Archive for learning Chinese

Hohhot songs

Well friends, if you’ve wanted to increase your repertoire of songs to sing at Chinese banquets or KTV that will make your local friends swoon, this is one to try out! The post below is dated yesterday and there’s a song embedded in the wechat link. You can scroll down to read the lyrics (Chinese only) as it plays.

I’ll be honest, I don’t love the guy’s voice, and the song, while nostalgic, takes “cheesy” to a whole other level. That said, it mentions all the classic Hohhot icons and it would still win you friends to learn it 🙂

There are some great photos in the post, worth a scroll through even if you don’t listen to the whole song.

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If the page doesn’t display correctly try this link.

If you’re interested in another Hohhot song, you can look up “Hohhot Night” 呼和浩特的夜晚. It’s available on xiaomi music and I’m assuming any Chinese music player app. I haven’t found the song above on player apps yet.

Also, after listening to both songs it seems there a list of things that must be included when writing a song about Hohhot. Here are some of them.

  • drinking alcohol
  • the grasslands
  • chi le chuan
  • the sky
  • evenings
  • romance (even better if it didn’t quite pan out)
  • ding xiang (lilac trees)
  • zhong shan lu, xin hua square, or other famous location
  • bei zi, hot pot, or other famous food. 

What else needs to be included to write a hit song about Hohhot? Leave your suggestions in the comments. Bonus points if you actually write song lyrics and leave them for us!

Use ChinesePod to learn Chinese

We’ve written about some of our favorite ways to learn Chinese, but ChinesePod is now offering a special just for us, Hohhotians! (Is that what we decided to go with? or is Hohhotites better?)


Use the link below with the promo code “HOHHOTPOD” and receive $50 off an Annual Premium subscription!!!




They have hundreds of lessons for free, too, but with just some pocket change you can have access to thousands of lessons you can listen to at your convenience!

Have you used ChinesePod? Tell us about your experience in the comments

more help for Chinese typing

I used to know this, then I forgot, then seeing this article reminded me again. Here are some instructions for using pinyin input method when you don’t know the pronunciation of a character. Hope it’s helpful for you!

It is reposted from the wechat account of The World of Chinese. You can follow them using wechat ID Theworldofchinese
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Help Your Kids Learn Chinese

I know the number of foreign families in Hohhot is small, and those of us with both parents being non-Chinese is even smaller. But for the few of us, helping our kids learn Chinese is more difficult than we imagined it would be. Living here they don’t “just pick it up” and our oldest daughter especially has been reluctant to attempt to use Chinese.

Recently, we’ve been letting our girls watch these videos on youtube made by Sesame Street and they’ve responded better to them than to anything else we’ve tried.

Maybe all you other parents thought to search on youtube long ago for resources for kids to learn Chinese, but I hadn’t thought of it until recently. There were other options, but the Sesame Street ones have worked the best for us so far.

What methods have you tried to help your kids learn Chinese? Are they going to local school? Do you have a private tutor? What’s working and what’s not?



How savvy are you?

This article made me feel good about myself, specifically about being in-the-know about Chinese social media buzzwords.

The article gives explanations for the top five buzz words for the first half of 2015. I already knew about 3/5 so I figured that’s not too bad. The article is from a wechat public account to help foreigners learn Chinese. You can follow them at: wechat ID chinesetimeschool.

Other than the five listed in the article, what trends are you following? What big ones do you think they left off the list?

The only one I can think of not included on the list was the trend for girls (and apparently dudes with a large businessman belly) to take photos of themselves trying to reach around their backs and touch their belly button. If you don’t know that one, here’s an article about it.

I’ll embed it below, but if it doesn’t display correctly use the link above.
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Reading Joy Book Club

A great new place is available for those of you with kids! The Reading Joy Bookclub has original language English books, picture books, graded readers, pop-up books, audio books, and, of course, selections in Chinese as well!

The library is available on Saturday, Sunday mornings, Tuesday mornings or by appointment.

Enjoy reading your books in the library, in a classroom, or check them out and take them home. Upstairs is a lounge for the parents where you can enjoy tea or coffee while your child looks at the books downstairs.

A year-long membership can be purchased for 700 RMB/family or half a year membership for 500 RMB/family with a deposit of 300 RMB. (That’s right, siblings can share one membership)!


Reading Joy Bookclub



The library is located on the north second ring road in the California Luxury Mansion development.

Here’s the address and other information in Chinese:



Contact: Helen 18647159615


another resource for learning Chinese

I was recently made aware of this resource for Chinese study. It’s a newspaper with articles written at specific HSK levels! There are a variety of topics, with headlines in English so you can choose something interesting to you. There site has links to some other resources as well, so check those out.

You can also follow them on facebook for articles sent directly to your newsfeed.




What Taxi Drivers Have to Say in Hohhot

I’ve been noticing recently how much the conversation I have with taxi driver’s has changed over the last few years. Read what I wrote about it for the Beijing Review:

During both of my previous stints living in Hohhot (2002-04 and 2006-07), every time I took a taxi the conversation between the cab driver and myself was largely the same. He or she would ask where I was from. I would respond that I was from America. He or she would then say that America is so prosperous and developed—why would I come to such a backward, undeveloped city like Hohhot? I would generally respond that I thought it was developing very quickly, he or she would agree, and then move on to inquire about why I wasn’t yet married.

Read the rest of the article by clicking this link.


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