Letter to my subscribers

Dear Subscriber,

Happy New Year!

I have been remiss in sending you weekly Chinese lessons because I was developing an iPad game during the major part of 2012. Its title is PinYinPal.

My husband Bob, nephew Larry and I created PinYinPal to teach Chinese for free over the internet. Hopefully, you will find PinYinPal to be a useful and fascinating educational tool for a long time to come.

PinYinPal will be released by Apple on January 17th, 2013.  It is the only Mandarin Chinese word game played with letters of the alphabet.  And it’s free.

To learn more about PinYinPal, please click on http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_RpPAl6FXZceNCADEnS-IA

We have exciting news.

This morning, we were informed that PinYinPal has been nominated to be a part of MacWorld’s iFan Favorite App contest. The only way that PinYinPal can win the grand prize is if you vote for our app on the MacWorld Facebook page. Please follow these simple instructions below:

1) Vote for PinYinPal to be MacWorld’s iFan Favorite App here: http://bit.ly/11jKrFy

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Vote! One vote per entry per person. Voting concludes at the end of the month.

2) “Like” us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pinyinpal) so you can see how we’re doing!

3) Tell all of your friends on Facebook that you can’t wait for PinYinPal to arrive in the App Store on January 17th!

It’s a pleasure and privilege to be your friend and teacher. Let us create something wonderful together.


Best wishes and Happy New Year

Adeline Yen Mah


For thousands of years, the dragon has been a symbol of the Chinese people. Some Chinese call themselves ‘sons of the dragon’. The dragon is part of the logo of Hong Kong.

Chinese Zodiac

Zodiac is translated into Yellow Way Belt in Chinese astronomy. It is an imaginary band of the sky containing the positions of the sun, the moon and the main planets.

However, the Chinese Zodiac is translated from the two characters Sheng Xiao, which mean Living Resemblance. These two words, Sheng Xiao, symbolize the twelve different animals which represent the Chinese Zodiac. People born in the year of the dragon, for instance, are believed to possess the characteristics of a dragon.

The twelve animals are rat , ox , tiger , rabbit , dragon , snake , horse ,ram , monkey , rooster , dog , and pig . These animal years invariably follow one another in this order. For example, the year of the ox is always preceded by the year of the rat and followed by the year of the tiger .

The dragon is one of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. People born in 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 and 2000 were all born in the year of the dragon. Dragon people are energetic, popular, fun-loving, honest and brave. They appear stubborn but are soft-hearted and sensitive. They are most compatible with people born in the year of the Rat , the Snake , the Monkey or the Rooster .

Nine Dragon Wall

There are many places in China named Nine Dragons. The most famous is probably Kowloon (Nine Dragons) Peninsula across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. The Nine Dragon Wall is a famous wall in the garden of the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.

Nine Children

The dragon was said to have nine children. Each had a different temperament. A musical dragon would adorn a two-stringed Chinese violin; one which was quarrelsome would appear on the handle of a sword; one which was scholarly would be carved on a tombstone; one who liked to jump was placed on the corner of a roof; one which liked to eat would be on chopsticks; one which rode would be on a saddle; one which painted would be on a brush; one which like water would be on the stern of a boat; and one which like to run would decorate shoes.