Exclusive news – the HSK1 Adult Challenge class yielded great success

Results for the HSK1 exam conducted on 23rd March were released last week. Seven students taught by ThinkChinese (5 from Adult Challenge class) took the exam. All students passed, 4 of which have obtained full marks!

ThinkChinese first series of Adult Challenge class started in early January this year. It endeavours to engage more adult learners by offering the course in a more time and cost effective way. It reduces the learning hours whilst maintaining a good standard. After 10 weeks of 15 hours study, the group sat the exam in Jersey College for Girls. The assessment lasted for 40 minutes, within which time 35 questions including listening and reading were attempted.

Prior to this exam, 6 of our students had obtained full marks for the HSK1. To have 4 students achieve full marks in one sitting is rare and remarkable. The results reflected our students’ work ethic and their continued hard work.

Having done the HSK 1 challenge course, I was impressed by how quickly I could see an improvement. These classes are small providing a very friendly environment. If you are thinking about studying Chinese this is the place to go.

– Sara from Adult Challenge course

Having finished the HSK1 Adult Challenge Course, now I can 100% recommend ThinkChinese (the Challenge Course specially). This course was fast paced in a very positive way. After each lesson I would leave feeling like I’ve learning so many new things and had a few new ways I could express myself in Chinese. Whether your goal is to learn Chinese for business or as a hobby, ThinkChinese is certainly the way to go.

– Leo from Adult Challenge course

To know more about the Adult Challenge course, please go to here.

Our next challenge course is due to start next week. 7 students will set out for their exciting venture. Their exam has been arranged in mid July. We look forward to another success!

The Adult Challenge course in September is now open for enrolment. Please contact our office, should you be interested in this opportunity.

Localisation – What can it do for your business?

A recent HSBC advertisement proposes five reasons why we should do business in China:

  1. It’s one of the largest global economies and growing;
  2. It’s one of the world’s largest digital economies;
  3. It has more consumers than the US and Europe combined;
  4. It’s the most attractive for inbound investment; and
  5. As a nation it is in transition and open to opportunity.

The reasons why are well rehearsed and require no elaboration. What ThinkChinese can offer to local businesses is assistance with the how. What does a business need to know before entering the Chinese market?

One of the first things a business needs to recognise is that there is a whole range of cultural nuances which can impact upon its reception by a Chinese audience. Building on our existing service offering in Jersey, ThinkChinese can now introduce our brand new localisation service, which demonstrates our commitment to strengthen the links between Jersey and China even further. Using our experience, our knowledge of industry and cultural insights, we are well positioned to add value to a local business’s efforts to establish a presence in the Chinese market.

What is localisation?

Localisation is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localisation process. In addition to translation, the localisation process may also include:

  • Adapting graphics to target markets
  • Modifying content to suit the tastes and consumption habits of other markets
  • Adapting design and layout to properly display translated text
  • Converting to local requirements (such as currencies and units of measure)
  • Using proper local formats for dates, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Addressing local regulations and legal requirements

A translated website or article only tells your potential customers what you do. A localised product or service tells our potential customers what you do for them!

There are numerous examples of localisation which allowed business to thrive, the most famous of which we think is KFC.

KFC had an infamous localising blunder in China in the 80’s. Their catchphrase “finger-licking good” was literally translated to “eat your fingers off”. This set KFC back in the Chinese market. But they bounced back with gusto by adjusting their menus in China. Obviously KFC is famous for its “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, but in China they added local foods to join the western menu. Foods such as Chinese porridge, traditional Chinese breakfast breads and a variety of rice-based dishes were introduced. This allowed for mass appeal of their food. Young people would try this new American meal, while older people could focus on more traditional dishes. This spectrum of food allowed everyone to enjoy something in KFC. The Chinese had accepted them into their culture. To date, KFC attracts much more customers in mainland China than its competitor McDonalds, whose products are the same globally.

Cited from Transit

For more information about our localisation services, please contact our team at (01534) 864973. ThinkChinese has a proven track record in providing professional translating and interpreting services. Its clients have included the Jersey government, local trust companies, law firms and other service providers.

China’s Easter: The Qingming Festival

“Do Chinese people celebrate Easter?” the students asked curiously. 

The sun shines brilliantly on England in April. Drawing on the eggs, decorating the straw hats, the students are happily preparing for the Easter. While in China, people are busy with tomb sweeping and enjoying beautiful sceneries in spring outings. 

“Chinese people do not celebrate Easter. We have Qingming instead.”

