Why Mandarin as a New Year’s Resolution Just Isn’t For You.

So it’s that time of year again, Christmas is behind us and January 1, 2014 is right in front of us. And you know what that means…it’s time to make a promise to yourself you will most certainly break by February 1, 2014. I’m talking about the infamous “New Year’s Resolution.”

So many people make a promise to themselves on January 1st that they will do one of the following: Get fit, quite smoking/drinking, get out of debt and the one I’m most interested in is Learning a New language.

The last is my favorite. I can’t tell you how many people I hear say this each year… “Have you heard? I’m going to learn how to speak Mandarin this year and I’m really determined.” Fast forward to February 1st and ask how it’s coming along and you will most likely get an excuse of why learning Mandarin just isn’t working out. If you want to have some fun you can learn how to ask “How’s the new language coming along?” in Mandarin and see their reaction. Safe bet you will get a look of confusion.

calvin-and-hobbes-new-years-resolution-comic

So why bring up why you shouldn’t make Mandarin your New Year’s Resolution? Well, because I don’t think you should ever make a New Year’s Resolution, especially when it comes to learning a new Language like Mandarin. You will set yourself up for disappointment by thinking, “I will learn this language in 1 year.” A year is a long time and life can get in the way of a goal like this or you may postpone your learning because you have a whole year to achieve your ambitious goal. So what should you do? Glad you asked…

You should write down 12 different goals to achieve throughout the year, roughly 1 per month. This will keep the time frame tight and turn a massive goal into tiny bite size goals that will be more achievable and keep you motivated on a month to month basis. So you ask, “What are some examples of monthly goals to set for myself?”

These are just suggestions but I think it will bode well for your progress month to month:

January: Spend you first month learning your numbers. 1-100, 100-1000, learn how to say your phone number, your address, your age, how fast you are driving, etc… Anything you can think of that involves numbers; focus on learning how to say them in Mandarin.

February: A great follow up to numbers are dates and times. Learn the months of the year, how to say certain dates throughout the year, what time do you leave for work, and come home from work. This will be a great follow up to month one and will add to your already rapidly expanding vocabulary. photo

March: Now that we’ve got numbers, dates, and times down let’s move on to items in the household. March is a good month to start spring cleaning. While you are sifting through all the junk you don’t need have the dictionary ready so you learn how to say what you are throwing out in Mandarin. This can be a tough month because you don’t really know how much stuff you have until you have to learn how to say it in mandarin. Break this up into weeks:

–  Week 1: Items in the Kitchen

–  Week 2: Items in the living room

–  Week 3: items in the bedroom

–  Week 4: Items in the bathroom

It won’t cover everything in the house but it will give you some great vocabulary and will keep you on track to accomplish your goals. Now that the year is 25% over you should be in the ballpark of 200 new vocabulary words. Did you know that basic fluency of Mandarin starts between 1000-2000 vocabulary words? You are already 10-20% of the way there!

April: Your vocabulary is beginning to bloom, just like the flowers in spring. Speaking of spring, your goal for April will be to master vocabulary around the seasons and the weather. You will also pick up some descriptive adjectives this month to describe things like “Heavy rain” “Strong Wind” “Bright sun” and more. Our goal for this month will be 30 new words for seasons/weather and 10 phrases to describe them.

May: In English I don’t think we realize how much we use pronouns but they are often some of the most common words we use. April should be spent focused on pronouns such as: I, we, he, she, it, they, them, and don’t forget possessives like: our, my, mine, your, yours, theirs, etc… These words will be a great step towards fluency because you will begin to identify who is talking about whom in basic conversation.

Nurse Clare

Nurse Clare

Congratulations! You have made it too May and your confidence should be booming! Don’t worry, if you don’t think you know as much as you should this is natural. We are often our own worst critics. You are doing fine and have successfully completed 4/4 of your goals. Good for you. Now it’s time to drift into the deep end.

June: With all of the new vocabulary you have learned it’s time to start putting it into practice. May will be a fun month spent learning and practicing your manners and basic introductions. “Hi how are you? Where are you from? It’s nice to see you again. Please. Thank you.” Etc… This may be a bit tricky because you may not live in an area where everyone speaks Mandarin. Not a problem. You can Find a Mandarin tutor online, eat at local Chinese restaurants, or find a language exchange partner in your local area. Whatever you decide to go with make your goal to go at least once a week or 1 hour/week and practice all the Mandarin you have learned.

Congratulations you are half-way there!

July: So you have been practicing some very basic dialogue, good for you. You probably realize now that you know far more than you thought but realize how much you still don’t know. Let’s make June a month all about you, literally. When conversing with people they will often ask about who you are and where you are from. Let’s focus on 30 new vocabulary words describing yourself and basic responses to common questions like: What’s your name? Where are you from? How old are you? Are you married? Are you single? Where do you work? Do you have pets? Just to name a few let’s make it a point to answer at least 5 common questions about yourself this month.

