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    • Smeontelr
      0
      Hi everybody,    I'm applying for the 孔子新汉学计划 scholarship, a scholarship for phd studies related to China studies, you can see more info at  http://ccsp.chinese.cn/article/2018-11/27/content_753817.htm     Basically is a great phd scholarship  that includes     • Lodging and living stipend: 80,000 RMB per year; • Research fund: 20,000 RMB per year • Round-trip international airfare; • Tuition; • Other support provided by the host Chinese university; • Expenses for life and medical insurances in China. • Group activities and cultural experience.   Last year I didnt get it that's why I'm trying this one more time, already did the interview a week ago, I felt that it could had been better... but now it's up to Hanban if I get it or not    Results are coming in a few weeks I guess ( last year was half of May I think)    Anyone else applied to this?  
    • Flickserve
      1
      Did/do any of you do much of this?   It's something I have avoided in the past for Chinese. I noticed in Cantonese where I am pretty fluent in speaking and listening, for words which I already knew well, I couldn't read out loud very well. In particular, my tones became very inaccurate. Taking away the text and trying to speak the word in a sentence resulted in a marked improvement.   I tried to improve my tones in Mandarin by various means. I once tried an experienced tutor on italki. She asked me to read some text to improve tones. It was a disaster and instead of feeling any satisfaction of improvement, out came frustration and disillusionment. After two or three lessons, I decided to do that particular exercise.   Is reading out loud a staple diet for learning tones?      
    • Milkybar_Kid
      3
      Hello,   If I want to find official statistics for the UK I can check out the Office for National Statistics (here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/) Does China have something similar?   Thanks
    • itsannie23
      4
      Hi, I'll be in Qingdao at Qingdao university and I'm looking for well-equipped gyms nearby where I can lift weights (deadlift, squat...) and find machines and free weights as well. Any recommendations? The university is in winged Ningxia Road, so I'd love to find one nearby.
    • yedafu
      3
      Hi everybody,  I'm writing my M.A thesis on the Chinese Comic stage are called Xiang Sheng(相声) and almost all of my secondary literature on the subject is in Chinese(which is great) but i also need some western scholars who wrote on this topic, i know that Perry Link wort some article about it, but other then him there seem that not much was written in the subject, would love for some references if you happen to cross by.  thanks,  
    • vellocet
      8
      As a part of my effort to be more active in Chinese circles, I've installed Douyin and Bilibili.  However I can't quite grasp what they're all about.  Douyin appears to be an endless series of short videos, while Bilibili seems to be a way to follow people who make videos.  Is this correct?  What's the intended way of using these programs?   Douyin has a national and local city-level.  We had a hailstorm today so I'd expect  the local stuff to be full of hail videos.  But there's just a bunch of girls walking around town, people eating hotpot and lip syncing to music.   Any other tips on what do to with these?  Recommended people to follow, etc.  Any other social media programs that would be good?
    • abcdefg
      1
      It would be best to confess up front that I have finally caved in to popular demand. Here's the drink recipe for which you have all been clamoring. Cuba has its Mojito and Daquiri, Mexico is home of the Margarita, and Kunming boasts the Cucumber Rickey. As the days heat up it's difficult to resist a refreshing after work libation. With one as crisp and clean as this ready to hand, your prayers have been answered. I promise not to tell if you have more than one.    The ingredients, a short list, are at their best right now. Perfect time to buy: quality high; price low. What you will need per person, be it man, woman or child. (Wait. I got carried away. No children allowed at this party.)   1. One small lime -- 青柠檬 2. A half or a third of a cucumber, depending on size -- 黄瓜 3. Gin -- 1.5 ounces or maybe even 2 if you don't have many pressing items on your agenda this evening 4. Simple syrup -- A tablespoon for each ounce of gin. (Footnote below on how to make simple syrup.) 5. Club soda -- 苏打水   (Please click the photos to enlarge them.)           We have three kinds of cucumber in the local wet market just now. First we have these large ones, as shown in the photo, which I call "English cucumbers." Then we also have the long, skinny "Asian" ones, the length of your forearm. They are smaller in diameter than these "English" ones, with a thicker and darker green skin plus more prominent bumps. The third kind is the smaller "Persian" cucumbers, which have dark, smooth skin. Any of these will do just fine; they are interchangeable here. Don't let yourself be bogged down in detail when pursuing this project. Forge ahead. Victory belongs to the bold.      