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I post here some of the questions by others about Chinese language learning and using, attached with my replies to them, which I think might be of help to other Chinese learners. Although I am always available to answer your questions and queries, using the forum will be more beneficial since your message will reach a greater number of people. As a result, a large number of people can contribute to or benefit from the discussions. Please feel free to use the forum to ask questions, express your opinion, and spread relevant information.

   Online Q&A
"和" and "跟"
  Q: I gather the two words 'he' and 'gen' can both serve to join two nouns or noun phrases. Like' bread and butter' or 'ham and eggs', or so. What I have yet to gather, is what considerations determine, or at least suggest, which of the two you will employ in a given situation.
A brief history and classification of Chinese characters
  Q: Chinese characters seem the most difficult part for people learning Chinese as a second language. In my opinion, the main reason for that may be Chinese characters look very different from their quarter parts in the Roman languages: each character represents not only the pronunciation, but a certain meaning. Many a complaint comes from that Chinese characters are so unlike each other that you have to learn them one by one, and there are so many to memory, and that when encountering a new character, the previous knowledge of other characters helps little, you can neither pronounce it directly nor guess what it means. Actually, there really are some connections between Chinese characters, all composed in a defined way. You are unable to discover that probably because the numbers of the characters you know are too limited, or you didn't learn them in the Chinese perspective.
Is Chinese really so hard to learn as a second language?

Q: It seems to me that a great many people are complaining that Chinese is so hard to learn as a second language: the ridiculously difficult writing system, the confusing four tones, the extensive system of measure words, so a lot of things to memorize… It seems that I should thank God just for being born Chinese. Is Chinese really that hard to learn as a foreign language?

Looking for a writer's name
  Q1: Yesterday, I heard a short program in Chinese radio (in English) about a writer... The problem is I don't remember his name, so I don't know how to find his books. Can anyone help me?  The clues are: he comes from Taipei (not sure though), he writes about life ... in general... some kind of philosophical stuff, but he is not a philosopher; his books are very popular among young persons - students for example... On the radio they said that his books have come to Chinaland recently... I remember that one of his books have in title word "spirit". Do you know this writer?
Help with Translating a Poster
  Q: I got this poster (About a 12x6in poster)  a few years ago from my sister. The poster is called "Knowledge" and it was created by Richard Henson. This is a link to the picture of this poster: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/GLX/GOGL6191~Knowledge-Posters.jpg I'm almost certain that the two large characters to the left means "Knowledge", but I'm not sure about all the others. If anyone can help translate these characters so I understand what they mean, I'd greatly appreciate it.
牛逼 niu2 bi1

Q: Can you explain the Chinese term "niu2 bi1 牛逼"? I don't think it's an official Chinese word, but isn't it a common expression among teens? Perhaps in English it means ..."totally rocks" or like "how cool!", which are really just English slang expressions.

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