Interview with An Advanced-Level Chinese Learner-Part I

Generally speaking, knowing how to “fish” is usually more important than how many “fish” you get. In explanation, “method” is the key part in doing a lot of things, such as learning languages. It is also useful for you to know what other successful language learners do when they learn a new language or even several new languages. 

Aaron & His Favorite Sport, Bowling

Aaron & His Favorite Sport, Bowling

In today’s post, my friend Aaron Miller, an Asian-born-American, who is known as the “grammar editor” among the Chinese students, will share with us his experience learning Chinese, Cantonese and a little Korean.

As a native Chinese speaker, I was pretty surprised by Aaron’s Chinese level and his language talents at the first time when I met him and heard him speak. Here are the first part of recordings I got during the interview with him.

Q01. Aaron, can you greet our readers with the several languages you can speak?

Q02. Languages are usually considered as the indicators of different cultures. Since you are such an expert in learning foreign languages, I guess the readers must be really curious about what kind of background you come from that makes you so good at languages?

A Screen Shot of Aaron's Hometown, Angeles City, Philippines, on Google Map

A Screen Shot of Aaron's Hometown, Angeles City, Philippines, on Google Map

(Click the Above Image for Detailed Map)

Q03. What is the reason that made you choose Chinese as you major here in the University of Florida? Up till now, how long have you been a Chinese learner?

Q04. As a lot of Chinese learners complain, Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Do you think so as well? Do you have your own method to conquer this problem?

Q05. Who teaches (or taught) you Chinese? Where do they come from? What kind of learning materials have you been using? 

Here are the screenshots for the textbooks Aaron has been using for his Chinese study.

Textbook for Level II

Textbook for Level II

Textbook for Level I

Textbook for Level I

Qo6. At the baby level of your Chinese, how did your teacher(s) do to guide your learning tour? And what method are you using at this level?

“Just have fun with it” is what impressed me the most in Aaron’s talking. Indeed. Interest is the most necessary and effective motivation in doing and succeeding in one thing. One will never do something well if he finds the thing boring. Neither can he do it well if he “hates” the thing. 

So, play with Chinese and try to get the most fun out of it. If you can manage to do that, you will make a good Chinese learner.

Please come back and check out for the second part of my interview with the advanced-level Chinese learner, Aaron Miller!

A Quiet Corner at 5141 SW 91st Way, Gainesville, FL.

A Quiet Corner at 5141 SW 91st Way, Gainesville, FL.

Got more interesting stories of Chinese learners or your own experience learning Chinese to share with us?
Know more useful and efficient ways of Chinese learning?
Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!
by Xuan♥.
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Series Post on Driving: Part I. How to say “Driver’s License” in Chinese?

√  Are you guys good drivers?

√  When did you get your driver’s license?

√  Do you know the differences between taking a driving test in China and taking the test in the U.S.?

√  Do you want to know how to say “driver’s license” in Chinese?

Street Sight in St. Augustine

Heavy but Neat Traffic in St. Augustine

Today’s Chinese-learning topic is related to a very important living skill – DRIVING.  

Before I came to the U.S., I passed the driving test in China and got my Chinese driver’s license. I passed my written test about a week ago here in Gainesville, Florida. During my preparation for my driving test here, I found some similarities and several interesting differences between taking a driving test in China and the U.S. 

I guess you guys might be curious about my findings, so I would love to share with you the SIMILARITIES part while teaching you guys the Chinese saying for “driver’s license” in today’s class. Don’t worry, the DIFFERENCES part will be covered in the next post.

Drivers License Office in Gainesville, Florida

The Drivers License Office, 5830 North West 34th Street Gainesville, FL 32653

A “driver’s license” is translated as 驾照 in Chinese. Please follow the audio below to practice pronouncing 驾照.

Chinese Characters for "Driver's License"

Similarities in Taking A Driving Test in China and the U.S.

1. DMV.

I guess you guys must be familiar with DMV, which is short for Department of Motor Vehicle.  This department is in charge of the driving test and issuing the driver’s license in both China and the U.S.. This place is also where the want-to-be drivers schedule the test appointment, get the official driver’s handbook and take the driving test.

2. The Written Test.

The written test section is only one part of the driving test in both China and the U.S. It is not actually a real “written” test since people taking the test will complete this section on a computer. This computer-based test examines the want-to-be drivers of the general knowledge about the traffic rules, the meaning of traffic signs, and some basic first aid skills. People in the U.S preparing for the written test can refer to the official driver’s handbook, which is the same in China, or attend a traffic school.

3. The Traffic School.

Same as in the U.S., there are traffic schools in China as well, where people pay for lessons to get instructions on how to pass the driving test.

(I will cover more about the traffic schools in the DIFFERENCES part.)