No need to remove the cucumber skin; just wash it well. Slice about a third of it into long, thin slivers, as shown. I use a ceramic-blade peeling tool; but I could use my trusty Chinese vegetable knife 菜刀 just about as well.    Use one whole lime if they are small. Too much lime juice is better than not enough so err on the side of generosity instead of parsimony. I cut two or three wedges from the lime and squeeze the rest into my glass. I dice an additional inch or two of cucumber, putting it into the bottom of the glass along with the wedges of lime.      Add a tablespoon of simple syrup for each ounce of gin. More if you like your drinks sweeter; none at all if you happen to be a purist. (A "how to" on simple syrup follows below.)    Notice, if you please, that all these photos are streaked with long shadows. Please construe that as evidence that the sun is well over the yardarm and it's time for a little righteous alcoholic refreshment.                Now muddle this all in the bottom of the glass with a roundish soup spoon or similar. Add the gin and crush everything up a little more. The idea is to coax the lime and cucumber to release their delicious essential oils so they can diffuse throughout the other ingredients and become part of the whole drink. Bartenders have an actual dedicated instrument for this, but I would suggest spending you hard earned cash on more gin instead of a silly single-use tool.                     I first discovered this drink one very wet night in Kuala Lumpur when my plans got rained out and I took refuge in the rooftop bar to soothe my disappointment. Wind was lashing the palms outside by the pool, making quite a racket. I could barely hear the mellow jazz coming over the speakers. This drink is just as much at home on the Pacific Rim as it is in Europe or Latin America. The featured brand that night, being poured at a discount, was Hendrick's in the black bottle. It's a gloriously complex "craft" gin distilled in Scotland and it has cucumber and rose notes all its own to start with.  But lately I've been buying Gordon's or Seagram's, since they are on special at the nearest Carrefour for only 49 Yuan per bottle (750 ml.)            The glass that I use could probably be called a "large, sloping-walled old-fashioned," except that I bought it right here in China. Line it all the way around with the thinly sliced cucumber strips, add ice cubes and top it off with club soda 苏打水。Stir once with a light hand.                    That's all there is to it. Eat the cucumber as you go along. A variant of this drink includes mint, and I will take you there another time.         
    • mungouk
      10
      I’m not sure about wording here, but was interested in @889‘s mention of “mental sounding” over in this other thread, so here we go.   After 2+ years of studying I’ve only just got around to reading one of the graded readers I bought ages ago. (I’m out of the habit of reading fiction generally, but I’m on holiday and had a simple one sitting on my iPad, so finally had no excuses....)   In my lessons with my italki teacher I often read short dialogues and passages from the textbook out loud, which obviously helps my teacher to diagnose my pronunciation, and then my understanding when she asks me about the text.   However I’m now reflecting that reading “extensively” (not for gist) on my own, I can slip into one of three modes.   1. Reading out loud. It’s what I’ve been used to, but is obviously the slowest.     2. Reading “out loud but in my head” (not sure what the linguistic terminology here would be, but same as @889 called “mental sounding” — you’re hearing it in your “mind’s ear”).  Quicker than actually vocalising.   3. Seeing a group of familiar characters and grasping the meaning quickly without thinking of the pronunciation.  Faster than 1 and 2, but see below.   #3 I find very interesting because I’ve never experienced this in language learning before.  (Although I’ve studied basic Japanese a bit, my level of Kanji was only very limited and most of my reading was in hiragana and katakana, in other words phonetic.). I find it difficult to tell by simple reflection whether I ever did this with other languages that don’t use ideographs.   So I think my question is: is #3 the thing to aspire to?  Somehow I wonder if by racing ahead to the meaning I might be short-circuiting some part of comprehension, or more likely mis-reading.  Having written this I’m beginning to think this is the way to go, but I’d be interested to hear what the language-learning theory has to say about this, and even what it’s called.    
