Tag Archives: language

Taxicab Mandarin: How to Navigate Your Way through China

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The goal of this article would be to provide some very basic Mandarin to be used in taxis by people who don’t speak Mandarin, however, “Taxicab Mandarin” is also an informal level of Chinese language acquisition, e.g. I speak enough Mandarin to tell the taxi driver where to go; hence, the taxicab element. Meanwhile, this(…)


Expats Abroad: You May or May Not Have Mail

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The contingencies of expat life are myriad, fluid, unique, and occasionally blessed with exception. While contending with a mind-boggling number of challenges in your new home, the life you’ve “left behind” doesn’t end as much as it lingers in the distant background. Today’s digital nomad may be free to roam the planet, but somewhere, someplace,(…)


Christmas Traditions from Around the World

It’s that time of year again! Time to overspend for a few days of overindulgence, re-gift those presents we’ve kept hidden in the back of our cupboards for a year because we can’t stand to look at them, and beg both our livers and stomachs for forgiveness (other festivities are available). Every person who celebrates(…)


5 Creative Ways to Study a Foreign Language

Because language learning is, well, a type of learning, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to treat it like a graduate thesis. The result is often that you either fall into a rut, get bored and give up, or, most importantly, stop having fun picking up that new tongue! While(…)


Catalonian Crisis: Is Language the Root of Nationality?

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The story of Catalonia is a complicated one, but it is one heck of a fascinating linguistic phenomenon. Catalan plays a fundamental role in the region’s debate for independence, serving not only as fuel for the opposition but as the highest expression of identity. Before we dive into cultural debates, I want to make it(…)


Health Care Abroad: Something to Consider

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Several months ago, I found myself, once again, in a Taipei City Hospital emergency room. It was a fairly busy evening patient-wise and I was lying on a gurney in the far corner of the lobby with an IV drip tagged to my wrist, waiting to be admitted for further care. This vantage point offered(…)


The Enduring Appeal of the Arabic Language and Script

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Sean Hopwood, MBA is founder and President of Day Translations, Inc., an online translation and localization services provider, dedicated to the improvement of global communications. You can visit their website if you need Arabic translation services. What is it that makes Arabic so special? Is it the way the cursive dashes and hooks beneath the(…)


The US Dollar’s Name Origin and Associated Common Slang

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Money talks and nobody walks, and that is just the way it is. In a consumer-based society, money is at the top of our conversational pyramid. How often when hanging with friends, having dinner with family or chatting with colleagues at work does someone ask: “How much was that?” Even between strangers waiting for a(…)


How to Learn a Language When You Don’t Like Learning Languages

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There are some people who get excited by the mere prospect of learning a new language, and it’s a well-known fact that being passionate about a language is key to helping you achieve fluency. However, sometimes you’re required to learn a new language for a job, or a big move, or a number of other(…)


How the Stereotypes of Nationality, Ethnicity, Race, and Gender May Affect Your Expat Experience

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The scope of my expat experience is limited to Asia. However, an informal survey of random online expat forums – as a member and visitor – confirms my suspicions: It’s the same everywhere, and by “it”, I mean the conditional happiness of people trying to make the nut* in foreign countries. *Make the nut =(…)