The collapse of the buxiban industry in Taiwan

Editorial / The Wild East Foreigners teaching in Taiwan’s ‘buxibans’, or cram schools are finding an increasingly tough job market, with sharply reductions in hourly and monthly wages, fewer teacher openings, and competition with an influx of new graduates entering the stagnant, saturated world of English teaching in Taiwan. In

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Taiwan’s English language education: A living dinosaur

By Trista di Genova, The Wild East / Editorial The Taiwanese fare abysmally in international English scores. Why? Part of the reason could be attributed to the difficulty  of learning such a vastly different language. According to the US State Department, Mandarin is one of the world’s most difficult languages for

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How to tell someone off in Chinese

吵架必备汉语 The must-learn Chinese words when you are fighting with someone. 1. Go to hell. qù sǐ ba 。 去死吧。 2. You’re a jerk! nǐ shì gè fèi wù / hún qiú ! 你是个废物/混球! 3. Who do you think you are? nǐ yǐ wéi nǐ shì sheí ? 你以为你是谁? 4.

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Getting over the ‘hump’ in Chinese-language learning

Edited version of this article published in Centered on Taipei magazine, Oct 2013. Tired of being left in the dark when it comes to learning Chinese, Trista di Genova talks with Michael Hoare about his ground-breaking new resource for wannabe Mandarin speakers, ‘Intimate Chinese: From grammar to fluency: A companion

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How to speak some basic ‘Street Chinese’

by Trista di Genova If you are like me, you are trying to learn Chinese, the REAL spoken-in-the-streets kind of Chinese. But all your Chinese-speakin’ friends won’t answer your questions about how to say all the important stuff, because they don’t want to teach you ‘Bad Chinese’! (Of course, THEY

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How to Make Learning Chinese Impossible: Taiwan's Got It Down

By Trista di Genova, The Wild East Hapless Chinese learners agree: the Taiwan-only useless system of ‘Bopomofo’ ought to be immediately phased out, and the agreed-upon phonetic system of Hanyu pinyin used to teach Chinese if Taiwan wants competency and credibility as a Mandarin-language training center. The first time I

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What's That Pho? In Remembrance of Loan Words Past

Parlez-vous Francais? French ‘loan words’ in Vietnam hark back to old colonial days by Danielo [Le] Bloom- [icelli] (Also published in the New York Times travel section) Pho is a French word? Who knew? One of the most popular dishes from Vietnam to make it to restaurant tables around the

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Taiwan tries to untangle mangled (but fun) Chinglish

By Dan Bloom, The Wild East Taiwan’s Commission for the Management of Language Use’s mission is to get rid of Chinglish, which irks fans of the island nation’s linguistic maladaptations For English speakers with subpar Mandarin Chinese language skills, daily life in Taiwan offers a confounding array of choices. At

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