Lesson 10: At the Post Office

Hey guys, long time no see! I apologize for taking such a long hiatus fom blogging, but life has been chaotic of late! My wife and I have relocated to the USA and have been working very hard to get re-established here, and so I have had little time or motivation to blog. But I know you all would be lost without me, so I'm back!
The format for my blog is now going to be a little different from the way it was before. From now on, since I am no longer in Taiwan, I will not be writing as many posts on exploring the island. I already have a fair amount of content on the subject, and I am always willing to answer any of your questions, but for now I am shifting my focus to Chinese. My posts will now be mainly Chinese lessons, with anecdotes of my time in Taiwan strewn in when appropriate. Please let me know what you think of this format, and as always, thank you for reading!
So you're in the post office, waiting in line to send a care package back home. The guy in front of you is playing on his iPhone, and the guy behind you is stamping his feet, looking at his watch and visibly annoyed. He's obviously in a hurry and doesn't want to end up being held up by the foreigner taking forever to get walked through the process by the friendly, though somewhat lingually challenged clerk…or are you? Let's show that guy that he picked the wrong laowai!
Ten essential phrases:
1. Letter 一封信 yīfēngxìn
2. Stamp 郵票 yóupiào
3. Package 包裹 bāoguǒ
4. Express delivery 快遞 kuàidì
5. Registered 掛號 guàhào
6. Standard shipping 平信 píngxìn
7. mailbox 信箱 xìnxiāng
8. PO box 郵政信箱 yóuzhèng xìnxiāng
9. envelope 信封 xìnfēng
10. postage fee 郵資 yóuzī
In context:
1. I would like to send a package overseas. 
2. How much is express delivery? 
3. I want to send this letter as registered mail.
4. I would like to buy some stamps and envelopes.
5. When will my letter arrive?
That's it for today, practice and we'll see you next time!

Another 10 Foods You Ought to Try in Taiwan

Due to the popularity of my last post on Taiwanese food, 10 Foods You Must Try in Taiwan, I have decided to write an article detailing 10 more of the best foods to try while you are in Taiwan. So, without further ado…
1. Oyster pancakes蚵仔煎 
Sorry Aunt Jemima, we won't be needing any syrup up on these pancakes! Made with eggs and fresh oysters, these are one night market snack you have to try!
2. Bolo bread 菠蘿麵包

Best when fresh out of the oven and filled with butter, this warm, tasty treat is just what the doctor ordered…on second though, don't mention it to your doctor, what he doesn't know won't hurt you!\"下載\"






3. Saweima 沙威瑪
Hailing from the middle east, Saweima is another food that is not ethnically Tawanese, though you can find it in night markets all over the\"下載\" island. This simple, yet elegant dish is prepared by slicing slivers of chicken from a spit, adding onions, lettuce and several other possible toppings like pepper, ketchup and mayonnaise and then scorching the bread until its nice and crispy. Many stands also have the option to add cheese or an egg for an extra charge. You can usually get them for 40 NT, and some places have special prices for buying three at a time.
4. Grilled squid 炭烤魷魚
Most Westerners are slightly taken aback when they first see this dish, but trust me, it's delicious! Grilled squid can sometimes be a little pricey, but it's worth it.
5. Digua Qiu 地瓜球
Holy chewy, fried balls Batman! These sweet potato balls are awesome. Just make sure that you don't forget to sprinkle (pour in my case) on some sour plum powder. It makes for a great contrast of flavors!
6. Wild-boar sausage 山豬烤香腸
How's it shakin bacon? This ain't your run of the mill sausages. Boar meat is a lot leaner than regular old pork, and has a unique flavor that you you really must try, especially glazed in Taiwanese BBQ sauce, yum!






7. Kao digua 烤地瓜
There was a time when Chinese families ate rice only as a luxury, and survived off of the humble sweet potato as a major staple of their diet. Well, nowadays people still eat it, because its both delicious and nutritious, and especially good to eat during the winter! The price will vary depending on the weight, but rest assured, you'll get a full belly with change to spare!






