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Message Adeline Success Stories

237 thoughts on “Contact

  1. I love learning Chinese this way.  It is easier for me to understand. I’m looking forward to learning more.Your eager student,Kerstin

  2. Dear Adeline.This is amazing! Such a great way to learn Mandarin. Can’t wait for my daughters to start using it too.Thanks so much,Doris

  3. 马 较 授,你好吗?我姓McBride, 叫Callum。我 想 学中文。你 肯较 我吗?Thank you for the lesson! it was great!

  4. Thanks Adeline your so special to be up to the challenge to teach lots of people this language! Do you think you can manage? I believe that you can and will you have courage, faith and stength! Go Adeline!

  5. hi!appreciate the help with the Chinese language. it may not be as easy as i thought it would be but with a great teacher, anything is possible, right?
    thanks!God Bless you and your family!

  6. 马叫手,你好马? 我性Mendez 叫Kimberley。我 想 学中文。你 肯较 我吗?写写。
    I feel accomplished by just learning how to type in Chinese! Thank you so much. 

  7. 马 教 授, 你 好 吗? 我 姓 李, 叫 奇 香,我 想 学 中 文。你 肯 教 我 吗? 谢谢。

  8. Very intriguing so far, Adeline! Can you include more pronunciations, such as yi zi yi (day)? And an explicit explanation of each tone, as you did with yi? (e.g., how do you describe the fourth tone?)

  9. Like a bad student, earlier I asked a question before reading all the material you provided! Thanks for the information about the tones–the aspect of Chinese that I find the most intimidating.

  10. Something else I noticed about the characters for the various words “ma”– the character for “horse” seems to be embedded in the words for both “mother” and “scold.” Is it my imagination, or is there a connection between them in the Chinese mind?

  11. Hello, and sorry for the late reply, but:First of all, thanks for the Mandarin lessons. I’m so happy to see such a great way to teach Mandarin.I just would like to ask, how can we set our computer if its OS is Windows Vista? I am using XP at the moment but I might use a Vista computer. I’ll try to use the instructions in XP though. It may be helpful.Once again, thank you for the lessons.~Tania

  12. 马教授,你好吗?我醒他被熬及擦。我想中文。你肯叫我吗?谢谢。
    So sorry. I think I made a mistake before! I am still so new at this.

  13. xie xie! My children (from China) still giggle at my tones–I have to move my hands to give them a clue which tone I actually mean–but I am determined to learn how to speak their native language.Thank you for your patience and interest in educating us.

  14. Adeline, 您好!我是嘉嘉。 我是在美国工作的新加坡人。我曾经在新加坡国家图书馆见过你。那时,你到新加坡去介绍你的著作《落叶归根》。我很高兴能以中文与你交谈。祝:身体健康。嘉嘉

  15. wow finally ive found the best website to teach me chinese. by the way i married a taiwanese and for almost a year ive been living with him here in Taipei. right now i am attending chinese class but due to work related circumstances i cant catch-up with my schedule and to my lessons as well.. im more than willing to learn. thanks again,,!! your student Li Joan

  16. That’s the best and–to a naive Westerner–the most understandable explanation of Chinese grammar I’ve seen. Thanks! Actually, I believe a culture that can exist without pluperfects or past perfects must truly be advanced. (I learned to diagram sentences when I was young and that’s not a task for the faint of heart.)

  17. Adeline, You are a great person. You have overcome so much and to be in this position is incredable. You really are a role model. We studied Chinese Cinderella at School and after I immediatly read Falling Leaves and fell in love with it. (Especially the referance to ‘Let It Be’ as the Beatles are my fave band!)Thank You Adeline From Anna XX

  18. I had some very basic chinese vocabulary lessons in high school. I am asian American and is super excited to learn chinese language form you Ms. Mah. I know i must learn my roots and traditional culture. You have my respect and admiration.

  19. I’m so glad you are providing chinese lessons. I sometimes wished my mother would have enrolled me in chinese school when I was younger, but it’s never too late. Better late than never.

  20. 马教授, your website is a most generous and excellent idea. I look forward to more lessons. 谢谢你。

  21. This is so interesting, Adeline ! My computer is not letting me open the character though, but I’m loving your articles.Sharing it at work where the School Psychologist I work with is Philipino/Chinese and her boyfriend is Chinese. She is enjoying it too.Thanks !

  22. Than you again. I like to see/listen all the options you provide for the same character. If it is possible I would like to be able to read the tone with the pin yin, eg. ( ren person second accent ) in all the pin yin examples. Looking forward for my next character.

  23. Dear Adeline, when you first started Character a Day, with a few lessons than a large gap, well…i would like you to please also send me the original mails soon, is its possible.
    thanks Chloe

  24. Hello Adeline,
    I stumble upon this site by accident, and I am delighted to be given this opportunity to learn chinese and be guided by you. I can’t think of a better teacher. I hope you have alot of patience for it might take me awhile to get the hang of things. This is what I’m unsure of, how do I write chinese as I’m learning the word ?

  25. The subtle difference between first and second tone is so hard for me. I usually end up using my hand to assist Chinese listeners determine what tone I really meant to use, instead of how it comes from my lips!In English, tone is used to convey emotion not meaning. Of all things Chinese, I believe tones are the hardest things to learn.

  26. Dear Adeline, I will try to download, but my mother is very ill with Alzheimer’s Disease and I go there each day after teaching….and not sure I can follow with you. Always interested in your books and history.
    Judi Welch

  27. 马教授,您好吗?我性赵,叫蕴婷。我觉得您这个方法真的很特别。因为我现在很少机会用中文,我很想练习多一点儿。我认字不太好;请您帮我进步吧!谢谢!

  28. 吗教授,你好吗?我性 Daly-Jones, 叫 Benjamin. 我想学中文。你肯教我吗?谢谢。Dear Adeline, I attend a Chinese school in Acton which I really enjoy and would be keen to learn anything more. I really enjoyed your book ‘Falling Leaves’ and ‘Watching the Tree’ – I am now reading the Tao Te Ching, which you mentioned.

  29. Thank you, Dr. Mah, for teaching me the beginning of Chinese. I thought it would be very hard to learn Chinese but you have made it much easier! I set up my computer with no problem and I was even able to figure out how to make Chinese Character graphics in Photoshop. I look forward to your future lessons!

  30. I just finished reading Falling Leaves and thank you – that was not an easy story to tell but your courage is admirable. I especially liked the inclusion of the chinese characters and expressions throughout and really enjoyed learning about the characters as broken down in calligraphy and explained by Ye Ye. It gave me a new understanding of the study of calligraphy and an appreciation for this character based language which I now see to be so much more complext than I had even imagined.

    Zhong Xin Nian!

  31. Dear Dr. Mah,
    Thanks to your book…China Land of Dragons & Emperors…I enjoy studying Chinese even more, and even for just the simple pleasure of reading the book…I felt like I am already in China without setting foot over the door

  32. Hi adeline. I just started the lessons. where can I find a dictionary with radicals.

    Dan, I’m delighted that you are studying Chinese! I will go to Barnes and Noble tomorrow and do some research on dictionaries. Stay tuned!