August: You have reached 7/7 goals so far this year are most likely around 500 new Mandarin words and basic introductions, don’t look back now. This month we will focus on work vocabulary. Whether you work in an office, classroom, construction, or from home we are going to expand our vocabulary to include some work topics. Focus on 30 words (1/day) and some basic questions and statements like: Can you make 10 copies? I can make 10 copies. What time is the meeting? The meeting is at 1 O’clock. Have you received my email yet? I have received your email. This will build your vocabulary and give you more practice with numbers, questions/answers, and of course get you closer to basic fluency.

September: We’ve been hitting the books pretty hard this year and the year is slowly coming to a close. September is a month of review and verbal practice practice practice. Make it a goal to spend 3 hours per week practicing basic conversation. You can use a Mandarin tutor, a language exchange, or a local restaurant or market.

I know September was tough but you did very well and helped solidify many of your vocabulary words into you Mandarin lexicon. Basic fluency is closer than ever.

The Early Days

The Early Days

October: At this stage of the game you have probably been asked or want to ask where something is. The good news is you are going to learn how to ask for directions and give them this month. Also, how to say it’s here, there, everywhere, over there, under there, behind it, in front of it, etc… Let’s go for another 30-40 words and 10 -15 basic questions and answers.

November: You have made it this far. Don’t quit now! In the spirit of the coming Holidays our goal will be to focus on shopping gifts and the cost of certain items. 30-40 words should be easy this month, simply write down all the neat gift ideas you see in the shopping malls or online. Then learn how to say what they are in Mandarin. Also, you will have to pay for them or at the very least ask how much they are, so focus on 5-10 ways to ask about the price, is it cheap? Is it expensive? Can I afford this? Do you take credit card? Etc…

December: With Christmas right around the corner, will be to focus on 30-40 vocabulary words about Christmas, time with friends/family and sharing time together. After this month you can say with pride that you didn’t set a New Year’s Resolution and completed more without it than any of your friends that did. After this month you can say you have mastered between 800-1000 new vocabulary words and 100-200 basic questions and answers.

P.S. Congratulations you can officially say you have basic fluency. Now you can see why learning Mandarin was a terrible idea for a new year’s resolution. I think making 12 small promises was far more helpful for you. If you are looking for more vocabulary and more speaking practice the best thing to do is to get a speaking buddy or tutor. You can get your own speaking buddy and tutor at SexyMandarin with any of our Plans. Click here to begin practicing today >> SexyMandarin

5 Slang Mandarin Phrases

hailanMost people have heard of the “proper” way to address people in conversation but realistically most of us use colloquial sayings, slang, and idioms to communicate and get our point across. Think about it; when was the last time you had a conversation like this:

–          Hi, how are you doing today sir?

–          I am doing very well thank you, and how are you today?

This type of dialogue may be found in a more formal setting but how many times a day are you in formal situations where using your second language is a must? If I had to guess, not very often, and you probably don’t speak like that in your native tongue all that often either. Your dialogues probably look something like this:

–          Hey man, long time no see.

–          Ya! Good to see you. What’s up? Or what have you been up to?

It’s a more casual way of conversing and translated literally (What’s up) might be confusing but once you understand that it’s an informal greeting it makes conversations more fun. So today we have 5 slang sayings in Mandarin that may not translate literally but everyone in China will know what you are talking about.

 

What a bunch of n00bs, newbz, noobs, nubes:

It only seems appropriate to start with the slang term n00b. It is a saying that transcends languages across the globe to refer to people that are beginners at just about anything but more specifically video games, sports, or technical equipment.

(càiniǎo) – Literally it means: Dish, vegetables and bird

How did these 2 Characters become “Noob”? It’s hard to say for sure but some speculate that the character (stupid or clumbsy) was originally intended for the phrase “Noob” but was mistakenly replaced with and thus the Mandarin characters for “Noob” were born.

Lesson 33

 

How to do things naked in public:

People in China use the word naked to describe things other than their nude bodies

裸婚 (luǒ hūn) – is used to describe eloping in China. Also referred to as a “naked wedding”. The bride and groom get married without a ring, house, car or care in the world.

裸辞 (luǒ cí) – is used to describe quitting a job without having another job lined up. A.K.A. “the naked resignation”

裸考 (luǒ kǎo) – Have you ever taken a test and had no clue what the test material covered? Well than you are guilty of “naked testing”. It is an expression used to describe taking a test with zero preparation.

 

Stressed? Can’t take it anymore?

