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  • sallyintaiwan 4:14 am on December 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    I call my itouch—specifically the Pleco App—最好的朋友 (best friend.) My Taiwanese friends think this is funny, but truly I don’t know what I would do with out this dictionary app where I can look up and translations in English, Chinese characters, or even using Pinyin, a phonetic guide to Chinese (and I can use traditional characters, the writing system used in Taiwan, instead of simplified which is used on the Mainland.) It’s useful in language exchange, almost all the homework I do, chatting with Taiwanese friends, or when I am alone and a word pops into my head I’d like to look up. It can sometimes be difficult to get correct translations from English to Chinese on certain apps or sites but Pleco, while it occasionally steers me wrong, usually gives me the most colloquial words, including noting which word are more appropriate in Taiwan, instead of Mainland China. I’ve actually been somewhat of a walking advertisement for the app as most of my friends, unless they already had the app, quickly added it upon seeing just how essential, not merely useful, it can be. Thank you Pleco! You’ve saved many a conversation.

  • kimuchee 1:12 pm on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge 8! 

    The one application that I know I could not live with out at this point is MIDORI.


    Midori is a Japanese-English library application. It costs $9.99. Why should you buy this particular $10 application you ask? It is the best out there so far that I have tried out. Not only does this application let you search for a word in English and Japanese (hiragana, kanji, and romaji) this application allows you to draw the kanji in order to find out its meaning!!!


    I literally can’t even begin to describe how 便利 (convenient) and life saving this application is! It has saved me countless times when I was talking with my host family and friends or simply trying to order something at a restaurant. (It’s all in kanji I can’t read!) It is a MUST for every student studying Japanese. Seriously.

    And on top of all of this it also gives you the stroke order of the kanji, flash cards to test your kanji with AND the conjugation of verbs. As a student of Japanese conjugation is one part of the grammar that I have a lot of trouble with so it was very reassuring to know that I could just go on my i-pod real quick to check that I conjugated the verb correctly. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was to find out that there was even such an app that existed! I did none of my homework without it and had my i-pod on me at all times.

    Another really cool aspect of this app is that it also provides example sentences in which the word you are searching for appears.

    And last but not least it: this app requires no internet connection! I know your minds are absolutely blown right?! Don’t worry I understand. Mine was too.

    For anyone going abroad to Japan next year:  Before buying a suitcase, before getting a plane ticket, BUY THIS APP!!! I could go on and on about how awesome this app is, but please, rather than listening to me babble, go get it!


  • at5203 4:17 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge eight 

    Before coming to Vietnam I tried to find videos on youtube that could help me say basic phrases.  At first it took me an hour just to say simple things like, “thank you, no problem, your welcome, and where is the bathroom”. However, once I came to Vietnam I realized that there are at least three different Vietnamese dialects, the northern, southern, and central accents. I was watching a youtuber named “Learn Vietnamese” and she does a great job in pronouncing words, slowly.  She teaches her subscribers the Northern dialect which is considered “the original” accent and it was also the dialect that I learned in class.

    An app that I found useful was “Vietnamese dictionary box- Tu Dien“.  This particular application is great because it has pictures and clear definitions.  In addition, Vietnamese is a tonal language that has 6 different tones that are extremely hard to type in your ipod.  There are many words that are spelled the same but have different accents that change the definition.  For example, ban can mean friend, table, busy, or dirty depending on your pronunciation.  This app does a good job incorporating the different tones without confusing the reader.  Once, this app helped me communicate with a lady across the street my guesthouse and I managed to have a decent conversation about her kids and husband.

    • Judy 11:34 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      TAylor I have enjoyed reading your posts. This particular entry is beautiful. It made me smile. Judy.

  • DougReilly 6:21 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge Eight: Favorite App 

    What’s your favorite iTouch App, and how did it help you this semester?

    One of the primary goals of the Asiapod initiative is to explore the usefulness (or not!) of mobile technologies to facilitate language learning while students are on the move.

    Asiapod bloggers: your challenge this week is to share one application or “app” that you have found particularly helpful in the five months(can you believe it?) that you’ve carried the iTouch. A particular dictionary? Virtual flashcards? Videos via Youtube? The summer period is specifically included, as we are equally interested in stories of travel preparations as navigations of your new environs. Imagine your potential readership as students planning to follow in your footsteps next semester; a few sentences summarizing the app’s functionality and value will do the trick.

    Has the iTouch been irrelevant? If so, any particular reason? These stories are important as well.

  • at5203 1:14 pm on November 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge Seven: Giving thanks 

    While being in Vietnam I have realized I am privileged in so many ways. For starters being able to live abroad is probably one of the most rewarding experiences in any ones lifetime. The friendships I have developed and the experiences I’ve had are truly unforgettable. I want to start off by giving thanks to my mother who not only emotionally and financially supports me but also has the patience to deal with such an impatient child. My family and friends mean the world to me and although this Thanksgiving we were apart I am thankful that they are healthy and doing well. But most importantly I am thankful that no one in the Vietnam program eats as much as I do!

    But in all honestly I am thankful for the food. I come from an extensive Ecuadorian family where turning down a plate of food is a sign of disrespect. Probably one of the main reasons I love Vietnam so much is because it reminds me of my home. Food is definitely a universal unifier of all races, gender, sexuality, people, and animals.

