FAQ

What is Mandarin Made Easy?

Mandarin Made Easy is a small website that aims to help people learn Mandarin Chinese in a fun and enjoyable way.

Why do you make these?

I make these videos as a hobby, and post them to YouTube in the hope of providing the world with some free, easy to understand, learning resources. The comments are what keep me going, and so far, they have all be outstandingly lovely and kind.

Who Makes these videos? I have spotted strange movements in the background, and two furry creatures.

I make these videos with my co-founder, Gwilym, and my sister Iona. I host them and he edits the movies and does the website/YouTube magic. There are also two cats, Dexter and Red, whose duties include lighting, sound, holding the boom mic, running errands, and knocking over flower pots.

What’s with all the different names?

It’s called Mandarin Made Easy, and for short, MME. The website is mandarinmadeEZ, as is the twitter handle. Domain names were all taken for the official title, so EZ has to do for now.

Where are you from?

I was born in Taiwan, but moved around lots as a child, between Thailand, Scotland, and everywhere in between. During my younger years I got taught in International schools, hence by pseudo-American twang. I lived in Taiwan during junior high school, and then moved to the U.K for high school and 6th form. I went to University in Scotland but now live back here in Taiwan. I am half Taiwanese and Half British.

Can You Actually Speak Chinese?

I speak Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, and English, all to a native fluent level. I’m trying to self-study French at the moment.

What Equipment do you use?

  • Camera: Canon EOS100D with a 50mm 1:1.8 lens using manual focus.
  • iPhone 5 / iPhone 5s for some videos.
  • Audio: Blue Snowball Mic plugged into iPad garage band app.
  • Hardware: MacMini 2012 2.3GHz i7, with 16GB RAM
  • Software: Final Cut Pro X
  • Lighting: N/a
  • Podcasting: Blue Snowball Mic and Garage Band iPad app.
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37 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Junny says:

    I could not thank you guys enough for this excellent production which is nothing short of a masterpiece. Although I am acknowledged that you guys may not be able to produce videos intensively, I hope your hobby will not come to an end soon.

    Thank you again, and please keep going with the traditional characters/Taiwanese style mandarin.

  2. MonicaCarrillo says:

    My 5 yo twins and I just started chinese school in Bellingham, WA. We love watching your videos to supplement our weekly lessons. You make it fun enough that they quickly get their pj’s on in order to have time to watch a lesson. Thanks

  3. Thanks so much for all the entertaining videos. I discovered you through ChinesePod. It’s great to learn Chinese from someone focused on teaching useful, non-textbook language. Thank you! Love the cats, too 🙂

  4. I discovered your videos via FluentU. My grandkids loved your video on greetings…and birthdays. Then I discovered you made a lot more. Now I am hooked on seeing as many as possible as quickly as possible! I have been studying Chinese for three years but your way is so much more fun. Keep up the good work, keep making videos and teach all my grandkids (8) and me Chinese. Opa!

  5. Fei says:

    So lovely to hear Taiwanese Mandarin spoken on a instructional video! I live in the US and just started looking around for tools and resources to re-learn Mandarin. I am loving your videos the most. They are relevant and easy to follow. Game of Thrones episode was especially amazeballs (American slang ;p). Thank you so much for making the videos and podcasts!!!

  6. K_ says:

    I am so happy to find these videos and the fact that they are in traditional Chinese is awesome! I am in Taiwan and most study materials out there are in simplified! Hooray for you!

  7. THD says:

    OMG your energy is so infectious!! Learning is easy and fun especially the drinking tea video thank you so much!

  8. Alicia, Emre and Ayla says:

    My children will start to learn Mandarin at their school this fall in a dual immersion program. I stumbled across your videos and my kids love you! You do great videos…I listen to them as work as well. We have masters numbers 1-20 and simple greetings. Thank you for providing this! 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  9. Hi Fiona. You are a great teacher with plenty of very positive energy to share. That makes a difference. Thanks for posting these great videos. A very fun way to learn!

  10. K France says:

    Hii Fi! I just started wanting to learn Mandarin and ur videos help a lot! Would rlly like to learn more… Can you please give me any tips on how to speak fluent Mandarin? Please I would rlly want to start speaking in Mandarin fluently and I also want to thank you for making these videos its helping me a lot! 🙂 x

  11. Clive Williams says:

    Thank you Fiona, Im trying to learn Chinese using a couple of different book/CD series but this is useful back up & reiteration. I just watched your explanation of the 4 tones & that has helped a lot already!

  12. Jon Richard says:

    Wow Fi… You are really fantastic. It is obvious you really know what you are doing and have the ability to make the Mandarin stick, even onto a Teflon coated brain like mine :-).

    Ive lived in Chicago my whole life but I have traveled the cities up and down the coast of China for nearly a decade, formed excellent friendships and never learned much more than Dui or XieXie until now. I have you (and your boyfriend) to thank for making me realize it really is possible to learn a little Mandarin. You are so animated and fun its simply impossible not to want to learn. And (to give those off camera a boost) Final Cut Pro editing and additions make this a better learning experience than anything out there by far. Maybe consider making the “Donate” button a little bigger on the website. You guys are wonderful people to give this to us for free. So here is a BIG “Hello, Thank you, and Happy Holidays” from Chicago

    I really hope you are receiving the consistent gratitude you deserve for your hard work.

