Tag Archives: Mandarin

My talisman gives me strength

tal·is·man noun \ˈta-ləs-mən, -ləz-\ 1: an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune 2: something that produces apparently magical or miraculous effects True story: A woman walks into a store. She’s the only … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
/By any other name would smell as sweet. I can’t say I agree with Miss Capulet on this one. I’m sure if the flower we know as the rose were called … Continue reading

Posted in Identity, Language | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

The lazy expat mom’s guide to language learning

Aaron Myers of The Everyday Language Learner is the idea guy behind today’s post. I discovered his website quite by accident, and I love his approach to learning languages. I’ll let him fill you in on the rest: “Today’s post … Continue reading

Posted in France, Language, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The rise and fall of a pseudo expat tai tai

I once made a group of Singaporean estheticians cry, and it was all Lihong’s fault. Lihong, my Mandarin tutor, was a Chinese national with a graduate degree in Chinese language and literature. Unfortunately, she’d only been living in Singapore a … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, China, Culture Shock, Language, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

No paparazzi please, we’re Canadian

All over Asia, people are talking about me. And my family, of course — especially blonde, blue-eyed Younger Daughter. Long before I moved to Singapore — before I had kids, even — Japanese tourists would occasionally stop me on the … Continue reading

Posted in China, Culture Shock, Identity, Singapore, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Do I need a foreign language intervention?

Monolingualism, as a bumper sticker recently assured me, can be cured. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ve been neglecting my linguistic health for so long, I’m afraid the prognosis for a complete recovery is hopeless. As … Continue reading

Posted in France, Language, Repatriation, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My new hero: Benny the Irish Polyglot

I’m in love. I wasn’t expecting it to happen. I’ve been married to Chef Boyardee for nearly 20 years, so I certainly wasn’t looking for anyone new. But one day I was flicking idly through my twitter feed when I … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

The wedding of my kitchen, and other embarrassing language mistakes

Yesterday, my lovely cousin Stella Maria married James, her longtime beau. The wedding was low-key and fun (just like the couple themselves), and as entertaining as you’d expect when two musicians throw a party and invite their talented friends. But … Continue reading

Posted in Australia, France, Language, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments