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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Skritter's New Team Member: Olle Linge

Get this man a cartoon avatar!

Hi! I'm Olle Linge, the newest member of the Skritter team. You might have heard about me, either in last week's newsletter or from somewhere else (I have been known to write about learning Chinese occasionally). I have joined the team in an attempt to improve the softer parts of Skritter, which basically means this blog, the newsletter and social media. There have been some great posts here over the years, but since everybody's busy improving other aspects of Skritter, the blog has been lying fallow for some time, something I hope to change, starting today. Therefore, if you want to help us improve the blog, the newsletter or our social media presence, this is a good opportunity to do so!

I would also like to take this chance to introduce myself. My name is Olle Linge (凌雲龍) and as you can see from the traditional characters in my name, I have spent most of my study time in Taiwan. I started learning Chinese in 2007 (I was 23 at the time) and I'm now in the second year of a master's degree program for teaching Chinese as a second language in Taipei. Bonus points to anyone who guessed that I'm in the same program as Jake! The program is taught in Chinese mostly for native speakers, showing that it's certainly possible to learn Chinese to a reasonably advanced level within just a few years. Apart from my native Swedish, I have also learnt English (without leaving Sweden) and French (with limited time in France), meaning that I have learnt languages in all kinds of different situations and settings. Currently, I'm doing research in phonology and tone perception, so it's not directly related to Skritter, but it's still awesome.

When I'm not engrossed in reading exciting research reports about different factors influencing perceptual training, I write about how to learn Chinese on my own website, Hacking Chinese. The ”hacking” here refers to gaining access to hidden information using a skilled method, so it's not about cybercrime and I have no idea how to hack your girlfriend's Facebook account to see if she's cheating on you (I'm not making this request up, I have actually received several such job offers). The tagline of the site is “everything you want to know about learning Chinese but no-one will tell you”, which sums it up pretty well, I think. I write about anything that I feel is neglected and needs to be brought out into the light.

It's actually a bit scary to think that the articles I've written about learning Chinese contain more words than two copies of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, but compared with novel, I hope my writing is slightly more optimistic and encouraging. I seem to like different articles than my readers, but if you want to get a glimpse of what I normally write, here are some samples that are popular with readers and that I'm fond of myself:
  1. Tones are more important than you think
  2. Kickstart your character learning with the 100 most common radicals
  3. Remembering is a skill you can learn
  4. Time quality: Studying the right thing at the right time
  5. The 10,000 hour rule – Blood, sweat and tears
You can also check me out on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook! Enough about me, though, what about you? What do you think I should do to improve the newsletter, the blog or social media? What should I avoid? Of course, I have some ideas I'm eager to try out, but rather than giving everything away now, I intend to spend the next few months showing you instead. I'm happy to be a part of the Skritter team and I'm looking forward to interacting with you again!
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