Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 048: Ron

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In this interview, Ron Hanson from New Zealand details the steps he took to learn Mandarin Chinese to allow him to research topics to write on for his magazine: www.whitefungus.com Listen to find out:

  • What brought him to Taiwan
  • How he first started learning Chinese
  • Why he decided to learn Chinese characters
  • Why he feels learning Chinese characters are important
  • His character learning process at school
  • His process for researching in Chinese
  • His process for learning new vocabulary
  • Why learning Chinese is like learning Shakespeare
  • How he uses the Pleco Chinese dictionary app
  • How he feels about having a western accent when speaking Chinese
  • The benefits he gets from speaking Chinese
  • What he does to progress towards Chinese fluency
  • The trouble with learning Chinese handwriting
  • What he wishes he’d done differently when learning Chinese

Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 047: Anthony

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In this podcast episode, Canadian Anthony Van Dyck details the steps he took to self teach himself Mandarin Chinese, which enabled him to branch out from teaching English and climb the corporate ladder all the way to COO of an energy company in Taiwan.

Listen to find out:

  • What brought him to Taiwan
  • What it was like living in Chiayi in the 80s
  • His first words in Mandarin
  • How he learned Bopomofo (zhuyin fuhao)
  • What business culture was like in rural Taiwan
  • Distinguishing between Taiwanese Mandarin and standard Chinese
  • Learning to count in Chinese
  • Learning Chinese from movies
  • Learning Chinese from love songs
  • Making friends with Taiwanese
  • Learning Chinese from the iPhone
  • Learning Chinese on the job
  • How speaking Chinese got him promoted
  • His Chinese phone hotline story
  • How he switched career paths
  • Why CVs aren’t good enough to get a job
  • Raising bilingual kids in Taiwan
  • Education in Taiwan
  • The problem with education in Taiwan
  • Why expats should learn Chinese
  • The benefit of an Master’s degree
  • A useful idiom to learn
  • How to develop your social environment in Taiwan
  • How to learn new idioms

Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 046: Karen

In this episode, I interview Karen Chung, an American who has lived in Taiwan for 40 years.

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Listen to find out:

  • What brought her to Taiwan
  • What Taiwan was like in the 70s
  • Why studying in university is not enough to learn Chinese
  • What mistakes she made in Chinese early on
  • Why she began to worry about her English level, more than her Chinese
  • Her experience teaching Chinese at the University of Hawaii
  • The number one mistake foreigners make when learning Chinese
  • The proper way to learn Chinese tones
  • The importance of using proper tones beyond just being understood
  • Her experience learning characters
  • Why she prefers pinyin over zhuyin
  • Common mistakes that foreigners make when learning Chinese
  • What she recommends you do with your teacher / language exchange partner
  • The benefits of being able to speak Chinese at a higher level
  • Her advice on raising kids in Taiwan
  • Her advice on improving English education in Taiwan

Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 045: Adam

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Interview with Adam Bell, an American, on his journey to Mandarin Chinese fluency in Taiwan.

Listen to hear:

  • What brought him to Taiwan
  • His experiences studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan
  • How he created an immersion culture for himself in Taiwan
  • How he transitioned from studying Chinese to working full-time in a Taiwanese company
  • His approach to learning technical vocabulary for his job
  • The benefits of immersion and using Mandarin in daily life
  • What he would do differently if he had to learn Chinese from scratch
  • Adam’s involvement in stand-up comedy in Mandarin
  • Raising a bilingual child in a mixed-language household

Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 044: Jamie

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In this episode, I interview Jamie Rufe, an American now living in Taiwan.

Jamie tells us:
– What brought him to Taiwan
– Why he started learning Mandarin Chinese
– What career opportunities being able to speak Chinese got him
– The one habit that was instrumental to his Chinese progress
– The approach he recommends new Chinese learners take
– His experience working in a Chinese factory
– His recommendations for foreigners looking for a career path in Taiwan or China
– What he recommends over Stephen Krashen’s comprehensible input approach
– How AI can dramatically speed up learning Chinese
– Why he recommends that new students forego learning Chinese characters in the beginning
– How even English teachers can improve their prospects by improving their Chinese
– How to find jobs in Taiwanese and Chinese companies