Iranian speaks great Chinese

•April 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

He speaks incredibly fluent Mandarin and Cantonese!
He starts briefly in English, then Cantonese. Mandarin starts at 1:47 and he continues Cantonese after 2:51 ….

He was talking about how a pair of Chinese girls thought he was cute. The one said to her friend how she thought he was handsome, thinking he couldn’t understand her language. Then he answered, “Thanks you two, I think you’re both very pretty too!” LOL.

That’s happened to me more than once, as well. 😉


Just when you thought you’d seen it all….

•April 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

(Takes a while to load, but be patient!)

So… technically, there is a way to practice suicide bombing? lol….

Seeing “Europe” in Asia

•April 18, 2010 • 1 Comment

On April 4th, a friend and I went to the Swedish 80’s Rock band, Europe, concert.

It was a great concert and the finale was, of course, “It’s The Final Countdown”. I never dreamed I’d ever hear that awesome song played live by Europe.

After it was over, my friend and I went to the back entrace of the Chung Hsing University auditorium (in Taichung) and waited, along with 10-15 other fans, for Joey Tempest and the other band members to come out. I especially wanted to meet Ian Haugland – their drummer. We waited for about 3 hours, unsure if they were going to even going to say much to us. At 11:30 PM, Joey came out and spent a minute with everyone, followed by the rest of the band members.

Ian Haugland spent a little more time before he followed everyone into their bus (not the regular one they use around European & North American countries). My friend and I were the first fans to greet him and he shook my hand as I told him I was a drummer and that we were exchange students. Before he left, he took a picture with me and signed his autograph for me!

He, and the others, are very personable and only have slight European accents hahaha!

Needless to say, it was an incredible experience for us and I doubt we’ll forget it ~ it made my exchange an even more exciting and memorable time of my life.

Hah! You can say that again..

•April 18, 2010 • 3 Comments

Read this from “” … It sounds all too familiar

I’ve been living in Taiwan for about 3 years now. I’ve been teaching English at least part time the whole time I’ve been here. I spent 10 months in language classes at a mediocre language school that employs audio-lingual drills and frequent vocabulary quizes, tīngxiě, and grammar-based tests. I have not been able to find the wealth of extensive reading materials for beginner or intermediate language learners that I previously found when studying Japanese or Spanish. Also, I’ve found that the bar is set very low for foreign speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Even a few weeks after I got here, when I could barely say anything in Chinese, people complimented my accent or just general “good Chinese”. Consequently, for Mandarin, it’s harder to get massive comprehensible input from the real world.

Many, many Taiwanese people try to speak English just about any time they’re talking to a white person. Many of those who don’t speak much English, will refuse to speak at all rather than simplify their speech for a foreigner. When I was in Guatemala, if I went into a store, the owner would definitely talk to me in Spanish. If I didn’t understand, he’d keep jabbering away in Spanish, but add hand gestures, or simplify his speech. That was nearly ideal for a language learner. In Taiwan, many store owners simply try to speak to me in English even if I speak to them in Mandarin first. If they do speak Chinese, and I don’t understand, they’re likely to give up all together. On one occasion, I went into a store in a night market to buy a fan. I asked the owner, “有沒有賣電風扇? (Do you sell fans?)”. Not only did he not understand, but he didn’t even bother to say, “聽不懂. (I don’t understand).” He just held up his hand, with his palm facing me, while shaking his head as if it would ward off the foreigner. So, I took three steps forward and repeated my question more slowly, more clearly and very loudly. At this point, he graced me with a “聽不懂”. I tried unsuccessfully one more time, and finally just grabbed a blank post-it note on the counter and WROTE, “有沒有賣電風扇?” Then, do you know what he did? He looked up in shock and said, “你會講國語嗎? (Can you speak Chinese)”. After this, he understood EVERYTHING I asked him, including the wattage requirements of the fan, and went on to ask me about all kinds of various things regarding America that he was curious about. When I left, I asked why he didn’t understand me until I wrote out my question for him. He answered, “喔,我以為你在講英語. (I thought you were speaking English.)”
In any case, whether it is due to the fact that I have been focused more on work than studying, or if it’s because of the comparative lack of learning resources, my progress with Mandarin has been much less impressive than my Japanese learning was. At this point, my speaking is so-so, and my writing is at about the 2nd or 3rd grade level. I think that the extensive reading and cartoon watching that helped my Japanese so much would help my Chinese, too. It’s just that I have to reach a high level of Chinese before I can find material that I can read easily without a dictionary. Likewise, the better my spoken Chinese becomes, the more enjoyable it will be for local friends to talk to me in Chinese. I’ll keep at it, reading the 國語日報 (a newspaper for kids), and doing additional study when I’m motivated. With a full-time job, though, it may be a long time before my Mandarin is as good as my Japanese was.


