Lesson 16:Naughty

You know right from wrong, but it doesn't mean everyone always cares about it. You should, but bank robbers don't usually care if what they're doing is right or wrong when they're robbing a bank. Some might, but I'm sure they're the minority. So why don't we learn about what you shouldn't do, in Chinese!




批評 pī píng- Criticize


nǐ zuì hǎo bù yào pī píng nǐ de ér zǐ 。

You shouldn't criticize your son.


嘲笑 cháo xiào- Laugh at


xiǎo péng yǒu bù gāi cháo xiào lǎo shī 。

Kids shouldn't laugh at their teacher.


吐口水 tǔ kǒu shuǐ- Spit

哎呀! 不要吐口水,好噁心!

āi ya ! bù yào tǔ kǒu shuǐ ,hǎo ě xīn !

Eww! Don't spit, that's gross!


 zòu- Punch


wǒ lǎo pó cháng cháng zòu wǒ 。

My wife punches me all the time.


推 tuī-Push


mā mā !jiě jiě yī zhí tuī wǒ le !

Mom! Big sister keeps pushing me!


在人家背後說壞話 zài rén jiā bèi hòu shuō huài huà -Talk about others behind their back


xiǎo huáng hěn ài zài rén jiā bèi hòu shuō huài huà 。

Small Huang loves to talk about others behind their back.


搶 qiǎng- Steal


nǐ bù yòng qiǎng qián ,wǒ gěi nǐ 。

You don't need to steal money, I'll give it to you.


翻白眼 fān bái yǎn- Roll your eyes 


mèi mèi měi yī cì fān bái yǎn dōu ràng wǒ shēng qì 。

 I get so angry everytime my little sister rolls her eyes.


 八卦 bā guà- Gossip


wǒ bù dǒng wéi shé me nǚ rén zěn me ài bā guà ,zhēn wú liáo !

I don't understand why women love to gossip so much, it's so boring!


說謊 shuō huǎng- Lie


nǐ duì wǒ shuō huǎng ,xià yī cì jiù bù xiàng xìn nǐ 。

If you lie to me, then next time I won't believe you.


That's it for today. I hope this lesson was useful, so make sure to let me know what you think in the comments below! Oh, and stay tuned for the follow up lesson next week on being "Nice". See you then!

10 places to eat Western food in Taipei

The topic of today's post is one that is, and always has been close to my heart. Any guesses what that could be?….FOOD!

In the past I have written extensively about various Chinese dishes and delicacies, ranging from the humble dumpling, to the stomach twisting stinky tofu(stomach twisting for most foreigners, that is). But I haven't written much about specific places for you to go eat. I have done a few reviews of night market stands, but not much besides that. I also have written next to nothing about all of the amazing Western influenced food you can get in Taipei.

Today, we rectify this. Because, chances are, if you stay in Taiwan as long as I did, you're going to start to feel a little homesick for some good ol' Western cooking! Without further ado, I give you my top 10 places to eat Western food in Taipei!

1. NY Bagels


This place is just great. Located in Taipei's 東區(other places in Taiepei as well, such as City Hall station), this is my top destination for a midnight Western style breakfast after I've read my fill over at the 24 hour ESLITE bookstore just down the road. French toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, they do it all! Granted, there are some pretty awesome mom and pop western style diners in Taiwan, but I like the food here the best. Give them a try, you won't be dissapointed!



2. Evan's Burger

\"Evans-Burger-2\"With several locations around Taipei, and two in the vicinity of Shida Night Market, this so one of the best places to go for a burger in town. The style is very authentic, and besides burgers you can get all kinds of other great American foods, and their shakes are awesome! Another reason I love eating at Evan's Burger is that they have my all time favorite soda imported from back home…DR PEPPER BABY! You would not believe hard difficult the stuff can be to get in Taiwan!



3. Bongos

\"bongos\"This place has great burgers, and quesadillas and loads of other stuff as well, but the real fun about going here for me is the books. I'm a nerd, what can I say? The dining are here is surrounded by bookshelves just jam-packed full of English novels, and if you dig through them, you'll not be surprised to find some awesome reading material(scifi, fantasy, general fiction, whatever, they've hot it all!). The books are all second hand(though I'll wager they've seen more than just a pair of hands!) and you can trade in your old books too! Check them out in the NTU area! tons of other great restaurants around there too!