People in China have a unique way of saying they are about to snap

伤不起 (shāngbùqǐ) – Literally translated it means “injury, scar, and unbearable” This phrase is commonly used when referring to investments, taxes, dating, and marriage.

 

Want to say good bye? 再见Zàijiàn

As in English, there are multiple ways to end a conversation or say goodbye in Mandarin. Here are a few casual ways other than 再见 Zàijiàn.

明天 (míng tiān jiàn): See you tomorrow; this is not directly interchangeable with再见 Zàijiàn, it should only be used if you do in fact plan to see the person tomorrow.

联系! (zài lián xì): Let’s stay in touch; a borderline cliché it can be used regardless of whether or not you do plan on staying in touch.

有空再聊 (yǒu kòng zài liáo): When’re you’re free, let’s chat again; this is used for conversations involving close friends and will make you seem like you’re not just an expat traveling through but a local that has been in China for a while.photo

 

Valentine’s Day is used to catch someone?

In China Valentine’s Day is commonly referred to as (情人 – qín rén jié) “catch your lover day” The Characters literally mean Catch, Person, Holiday and are used in 2 very different contexts:

The first is used for couples who are trying to catch their lovers in an affair by hiring a private eye to snoop around and see if they are having an affair of any kind.

The second is a bit more like what you were probably expecting. “Catch your lover” means to find (or catch) that special someone and spend Valentine’s Day with them.

 

We hope you enjoyed our post on slang sayings. Let us know if you have any slang sayings you would like us to talk about or maybe some slang that “threw you for a loop” the first time you heard it in China. Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

SexyMandarin is happy to share Thanksgiving with all of our students and followers. Although Thanksgiving is typically only celebrated in The United States on the last Thursday of the November, we wanted to share it with everyone. Regardless of which continent, country, province or state you are from we would like to say “Thanks for supporting us and making SexyMandarin the most fun and exciting place to learn Mandarin.”

One of the customs associated with Thanksgiving is to make a list of all the things you are thankful for in life. Some friends and families tell one another what they are thankful for right before they begin their Thanksgiving Day feast. The feast usually consists of turkey as the main course and is often accompanied by many other side dishes such as: cranberry sauce, corn, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, casseroles, warm bread rolls, and many others. Allow us to go first…

We are thankful for all of our SexyMandarin fans and would like to hear from all of our fans what you are thankful for. Feel free to comment below and if you can try and do it in Mandarin.

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Top 10 Mandarin Programs in China

At SexyMandarin we were thinking of resources students and perspective students alike could benefit from and so, we decided to create this little cheat sheet for you. Below we have put together 10 of the best Mandarin learning programs throughout China. They include the location, accommodations offered, description of the program, and tuition fees. We know it’s not easy to just pick-up and move to China, but we have seen it happen.

One of our students recently moved from the US to China to further his Mandarin studies, so never say “Never”! If you can’t move to China to study Mandarin, don’t worry, you can study online with us to keep your Mandarin studies fresh.

Lesson 29

Check out our plans at SexyMandarin

  1. Aston Language Center:

Location: Wuhu City, Anhui Province. Wuhu is a medium sized city that offers a genuine Chinese and cultural experience. Due to the small expat community in Wuhu, the option of speaking your mother tongue is very difficult. This allows more opportunity to speak with locals and work on your Mandarin in everyday social encounters.

Accommodations: Living in Wuhu is quite affordable when compared to major metropolitan areas such as Beijing or Shanghai.  Through the Language Center, a student can find affordable living ranging from: 280RMB – 700RMB (per week). These prices are roughly $46USD – $115USD (per week) respectively.

Program and Tuition: 8100RMB ($1330USD) for the entire academic program; the duration of the program lasts 5 months and includes 15 hours of Mandarin per week and includes cultural activities outside of class such as: Caligraphy, tai chi, cooking etc… Morning and afternoon classes are available Monday – Friday and for students that need or want extra help, private 1 on 1 lessons are available at 60RMB/50 minute lesson ($10USD).

Support: help with visa, accommodation, airport pickup, etc…

 

  1. The Chinese Language Institute:

Location: Guilin city, Guangxi Province. Guilin is located in the south of China, northwest of the Macau and Hong Kong. CLI is located in the heart of the city and boasts that its location and program structure are the best for true student immersion.

Accommodations: While studying at CLI, students have 2 choices for their accommodations. The first and recommended choice is to stay in integrated housing. The integrated housing pairs the foreign student with 1 or 2 graduate students at the university so the student is constantly surrounded by Mandarin speakers even while outside the classroom. The 2nd option is to have a private room with up to 1 foreign roommate. Although the option is available, CLI claims this inhibits the fully immersive experience. For the integrated housing plan prices range from 4 weeks all the way up to 1 year. 4 weeks is $2205USD, a full semester $5910 and 1 academic year $11,560. The private room ranges from 4 – 12 weeks and costs $3565 – $6935 respectively. With a roommate the cost ranges from $4490 – $8970 for the same time periods.

