Guide to Traditional Chinese Characters

Guide to Traditional Chinese Characters

If you learned to read Chinese characters only after coming to Mainland China, you may be surprised to find that you can’t understand most of the text that you see when you travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong, or even to one of the China towns in the U.S. There isn’t anything...
Top 5 YouTube Channels for Studying Mandarin

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Studying Mandarin

Anyone who has searched “learn Mandarin” on YouTube might agree that the sheer number of results are overwhelming. But we have good news for you: it is possible to learn Chinese on YouTube! In recent years CLI has noticed a handful of channels consistently...
为什么学中文? Why Learn Chinese?

为什么学中文? Why Learn Chinese?

First let’s get the obvious out of the way — Chinese is the world’s most spoken language! Beyond this headline grabber, the reasons are no less abounding. The foundation, linguistic construction, long-term preservation and evolution of the language and...
An Overview of the Chinese Zodiac

An Overview of the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac, called 生肖 (shēngxiào) or “birth likeness” in Mandarin, is an ancient belief system considered to be a tool for deciding one’s destiny. Following the traditional lunar calendar, this scheme is based on a 12-year cycle in which one of 12 animals is...
China’s National Day Holiday

China’s National Day Holiday

China’s National Day, called 国庆节 (guóqìngjié) in Chinese, is celebrated with great fanfare every year on October 1 as a public holiday. Grand military parades are also held every 10 years to mark the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The most recent...
The Guilin Opera

The Guilin Opera

Guilin Opera is a beloved artform throughout southern China and is one of country’s ten major forms of opera. This kind of opera utilizes 桂林话 (Guìlín huà, Guilin dialect) and various regional 方言 (fāngyán, dialects) to tell stories of tragedy and comedy. Guilin...
Is It Hard to Learn Chinese?

Is It Hard to Learn Chinese?

The Chinese language is often considered one of the world’s most difficult languages to learn, but this sentiment is a major oversimplification! Like any language, learning Chinese has its challenges. As a language learner, placing yourself in an ideal learning...
The Anatomy of Chinese Characters

The Anatomy of Chinese Characters

Reading and writing Chinese characters is often considered the most ambitious challenge that language students face in order to achieve fluency. Indeed, the intricacies which have shaped this character system over thousands of years are both complex and vast. While...
10 Reasons to Study Mandarin in Guilin

10 Reasons to Study Mandarin in Guilin

十 Great public transportation of Guilin Near and far Guilin is connected with buses, 面包车, domestic and international flights, conventional & bullet trains (it’s now 2.5 hours to Guangzhou from Guilin by bullet train). 九 Ideal city size at 1 million people...
An Official Review of Yoyo Chinese

An Official Review of Yoyo Chinese

Have you heard of Yoyo Chinese, a popular online platform for learning Mandarin? Established in 2012 by native Chinese speaker and expert teacher Yangyang Cheng, the Yoyo Chinese curriculum utilizes videos, flashcards and an extensive range of other educational...
Learn Basic Chinese Words

Learn Basic Chinese Words

Are you considering visiting China or finding ways to connect with Mandarin-speaking friends? Whatever your reasons for learning basic Chinese expressions, CLI has your back. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the commonly searched basic words in...
What is Skritter?

What is Skritter?

Skritter is a fresh, inventive way to master Chinese characters. If you’re not a current user, take the following steps to get hooked up immediately – trust us, your Chinese skills will thank you. Because each platform offers its own study mode, the first move...
What is the Chinese Currency Called?

What is the Chinese Currency Called?

The Renminbi (人民币, rénmínbì) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. Often referred to simply as RMB, this currency was introduced by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949 and roughly translates to “the People’s Currency.” To date, the...
China Loves Chili Peppers

China Loves Chili Peppers

If you have traveled to the Middle Kingdom or shared a meal with a Chinese family, you’ll know just how important chili peppers are in Chinese cuisine. Whether serving as a dish’s key ingredient or used as a seasoning for a bowl of white rice, spicy flavors are a...
Chinese Traditional Shadow Plays

Chinese Traditional Shadow Plays

Have you heard of Chinese shadow plays, an art considered by many to be the world’s first ever form of puppetry? Traditionally constructed out of natural materials like animal skins and mineral pigments, these marionette-like figurines are painted in order to...
Why study abroad in Guilin?

Why study abroad in Guilin?

As if spending a semester abroad in China wasn’t reason enough, we felt compelled to list 12 reasons (out of countless) why you should study abroad in Guilin. We’ve also included some photos from our Instagram account and we suggest you watch a video...
Beautiful Photos from Guilin

Beautiful Photos from Guilin

Guilin is beautiful. Guilin is a sightseer’s dream, a photographer’s oasis, a nature enthusiast’s playground, and for the language learner’s of the world—Guilin is an unparalleled treasure trove. This post is a shout-out to a small handful of...
The Most Popular Foodie in China

The Most Popular Foodie in China

Trevor James, a.k.a. “The Food Ranger”, is hands down the most popular food vlogger and YouTuber to be producing content in China on the Middle Kingdom’s deliciously diverse cuisine. Originally from Canada and currently residing in Chengdu, James has been living in...
A Foreigner’s Perspective on China

A Foreigner’s Perspective on China

Matthew Tye, better known as laowhy86, is an American YouTuber and Internet personality best known for producing entertainingly insightful video content on his time as an expatriate in China. His videos cover a range of different topics like the cultural differences...
What to Experience While Studying Abroad

What to Experience While Studying Abroad

Guilin offers an endlessly flowing river of opportunities to students studying abroad. Each individual student who studies with CLI is unique and is seeking an experience to call their own. Guilin’s truly bottomless selection of paths to explore will prove to be...
Things to know about the year of the Rooster

Things to know about the year of the Rooster

The numbers 5, 7, and 8 are considered especially lucky for those born in the year of the Rooster while gold and yellow are considered their lucky colors. January 28th marks the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar in 2017. New Year’s Day in China marks the...
The New York Times Goes to Guilin

The New York Times Goes to Guilin

At CLI we’ve always known that Guilin is beautiful and we’ve been on a mission to share the beauty since our founding in 2009. So it was a welcomed surprise when we learned that The New York Times sent staff photographer, Josh Haner, to capture some of Guilin,...
Ben Hedges Interview: Part 1

Ben Hedges Interview: Part 1

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...
Former CLI Student Gives TED Speech

Former CLI Student Gives TED Speech

Shh! Don’t share your goals. Derek Sivers, former CLI student, provides a compelling argument as to why we should keep our goals quiet and the science behind this unconventional thought. Learn more about Derek on his website. You can also like him on Facebook...
Chinese Taiji

Chinese Taiji

Join Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, as he learns about Master Huang’s journey into tàijíquán. While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to...
Practice Your Chinese Skills

Practice Your Chinese Skills

At the Chinese Language Institute we understand and hold a deep respect for the process of gaining fluency in Mandarin. Learning Chinese requires practice and commitment, amongst many elements. While the most direct route to Chinese fluency is arguably studying in...
The Best 30 Flickr Photos from Guilin

The Best 30 Flickr Photos from Guilin

Guilin is beautiful! Her rivers, lakes, and mountains are only a portion of that beauty — it’s also her people and their culture which help make Guilin such a marvelous city. We spent countless hours curating Flickr’s best images to bring you this...