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    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
  • Latest Topics

    • Christa
      3
      A friend of mine asked me for a translation of "好不好?" but, after I gave her one, she kept using it wrongly.   Any idea of the best way to translate it?  I'm thinking in particular about when you put it at the end of a sentence to check agreement. What is the closest English equivalent?    "Okay?" / "Is that okay?" / "Is that alright?" / "Would that be alright with you?"   What best captures its essence when it's put on the end of a sentence to check if someone agrees with an idea?   Any thoughts?
    • Christa
      13
      I normally use 個 / 个 with 護照 / 护照 but should it be 本?   Anyone know the answer to this one?
    • dwq
      4
      Okay, so these are Japanese Kanji and not exactly belong here, but they are quite interesting. Do you see four different posters here?  Actually, there are only 2 designs and the other two are just the first two seen upside down. I first encountered ambigrams in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, thought them interesting but largely forgot about them afterwards.  It is quite fascinating to see that they can be done with Chinese Characters (or Japanese Kanji in this case).     Bigger versions here (in Japanese). And here's the creator's twitter.
    • realmayo
      5
      Came across this:   Quote I studied Vietnamese from "zero to hero" in 46 weeks of full-time study at the Australian Government language school. ... The tones are so important that during my course, we Vietnamese students (and our colleagues learning Thai and Chinese) spent the first 6 weeks in the language labs. We could barely speak a word of our new language - just babble out isolated sounds! However, this method reached so far down into our 'soul' that the tone system becomes an integral part of you. Just like your first language, it is impossible to forget!   https://www.proz.com/forum/teaching_and_learning_languages/92644-vietnamese_and_chinese_how_close_are_they_really.html?float=true   I wish that's how I'd started Chinese.....
    • Shelley
      7
      With the latest update of Firefox Perapera has stopped working. After reverting to the old version of Firefox I have still been using it but I have found that I really needed to let Firefox update as some websites were besoming unusable.   So I went to Perapera's site to check if they had caught up with an update only to find that they have decided not continue supporting it and recommend Zhongwen pop up dictionary, so I have installed it and all seems ok.   So the point of this post - Perapera have said if anyone wants to undertake updating it they are welcome to do it.   Quote from their website:   Getting a lot of messages about Perapera for Firefox. The answer is that we are no longer updating it. The last update, we had to hire a freelancer to help fix some issues (no time these days) and barely anyone donated. I’m not sure why people stopped donating lately. I think we got about $40 and spent several hundred. I don’t say that to complain (and we don’t usually keep count anyways), but that’s basically why we are stopping the updates since it’s no longer feasible to continue them. Thank you for your support for all these years. The blog and the Chrome extensions are here to stay but Firefox just got too annoying. If anyone wants to take it up on themselves to fix the Firefox add-on go ahead https://github.com/peraperakun       Not sure why you might want to do it, for fun? to learn something? anyway just thought I would share it.
    • 永鈞
      4
      I'm aware that one-to-one translation is often impossible. But even still, what is the closest Chinese word or phrase to the English 'glamorous'. One of my ESL students was telling me that on her way to London she will stop off on Paris to have dinner with some friends. I told her that her life sounds very 'glamorous'. She looked it up in the dictionary but all of the translations seemed to be related either to appearance. She couldn't see how    the closest I could think of is 豪華, because in this sense it is something similar to luxury, but also a bit 浪漫. To say that 'glamour' is between the concepts of luxury and romance seems very odd to me... Is there a more obvious translation I'm missing?
    • NinKenDo
      9
      Hey guys. I know this is a bit of a longshot, but my girlfriend is from Changsha/Shaoyang. Her parents both speak Mandarin, and her Grandparents both speak it to some degree too. But she communicates with them primarily in Changsha and Shaoyang Hua. I would like to build a functional understanding of these dialects at least. So that I can be closer with my potential future family.   Resources in Mandarin are better than nothing. But if there's something in English that would be amazing. Again, I know it's a longshot.    
    • Chimuelo
      3
      I am trying to learn Mandarin through movies. I have only found one so far (da yu hai tang). I know that China has a lot of dubbed movies, and I am really having trouble finding Chinese dubbed movies. I have tried iQIY and found some, though every site that I have encountered has said "This video is for the time being served only in mainland China due to copyright restrictions." Which I have tried to get past by using different types of VPN, but has not worked so far.  (I am not so interested in watching Chinese series and movies, I want to find movies like: How to train your dragon, Bolt or Frozen dubbed in Chinese.) I would be happy if anyone could help me find a site that offers Chinese dubbed: Anime, movies or series.  
    • ashuapmushuan
      4
      I am planning on studying in the undergraduate program at Middlebury this coming summer. I was wondering about other people's experiences with the program. Likes and dislikes? Advantages and disadvantages? Most of what I know about the program so far comes from the facilitators themselves, and I would really like to know some more honest opinions.
    • abcdefg
      2
      Jianshui Old Town 建水故城 is full of cultural relics, and one that's outstanding is the Confucius Temple. It's one of the best preserved and is the second largest in all of China, second only to the one at his birthplace in Qufu, Shandong 山东省曲阜市。I've been to both and like this one better because it isn't so vast; the compound in Qufu is too big to tour on foot. It was built during the Yuan Dynasty 元代 about the year 1285, and like many such places, it has been restored many times. The pamphlet you get at the door on the way in after paying your 60 Yuan says it has been rebuilt 40 times.    I went early one morning shortly after it opened at 8 a.m. The only people there were the early bird exercise walkers and one diligent sweeper. I entered from the rear gate, right onto a statue of the big man himself and the peaceful lake, nicknamed "scholar sea" 学海。       Walking around the peaceful lake gave a view of the bridge and one of the gate tower complexes before the sun was high in the sky.        Each of these gates has a ceremonial name. Although I admired the architecture, I was glad I wasn't being towed around by a tour guide who wanted to read all the inscriptions out loud. In fact, I didn't see any tour groups the whole time I was there.        Another gate and a gardener hard at work on his ladder trimming the tropical trees still in full bloom even though it was early January. Eat your heart out Dongbei 东北。Throughout the grounds were a number of smaller pagodas where one could study or just enjoy the peace and quiet.        I suddenly heard the sounds of ancient music, strings, woodwinds, cymbals and gongs. Followed the sound and discovered some sort of musical performance by men and women in robes with scholar's hats. Sat down to enjoy this unexpected bonus. The music would pause from time to time and one of the men would stand and approach the main alter, bowing and reciting some sort of verse, perhaps something by Confucius.      Afterwards I walked into the main hall behind the musicians to see the statues of Confucius and probably some of his disciples. Confucian thought isn't really a religion, but it sure has some of the trappings of one. You could kneel and pray, burn incense and make offerings.        Made my way out, passing some less used areas. Eventually reached the main gate and got another look at those delicate flowers. (Do any of you know their name? Just wondering.)        It was Sunday morning and outside the main gate people were dancing. A cluster of ladies were doing folk dances with drums, while nearby couples were waltzing. It was another one of those "only in China" moments.   
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  • Blog Entries