Qingming and Easter are both in April and they share the same aspiration for the bursting vitality. The earth awakes, the flowers blossom, the grass grows up and the trees turn green. Both Qingming and Easter stand for people’s love and praise for life. 

“How do you celebrate Easter?”

“We eat chocolate eggs,” and every kid would answer “Stay with my family”. 

“What do we do on Qingming festival?” I asked after the videos and PPT presentations.

“On Qingming, the whole family would go to sweep their ancestors’ tombs”,“People decorate the tombs with twigs”, “Commemorate the ancestors”, “Go for spring outings”, “Flying kites”…

Therefore, both Qingming and Easter is a day for family reunion. 

But there are significant differences between Qingming and Easter. Basically, Qingming is a festival commemorating and offering sacrifices to the ancestors while Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Chinese festivals are always related with people while most of the western festivals are closely linked with Jesus Christ. These are also the differences between the Chinese culture concerning human feelings and western religious belief in God. 

After understanding the differences and similarities between Qingming and Easter, the students made beautiful posters comparing the two festivals and therefore they knew more about the Chinese culture.

Source: http://english.hanban.org/article/2014-06/16/content_541316.htm

Adult Challenge Class – Global Certificate in 10 Weeks

Learning Chinese to obtaining a certificate has gradually gained popularity among school students since ThinkChinese started to offer proficiency courses in 2016. For adults, studying outside work adds pressure; the time spent on learning and revision before a certificate can be contemplated have put many off from trying. To address this issue, ThinkChinese came up with a solution!

Earlier this year, we re-introduced the HSK Level 1 course in a different format. The new course is taught for 1.5 hours each week and takes just 10 weeks to complete. Six students raised to the challenge. Their course is due to complete before the end of March with an assessment shortly after.

Whilst the new course has extended the learning hours by 30 minutes each week, it has shortened the total learning hours. The revision and homework will therefore increase. Generally speaking, it takes 18-20 hours in about 5 months to complete the HSK Level 1, if taught by ThinkChinese. Courses offered by other providers may take longer depending on the motivation of the students and the experience of the teachers.

HSK courses is series of courses authorised by Hanban UK, the Chinese proficiency exam board funded by the Chinese government. Hanban has committed to promote the Chinese culture and language overseas since early 2000. ThinkChinese is proud to be linked with Hanban since 2016. At the end of each level, students can choose to sit an assessment to obtain a certificate. The certificate is globally recognised. Levels beyond 3 (6 levels in total) can be used for the application of Chinese universities. Through ThinkChinese’s teaching, so far over 100 students have sat the HSK assessments in Jersey and all achieved excellent results!

Our new Adult Challenge Course starting after Easter Holiday is now recruiting. Please contact info@thinkchinese to enrol or for detailed information.

2018 Eisteddfod Chinese Poem Competition


The Mandarin section of the 2018 Jersey Eisteddfod Autumn festival was held on 29th November. This year, eight of our students entered into the competition from primary and secondary school level. The quality of knowledge and performance in the Eisteddfod this year has been exceptional and this truly reflects how hard the students have been working both in class and in the preparation leading up to the competition.

This year’s winner from the primary class, receiving a platinum award, was Tayla Davis from Les Landes Primary School. Tayla has been studying with ThinkChinese over the past two years and sat her YCT2 exam shortly before the competition. Winner from the secondary class was Isabel from JCG. She was once again awarded platinum for her performance this year, making it her third Eisteddfod win. Isabel started secondary school in September this year, after having been learning Chinese for the last three years. Over that time, Isabel sat YCT Level 1 and 2, and YCT speaking assessments. She obtained great results for all the assessments.

It is also worth mentioning our youngest candidate, Harry Catterson, a gold award winner in the Primary School class category. At the age of six, Harry has already been learning Chinese for over a year. The adjudicators decided to award him with trophy for his wonderful performance.

 Our two adjudicators this year were Eliza Grantham and Donald Brown. Eliza studied translating and interpreting at Bath University and currently works as a professional translator. Donald is the former principal of St Brelade’s College and has been learning Chinese for a number of years. Both Donald and Eliza have been very supportive of our language school and are passionate about promoting the Chinese language and culture in the Island.

In closing the Eisteddfod, Eliza commented on how fluent the students sounded in their pronunciations and their tones. She praised all students on performing their pieces with both personality and sophistication.

Whilst looking forward to having more students involved in the competition next year, we will continue to invite industry professionals to be our adjudicators. They are well placed to share comments on our candidates’ performance and insights about learning Chinese across the UK. Our students will benefit from it and feel even more inspired to continue their learning.



