Returning to Blogging With a New Name

on Feb 14, 2018

What’s in a name? Find out why this blog has retired in favor of

April Fools’ Resolutions

on Apr 2, 2015

As I was going through the motions of the day yesterday, I started wondering why New Year’s gets to have all of the fun. Why can’t I pick a random day and decide to make a change? Given that my path to Chinese Fluency is looking a bit foolish, why not April Fools’ Day?

Zuckerberg’s Mandarin

on Feb 23, 2015

Last week, my social feeds blew up with news of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posting a Lunar New Year video greeting. Much like his Mandarin news conference in Shanghai, the U.S. news media delivered massive praise for Zuckerberg’s “fluent Mandarin.” In a lot of cases, news reports noted significant improvement from the press conference to the Lunar New Year video. However, if you dig into the comments on the videos and dive into some language learning blog posts, you will find a great deal of criticism, some of it quite vicious. Given the wide range of opinions, I felt like adding my voice to the chorus.

Don’t Study With Word Lens

on Jan 23, 2015

As a software engineer, I have to admit tools like Word Lens (now Google Translate) and Pleco’s Live OCR check all of my technology and language geek boxes, but I don’t think live translation tools are the best way to learn language.

Chinese Fluency Training Plan

on Jan 9, 2015

I am a marathon runner. I may not be a very good marathon runner, but in 3 attempts, I have finished 2 marathons and managed to improve my finish time by 90 minutes. Chinese fluency isn’t a marathon…it’s an ultramarathon. A good training plan is essential.

Introducing Crossing The Fluent Line

on Jan 6, 2015

For almost 7 years, I’ve studied Mandarin Chinese with the consistency and attention span of Dug the Dog from the Pixar movie Up. I now have 6 months to get from my current level, whatever that may be, to Fluent.