In 2020 the introduction of three new HSK levels shocked the global Chinese learning community. Where HSK 6 used to be the ultimate certification of Chinese language skills, now you can aim for HSK 9. But how difficult is HSK 9 and what skills do you need to pass the exam?
In this edition: the Chinese documentary 书记 (2010), Mandarin-teaching TikToks, taking the HSK 9 exam, 2023 life goals and ChatGPT.
Thinking of booking Chinese lessons, but not sure how much you’re willing to spend or how many lessons your money can buy? This is how many Chinese lessons 250 $ can get you.
A Chinese county level official in his prime. The Mainland Chinese documentary “书记” introduces Guo Yongchang, secretary of the Gushi County Party Committee, who “rules” over 1.6 million people in Southern Henan. The film covers the three months before secretary Guo leaves his post and ends up in prison.
The final edition from 2022: the death of Jiang Zemin, job hunting in Taiwan and the white paper revolution in China. Happy new year to all serious Chinese learners! Keep studying, keep growing!
In this month’s edition: returning to China (回国), emigrating from China, German chancellor visits China, energy crisis, compliments, growing up in China, Chinese economy and finally China’s one child policy.
The bad news: China won’t stop its zero-Covid policy anytime soon (or will it?). The good news: you don’t have to go to China to learn Chinese.
In this month’s edition: Chinese health expert explains China zero-covid policy, Xi’ great power diplomacy, China’s demographic trap and the Chinese immigrant experience in Germany.
From all the people learning Chinese and reaching a relatively high level of proficiency only a few ever seem to truly master the Chinese tones. By that I mean they speak fully fluent and sound so “native” that it would fool native Chinese speakers. Why is that? Are Chinese tones just too damn hard or is it laziness on our part?
In this month’s edition: Chinese public opinion on Mao Zedong & Kim Jong-Un, successful Chinese immersion in Britain, sex education in China, parenting – yes or no, Chinese phonetics master class, lockdown in Chengdu and cycling in Changsha.
Are you taking Chinese classes or planning of doing so? In that case, nothing is more important than finding the right teacher. Here are 9 things I look for when it comes to Chinese teachers.
In this month’s edition: Chinese idols, what Chinese think about the Taiwanese question, parenting made in China and last but not least, Afu got COVID and how it impacts the Chinese-speaking YouTube community…
Does online Chinese class truly beat a face-to-face Chinese course or is it the other way round? Which type of course does suit your personal situation and learning needs best? Here’s my personal look at the pros and cons of on- and offline Chinese courses.
In this month’s edition: bitcoin explained in Chinese, what do people in China have to say about the Johnny Depp – Amber Heard trial, the story of Will hart (fluent in Chinese after 1.5 years), apartment hunting in Taipei and more!
Looking for online Chinese classes to get to the next level? I took a few online classes with GoEast Mandarin. In this review, I’ll cover how it works, what it costs and what’s the added value.
How long does it take to learn all HSK 6 vocabulary by relying on a spaced repetition flashcard app like Daily Chinese? And can it work?
In this month’s edition: Chinese as a global language, Chinese drinking culture, cat slaves, financial advise, computerized chopsticks and last but not least: finally understanding the Chinese news.
Want to read more authentic content in Chinese? Chinese novels, short stories and children stories written for native readers? For more intermediate and advanced learners the app Readibu has plenty of good reads to offer.
This edition could be called “escape from Shanghai”. Bear with me for some more zero-covid refugee talk.
Not so long ago, Mandarin Companion surveyed over a thousand Chinese learners worldwide. They discovered six main types of Chinese learners. What kind of Chinese learner are you?
This edition is (almost) all about the lockdown in Shanghai.
How difficult is it to read the Chinese news? From which level can you start and which tools and apps are recommended? Which Chinese news media are interesting to read?
Gaming crackdown, war in Ukraine, badminton, Xi dada, freelance life in China and more. The good news: spring has finally arrived.
Chinese learners are often told 成语 (chéngyǔ), the four-character idioms, are essential to reach native-like fluency. What are these idioms exactly and how important are they?
In this edition: lying flat, the Chinese social credit system, the Olympic financials explained and Love Defense Wars (yes). Here are my February Chinese vocabulary notes.
What is #LanguageHacking? Who is Benny Lewis? Is it possible to become fluent in Mandarin in only three months? This is my review of “Language Hacking Mandarin” by Benny Lewis.
Chinese dictionary apps are much more than mere translation tools. Which Chinese dictionary app offers the best features for your money’s worth?
Omicron, lockdown in Xi’an, what Taiwanese think of China, German real estate for Chinese buyers and more. January is almost gone, Spring will soon be here!
Learning Mandarin and looking for a comprehensive overview of must-have learning resources? This is part two.
Learning Mandarin and looking for a comprehensive overview of must-have resources? This is part one.
The end of year is drawing near. I hope you had a good and productive one so far and managed to stay positive, despite of the state our world is currently in. Here are some more Chinese vocabulary notes, a double dose of omicron or 奥密克戎 included.
The HSK Standard Course books are probably the most-used books to prepare for the HSK. How useful are these books to pass the exams and are they suitable for self-study? In this article, I review the books I’ve been using for the longest time: the HSK 5 Standard Course textbooks.