Westerners discuss the hardest things about learning Chinese【Video】

The various related but often unintelligible Chinese language varieties collectively have 1.2 billion first-language speakers. Of those varieties, Mandarin, also known as Standard Chinese or Putonghua, has 848 million native speakers, which is higher than any other language on Earth. It’s no wonder that more and more people around the world are seeing the practicality of learning Chinese as a second language.

However, learning a second language takes time and effort, especially if the intrinsic features of your target language differ significantly from those of your native language. A recent YouTube video titled “Foreigners’ Difficulties of Learning Chinese” explores this exact scenario by asking four Westerners about their own experiences studying the language.

Whether you’ve already dabbled in Chinese yourself or are thinking about it, the short clip makes for an interesting watch for anyone looking to expand their linguistic horizons.

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Jon Bon Jovi singing in Chinese is surreal 【Video】

Despite all of his singing about being “halfway there,” it seems that Jon Bon Jovi is perfectly capable of going the extra mile (even though it doesn’t really matter if he makes it or not, etc.).

The singer of many a rock ballad that your one roommate insists on blaring at ungodly hours, Bon Jovi is currently making bizarre new headlines with a YouTube video of him performing a well-known Chinese love song… entirely in the song’s original Mandarin language.

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“A snowman tolerates while freezing.” Mystery product’s label is questionable and hilarious!

First impressions are very important, not only for people but for products too. A product’s packaging and labels can make or break a deal depending on whether the design and text on it appeals to the consumer. And, as you know, some companies choose to scrimp and save on hiring a professional to handle their translation needs. In many of these cases, the joke’s on them because they end up with hilarious gibberish on their products.

A Japanese Twitter user recently shared a photo of a Chinese product that had Japanese written on its warning label, and the text was so bad we couldn’t even imagine what product that label was supposed to be on! Take a guess and join us after the break!

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Here’s what angry girlfriends yelling at you in six different languages sounds like!

Even the happiest of couples has the occasional argument, and some people even genuinely enjoy a good squabble with the other half in order to keep things exciting and blow away the cobwebs every now and then. But what does it sound like to have an irate ladyfriend berate you in different languages?

In this video from YouTuber The World of Dave, poor Dave himself endures the screams of seven ranting ladies as they give his ear a good bending in their native tongues. Which would you least like to be on the receiving end of?

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See the gorgeous top-ranked Miss Campuses from universities across China

Meg Sawai, an editor for our Japanese sister site and all-around Chinese news liaison, was browsing the net last week when she stumbled upon the recently released Top 30 Face Ranking of all Miss Campuses across China. Intrigued, she opened the list to see who would take the top spot. Get ready to meet some of the lovely–and intellectual–ladies from universities across China!

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“Single Chinese Guy vs Single White Guy” video “celebrates” Singles’ Day in China

After a controversial Halloween stunt landed them in some hot water, Shanghai prankster group Monkey Kingz is back and at it again–and this time, with a decidedly less-gory theme.

Their latest video is titled “Single Chinese Guy vs Single White Guy,” which pokes fun at the predicaments of two available guys, one Chinese and one white, on Singles’ Day in China. In a hilarious sequence of short clips, the two men try busting out all the moves to win over a girl using exceptionally different tactics. Will they find true love, or will they be forced to spend Singles’ Day wallowing in total rejection? Watch the video and see the funny progression of events for yourself!

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Fluffy kitty arm cushion provides the utmost relaxation for patients

Remember Tama, that adorable calico kitty who in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Station Master at in Wakayama Prefecture’s Kishi Station? Thanks to her, it seems like more and more felines are now taking a leaf out of her book and wanting to climb their way up the (corporate) ladder.

But it’s a harsh world out there, and cats just entering the workforce don’t exactly have endless opportunities. So what’s a new feline graduate just out of school to do? Well, it would seem that kitty recruits do seem to have good prospects in one area of specialization–as long as they don’t mind working as arm cushions at traditional Chinese medicinal clinics, that is!

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New app helps you translate Japanese and Chinese offline using smartphone camera

With their complex writing systems, getting around in Japan or China can be stressful for even the most seasoned of tourists. Sure, you could carry a travel dictionary in your pocket while you go sightseeing, but how are you supposed to look up all those funny looking sticks and squiggles when you don’t even know how to pronounce them? Often the locals try to be helpful by providing an English translation, but there are reasons why that doesn’t always work out. If only there was a way to just wave your magic smartphone over some unintelligible text and have it provide a reliable translation on the spot. Well, as we discovered over at Shanghai Listthere’s an app for that.

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Japanese internet user’s amusing interpretation of a sculpture in San Francisco

We’ve all seen a strange work of public art at some point while traveling–you know, that piece that makes you scratch your head and look at it upside-down to try to figure out just what the heck is going on. Fortunately for the residents of San Francisco, they have their very own bizarre–and ginormous–piece of public art to contemplate whenever they feel like it.

Japanese internet users recently stumbled across photos of this particular sculpture created by Chinese artist Zhang Huan and were quick to comment on its unique appearance. One fan even decided that it resembled nothing other than the final boss of a video game. While we’re pretty sure that’s not the interpretation that the artist was going for, the fan’s cleverly manipulated photo still gave us a chuckle.

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19 Chinese expressions with amazing literal translations

The Chinese language is widely regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn.

There are more than 80,000 Chinese characters in existence, although a non-native speaker can get by with 1,000 of the most frequently used.

To make matters more complicated, the characters that make up each word or phrase individually carry different meanings based on the context in which they’re used. For example, the Chinese character 吃 could mean “eat,” “drink,” “bear,” or “take,” depending on the phrase that surrounds it.

As hard as the language is, it can also be incredibly poetic when translated character by character into English, and sometimes hilarious.

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This Chinese tongue twister will melt your brain

Everyone loves a good tongue twister, especially when getting to grips with a new language. I’ve had fun being challenged by Japanese coworkers at drinking parties to get my mouth around phrases like basu gasu bakuhatsu (“the bus gas explodes”) five times in a row, or aka-makigami ao-makigami ki-makigami (“red paper roll, blue paper roll, yellow paper roll”) on many occasions, but this Chinese tongue twister blows them all out of the water.

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Chinese accuse Korean golfers of lacking manners, some courses refusing entry

Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news wire, recently reported animosity towards Korean golfers was growing at courses across the country. According to Xinhua and a popular Chinese magazine, Golf Weekly, reasons for the resentment include, “taking too long to hit,” “poor tipping” and “bad manners.” Discontent has built to the point where some courses are now reportedly refusing to let South Korean golfers play.
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