Two Points for the Language Nerd

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9 thoughts on “Two Points for the Language Nerd

  1. Great idea. People will do more with more options, and I’d bet that most folks don’t even know half of the sites you listed.


  2. Hi Bird. Which of your favorite language sites has the best Mandarin program? I’m envious of your lingual skills. They’d come in handy for me.


    • If you already know some Mandarin and want to work on improving your writing skills, I would suggest Livemocha– you can post blurbs and get native speakers to correct them. If you want to focus more on vocabulary and reading comprehension, I would go with Byki.
      All those sites offer pretty good regimented learning structures, but not all of them offer Chinese (I know busuu and babbel don’t), so if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d also go for Livemocha.

      Go for it! Learn some Chinese!


      • Thanks for the advice. I’ll give Byki a shot since I only know enough Mandarin to fend off pushy salesmen and order a cold beer. Maybe I can graduate to Livemocha once I get a little more vocab tucked in my brain. Headed back to China in a couple of weeks.


    • I just saw your reply by chance reading your new blog post. Guess I forgot to subscribe to all the comments. I’m new around here (wordpress).

      I learned bu yao quickly on my first trip to Beijing. I went to the great wall and was harassed forever by a woman trying to sell me a hat.

      I’ll fly to Beijing and spend a night to recover. Then fly on to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia. From there we drive to Zhunge’er. I’m an engineer doing some testing on our big coal mining dump trucks. There’s a photo in my About Me. Zhunge’er is a strange place. It’s a mining boom town in the middle of nowhere. Has some high rise hotels and good restaurants. But when you venture out of town people are living in cave houses dug into the hills. The business signs are written in both Chinese and Mongolian. Staying two or three weeks probably. I wish I could hire you as a translator and bury the cost in my expense report under “laundry” or something. Not too many English speakers there.


      • Woah, woah, don’t knock buying hats on the Great Wall! (check my China page)

        Zhunge’er sounds really interesting. I’ve never been to Mongolia so you’re going to have to take a lot of photos and blog about it. Especially the cave houses. Hah, I could help with the Chinese, not the Mongolian though, or the laundry. Looks like your skills lie within accounting deception, not lingual learning.


  3. You fell victim to the hat lady??? Let me check this out. Oh that’s a Chinese looking hat. I might have bought that. My hat lady was selling baseball caps that I could have gotten at a gas station anywhere in the US.
    I plan to do a better job of writing and photos than last time. I do have a Zhunge’er photo album from earlier this year on Facebook if you want to see it. It’s 50% pictures of the little houses the mine workers live in as we’re speeding by. Their living and working conditions fascinate me.
    I wouldn’t require you to do the laundry. Just be priced the same as laundry. And provide me receipts written in Chinese. It would actually be my first accounting indiscretion.
    I’ll be headed to Western Australia right after China. THAT is a horrible plane ride.
    I’m still waiting to see some Africa pictures. Apparently you plan to release your blogs on the same time scale as the Harry Potter series.


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