Program and Tuition: For academic semesters (Sept 1. – Dec 15 or Feb 22 – June 15) the program fees are $5910. Summer sessions (June 29 – Aug 10) are $3495. Short terms can be purchased on a monthly basis and are roughly $2200. The programs include pre-semester seminars to prep new students, 3 travel excursions, 4 and a half hours of 1 on 1 instruction per day by 4 different teachers, full enrollment at Guangxi Normal University and the option of taking up to 20 hours of cultural Chinese classes like: Kung Fu, Tai Ji, Yoga, and many others. Pre-arrival assistance: taking care of passport and student visas.

 

  1. Beijing Hutong School:

Location: The Hutong School is located in a traditional Chinese courtyard in the Shuangsi Hutong in central Beijing. Located just inside the second ring and conveniently close to the Gulou metro stop, the school also shares a view of the Drum and Bell tower and is merely walking distance away from the inner lakes of Houhai and Qianhai. Beijing is the capital of China and literally translates to “City of the North”.

Accommodation: While studying at the Hutong School, accommodations ranging from 1 – 6 months are 820euro – 3570euro ($1110 – $4830USD) respectively. These fees also include the cost of enrollment but only for their Internship and Intensive Chinese programs.

Program and Tuition: As stated above the costs range from $1110 – $4830USD for 1 – 6 months. The program itself includes 10 – 20 group hours/week, all learning materials cultural activities (transport and entrance extra), airport pickup and assistance with visa application.SexyMandarin

 

Ready to kickstart your Mandarin learning? click here: SexyMandarin

 

  1. International Person Learning Center:

Location: The InterNational Person Learning Center is located in Wudaokou, Haidian district, North West of Beijing. It is the capital’s famous international student area with a large number of universities including Beijing Language and Culture University, Peking University and Tsinghua University. The Center is close to the subway station, and close to Lama Temple and Tian’anmen Square. The area is filled with historical significance and beauty.

Accommodation: for the Intensive Chinese program offered. The occomodation is included in the price of admission. The living quarters include gas, water, electric, ADSL internet, heating and airconditioning.

Program and tuition: The intensive Chinese program lasts from 1-6 months and includes the cost of living. 1, 3, and 6 months are priced as: $1070USD/month, $990USD/month, and $760USD/month respectively. The program includes 1 on 1 tutoring or group classes (2min – 6max), 10 hours a week of private classes adapted to the students level, reading based on topics the students pick, accommodation (listed above), airport pickup, and help with visas, job assistance etc…

 

  1. Mandarin House:

Location: Mandarin House is located in 2 of the largest and most well known cities in China, Beijing (The Capital) and Shanghai. Depending on whether you want to stay in the “North City” by The Great Wall of China or watch the sun rise over the eastern coastline in Shanghai you can master Mandarin with one of many flexible Mandarin learning programs at Mandarin House.

Accommodation: Mandarin House offers 3 different levels of living while attending the Mandarin immersion program. These 3 accommodations are:

  1. Homestay (single room) – Breakfast and dinner. Single room with bed, desk, chair, wardrobe; broadband Internet access included; bed linen, towels, blanket; access to equipped shared kitchen; shared bathroom; washing machine, refrigerator; TV, air-conditioner with heating; water, gas and electricity included; travel time is average 30 minutes on public transportation. The cost at the homestay ranges from 1770RMB/1week ($290USD/week) with discounts built in the longer the student stays. Students that stay for more than 12 weeks get a rate of 1260RMB/week ($210USD/week).

  2. Shared Apartment (single room) – Single room with bed, desk, chair, wardrobe; broadband Internet access included; bed linen, towels, blanket; access to equipped shared kitchen; shared bathroom; shared washing machine, refrigerator, TV, air-conditioner with heating; water, gas and electricity included; cleaning service once a week; apartments of 2 to 8 bedrooms shared by Mandarin House international students; travel time is from 5 to 25 minutes on foot or public transportation. Costs for shared apartments range from 1930RMB/week ($320USD/week)for 1 week to 1400/week ($230USD/week) if the student stays for more than 12 weeks.

  3. Private Studio Apartment – Studio apartment with bed, desk, chair, wardrobe; broadband Internet access included; bed linen, towels, blanket; equipped kitchen; bathroom; washing machine, refrigerator; TV, air- conditioner with heating; water, gas and electricity included; cleaning service once a week; travel time is from 5 to 25 minutes on foot or public transportation. Prices for studio apartments range from 3230RMB/week ($530USD/week) for only one weeks stay, or 2590RMB/week ($425USD/week) for students staying over 12 weeks.

