Phoebe says:
February 10, 2011 at 1:44 am

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,


adeline says:
February 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

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.


Phoebe says:
February 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

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,

adeline says:
February 11, 2011 at 12:14 am


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.


Phoebe says:
February 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

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 “”?


adeline says:
February 12, 2011 at 8:57 am

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.

Phoebe says:
February 13, 2011 at 1:30 am

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?)

adeline says:
February 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

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

Phoebe says:
February 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

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 greatful 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

adeline says:
February 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

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 different characters both pronounced MA. I hope you will continue to follow my lessons. Adeline

adeline says:
February 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

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

Benjamin Daly-Jones (博伟良) says:
February 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

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.

Jessica says:
July 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm

So sorry. I think I made a mistake before! I am still so new at this.

Lee Khee Hong says:
July 10, 2010 at 1:27 am

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

Kim says:
July 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

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.

Chloe says:
July 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

马 脚 受,你 好吗?我姓 叫 。我想学中文。你肯 叫我吗?谢谢。

Callum McBride says:
July 2, 2010 at 3:07 am

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!

Kerstin Tieng says:
July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

马教授, 你 好吗?我 姓 陳叫怡文. 我想学中文. 你肯教我吗?谢谢