Three years ago, I casted my doubt on the English learning method at Duolingo for Chinese.
I posted my questions on
- Zhihu: 在Duolingo通过中文学习英文效率真的高么？ - 知乎
- Duolingo Community: Learn Spanish, French and other languages for free
- and my own blog: Is it kidding to use Duolingo to learn English from Chinese? - Sinostep
We can see the arguments between two sides of the debate.
If it was still puzzling for me then.
Now I am pretty sure to say this model can not help Chinese people to learn English, if there is no big technology change.
And Duolingo could not succeed in the China Market.
1. Chinese for Beginners: Mastering Mandarin Basics in 4 hours
2. Chinese Online Mandarin courses in 7 days – Perfect for Beginners
3. Speak Mandarin in 1 Month
4. College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own advanced Level 1
learn one semester’s advanced college Chinese curriculum in just one months and save 6000 dollars of tuition
5. College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Advanced Level 2
6. New Concept Mandarin-A New Way to Learn Chinese with Julia
7. wtf mandarin – Beginner Conversational Chinese
8. Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation: Learn to speak like a native
9. Learn these first! 1917 basic Chinese (Mandarin) phrases
10. Beginner’s Mandarin Chinese
It’s really a surprise today to see the picture of my daughter and me together on China Daily, they did not tell me there will be a picture:)
Emily, my 6-year old daughter mentioned in the story, was so excited to see herself in the newspaper.
I’d been on a phone interview last month with China Daily and talked about my consulting business (www.sinostep.com) and my life. The income part actually refers to the early days of my own business. It would be better if they let me check the article before the official publishing:)
The reporter asked me why I can grow from a $5/hour cross-border freelancer to an established strategic consulting business? Is there any secret?
It is simple: helping foreign clients find and verify their profitable niche markets in China.
Apart from my China Strategic Consulting Service, I am also running my Chinese column in Zhihu , and a WeChat public account (taohaibaobao), where I write articles sharing my stories and experience as a startup in cross-border consulting business. Chinese freelancers often come to seek for advice on how to become a successful freelancer with a decent life.
China Daily was established in June 1981 and has the widest print circulation of any English-language newspaper in China (over 200,000 copies per issue, of which a third are abroad).
My Flight to LA was Cancelled
I booked my flight from PVG to LAX on Qunar and it was scheduled to departure in the evening on Oct. 17. 2016.
The airline is United Airlines. I went to their official website and booked the seats. Everything was perfect.
In the morning of Oct. 17, about 9 oclock in the morning, I got a call from a Qunar customer service representative, telling me my flight UA199 was cancelled, without knowing the reason as he claimed.
This guy does not sound like a professional customer service representative, and he spoke in a very strong accent which is quite rare in decent companies.
Because there were so many scamming stories about air tickets and poor experiences on online OTAs, I decided to verify this with the airline.
The flight status of UA199 was shown cancelled on United Airlines official website united.com, what to do next? No one tells me what to do.
The funny thing is, UA199 tickets could still be bought in several online travel agencies. And this lasted till its scheduled departure time.
I called the Qunar representative and they tell me they will handle it and come to me ASAP. ASAP sounds quite silly in this situation.
I did not even finish my packing for the travel, and all the appointments had been arranged in the States.
There was no response within 30 mins, so I called them again to another agent. repeating my story again, and again. And the response was still very slow.
Actually they came back to me later after I called UA, and it was funny that Qunar told me that they can not solve it and I should call UA to change my flight.
20 days later, I got the refund for the ticket from Qunar. This is really not good.
The customer service representative is a lady with a sweet voice, in Cantonese accent, but good mandarin.
She was quite polite and professional, making an apology and help me check the possible flight I can change to.
The problem is that there are not many choices, they can not change to other airliners like America Airlines or Delta but only their own, which means I should put off my schedule to fly the next day or take a longer tranfer flight, either way I would miss one day.
I prefer checking other airliners for the same day flights.
United Airlines promised to provide full refund if I decide to buy tickets from else where, but there will be no extra remedy, which sounds not reasonable and I really didn’t have time to argue on this.
New Flight, Not 787, No Free Seat
I didn’t want to buy tickets from Qunar anymore,
But, new problems came too 🙂
There is an earlier flight for me to book on AA.
I tried many times, but the website was just loading and loading.