Program and Tuition: the Mandarin House offers a very diverse course listing to accommodate anyone looking to start from scratch, freshen up on their Mandarin Fluency, or ascend to reach Mandarin Mastery. The intensive program listing includes 4 different levels for students to take and include:

  1. Intensive 30: Six group lessons per day. One week: 2640RMB ($435USD) or 12+ weeks at 1950RMB/week ($320)

  2. Standard 20: Four group lessons per day. One week: 1870RMB ($310USD) or 12+ weeks at 1400RMB/week ($230USD)

  3. Combined 30+5: Six group lessons per day + one private lesson per day. One week: 3850RMB ($635USD) or 12+ weeks at 3050RMB/week ($500USD)

  4. Combined 20 + 5: Four group lessons per day + one private lesson per day. One week: 3080RMB ($505USD) or 12+ weeks at 2500RMB/week ($410USD)

Work Experience program:

  1. 4-8 weeks of Chinese courses – 20 group lessons per week, 50 minute sessions (average class size: 5)

  2. 8-24 week unpaid internship. Cost for 4 weeks plus internship: 10800RMB ($1775USD) or 8 weeks plus internship: 16560RMB ($2720USD)

 

  1. iMandarin:

Location: If you aren’t sure where you want to learn Mandarin in China, iMandarin is a good place to start. The Mandarin school has 10 campuses located in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou (close to South China Sea, Hong Kong, and Macau) and Dalian (in the eastern Liaoning Province of Northeast China). With so many places to choose from you can pick the area that is right for you fiscally and culturally.

Accommodation: iMandarin offers 3 levels of accommodation to students they can be seen below:

  1. Single room:  Access to shared kitchen, shared washing machine, refrigerator, gas and electricity costs, cleaning service once a week. Costs for the single room range from $225USD/week for a single week, to $160USD/week for students staying longer than 12 weeks.

  2. Private studio apartment: Kitchen, washing machine, refrigerator, gas, and electricity costs, cleaning service once a week. Costs for private studio apartment range from $355USD/week for a single week, to $310USD/week for students staying longer than 12 weeks.

  3. Homestay (single room): Access to shared kitchen, shared washing machine, refrigerator, gas and electricity costs. Costs for the homestay range from $260USD/week for a single week, to $190USD/week for students staying longer than 12 weeks.

Program and Tuition:

  1. Academic courses: 30 lessons per week; start dates: Jan 5, Apr 6, and Sept 14.

  1. 12 weeks: $3,390USD

  2. 24 weeks: $6,290USD

  3. 48 weeks: $12,100USD

  1. Courses General Fees: $80USD registration fee, books/materials $35 per level, accommodation placement $80USD, Airport transfer $65USDLearn a new language today!

 

Plans at SexyMandarin start at just $10. Try SexyMandarin.

 

  1. Keats School:

Location: Situated near one of Kunming’s central business districts on bustling Dongfeng Road, Kunming Keats School is a short walk away from restaurants (Chinese and Western), cafes, bars and gyms. The rest of the city’s hot spots are but a bus or cab ride away. Kunming is the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, a primarily agricultural province of 45 million people. Kunming has a population of five million and is located in one of the world most geographically, ethnically, biologically and linguistically diverse regions. Yunnan province is endlessly fascinating and is an excellent location to base yourself. The province mixes mountainous inlands with the tropical forests in the south. Bordering provinces to Yunnan are Tibet, Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi. Yunnan also borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Accommodation: is included in the price of admission through the school. The accommodation offers: a single dorm room, separate bathroom (western style), TV, Fridge, DVD player, desk, bed with sheets, a wardrobe, clean water dispenser, unlimited internet access, laundry, medicine for minor illnesses.

Program and Tuition: The program runs for 1-24 weeks depending on how long you would like to study, and can include 3 meals a day and 1 cultural option per week if you so choose. The basic fees for the school range from 1 week: 2770RMB/week ($455USD), 12 weeks: 2530RMB/week ($415USD) or 24 weeks: 2430RMB/week ($400USD). In addition to this if students wish to get 3 meals a day from the school, simply add 320RMB/week ($55USD). Lastly, students that want to enjoy cultural experiences, exclusive to China such as: Caligraphy, Kung Fu, or cooking may do so on a weekly basis for 400RMB/week ($65USD) extra.

