說話

a poem by 宋尚緯 你願意和我說些話嗎 (are you willing to speak with me?) 說些溫柔的話 (speak warm and gentle words) 讓我忘記死亡 (Let me forget about death) 忘記⽇常的鬼魅 (Forget the ghosts of everyday life) 在我身邊遊蕩 (Waiting beside my body) 看⾒躺下的樣⼦像字 (Lying down like a written word) 逐漸變⼩,才想起 (Slowly shrinking, it comes to me) 問你是否願意 (To ask you if […]

書法

tbd 做清單 + Three Character Classic, 1000 Character Classic 王旅星 (wang2 lv3 xing1) 龍旅星 (long2 lv3 xing1) 萬旅星 (wan4 lv3 xing1) 旅 travel (lv3) 星 star (xing1) 書法 + 練習書法: 待辦 Dài bàn (upcoming) 事項 shìxiàng (items) 列表 lièbiǎo (list) + … 做清單 Zuò qīngdān + … 藝術 Yìshù (art) + … 鍛煉習慣 Duànliàn xíguàn […]

漢語 tones

Tones in Mandarin are easy, except when they’re not, which is every time a native Chinese speaker talks or tries to understand what you’re saying. It’s commonly taught that there are only five tones (four tones, plus a neutral tone). You can learn those five tones quickly. I guess that’s really easy. Let’s look at […]

Speak like a Diplomat

One of my absolute favorite perspectives on language learning comes from the US Foreign Service Institute (FSI), in particular: Theory and Practice in Government Language Teaching. It’s written as an academic paper, but it’s by far the most useful thing I’ve ever read about language learning. I’ve summarized each of the 12 sections below (along […]

舒適區

Following the outside-in approach, start with danger zone responses, and then develop learning zone phrases. Remember to condition these as responses. Imagine you’re in the appropriate situation and then say the phrase. Repeat until it becomes automatic, such that the real-life situation will trigger the response. 危險區 I’ve compiled a list of danger zone responses […]

bad advice

I love trying new things. I’m quick to believe anything that seems helpful or promises to make language learning quicker or easier. I’m also anxious to test everything — to see how great it works. Most of the time I’m disappointed, but I’ve come to relish bad advice. Knowing what is bad advice can be […]