What should a visitor should try in Taiwan’s night market except stinky tofu, pig blood cake and braised pork rice? There are a lot of delicious street food waiting you in Taiwan.
蚵仔煎 ézǐ jiān oyster omelet / Fried oyster with potato starch, egg and vegetable, drizzled with sweet and hot sauce.
炸地瓜球 zhà dìguā qiúdeep fried sweet potato ball / Deep fried sweet potato dough, tastes sweet and chewy, with light sweet potato flavor.
蚵仔麵線 ézǐ miàn xiànoyster vermicelli noodles / Sticky thin noodle soup with oyster. You can add chili sauce and coriander when eating it.
肉圓 ròu yuán mega meat-dumpling / Steam or oil stew potato starch with meat, eating with garlic soy sauce or sweet chili sauce.
水煎包 shuǐ jiān bāo pan fried buns / Pan fried meat bun. Outside is crispy and inside is juicy.
滷味 lǔwèi braised dishes / You can choice what you like and the shopper will reheat your food again in the sauce.
鹹酥雞 xián sū jī Taiwan fried popcorn chicken / You can choice what you like and the shopper will deep fried your food.
肉羹 ròu gēng pork thick soup / In this soup, you will get soft meat and vegetables. Normally we add chili sauce and black vinegar after the shopper server it.
蔥油餅 cōng yóubǐng green onion cake / Fried cake which has green onion with the salty dough. Sometimes we will add an egg together with it. Also, you can eat with chili sauce and soy sauce.
胡椒餅 hújiāo bǐng pepper bun / This is a very special street food. The shopper stick the bun on the inside surface of the stove and bake it. Normally the filling is pork with green onion and black pepper.
大腸包小腸 dàcháng bāo xiǎocháng Taiwanese sausage with sticky rice / This is not the very popular street food but very famous in Taiwan. The shopper use sticky rice roll to wrap Taiwanese sausage with some spicy and sauces.
Learn a lot of Mandarin but still don’t know what to do in a restaurant? Check out the following sentence when you want to use Mandarin to order food and drink.
ordering food and drink sentence 1
有幾位yǒu jǐ wèi？ How many of you?
When you walk into a restaurant, this is probably be the first sentence the waiter may ask you. You only need to tell them how many of you, like “三個sān gè ”，which means “3 in total”.
ordering food and drink sentence 2
冰塊甜度正常嗎bīng kuài tián dù zhèngcháng ma？ Is the ice cube sweetness normal?
In Taiwan, when ordering drink in a tea shop, we can ask for customized products on request for ice cubes and sweetness. Because of this, the shopper always ask this sentence for making sure if you need to adjust anything or not.
If you just want everything as their standard, just tell them “對，正常就好duì, zhèngcháng jiù hǎo”.
If you don’t like that sweet, then you can say “少糖shǎo tang”, which means less sugar. If you don’t like too cold, then you can say either “去冰qù bīng” or “少冰shǎo bīng”, which means “no ice” or “less ice”.
ordering food and drink sentence 3
大的還是小的dà de háishì xiǎo de？ big or small
When order either drink or meal, sometimes we can choice the size. For meals, normally have two different size – big or regular. The shopper may ask you this question in order to make sure what’s your order.
We only need to answer the size we want, like”大的” for bigger one and “小的” for the regular one.
For drinks, there are normally have 3 choices: tall, grande and venti, in Mandarin we say 小杯、中杯、大杯xiǎo bēi, zhōng bēi, dà bēi，which means “small cup, medium cup, big cup”. We just answer cording to what we want.
ordering food and drink sentence 4
要不要加辣yào bùyào jiā là？ Do you want to add spicy
In Taiwan, basically we don’t really chilly or other hot food. But we can have our own option when eating. So, when you take out your meals, the shopper may ask about if you like some chili sauce or not.
We can reply as:
“不用了，謝謝búyòngle, xièxiè”, which means “no, thanks” or
“加一點jiā yīdiǎn”, which means “yes, a little” or
“要，多加一點yào, duōjiā yīdiǎn”, which means “yes, add more”.
ordering food and drink sentence 5
外帶還是內用/這裡吃還是帶走wàidài háishì nèi yòng/zhèlǐ chī háishì dài zǒu？ Take out or use in / eat here or take away
In some food shops, we order in the entrance or front counter. Waiter needs to know if the customer want to eat in store or take their meals out.
If you want to eat in store, you can say either ” 內用” or “這裡吃”. Once more notification, In Taiwan we don’t really give tips even you eat in-store.
If you want to take out, you can say either “外帶” or “帶走”.
As for the left over, you can say “請幫我打包qǐng bāng wǒ dǎbāo”, then the waiter will pack your food and give it to you. But you may be charged because of bag.
ordering food and drink sentence 6
加一樣料加OO塊錢 jiā yīyàng liào jiā OO kuài qián Add OO bucks for one extra ingredients
In Taiwan, there are a lot of drink shops and shaved ice shops. Normally they have their own set, like “布丁奶茶bùdīng nǎichá (pudding milk tea)”. You will get budding in your milk tea. How about if you want to add another jelly?
You can ask “加一種料加多少錢Jiā yīzhǒng liào jiā duōshǎo qián(How much does it cost to add one extra stuff)?”
The shop owner will answer you this: 加一樣料加OO塊錢 jiā yīyàng liào jiā OO kuài qián/ Add OO bucks for one extra stuff. Or they will just say the price, like “五塊wǔ kuài (five dollars)”
ordering food and drink sentence 7
冰的還是熱的bīng de háishì rè de？ cold or hot
When ordering drink, some items we need to mention we want hot or cold. If the customer doesn’t tell the waiter what they want, then the waiter will ask “冰的還是熱的bīng de háishì rè de”, in order to make sure the order.
What should we answer?
If you want cold, just say ” 冰的bīng de”
If you want hot, just say “熱的rè de”
If you want hotter, just say “熱一點rè yīdiǎn”
ordering food and drink sentence 8
請先買單/付款qǐng xiān mǎidān/fùkuǎn Please pay/pay first
In Taiwan, some stores may ask you to pay first, some store may let you to pay after finishing your meal. How do I know if I need to pay first? When you hear or see this sentence “請先買單/付款qǐng xiān mǎidān/fùkuǎn”, means you need to pay when you make your order.
ordering food and drink sentence 9
這是菜單，要點菜的時候叫我zhè shì càidān, yàodiǎn cài de shíhòu jiào wǒ This is the menu, call me when you order
When we walk into a restaurant, the waiter will give us enough time to decide what we want to order, they will say “這是菜單，要點菜的時候叫我zhè shì càidān, yàodiǎn cài de shíhòu jiào wǒ”.
Whenever you make your decision what to order, just raise your hand, and they will come to ask you.
ordering food and drink sentence 10
要什麼口味yào shénme kǒuwèi？ what flavor do you want
When we order foods like ice cream or sweets, the waiter may ask us “要什麼口味yào shénme kǒuwèi”. What is the answer? Just tell them what flavor you want, like “草莓cǎoméi strawberry” or “巧克力 qiǎokèlì chocolate” or “原味 yuánwèi original”.
Anyone who is interested in learning Mandarin/Chinese may ask this: how to start learning Mandarin/Chinese? To start it is not hard, but how to start it correctly will be more crucial. There are some advice to beginners.
Advice 1 Find a teacher/tutor/instructor in the beginning.
A teacher can help you build up good foundation. As everyone knew, there are a lots of free sources in Youtube and/or other website. Those videos are good and useful, but not for a serious learning.
We can always start our self-learning journey, only needs to know we are on the right track. Unless you grow up in a Mandarin-speaking environment and/or have a lot of chance to hear Mandarin, I will suggest you find a teacher when you start to learn Mandarin.
A teacher can help learners to have well understanding about Mandarin/Chinese, especially in pronunciation. Once you learn the wrong thing in the beginning, you will spend much more time to correct it in the future.
Advice 2 Faster in the beginning doesn’t means reach the finish line earlier.
When a person decided to learn a new language, normally they are with strong motivation. It is necessary. However, that motivation will become a desire to push learners to move too fast.
If you are a fast learner, it is good to learn fast. But practice what we learned is as important as learning new thing. Between “learned something” and “good at something” are really different. We are not only learning Mandarin, we also need to use it. Knowing how to use Mandarin and survive in a Mandarin-speaking environment is more important than how many books you have had learned.