  33. Hello Dr. Mah,

    I think your Chinese articles very interesting.

    However, I think it should be noted that some 解字 are under dispute. Regarding the article about 笑 , the word comes from 竹 (bamboo) and 夭(devil), not sky. According to shuowenjiezi 清代陳昌治刻本 quotes “竹得風,其體夭屈如人之笑” from 李陽冰。

    The articles are still very interesting. Keep it up!


  34. Dear Dr. Mah,

    My name is Phoebe and I am thirteen years old. I have started learning french this year at high school. But I fail to succeed. Every time they start to talk I start thinking about your chinese lessons. I have no chinese history but yet is is my passion. I am planning on joining a chinese school but I would be in prep with all the six year olds. 

    I very much admire you and hope to get a reply,


    • Phoebe, Please subscribe to my Chinese lessons. You will learn China’s history, culture and language if you persevere. Begin by downloading a copy of my history book and read it from cover to cover. My Chinese language lessons will be based on this book.

      Good luck and write to me again.


      • Dear Dr. Mah,

        Thank you very much for your reply… it made my day.
        I was just wondering what the chinese character in the search bar of your website means. I would love to know.

        Your ever faithful student,

        • Phoebe,

          Do you mean the two characters 中国? 中means Central and is pronounced zhong (Joan). 国Guo means Counrty or Kingdom. The two words mean Central Kingdom or China.


          • Dear Dr. Mah,
                                Thank you for your reply.  What you said was not exactly what I meant but that was also helpful too. 

            What I meant to say is, what is the character in the start of the search bar that says “”?


            • Phoebe, Apologies. I misunderstood. That character is 写. It means WRITE and is pronounced XIE. In Chinese pinyin, X is pronounced like SH. So 写 sounds like SHIE.
              Please first install the Chinese language option on your computer by doing the following. Click on Where to Start on the search bar of my website and scroll down to How to Set Up your Computer. Install the Chinese language option as directed. Once you have done so, you will be able to `type’ and reproduce Chinese characters such as 写by typing XIE.
              You will also learn that 写 is pronounced XIE. It would make my day if you will write to me again and include the charcter 写 in your email. Adeline

              PS: I have recently installed a few mandarin phrases that you might like to listen to. Learn how to pronounce some of them such as `How are you?’ or `How much?’ and try the phrases out in your local Chinese restaurant. Write to me and tell me what happened next.

              • 亲爱的博士麻将,谢谢您的回复。我成立了我的电脑,让我可以在中国的类型。不要跟我印象深刻,因为我写了一本翻译。我将有一个新的短语听,我出去吃晚餐到一家中餐馆在未来一周. I now 写 in the chinese setting on my computer. Not using a translator. I am very excited about typing more chinese characters on my computer and hope to learn how to write them. I heard that you have to draw the strokes in a particular order so i hope to learn some simple strokes soon.
                从你的渴望学习的学生,菲比 (Wow! is that really what my name looks like in chinese?)

                • Dear Phoebe,

                  What fantastic progress! Will you type the following letter to me in Chinese?

                  ma jiao shou, ni hao ma? wo xing ________ jiao __________.

                  wo xiang xue zhong wen. ni ken jiao wo ma? xie xie.

                  马 教 授, 你 好 吗? 我 姓__________, 叫 ___________,

                  我 想 学 中 文 。 你 肯 教 我 吗? 谢 谢。

                  ma 马 jiao教 sho授ni你hao 好ma吗?wo 我xing 姓____jiao叫___


                  The letter says the following, in Chinese:

                  Professor Ma, How are you? My surname is _______, given name is ________. I want to learn Chinese. Will you teach me? Thank you.

                  Let’s begin this letter to me by typing the first character ma 马。

                  When you press ALT and SHIFT at the same time, the language bar changes from EN to CH and you are now typing Chinese characters. Please look carefully at the appearance of the character you have just typed.

                  After you type ma followed by the space bar, a character appears 麻 that may look completely different from the 马 you are looking for. This is because every Chinese word has only one syllable. Therefore, there are many Chinese characters pronounced ma. When the character you see is not the one you are looking for, please type the left arrow key. A vertical or horizontal row of nine Chinese characters now appear, each with an Arabic number next to it. 1 麻 2马 3 玛 4 妈 5骂 6抹 7摩 8蟆 9 嘛. When you see the character you want, type the number next to it (2 in this case) and the correct ma 马 appears.

                  I look forward to hearing from you! Adeline

                  PS. I will be installing a program soon which will teach you the correct sequence of stroke order in writing Chinese characters. Stay tuned! You have made me very happy.

                  • 马教授,你好马?我姓 O’Shaughnessy 叫 Phoebe。我想学中文。你肯教我吗?
                    Thank you for giving me that task… I enjoyed it a lot. I am glad to hear that you are setting up a new program with the sequences of strokes. I am looking forward to learning all about it. 

                    Today, I was in my school library and I saw your book, “Chinese Cinderella” in the top 5 most moving books. I have read it and indeed your story made me cry. I told my friend Huiyao, (she speaks chinese) that I have been talking to you and she would like me to tell you that she loved your books and that you are someone that she looks up too. The same goes for me.
                    I am so greatfull that you have been so kind to me in helping in my chinese lessons and I hope our friendship will continue for a long time,
                    love from Phoebe

                    • Dear Phoebe, Your emails have been enormously encouraging to me. It’s amazing that in a short span of four days, you are typing to me in Chinese characters. What else can a teacher ask for? I hope you will prove to be an example to other students who are thinking of learning Chinese. Think of it not as a daunting task; but a game. Many children your age spend hours playing video games on the computer. Why not expend the same energy and time in learning Chinese? Congratulations! Your letter had one minor error. You wrote 马 instead of 吗(6th character). 马means horse. 吗at the end of a sentence makes that sentence into a question. Two differenct characters both pronounced MA. I hope you will continue to follow my lessons. Adeline

                    • Dear Phoebe, Your emails have been as meaningful and encouraging to me as my lessons have been to you. It is amazing that in a short span of four days, you are already typing to me in Chinese. Congratulations! Adeline

    • Michael, Thank you for the link to your tech blog. Are you following my lessons? Please type me a letter in Chinese like the little 13-year-old who signed up on the 10th February and wrote to me in Chinese on the 14th. So proud of her! Keep in touch! Adeline

  35. Dear Adeline,
    I am a chinese born and raised in Malaysia and have now moved to Australia. My husband is a chinese born and raised in Mauritius who also moved to Australia. We can’t read or write chinese. I speak cantonese at home when I was growing up so picking up mandarin was not too difficult but up to this day, I’m still struggling to read or write. I was in the library when I came across your book A thousand pieces of gold which interest me as I would very much like to learn chinese poetry, verse and phrase, to read and understand the meaning behind it and to teach my daughter. It is preferable if it has the english translation. Would you have any recommendation for such books? Anyway, I have signed up for your chinese lessons and am very excited. With time an preserverance I hope to be able to read better in chinese. Also I find this online dictionary very useful and would like to recommend it to you. Perhaps you can use it in your teaching. The website is I don’t know who owns it, but I’m sure it is somebody who is passionate in teaching chinese like yourself.
    Xiao Ting

    • Xiao Ting, Thank you. Please download the Chinese option on your computer and email me a letter in Chinese. It will make my day. Adeline

      • 你好,

        • Xiao Ting,

          I am delighted. How long have you studied Chinese on my website? Your letter is excellent. However, you forgot to write the last character.



