Mandarin or Cantonese? - Neither

Whenever you find out a person's ethnic to be Chinese, the instant question that arises is "Mandarin or Cantonese?" "Neither, I'm Fujianese." There are so many different languages in China that it can actually sum up to hundreds. Having different languages also means having different family cultures. I, myself, have grown up very differently from other friends in Chinatown (even though we grow up in the same neighborhood). After Chinese New Year, me and my friends always had a ...

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The Revered Chinese Calendar

大家好!(I feel great to be here again!) This is the second article on the Chinese New Year series. In the last article, we learned how to greet Chinese during the New Year and how to appreciate the Spring Couplets. Today we will look at the Chinese calendar, which is more in tune with the natural rhythm of the universe and the earth compared to the regular calendar. We will mainly talk about the Chinese numerals and the Solar terms, the 24 points in the Chinese calendar that match particular ...

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Chinese New Years Festival - The Beginning and the End

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our series on the Chinese New Year Festival. Last time, we looked at the Chinese lunar calendar and how the solar terms play a significant role in the lives of Chinese people. This time we continue our journey about the longest holiday in China. We will dive into the plenty of interesting food and all sorts of celebrations and ceremonies for this holiday season. We will have a feast! 腊八节/là bā jié/. Laba Festival. Preparations for New Year festivities ...

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Chinese New Year Explained! Traditions, Greetings, Etc.

Hello, everyone! Welcome back from a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday. In America and many other countries, the most important holiday season once a year has come to an end and it is time to work to make 2015's resolutions come true. But across the Pacific Ocean, people in China haven’t officially crossed over into the new year. January 1st in China is called 元旦/yuán dàn/ and is celebrated by taking a 3-day national holiday; but the beginning of the Chinese New Year is the Spring ...

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Christmas in China—When East Meets West

Merry Christmas everybody! 圣诞快乐/shèng dàn kuài lè/! Thank you for your interest in learning Chinese and your support in 2014. I will do my very best to introduce you to more interesting things about China and more useful Chinese learning techniques in the coming year. The US now is filled with a festive atmosphere. Do you wonder how Chinese people, on the other side of the globe, spend Christmas day? Do they celebrate this religious and cultural western holiday? The answer is yes and ...

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Top 5 Chinese Scary Movies

Top 5 Chinese Horror Movies With Halloween fast approaching, we thought we'd take a shot at naming the top 5 scariest Chinese movies of all time. After discussing with both our teachers and students, here's a general list that we came up with for you to watch this coming Halloween. Just in case your favorite isn't here, please either post a comment on this article or you can visit our Facebook Page this week to place your vote on our choices. NUMBER 5 - The Eye  I, II, III - (見鬼) A ...

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Chronicles of Nanyang - Back in China

This article series is from a Hills Learning student, Loraine, who took our intensive course over the summer of 2012. She writes about living in China and her experiences learning about the Chinese language and culture. Dear Friends, After spending the summer in the U.S. visiting family and friends, I’ve returned to China to work for a second year at Nanyang Normal University.  It’s been wonderful to get back to all of the things that made my first year here so special—the students, my ...

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Chronicles of Nanyang - The Spring Semester

This article series is from a Hills Learning student, Loraine, who took our intensive course over the summer of 2012. She writes about living in China and her experiences learning about the Chinese language and culture. Dear Friends, So much has happened since my last update, both for me personally and in the world.  My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  It’s hard to be outside of the U.S. at times like this, and I thank all of you who ...

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Chronicles of Nanyang - Lantern Festival and Reflections

This article series is from a Hills Learning student, Loraine, who took our intensive course over the summer of 2012. She writes about living in China and her experiences learning about the Chinese language and culture.   Dear Friends, Ni hao from Nanyang.  Spring has been slow in coming to China, here one day and gone the next.  We are all still wearing our coats, both indoors and out. In my last letter, I had just come back from my winter travels and Chinese new year.  But ...

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Chronicles from Nanyang - Happy Chinese New Year

This article series is from a Hills Learning student, Loraine, who took our intensive course over the summer of 2012. She writes about living in China and her experiences learning about the Chinese language and culture. Dear Friends, I hope the year 2013 is off to a great start.  Here in China, we’re getting ready for yet another new year, this one according to the lunar calendar.  The coming year will be the year of the snake, and it will begin on February 10th.  What most Chinese ...

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All about Chinese New Year—Traditions and Food

Would you like to enjoy a New Year celebration that is fifteen-day-long and with different celebrations on each day? Chinese Spring Festival is the answer. Lunar calendar Unlike most of the western countries, Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is not on January 1st .  Since Chinese people use the lunar calendar in addition to western Gregorian calendar, the actual date of Spring festival varies every year based on the lunar cycle. However it always falls on January or February. The ...

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When to Teach Your Kids Mandarin Chinese

With Mandarin being such a popular language these days throughout New York City and increasing throughout America and globally, the question is for parents is not if their kids should be learning Mandarin but when. Just in case you feel you're in the former, keep in mind that foreign language is an important pursuit of all children in their studies. And we're not talking just academics-wise learning the basic grammatical and vocabulary structures, we're more discussing the actual pursuit of ...

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Dialects in Chinese - Is Mandarin Dominant?

CHINESE DIALECTS 方言 Every person who decides to learn the Chinese language should be aware of the fact that there are many Chinese dialects in China. Since it was first spoken in 1122 BCE, Chinese has dramatically evolved from its primitive roots to a very complex language system that includes different intricacies and varieties, also known as 方言 (fang1yan2), regional dialects. Some people compare it with English, with its British, US, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, South African and ...

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Chinese Lunar New Year and Holidays

The three most important holidays in the Chinese calendar are the Lunar New Year, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Moon (Mid-Autumn) Festival. The Lantern Festival is the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The main theme of the holidays is for people to get together with family. The Chinese holidays are all based on the lunar calendar so they are on different dates as compared to the western calendar. Lunar New Year In ...

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Why Businesses Should Learn Chinese

The buzz language in New York City these days is Chinese. Whenever you speak with someone about new business opportunities China will usually enter into the conversation. But is Learning Chinese really worth it? In a bilingual world where Chinese people are moving to New York City, you would think just a trusted in house translator would suffice for companies doing business in China. This article will argue that at least learning the basics of Chinese can jump start your business and give ...

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