In this episode, I interview Davide Saccon, an Italian now living in Qingdong, China.
Listen to find out:
– How he learned “street” Chinese in Italy
– What brought him to China after that
– Why the Chinese he had learned before wasn’t as useful in smaller Chinese villages
– How he used the Chinese he had learned to land his first job in China
– Why it was much harder to learn Chinese outside of China than in China
– What cultural differences he noticed between working in China versus Europe
– How compensation affects motivation with Chinese workers
– How he manages language and communication with his Chinese wife
– Why he had to change the language approach he used with his kids
– The language approach he finds works best with kids from mixed language couples
– The problem he found with the local education system for kids, and what solution they found for it
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:38 — 9.1MB) | Embed
In this episode, I interview Ethan Feig, an American now working in a trade company in Taichung, Taiwan.
Listen to this episode to find out:
– What brought Ethan to Taiwan at age 18
– How Taiwan differed from his prior expectations
– How he learned Chinese from a fellow expat, and how that approach compared to his Taiwanese teacher
– How he maintained his Chinese listening and comprehension skills while back in the US for 2 years
– How he transitioned from teaching English into other work
– About the work culture at his current company
– What advice he has for others wanting to work in non teaching careers in Taiwan
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:02 — 9.7MB) | Embed
In this episode, we welcome back Wesley (from our last episode) to share some of the more fascinating aspects of the Chinese language including:
– How abbreviations work in Chinese (and how they differ from English)
– Why Chinese can’t be the next global language
– Why understanding Chinese culture is so important to understanding Chinese
– The actual meaning of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”
– How chengyus are formed, used and developed
– Sarcasm in Chinese culture and how it’s used
– How he learns and uses chengyus, and how this differs from how native speakers learn them
– Why accents in Chinese don’t matter
– Why Chinese TV has Chinese subtitles
– How the writing system of dialects like Taiwanese has evolved
– The multiple ways that dialects can be subtitled
– “False friends” in Chinese
– How colors in Chinese are used differently than they are in English
– Why language learning is a series of plateaus with no distinct peak
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:27 — 12.8MB) | Embed
In this episode, I interview Wesley. He’s an American, with degrees in Chinese and translation.
Listen to this episode to find out:
- How Wesley got interested in Chinese in the first place.
- How he found Chinese easier to learn as a second language than Spanish.
- What his teacher did to significantly increase his interest in learning Chinese.
- Why it’s important to learn the whole culture rather than just the language.
- What aspect of Chinese drove his main interest in the language.
- His biggest struggle learning Chinese in LA.
- What his best decision was, regarding learning Chinese.
- What he learned on the street that they don’t teach in textbooks.
- What he learned from taking a degree in translation.
- Why he learned more from his grad school classmates than from local friends.
- What happens to foreigners as they live in Taiwan / China for an extended period.
- The difference in culture working for a Taiwanese run company.
- Why you also need to maintain your English, while living in a foreign country.
- The benefits and limitations of having a local partner, with regards to improving your Chinese.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:19 — 12.7MB) | Embed
Dominic is from Oregon, USA, and now lives in Taichung, Taiwan with his wife and 3 year old twins. Listen to this episode to find out:
– What made Dominic move to China at the tender age of 16
– What it was like as a teenager living in China
– Why he lost a lot of weight while living in China
– What aspect of being a foreigner in China was the biggest cultural shock to him
– What brought him to Taiwan a couple of years later
– The biggest differences he noticed between Kunming, China and Taiwan
– What it was like to take a university degree in Chinese with local Taiwanese students
– How he transitioned from teaching English to his current position as Director of Operations for a US Tech company
– His advice for people wanting to transition into a different career path in Taiwan / China
– How he uses Chinese in his daily life
– His approach to language with his Taiwanese wife and his kids
– Why he changed his language approach with his kids
– His thoughts on educating his kids at this young age
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:41 — 12.8MB) | Embed