          • 马教授你好, 以前我有学过中文。可是因为工作太忙,放弃了。学过得都忘了。前几天,经过你的网站,我要给自多一次机会学中文。不明白你再说什么last character.请你多多执教。敬上, 晓婷

            • …..下 次 我 会 写 长 一 点 儿!

              Last character shoud have been 点 or 点儿。However, your Chinese is excellent and I am proud of you. Do you like the idea of learning China’s language, history and culture in one fell swoop? Any criticism or advice will be gratefully accepted and acknowledged.

              Adeline Mah

              • 马教授,

                I wish to express my idea in Chinese but having sat on it for 15 minutes and not one proper sentence came to mind, I thought it would be best for me to write it in English, and perhaps you can teach me how these are expressed in Chinese.

                I find that learning Chinese through their culture, art, folklores and history is an excellent idea. I am ashame to say that I have almost no knowledge of chinese history due to the education system I was in. Nevertheless I tried to live like a Chinese and celebrate almost all chinese festival. Chinese New Year being my favourite, I decorate my house and give out red packet. During duan wu, I make dumplings and during mid autumn, I hang up lanterns and eat mooncake.

                I became really passionate about China and started reading about history through memoir like yours and Jung Chang. I like your A thousand pieces of Gold a lot as I love proverbs. I only wish for more books like that. Chinese folklores are also my favourite and I manage to get some that has pin yin, chinese character and an english translation. I also find the online dictionary MDBG.NET useful as it is a no nonsense website and dedicated only to help people learn chinese.

                Someday, I wish to start a chinese cultural classes for children to encourage them to learn about China and its tradition. It’s a very proud thing to be a Chinese.

                • I will be adding stroke sequence in my Vocabulary section. Thank you for introducing Please write to me often and tell me how I can improve my website so students can learn without getting bored. Adeline

  36. Adeline, You are an insparation to loads of people. I find your lessons VERY interesting. But I just havw 1 question: If YOU could have asked 1 question to Niang, your dad, your siblings and your mum about why you were treated that way, what would you say?


    • Anna, The yearning for your parents’ approval never goes away no matter how old you are. I would ask them whether they have changed their low opinion of me.


  37. Dear Dr mah, 
    I am a student from Hong Kong, i have started reading your book recently , Chinese Cinderella. It’s really touching and help me to learn  better English. Thank you !  my mother tone is Chinese. I used to think that Chinese is just a useless language, i  am pound of myself which i am a Chinese! your book is inspirable , i hope that my classmates can be that also .
    P.S. i am top of Chinese language in my school. So happy 😉

    • Dear Jadeyn, Are you Jennifer’s sibling? Please tell me how you learned to type in Chinese. Was it from my website?


    • Dear Jennifer, How fantastic! Please tell me a little about yourself. How did you learn your Chinese? Was it from my website alone? I am so proud of you!


      • Dr. Mah,

        My daughter, Jadeyn, and I found your website after reading Chinese Cinderella for our homeschool book club. We were fortunate enough to visit China in 2006 and we fell in love. We are very excited about this opportunity to learn Chinese. We hope one day to go back to China and be able to get around without a translator!

        Warm regards, Jennifer Henry

        • Dear Jennifer, Thank you. Please tell me a little about your leaning process. How old is your daughter and how long did it take each of you to type the letter from start to finish? Did you know any Chinese before subscribing to my website? How can I improve my website and make the learning of Chinese easier to students who have no knowledge of Chinese?

          I would be grateful for any suggestions. Please also tell others about this website.

          Thank you.


  38. Dear Adeline, I am 14 years old living in Malaysia. I find Chinese Cinderella and Falling Leaves inspiring and my favorite books. It’s amazing how you endured your torments and climbed the ladder of success. Often, I feel like I’m nothing and worthless as my peers were popular, talented. I tried my best to stand out, enter competition..etc. but most of them did not care or appreciated my work. I used to feel lonely during my primary school days. However, through your book I realized no matter what other people think of me, I must work hard and think positive to reach my goal and ambition and prove to the world. I am a Chinese and able to speak basic Mandarin but do not know how to read or write. I want to learn Chinese and I found your website. I hope it helps. You are truly amazing. 🙂

    • Thank you. Please write to me in Chinese and give me suggestions as to how I can improve my teaching methods. I want to help you.


  39. The lessons are fantastic, this is the best format to learn chinese everyday is a new lesson. The recordings are very helpful. By the way are you planning on publishing further books? I really like learning about chinese/chinas history through your narratives I love our style both writing and the look of the entire book.    

  40. Hello Dr. Mah,
    You asked me how long it took to type our first letter. My daughter completed it in about 10 minutes and I finished mine in about 5 minutes. I have learned a little bit of Chinese writing from some Chinese workbooks I bought in Hangzhou. I studied pinyin using a small Chinese/English travel book. We learned to speak a teeny bit of Chinese listening to the Pimsleur Chinese language CD’s. A suggestion I might make is to give more lessons in the beginning on pinyin pronounciation, like the rules for how x is pronounced etc. My daughter has written a nice letter to you and would like to know where she can send it. If you could email me an address we can send it to, we’d greatly appreciate it! 谢谢 Jennifer Henry

  41. Professor Ma — Thank you so much for writing your story and sharing
    your special gift.
    Cheryl Lee
    [file] 教 授 你 好 吗.doc[/file]

  42. [file][/file]

  43. March 18, 2011

    Dear Dr. Mah,

    Your brother-in-law and mine too, Al Mar of Fresno, asked me to read your announcement about learning the Chinese language via the internet and comment on it.

    In all humility, I am not a qualified candidate for this task. Although I spent just a few years in Guangzhou attending grade school in the 1930s, it did give me a scant insight into the intricacies of learning the Chinese language.

    For anyone with a mature background in the English language, learning Chinese in the written and spoken modes will probably be an interesting challenge as one needs to associate each character (picture-word) with the sound of one of four tones, on the one hand, and to construct sentences on the other.

    Given the depth and your background in both the English and Chinese languages and their history, I have every confidence in your resourcefulness and imagination to create a scholarly program to teach Chinese to Asians and non-Asians alike. Learning a different language in anyone’s life is always an exciting adventure. You will endear yourself to your students for years to come.

    I am confident you will succeed in this enormous effort and applaud you for devoting time and energy to make this such a worthy contribution in the spirit of public service.

    I wish you God-speed!

    Cc: Al Mar

    • Chester,

      Thank you for your encouragement. My website does require a lot of work. However, I believe it is worthwhile.

  44. dear adeline,

    I can click my audio to hear the pronounciations of each words.’
    but now theres no sound anymore .it appears buffering. whats that means


  45. Hi Adeline,

    It’s Jess here. You asked me how to improve your site.