    • anonymoose
      温馨提示 By anonymoose in Signese 1
      How do you know whether you are complying with the regulation on this sign?

    • js6426
      考得怎么样? By js6426 in Chinese Language And Literature Degree 2
      First semester is over and exams are finished!  It feels strange to be entering into my big break now, rather than in between years, but it's still a very welcome break.  I was very pleased with how my exams went, and finished with 94, 96, 98 and 99, in speaking, comprehensive, listening and reading/writing respectively.  Obviously those are pretty good grades, but to be honest I don't think they are all that meaningful, and while I do of course want to score high in my exams, the emphasis has to be on actually being able to effectively use Chinese!  I enjoy exams as they are great for showing me my limits and areas that need the most work, but with something as vast as a language I think it is hard to put together a 2 hour test, especially at this point in our learning.  Although I think it changes in the future, our speaking final didn't even have any speaking on it! 
       
      Stand out things across my exams - TONES!  Still the hardest thing for me is distinguishing tones that I hear.  The only reason I was able to do so well on my listening was because I knew the majority of the words that came up in the pinyin sentences, and so was able to mark the tones on them before even hearing them on the audio.  Other than just continuing to listen as much as possible, I am not sure what else I can do to get better at this.
       
      Knowing when something is wrong - although I haven't seen the graded exams, I imagine this was the section I dropped most marks on in my speaking test.  We were given 10-15 sentences to change, and told that some are right and some are wrong.  I only left one sentence unedited.  While I don't think I had too much trouble writing correct sentences, I felt that I probably edited some which were actually written correctly, because I simply wasn't sure enough.
       
      Reading/writing - while I love pretty much everything about Chinese, this is definitely the part I enjoy most.  It's also the part I can do the most self study on!  I was a little bit nervous about this exam as I hadn't been to class, and while I had studied plenty of extra stuff, I wasn't sure that I had spent enough time making sure I did actually know the content in the book.  Thankfully I was fine, and the extra stuff I have been doing has also paid off, as it meant I knew almost all of the characters across all 4 exams (there are always characters included that we haven't learned, which will steadily increase over the next period, until we have learned a lot more in our own time).  It feels good to get a head start here, and I want to try and keep this up.
       
      All in all I am really pleased, and encouraged to keep cracking away and working hard!  I'm not sure how much I will get done over the break, but I am not going to punish myself if I don't do a ton!  My family are here and so we are going to be spending lots of time out and about, and having fun sledging in the snow here!  I am trying to do at least something every day though, even if it is just reading over a text.  I am also taking new vocabulary/characters and putting them into sentences, which I send to a Chinese friend to edit (trying to hit an average of 5 a day), then put into Pleco flashcards and reread those sentences every day to absorb the new stuff.  This is to try and continue to build up my base of characters, as well as new vocabulary.
       
      I know this post is getting a bit long, but I have to say I am feeling the effectiveness of some of the things Imron wrote in a couple of threads.  Since getting rid of my Anki decks and starting to only input vocabulary that I am actually reading, all of the new words have been coming up again and again!  I heard one word in a song, so made a sentence to learn it, then saw it in a notice on the door of our building.  I can definitely see the truth in words that are important for me to learn now appearing frequently in real life, and how an SRS is meant to mimic that process.  Very cool!
    • roddy
      Signese Revival 25 By roddy in Signese 0
      One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until sometime in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone.
       
      This was at some enormous rural restaurant where they'd decided it was just too much hassle to have waiters.

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