1. Language Scaffolding - Learning a new language via another language

    So, my Chinese is at an intermediate level. I can have some conversations and my vocabulary is quite ok (not expansive by any means!). I’ve thought about learning new languages with Chinese as my source language, not English.

    However, the biggest challenge for this, is finding resources. My girlfriend and I headed to a big book store here in Taipei the other day. I found an amazing language learning section, which had learning books in Chinese! Most of it was for learning English, but I found other languages too.

    I decided to buy French for Chinese. It looks like like a normal textbook, but it’s written in Chinese.

    Maintain Chinese and learn missed vocabulary

    One of the reasons why I really enjoy this method, is that I get to maintain my Chinese reading, but also learn new vocabulary that I might’ve missed. For instance, in the first lesson I did, I learned the word for “bracelet” in Chinese.

    Besides learning new vocabulary, I also get to used to traditional Chinese (I’m used to simplified characters).

    Makes learning French interesting

    Textbooks are usually bland for me. Go straight from one language into English. It almost feels inefficient. That’s why I enjoy learning French now via Chinese, because I get to use a language I learned, not only in a functional way, but a very interesting way.

    It’s interesting to see how the Chinese frames the dialogue. It’s parallel texts. Also, it feels great to finally realize how great my Chinese is. I can actually use it to learn another language!

    Super Context Clues

    What I enjoy when reading the parallel dialogues, is that when I start with the French and don’t understand I go to the Chinese and see what it means. But here’s the AWESOME thing: if it’s a word I don’t know in both French and Chinese, I can use both languages to help me guess what it means.


    I like learning French like this. Makes it interesting and challenging! I also get to learn two languages at the same time. Now, I need to get more money to buy Spanish and Portuguese versions :)

    1. tiffanykwong said: Hi there - do you happen to know of any English-language newspapers or magazines in Taiwan? I’m in Vancouver (Canada) and would love to travel to Taiwan this summer to work…
    2. thelinguaphile posted this