The Dark Side of 玄

By Confused Laowai | Date: November 5th, 2012 | Category: Chinese Characters
DeathStar

After running a script last month to see where the first occurrence of a radicals appear in HSK, there were some interesting observations. Such as the fact that some radicals only occur on level 6 or some never occur! I decided to look at some of those radicals to investigate why they are so rare, and maybe learn a bit more about them. First up is 玄(xuán). It sits at radical number 95. Meaning 玄 […]

Radicals sorted by their first occurrence in HSK

By Confused Laowai | Date: October 15th, 2012 | Category: Experiments
HSK characters

I was looking at my blog’s web analytics when I saw a few hits coming from Skritter’s forum. I headed on over and found an interesting topic. Is there a list of radicals sorted by their first occurrence in HSK? So, basically, show the components based on their entry into an HSK level. I decided to spend the day and code this up using code from HanziJS. It was interesting question and I was curious […]

Gangnam Style hits Beijing with hilarious Laowai Style [Video]

By Confused Laowai | Date: October 13th, 2012 | Category: Videos
Screen Shot 2012-10-13 at 11.20.32 AM

I’ve been waiting for a proper Chinese cover or rendition of Gangnam style for a while now. Thanks to the cool reddit community, r/China, I’ve found it. It’s set in Beijing with Laowai, Jesse Appell, who’s studying at Tsinghua University. I was skeptic at first, but then the video proved me wrong. It’s fun, it’s clever and definitely Laowai style! Well you can watch and tell me yourself. It has over 180,000 views on Youku. […]

HanziJS gets updated. Now with more decomposition data!

By Confused Laowai | Date: October 1st, 2012 | Category: Learning Tools
HanziJS

HanziJS is a tool that I created earlier this year to help me find the components (radicals) of Chinese characters. It was rudimentary at best, but I’ve finally taken time off to update it a bit more. It is part open-source project, part tool. A picture below showing how decomposition looks like now. So what’s new? – It now decomposes the character a lot further. There has been a LOT of background changes in terms […]

9 Essential Digital Tools for Chinese Learners

By Confused Laowai | Date: September 27th, 2012 | Category: Learning Tools
9tools

Back when I was undergraduate student, I was still clueless to all the amazing products available to help complement my Chinese studies. I experienced this again, when I did an experiment with the first year learners of Chinese at my University. Many had questions for me and I realized, that I was that same guy. Now, with a few more years of discovering the best content, here are essential digital tools for Chinese learners. These […]

Batman of Shanghai

By Confused Laowai | Date: September 4th, 2012 | Category: Videos
Screen Shot 2012-09-04 at 11.48.32 AM

Check this out! It’s a Chinese styled animated interpretation of Batman (especially the recent film the Dark Knight Rises). There’s no spoilers in here, so it’s safe to watch. It features Catwoman, Batman and Bane. Unfortunately, there’s no Chinese speaking in it, but there are some Chinese characters. Check the video first. It’s awesome! Edit: Commenters have corrected my guesses at the Chinese on the signs.  To make this post a little bit cleaner, I’m […]

10 Really Interesting and Cool Chinese Characters

By Confused Laowai | Date: August 24th, 2012 | Category: Chinese Characters
bow

While I was doing my Chinese character frequency experiment, I was looking quite a lot at the CEDICT dictionary file. I stopped whenever I saw interesting Chinese characters which I haven’t encountered before. I started collecting interesting looking characters which had cool stories behind them. Ones that made me go, “Woah that’s awesome” or “No way, that’s cool”. Maybe I’m just obsessed with Chinese characters, but I’m sure you’ll find these characters awesome. 1) 弓 […]

What do you know if you learned the most frequent Chinese characters?

By Confused Laowai | Date: August 20th, 2012 | Category: Experiments
wordchart

I have developed an interest in Chinese characters and statistics recently. This interest comes from my research into Chinese orthography and spaced repetition systems for my Master’s degree. For instance the effects of radicals on sub-conscious level on recall of Chinese characters. One question popped into my head the other day on the ratio between Chinese character knowledge versus Chinese vocabulary knowledge. As you might know, most Chinese words are formed with the combination of […]

Call me Maybe in Chinese

By Confused Laowai | Date: August 12th, 2012 | Category: Music
Screen Shot 2012-08-12 at 11.05.50 AM

The best guilty pleasure song in a long time. This time you can sing along in Chinese too! The lyrics written by Dawen and the help of his friends came out quite nicely in Chinese. I’m impressed. I always wonder how it would sound. I even tried to figure the translations out myself once, but didn’t do so well. There’s a lot to consider when doing a cover in a different language. Not only does […]

FluentFlix first impressions plus beta invites!

By Confused Laowai | Date: July 29th, 2012 | Category: Learning Tools
FluentFlix

I recently got access to FluentFlix, an up-and-coming website that will help teach Chinese through the use of authentic video content. You might have read some of the awesome articles on their blog before. First Impressions Upon signing up to FluentFlix you get the ability to filter the video through interests and Chinese ability. Immediately it provides you with comfortable and relatable content which is a good start. They have quite a lot videos there already! […]