    Well, I do think it is a great site already. One idea for a possible improvement would be to have a big picture of the Chinese characters so it would be easier to learn how to draw them freehand. I like the audio recordings of the Chinese characters, that is really useful.


    • Thank you. At this very moment, I am trying to install a program called estroke which will teach you how to write Chinese characters. The first time we tried to install estroke, we made the mistake of loading the entire vocabulary section at one go. As a result, a few students comlained that it took too long to unload the program. So we changed tactics and are installing one character at a time. Since each word is really a short movie of a brush in action, this costs more and takes time to install. Please be patient. In addition, we are also going to add word games, Chinese songs and poems which incorporate the four tones of the Mandarin dialect. If you persevere with my lessons, not only will you learn to read, write and pronounce Chinese characters in mandarin, you will also learn lots of Chinese history. Please write to me again after estroke is installed and tell me what you thiink of it.


  46. 马 叫 受,你 好 马 ? 我 性 张 叫 伟 Chian( I don’t know which Chian but according to my mom it means beauty.) 我 向 学 中 文 。你 肯 叫 我 马?写 写。

    • Dear Stephanie, Congratulations on emailing me a letter in Chinese characters. When you type, please pay more attention to the shape of the words because they have different meanings. For example, 马教授 means Professor Ma, but the characters you typed were 马叫(shout) 受 (receive). Thajt is the nature of pinyin. When you type jiao, a whole list of words appear: 叫,脚,教,交,较 and so on. Be sure you look at each word carefully and choose the correct character. Soon you will be able to recognize the word you are searching for.

      Do not be discouraged. I am proud of you for trying. Write to me again soon. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Your Chinese teacher


  47. Hi,
    I would be interested in seeing the traditional characters on your site. I think they may help make the etymologies easier to understand. Maybe you can have a way to automatically switch back and forth.

    I think you have created a wonderful service, and it is inspiring me to think of how I can contribute something to the world in a similar way; thank you!

    • Dear Joyce, Thank you for your kind comments. Maintaining this website takes lots of time and energy. It is also extremely costly. I am trying to install pronunciation, word games and stroke sequence at present. One task at a time.

      You can easily switch back and forth between traditional and simplified characters by choosing the relevant option on your computer. Please continue to let me know how I can improve my teaching methods. Will you do homework if this is added? Will homework make you concentrate more?



  48. Submitted on 2011/03/26 at 4:45 am
    Dear Mrs.Yen Mah, March 25th,2011
    I was wondering about homework.In your past few lessons was there homework? I looked but did no see any, please get back to me.
    Thank you!
    Your student,
    Louise Buckley

    • Dear Mrs.Yen Mah,
      I was wondering about homework.In your past few lessons was there homework? I looked but did no see any, please get back to me.
      Thank you!
      Your student,
      Louise Buckley

      • Dear Louise,

        Are you asking for homework? How conscientious you are!

        Actually, I have been thinking a lot about homework. I have not given out homework for a long time. It is extremely costly and labor intensive to maintain my website.

        However, I love teaching Chinese and will be sending out a survey soon. Among the questions will be `homework’. We will decide when the replies are tallied.


  49. This is a fascinating post! For those of us who are still struggling to remember basic Chinese characters, would it be possible to have the pinyin added as well?

    Many thanks for a helpful and informative website!

    • Apologies for not putting in pinyin next to the Chinese characters in my posting of Stemword and its modifier. I will do so.

      In my next lesson, I will ask some questions which I hope you will answer and post. Look at it as a little bit of homework.


  50. What a wonderful idea!!!

    You are such a giving lady to combine your talent for teaching with your knowledge of Chinese culture, customs, and language to enrich the lives of people all over the world who are interested in learning more about China.

    I look forward to checking your web site weekly – and wish you great success with it.

  51. Dr. Mah,

    I’ve read your book ‘Falling Leaves’. I could really engage myself with the story and relate it to my own experience. I’m truly touched with your positive attitude and determination in achieving your goals despite any challenges. You’re my source of inspiration and motivation to drive further to achieve my dreams.
    Thank you very much, 谢谢您。

  52. Hi Dr. Mah,

    I watched the video on how to install the Chinese characters and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I practiced inputting the characters and typed a letter below. Thank you for teaching me the Chinese language, I look forward to more of your lessons.



    • Thank you for writing to me in Chinese. Congratulations on down-loading the Chinese option onto your computer and rubbing your own Aladdin’s lamp. However, please pay more attention to the appearance of the Chinese Characters. Each word is a picture. I suggest you print a copy of my sample letter and write to me again.


  53. Hello Mrs.Mah,

    I have read your book “Chinese Cinderella” and it really made me mad when you were hurt by your family. I was wondering if you don’t mind, have you gotten in touch with your siblings?

    Thank You


  54. I have just began your lessons this morning and am very excited to learn and grow. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this program!

    Rebecca Ricker


    • Dear Rebecca, You wrote an excellent letter to me in Chinese. Two minor errors. Second character should be 教。 Same for 5th character before last.

      Please write the same letter to me again.


      Also check out this website for learning conversational Chinese: < 實用視聽華語.htm>

  55. Dear Dr. Yen Mah,

    I just finished reading Falling Leaves, and found that your Niang and my Mum is quite similar. My Mum is bitter towards everything and is a genius in finding negative side of everything, especially her own daughters. I was also an achiever during school years, won scholarship for abroad studies, and published a book several years ago, but never have confidence in myself.

    To this day, I feel that I’m so hungry for recognition, always trying to do the best and beat everyone else, I believe this stemmed from lack of acknowledgement from my Mum. When I showed her my report card with flying colors, she said, “Do you think you can get a job with that?” 
     I was just 12 years old and I was the 2nd in the whole school graduating that year. 

    When I cooked for her, even though my sister and dad said it was very delicious and they asked for a 2nd serve, she just said, it’s not her taste. She was purposely absent during my c-sectio, my first ever surgery, and forbid my dad to attend to me, because she simply didn’t want to indulge me.

    I have a friend whose Mum is like that, too. I guess they didn’t have happy childhood themselves. Some people are like that. They believe life has been so hard on them, so others should feel the same.

    You are lucky, at least Niang was not your biological mother, you can always reason that for her mistreatments. For me, my friend, and Susan (your step sis), we just have to accept our fate and find solace in our mother in laws.

  56. Dear Dr. Mah,
    I have been learning a lot from your Chinese Character A Day…and I must say thank you for helping me refresh my Chinese Language. I have a question.. how do you say grandmother in Chinese? and how do you say milk in Chinese?
    your student,

    • Thank you for asking.

      For paternal grandmother, it’s 奶奶。Word for milk is also 奶。Pronounced nai in the third tone.

      For maternal grandmother, it’s 婆婆。


  57. Hello Dr. Mah,
    I asked a friend of mine in Hong Kong the following question, and also thought I would ask you as well.

    I have been studying language using a combination of flashcards from ePutonghua Laboratory (Thomas Ho), Rosetta Stone Mandarin, your website for “Chinese Character A Day” and The First and Second 100 Chinese Characters (Simplified Character Editions.) I enjoy all of these very much! Thank you for working so hard on your website.

