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Knowing How to Say 我不敢嘗試 in Chinese Could Keep You Out of Trouble

One of the first phrases I was taught in Chinese, when we lived in Taiwan, was 不要 (bu2 yao4), literally meaning “don’t want”, so that I could communicate confidently with persistent sales people. It worked wonders, because a polite shaking of the head, or even smiles while walking away, seemed to leave them with the […]

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Deciding Whether to Use 寬恕 or 原諒 to Forgive People in Chinese Who Have Eaten Your Cookies

When I wrote my mushy love song in Chinese, I learned to say (我們)(寬恕)[(彼此)(的)](缺點)。 (wo3 men.) (kuan1 shu4) [(bi3 ci3)(de.)] (que1 dian3) (we) (forgive) [(each other) ('s)] (lacking points) We forgive each other’s faults.   In a subsequent lesson, my tutor and I got to talking about (哪莉)[(吃)(了)] [(全部)(的)](我的)(食物) (na4 li4) [(chi1)9le.)] [(quan2 bu4)(de.)] (wo3 […]

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Loosen Your Chinese Tongue by Practicing Sentences Used Frequently During Lessons

My Chinese tutor is always telling me I “need to loosen [my] tongue.” She says that I can learn to read and write, and even listen to Chinese without learning to speak it, if I don’t loosen my tongue. So we are always looking for sentences or subjects that can be used a lot so […]

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Chinese Music Video Makes Intense Homework -因為你全然的愛我 Because You Completely Love Me

Last week I wrote about how I rewrote (in Chinese) a popular Chinese song into something I could relate to more. This week, I’m posting a music video of it. But it is hard to sing in a language I’m not fluent in! Anyway, I captioned the Chinese characters on it, too, which was more […]

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Understanding the Song 當我想你的時候 Enough to Rewrite It Helps Learn Grammar and Vocabulary

One good way to both study and test the understanding of a language concept, is to try to use the grammar and vocabulary in your own meaningful sentences. My tutor has helped me do this many times by encouraging me to both speak and write sentences based on a particular concept I am trying to […]

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