Category: Study

Chinese vocabulary notes (April 2023)

In this edition: methods to fight insomnia, China’s First Lady giving an interview, living off-grid in China, cheating partners and Taiwanese history (and two idioms 甩锅 + 擦边球).

Chinese Vocabulary Notes 16

Chinese vocabulary notes (February + March 2023)

In this edition: Wuhan retired workers protest, new trend of middle-aged people leaving first-tier cities, Chinese spy balloon, perfectionism, pregnancy and “Red Roulette”.

HSK 9 - how hard is the exam

How hard is HSK 9?

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?

Chinese vocabulary notes (January 2023)

In this edition: the Chinese documentary 书记 (2010), Mandarin-teaching TikToks, taking the HSK 9 exam, 2023 life goals and ChatGPT.

Tutoring platforms: Chinese lessons on a budget?

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes (December 2022)

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!

Chinese vocabulary notes (November 2022)

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.

You don’t have to go to China to learn Chinese!

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes #12

Chinese vocabulary notes (October 2022)

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.

Why do so few non-native learners manage to truly master Chinese tones?

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?

Chinese vocabulary notes (September 2022)

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes (August 2022)

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…

Online Chinese courses vs face-to-face Chinese courses

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes (July 2022)

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!

Preparing for HSK 6 with flashcards: 2500 words in 500 days?

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?

Chinese vocabulary notes June 2022

Chinese vocabulary notes (June 2022)

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes #8

Chinese vocabulary notes (May 2022)

This edition could be called “escape from Shanghai”. Bear with me for some more zero-covid refugee talk.

Chinese vocabulary notes #7

Chinese vocabulary notes (April 2022)

This edition is (almost) all about the lockdown in Shanghai.

Reading the Chinese news: less hard than you think!

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?

Chinese vocabulary notes March 2022

Chinese vocabulary notes (March 2022)

Gaming crackdown, war in Ukraine, badminton, Xi dada, freelance life in China and more. The good news: spring has finally arrived.

Chinese idioms or chengyu

Chinese idioms – why and where to start?

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?

Chinese vocabulary notes #5

Chinese vocabulary notes (February 2022)

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes #4

Chinese vocabulary notes (January 2022)

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!

Chinese vocabulary notes

Chinese vocabulary notes (December 2021)

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.

Chinese vocabulary notes november 2021

Chinese vocabulary notes (November 2021)

Chinese hackers, programming languages, business class high-speed rail traveling, foodstreaming, Chinese facial recognition toilet paper dispensers, little pink: November has been an interesting month!

Chinese vocabulary notes #1

Chinese vocabulary notes (October 2021)

October has gone, but my Chinese vocabulary notes stay!

moving to a new host

Site update: kaohongshu moved to new host has been online for more than two years now. In case you noticed some technical issues: It became time to move Kaohongshu to another host. Last week I migrated the blog and updated the design.

7 ways to upgrade your Chinese reading skills in China

Reading skills are vital, not only for high-level proficiency of the Chinese language, but also for daily survival: from opening a bank account to ordering plane tickets. Reading is key. Here are seven ways to boost your Chinese reading ability while staying in China.

5 things to remove from your life to learn mandarin more effectively

5 simple things to remove from our lives to focus on Mandarin

As if learning Mandarin isn’t difficult enough, many distractions creep into our lives and keep us from advancing towards our goals. Here are five things to downscale in order to become a more effective learner.

Learning Mandarin: how to continue after you leave China?

I studied Chinese in China for six months. Returning home, I felt that I had made progress, but the time wasn’t adequate to become fluent. How to continue improving your Chinese after you leave?

Real immersion: Learning Chinese at Keats in Kunming

Interview: I talked to the co-founder of Keats Chinese language School Zier Liu (刘子尔) and asked her why students keep returning every year and how Keats adepts to the present Covid-situation.

Can you learn Chinese without Pleco flashcards?

Are Pleco flashcards worth spending 10 bucks? Are they really essential or can you learn Chinese without Pleco flashcards? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons!