iPad Apps for Chinese Study (2011)

2011 saw many iPad apps released, but how many of them are specifically designed for the iPad and help you learn Chinese? This post sums up some of the best ones that you really need to be aware of.

Language Power Struggles

Do you ever find yourself engaged in battles of nerves over which language you should be using? Whether it’s waiters, business contacts, or friends, these linguistic power struggles are everywhere. Learn a bit more about how to minimize conflict in this post about language power struggles.

Toward Better Tones in Natural Speech

It has been suggested that it’s more useful to teach that the third tone is low rather than dipping. This could help with third tone problems in connected speech. The “model” third tone with a rising tail could then be treated as the exception to the rule. Based on this idea, I created this “perceptual tone diagram.”

Learning Curves: Chinese vs. Japanese

I’ve been asked many times: “Which is harder to learn, Chinese or Japanese?” Well, the latest time finally inspired me to make this graphic. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but some notes will follow anyway. For me, the major points of comparison come down to just pronunciation and grammar.

Living in China is like an RPG

How is living in China like an RPG? You’d be surprised at all the similarities. Examples: “It takes place in a magical world where people believe in mystical concepts like qi and fengshui,” “The people take legends very seriously (even 5,000 year old ones),” and “The word ‘peasant’ doesn’t seem out of place.”

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