    • DougReilly 6:25 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great to hear from you Adrian! Have you universally liked the food in VIetnam, or just found the culture surrounding the food comforting? What’s your favorite food so far?

      Oh–you earned your Vere sandals this week. We’d love to see you around these parts more often! 🙂


      • at5203 3:08 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country

      • at5203 3:12 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country. My favorite type of food is this noodle soup that is call pho. It may seem simple but it is delicious and takes hours to make.

  • explorewithasmile 4:31 pm on November 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: challenge, ,   

    Giving Thanks 

    I am thankful for my parents who support me through all the twists and turns my adventurous spirit takes me; moving mountains so I can explore them.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    : )


  • melinthemiddle 5:27 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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     Asiapod Challenge 6 posted on behalf of Melissa… 


     (A play written by Melissa Hosek, based on a true story)

    (Scene 1: Setting the Scene)

    ~I am sitting in the lobby of the on-campus hotel. A little old woman sits down on the sofa across the way from me. She had just come inside after walking around in the crisp autumn air and is wearing her winter coat, silk scarf, and sunglasses .  My American and Japanese classmates sit next to me on the lobby sofa as we discuss our class movie project.

    American Classmate: “Uh oh, my computer 没点了 (my computer just died).

    Me: “Now how are we going to finish the movie?”

    American Classmate: “Maybe we can go to Nyoki’s room, his dorm is nearby.”

    ~He turns to our other classmate, Nyoki, who is from Japan and speaks very little English.

    American classmate: “我们可不可以在你的宿舍里继续拍电影?(Can we continue making the movie in your dorm?)”

    Japanese Classmate: “可以! (Sure!)”

    ~American and Japanese Classmates exit the scene.  I decide to stay behind and wait for another classmate to arrive.

    Scene 2: The Dialogue Begins.

    ~ The old woman stares at my classmates and I. She is probably wondering “who are the foreigners and why can they speak Chinese?”

    ~I move to sit next to her.

    Me: “你好“(Hello!)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你好, 你是哪个国家的呢?” (Hello, which country are you from?)

    Me:“我是美国人” (I am American)

    Beijing Woman 1: “真的吗?你现在离你的家很远。 你想念你的妈妈吧。“(Really? You are quite far from home. You must miss your mother, don’t you?”

    Me:“对,我想念她。”(Yes, I miss her.)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你为什么在这儿?你是学生吗?”(Why are you here [in Beijing]? Are you a student?)

    Me:“是。 我在这里学习中文。” (Yes, I am studying Chinese here.)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你的中文说很好。 你在北京呆好久吗?” (You Chinese is pretty good! Have you been in Beijing for a long time?)

    Me:“我只在北京呆了一个学期了。”(I am only in Beijing for one semester)

    Beijing Woman 1:“那你很想你的妈妈把?” (Ah, I’m sure you miss your mother, right?)

    Me:“对,我很想她。”(Yes, I miss her a lot)

    Beijing Woman 1:“你的家里人是多少?” (How many people are in your family?)

    Me:“我的家有五口人:妈妈、爸爸、哥哥、弟弟和我”(My family has 5 people: My mom, dad, older brother, younger brother, and me)

    Beijing Woman 1:“唯一个女儿吧?那你肯定是你妈妈的宝贝儿。你今年多大??” (You are the only daughter then! You surely must be your Mother’s [favorite] baby! How old are you?)

    ~Another Beijing Woman sits down beside Beijing Woman 1.

    Me:“20 岁“(20 years old)

    ~Beijing Woman 1 turns to Beijing Woman 2 sitting beside her .

    Beijing Woman 1: “看这个宝贝儿,20岁, 呆在北大学习汉语“。 (Look at this baby! 20 years old, and staying at Peking University to study Chinese!)

    Beijing Woman 2“小宝贝儿! 我今年60,70 岁左右。” (What a small baby! I’m 60 or 70 years old this year!)

    Me: “您们俩为什么在这家宾馆里? 您们在等朋友吗?” (Why are you two here at the hotel? Are you waiting for a friend?)

    Beijing Woman 2: 我们刚吃完了午饭, 来这儿休息一下, 外面太冷了。 (We just finished eating lunch. We came here [inside] to rest a bit, it’s too cold outside)

    Me: 对, 北京的天气越来越冷了。 请问, 我可不可以拍您们照片?“(Yes, the weather in Beijing is getting colder and colder. Excuse me, could I take your picture?)

    Beijing Woman 1:“我们这么老!为什么要拍我们的照片?” (But we’re so old! Why would you want to take a picture of us?)

    Me:“回国以后我想给我妈妈介绍一下您们俩。”(When I go home, I want to tell my mother about you.)

    Beijing Woman 1“好的好的。 你可以告诉你的妈妈你认识了两个老北京太太。”(Ok, Ok. You can tell your mother that you met two old Beijing wives)

    ~I pull out my camera and take a picture of the two women.

    Me: “好的。 谢谢您们”(Ok, thank you!)

    Beijing Woman 1:“不客气。 好。 我们走吧。 再见宝贝儿!” (You’re welcome. Ok, we have to go now. Goodbye baby!)

    ~They Exit. End Scene.


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