Our Start Student – Olivia Ramsay

IMG_1717Miss Olivia Ramsay started to learn Mandarin with ThinkChinese after having learnt the basics from a different teacher. After three months of tuition, she sat HSK Level 1 assessment, which has made her become one of the first students who sat HSK in Jersey. She achieved an overall 92%! Following that success, Olivia carried on her Chinese learning in the form of HSK2 and GCSE. She sat HSK2 a year later and obtained 96%!

Olivia plays an active role in promoting Chinese study in Jersey. Upon our invitation, she joint ThinkChinese for our Half Term High Jinks in 2017 and taught Chinese to a group of 9 primary school students at beginner level.

Olivia is also actively involved in her school events, which involves promoting Chinese study and JCG to schools in China. During the Shanghai No. 3 school’s visit to JCG in 2017, Olivia presented information about Jersey and JCG to the delegation during a reception event. The entire presentation was given in Chinese! She traveled to China twice in 2014 and 2017 to put her Chinese to test. The latter trip was with her school.

In August, we were delighted to learn that Olivia was accepted by Edinburgh University. To enable herself to appreciate the Chinese culture and learn the language in depth, Oliva has decided to pursue Chinese as her major!

We gave our best wishes to her new learning journey. We wish Olivia will enjoy her study and we look forward to meet and chat with her again soon – of course we will chat in CHINESE!

From 5 Stars to Millions of Stars


Mr. Rudi Goritschnig, a 78-year-old gentleman came to our office one day. He explained he found us through the Summer School article published in JEP. He expressed his interest in learning Chinese with us via private lessons. With glares in his eyes, he continued:

“Look, I’ve been to many places. Here is my book recording some of the most unforgettable experience on board. I would love to know if you can translate it into Chinese”.

“Certainly, we can!” I replied.

I’ve been reading Rudi’s book since that conversation. ‘…More than 25 years ago, Rudi and his wife Sonja left home, work, family and friends to join an overland expedition to Kathmandu. That journey was just the start of an adventure that would convey them around the across the world, from Alaska to Australia, China to Cameroon, France to French Polynesia and from Mexico to Mali…’

As Rudi explained, it is a book which records exotic and extraordinary cultures, peoples, and resorts from more than 50 countries, it is also a memoir of beautiful memories between Rudi and his wife on the way over nearly six years. But more than that, it is an inspiration to encourage people to pursue their dreams and hopes that they may never do otherwise. He dedicated this book to his beloved wife Sonja who unfortunately passed away in 2016. But this did not stop Rudi, he is still on the road, and will keep going……


Read first Chapter


Great results for HSK and YCT exams

The result for HSK and YCT assessments taken in November 2017 has just been released. Further to our previous success, 10 HSK candidates passed their levels with an average of over 80%! Two HSK 1 candidates from Jersey College for Girls scored 200 full marks; two candidates renewed the HSK2 record we kept last year, both of whom scored 198/200!

The result for YCT assessment is also inspiring. Eight young candidates from Victoria College Preparatory School and Les Landes School Jersey all passed their exams with an average of over 80%! A number of students achieved over 190 out of 200.

The results are testimonies of our students’ hard work and our teachers’ dedication. Looking into the new year, we are excited to take more students through adventurous linguistic journeys. We look forward to another great year in teaching.

Learn more about HSK and lessons available

Learn more about YCT and lessons available

New Courses in September 2020

🚩Mandarin Challenge (HSK Level 1)

Are you someone who likes a challenge? Are you looking to try something different in the New Year? Study Mandarin and complete the HSK Level 1 in just 15 hours! This challenge is for adults who can commit to 1½ hour lessons for 10 consecutive weeks. The qualification exam is optional.

Start date:  September 2020 (TBC)

Lesson time: TBC

Venue: ThinkChinese Office



🚩YCT Level 1

YCT is a series of Mandarin qualification courses for primary school children. It is the only globally recognized Mandarin qualification at primary school level. YCT consists of four levels. No pre-knowledge is required for Level 1. Topics in Level 1 include personal information, dates and time, food and drink, and names of places. All lessons are taught through conversations, games and mini stories. The context is fun and is infused with knowledge of the Chinese culture. 

Lesson time: Monday 3:10-4:10pm  

Venue: Victoria Prep School

🚩 fun club at Helvetia and JCP

Our fun club is committed on cultivating young students’ interest in the Chinese language and culture through activities, songs, Chinese stories, etc. No pre-knowledge is required for this opportunity. The lunchtime club focuses on the application of the language, which allows the Friday club students to put their knowledge into practice. Contents outside the YCT course book will also be introduced. It enhances the students’ language exposure and prompts them to learn more.