Is being an “expat” an archaic badge of white supremacy?

An article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin in the Guardian last Friday has been making the rounds. The piece asks, “why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?” and concludes without much nuance that it’s white racial supremacy at work. I disagree, mostly.Read More

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Watch: “Cock Wire” Mike Sui returns with even more Chinese impressions

Most will remember back in 2012 when the video of an American impersonating 12 international accents in Chinese went viral. The half-Chinese Beijing resident, Mike隋 (Mike Sui), is back with an all new video packed with at least as much funny and even more impressions.Read More

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Help preserve China’s disappearing dialects

Kellen Parker, who has both been featured on and contributed to Lost Laowai over the years, is spearheading a new project called Phonemica, which aims to “record spoken stories in every one of the thousands of varieties of Chinese in order to preserve both stories and language for future generations.”Read More

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On the Chinese vs. foreigner language wars

After my last post for Lost Laowai, where I expressed my annoyance with the irritating and pointless public announcements in Chinese public transport, I will now move on to another aspect of life in China which I find irritating: the tendency of the Chinese to address foreigners in English even when it would be easier …Read More

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Skritter goes mobile, putting strokes in the palm of your hand

I’m a busy guy. Or at least that’s been my long-running excuse as to why I don’t spend more time practicing my Chinese. Fortunately Skritter is making it harder for me to live by that self-defeating mantra with the release of their new iOS app. Out just yesterday, the Skritter mobile app is set to …Read More

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Mandarin Monday: Popup Chinese’s Brendan O’Kane lays down some learning know-how

Our Mandarin Monday interview for this week is none other than well-known blogger, podcast host and translator, Brendan O’Kane. One of the original founders of Paper Republic, Brendan is a host of the Mandarin Chinese language learning podcast Popup Chinese, and teaches a course in Chinese-English literary translation at IES Abroad Beijing. He also (and …Read More

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Mandarin Monday: Sinosplice’s John Pasden offers up some Chinese advice

For this week’s Mandarin Monday, we’ve hit up the juggernaut of Chinese learning, John Pasden. John surely doesn’t need much introduction for anyone studying Chinese. In China for more than a decade, John’s been mastering the language for most of that time, including securing a masters in applied linguistics in Shanghai. He pens the popular …Read More

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Mandarin Monday: ChineseHacks’ David Flynn doles out some learning insight

Wha?! Mandarin Monday on a Wednesday? What the hell is going on. Yeah, I screwed up and totally forgot. Hopefully a bit of mid-week mandarin is just as good though. For the third installment in our weekly Mandarin Monday series that discusses Chinese learning we’ve hit up David Flynn. Dave is originally from the UK, …Read More

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Mandarin Monday: Sinoglot’s Kellen Parker shares some tips on learning

What follows is the second in our weekly Mandarin Monday series, that discusses Chinese learning. The series will deliver advice through interviews with long-time Mandarin learners, sharing resources and discussing learning techniques. This week we speak to Kellen Parker, co-founder of Sinoglot, an organisation of Chinese linguistics researchers. Kellen is an American linguistics researcher who’s …Read More

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Understanding Chinese, easier from locals or expats?

In a recent post, the Atlantic’s James Fallows talks about a song and video by a group of Harvard Chinese language students. The song, “Hāfó/Harvard Welcomes You! 哈佛歡迎你!”, has the American students singing in Chinese, praising their studies and teachers in Chinese Bb – Elementary Modern Chinese. Fallows draws a good comparison between the style …Read More

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