App Review: Eggbun Chinese

I have been playing around with Eggbun Korean for a little while, and noticed they recently released a Chinese version of their app. Overall, I love the concept of Eggbun and it’s a fun new way to go about teaching and learning a new language.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at what Eggbun has to offer where you “Chat to learn Chinese”!

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Creating Your Language Habit Environment

Below is a reflection about this post related to setting up a habit environment. If you haven’t read through it yet I recommend giving it a read. Leo makes some very good points about how to go about setting up a habit environment, many of which can be applied and adapted to creating a “language habit environment”.

This is especially helpful if you’re living in a place where you aren’t surrounded by your target language on a daily basis. I’ve come up with a list, and some examples, of how you might go about changing this language habit environment.

Let’s take a look!

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Background Audio – News Shows

While I’m not really one to watch the news, having streaming news channels going in the background is a great way to keep immersion going during the day—and adds a bit more vocabulary variety to your daily immersion. Plus, it helps to keep up with new events and new terms as you listen.

Below are a list of news shows you can check out online and throw on to have playing in the background.

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Getting Around With Google Trips

Google released a new app today, called Google Trips for both iOS and Android, which promises to help plan trips giving useful information and interesting spots to visit, including museums, restaurants and more.

I checked out the app today and found it actually did provide a really great selection of options to check out on your next trip to Hong Kong, China or Taiwan–or anywhere else in the world! It’s kind of nice having the power of Google behind you planning your next trip.

Let’s take a look!

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After language classes end

Between starting my degree program and finishing up my studies at the Mandarin Training Center, I had about two years of non-class time to try and get myself ready for a degree program. This was probably one of the hardest transitions I had to make in my journey; that is, from formal classes to my own informal studies. Of course, this blog grew from those experiences, but for a beginner on that path, where’s a good place to start?

After moving on from a language school or program, where do you go from there?

What can you do when finances run thin and affording language courses and other resources seem like a far off dream?

How do you keep studying and improving?

Here are some of the solutions I found to tackle this potential roadblock, including building an immersive environment for next to nothing. It’s a fairly long post, but I hope you’ll find something good and useful in it 🙂

Let’s get started!

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A “skewer” of songs

I came across this the other day while looking for a collection of Eason Chan’s (陳奕迅 [Chén Yìxùn]) Mandarin songs:

陳奕迅Eason國語熱門串燒精選

I thought using 串燒 was such a fun way to refer to a selected compilation of his Mandarin songs. Here’s how it breaks down:

陳奕迅 (陈奕迅) [Chén Yìxùn]: Eason Chan

國語 (国语) [Guóyǔ]: Mandarin Chinese

熱門 (热门) [rèmén]: popular

And here it gets interesting:

串燒 (串烧) [chuànshāo]: literally this refers to food barbecued on a skewer, but here it is being used to refer to a collection of songs strung together in a compilation

精選 (精选) [jīngxuǎn]: carefully selected collection of something, in this case, Eason’s Mandarin songs

Anyway it’s also a great collection of his Mandarin songs, giving you over an hour’s worth of great background music to listen to.

Enjoy!

Sudoideas: Dramas and Background Audio

Welcome to the first post in the series on background audio and finding things to watch and listen to in the background. This post is an extension on one back from 2011, where I introduced the site Sugoideas. Thankfully this site is still going strong since then, and it has even more content and better categories to organize everything they have available. As I mentioned then, most of the titles are in English or romanized version of the Chinese names, so it can be a bit hard to find specific dramas and TV shows. As before, the website keeps episodes consistently updated, so there’s always new material available.

Now when you visit there’s nine categories listed at the top of the page to help you find something you might like:

2016-07-30 (4)

Let’s take a look at those categories as well as a few selections from them! Hopefully you’ll find something you like and can do what I did all last weekend.. binge watch 😀

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Getting Around: MRT Exit Gives you the closest MRT exit to your destination

I came across MRT Exit just the other day, which promises to help find the best route from an MRT exit to your destination. As the MRT systems in Taipei and Kaohsiung keep expanding and are getting busier, it’s kind of nice to know what exit you need to head towards because, suffice it to say, it can be a little confusing:

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This is especially helpful as an exit may lead you to a destination that isn’t necessarily listed on the signs or even the maps on the concourse.

Anyway, MRT Exit does a lot to help mitigate this confusion by allowing you to check out your destination online first, plug it into the site, and figure out which line you need to take, what station to disembark from, and which exit to use to leave the station.

So let’s take a look at how it works!

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Windows 10 Apps: Translator

I’ve been playing around with Windows 10 a bit more recently, especially as the anniversary update has come out and there’s a new ‘Dark’ theme (if the screenshots don’t make it too apparent I kind of love the theme). As I’ve been poking around, I came across the official Microsoft translator app in the Windows store. After playing around with the app I bit, I thought I would introduce how it works and share some useful tips about it as well.

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Vocab Friday: Coffee

咖啡 (kāfēi)

coffee

Measure word: 杯 (bēi)

如:一杯咖啡

咖啡豆 (kāfēidòu)

coffee beans

黑咖啡 (hēikāfēi)

black coffee

美式咖啡 (Měishì kāfēi)

Americano (literally ‘American style coffee’)

拿鐵 [拿铁] (nátiě)

latte

卡布奇諾 [卡布奇诺] (kǎbùqínuò)

cappuccino

摩卡 (mókǎ)

mocha

濃縮咖啡 [浓缩咖啡] (nóngsuō kāfēi)

espresso

咖啡機 [咖啡机] (kāfēijī)

coffee machine

馬克杯 [马克杯] (mǎkèbēi)

mug