Life of a Blogger: Languages

This feature is hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Each week, a non-bookish topic will be chosen and I'll talk about it so you can get to know me on a personal level!

Click HERE to view the full list of topics.


It's languages this week! I'll be dishing out info on the ones I speak.


This one totally goes without saying XD


This is my mother tongue, and as such I also have a Chinese name.

I speak, write and read the language and started learning it along with English when I was old enough to speak, so yay, that makes me bilingual.

Even so, I wouldn't say I'm effectively bilingual – which is what our education system has always strived for – because my English is undoubtedly more fluent than my Mandarin. I speak Mandarin on a daily basis with my family, but it's still not as much as English. I'm way better at listening to Mandarin news/TV shows/songs and reading Chinese characters (in my head and aloud are fine) than giving a presentation or writing an essay in the language. My grammar structure and vocabulary are sorely lacking if you compare them to the Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese people's.

I wanted to touch on the two main writing systems we have because it's actually pretty interesting. The first and most commonly used one is Simplified Chinese (简体字) and the other is Traditional Chinese (繁体字). I wasn't formally educated in the latter but learnt to read it through watching subtitled Taiwanese variety shows.

What's the difference, you ask. Well, the former is used in China and Singapore while the latter is more commonly found in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The characters are also written very differently. Let's take the word dragon, for example:

Traditional Chinese does take more steps to write, but it's still really beautiful. It's almost pictorial – don't you think 龍 looks more like a real dragon with all its twists and curves as compared to the simplified 龙?

Anyway, I think knowing the language is still better than having to rely on a translator, especially if you're in a foreign country. I'm definitely fluent enough to ask for directions and maybe introduce myself, which was certainly put to good use since my parents especially love going to Taiwan (we've been there six times already!).


Singlish, a a portmanteau of the words Singaporean and English, is the crazily complicated colloquial language in my country, Singapore. However, I won't be covering it as that would literally take days. I'm not pulling your leg fin. Sea-riously. I'll let Wikipedia do the rest.


I am in love with this language and wanted to learn it since I was 12. I started beginner classes last year and had so much fun!

Unfortunately, I am now stuck with all my basics and can only converse in the present and future tense... not very helpful, I know. The intermediate French class that my school offered was cancelled twice this year because the minimum number of students for it to start wasn't met ): Looks like I'll have to teach myself that past tense...

What are the languages you speak? Are there any you wish to learn? Let me know, and thanks for swimmin' by!

UPDATE: My comments form has completely lost its barnacles and I am so sorry, my fishies! I have no freakin' clue what in the starfish pants is going on (if you do, please help this mermaid out – she probably won't sleep well tonight) so if you would like to leave a comment, please click here to view the mobile version of this post; the comment form works fine there!


  1. On commenting: Did you meddle with the HTML at all? I'd go back and make sure you didn't--because it's a Google+ extension, everything has to be correct otherwise it won't work. I'd also check with CSS, sometimes that will throw an element out of whack.

    ... I obviously spend a lot of my time doing nothing. :3

    Anywhoo, I resent my father for not teaching me Spanish growing up! I could've been fluent, which would've been fun. I imagine knowing a lot of languages is hard, but Spanish and English have the same roots, so it's relatively easy. But maybe Spanglish counts? It made me giggle when I read Singlish--modified English is so much fun! While growing up, I always got yelled at in Spanglish. I also have a very Latina attitude. :3 Ahh... perhaps...

    I didn't know you knew so many languages, though! Like, good for you, chica! That's hard. Especially learning them by yourself. But, if you want someone to practice written French with, I've wanted to learn for a long time and would love to!

    1. Thanks for the advice, Kiers! I've fiddled with some JavaScript the past couple days and also did some HTML 'clean-up'. Just ran the entire thing through an online text comparison tool against a previous version from months back. Turns out whatever I deleted was actually REALLY important! I've fixed it up and it's fine now. Ugh, lesson learned!

      The word Spanglish sounds so pretty! I can't imagine getting yelled at in Spanglish – it must be kinda hilarious. Would it be too late for you to perfect your Spanish so it'll complement that Latina attitude of yours? XD

      Well I pretty much grew up with English, Mandarin and Singlish (it's even become a way for us to identify fellow Singaporeans when we're overseas!), so it's just French that I'm struggling to make progress with as I don't have resources now, despite my passion for it. I might buy a French language book sometime... mais oui, si tu veux, je voudrais pratiquer le français avec toi! (but yes, if you want, I would like to practise French with you!) ;)

    2. Oh good! I've done it... we've all done it. :3 Well, those of us who meddle. But, it's better to meddle--I've been reading other blogger's advice for blogging (because I totally redid everything [last time I swear]), and many believe in Wordpress simply because they don't have to meddle. But HTML is beautiful and you should at least know something about it. >.<

      Gosh, I don't think I'd care to. Growing up bilingual would've been one thing, but at considering it's the culture I'm trying to escape, I'd much rather take German (which is BLEH). Which happens. But, I may need to if I want an edge in work-wise--it wouldn't be hard, if I tried I could easily become fluent. I even have a bomb accent. ._. I just really detest my culture.

