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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast

Insights from non native Chinese speakers on how they learned Mandarin and what they are doing with it now.

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 026: Keiran

Keiran is a Canadian living in Taiwan, now working in the bicycle industry. Listen to this episode to find out: - What brought Keiran to Taiwan in the first place – How he began learning Chinese initially – What he didn’t like about his first school – How he found people to practice his Chinese with – Where the most effective part of his learning came from – What he did to make himself more approachable for casual conversation with strangers – Why he ended up getting a university degree in Taiwan – What challenges he had getting the degree – Why he feels learning more than one language at the same time is an effective way to learn – Why getting a university degree locally in Taiwan is a great opportunity – How he started in the bicycle industry – His advice for expats wanting to do something different career wise – Why being able to speak Chinese was helpful to him – His advice for expats wanting to take their Chinese to the next level – How he recommends you make the most of your experience abroad The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 026: Keiran appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

25mins

26 Apr 2016

Rank #1

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 012: Priya Lalwani Purswaney

Priya is originally from India, but has now lived in Taiwan for 27 years. She works as a simultaneous interpreter. Listen to this episode to find out: - What brought Priya to Taiwan in the first place – Her initial impressions of Taiwan – How she began learning Chinese and what approach they took – Why she recommends an intensive approach to learning Chinese – Why she thinks knowing Indian languages like Hindi helps in learning Mandarin – Which sounds in Chinese she finds many English speakers have trouble pronouncing – How she transitioned into working as a translator / interpreter – Why she prefers interpreting over translating work – How preparation for interpreting works – The various types of translating options available, and the skills required for each – Consecutive, whispering / simultaneous without equipment, simultaneous with equipment – How interpreting is done for more niche languages (relay interpreting) – The process that goes through translating sentence by sentence – Why she recommends putting kids through the local education system up to Grade 3 or so before switching to an international system – When she recommends learning to write characters and when it isn’t – Why she recommends Hindi speakers (Indians) learn using zhuyin (bo po mo fo) over pinyin - The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 012: Priya Lalwani Purswaney appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

31mins

8 Dec 2015

Rank #2

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 017: Wesley Insights

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 The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 017: Wesley Insights appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

27mins

23 Feb 2016

Rank #3

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 022: Bear

In this episode, I interview “Bear” – originally from Scandinavia, now working in China. Listen to find out: - What brought him to China in the first place – His initial hardships in China – Why he felt he wasn’t capable of learning Chinese in the beginning – Why he didn’t make progress learning initially, and what changed that – What motivated him to start learning characters – The drastic improvement being able to speak Chinese had on his daily life – How he’s able to make friends with local Chinese – What aspect made a great improvement in his qualify of life in China – Some of the big differences in company culture he found in China versus Europe – The big difference in job interviews between China and Europe – His experience with “face” and trust in Chinese companies – His recommendations for foreigners living in Chinese communities and in local relationships – How he learned to communicate using a Chinese version of English – How learning Chinese compares to learning other languages – His advice to foreigners who haven’t tried to learn Chinese yet, because they believe they aren’t capable – Why it’s ok to make mistakes while speaking The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 022: Bear appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

25mins

29 Mar 2016

Rank #4

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 023: Alex

In this episode I interview Alex Wagner, who now runs a pizza shop at a local Taiwanese night market. Listen to find out: - What brought Alex to Taiwan in the first place – How he transitioned from teaching to selling pizza – His process starting the business – How the night market business works – How he markets himself as the foreign face of the business – Where he finds employees to work there – How his Chinese has improved as a result of interacting with customers – His plans for his business going forward – How he got over the uncertainty of starting a business – The crucial factor required to stand out at a night market – His advice for those wanting to transition away teaching English The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 023: Alex appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

13mins

5 Apr 2016

Rank #5

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 020: Shaun Bettinson

In this episode, I interview Shaun Bettinson, a Brit who now lives in Taichung, Taiwan. Listen to find out: - What brought Shaun to Taiwan initially – Where he learned his initial Chinese – What he didn’t like about his first group class – What he liked about his next teacher – What he recommends you look for in a private teacher – What kind of effort he put in to learn Chinese outside of class – What benefits he found from being able to speak Chinese – How he transitioned from teaching into an alternate career path – How his Chinese helped him in his new position – What advice he’d give to someone wanting to switch from teaching to a different career path The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 020: Shaun Bettinson appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

18mins

15 Mar 2016

Rank #6

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 032: Adriana Estrada

In this episode I interview Adriana Estrada from Guatemala, who has lived in Taiwan for the past 7 years, completing her undergraduate and master’s degree during that time. Listen to find out: - What brought Adriana to Taiwan in the first place – What advantages she brings to the work place over local Taiwanese – What types of companies she’s looking to work at – Her experience completing an engineering degree in Chinese – Why she chose Taiwan to do her degree in – Why she’s glad she did her degree in Chinese and the approach she took – Why other students come to Taiwan, but don’t learn as much Chinese as they should – Why she feels most learning of Chinese is done outside of the classroom – Why she feels getting a degree in Taiwan isn’t for everyone – What aspects of culture shock she’s experienced in Taiwan versus Guatemala – Her experience dating Taiwanese men – Whether she’s affected by the amount of Taiwanese used by locals – Her opinion on the different food options available The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 032: Adriana Estrada appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