    With Rosetta Stone a student is able to choose Simplified or Pin Yin or both, I study using both, as I would like to learn both the beautiful characters as well as the pronunciations. However, sometimes when I am studying with Rosetta Stone I can decipher the meaning, but not all of the Pin Yin words. For instance “ta men zai kan ta men de shu” 他们在看他们的书 I know this means “they are reading books” but I’m not sure if I am getting the meaning translated precisely.

    I am wondering if you know of an online translator in which you can input Pin Yin and get an English translation?


    Rebecca Huff

  58. 马教授,你怎么样?我的姓是沃尔特,给定的名称是凡妮莎。我想学习中国。你会教我?谢谢

    • Dear Vanessa,

      I am proud of you. I am developing a new game which will teach you Chinese while you play cards. Hope it will help you learn faster. Visit often and write to me again.


  59. Dear Dr Mah,

    I want to thank you so much for your books and the inspiration they have provided to me. I now have four of your books and regularly buy more to give to my friends. I tell them about the inspiration they have given to me and in so doing inspire them to read your books. They are all so equally inspired. Some years ago I had reached a cross road in my life and was searching for a new direction. “Falling Leaves” provided me with the direction and the inspiration. Today I teach people about the importance of self belief, the importance of self leadership and the importance of noble virtues. Your books have led me to further research into Chinese Philosophy and how it can be best used in the World of today. Most of my teaching, workshops and seminars are based upon such philosophies.

    Thank you so much and I hope that you will continue to change and enhance the lives of many people. My warmest good wishes to you.

    Anthony Foster

    • Dear Melinda,

      So glad you wrote to me in Chinese. Is this your first attempt? I am proud of you.

      Stay tuned because soon I will be placing a revolutionary card game on this website to teach you Chinese.


  60. 你好老師,
    我住在台灣. 我不知道怎麼寫中文但是我知道怎麼說中文. 我是希望可以進步我的寫法.

  61. Hello Adeline,
    Just want to say what a brilliant author you are and that I will always be a number one fan. I am currently working on my 2nd story to be submitted to literary agencies. Would it be wrong for me to ask for any advice? I hope to be a brilliant and well-respected author like you one day. Keep up the brilliant work.

    Your biggest fan,

      • 马教授,很谢谢你!!!我 很感谢你回应!我很高兴!你是一个灵感(You are such an inspiration!! 我很感谢 for the 机会 to 学习中文 for 免费!For all these, 我真诚谢谢你!=D I apologize for the lapses in grammar and spelling! I hope you understand my sentences.  : )Your student,Trisha

  62. Hello, Dr. Mah,

    My daughter and I have been led to your site after reading the Introduction to A Little Princess. It’s been a joy. Now I’m reading Falling Leaves.

    We’re trying to get involved in your Chinese lessons, but I’m having no success in installing Chinese on my computer. It seems we are missing a Windows CD. Oh well, we will keep trying.

    Sally Jaskold
    Brooks, Maine

    • Dear Sally, You do not need a CD. How old is your computer? If you go to the Apple store closest to your home, the salesman will show you how to install Chinese characters on a MacIntosh instantly.

      Please be patient and persist.

      Good luck.



  63. Dear Dr Mah,
    Thank you so much for making a website to learn Chinese although I would like to comment a little about it because I think that it will be a bit more reliable if the vocabulary have the steps on how to write the Chinese Characters.
    Xie Xie

    • Dear Sheila,

      We are presently exploring a method to incorporate the sequence of brush strokes in writing Chinese characters. Please be patient and persistent. Thanks.


    • Dear Sheila,

      Thank you. We are trying to add stroke sequence as one of the features of my website. Unfortunately, it is a complicated affair.


  64. Hi Adeline,

    Is there a difference between 水 (water) as referenced in this week’s lesson, and “kan” or water (I can’t type the ideogram) as referenced in the “bagua”? Are they different concepts of, and terms for, water?

    Thank you for your generosity in providing these lessons, and your patience with me as a student.

    Best regards,


  65. ni hao ma!
    Dr. Mah, i am faith from the Philippines, I had read your book falling leaves and it is one of the best book I had read so I got curious about the author which is you and i had found this site chinese character a day and it got all my attention i have listen to the audio of how to pronounce pinyin i got encourage to learn speaking Chinese language, before i was not interested because i was thinking it was hard to pronounce Chinese language but when i entered this site that change everything, I want to learn more about it because I like learning and speaking languages of different countries… and i want to add Chinese to the languages I’ve known.. so i wonder if you also could help me.
    can i ask you something? well besides Mandarin and English What is the other language you have known?

    hope to get in touch and be friends with you Ms. Adeline


      • i find it difficult to write Chinese letters when i’ve tried to… and still puzzled… by its too many meanings by each character.. what should i do?

          • thanks for the advised… indeed.. Chinese language is fascinating that’s why I’m encourage to learn it…i think i could now…thank’s to this website made by yours….

  66. Dear Dr. Mah

            我从网上看到“A Thousand Pieces of Gold”这本书中的一小段话,很感兴趣,但是中国买不到这本书,网上也没有电子版的,您能否告诉我怎么才能读到这本书?
           此外,关于汉语本身我有一些问题想同您讨论一下。在“#44-White”这一课中,您将“lucky”译为“辛运的”,但是我的语文老师告诉我的是“幸运的”。还有“#40 Red”这一课中的“礼品”应读作“lǐ pǐn”,等等。
           在您的网站中您提到的很多中国文化,但是其中一些让我觉得很费解,与我的认识很不相同,比如在“#44-White”中您说White corresponds to autumn and the West。我实在不能理解“白”和“秋天”与“西”之间有和联系。如果您愿意,我希望能和您进一步讨论。

    • Dear He Rui, Thank you for your email. Apologies for the delayed response.

      You can purchase `A Thousand Pieces of Gold’ by ordering it through It is not available through Kindle.

      You are correct in pointing out that lucky should be translated as 幸运 and not 辛运。

      Also correct in telling me that the pin yin of 礼品 should be LI PIN and not LI PING.

      I will ask my web-master to make the appropriate corrections.

      It takes a lot of time, energy and money to keep this website going. Thank you for pointing out my mistakes. Please keep in touch.

      By the way, I am a medical doctor.

      Adeline Mah, M.D.

  67. hello Dr. Mah! i am janna, 12 years old and i’m from philippines.

    i bought your book “Chinese Cinderella” a week ago and it has inspired me a lot! thank you so much for writing your own story. it really made a great impact in my life! please continue to inspire other people! :))

    God bless you!

  68. Hi Dr Mah, my name is Maiee and I’m a student from Australia. I have read your book ‘Falling Leaves’ and thought it was just the most inspiring book ever! I cried so much, your words really touched me. You have gone through so much in your childhood and I thank you for writing a book about this for everyone to share your emotions; it’s truly amazing! I am so glad now that everthing has worked out for you. You have endured all and followed your dream. I, too, want to be a doctor. Perhaps a brain surgeon? I understand it’s a lot of hard work; I look up to you for your onging dedication and persistence! Right now at my school, the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences, we are studying your book. We each have to give a presentation to the class and I’m doing talking about: The powerful role of Aunt Baba in embedding Adeline with the Confucian values that shapes who she is, who she becomes and who she will always be. Finally, thank you for giving us all an opportunity to grasp insight into your incredible life. I have certainly learnt a lot about myself, the history of China and how grateful I should be with what I have. I look forward to commencing your ‘Chinese character a day’ program. Thank you for this consideration, you are truly an inspiration!!
    Maiee 🙂

    • Dear Maiee,

      Thank you and happy studying. Please click on the video link and see 3-year-old Silas playing my computer word game. If he can do it, you can do it.

