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01 July, 2007:
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Culture 文化

Learn Chinese in China

Language and culture are two intimately related aspects of life. It is impossible to fully understand the intricacies of a language without understanding the culture of the people that speak it. Without a background in culture, jokes, sayings and casual conversation do not make much sense.

Likewise, without a firm knowledge of a language, many aspects of the associated culture are difficult to interpret. Specialized vocabulary is used to describe elements of culture such as religion, food, names and other parts of everyday life. Understanding the linguistic aspects of a culture helps to achieve deeper understanding of that culture. Imagine trying to describe Christianity without understanding the word "God," or describing Bread without the word "oven" or "bake."

This section explores Chinese culture through language, and aims to illustrate the relation between the words Chinese people say and the lives they live.

Expressions and Sayings

Chinese folk sayings and figures of speech are famous for their ambiguity and aptness. In many cases where the right word is unavailable, a saying fits perfectly. Learn more about these poetic links between Chinese language and culture.


Chinese names are a mystery to many Westerners. They are difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to remember. Not to mention the fact that they all seemingly sound the same! Find out more about the culture and linguistic structure of Chinese names.