 

  1. Konall Culture Exchance:

Location: Shijiazhuang is the ideal location to study Chinese. Standard Mandarin is spoken on the street and there are very few foreigners. In a city of over 8 million Standard Mandarin speakers, there are fewer than 200 foreigners at any given time. This means that you MUST speak Chinese all day, every day. The daily practical immersion you will experience in Shijiazhuang is perfect for serious learners that want to make rapid progress. This type of environment is very different to the larger more westernized cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai etc) where there are literally crowds of foreign students, tourists and ex-pats as well as numerous English speaking Chinese.

Accommodation: Keats offers 2 different options for living while going to the Mandarin school. The first is the Home-Stay. This option is an excellent way to fully immerse oneself in Chinese language and culture. Home-stay students receive a private room with internet connection and two meals per day. Home-stay is a great way to save money and besides a one-time fee of 500 RMB is completely free. The second option is the Private apartments. These come fully furnished (internet, cable-TV, fridge, air-con, washing machine, bedding/linen etc) and are within 10mins walk of our school facility. The monthly rental fee is 2,750 RMB ($455USD) which includes all utilities and unlimited broadband internet.

Program and tuition: Konall Culture Exchange is one of the only Mandarin schools in China that has an exclusive 1 on 1 teaching policy. Students take 4 hours of class per day in a 1 on 1 setting, all books and study materials are included, daily lunch at the school canteen is provided, full visa and travel assistance, bi-weekly group activities, and 24 hr support. The price of admission for this very intimate learning environment is 8450RMB/month ($1390USD).

 

  1. Mandarin Capital:

Location: Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals of China, and also a famous destination for students and tourists alike. Praised as a “paradise on earth” it is a city full of life and excitement. The city has wonderful weather, a well balanced economy, efficient public transportation, and wonderful living facilities. It is one of the best places to find yourself in China.

Accommodation: Living in Hangzhou includes 3 types of living: Single rooms in shared apartments, Private Apartments, or Home-Stay (personal room). Single rooms in shared apartments are $140USD/week; Private apartments are $238USD/week; and home-stays (with personal room) are $140USD/week.

Program and Tuition: lessons are 50 minutes long and range from total beginner all the way up to advanced. Class sizes are capped at 5 and average about 3 per class. Programs include 2 types of intensive courses:

  1. Intensive 20: 20 hours of class per week, 4 hours per day. Cost: $175USD – $233USD per week depending on length of program

  2. Combined 20+5: 20 hours of class per week with an additional five personal 1 on 1 lessons. Cost: $257USD – $320USD per week

General course fees include: $80USD registration and books/materials $30 per level.photo

  1. Omeida Chinese Academy:

Location: Located far from the expensive cities on the Chinese coast, Yangshuo is one of the most inexpensive towns in China. Food, accommodation and entertainment costs are usually one-half to one-third of China’s coastal regions. In Yangshuo, unlike in China’s remote locations, you have access to western goods and services you might need.

Accommodation: Omeida Language School offers spacious, clean rooms at a subsidised rate to the students. All of the rooms are a 2-10 minute walk to Omeida Language School. All of the rooms are equipped with air conditioning, heating, internet access, a desk and chair. You also have your own  ensuite bathroom including a toilet, a shower and your own hot water tank for 24 hour hot water service. Students also have access to the washing machine. For an additional 100RMB per week, Omeida Chinese Academy can provide a fully furnished single room with a private bathroom to ensure you have an enjoyable stay in Yangshuo. For an additional 200RMB per week, Omeida Chinese Academy can provide a very comfortable single room with a private bathroom at Tiffany’s Hostel to ensure you enjoy a high-quality hotel service during your stay. Rooms are available all year round but please be aware that they cost more outside of the low season (October 8 to March 30).

As with the shared accommodation, please note that there is an additional charge for electricity. This is usually between RMB 50 and RMB 150 per month, depending on usage, in particular how much the air conditioner and shower heater is used.

Program and tuition: Omeida offers 2 programs, one intensive Mandarin course and one standard course. The Intensive course typically ranges from 1 – 12 weeks and has the option to extend if you so choose. The course includes six 45minute sessions per day, 5 days per week. 12 weeks will run you 21700RMB ($3565USD) and each additional week after 12 weeks are 1000RMB ($165USD)

The standard course is similar to the intensive but only includes three 45 minute lessons per day and costs 10300RMB ($1690USD) for 12 weeks. Additional weeks after 12 are 600RMB/week ($100USD).

 

Thanks,

SexyMandarin

P.S. Not sure if you are ready to move to China? Check out SexyMandarin and get a taste for $10 and see if it’s right for you.

P.P.S. We hope this post has been helpful for you and increases your desire to learn Mandarin. If you know of other Mandarin Programs worthy of the list that you didn’t see, please let us know in the comments section.

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Mandarin: Language of the Future, or Linguistic Fad?

