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You Can Learn Chinese

An Education, Society and Culture podcast
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Episodes of You Can Learn Chinese

In this episode, John and Jared respond to a listener question about Cantonese, which leads to a discussion around China’s numerous dialects/languages, which are in fact “topolects.”Guest interview is with Daniel Pang, who grew up speaking Cant
In this episode John and Jared share the proper way to compare similar words, characters, sounds, and grammar points. There’s a time and a place for everything, and once you know the right way to approach these comparisons, you can maximize you
John and Jared talk about three types of research-backed strategies and tips you can employ to improve your listening skills, specifically in the areas where you struggle. Guest interview is with Gabrielle Barnett from Jamaica, whose quest to l
Listening is one of the biggest challenges for Chinese learners. In this two part series, John and Jared talk about the most complicating factors to understanding spoken Chinese. You’ll become aware of these and be able to pinpoint where you ma
John and Jared use research to address issues related to watching movies in Chinese, with and without Chinese subtitles. Find out what the academics say and stick around for the practical advice!Guest interview is with Jeremy Bai, a translator,
How do Chinese people feel about a foreigner with a potty mouth in Chinese? Are curse words worth learning? John and Jared talk about swearing in Chinese and what you should be aware of.Guest interview is with Ashleigh Au, who combined her lang
Reading a Chinese newspaper is a common goal for many learners, but is it the right goal for you? John and Jared talk about what you need to know about the news in Chinese, how to get started, and the options available to you.Guest interview is
John and Jared answer a listener’s question about the rivalry between China’s two most famous cities: Shanghai and Beijing. They discuss culture, history, and language, and even provide one additional view from a mystery correspondent!The guest
John and Jared are going to revisit and unpack this classic question posed by Dr. David Moser three decades ago and identify what is hard about Chinese, what is easier now, and whether Chinese really is harder than other languages.The guest int
Electronic pop-up dictionaries are all the rage! But are they really helping you improve your Chinese? John and Jared take a research-based look at the impact of pop-up dictionaries and answer the question “Can you really click your way to flue
A dictionary is frequently one of the first things you buy when learning a language. In this episode, John and Jared will give you tips and tricks and do’s and don’ts on Chinese dictionaries, so you can get the most out of them for your learnin
What does it take to pursue a graduate-level degree in Chinese in China? With our resident expert, John Pasden, we’ll pull back the curtain to show you what it takes for a non-Chinese person to get admitted into an all-Chinese university progra
You’ve got the basics down. Sounds like you’re ready to type Chinese! John and Jared talk about how Chinese input methods work and, for the more advanced learners, teach you tips and tricks to make Chinese input less painful and time-consuming.
Language is words, so learn enough words and you’ll be fluent, right? As a sophisticated learner, you know it’s not that simple. In this episode, we discuss the subtleties of vocabulary learning, how it is (and isn’t) like Legos, what “high-fre
John and Jared discuss what it means to be “learner-centric” and how you can adapt your learning methods to fit your own goals. You’ll get insights into the new HSK and other standardized tests, ACTFL’s “Can-Do” statements, and Mandarin Compani
Recently, Mandarin Companion participated in the 2021 National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC), and the topics discussed provided quite a bit of insight into what is in store for the future of Chinese learning, since methods applied in schoo
Everyone loves Chinese food, but if only there were a way to tie your love for the cuisine into progress learning the language. Well, there is! ...sort of. Tune in to learn what to do and what not to do so that your stomach stays full as your M
What if you are still struggling to get to the point where you can read the lowest level graded readers? What techniques can get you there? John and Jared will discuss steps you can take to bridge the gap to real reading and also begin to exper
Will Chinese one day unseat English to become the dominant language around the world? Jared and John discuss a paper by professor Jeffery Gil who predicts that one day it will. Guest interview is with Amani Core who provides a philosophical per
You probably know a bit about Chinese surnames, but in this episode you’ll learn how they relate to both Chinese culture and language acquisition plus how they can even help you forge new relationships in Chinese. Guest interview is with Chris
John and Jared unpack when you should start learning Chinese characters so you can find your own answer that might be later or earlier than you might think. Guest interview is with Adam DiFrisco who found the courage to make huge life changing
John and Jared talk about flashcards and spaced repetition software, how they can help, their limits, and how to use them to build your Chinese skills. This guest interview is with Mandarin Blueprint cofounder Luke Neale, who felt the call of C
John and Jared review a paper written by a professor who incorporated graded readers and theater into a Chinese class. You’ll discover why it was so effective at helping students learn and gather even more ways to get creative with your graded
John and Jared discuss the difference between how you think your Chinese sounds vs how it really sounds. Surprise surprise, there is a difference! John takes us through an academic paper to tell you which tones you should prioritize to make you
In this special episode, John and Jared went back through all of the interviews of 2020 and pulled out the ten best stories.Get ready to laugh, reflect, and possibly shed a tear as we take a trip down memory lane.These stories show how learning
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