8. Oyster noodles 蚵仔麵線
Oh a mi swa is the name for this dish in Taiwanese, and that is what you will hear people call it, even if they don't speak Taiwanese well! The dish consists of oysters and mian xian, a thin, clear kind of noodle. It is commonly served with pigs blood cake and pig intestines, so not for the feint of heart!





9. Luogen mian 牛肉麵
My namesake, this is one tasty dish! It consists of pork that is mixed with flour into log-like shapes, noodles and a thick, sticky soup. It's delicious and will only run you around 45 NT.





10. Tianbula甜不辣
Fried, grilled or boiled, get it however you can! This delicious dish is made from fish and flour and it is not to be missed!


#picture from : some from google some from myself.

Lesson 1: Introductions


Hello! Welcome to our first lesson: Introductions. Please read and listen to me introduce myself in English and then in Mandarin Chinese. Remember that each word will have a distinct tone, and I have included the Romanized pinyin below the traditional Chinese characters to make it easier for you to read. But I also want to remind you not to get obsessive about the tones! If you don\’t know about the five tones of Mandarin Chinese, or how to read the pinyin below, please checkout my Mandarin primer course.

Self Introduction:

Hello, I\’m Logan.
nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì luó gēn.

I\’m from America.
wŏ shì cóng mĕi guó lái de.

I\’m 29 years old.
wŏ èr shí jiŭ suì.

Now you try! Use the information below to make your own introduction. If you record it and post a link to the audio below(email it to me or send me a message on Skype if you are shy), I will listen to it and offer you some feedback.

Hello, I\’m _____________.
nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì__________.

I\’m from __________
wŏ shì cóng__________ lái de.

I\’m ________years old.
wŏ _______ suì.

Numbers 1-10: These are the essential building blocks for numbers in Chinese, these ten characters in various combinations make up all of the numbers from 1-99. That should be good for now, unless you are over 100! In which case, what\’s your secret to health?

0 零 líng
1 一 yī
2 二 èr
3 三 sān
4 四 sì
5 五 wŭ
6 六 liù
7 七 qī
8 八 bā
9 九 jiŭ
10 十 shí

Numbers 11-99: These numbers are made simply by placing the above characters together. For example, my age, 29 is made by placing a 2 二 in front of a 10 十 to make 20 二十, followed by a 9 九 and the word 歲 which means age. Easy, right? Check below for a few more example ages, and if anything is unclear, please write in and I\’ll help you out as soon as I can.

23 二十三歲
35 三十五歲
50 五十歲

Countries: I\’m going to keep this list short and sweet, since one of the following lessons deals with the topic in more detail. If your country isn\’t listed below, please check the lesson on countries of the world.

1. America 美國 mĕi guó
2. Canada 加拿大 jiā ná dà
3. England 英國 yīng guó
4. Spain 西班牙 xī bān yá
5. France 法國 fă guó

Questions: Here is a list of questions you can ask, or you may be asked when introducing yourself.

1. What\’s your name?
nĭ jiào shén me míng zì?

2. Where are you from?
nĭ shì cóng nă lĭ lái de?

3. How old are you?
nĭ jǐ suì?

Essential Vocabulary: I\’m a big proponent of learning languages through natural use, and not needing a word-by-word translation for every single phrase. This is not the best approach, nor is it truly possible. I feel a language is best understood in the context of that language, so I encourage you to explore Mandarin Chinese in this spirit. However, it won\’t happen over night, so here are some essential vocabulary words we learned in this lesson. Practice them and reord yourself and compare your pronunciation to mine.

1. 我= I, me
2. 你= you
3. 你好= hello
4. 是= am/are
5. 從…來的= come from….
6. 歲 age
7. 叫= call/be called
8. 名字= name
9. 什麼? What?
10. 哪裡?= Where?
11. 幾…?= How many…?