      Please believe that you can accomplish anything if you try hard enough.

      Keep in touch.


  69. Dear Dr. Mah,
    My name is Faizah. I take Chinese at my school for one term. I plan to learn Chinese through this website after this term is over. I read your amazing book, Chinese Cinderella. I think this book is really sad, but meaningful. Thank you for this wonderful gift,

  70. Dear Dr. Mah,

    Hello, i’m fourteen years old and
    I’m a student from Australia. I would just like to say how beautiful and inspiring your books Falling Leaves and Chinese Cinderella are. My class read Chinese Cinderella, and I loved it so much I went and read Falling Leaves as well. I smiled and cried as I read through your journey. It was a brilliant idea from my english to read your book, otherwise I would never have known what a inspiring book it was. I’m glad you went back to writing after being a physician. I’m happy the world can be blessed with the wonder of your words.

    From Pascalle

  71. Dear Dr Mah,
    Can you please give me an advice on how to memorise the Chinese characters? I have Chinese movies but my parents wouldn’t let me watch it because the rating may be M or M15+. I don’t go to a lot of areas filled with Chinese characters because the place I live is far away from that Chinese area. To make things worse my memory is not good so can you please help me?

    • Dear Sheila,

      I am in the process of developing some more games to help you memorise Chinese characters. Meanwhile, please be patient and play the card games that I have already established. Write to me again in a few months.


  72. Dearest Dr. Mah, I read 2 of your books (Falling Leaves and Chinese Cinderella) when I was in elementary, and it helped me to appreciate my Chinese heritage. I never took my Chinese classes seriously so I only really took Mandarin seriously in university and when I spent a few months in China to learn more. I can’t believe I’ve only recently discovered your website. Thank you so much, I am especially fond of how you recite the words as it practices my listening skills, and helps me to improve my poor ‘sheng yin’. I hope to share this website with my friends who are looking to learn Mandarin, or improve their Mandarin. Again, thank you so much.


    • 黄绮思,Thank you for writing. We are trying to develop memory games on iPad to help learning Chinese characters. If you have any ideas and suggestions as to how we can improve our site, please let me know.


      • Dear Dr. Mah,
        I remember from a long time ago how my father helped me to remember some chinese words by showing me how those words were first created. Like how 山 is a drawing of 3 mountains, how 田 is a picture of a farm field, or how 天 is the earth and sky and man in the middle. I think this is a good method for teaching some basic Chinese words.
        Also, I read somewhere in the comments about someone asking how to learn to write Chinese characters. I presently use this dictionary which I bought in China, it’s from a local brand called Besta. They have this option in the dictionary where you can learn how to write the word with the correct strokes, first it shows you the correct order of strokes and then asks you to follow after it. I think making a program like this for the ipad would be very useful in teaching people how to write Chinese characters correctly. 北京语言大学 (Beijing Language and Culture University)’s books for beginners also have exercises where students can practice writing the strokes for characters used in the chapter. 
        Personally, I don’t follow the stroke order because I’ve gotten used to writing Chinese words for a long time already. I learned 繁体字 when I was little, so no one taught me the correct strokes for 简体字. Even though strokes are not so important as long as the character is readable, I think learning this when starting Mandarin is very important.
        I hope that some of my ideas will be helpful to you. I look forward to hearing what you think. 🙂 Again, thank you so much,

        Your avid reader,

        • 黄 绮 思, Thank you for your comments. We will be developing other memory games to facilitate the learning of Chinese on the iPAD soon. Stay tuned.


    • 你好黄绮思!I am an graduate student majored in life science in Wuhan University.And I would like to discuss Chinese heritage and culture with you.


  73. Hello. I love your lessons! I’ve been following your website for only two months and I love it. I like how you have the sentences with their Chinese translations and even audio files. From the completeness and thoroughness of your lessons, I can see your passion for teaching Chinese.
    I noticed you said you also know Cantonese. I know a little because of my 广东 grandfather 外公, but I also love Mandarin. I’ve been studying Mandarin for two years, so it is way above my Cantonese.

    But my ultimate goal is to become nearly fluent in Mandarin and then try to learn Cantonese. That’ll be a big challenge. I was wondering, did you learn Cantonese or is it your native language?

  74. Dr. Mah
    Lesson 51#中有几个字的读音我认为应该是这样的:“故(gù)事(shi)”,“传(chuán)说(shuō)”,“中(zhōng)国(guó)”。“事”字本来是应该读“(shì)”,但当它与“故”一起组成“故事”这个词时则应读作“(shi)”。就像“妻子”一样。
    Lesson 52#中,实际上silk moth是能飞的,它们的眼睛一点也不瞎。

    • Dear 马教授,I have a 8 year old daughter who is a huge fan of yours.I have read Chinese Cinderella and Falling Leaves.My daughter cried when she read your book and I do hope my daughter will be driven and perserverve in the face of adversity just like you.–Kimberly.

  75. Dr. Mah,

    My name is Carolina Amane. I live in the United States and I am a Graphic Design Major at the University of The Arts. I am a senior and I am doing my thesis on how The fairytale Cinderella helps in the transformation in a women’s life from a young girl to a woman. I came across your book and I found your Chinese Cinderella to be compelling and useful for my thesis. I would to know if in any way the original story of Cinderella written by charles perrault or other versions you know of helped you in your own story. Did you know the story before writing your own. Did the story encourage you to succeed in your own life. 
    I would be so thankful if we could discuss your story. It would be helpful if I get your own viewpoint. 
    Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. You can contact me at [email protected] or [email protected].


    Carolina A

  76. 马 教 授 你 好 吗 ? 我 姓 放热个呢 叫 分亿度米秒 。我 想 学 中 文 你 肯 叫 我 吗。

  77. 马教授,你好吗?我姓Pereira,叫 Stefanie。我想学中文,你肯教我吗?谢谢。I hope I have typed the letter from your first lesson correctly. I would love to learn as many languages as I possibly can, and Chinese is one of them. Thank you once again. 谢谢!

    • Thank you. You are a fast learner. Stay tuned because we are developing more educational games. They will be on the iPad


      • Hello,Adeline. 我叫陳澆桐 I read your book which was ‘Chinese cinderallare the mystery of the song denasty painting’ but I have a really important question want to ask you? Do you mind???

