Tag Archives: Chinese language course

The fruitiest Chinese New Year celebration

The mystery-cake saga continues. And everything is set to be revealed tonight!

I got this in the mail last night:

Whats a giant mango doing at SM Mall of Asia?
What's a giant mango doing at SM Mall of Asia?

If you happen to be around SM Mall of Asia later today, or if you want to be part of the biggest Chinese New Year celebration, drop by the Music Hall at SM MOA around 5:30 PM.

The manhunt for the fruitabomber Pulp-X ends there. The mysterious Mr. Ang will most probably make a public statement too. And something pfretty fruity-explosive will be revealed!


Kiong Hee Huat Chai!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

All three mean the same, only they’re in three different Chinese languages. The first is in Fookienese, the dialect in the Chinese Fujian/ Fookien Province from which most Filipino-Chinese’ ancestors came.

The second greeting is in Mandarin, the universal Chinese language, also said to be the global language of the future. (So start learning the language now!)

The last one is in Cantonese, the main Chinese dialect in Canton (Southern China) and Hong Kong.

The phrase translates to “I wish you will prosper.”

To all of us, a prosperous Year of the Rabbit!


What are good gifts for the Year of the Rabbit? For women, they will surely appreciate an anti wrinkle cream that works. Anyone would love to look a few years younger.

Dash Chinese language school in Ortigas

For those of you who want their children to learn Chinese but live in areas like Pasig, Antipolo, Cainta, Marikina and thereabouts, you know that finding a good Chinese school  or Chinese language school in those areas is quite a challenge.

That’s why Dash Cultural and Educational Institute opened a branch at Fun Ranch in Tiendesitas, Ortigas – to cater to those who live in that area.

Dash chinese language school Metro Manila

The programs at Dash Chinese language school are for Chinese and non-Chinese speakers alike. Even if you’re Filipino and want to learn Chinese, the programs at Dash are ideal for you. I took the Chinese Character Canon course with them last year and, as a non-Chinese speaker, I think the results are fair (all things, such as age and aging neurons, taken into consideration).

Though I cannot speak fluently, I can understand basic conversations. With a bit more pushing (as in if I took time to review my textbooks or read Chinese children’s stories on a regular basis), I think I can do better. The key, I realize, is continuous exposure to the language.

Of course we know that the earlier we get the kids started, the better for them. So if you have little kids that you want to be fluent in the Chinese language, Dash is the place to go.

Why? Two things, I think:

The teachers. Dash has licensed teachers from China who specially trained to teach the Chinese Character Canon course. They have mastered the techniques of teaching the course, which is said to be the fastest way to learn Chinese. On top of that, the two founding teachers, Li Lao Shi (teacher Li) and Long Lao Shi (teacher Long), are truly passionate with their profession. They want their students to not only learn Chinese, but also to appreciate the language and culture. In that regard, I think their approach is holistic.

The method. At the end of the basic  6-month course, the student is supposed to have mastered 1,000 characters! Does that beat 6 years of studying Chinese during grade school? I think so. Again I say it depends on the student. According to the teachers at Dash, results are excellent among children between 5 and 12 years.

If you’re interested to learn enroll in a Chinese language school, just call the numbers on the photo above. Look for teacher Li or teacher Long.

Chinese Character Canon – a Review of the Basic Course (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

After nine months of studying the Chinese Character Canon (CCC), where do I find myself?

Right now I think I have the literacy level of a Grade 2 student (though definitely NOT one who would be on top of her Chinese class, hehehe). I know this because I have a second-grader and her lessons are almost the same as the lessons I learned. I can read a few and make sense out of most of the contents of her school text book.

Whenever hub is watching his wu xia (kung fu movies) and Taiwanese telenovelas, I can read about 4 or 5 characters per line of subtitle. I could attempt to read all but the movie will have to be paused… for quite a few minutes. hehehe.

Here are my recommendations for those who are interested to learn Mandarin through the Chinese Character Canon:

1. If you are like me with no or little background of the Chinese language, do not expect to be conversant or literate immediately, or even within 2 or 3 months. It took about 6 months when I finally began reading the supplement books for me. Patience, patience.