4. Amy's Kitchen(La Casita)

\"amysThis place has the best Mexican food you can get in Taiwan, period. It's all very authentic, not as good as what you'd get back here in Texas, but as close as you can reasonably expect considering where you are(and it's worlds better than the Chinese-style Mexican food you can get at other places in Taipei that just don't get it right).They've also got great margaritas(I don't drink anymore, but I'm sure they can make a virgin one as well). They also allow you to write on the wall with a permanent marker, offering some interesting atmosphere to the restaurant and a time you'll never forget! They're a little tough to find, your best bet is to google the Chinese address and show it to a cab driver.


5. Macho Tacos

\"machoWhen I went to college in Austin, Freebirds and Chipotle style gigantic burritos were a staple of my diet(maybe one of the reasons I was so fat when I graduated and moved to Taiwan in the first place!). While Macho Tacos isn't a carbon copy of either major American chain, they do offer a pretty similar dining experience, and have by far, the best burritos in Taiwan. Too bad this joint didn't pop up sooner, I was always on the lookout for Mexican food during my early days on Taiwan, Check them out in the Shida night market area.




6. Alley Cats

\"alleycats-huashan-arts\"Best pizza in Taiwan, seriously, just try them and I'm sure you'll be a believer too! Located on the back side of Ximen Ding's famous Red House, Alley Cats has been serving up awesome pizza to Taipei's night owls for a long time, which is pretty easy, considering they're surrounded by bars! Their pizza is Chicago style, thin-crusted and delicious! They're also affordable, considering how much good Western food can cost in Taipei, not cheap, but affordable.




7. West-15 Diner(西十五牛仔很忙)

\"west15\"This place has all of the essentials, and lots of them! The menu consists of burgers, fries, pasta, salad, soups, wings, and much more! Oh, and it's buffet style, so the staff will keep bringing you dishes to your table until you burst! It's a little pricey, but you can get your money's worth, for sure, especially us guys. Besides the great food, another reason this place is so popular is because the owner dresses like a sexy cowgirl, and so do the rest of the waitresses, none of which are hard on the eyes. The place is within walking distanced Liuzhangli station, and google can get you the rest of the way from there.


8. Mary's Hamburger(茉莉漢堡)

\"20091105-maryshamburger\"This one is a little out there if you are located in the heart of Taipei, but if you are in the neighborhood, it's a good place to stop for dinner. Located in Tienmu, just by the American school, it shouldn't be hard to find. They have great burgers and fries and I would recommend checking them out next time you're in the area to peruse the flea market, take a bus to Yangming Mountain to hit up the hotspring resorts, or whatever it is that brings you there.



9. Casa Della Pasta

\"casaI love spaghetti and lasagna, but it can be super difficult to find a really good pasta place in Taiwan. Taiwanese spaghetti is generally served with a pretty watery sauce, not the meaty kind that Westerners love, and never has enough Parmesan cheese. Enter Casa Della Pasta. With several locations around Taipei, This place has great Italian food, and you can get as much parmesan as you want to go with your pasta, just expect to pay a little more than you would at other spaghetti places around town. Remember you get what you pay for.


10. Hooters

\"hooters\"I know what your thinking, and stop it, okay! This fine establishment made it on the list because of the great American style good, right?…Awww, who am I kidding, we all know why Hooters is popular with the guys, pretty obvious. The foods great, and they have a hula-hoop show, and some of the girls can swing 10+ hula-hoops at a time! Now that's something you've just got to see! Check them out, they're conveniently located by the Nanjing E. Rd. station.





That's my list. It's not all inclusive, there are tons of other places to get great Western food in Taipei, so feel free to share your favorties below!

Also, remember to join my mail list for updates on all the happening on eazychinese.com!







8 things that I never saw until I went to Taiwan

Hey everyone! Today's post is short and sweet. I just wanted to share with you all some of the more unique and interesting things that I have seen durring my stay in Taiwan. Enjoy and share your experiences below!!!


1. People washing clothes in a stream











2. A person go into a trance as they were possessed by a god





















3. 3 people on the same scooter, or a woman with 3 dogs on a scooter(okay, so that's two things!)























4. Parks full of elderly people performing choreographed dancing to music, or subway terminals equally full of breakdancing youths.















5. Two cars trying to fit through the same alley(approximately 1 car width wide), but different directions, oh and a scooter or two as well.

















6. A cab driver hit a pedestrian and then blow her off when she complained(both my wife and I have been hit by cars too)









7. A whole roast pig(think Hawaiian style, minus the apple in the mouth)











8. This!



10 Scary Chinese Foods!


The most popular articles I have ever written are… and…. So today, I'm going to keep the food theme, but add a bit of a twist, so keep reading and find out about some of the most unique(and disgusting!) Chinese foods!