4. The Written Test Prior to the Road Test.

In both China and the U.S., you can’t take a road test unless you pass the written test first. In China, the DMV will have a record of one passing the written test; whereas in the U.S., the want-to-be drivers will receive a learner’s permit as a prove for having passed the written test. However, it might take up to a month before one receives the real learner’s permit. Instead, a lot of people choose to take the tiny white receipt rather than waiting for the learner’s permit, especially when they decide to take the road test shortly after. 

Xuan's and her friend's White Receipts

Xuan's and her friend's White Receipts

Interesting, huh? 

I am always excited about discovering all these fascinating cultural differences, which is also the fun part during foreign language learning. Hope you enjoyed today’s lesson. Please come back and check for the DIFFERENCES part in the next post. :)

Got more interesting experience preparing for your driver’s license or taking the driving test to share with us?
Know more about taking a driving test in other states in the U.S.?
Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!
by Xuan♥.


How to Say “Historic City” in Chinese?

Hey guys, welcome back! It feels like I haven’t talked to you guys for a while. Why?—Because I was away for my spring break with my friends! We went to the famous historic city in Florida, even one of the most renowned historic places in the U.S., Saint Augustine. Today I will “show you around” this historic city and teach you guys how to say “historic city” in Chinese!

the Castillo de San Marcos national monument

the Castillo de San Marcos national monument

St. Augustine (click here for its position, and here for a more complete history with old illustrations and photographs online) was found by Spanish settlers in September 1565, and it was then make the oldest continually occupied European settlement in North America. That’s why St. Augustine is called a “historic city”. A “historic city” is translated as “古城” in Chinese, which means an old city with lots of appealing history.

Chinese Characters for "historic city"

A Red Ripley's Sightseeing Train

A Red Ripley's Sightseeing Train

Since the city was colonized by Spain and England before it was taken control by the U.S., European-style constructions and carriages (for tourists) can be seen everywhere in Saint Augustine. You can walk or drive a segway within the city, and you can choose to take a Ripley’s sightseeing train as well. 

A Carriage in Front of The Casa Monica Hotel

A Carriage in Front of The Casa Monica Hotel

My friends and I visited the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, known for St.Augustine’s best ghost train tour; the Castillo de San Marcos national monument, the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States, which anchored the St. Augustine defense system; the Huguenot Cemetery (a public burial place for non-Catholics who died of the yellow fever epidemic in 1821 within the city), and the Town Wall

We walked along the Castillo Drive and the famous King Street.

 We also took a tour to the Potter’s Wax Museum, the Lightner Museum and the Flagler College

King ST DETOUR

King ST DETOUR

 At last, I also want to recommend a very cozy and economic place to live when you go on a St. Augustine trip, the La Quinta Inn & Suites St. Augustine.

Last but not the least, here’s a gift for you at the end of this post —— a slideshow of photographs I took in St. Augustine! Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Got more stories about St. Augustine or other historic cities to share with us?

Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!

by Xuan♥.

How to Say “Husky Dogs” in Chinese?

Hey there! Welcome back! I am a dog person. What about you guys?

I LOVE dogs, so today we are going to talk about one of my favorite types of dogs, husky dog.

A Brief Introduction To “Husky Dogs”

Hurry in his favorite seat

Hurry in his favorite seat

Husky is one of the primitive dog types. Husky dogs get their names “husky” because their voices are specially husky.

Husky dogs used to pull sleds in northern regions, but now they have become one of the most popular pet dogs all over the world. They are also well-known for their pretty faces.

My Husky Dog in China

Harry, My little handsome buddy

Harry, My little handsome buddy

The cuuuuuute dog in the picture is my husky dog back in China. His name is Harry. My mother always calls him “Honey” “by accident.” He was born on September.22, 2011. He came to my family when he was only 40 days old, and now he has become a handsome, little buddy.

He is spoiled. So he always “pretends to be angry” when we are too busy to play with him.

Harry in sunglasses

Harry in sunglasses

He is naughty. So he always wants to sit on the driver’s seat in our car.

He is clever. So he has learnt to shake hands before asking for food.

My families love him no matter what he does.

Chinese Characters and Pronunciation for “Husky”

Husky is not a word originally from Chinese, so we Chinese borrowed the English word and translated it according to its pronunciation. Having said that, I guess this must make it a lot easier for you guys to learn the Chinese pronunciation of it. Husky is translated as “哈士奇” in Chinese.

Chinese Characters for Husky

Husky Dogs can speak & sing!!! Is it true???

It is said husky dogs are the breed with the closest genetic relationship with wolves, so they don’t BARK or WOOF as other types of dogs do. Instead, they HOWL like wolves, with a long draw.

They don’t howl with the same tone.  Instead, they adjust and change their tones according to their moods. So people find that it sounds like singing when a husky dog makes a long draw.  

What’s more, husky dogs are clever as I said earlier, so people started to teach them to say various words.

Don’t believe it? Come and check this out! A female husky dog named Mishka say “I LOVE U”!!!

Got more stories about Husky dogs to share with us?

  Your comments and ideas are warmly welcomed from the bottom of my heart!

  by Xuan♥.