Friday, July 25, 2014

Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration by Professor Bai Qinshen of Harvard

I have been taking the courses of ChinaX on

I feel very thankful that they teachers and students of Harvard presented such wonderful course for anyone who is interested in Chinese culture and history. I have learned a lot from their course.

In this post, I am going to put together some nice videos about the Chinese calligraphy.

First Prof. Bol and Prof. Bai Qianshen (白谦慎)make an introduction of Chinese calligraphy.

Then Prof. Bai gives us a demonstration on brush strokes and tip work

Four treasures of the study  文房四宝:

Prof. Bai demonstrating small regular script

Prof. Bai demonstrating cursive script

Prof. Bai illustrating different scripts with the character 'heaven'   天

Prof. Bai demonstrating different scripts with the character 'wood' 木

Some nice link about Chinese calligraphy:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Song for the Snow

咏雪 (Song for the Snow) is a simple and beautiful poem, which was written by a famous artist of Qing Dynasty, zhèng xiè , also known as Zhèng Bǎnqiáo. He was very good at painting bamboo with brush.

The following video will show you how to read this poem, and how to write it in traditional Chinese characters.

A Song about Numbers

In this video, I will introduce a song which involved some basic numbers. It's a good song for anyone who just starts learn Mandarin. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rules about Tone Sandhi of Character 一

Maybe you already noticed that in my previous video lesson about the usage of character 一, the pronunciation of 一 is different in different places.

In this video I am going to explain and demonstrate how the rules about tone change works for character 一.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Character 禪 and its Calligraphy

Sound and meaning

Character 禪 has two sounds. One of the sounds is chán. When it makes chán sound, if we check its meaning in Chinese English dictionaries, it has the meanings: zen, Buddhist, meditation, contemplation, etc.


The original meaning of Character 禪 is ' to pray to God for peace by offering sacrifice to the heaven' (祭天求神,祈求避免争端和战乱,赐予人间和平和安宁).

 I checked the (象形字典). It says the left part of this character means 'to offer sacrifice, to pray',

while the right part of this character means 'war'.

This character was used by Chinese Buddhists when the Buddhism was introduced into China from India, as the sound of the character 禪 chán was close to the sound of Sanskrit word for 'meditation'. Zen, or meditation, which is also a way to pray for peace of mind, to cease or avoid the war of turbulence inside.


The earliest script of this character is the Bronze script(金文 jīn wén ):

The following video will show you how to write this character in Bronze script.

In modern days, there are still three types of script are wildly used in our daily life. Now I am going to show you how they look like and how to write them with brush.

The Regular Script(楷书 kǎi shū ):

How to write this character in regular script:

The Semi-cursive Script(行书 xíng shū ):

How to write this character in Semi-cursive script:

The Cursive Script (草书 cǎo shū ):

How to write this character in Cursive script:

禪  is the traditional character. 禅 is the correspondent simplified character, which is used in main land China. Maybe you already noticed that the simplified character comes from the one written in the semi-cursive script.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

绕口令 tongue twister -- 四和十 four and ten

In this post, you will watch two videos. This first video show you how I read the tongue twister. The second video will show you my explanation of this tongue twister to help you get better understanding of it.

content of the tongue twister:




sì shì sì , shí shì shí , shí sì shì shí sì , sì shí shì sì shí .
mò bǎ sì zì shuō chéng shí , xiū jiāng shí zì shuō chéng sì .
ruò yào fēn qīng sì shí hé shí sì , jīng cháng liàn shuō shí hé sì .

English translation:
Four is four, ten is ten, fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty
Don't pronounce four the same as ten, never pronounce ten the same as four
If you want to distinguish forty and fourteen, you should often practice saying ten and four.

The following video class will explain the tongue twister. Also you will learn more vocabulary and sentence example. At the end of the video, a quiz is waiting for you to review what you learn in this video.