Did you know that there are over 50,000 characters in Chinese? However, to be able to read a newspaper, you only need to recognize about 2,000-3,000 characters. This might still sound like a lot, but memorizing Chinese characters …

4 Ways Mandarin Speakers Show Love Without “I Love You”

Saying “I love you” in Mandarin is sometimes as simple as saying 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ). But there are also many other, less straightforward ways to convey the same sentiments. In China, you’d mostly use expressions other than “I love …

5 Fun and Easy Jokes in Chinese to Impress Your Friends

How good are you at keeping a conversation going? Holding a conversation is a social skill that doesn’t come naturally for all of us. Sometimes even chitchat in our native tongue can be a real challenge. But the real question …

How to Remember Chinese Tones and Sound Like a Native

Conversation is a lost art. If you don’t understand the importance of tones when speaking Mandarin Chinese, odds are everyone will be lost after your conversation. There’s no way around it. If you want to say what you mean, …

Chinese Pinyin Pronunciation: Overview + Practice Guide

Afraid to try out your Chinese pronunciation? Some say that Mandarin Chinese is so hard to learn. They say the phonetic system pushes you so far from your comfort zone that it makes pronunciation a nightmare. It’s true that …

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, …