          • Dear Dr Mah,

            Thank you so much for your reply, your book ‘Chinese Cinderella’ is so appealing and I was totally intrigued by the plot. The ending is really wide and broad, people have so much opportunity to imagine. But I really want to know what’s happened to Ah zhao because it didn’t exactly explain.
            By the way, I’m turning 16 this year.
            Love from Toby

  78. 马较授,你好吗?我姓Gunawan,叫Goldie。我想学中文。你肯教我吗?谢谢。

    Dear Dr. Mah,
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn Chinese. I am very glad and grateful that I can finally learn the language of my ancestors. Before coming to the United States, my mother had enrolled me in Mandarin courses. But, after 6 years of only speaking English, I have forgotten most of my Mandarin. I truly am happy that these lessons are able to re-polish what I had before.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    • Thank you, Goldie, for your note. It means a lot to me that you appreciate my lessons. By the way, I am in the process of developing a word game to teach Chinese on the iPad (for free). Keep tuned!


  79. 在#53中,我认为,将filaments译为“丝”或“纤维”比 “条”更合适。

  80. #55
    “生产丝的方法是不准被洩漏的贸易秘密 ”一句中,“洩”是旧式写法,现在普通话中均写作“泄”。
    “一直到十三世纪後,丝的生产已经遍佈(普遍的)在义大利以及欧洲各地.” 中“後”简体为“后”,“佈”简体为“布”,“义大利”通常写作“意大利”

  81. Dr Mah,

    My name is nina i am 13 years old and i have just finished reading your book chinese cinderella (for english), this story touched me a lot and i thought that it was the best book i have ever read. 

    I now have to do an assignment on the book and i would really like to know if you could help me, i don’t have an online version of the assignment at the moment but i will ask my teacher so i could send it to you

    Lots of love Nina

  82. 马教授,你好吗?我姓 Schepers 叫英歌。我想学中文。你肯教我吗?谢谢。I cannot get the book downloaded yet.

  83. Hello Dr Mah

    我叫陳澆桐, I can speak and write Cantonese but I’m pretty bad with the pronunciation of mandarin, how do you think I could improve it?
    And I read your book’ the chinese cinderalla the mystery of the song dynasty painting’ it was a really attractive book that I couldn’t stop reading it until the end…..祝你身體健康!I hope you could read traditional characters….

    • Dear Toby,

      I am in the process of developing a game on iPad that will teach you how to pronounce Chinese characters in Mandarin. Please keep tuned!


      • Dear dr Mah
        I’m so happy that you replied my comment, I’m going to install the game that you were talking about but I wonder how could i do it???
        And I come from hong kong, I’m so glad that you have stayed in hong kong before? How do you find it?

        • Toby,

          I am developing my iPad game to teach Chinese at this very moment. Hopefully, it will be installed by May or June this year. I will make an announcement when it is ready.

          Hongkong is a marvelous city. Do you go to school there? Good luck!

          马 医 生

          • Dear dr Mah

            Hello,你好嗎? I was studying in hong kong before but then I went to Australia to study as an oversea student. I’m still learning English at the moment, hope I could get better for both of the mandarin and English. I love learning different languages, they are so fascinating and I’m so exhilarate once I understand what other foreigners are talking about. I’m learning english, coincide with learning mandarin and German.
            PS. Sometimes, my English grammar isn’t correct. 對不起!

  84. Thank you for your  wonderful books, website and lessons.  You are a truly inspiring example for women everywhere.

  85. Dear dr Mah, my name is Toby 陳澆桐. I tried to leave a message for you last time but it didnt work for me, my comments were all gone. So do you what the problem was?

  86. 马 教 授,你 好 吗? 我 姓_Schepers 叫 Inge/英奇. 我 想 学 中 文。 你 肯 教 我 吗? 谢 谢。我喜欢你的书。我从南非来。我今年住马来西亚。

  87. Dear Dr. Mah,

    Greetings from Chinese American Reading Association, a non-profit educational organization. My name is Yulan Chung. I currently serve as Director of Chinese American Reading Association. We are establishing a new Children’s Chinese Library. The library is scheduled to open its door to the public in April, 2012 We would like to invite you to be our Honor Guest if possible.

    This is the very first Children’s Chinese Library in Southern California. We hope it will provide important service to many families who have children learning Chinese as a second, foreign or heritage language. Your favorable consideration is very much appreciated. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further question. Thank you very much!

    Yulan Chung

    • Dear Ms Chung,

      Thank you for your invitation. Where is your library located? What’s the opening date?

      Adeline Mah

      • Dear Dr. Mah,

        Thank you so very much for your prompt reply. The library is located in 18927 Daisetta St. Rowland Heights and it’s scheduled to open its door on April 22. It’s part of our celebration of “2012 World Book and Copyright Day”. Please let me know if you have any further question. Thank you!!

        Yulan Chung
        Chinese American Reading Association
        Email: [email protected]

  88. Dear Dr Mah,
    I am an Italian woman and when I was a student I got a University Degree in Chinese language and culture.
    So many years have passed since then, but I am still loving this beautiful language although it is quite difficult for me to practice it.
    I’ve read your books and I really appreciate your interest and love for ancient chinese history. In my town, there is now a wonderful exibition dedicated to the last chinese dynasty and the exhibits, from Manchurian collections and archives, have never before been seen in the west. Fantastic! (exhibition website: – unfortunatly only in Italian)
    I have a question for you as you are so aknowledged with Chinese history. Do you think that the founder of Qing dynasty, Nurachi, chose his eighth son Huangtaiji only because he was a very bright and intelligent child? Or simply beacuse he was the eighth son and the number eight in China is highly regarded? Thank you very much for your kind answer, with warm regards

  89. Dear Adeline Yen Mah(Chinese Cinderella)

    I read your book (chinese cinderella ) and it was brillant!!!

    I was wondering do you come to schools?

    I am such a big fan and please may YOU and not anyone else reply!

  90. Dear Dr. Mah,

    Thank you so very much for your kind reply. We really hope we may have the honor to invite you to the opening ceremony in April as well as “meet the author” event in June . The Children’s Chinese Library will be the very first one in Southern California. Your support means a lot to us. If you don’t mind you may email me at [email protected]. I would like to send you more details about the library events. I can’t attach files here.

    Thank you!!

    Yulan Chung
    Chinese American Reading Association
    Email: [email protected]

  91. Dear Dr. Mah,

    I have just finished reading your book Chinese Cinderella.  What a sad yet inspirational book it is.  Your persistence and determination to gain your father’s respect during your childhood are qualities to be admired and emulated.  I also was happy to read that you did succeed in gaining permission to go to England to be educated.  And that you have had a highly successful medical career, writing career, marriage and lovely children.
    I will surely read your other books.

  92. Dear Adeline, 
    Dear Adeline,
    My name is Yvonne, Yvonne Yih Yu. 俞懿. I enjoy reading your novels a lot. I am a very big fan. I am Chinese and I already bought your book ‘ china, land of dragons and emperors’ and I find it a very good read. A few times at school, we talked about china and I lent my book to the teacher so that she can read it out to the class. I already know Chinese and I was inspired by our book so much that I decided to do my project on china as my country. After reading your book, i now know many more facts about china than I did before and I got a very. Good grade on my project. I was wondering, do you know cantonese? 