    • Wasai
      3
      Hi guys! After living in China for 6 years, I’ll be sharing my experiences of learning the language and joined by native Chinese friends to teach you essential Mandarin from the ground up. https://youtu.be/WDo7dMAXrDU
    • Publius
      0
      I first learned of The Grass House from this forum. @艾墨本 wrote an excellent review of it. I read the novel and liked it.   About the author, I'll quote from the Hans Christian Andersen Award (often referred to as the "Nobel Prize for children's literature") shortlist 2016: Quote Cao Wenxuan grew up in rural China and studied at Peking University where he is now a professor of Chinese literature and children’s literature. His first successful book, Cao Fang Zi (The straw house, 1997) was one of the first coming-of-age novels in China and it won the top National Children’s Literature Award. His fluid, poetic prose depicts honest, sometimes raw and often melancholy moments of life. Qing Tong Kui Hua (Bronze and Sunflower, 2005) tells the story of a young city child trying to find her place in the countryside. The Dingding Dangdang (2012) series follows the life of two brothers with Down syndrome living in a small rural Chinese village. He has also written a series of fantasy novels, Da Wang Shu (The king book, 2007).   Cao's language is simple yet beautiful. He is a children's writer, but you won't find talking animals in his books. Despite the idyllic setting, suffering is a constant motif. His writing is reflective of his difficult childhood. Poverty, illness, disaster, death — things we don't normally associate with the label "children's book". But there's also endurance, redemption, hope, and most importantly, kindness. It's rare to find a children's book that can make adults laugh, cry, and sigh. His books are that kind of books.   His hit novel 《草房子》 is effectively required reading for 4th or 5th graders now. The book has an interesting structure. It consists of nine chapters, each chapter a self-contained story of its own — in fact, they have been published as nine picture books for younger kids, with titles like 《秃鹤不是一只鹤》《浸月寺的风铃》《月光下,红菱船》etc. The stories are stringed together by a boy named 桑桑. (Incidentally, Cao Wenxuan's father was a self-taught teacher turned headmaster, just like Sang Sang's father.) Because each chapter is too long, I have chosen for this post the first section of the first chapter. You can find the full chapter here.   Cao has an easy-to-read style. He tends to use complete sentences. At times it can feel a bit repetitive and wordy. There are localisms like "埋下屁股" that are not part of the standard idiom. But overall the narrative is clear and easy to follow. The text has gone through significant revisions since its first publication. (An older version of the first chapter can be found here.) I think the revisions are an improvement. It has made the language more standard and more accessible for young (as well as foreign) readers. A few examples to illustrate my point: 这流火的七月天空→这夏日的天空, 引亢高歌→引吭高歌, 桑桑跟杜小康的关系很稀松→桑桑跟杜小康的关系不远不近. The book I bought is published by 江苏凤凰少年儿童出版社, the original publisher. But I also found a copy of the book published by 人民文学出版社·天天出版社. I find the latter slightly better, containing fewer 错别字 in general, e.g., 一道道目光/*一对对目光, 搭理/*答理, 冰雪融化/*冰雪溶化, 一场不落/*一场不拉. If you're considering buying the book, 人文版 is a good choice. They are dependable as usual.   