1. 皮蛋 pídàn- Thousand year-old eggs











The rumor is these bad boys were marinated in horse piss to give them their distinctive flavor and smell way back in the day. This just shows you the reputation they have! These days they are soaked in salt, and a mixture of chemicals to give them their distinctive salty, ammonium flavor.

2. 臭豆腐 chòudòufu- Stinky tofu










I've written about this dish before, but I'm going to include it in this article as well, because foreigners really do think it's Disgusting(I capitalized and bolted the D for emphasis!), but come on! It's not that bad, especially compared to one of the other items on this list!

3. 豬腳 zhūjiǎo- Pigs feet


I can't tell you how much I love these! My mother in law makes the BEST marinated pigs feet in the world! The meat is so tender, it melt in your mouth! Just goes to show, that great food ain't always pretty!

4. 豬血糕 zhūxiěgāo /鴨血 yāxiě- Pigs blood cake/ duck blood

\"Zhu_xie_Gao\"Pigs blood cake and duck blood are often served with other dishes or in hotpot to compliment the other flavors, as they absorb the flavor of soups, sauces, etc. It's really not that bad, though the idea of it is kinda gross, you might think Chinese people are vampires!

5. 烤章魚腳 kǎozhāngyújiǎo- Grilled octopus tentacle


What's better than a delicious, rubbery octopus tentacle on a stick? A GIANT delicious, rubbery octopus tentacle on a stick, that's what! When I first moved to Taiwan, I remember thinking to myself "What the heck I that?" as I strolled through the night market one night. Little did I know that I would come to love this weird food, and so will you!

6. 豬肝 zhūgān- Pigs liver


Not usually eaten on their own, pig livers are adding in to many dishes to make for a hearty meal! They are eaten, because in traditional thought, they are believed to increase the blood count in your body.

7. 雞腳 jījiǎo- Chicken feet

\"OLYMPUSChicken feet are especially popular with Chinese women, as they are thought(because of traditional Chinese medicine) to be good for the skin. These are pretty good, but I'd take pigs feet any day, because chicken feet have barely any meat on them! They're great if you like cartilage, skin and tons of tiny bones though!

8. 魚下巴 yúxiàba- Fish jaw



This dish is pretty scary looking when the waiter brings it to your table, I mean, come on! Do people actually eat that! As a matter of fact, they do! The meat tastes pretty good, though it can be difficult to get at all the good parts. Hey, try it before you judge!




9. 魚卵 yúluǎn- Fish eggs



In Taiwan, when you order a fish at a restaurant, you get a fish, head and all. In America, you get a fillet! In Taiwan, when you get a fish with a belly full of eggs, you consider yourself lucky as you chow down on your bonus. In America, you yell at the waiter, send the fish back and mot likely empty the contents of your stomach. It really is amazing how different our taste buds can be!



10. 豬舌頭 zhūshétou- Pigs tongue


Last but not least, is pigs tongue! We've eaten pretty much every other part of the animal, so why leave the tongue alone? These are shaved into thin slices and grilled, and both look, and taste like pepperoni! They are awesome, so make sure you try this one before dropping the hammer!




That's our list, and I had to cut it short because my hands are getting tired from typing. I could easily go on! It just goes to show how much of the animals we eat in the West go to waste! I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you did, please join my mail-list! Until next time….


10 differences between Chinese and Western culture

Today I'm going to share with you several of the insights that I have had into the differences between Chinese and Western culture. These points are based on my own personal experience living in Taiwan and being married into a Taiwanese family. Enjoy and share your experiences below!


1. Children live with their parents for much longer…even after they're married!

2. Western people are more "in touch" with their feelings and talk about them, Chinese people keep them bottled up inside.

3. Food is eaten family style, with everyone sharing dishes.

4. Activities are often dictated by religious belief and the lunar calendar, such as, "when is a good time to open a business?"

5. Families will have an altar in their home for them to make offerings and pray at.

6. Grocery shopping is still commonly done in outdoor markets, with different people selling meat, vegetables, etc. if you want something, you often need to go to a store that sells that thing specifically(but not always).

7. People are warm with family and friends, but somewhat cold to strangers. People often bump into you In a crowd and move along like it never happened, and they don't hold the door for people.

8. Whereas people in America(especially women) want to have nice, tan skin, Chinese people would rather have pale, white skin.

9. Alcohol is sold 24 hours a day, and people can drink in public as much as they like as long as they behave themselves.

