Newly updated version of Mandarin Express Intro and Basic levels available

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 19 February 2020. Posted in Front Page

Newly updated version of Mandarin Express Intro and Basic levels available

There are three jobs I will never finish, washing dishes, doing laundry, and revising Chinese textbooks. And I am always glad that I did these jobs. What’s worth of mentioning today is that I just finished updating Mandarin Express Intro and Basic levels. For Chinese teachers and students who need these textbooks, you will receive the updated version 2020. 

How to say “coronavirus” in Chinese?

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 14 February 2020. Posted in Front Page

How to say “coronavirus” in Chinese?

The current coronavirus outbreak has taken its toll on us. The evening news has been talking non-stop about the death tolls, the latest border controls in various countries, the infections, the unlucky cruise ships, and many different opinions offered by many experts. We are perplexed, we are in pain, and we are in a crisis.

2020 welcomes 384 days of the year of rat

Written by April Zhang on Wednesday, 08 January 2020. Posted in Front Page

2020 welcomes 384 days of the year of rat

Gong xi fa cai, everyone! 

Chinese New Year is coming. Here is a little bit of cultural interest for all Chinese learners. There will be 384 days in the year of rat, starting from the first day Jan 25, 2020 and ending on Feb 11, 2021.

My character in the online video lesson

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 26 December 2019. Posted in Front Page

My character in the online video lesson

The first animated video lesson was just officially released. If you have never learned anything about reading and writing Chinese characters, you can watch this video and learn strokes and stroke orders. 

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Written by April Zhang on Saturday, 14 December 2019. Posted in Front Page

Chinese learning tips for busy people during the holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

The much anticipated holiday season is finally around the corner. Visiting families and friends, travelling around the world, or staying home receiving all the guests. Holidays can be hectic. What about learning Chinese?

Breakfast, HKD36; speaking the language, priceless

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 26 November 2019. Posted in Front Page

Breakfast, HKD36; speaking the language, priceless

Sometimes I have my breakfast in a restaurant which is right next to my office building. This is a typical Hong Kong restaurant where you see locals most of the time. The menu is usually placed underneath the glass top of the table. You sit down, you read the menu, and you order your food. In this restaurant, most of the service staff look quite senior in age. And Cantonese is the default language in this restaurant.

Hello, new logo!

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 11 October 2019. Posted in Front Page

Hello, new logo!

Sharp eyed readers have noticed that a new and handsome logo have replaced the old one on MSL Master’s website. That’s right. A new logo was launched on Oct 10, 2019. Hello, new logo!

Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 30 August 2019. Posted in Front Page

Mid-Autumn festival fruit guide

This year’s Mid-Autumn festival is only two weeks away, 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 learning Chinese culture and about participating in the cultural activities. And you don’t have to be in China to enjoy Mid-Autumn festival.

Back to school - Mandarin Chinese courses start soon

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 16 August 2019. Posted in Front Page

Back to school - Mandarin Chinese courses start soon

This September and October, for people who are interested in learning Mandarin Chinese, two great introductory Chinese courses are starting soon. Don’t miss it!

Use popular songs to spread Mandarin Chinese

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 18 July 2019. Posted in Front Page

Use popular songs to spread Mandarin Chinese

Learning popular songs is a great way to learn Mandarin Chinese. We like beautiful songs. They are part of Chinese culture, and can help students practice pronunciations and learn new words. 

Practice Chinese in Japan

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 30 June 2019. Posted in Front Page

Practice Chinese in Japan

I recently had a trip to Okinawa. One day, I got caught in the rain and had to spend a couple of hours in a coffee house, where other tourists suffered the same fate. There was a nice couple from Germany. It was their first trip to Japan and they found it really hard to get around or to order food, because they did not speak Japanese. I do not speak Japanese either, yet for me Japan is not a hard place to get around. The reason is simply because I can read Chinese characters.

Happy 16-year anniversary, MSL Master!

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 18 April 2019. Posted in Front Page

Happy 16-year anniversary, MSL Master!

This April, MSL Master entered its 17th year. 

In April 2003, when MSL was first started, I only had one goal, which was to provide the best Mandarin Chinese courses for non-Chinese speakers in Hong Kong. My criteria was simple, that students are able to speak Mandarin quickly and fluently on topics related to daily life and work. 

At Chinese New Year, food brings communities together

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 01 February 2019. Posted in Front Page

And why high fashion executives should take Mandarin lessons

At Chinese New Year, food brings communities together

Chinese New Year is here. Every part of the city is once again basked in a Chinese deco, the background Chinese music keeps the spirit up, and shops and restaurants are busy promoting special offers. All promise that the year of pig is going to be a prosperous one. 

This is a time when food occupies a center part of people’s mind. What to eat and what good fortune one is going to have are issues dealt by many. It is quite a common knowledge, possibly worldwide, that at Chinese New Year food is highly correlated with auspicious meanings. Fish signifies surplus. Chicken is for good luck, and rice cake represents progress year on year. And those finger licking sugar coated lotus roots carry a meaning of plenitude.

Knowing which food carries what fortune is a partial understanding of food culture at Chinese New Year. What food really does is to bring people together, to reproduce an harmonious political and social environment, a belief deeply ingrained in Chinese mainstream culture and tradition.

Learning Chinese - Tests and the anxieties

Written by April Zhang on Thursday, 06 September 2018. Posted in Front Page

Learning Chinese - Tests and the anxieties

Learning Chinese can causes lots of anxieties, for both teachers and students. As the power structure goes, I suppose students suffer more. There are so many defeated students out there, more than defeated teachers. So this post is about students.

Learning Classical Chinese Texts

Written by April Zhang on Tuesday, 29 August 2017. Posted in Front Page

Learning Classical Chinese Texts

At the fourth stage, the acculturation stage, students start to get deep into the Chinese cultural literacy. This stage opens up tremendous directions for students to pursue further learning. 

In Mandarin Express Intermediate Level B, a substantial amount of classical Chinese (wenyanwen) is included. There is no doubt that wenyanwen is difficult to learn, and many students get by without knowing any of it. So, why do I include so many wenyanwen texts?

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