  13. A A says:

    Hi Fiona
    i hope u doing well 🙂

    i´m from Germany and i´m planing of going to China to learn chinese but since i have seen ur Clips
    i´m thinking of going to Taiwan

    i would like to ask you somthing and i need ur answer realy !!
    would be one year good enought to learn Chinese with hard work and Full time lang school ?
    Is the writting way in Taiwan is traditional ? is that harder then simplified mandarin

    i would appreciated your answer !!!!

    AA

    • Thanks for watching and I’m glad you’re considering coming to Taiwan. Its a great place to learn chinese.

      One year would definitely be long enough to go from nothing to an advanced student. We use traditional but its no harder to learn than simplified if you use good study techniques like mnemonics.

      I would recommend shi da or tai da if you want to learn in Taipei, the capital. Tai da is more expensive and has a good academic reputation but shi da is also a great place and one of the largest language centres.

      You can choose to do regular or intensive courses which are either 2 hours or 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. My boyfriend went to shi da and did intensive for 6 months and now speaks good chinese.

  14. Margaret says:

    My kids and I just found your site today and are so thankful for your easy-going and engaging approach to an otherwise intimidating journey in learning Mandarin. xie xie ni!

  15. davide says:

    hi Fi! I just started studying mandarin, i stumbled into your videos some days ago and found them great!
    xie xie! And give spanish a try! It s a beautiful language!!!!!
    a big hug from barcelona!!!!
    d

  16. Miguel Paulino says:

    A few months ago I stumbled on your 2012 video on numbers. I was trying to learn Mandarin since I have entered my son into a preschool that had Mandarin as part of the standard lesson plan. My son came home counting to ten and looked to me for affirmation that he was correct. Daddy couldn’t look like a fool, so off to youtube I went. The mathematical nature of Mandarin language fascinated me, thanks to you I was counting to 100 in an afternoon. My son and I have watched your videos, and enjoyed them very much. I have now taken up formal lessons by hiring a personal tutor whom I meet three times a week, for about an hour a day. I have had four lessons now and I am enthusiastic to learn. You were a big part of that, Tian laoshi xie xie.

  17. Andi Sama says:

    Dear Fiona,

    It’s a very job well done introducing Mandarin language in such a fun and entertaining way…. closing in with a summary with every part of video is like what a real teacher does every time to give better understanding to the students on the subject being discussed…

    I have just returned from 2 weeks biz trip to Guangzhou in the last few days with no knowledge of Mandarin at all (although it was said that in Guangzhou, Cantonese is being used with 7 different tones?).

    Found this very useful in such an interesting way for the last 2 hours. Keep up the good work…

  18. MattyY says:

    Your videos are sooo easy and engaging! I’m sure its a lot of work, but keep’em coming! Not to mention your site design is really straightforward (much like the videos). Its my first foray back into Mandarin since I was a kid, after a traumatic experience with Taiwanese calligraphy teachers. Eep. Anyway, so much easier with no yelling, and better still, no mao bi! Haha. Seriously, great job.

  19. You know what, you are a really fantastic teacher. Gorgeous and kind hearted to humbly give this MME lesson for free. I really thankful for that. You inspire me to learn mandarin keener and more dilligent. Greetings from Indonesia. Xie xie ni 🙂

  20. You know what, you are a really fantastic teacher. Gorgeous and kind hearted to humbly give this MME lesson for free. I really thankful for that. You inspire me to learn mandarin keener and more dilligent. Greetings from Indonesia. Xie xie ni 🙂

  21. Abigail says:

    Hey, I just started learning Chinese in Taiwan and I’m so happy I found you! The website is nice and I like your presence. You are perfect for me, as I can’t afford a teacher and have language exchange meeting set up. My Japanese friend is a professional translator for many languages and I liked his comment about you, “This girl seems to have at least two cultural backgrounds and that is what makes her presentation so powerful…I also get drawn into her presence that tells me she has been there and done that. It reaches to your soul.”

  22. adidaslove says:

    Love ur vids Fi!…Counting 1-10 ur second is till with me. I still have the rap down pat…yi er san…si wu liu…qi ba jiu..shi 🙂

  23. I have to agree with all the above comments. You could truly revolutionise language learning, especially Mandarin, for me. It is a pleasure to watch your videos, not a chore, and they are also very well done. Please keep it up as I’m sure the world will greatly benefit from this carefree, fun way of learning language.

  24. I have to commend you on what an amazing job you do teaching, you are lively, entertaining and most of all I am actually learning. I just began learning mandarin with plans to go to China. Keep up the your great work!

  25. Evelyn S says:

    The way you explained the tones was amazing! No other video or tool has helped that much! Please keep making videos. Xie xie

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