I tried to load it on mobile phone, it was the same.
I checked the site today when I am writing this blog, the site is working.
It seems like a lesson for me to learn how to use the websites of all US airlines.
Now I was on the website of Delta Airlines.
Everything seemed fine, and it supports Chinese, too.
But (Again!), I could not finish the registration after at least 10 times trials, and I could not figure out the reason why.
They system told me either wrong address, or wrong phone number, or something else, just can not continue to the next step.
Who will use this website? I changed my strategy and set the website language to be English.
Tadaa, It worked
It just took me 20 seconds to complete the registration. I just could not imagine who did the Chinese website localization for them and who had successfully registered in the Chinese interface.
I bought tickets, but I have to pay extra for the seats so Leo and I can sit together.
Now we could follow my previous schedule, the departure time was slightly earlier than UA199.
I bought the travel insurance from Starr Insurance. The policy covers a lot of things including delays and cancellations, but not the situation like mine.
Flying over the Pacific Ocean
The best flying experience for me is that I can keep my mobile phone on all the time.
It is interesting to feel the diversities in the international flights.
Most flight attendants here at Delta are aunties and grandmas, which is quite different than in other airliners in Asian countries.
The planes flew really fast and it took only a little bit more than 9 hours to arrive at LAX.
Domestic flights in US
We flew twice with Southwest during this travel.
Southwest is so popular in the States and taking its flight seems really like taking a bus in the air.
I was quite surprised by its open seat policy and a late check-in means you would not have much choice in finding a good seat.
It is easy to find some movies, dramas or live TV and you can watch just on your phone.
From Los Angeles to El Paso
Several American uncles are working as flight attendents.
They always simile, telling jokes all the time, making the short fly full of fun.
It seems there were only two asian faces in this flight.
One uncle asked me for a favor to help switch the language setting from Chinese to English for the new ipad the company gave him, it had been a week and he could not find someone to fix this.
I found it actually was Japanese but I managed to do it. When I told him it was Japanese, the uncle was really surprised how I can solve the problem.
Flying above the desert, we can see clearly what it is in the ground. Route No. 10 is there, We’d spent quite a long time on it in the next few days.
From Atlanta to New York
The best time for this journey is that I have got the best view of Philadelphia and New York City from above the sky. I have a bird’s view on the whole Manhatton, it is so real and so close. I can even the statue of Liberty.
Fly Over Canada, Russia
China Southern Airlines: Boston to Shanghai
It felt like being back China when you passed the hatch door.
It is a Chinese Arline and almost all of the passengers are Chinese.
The whole return journey was in the night, and took 15 hours, much longer than the flight we came to the States.
We don’t have WIFI, and I can not use my mobile phone.
There are not much choice in the movies. However, many people like them since there are Chinese subtitles.
I felt nothing when I came to the US after the long distance fly.
But it was totally a different experience to be back.
I got up at around 3 or 4 oclock every morning in the first week.
This Thursday evening, the eve of 2016 Singles’ Day (Nov. 11, 2016), there is not much traffic on the streets.
Chinese consumers were busy collecting coupons, searching and adding products into their shopping carts.
Online shopping discounts encourage consumers to spend more on this special day, sales have already outdone Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the U.S. in the past years.
Task of the Year Before Sleeping
After midnight, it was 24 hours fight to empty the shopping carts of different online shopping sites.
In less than 52 seconds, 1bn yuan (US$147million) of products had already been sold through Alibaba’s platforms. The same amount of sales had been sold through mobile devices took only 57 seconds.
It has been really like a holiday, entirely devoted to online shopping and sales.
How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?
Chinese shoppers have been engaged in cross-border import trade over recent years.
Buying overseas products is generally referred to as “HaiTao” in Chinese.
“Hai” (Sea) means overseas, “Tao” (Search) means find and purchase.
Official Brand Web Store
It is the most reliable way for Chinese consumers to buy if they know your brand.
In the beginning, most foreign e-Commerce sites don’t offer the direct shipping service to China. Chinese consumers bought through overseas e-commerce sites, and ship the purchased products back to China through intermediary shipping companies.
Language barriers, different payment, customer service and after-sales service are also obstacles for average Chinese consumers.
Customer service is critical for international buyers, I am sharing my story about Emily’s New 3Doodler Start Pen .