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Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 25 September 2023. Posted in Front Page

Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

This year’s Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋节), Mid-Autumn festival, is just around the corner, Sep 29th to be precise, and it is a time for Chinese learners around the world to take a break in their regular study routines and to enjoy some of the festivities. 

Let’s remind ourselves that learning Chinese is also about gaining insights into Chinese cultural practices and about participating in the cultural activities. And you don’t have to be in China to enjoy Mid-Autumn festival.

Participants of Chinese Writing Contest 2023 share their writing experiences

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 18 September 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Participants of Chinese Writing Contest 2023 share their writing experiences

So, what is it like to write with only 320 Chinese characters?

Below are the replies that I received from some of this year’s participants. 

Qian Xuantong - Let’s abolish the Chinese writing system!

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 10 September 2023. Posted in Front Page

Qian Xuantong - Let’s abolish the Chinese writing system!

September 12th, 2023 is Qian Xuantong (钱玄同)’s 136th birthday. 

In 1923, when he was 36 years old, he proposed to simplify Chinese characters, which was the first step to his ultimate goal of making Chinese into a phonetic writing system. He wanted to abolish the Chinese characters.

Don’t miss the closing date of Chinese Writing Contest!

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 02 September 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Don’t miss the closing date of Chinese Writing Contest!

September 16, the closing date for Chinese Writing Contest 2023, is coming soon.

Don’t miss it!

And remember, it’s in Hong Kong time (GMT + 8) 🤞

When commitment is what it takes to get you through

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 28 August 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

When commitment is what it takes to get you through

At one point, all writers have to do is to sit there and struggle.

The first time I heard this line was from a musician who was talking about his process of writing music. I thought, wow, that was commitment. The truth is that this level of commitment is equally required for writers who write with words. 

As Sep 16, the closing date for Chinese Writing Contest 2023, is approaching, it’s worth reminding all aspiring Chinese language writers that, sooner or later, all you need to do is to sit there and struggle.

Qi Xi, the Double Seventh Festival

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 17 August 2023. Posted in Front Page

Qi Xi, the Double Seventh Festival

It’s time for a beautiful folklore to be told again for anyone who is interested in learning Chinese and learning about Chinese culture, as the seventh day of the seventh month is coming. It is August 22 this year. 

On this day, two lovers will meet on Queqiao (鹊桥), the Magpie Bridge, to celebrate their eternal love for each other.

The real education starts after the livelihood education ends

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 11 August 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

The real education starts after the livelihood education ends

In 1872, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was invited to give a series of public speeches on education reforms. 

During these speeches, he said there were two truly antagonistic educational institutions in Germany: one was for real education, and the second one was for livelihood. And all education organisations belonged to the second category.

The same office building but with a new name

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 04 August 2023. Posted in Front Page

The same office building but with a new name

I hope this is not too confusing.

Last week, I received a memo from the office building management office that the name of the office building was going to change.

The Power of Immersion: How Mandarin Retreat Transformed Language Learning

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 02 August 2023. Posted in Student's Posts

The Power of Immersion: How Mandarin Retreat Transformed Language Learning

The following post is from Mischa, who has achieved remarkable success primarily through self-study. As a dedicated learner, he is always giving 100 percent of his effort. And he helps others wherever he can.

A simple checklist for Chinese Writing Contest participants

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 24 July 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

A simple checklist for Chinese Writing Contest participants

Chinese Writing Contest 2023 will be receiving submissions on August 1. It’s only a few days away!

Get your writing ready for the big day and use this simple checklist to make sure that your submission stands a chance to get qualified.

Using character bios to create characters that connect with your readers

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 17 July 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Using character bios to create characters that connect with your readers

Last time I wrote about using 4C to improve your story telling skills. Today we zero in on the fourth C — “Characters”, meaning that your characters need to be alive and convincing. 

There are many ways to do this. As mentioned in the last post, action is one of them. However, your character’s action can not be random. Although it is you who create that character, you can not ask him or her to behave in a way that is not in-line with his or her personality traits, social background, economic strength, personal experiences, and so on. 

Use the concept of 4C to improve your story telling skills

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 10 July 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Use the concept of 4C to improve your story telling skills

The majority of submissions during the previous Chinese Writing Contests were short stories. While some were exceptionally good, there were stories that really confused me. This year I hope to receive more of the former, none of the latter.

This is the reason that we’re going to talk a little bit about the 4C in story telling. I’ll use some successful entries from 2022 to illustrate.

Know which Chinese punctuation marks to use in your writing

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 03 July 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Know which Chinese punctuation marks to use in your writing

Use “ “” ”, not “「」”.

Use “ 。”, not “.”.

As the opening day for Chinese Writing Contest 2023 is less than 30 days away, I’d like to remind all participants to pay attention to Chinese punctuation marks in their writings.

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Written by April Zhang on Monday, 19 June 2023. Posted in Front Page

It’s time for a delicious zong zi

Chinese people are very proud of Chinese food. One important aspect of learning Chinese is to learn about Chinese food. 

During the Chinese New Year, it’s about dumplings and all the auspicious good food. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s about moon cakes and those wonderful seasonal fruits. Right now, it is about zong zi (粽子), as Duan Wu Jie (端午节) is here!

Originality and passion, rely on your human traits to outperform AI

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 13 June 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

Originality and passion, rely on your human traits to outperform AI

The first Chinese Writing Contest was launched in 2021. It was started as a response to an ongoing prevalent belief among Chinese language learners, teachers and test authorities.

At the time, I did not anticipate the rise of ChatGPT. All of a sudden, this amazing and fascinating AI powered chat bot gives a new meaning and mission to why this Chinese Writing Contest must carry on.

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