Brain Food

Calligraphy is far more than simply writing characters. (Image: stevendepolo via Compfight/cc)

10 Advantages of Practicing Calligraphy

Chinese calligraphy is a unique traditional culture. But nowadays, we have developed network communication tools, and we seldom write Chinese, not to mention practicing calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy, however, is one of the fundamental ways of self-cultivation; let’s take a closer…

(Image: Sina.com)

Try This Technique to Become Smarter

Don’t we all want to become smarter? Naturally, but the question is how. Eat more walnuts? Do crosswords or Sudoku? Read more? These are folklore methods, yet scientific data has now proven one specific way to become smarter — learn a new…

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The Chinese Character for Good: 好

If something is good, the Chinese describe it as 好 (hăo). For example, in China, people greet each other with 你好嗎 (nĭhăo ma?) “Are you doing well?” One possible answer…

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China’s 10 Most Difficult Dialects

To the average foreigner, most Chinese dialects probably sound strange to the ear. But did you know that even within China, there are regional dialects that are hard for Chinese…

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The Chinese Character for Spring 春

The Chinese character for spring is “春.” This character is pronounced chūn, and is a depiction of folded hands as the top element of the character, and a sun as…

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The King (王) of Chinese Characters

Kings ruled societies in ages past. Just a few centuries ago, a hundred thousand kings ruled a hundred thousand kingdoms on Earth. China, too, was a land of kings. The…

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Chinese Characters: 福 (Fú) Blessings, Happiness

福(fú)is the Chinese word for blessings and happiness. Looking at the oldest known script, 福 originally depicted two hands holding a jar in front of an altar, symbolizing someone asking…

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Chinese Characters: Virtue (德)

Chinese characters often represent noble concepts. What makes a good person? Our ancestors would have told us: anyone who has 德 (dé, or virtue).

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Chinese Money: Yuan

Chinese money is called yuan (元, simplified or 圓, traditional yuán). One yuan (show photo) is pronounced yī yuán (一元). It refers to one note of paper money, as well as…

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Chinese Characters for Twins

The Chinese characters for twins are 雙胞胎, pronounced shuāng bāo tāi. Watch our Chinese calligraphy video to learn how to write the Chinese characters for twins:

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Mysterious Chinese Characters: Mǔ母

Chinese characters are pictographs that convey deep inner meanings. The addition of breasts to the kneeling figure depicted in the ancient character for woman (女 nǚ) creates the pictograph for “mother”…

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The Birth of Chinese Characters

Historical documentation from China credits Cang Jie with the inspiration for creating Chinese characters as a system of writing. The celebrated Yellow Emperor’s official historian, Cang Jie was reputedly endowed…

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Chinese Character for Farmer (農 — Nóng)

The epigraphic form of the Chinese character for “peasant farmer” (農 — nóng ) consists of pictographs for “woods,” “field,” and “plough.” Later, in the clerical script form, the top…

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You Know My Heart, Now Say the Words

The communication challenges for anyone traveling from China to the United States is a difficult one. Whether you are just arriving or you have been living and working in the…