I hear from my teachers, though, that the experience with younger kids is better. I suppose when the mind is clear and focused, like young minds are, learning is a lot faster and easier. Adults have a lot of distractions – tasks, responsibilities that were momentarily put aside for the hour – it’s sometimes hard to concentrate. Continue reading Chinese Character Canon – a Review of the Basic Course (Part 2)

Summer Chinese lessons in Manila

Chinese culture is one of the richest in the world. Chinese history is one of the oldest and most interesting, with many tales on epic heroism, family values, enduring love and even shocking controversies. That is why, for me and my husband, it’s important for our kids to learn the Chinese language. Why not enrol your kids in Summer Chinese lessons?

summer chinese lessons ming tzi
Result of VGood’s boredom while practicing her Chinese characters.

It would be such a waste if children with Chinese lineage grew up studying all their young lives in Chinese schools but not retaining a huge percentage of what they “learned”. I know many who studied in Chinese schools from grade school to high school, but could only muster a few Mandarin phrases. Hindi ba sayang?  

One reason that I see for the low retention of learning is that students have low interest to learn. Because the methods of teaching are not interesting and interactive enough, the kids just end up studying for the sake of getting good grades, not to learn the language. (My kids are classic examples.)

So make this summer productive for your kids, while awakening their interest in Chinese culture and language. Consider summer Chinese lessons for them.

Dash Cultural and Educational Institute, the center where I am studying Mandarin, is offering fun summer classes for kids this year.  The teachers are experienced experts in Chinese education, so enrol your kids with confidence.  Most of all, they are committed to teaching the Chinese language using interactive and practical approaches. Your kids won’t be bored!

Continue reading Summer Chinese lessons in Manila

Learn Mandarin through Chinese Character Canon

Have you ever wanted to learn Mandarin but do not know where or how to start? One of the methods of learning Mandarin is Chinese Character Canon.

For the longest time, I’ve been trying hard (in the truest sense of the words “trying hard”) to learn the Chinese language.

When my daughters are having tutorials, I would sit close by and listen. I have a nice CD of Chinese love songs in the car that I listen to once in a while, hoping that, through subconscious suggestion, I will one day start singing along.

Whenever they (husband and kids) are watching Chinese flicks, I’d watch along too (as if I understood a fourth of whatever was going on in the movie). Buti na lang, my I.Q. is above average (kuno, hehehe) so my guesses on the plot goings-on are usually correct. (Naah, some Chinese movies are just too predictable!)

The thing is – the Chinese language is very complex. It does not work like the English language, which has 26 letters put together to make up words. There is no alphabet in the Chinese language, only characters – over 80,000 characters! Of course, only about 1,000 characters are required to be basically conversant and literate.

But even so, how long does it take to learn a thousand characters effectively? My 12-year old daughter, who has been studying in a Chinese school for eight years, will probably recognize about 300 characters ( I am not even sure of this). As for mastered characters, the count will probably come under 200. Because her interest to learn isn’t very high at the moment, how much she is able to learn is also affected. (Schools should make Chinese studies fun and interesting!)

learn mandarin Chinese character canon
My textbooks and nametag. Yep, iMom is Tsai Jia Wen.

In January of this year, the center where my kids have Chinese tutorials offered a Mandarin course. The course, called Chinese Character Canon, utilizes a non-conventional method to learn Mandarin. It is totally different from Hanyu Pinyin, where Chinese characters have phonetic equivalents in the English alphabet. Hanyu Pinyin is the system used by my kids’ school, and is slowly being adopted by more schools in the Philippines.

Chinese Character Canon is different, in that it uses a poem –  a very long poem composed of 4,000 non-repeating characters. At the end of the complete course, one is supposedly guaranteed to master all 4,000 unique characters. I signed up for the first phase, where I will learn 1,000 characters in six months.

Continue reading Learn Mandarin through Chinese Character Canon