Friday, June 29, 2012

Skritter: My Favorite App or New Favorite Game?

Skritter logo. (Photo from the web.)
I've been using Skritter for 3 weeks now. Its a program that teaches Chinese and Japanese character writing. I'll admit, I'm in love. Their website claims a user can learn a new character every 192 seconds and remember 95% of what they learn. It is in every way an amazing educational program; not least because it reminds me of city-builder games like Sim City and Civilization. Wait, what?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Lonely Hearts Narrative Part 2.1

I left off my last Lonely Hearts post with the question: Why do expat women get so bitter over yellow fever? The answer to this can be summed up by the phrase “white fever.” No, this isn’t a phrase that I have ever heard anyone use before, however considering the “symptoms” of “yellow fever” (which is a phrase commonly used) the term seems apt. The way I see it there are two causes of this affliction, though both stem from cultural differences:

1. ideas about masculinity

2. expectations within interpersonal relationships

But once again, this post would be too long as one, so after the break I will cover number 1.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

When in Rome … or 入境隨俗

Recently I have had encounters with 2 Taiwanese who have spent several years in the States each. Interestingly, in both encounters there was considerable miscommunication, both verbally and in regards of body language.

I admit that after spending about 2 years here I probably should be more fluent in Taiwanese communication, but what about them? Both have spent more time in the States than I have in Taiwan. People say the only way to truly learn a language is to immerse oneself in the culture, but what about body language and cultural mores?