Chinese Numbers

Chinese clockNumbers have been traditionally regarded as significant to the Chinese for a variety of reasons. Numbers are related to the Chinese cosmological system. Numbers represent the nine stars (xing) that symbolise the essence of the universe. Numbers also represent the five elements or five forces of the universe: gold, wood, water, fire and earth. All things on earth are classified according to these five forces. Continue reading “Chinese Numbers”

Speaking In Tongues

Speaking in Tongues“What language do you think in – English or Chinese?” Curious Australian friends would sometimes ask me when they know that I can speak Chinese but write in English.

“It depends…” I hesitated. It is a question that does require me to stop and think.

“On what?”  they would prompt, their curiosity insatiable.

“Well it depends on what I am thinking about.” Continue reading “Speaking In Tongues”

Learning a new language

Biang biang noodles

Learning a new language is very exciting. The most thrilling moment for me when I was studying Italian was when I discovered that through the language I could get some insights into the psyche of the Italian people. This is because language forms the most significant part of a people’s culture. When we learn a people’s language, we usually also get acquainted with their culture. Language is the bridge to a people’s psyche and their way of life.  Being able to cross that bridge is in fact the basis for effective cross-cultural communication. Continue reading “Learning a new language”