Advice 3 You might not be able to pronounce like a native speaker, but pronunciation still worth to spend effort.
Learning a language is for communicating with others. We might not be able to read or write, but we need to let people understand us. If we can’t pronounce properly, how can they understand us?
Do learn pronunciation nicely, try to pronounce every sound exactly and precisely. You have to know what you said.
Advice 4 Destructure Mandarin/Chinese
Before starting learning Mandarin/Chinese, try to get basic understand about it. Basically there are three parts in Chinese: shape, pronunciation and meanings. Each parts can be included several elements.
By knowing what is Chinese and help learners prepare well for further learning. Then you can set up the right goal and try to achieve step by step.
What problems you will have when learning Mandarin Chinese? Let’s see the top 5 problems when learning Mandarin Chinese form a Professional teacher’s view.
Wrong expectation to Mandarin
Set up right expectation is very important, especially this is your first time to learn a “second language” or a “foreign language”. That is because based on your previous experience, it is easier to get proper awareness of “how to learn a new language”.
Also, if it is the first time you touch a logogram language, in the other hand, if your mother language is a phonogram language, you need to give yourself more time to understand Mandarin Chinese.
Here is an example：
In Mandarin Chinese, “吃飯” has tow different means. The first meaning is “eating (meals)”, the second meaning is “eating rice/having rice”. These two different meanings depend on:
What is the whole sentence want to say
What is the structure of the “word”, is “吃+飯” as verb. and object or “吃飯” as one word.
Looking for “fast”, instead of “stable”
When people start to learn something, normally we don’t really see it as a “long turn” learning program. We also hope we can be good at that subject faster than the others.
Of course, not everyone has the same idea, but it is quite normal to have this kind of thoughts. However, learning faster in the beginning doesn’t mean you will be the first to reach the end.
If you are a fast learner, it is good. But when we go deeper and deeper, don’t forget “width” is as important as “depth”. A wild foundation is crucial to what we will achieve.
Make “logical sentences” instead of “grammatically correct sentences”
To make a grammatically correct sentence is easy but necessary useful, make a logical sentence is the key-point. The reason we learn a language is for communicate with the others. If we can’t make a meaningful sentence, how can we have interaction with people?
For example, the sentence ”I sleep everyday.” is completely correct grammatically, but who will say that? Under what kind of situation? I will say, in normal situation, this is not a logical sentence.
Another example is “我家後面有山” VS ”山在我家後面”
我家後面有山，which means “ there are mountains behind my house”, is a good sentence. But when we say “山在我家後面”, which means “the mountain is behind my house”, sounds quiet strange.
Why ? it is not a grammar issue, it is about why we want to say so. The patten is for telling people the surrounding nearby my house, not where is the mountain.
Asking why there are differences between two languages.
Every language is unique. We can try to make comparation between language A and B. But that is for helping us to understand the new language, not asking why the new is different with my language.
A lot of my colleague has been ask “why I can say so in my language, but can not in Mandarin Chinese?”. Honestly to say, we don’t have the answer neither.
I am not really good at Japanese, but as what I know, Japanese put “negation” in the end of the sentence.
For example: “我不吃飯/ 食べない/ I don’t eat” . This is a very short sentence, but in different languages has different structure. How can I ask why Mandarin Chinese VS English VS Japanese are different?
Be afraid to use Mandarin Chinese because of language level
There is nothing perfect, so don’t wait still you fell you are fully prepared! Just say it. Making mistakes sometimes is the best way to learn. Beginner level is the best timing to make mistakes, because no one expect you can perform like an advanced learner.
The more you use Mandarin Chinese, the better you will become. Language is for communicating, not for testing. The only thing you need to keep in mind is not create “your own Mandarin Chinese”! What I mean is “try to use what you learn and follow the rules”. Don’t just say it without caring about what you are using. In the other side, saying simple sentence as a beginner is not a shame. By using those simple structure over and over, you will develop a very good sense of Mandarin Chinese.
Last, but not the latest, you need know your purpose and goal.
Set up the right goals is very important. You learn Chinese/Mandarin because of traveling, living, working or becoming a master?
Set up your goal according to your purpose. And the goal must be reasonable and reachable. A great dream here won’t really make us big. Learning is a life-long processes, just keep moving towards your goal.