  93. Dear Adeline, 
    My name is Yvonne, Yvonne Yih Yu. 俞懿. I enjoy reading your novels a lot. I am a very big fan. I am Chinese and I already bought your book ‘ china, land of dragons and emperors’ and I find it a very good read. A few times at school, we talked about china and I lent my book to the teacher so that she can read it out to the class. I already know Chinese and I was inspired by our book so much that I decided to do my project on china as my country. After reading your book, i now know many more facts about china than I did before and I got a very. Good grade on my project. I was wondering, do you know cantonese? 

  94. Dear Dr. Mah,
    I have been religiously reading the lessons you’ve been sending to me.  But I have one question…Do you think the First Emperor is a bad person because of what he did ( such as burning of books) or is a good person for his deeds?

      • Dear Adeline,

        I love the Chinese Cinderella series. I discovered the first series when I was at the school library. I was a library monitor, I was dusting a bookshelf. Then at the bottom of the bookshelf I saw the book, I took it from the bookshelf and flick through the pages. I read the back and decided to borrow the book. Even my library teacher read it and said it was Fantastic. Are you going to write more Chinese Cinderella series? I love the series except I hated the Niang. My big sister says that it’s for 13-15 years old people and I’m only 9 and a half, but I don’t care. Every time I pick up the book I read for 1-3 hours and then have a break. Some 成语 that I don’t understand I would ask my dad. And why did you wrote in Chinese Traditional instead of Chinese Simplified in the books?

        From: Victoria


  95. Dr. Mah,
    I got to your website after reading your little book about your childhood.
    Chinese script is something that fascinates me for a long, long time.
    Since when sites that teach Chinese appeared on the web, few years ago, I started to listen to podcasts, which helped me to became familiar with the sound of Mandarin and understand few words.
    But I did not progress much with the script itself.

    I am not native English speaker. I learned  by myself, after graduatingMy English after graduating high school was of nil level. I mastered the language nevertheless, by reading booklets in simplified English from the Longmans series. In short time my English was good enough to read serious literature and today my English reading skills are above average of native English speakers.

    I hope to repeat this learning experience, at least to some extent, with Chinese too.
    Will you help me to achieve that, Professor Mah?

    • Gladly. I am encouraged by your email to try harder. Please keep following my site because we will be launching an exciting IPad game in June to teach Chinese for free. Let me have your feedback.

      Good luck!

      Adeline Mah

  96. Dear Dr. Mah,
    Have you ever considered writing a book of lessons on having good manners in China?  Now that so many Americans are traveling to China, it is more important than ever to understand the basic rules of good behavior in Chinese culture.

    We love you books, and wish you the very best health and happiness.

    Mai and Steve Majewski

    • Dear Mai and Steve,

      Thanks you for your email. You pose an interesting question. What would you like to know about good manners in China? Can you be more specific? What topics do you want me to cover?


  97. 情爱的Mah太太。。。你很厉害!  谢谢你教我们普通话。    

    Dear Mrs. Mah, you’re amazing/great!  Thank you for teaching us Mandarin.  我特别喜欢 your flashcards on the story of silk and the Qin Dynasty.  It’s easy to learn 用这个办法。。。and I feel like I’m in the same room with you.   I’d like to take classes with you…do you ever teach?  I live 5 miles away…in Newport Beach.  我大约有十三个月学中文。。。我自己学。  我需要很多练习,很多帮助!  我等你说。。。 Here is a pix of my husband and I in Kunming, China…last year…in Walmart.  Grace.

    • Dear Grace,

      Stay tuned. We will be developing an IPad game to teach Chinese which will be launched in June, 2012.

      Thanks for your input.


      •  马教授,我 have 一中国的 friend (李海宁)(我 don’t know if that’s the correct 字). Everytime 我 type or attempt to say 妈妈骂马,马骂妈妈,她 gets angry at me.

        我 thinks an iPad app would be great! (我 am on 我的 iPad now!)

        谢 谢

  98. I’m 12 and from Sydney. I didn’t really know where to write this and I’m sure you have had these type of comments before but, I think you are a really inspiring woman. Throughout your books I experienced a terrible wave of emotions as I can relate with your childhood which made me so much appreciative of your books. I honestly believe you are one of few that many people look up to.
     I wish you a healthy and happy life! 

  99. Dear Dr Mah,
    I got your website link thru google search looking to learn mandarin online. I totally do not know anything about mandarin (yet) but I hope to study thru your one word a day lessons. I hope to learn enough to hold a decent conversation in mandarin one day. 🙂

  100. Dear Professor Mah,

    I have only read Chinese Cinderella, but it is a very inspiring book and I hope to read more of your works. I was wondering, where do you find the courage to write these books? I’ve read that you wish to give future unwanted children hope, but still, I am very confused. It is only my opinion, but I would keep it locked it inside forever… I guess I’m too cowardly. If you have the time, please respond.

    From, Li

  101. Hi Dr. Mah.

    I have just read your book : Chinese Cinderella and found it very interesting.

    I really really like to be able to learn Chinese but I don’t know how to type chinese on my laptop.

    Hope you could help me Dr. Mah.

    Regards and more power to you. 😀

    *I’m planning to take chinese as my elective in 4th year High School. :))

  102. Dear Dr. Mah,
    I am teaching a Chinese Boy in 7th Grade to Read English.  I was thinking of using your book “Falling Leaves” Do you think it will be too hard for him? 
    Thank you

  103. Dr Mah,

    I came to this website after reading your book, and I subscribed to your chinese character a day. I just want to thank you for doing that, it’s a very smart way of teaching. Because it comes only  once a week and it’s so short, whenever I learn a new phrase, it sticks in my mind and therefore, adding to my vocab.  With all the mp3 and the link, it’s just a lot easier to study from you than my textbooks. It’s such a lot of work and you’re doing this for free.

    The story itself is so entertaining and informative, especially for an overseas Chinese like me. I get to learn my ancestor’s language and history at the same time. 
    Thank you so much! 

  104. Dear Adeline Yen Mah,
    I’m a beginner at learning Chinese. How long do you recommend for me to study Chinese each day?

  105. Dear Adeline, When I click the “comment” link on the “where to start” welcome page it gives me this message “Error 404 – Not Found

    So, I hope it is o.k. to post my introduction letter here.

    马教授,你好吗?我姓阿拉浪漫脚阿雷利。 我想学中文。你肯叫我吗?谢谢。 Thank you for sharing your knowledge and encouraging people to learn Mandarin. I hope to someday be able to communicate clearly in this language. I have signed up for the Chinese Character a day emails, and downloaded “China Land of Dragons and Emperors”. I really appreciate all of the effort and the tools that you have provided. I will do my best! 🙂 Thanks again. I really enjoy your site.

  106. Dear Dr. Mah,
    I would like to thank you entirely for your humbling and eye-opening book Falling Leaves. I studied Chinese Cinderella in English class when I was twelve, and the compelling style of your writing, so easy to read and understand, inspired me to seek out your full autobiography. What I would most like to thank you for is for allowing me to see a world far beyond my own. The books I read are usually fantasy fiction, and Falling Leaves is the only factual book I have ever sought out to read on my own, and I absorbed every detail. Even today, six years after I pulled Falling Leaves off the shelves, I still remember the profound impact on me, and I tell everyone who asks me that it changed my view on the world, and I like to think that it made me wiser, so thank you.

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