      Oh that's awesome! :3 We should. I barely know a thing, but I will practice, and we can practice French together. ^.^ Languages are fun.

    3. Oh, I do meddle ;) This design has actually been heavily modified by me! I think I went overboard just this time, haha. Yes, I've heard lots about Wordpress but have neither time nor money to commit to it yet. I'll probably move over to WP when I graduate in a couple years and have more time on my hands.

      Ick. I hope you find something else you'd like AND can help you out work-wise! What about beginner French classes?

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  3. Whoa, I accidentally deleted the previous comment but here we go again :D

    I didn't know you were in love with the French language as well! Unfortunately, I never took advanced French classes which is why I'm stuck with all the basics now as well, but it's one of my biggest dreams to speak some decent French one day or even to study in France for a semester or something.
    I am trying to teach myself the trickier language parts now, but it's really unmotivating to learn it without a teacher or something. (Btw, we could totally learn it together *winks* *winks*) :D

    Haha, you're Chinese couldn't be worse than mine although I've been taught to speak it since I was very little. Very often I don't even understand whole songs without looking up the lyrics but luckily, I still understand most spoken (and somewhat written) parts.
    Concerning the Traditional and Simplified Chinese thing: It's so confusing! I used to learn 繁体字 only, but later in school I was also taught 简体字 and I was like 'WTF, all the hours memorizing tricky Chinese characters in vain!' :D

    Anyway, I could totally hug you now because I didn't know we shared so many interests!! ♥ Too bad we live on the opposite sides of the world!

    1. Francophiles unite!! XD What a lovely surprise; I didn't know you love French too :D And omg, yes—I've fantasised about studying in France, or maybe even a student exchange programme would suffice. It just seems all so far away, though. Haha, we could totally try practising whatever we know and see if we understand each other! ;D

      My mom kinda went through the same thing back when she was in primary school. The system changed and they all started using 简体字 instead of 繁体字, but she was just relieved at how much easier it became :D

      I'm just speechless at all the things we have in common! If we ever meet, I'm so going to give you a big hug! ❤️

    2. Woohoo 👍 Yes, exactly! There are hardly any Francophiles out here so my friends always give me that weird look when I totally fangirl about anything French :D I'm glad I've found you!

      OMG, I just realized I wrote 'you're' instead of 'your'..sorry, my bad :D
      Yes, it is indeed, although I do have to say I find the Traditional Chinese characters to be more beautiful than the Simplified ones. Very often I get stuck in a text because I simply don't recognize a word -- they always turn out to be hardcore simplified words.

      ha, I'll be prepared! ❤️

  4. Hey. I'm from Singapore too!<3 but I'm living in Australia now. I'm learning french too, such a beautiful language, I love it so much!
    You are such a great blogger, I love your blog so much:) followed you!
    The Journeys' of my beating heart

    1. Hi June! It's awesome to meet another Singaporean and aww, thanks for the compliment ♥
      Yes, true that – French makes everything sound so pretty! :D

      Thanks for stopping by ♥

  5. This is such an interesting post! I'd love to learn Mandarin, but it seems so complex lol I'm so jealous of how you know it :3
    You have a lovely blog, by the way! I've proudly followed <3

    xoxo Payton of K-Party With Payton

    1. Aww, thank you Payton! ♥ Mandarin certainly isn't easy, but I don't think it's as complex as it seems either. I'm pretty sure you could be fluent if you worked hard at it! ;)

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it!
    I'm so jealous of how you are bilingual and speak mandarin! Definitely a language that's on my to-learn list.
    I love the French language too, there is just such a nice melodic sound to it. However, in my eyes, no language compares to Italian, which has got to be my favorite language. No other language is so melodical and energetic at the same time.
    It's so funny how so many people from Asia seem to love French while a lot of European people hate learning it ;) I can't believe the amount of French quotes I've seen in the 2 weeks I've been in Singapore now!
    You should really keep on learning French, it's totally worth it and it will be easy for you since you're so into it! Trust me, I went through 8 years of learning French and still love it :)
    If you ever feel like talking some French, I'd love to hear from you :)
    Bonne chance avec ton Français! Il me ferais beaucoup de plaisir si tu répondais, j'aimerais bien te voir à Singapour :)
    xx Fabienne

    1. Salut Fabienne! Merci beaucoup pour ton commentaire (:

      I think you've described Italian perfectly. French and Italian sound very sophisticated, but the energetic quality of the latter makes it sound like a musical tongue twister (in my opinion)! Maybe that's the reason why Con Te Partiro is one of my favourite Italian songs, and also why I still can remember all the lyrics ;)

      Well, perhaps it's because the seaweed is always greener in somebody else's lake XD We usually want what we don't have. But I don't know a lot of local people my age who love French – they all seem to want to learn Japanese or Korean. What kind of French quotes have you heard in Singapore so far?

      I'll take your word for it, and I'm definitely not about to let my French journey end here! I'm hoping to pursue it after I graduate.

      Feel free to tweet me or shoot me an email! I'm always up for a conversation, be it in English or French.

      En attendant ta réponse! (:


Merci pour ton commentaire! If you have asked a question, do check back for a reply - I'll try my best to answer.



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