Steve Kaufmann, a polyglot

•April 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Chinese using English names

•April 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Not sure I would watch all of her videos hahaha.. but this is an interesting subject. And quite funny. 😛

And here’s a blog post from about learning Chinese names:

You know you’re Taiwanese/Chinese…

•April 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

1. You look like you are 18.
2. You like to eat chicken feet.
3. You suck on fish heads and fish fins.
4. You have a Chinese knick-knack hanging on your rear view mirror.
5. You sing Karaoke.
6. Your house is covered with tile.
7. Your kitchen is covered by a sticky film of grease.
8. Your stove is covered with aluminum foil.
9. You leave the plastic covers on your remote control.
10. You’ve never kissed your mom or dad.
11. You’ve never hugged your mom or dad.
12. Your unassisted vision is worse than 20/500.
13. You wear contacts, to avoid wearing your “coke bottle glasses”.
14. You’ve worn glasses since you were in fifth grade.
15. Your hair sticks up when you wake up.
16. You’ll haggle over something that is not negotiable.
17. You love to use coupons.
18. You drive around looking for the cheapest gas.
19. You drive around for hours looking for the best parking space.
20. You take showers at night.
21. You avoid the non-free snacks in hotel rooms.
22. You don’t mind squeezing 20 people into one motel room.
23. Most girls have more body hair than you, if you are male.
24. You tap the table when someone pours tea for you.
25. You say “Aiya!” and “Wah!” frequently.
26. You don’t want to wear your seatbelt because it is uncomfortable.
27. You love Las Vegas, slot machines, and blackjack.
28. You unwrap Christmas gifts very carefully, so you can reuse the paper.
29. You only buy Christmas cards after Christmas, when they are 50% off.
30. You have a vinyl table cloth on your kitchen table.
31. You spit bones and other food scraps on the table. (That’s why you need the vinyl tablecloth).
32. You have stuff in the freezer since the beginning of time.
33. You use the dishwasher as a dish rack.
34. You have never used your dishwasher.
35. You keep a Thermos of hot water available at all times.
36. You eat all meals in the kitchen.
37. You save grocery bags, tin foil, and tin containers.
38. You have a piano in your living room
39. You pick your teeth at the dinner table (but you cover your mouth).
40. You twirl your pen around your fingers.
41. You hate to waste food.
42. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
43. You don’t own any real Tupperware – only a cupboard full of used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, takeout containers, and jam jars.
44. You also use the jam jars as drinking glasses.
45. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles that you take every time you stay in a hotel.
46. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (travel means any car ride longer than 15 minutes). These snacks are always dried and include dried plums, mango, ginger, and squid.
47. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
48. Your dad thinks he can fix everything himself.
49. The dash board of your Honda is covered by hundreds of small toys.
50. You don’t use measuring cups.
51. You beat eggs with chopsticks.
52. You have a teacup with a cover on it.
53. You always look phone numbers up in the phone book, since calling information costs 50 cents.
54. You only make long distance calls after 11pm.
55. If you are male, you clap at something funny and if you are female, you giggle whilst placing a hand over your mouth.
56. You like Chinese films in their original undubbed versions.
57. You love Chinese Martial Arts films.
58. You’ve learnt some form of martial arts.
59. Shaolin actually mean something to you.
60. You like congee with thousand year old eggs.
61. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached.
62. You never call your parents just to say hi.
63. If you don’t live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you’ve eaten, even if it’s midnight.
64. When you’re sick, your parents tell you not to eat fried foods or baked goods due to ‘yeet hay’.
65. You know what yeet hay is.
66. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you’re only 10 feet apart.
67. You use a face cloth.
68. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat places.
69. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewellery or electronics.
70. You save your old Coke bottle glasses even though you’re never going to use them again.
71. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
72. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
73. You know what moon cakes are.
74. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls and store them in your closet or in the bedroom of an adult child who has moved out.
75. Your parents know how to launch nasal projectiles.
76. You iron your own shirts.
77. You play a musical instrument.
78. Even if you’re totally full, if someone says they’re going to throw away the leftovers on the table, you’ll finish them.
79. You’ve eaten a red bean popsicle.
80. You bring oranges (or other produce) with you as a gift when you visit people’s homes.
81. You fight over who pays the dinner bill.
82. You majored in something practical like engineering, medicine or law.
83. You live with your parents and you are 30 years old (and they prefer it that way).
Or if you’re married and 30 years old, you live in the apartment next door to your parents, or at least in the same neighbourhood.
84. You don’t tip more than 0% at a restaurant, and if you do, you tip Chinese delivery guys/waiters more.
85. You have acquired a taste for bitter melon.
86. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don’t eat the last piece of food on the table.