We had the privilege of sitting down with Ben Hedges, founder of Learn Chinese Now, and discussing a variety of topics including his personal journey into the Mandarin language. Ben shared such incredible language learning insights and wisdom during our chat that we’ve decided to release the entire interview in three installments. While watching this first installment, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.
Jump to the vocabulary list.
Ben Hedges Interview Transcript
Dayong (00:04 – 00:07)
Can you please briefly introduce yourself?
Ben (00:07 – 01:32)
大家好，我是 Ben Hedges，中文名字叫郝义博。我是英国伦敦大学亚非学院的毕业生。我也在台湾留学了一年，在那边学了一年的中文。毕业之后，我就开始拍网络视频，主要是讨论一些中国的时事、电视剧、新闻、什么电影啊。后来这些视频就在台湾爆红了。所以我们就现在是每一周拍一个新的网络节目，后来我有很多机会跟一些公司合作拍一些影片，比如说我们跟Seven Eleven合作过拍台湾的环岛影片。2013年我也开始拍一个教中文的节目叫 “Learn Chinese Now”。我们每个星期出一个新的视频。这是针对外国人，正在学中文的外国人。帮他们学一点简单的中文，或 是把比较复杂的中文给他们解释一下。这个节目也是用一个幽默的方式，用一个幽默的方式来教中文。观众的反馈是很好的。
Hello everyone, my name is Ben Hedges and my Chinese name is Hao Yibo. I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London. I also studied Chinese in Taiwan for one year. After I graduated, I started making online videos, discussing current affairs, TV dramas, news and movies in China. The videos became a hit in Taiwan, so now we release a new video online every week. We started to get a lot of opportunities to collaborate with companies and create more videos. For example, we worked with 7-Eleven to film a video about traveling around Taiwan. In 2013, I started a new program called “Learn Chinese Now”. It is a program developed for foreigners learning Chinese, and we release weekly videos. The program’s goal is to teach foreigners some simple Chinese, or explain the use of complicated Chinese words, and we try to do it in a humorous way. The program is well received by its audience.
Dayong (01:33 – 01:40)
通过制作Learn Chinese Now对您更好的理解文化差异有什么影响吗？
How has building Learn Chinese Now impacted your own journey toward greater fluency and cultural understanding?
Ben (01:40 – 02:36)
Making these videos gave me a chance to review what I have learned, for example, idioms in college. Teaching people what I have learned really allows me to have a deeper understanding of the idioms. For instance, we made a video introducing the idiom “Misfortune may actually be a blessing”, and I read the original story in classical Chinese. The story was really interesting and meaningful, and teaching it to the students allows me to discover more meaning behind the idioms.
Dayong (02:37 – 02:40)
您希望Learn Chinese Now对观众有什么影响？
What impact do you hope Learn Chinese Now has on your audience?
Ben (02:41 – 03:30)
Nowadays, a lot of students are learning modern Chinese, so they can go to China for business. However, I feel that learning a bit of ancient Chinese and classical Chinese allows you to understand modern Chinese better, as modern Chinese evolved from ancient Chinese. There is a story behind most of the Chinese phrases and idioms, and it is not as simple as English.
|Hànzì||Pīnyīn||Definition||Part of Speech|
|1.||网络视频||wǎngluò shìpín||online video||n.|
|2.||环岛影片||huándǎo yǐngpiān||around the island videos||n.|
|7.||文化差异||wénhuà chàyì||cultural difference||n.|
|8.||古代汉语||gǔdài hànyǔ||ancient Chinese (language)||n.|
|10.||探索||tànsuǒ||explore / probe||v.|