21mins

30 Jun 2016

Rank #7

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 034: Aaron Simmons

In this episode I interview Aaron Simmons, an American Professional Development Coach. He is the founder of Diversify International and Multi-Lingual Story Corner. Listen to find out: - What got him interested in Chinese culture and language in the first place, while studying in the US – Why he chose a more challenging route to learning Chinese – What his experience was living in China while in an intensive program learning Chinese – Why he moved from China to Taiwan – How he got his first job managing a school – What he found unique about managing local Taiwanese employees – How he had to change his management style to adapt to local culture – How he adapted to becoming a consultant – How he improved his Chinese skills as a result – Why he decided to start his own consulting company – How he found new clients – How he adapted from simplified Chinese characters to traditional ones – What the biggest challenge he had adapting to Chinese in Taiwan was The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 034: Aaron Simmons appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

25mins

21 Jul 2016

Rank #8

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 033: Alex Barker

In this episode, I interview Alex Barker, an American consultant about his experience learning Chinese Listen to this episode to find out: - How Alex got interested in learning Chinese in America – His experience in an American college class learning Chinese – Why he didn’t make as much progress in Chinese as he wanted to – His experience taking a university class in Chinese in Taiwan – His experience working as an intern at the American Chamber of Commerce – Why he found it useful to have Mandarin ability on his resume – Why he feels there are multiple levels of Mandarin ability – His experience with personal relationships that only use Chinese – What he would do differently if he had to study Chinese again – Why he would encourage students in school to choose Chinese as a second language – What advice he would give to students learning Chinese in a non Chinese speaking area – How he recommends people learn colloquial Chinese – What threw him off about speaking Chinese in Taiwan versus in Beijing – His experience being on Taiwanese game shows The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 033: Alex Barker appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

20mins

7 Jul 2016

Rank #9

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 010: Cheryl Robbins

Cheryl has been in Taiwan for 26 years and has worked as a tour guide, translator and author. Listen to this episode to find out: - What brought Cheryl to Taiwan in the first place – Why she recommends Taiwan as a place to learn Mandarin – The advantage to learning phonetic symbols (zhuyin) along with characters – How she was able to transition from teaching English to translation and then as a tour guide / translator. – How she got her first job at a museum – Why she thinks the demand for translation services will continue to increase – How to create your own path in your own niche / specialty in Taiwan – The importance of networking to find opportunities – What types of projects she would like to do in the future – The difference in working at a Taiwanese company versus a foreign company – How to get your ideas through, when working at a local company – The process of registering your own company here – How her kids fared with bilingual education The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 010: Cheryl Robbins appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

24mins

23 Nov 2015

Rank #10

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 031: Nick Howard

In this episode, I interview Nick Howard, an American who has been living in Taiwan for the past 9 years. Listen to find out: - What brought him to Taiwan in the first place – How he moved up from teaching at a cram school to teach at a university – The process he went through learning Chinese – Why learning Chinese was a priority for him – Why he switched from learning in class to learning on his own – How he transitioned from teaching to consulting – Why he started a co-working space (Facebook) – What he would recommend for expats wanting to switch from teaching to a different career path – Why he recommends living in a smaller town, for those wanting to improve their Chinese and understanding of local culture – How Taiwanese is used locally versus Mandarin – How he’s been able to get along with his wife’s Taiwanese family The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 031: Nick Howard appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

19mins

22 Jun 2016

Rank #11

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 009: Max

Max works as a Chinese interpreter in Australia. Listen to this episode to find out: The difference between translating and interpreting How the free interpreting service works in Australia The disadvantage of relying on an interpreter versus learning the local language yourself How it was like to grow up with Chinese ethnicity in an English country Why he recommends learning speaking / listening before starting characters His approach to Chinese within his family now The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 009: Max appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

16mins

16 Nov 2015

Rank #12

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 030: Derek McCracken

In this episode I interview Derek McCracken, an American who has been living in Taiwan for 7 years. Listen to find out: - What brought Derek to Asia and specifically Taiwan – How he started teaching English, while looking for other opportunities – How he started his first business in Taiwan – How he compares starting a business in Taiwan compared to Thailand – How he began learning Chinese on the side – What benefits he found from being able to speak Chinese at a functional level – What skill he thinks is necessary for expats to learn Chinese – What things he did in his learning to get to the next level – How he transitioned into his current job at an international fitness company. – What cultural differences he’s noticed comparing Taiwanese clients with American and Thai ones – Why he chooses to live in Taiwan than America – What advice he’d give to an expat wanting to change their career path The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 030: Derek McCracken appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

22mins

16 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 021: I love Taiwan

In this episode, I continue the interview I did with Shaun Bettinson, where he discusses his “I love Taiwan” project. Listen to find out: - How this project got started. – How he launched his initial promotional video - The Project Website - How he was able to promote it – How he won a Guinness World Record – Why he thinks the project was so popular – What he gained from this experience – How he benefited from the friendships made – How his outlook on the future has changed The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 021: I love Taiwan appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

16mins

22 Mar 2016

Rank #14

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Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 028: Steve Iglehart

In Part 2 of this episode, we continue our interview with American businessman Steve Iglehart. Listen to find out: - How he moved on to the skin care market – What his biggest challenge was in this market – The intense process of training salespeople to use his product – How he learned to read people’s reactions over the years – What the advantage of being an expat was, when it came to sales – What businesses he has since transitioned to – Why he thinks it’s easier for an expat to do business in Taiwan today – Why he feels a local university degree is the best way to reach fluency in Chinese - The post Learn Chinese Insights Podcast Episode 028: Steve Iglehart appeared first on Chinese Learn Online.

14mins

10 May 2016

Rank #15