Where in the world is Confused Laowai?

By Confused Laowai | Date: July 31st, 2013 | Category: Taiwan

It’s uncharacteristic not to update you guys on what’s happening. I’ve been very silent on Confused Laowai, but it’s indicative of change. It’s almost eight months now that I’ve been living in Taipei. So what’s been happening? I’ll be candid here. A shift in focus It’s been an interesting journey this year. Moving from being a Master’s student last year researching spaced repetition systems and Chinese characters to a working as a young adult teaching […]

Comprehensive Onomatopoeia List

By Confused Laowai | Date: July 24th, 2013 | Category: Language

Today on Confused Laowai, I’m featuring a post by Christina from FluentU. In case you are unfamiliar with them, they’re a language learning company that uses authentic video for personalized language learning. You can check them out here. Ever want to type “haha” or “boom!” during a conversation but you pause and think, “wait, how do you write this word?”. I’ve been there many times and always feel that without the onomatopoeia, my sentence loses a […]

Phonetic Sets in Chinese Characters

By Confused Laowai | Date: March 12th, 2013 | Category: Chinese Characters
Phonetic Sets

You might have noticed that a few weeks ago I added a feature to HanziCraft that automatically tries to find pronunciation clues in each character. Using this tool, I decided to create phonetic sets using the 6800 most frequent Chinese characters. What is a phonetic set? I quote from HanziCraft A phonetic set is a list of characters where a component produces the same pronunciation clue towards each character. For instance, the component 马, which is pronounced as […]

Is immersion the answer to all language learning problems?

By Confused Laowai | Date: February 25th, 2013 | Category: Taiwan
National Palace Museum Gardens

I’ve been in Taiwan now for just over 2.5 months. So how is it being immersed/living in a country where Mandarin is spoken? Often, when dinner conversation comes up about language learning, especially in informal discussions, immersion is praised as the best way to learn a language. I’m not convinced. As a disclaimer to this post, I’d like to mention, that this topic will differ from person to person. There is a lot anecdotal evidence […]

Year of the Snake!

By Confused Laowai | Date: February 10th, 2013 | Category: Taiwan
Year of the Snake

Happy Year of the Snake everyone. It’s my year (born 1989), so hopefully it wil be a great one (please don’t bite)! Here’s an update on my life in Taipei. Quick Update I got a job teaching English (finally!) and everything is going smoothly, except for a bit of a cashflow problem at the moment. The final stage of my visa admin is almost done. My girlfriend and I are spending the Chinese New Year […]

Introducing HanziCraft

By Confused Laowai | Date: January 11th, 2013 | Category: Learning Tools

Today, I introduce HanziCraft. It’s a project that I’ve been working on for some time now. It started with my thesis, where I needed to easily decompose Chinese characters for my research. I then found data and wrote a little decomposition tool for myself. This was called HanziJS. However, as time went on I realized I wanted more than just decomposition data. Why not create a site that pushes the value of Chinese character dictionaries […]

Chinese Character Challenge – Level up!

By Confused Laowai | Date: January 10th, 2013 | Category: Chinese Characters

So Olle of Hacking Chinese decided to drop a bombshell on the first of January, his Chinese character challenge. What makes this different from other challenges or goals (new year resolutions?) is that this isn’t necessarily a pre-made goal (learn x amount of characters per day kind of thing), but rather a promotion of taking more effort in your Chinese character learning. Furthermore, it isn’t just an open goal for everyone to try on their own, but rather […]

I’m in Taiwan!

By Confused Laowai | Date: January 7th, 2013 | Category: Taiwan

It’s been more than a month and a half since I announced that I’m heading to Taiwan for 2013. I’ve been here now for three weeks. It’s been quite the ride and my blog is way due for an update! Here’s what I’ve been up to so far. Two Weeks in a Hostel My girlfriend and I arrived in the middle of December. We stayed at a hostel right next to Shilin market. It was busy […]

Taiwan 2013

By Confused Laowai | Date: November 13th, 2012 | Category: Taiwan

2012 is coming to an end (hopefully not the world!). I have completed my Master’s degree and have been planning the next steps for 2013 for almost a year now. I’ve always wanted to live in China. Actually soak in the language and culture I’ve been learning for almost five years. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been motivated to keep studying and learning for all these years: I knew one day I’d like […]

ChineseCUBES Review: A Novel Way To Start Learning Chinese

By Confused Laowai | Date: November 10th, 2012 | Category: Reviews

I received an email a few months back about a new product called ChineseCUBES. I was instantly intrigued, as it was a novel concept, using blocks with Chinese characters on them with augmented reality. I’m definitely a promoter for new and exciting ways to learn languages, especially when it comes to using new technology. Augmented reality has been buzzing for the past two years, especially in mobile phones. I was curious how they will implement […]