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August 04, 2014

Eight Facts to Know About Chinese Characters

{With my friend, a national calligraphy champion, who wrote my Chinese name as a gift} As an attorney serving Chinese clients, I deal with written Chinese a lot. The Chinese written language carries complexities that are very different from English, and affect everything from searching and reviewing documents, to interpreting meaning. Understanding the basics of written […]


May 20, 2014

SinoSaying: Now or Never

{Tibetan man spinning Buddhist prayer wheels} My SinoSaying is: 机不可失,时不再来 (jī bù kě shī, shí bú zài lái.)  Translated, this means: “An opportunity missed will not come again.” I first learned this saying: I read proverbs often when looking for inspiration, for a speech, an article, or just my own life.  This one stood out–it’s a warning, […]


March 21, 2014

SinoSaying: Start a Long Journey By Taking the First Step

{Photo of Beijing’s Tsinghua University Campus} One aspect I’m drawn to when learning about a culture are local sayings — little bits of wisdom passed down from generations that tell you so much about how people think, act, and live. Chinese is particularly rich with proverbs, from ancient Confucious sayings all the way through Cultural […]


January 17, 2014

Reader Question: What’s the Best Method for Learning Chinese?

One Chinaful reader recently asked me:  What language tools have you used to learn Chinese?  What did you like and dislike about each? When you first start to learn Chinese, it’s a lot to wrap your mind around. The tones, the characters, the syllables – it can be overwhelming. Identifying how you learn best is […]


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