More New Year Word Play

The simple sounds of Mandarin Chinese recycled with tones mean that many words sound the same as or similar to other words. Spotting these connections helps you to remember words and is part of the fun of the language! Chinese New Year traditions provide lots of examples of word play based on these connections.

Word Play

The simplicity of the sounds in Mandarin Chinese and the way they can be recycled with tones makes word play and symbolism a big and fun part of Chinese culture.

De-coding Mandarin Chinese

Most of us are used to an “encoding” approach to foreign languages and hope that if we learn to encode for long enough then we’ll eventually be able to navigate the world in that foreign language. A “de-coding” approach means starting with something from the world and enabling you to make sense of it yourself.

Access and attitude

We are less concerned about learners’ ability to communicate, that is to relay what they already know; we are more concerned with giving them access to things that they do not already know and with their attitude towards people who think differently.

It's about the way we feel

Whether we feel Mandarin Chinese is difficult or easy has less to do with the language itself and more to do with our perspective.

Is Mandarin difficult or easy?

Whether we feel Mandarin Chinese is difficult or easy has less to do with the language itself and more to do with our perspective.

A different kind of language

Mandarin Chinese is not just a different language; it is a different kind of language. To make Mandarin Chinese accessible, we must first understand what makes it different.