Posts From Julie Axelsson

Mandarin Accents: South vs North

Those who have attempted learning Mandarin know the accent changes depending on where you go. The accent is very different when comparing the south and the north. But which one

The Magical Mystery Tour: Exploring the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics

There’s more to Dongguan than first meets the eye. Underneath the shiny surface, layers upon layers of ancient traditions are still, surprisingly, alive and well in this city. It’s not

Is Chinese Really The Hardest Language in The World ?

Chinese is often called the hardest language in the world with its complex writing and tonal systems. But is it really the “hardest language” when compared to others? I’ve studied

So How Long Does It Take?

You might be wondering, “how long does it take to master Mandarin?” Factor in your reason for learning, dedication and goal, and this will guide you. However, don’t underestimate the

You Cannot Be Tone-Deaf In China

Chinese poetry is a blur of semanticism, tone variation and complexities. This month, our resident linguist shares her favorite Chinese poem, while exploring the depths of such a thought-provoking piece.

A Journey to the East

With the part that the Chinese writing system plays in Japanese and Korean, one may think that it is easier to master all three languages once you have the hang

Dongguan Expats: Then VS Now

For most expats, it may be difficult to imagine Dongguan 20 years ago. We delve into a time before the convenience of modern transport options and the luxury of western

Attainment, Home and Away

It came and went as quickly as the build up from the western new year—that’s right, CNY as usual saw the largest annual migration, with Dongguan ranking 2nd emptiest city

新年快乐! Or, Happy New Year!

From semantics to celebrations to misinterpretations, language is more than just memorizing words and phrases—as we discover in this month’s reveal. Pushing past practical to philosophy, let’s take a look.

Catching the Mouse

What is the best method for learning Mandarin? Well, there isn’t one. But there are a number of options open to suit various levels, reasons for learning, and lifestyles. Ever