Here are some ideas about how to improve your Chinese reading skills. Reading is a very challenging topic when learning a language. Let’s check it out here.
Select the materials at the right level
How to know is the material at the right level or not? Ask yourself the following questions:
Q1: Can I understand the general meanings about the test without using a dictionary?
Q2: Can I understand the sentence meaning about the test without using checking a dictionary?
Q3: How many time do you use for understanding the test?
Too easy or too hard are not good nether. There is theory be called as “i+1”，”i” means your current level, “+1”means bit harder than what you are now.
Find something you are interested in
Improving reading skills is a long turn plan. It is not easy to see the improvement within a short time. It needs quite strong motivation.
So, how keep the motivation? Of course, there are lots of ways to do, but something you are interested in will defiantly be one of the best options.
In the other side, what you are interested in will be easier to decode. It means that you can catch the meaning easier even though there are certain word you don’t understand or some sentences you are not sure.
Read varieties of test
Read something different every day.
First, it helps you not feeling bord. Reading same type of article may make you feel tired, even it is something interesting in the beginning.
Second, if you always read same type of test, you may become an expert in that field, but how about the other topics?
We are living in a real world, be surrounded by varieties of information. Language is for communication and build up the connection with the world. So, knowing one type of topic is not enough for long turn learning progress.
Language level always be a matter
Vocabulary and grammar knowledge are the foundation of improving your language level.
Anyone who want to read fluently need to instantly recognize words. To understand what you’re reading, you need to understand most of the vocabularies in the text.
Grammar knowledge can help you understand how sentences are built and how to analyze those sentences you are struggling with. It also useful to know how ideas link up at the sentence level.
When we read, we are not only reading vocabularies, single sentence, we are also read the ideas about the whole paragraph.
Set up the right goals
Improving reading ability needs a lot of time. Do it everyday！If you can only practice 10 minutes, then do it 10minutes. Let’s try to set up a learning program for you. Here comes an example, 7 days as circle：
Day1 a video (with captions) or a blog
Day2 a news
Day3 a story
Day4 paragraphs form a test-book
Day5 a literature
Day6 a subscription from a speech
Day7 review day1-6 Remember, be patient, improve your reading ability is a long journey
Remember, be patient, improve your reading ability is a long journey
According to my more than 10-year’s experiences, lots of learners have problems in listening section. I am going to show you the 5 effective ways to improve your Mandarin listening skill.
Why listening skill is important
The purpose of learning a language is to communicate with the others. Try to image, if you can’t understand what people say or talk, how can we really communicate with them? I have to say, “understand” is the first step of all.
5 effective ways to improve Mandarin listening ability
Normally, when students told me that they have listening problems, it means they are not really familiar with vocabularies meaning and usage. So that when they hear something, they can’t respond quickly.
Secondly, is you don’t have enough vocabularies to understand what people saying. Under this situation, to learn more is the only way to improve it.
We can also call it as phonological awareness. When our ear received a “sound”, our brain needs to process and analysis it. If our brain could not recognize what it is, how can your brain transform it into a useful and meaningful information?
Sometimes, students in my class told me they don’t understand what do the learning materials say. However, what they don’t know is something they just learned. After showing them the vocabularies, they catch the meaning immediately.
It shows that what they don’t understand is what they can understand, just they can’t catch the sound.
This is another common situation. When students’ feedback is “too hard”, there are 2 reasons. The first is really harder than their level, another is lack of the background knowledge.
It means that my language ability is not the problem, my knowledge of the topic is an issue. So, we can’t focus only on “language” itself, but also need to develop our Mandarin basic knowledge in different field.
Don’t try to translate what people when chatting with others. If you do so, it means your speed is too slow to respond people. When you are too slow, you will become more and more nervous.
In the other way, it also means you used to think in your mother language, in stead of Mandarin. It is not good for your long turn learning.
The last part is about your understanding ability, such as culture, grammar, how to break the sentences and so on. This is quite important in learning any language.
There is a saying: I understand every words you day, but I don’t understand what you say, will be a very good example.
Listening is a multiple ability. We need to have language ability, information processing ability and organizing ability. All these together will construct our understanding ability. This is also the last but biggest challenge to improve our listening ability.