While learning Mandarin is only catching on now in the United States, around the world its popularity has been and is still growing. In addition to being the primary language of a large proportion of Chinese residents, it is also spoken by more than 100 million people who are not of Chinese descent.SM pic

In absolute terms, Mandarin is spoken by the largest number of people around the globe; some estimating it to be roughly 1.1 billion and growing. Not only that, but the Chinese economy has been showing signs of explosive growth in recent years. According to the International Monetary Fund, China is poised to pass the US in output within the next 5 years.

With these figures in mind, it would seem that the benefits of learning Mandarin are also growing exponentially. Business between China and the rest of the world will multiply over the next 5-10 years, and it seems all the more likely that a healthy fluency of Mandarin could help you land a higher paying job or close coveted, international deals.

Class Is In Sesson

Class Is In Session

The American educational system seems eager to keep up and has been taking steps to implement Mandarin into it’s everyday curriculum. Speaking Mandarin has also grown as a hot ticket item on college applications as well as a bonus when considering executive placement. With all this in mind what conclusions can we draw?

Is Mandarin THE language of the future? It may be just a bit too early to tell if Mandarin will become THE language of the future. However looking at the business trends, number of people speaking Mandarin in the world today, and the growth the language has seen and continues to see, I think it is fare to say that it’s far more than just a linguistic fad. 2IMG_0153 copy

What do you think? Share your thoughts below: Language of the Future or Linguistic Fad?

Look for SexyMandarin at the AAE in Macau

AAE logo

What’s new at  SexyMandarin? We have just accepted an invitation to attend the A.A.E. (Asia Adult Expo) at The Venetian in Macau, starting December 13, 2013.

The Expo will provide a unique opportunity for us to build our brand recognition and display our unconventional way of teaching Mandarin. It will provide the potential for networking and growth opportunities within comparable industries. Within the online language market there are few companies, if any, like SexyMandarin which is why the company landed an invitation to the A.A.E.AAE banner 2

We will showcase our virtual classroom technology to give all curious patrons a sample of the unconventional Mandarin classes. SexyMandarin will send many of its model/teachers to the expo to walk new and prospective students through the classroom design and setup, not to mention add a little bit of eye candy to the mix.

For anyone attending the event, we would like to schedule some times with you so you can get a personal walk through. Please send all of your quetions and requests to russell@sexymandarin.com. For all other inquiries please consult the contact page on the SexyMandarin website.

Should I learn Mandarin or Cantonese?

If you are going to study a Chinese language you will typically have to ask yourself this question: Should I begin learning Mandarin or Cantonese?

Mandarin is the official language of China and is spoken throughout most of the country with the exception of the southern province of Guangzhou. Guangzhou typically favors Cantonese over Mandarin. So with that being said what are some reasons why you should learn one Chinese language over the other?

Well for starters, don’t kid yourself, for non native speakers both Mandarin and Cantonese are difficult languages to learn. However Mandarin uses 4-5 tones depending on who you ask and Cantonese uses 6-9 tones depending on who you ask. So of the two, Mandarin will most likely be the easier choice.

Tones aside here are a few more reasons why you should pick Mandarin over Cantonese. Almost everyone in China speaks Mandarin, Mandarin is the business language of China, the next generation is growing up with Mandarin, even in Hong Kong Mandarin is becoming king.SexyMandarin

So almost everyone in China speaks Mandarin, well what does that mean? Currently 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin. The other 30% is either Cantonese or irrelevant dialects. So who makes up these 70% of Mandarin speakers? It’s predominantly:

– Business people

– people with academic degrees

– just about all students for that matter

– anyone and everyone in the working class

– and anyone who has any type of formal education since the 1950’s

The Business language: Some people may argue that Cantonese is the money language because of the banking industry in Hong Kong. Among the locals, Cantonese is predominantly spoken in Hong Kong. However keep this in mind: When the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR government travels outside of Hong Kong to discuss business guess what language he speaks…exactly he ends up speaking Mandarin!

Also, don’t forget, many of the companies in the United States, and other developed countries, that outsource manufacturing jobs to China send those jobs to the mainland. The mainland, outside of Guangzhou, is almost exclusively Mandarin. So if you are looking to do any kind of international business with China or local business in China for that matter, learning Mandarin will give you the upper hand 99.9% of the time.SexyMandarin

The next generation is learning Mandarin. The Chinese government is putting a larger emphasis on schools to teach Mandarin instead of Cantonese. Not to mention that all entertainment is in Mandarin. That means that these children are growing up watching and listening to Mandarin on TV and Radio as apposed to Cantonese. Even the stations in the Guangzhou province are scripted in Mandarin. When kids play outside and pretend to be superheros guess what language they use? Mandarin. So, because of this push by the government and multimedia, Cantonese will grow more and more obscure with time.

