Posts From Julie Axelsson

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

Guess What? Cantonese Rules, Too

It’s easy to forget that not far behind the most widely spoken Chinese language is the lovable Cantonese, of which most of us know of, and often hear, but are

For the Sake of Characters

In China, children begin their journey to understand mandarin’s complex writing system at a very young age. Are they sacrificing their childhood? Or is it worth it for their development?

Beware of Long Vacations

Mostly, this column has been about how grueling yet immensely fulfilling it is to study Mandarin. Not this time. Instead, Julie focuses on how taking a break can impact your

Here Comes The Much Dreaded HSK…

Most of us know about the HSK, but how many of us have actually taken it or are aiming to in the future? Our language enthusiast speaks of her qualms