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Free Learning 1

There are a lot of free learning phone applications and websites. If you would like to learn a new language, I would recommend Duolingo.

You can download the free application on your smart phone or go to the Duolingo website. Look for the green owl!

What I like about Duolingo:

  1. It is easy to learn any languages. For English speakers, you can learn Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, French, German and many more.
  2. It is arranged in categories and is from easy to difficult.
  3. You can learn together with your friends.
  4. The new updates have included Japanese for English speakers. I have been waiting for this. Before this, I change my setting to Japanese speaker who wants to learn English language 😛
  5. The new updates have also included creating or joining a club to learn languages and achievement badges that you can collect and motivate yourself to continue learning.

What you need to do to master a language:

Although Duolingo can help you to learn a language, you need to prepare a notebook to write notes. You also need to do further research on books or websites to learn more about a language as there are no notes or explanation given.

Next: Free Learning 2

Disclaimer: I have not been commissioned to review Duolingo by anyone. This post is based on my personal experience and personal preference after trying other applications.


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Happy 51st Birthday, Singapore

It is August again. To wish Singapore a happy birthday, here is a haiku for Singapore:

In a beautiful

breezy rainy eighth-month sky…

shout “Happy Birthday!”

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Once, my student asked me to write a haiku. A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. The haiku poems consist of three lines. The first and the last lines of a haiku have five syllables and the second line has seven syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

If you would like to play language game with Primary school students, haiku is a good option. It is short and seldom rhymes, so it is easy for beginners to start making poems of their own.

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Note 1: Strawberry generation is a hot topic. You might find similar writings on the same topic.

Note 2: The above is prepared for my student for his examination.

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Book Review — 小王子

The Little Prince is a famous book, but it has never been in my bucket list because of my education background. During school, we have a long list of Chinese story books and novels to read that I have never thought of reading The Little Prince.

One day, my friend lends me the book. Maybe it is time for me to read the book?

小 = little, small

王子 = prince


作者:Antoine de Saint-Exupéry




The Little Prince

This is a bilingual book. I read the Chinese language section while referring to the English language section once in a while. After reading the book, the impression I have on The Little Prince is only one word: sad.

The Little Prince, whom we do not know his age, has his own views on the universe. He seems pessimistic at times, but he is optimistic at other times. I believe people at different ages read with different perspectives and gets different conclusions. As a mum-to-be, I think about my child’s future while thinking about the philosophy that I would teach my child in future.

I like the words from a three-petals flower the most:

“They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.”


Literally, the flower is happy that she has roots that help her not to be blown away by the wind. On the other hand, we can think of roots as our traditions and cultures that define us. I start thinking about what types of “roots” to give to my child.

Have you read The Little Prince? If no, please have a thought at reading it, at least once. If yes, please consider to read it the second time or the third time or the n time. The simple story is sure to give you some surprises even you have read it before.

For children, I would recommend this book to be read as a story book to learn new vocabulary and learn two languages at the same time. For the philosophy part, we leave it to the adults.

Happy reading!




自从爸爸知道我的存在后,他叫我“小布瓜”。这个名字来自几米的其中一本书,pourquoi (法语:为什么;音译念“布瓜”)。书里说,小孩子有很多问题都得不到解答。爸爸曾经让妈妈读了这本书,所以妈妈也不反对这个小名。我想,只要不是木瓜、冬瓜、南瓜,我也不反对。



(September 2014)



Happy Birthday, Singapore!

August is a month of celebration for Singapore. 

Happy Birthday, Singapore!

Selamat Hari Lahir, Singapura!



Singapore is 49 years old this year!

As I am learning Japanese, I would like to wish Singapore a happy birthday in Japanese too:


(If you would like to use the Japanese phrase to wish your friend a happy birthday, you may use お誕生日おめでとうございます or お誕生日おめでとう depending on how close you are to him / her.)



Energy Saving Mode: ON

I saw this on a person’s shirt:

I’m not lazy, I’m just on energy saving mode.

For the last few days, I have been on energy saving mode. Other than not writing any posts, my life continues. I actually have done more reading and resting for the past week. 

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There is a Chinese idiom that can be used for this situation: 休息是为了走更长的路。

休息 = rest

是 = is (verb-to-be)

为了 = in order to

走 = walk / travel

更长的路 = a longer way


休息是为了走更长的路 means people should take a break to travel a longer journey. If you keep walking or travelling without a break, you may get exhausted. In learning or working, we need to take a break once in a while, so that we can make a review of what we have achieved, what we could have done better and what is our next course of action. Even Sleeping Beauty sleeps to wait for the love of her life. 

The equivalent English idiom is “After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.” There are also other equivalent Chinese idioms, for example: 休息是为了走更远的路 (to travel further) and 休息是为了走更长远的路 (to travel longer and further).




Have you had enough rest? Yes, rest does not mean you are lazy, it just means you are on energy saving mode. The energy saved will be used for more productive applications.