Slowly but surely Mandarin is making room for itself in Hong Kong. Not that many people in Hong Kong speak English except for expats, but if we’re just speaking about locals there is a safe bet English won’t get you very far. Most cab drivers and store clerks can’t help you if you speak English alone, but guess what? Speak a little bit of Mandarin and everyone is on the same page.DSC_9927

Need to renew your Visa or passport in Hong Kong? It’s not impossible without knowing Mandarin, and you may get by only speaking English, but remember you are here to learn Chinese. So what do you think will happen if you walk in speaking Mandarin? Surprise! Again, everyone will know exactly what you’re saying because they all speak Mandarin.

So what have we learned? If you want to learn Cantonese I say go for it, but after reading this post, my guess is that you will put more of your eggs in the “I will focus on my Mandarin” basket. Hopefully this post helped you make your decision. If you are still not convinced check out a few other posts on SexyMandarin. For example: 5 tips to learning to learning a new language.

5 Apps to Help You Learn Mandarin

We are currently creating an app for SexyMandarin and will announce a launch date soon. In the mean, time we would like to share a few apps that could help you with your Mandarin studies.

  1. ChinesePod – Learn Chinese
    1. ChinesePod Helps busy people learn Chinese through lesson podcasts, study and review tools and online Skype classes. This is a free feed from ChinesePod where you can enjoy our weekly question and culture show QingWen and selected free lesson podcasts.SexyMandarin
  2. Laokang – Tone Test
    1. As the name suggests this app helps people master the tones associated with learning Mandarin. This simple but effective app will help you gain a stronger command of the tones so you don’t accidently say mǎ (horse) when you meant to say mā (mom).
  3. Learn Chinese Mandarin Phrases
    1. This is a well designed app that touches on the phrases that will help most when you first begin learning Mandarin. Initially you will learn greetings, directions, numbers, and dining out.SexyMandarin
  4. Learn Chinese Easily
    1. This app helps the student learn with the help of pictures similar to flashcards. Each lesson is about a particular topic like food, parts of the body, nature, furniture, etc… After each lesson there is a test to gauge your comprehension.
  5. Busuu – Chinese
    1. Busuu is one of the largest online communities for language learners. The app offers the ability to set personal goals and see your progress and it has a great course structure so you maximize your time while studying.

Would These Girls Make the SexyMandarin Cut?

SexyMandarin likes to combine the beauty of language with the beauty of the teachers that present the Mandarin. We’ve found some of the sexiest movie stars in Chinese cinema and wanted to know if you think they would make the SexyMandarin cut. Here are 3 of the sexiest move stars and a little about each of them. Let us know who you would pick to be your teacher.

1. Chen Hao:

Chen Hao

Is a 31 year old Chinese actress and model. She made a big splash in Chinese cinema for her roll in the award winning film “Postman in the Mountains” (那山那人那狗) in 1998. Being recognized for her talent, she catapulted into other movies and TV dramas.  Chen Hao is definitely easy on the eyes and truly a beautiful star.

2. Kitty Zhang:

Kitty Zhang

 

Zhang was born in Shandong province. She left Shandong at age 15 to attend acting school in Shanghai. She has been a professional actress since 2007 and has worked on 11 different films. The first in 2007: The longest Night in Shanghai (夜。上海) and her most recent film: White Deer Plain (白鹿原)

3. Betty Sun:

600full-betty-sun

Sun Li, better known as Betty Sun, is a 28 year old actress from Shangai, China. Her talents don’t stop at the theater’s though, she is also a fabulous singer and dancer. She was first recognized on the talent radar in 2001 on a show called Star Search. Although she didn’t reach the finals it landed her a spot in a TV drama called Jade Goddess of Mercy. This Drama launched her career and there has been no looking back.

So What do you think?

Do these ladies have what it takes to be part of the SexyMandarin classroom? Let us know who your favorite is below in the comments section.

 

Say Hello to the Newest Student of SexyMandarin

Hi Everyone,

We’ve got something special for you today. Our founder and CEO, Kaoru Kikuchi, recently had a beautiful son. His name is Sherlock and he is our newest member on SexyMandarin. To keep things fun, and of course sexy, Kaoru did a mother and son photo shoot that we would like to show you today.

Without further ado, here is the cutest member of SexyMandarin to date:

IMG_4010 IMG_4047 IMG_4061When you get a chance, say “Hi” to Kaoru and Sherlock in the comments section. Also if you have any good mother/son photo ideas let us know.

Vocab:

Mother:  Mǔqīn  母亲

Son:  Érzi  儿子

Baby:  Yīng’ér  婴儿