10. When someone gives you a red envelope at your wedding, you will count the money out and write it down(often in front of them!) so you know how thankful to be(someone will have this specific job delegated to them).


P.S. I wanted to remind you guys about the group Chinese webinars that I alluded to recently, stay tuned for a BIG update on this over the next week!

10 Chinese words that sound like English words

Here's a list of ten words in Mandarin whose pronunciation is similar to words in English. Making an association with words you already know can help you to remember new vocabulary. I want to stress, this is only one tool, don't abuse it and make her you have more tools in your language learning toolbox.

1. 豬 sounds like "zoo"
zhū- pig
2. 牛 sounds like "Neo" from the Matrix!
niú- cow
3. 不可 sounds like "book"
bùkě- cannot, mustn't 
4. 我們 sounds like "woman"
wǒmen- we, us
5. 襪子 sounds like "what's", as in "what's up?"
wàzi- sock(s)
6. 好 sounds like "how?"
hǎo- good, fine
7. 買 sounds like "my"
mǎi- buy
8. 你的 sounds like "need"
níde- your, yours
9. 位 sounds like "way"
wèi- measure word for people(polite)
10. 頭髮 sounds like "too far" 
tóufa- hair(on your head)
The list goes on and on, these 10 words barely even scratch the surface. Most importantly, remember to have FUN with your Chinese learning! Stay tuned for our next installment in this series, and in the meantime make sure to follow along with all of our lessons and articles. 洗牙。。。sounds like "see ya!"

Guest post on Chinese-tools

Hey guys, I just wanted to let y'all know about an article that I wrote as a guest post for chinese-tools.com earlier this week. It has some pretty powerful ideas for how you can keep from plateuing in your Chinese learning. And it will also remind you what is really important, and why you're learning Chinese to begin with. 

Check out my lastest article 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself When Chinese Gets Hard HERE!!

Let me know what you think.

Which idea was the most helpful?

What do you do when the going gets tough to keep progressing?

Share with us below!!!


Exciting News For All of You Chinese Learners!!!

Hey guys, how was your Labor Day weekend? Did you go anywhere, or do anything exciting? I went on a road trip with my family. We got up bright and early Friday morning and piled in the car, where we would stay for the next 8 hours! My legs were cramping big-time by the time we arrived, but it was all worth it though, as we found Hotsprings, Arkansas to be a really interesting place. In fact, it may sound weird, but my wife and I both felt like it was almost like we were back in Taiwan! Well, not really, but the similarities were there: mountain views, tightly packed streets with plenty of store-front shops, and even hotsprings! It was a lot of fun, and I recommend you go there and check it out for yourselves!

Anyway, on to business! 

The biggest factor in sucessfully learning a language is whether or not you actually spend an adequate time speaking it. You could memorize vocabulary flashcards until your blue in the face, but it won't really help you in the long-run. You need to engage other people in real-life conversation if you want to achieve any level of proficiency. Period.

Well, that might be a problem. You might find yourself without anyone to practice with, and while talking to yourself is usually discouraged in most circles, it can help…to an extent! So with that in mind, I have decided to provide a new service to you, my loyal readers, as I want nothing more than for you to succeed in learning Chinese, which is why I have decided to host weekly webinars(1-1.5 hrs in duration) at various pre-set times(feel free to attend as often as you like, the more frequently you do, the faster your Chinese will improve!) to give you all the chance to come together as a community and speak Chinese. During this time, I'll be offering some instruction, but the overall focus will be on conversation, as the only way to get better at something is to do it…a lot.

Stay tuned for more updates on the webinar sessions, the first of which will be taking place later on in the month.

I really and truly aim to get you speaking Chinese, not just learning it, using it! So let me know what you think, and let's get a conversation going! 




Lesson 15: Five Essential Chinese Phrases

These five phrases are essential, especially if you ever plan to visit a Chinese speaking country as a tourist, or even live in one. Armed with these phrases, you will come across as a very polite, respectful and well-mannered individual, and I wouldn't be surprise if you found the local people going out of their way to help you. So pay attention! Also, let me know how this lesson helped you, and if there are any other phrases that you just have to know. Study hard and I'll see you next time!




jiè guò yī xià 。

Excuse me.



duì bù qǐ 。

I'm sorry/excuse me.



qǐng wèn

Excuse me, may I ask?



zhè lǐ yǒu rén zuò ma 

Is there anyone sitting here?



。。。zhōng wén zěn me shuō ?

How do you say….in Chinese?