Oh and Cao is a prolific writer. If you like his style, there's a lot to read. (I believe sticking to one author is the best way to build up vocabulary and develop the necessary reading skills at the beginning. Because they repeat themselves. When I saw in the first-10-books-you-read thread this sentence "it would be great to have a list to draw from that is somewhat progressive in difficultly but each book is still easy", I was like, "easy but progressive, that's a big ask." I don't know how much one can progress in his first 10 books. I read 30 Agatha Christie's before I was pissed off by the nursery rhymes and dropped her for good. But that's just me.)   《草房子》,曹文轩,江苏凤凰少年儿童出版社,2016年4月第4版,2018年3月第19次印刷,ISBN 978-7-5346-1872-7 Difficulty: easy; Total characters: 129,900; Unique characters: 2,627; Unique words: 7,455 First section (2,248 characters): Spoiler         那是1962年8月的一个上午,秋风乍起,暑气已去,十四岁的男孩桑桑,登上了油麻地小学那一片草房子中间最高一幢的房顶。他坐在屋脊上,油麻地小学第一次一下子就全都扑进了他的眼底。秋天的白云,温柔如絮,悠悠远去;梧桐的枯叶,正在秋风里忽闪忽闪地飘落。这个男孩桑桑,忽然觉得自己想哭,于是就小声地呜咽起来。   明天一大早,一只大木船,在油麻地还未醒来时,就将载着他和他的家,远远地离开这里——他将永远地告别与他朝夕相伴的这片金色的草房子…… 第一章 秃 鹤 1   秃鹤与桑桑从一年级开始,一直到六年级,都是同班同学。   秃鹤应该叫陆鹤,但因为他是一个十足的小秃子,油麻地的孩子,就都叫他为秃鹤。秃鹤所在的那个小村子,是个种了许多枫树的小村子。每到秋后,那枫树一树一树地红起来,红得很耐看。但这个村子里,却有许多秃子。他们一个一个地光着头,从那么好看的枫树下走,就吸引了油麻地小学的老师们停住脚步,在一旁静静地看。那些秃顶在枫树下,微微泛着红光。在枫叶密集处偶尔有些空隙,那边有人走过时,就会一闪一闪地亮,像沙里的瓷片。那些把手插在裤兜里或双臂交叉着放在胸前的老师们,看着看着,就笑了起来,也不知道是什么意思。   秃鹤已许多次看到这种笑了。   但在桑桑的记忆里,秃鹤在读三年级之前,似乎一直不在意他的秃头。这或许是因为他们村也不光就他一个人是秃子,又或许是因为秃鹤还太小,想不起来自己该在意自己是个秃子。秃鹤一直生活得很快活。有人叫他秃鹤,他会很高兴地答应的,仿佛他本来就叫秃鹤,而不叫陆鹤。   秃鹤的秃,是很地道的。他用长长的好看的脖子,支撑起那么一颗光溜溜的脑袋。这颗脑袋绝无一丝瘢痕,光滑得竟然那么均匀。阳光下,这颗脑袋像打了蜡一般亮,让他的同学们无端地想起,夜里它也会亮的。由于秃成这样,孩子们就会常常出神地去看,并会在心里生出要用手指头蘸一点唾沫去轻轻摩挲它一下的欲望。事实上,秃鹤的头,是经常被人抚摸的。后来,秃鹤发现了孩子们喜欢摸他的头,就把自己的头看得珍贵了,不再由着他们想摸就摸了。如果有人偷偷摸了他的头,他就会立即掉过头去判断。见是一个比他弱小的,他就会追过去让那个人在后背上吃一拳;见是一个比他有力的,他就会骂一声。有人一定要摸,那也可以,但得付秃鹤一点东西:要么是一块糖,要么是将橡皮或铅笔借他用半天。桑桑用一根断了的格尺,就换得了两次抚摸。那时,秃鹤将头很乖巧地低下来,放在了桑桑的眼前。桑桑伸出手去摸着,秃鹤就会数道:“一回了……”桑桑觉得秃鹤的头很光滑,跟他在河边摸一块被水冲洗了无数年的鹅卵石时的感觉差不多。   秃鹤读三年级时,偶然地,好像是在一个早晨,他对自己的秃头在意起来了。秃鹤的头现在碰不得了。谁碰,他就跟谁急眼,就跟谁玩命。人再喊他秃鹤,他就不再答应了。并且,谁也不能再用东西换得一摸。油麻地的屠夫丁四见秃鹤眼馋地看他肉案上的肉,就用刀切下足有两斤重的一块,用刀尖戳了一个洞,穿了一截草绳,然后高高地举在秃鹤眼前:“让我摸一下你的头,这块肉就归你。”说着,就要伸出油腻的手来。秃鹤说:“你先把肉给我。”丁四说:“先让我摸,然后再把肉给你。”秃鹤说:“不,先把肉给我。”丁四等到将门口几个正在闲聊的人招呼过来后,就将肉给了秃鹤。秃鹤看了看那块肉——那真是一块好肉!但秃鹤用力向门外一甩,将那块肉甩到满是灰土的路上,然后拔腿就跑。丁四抓了杀猪刀追出来。秃鹤跑了一阵却不再跑了。他从地上抓起一块砖头,转过身来,咬牙切齿地面对着抓着锋利刀子的丁四。丁四竟不敢再向前一步,将刀子在空中挥舞了两下,说了一声“小秃子”,转身走了。   秃鹤不再快活了。   那天下大雨,秃鹤没打雨伞就上学来了。天虽下雨,但天色并不暗。因此,在银色的雨幕里,秃鹤的头就分外亮。同打一把红油纸伞的纸月与香椿,就闪在了道旁,让秃鹤走过去。秃鹤感觉到了,这两个女孩的眼睛正在那把红油纸伞下注视着他的头。他从她们身边走了过去。当他转过身来看她们时,他所见到的情景是两个女孩正用手捂住嘴,遮掩着笑。秃鹤低着头往学校走去。但他没有走进教室,而是走到了河边那片竹林里。   雨沙沙沙地打在竹叶上,然后从缝隙中滴落到他的秃头上。他用手摸了摸头,一脸沮丧地朝河上望着。水面上,两三只羽毛丰满的鸭子,正在雨中游着,一副很快乐的样子。   秃鹤捡起一块瓦片,砸了过去,惊得那几只鸭子拍着翅膀往远处游去。秃鹤又接二连三地砸出去六七块瓦片,直到他的瓦片再也惊动不了那几只鸭子,他才罢手。他感到有点凉了,但直到上完一节课,他才走向教室。   晚上回到家,他对父亲说:“我不上学了。”   “有人欺负你了?”   “没有人欺负我。”   “那为什么说不上学?”   “我就是不想上学。”   “胡说!”父亲一巴掌打在秃鹤的头上。   秃鹤看了父亲一眼,低下头哭了。   父亲似乎突然明白了什么。他转身坐到灯光照不到的阴影里的一张凳子上。随即,秃鹤的秃头就映出了父亲手中烟卷忽明忽暗的亮光。   第二天,父亲没有逼秃鹤上学去。他去镇上买回几斤生姜:有人教了他一个秘方,说是用生姜擦头皮,七七四十九天,就能长出头发来。他把这一点告诉了秃鹤。秃鹤就坐在凳子上,一声不吭地让父亲用切开的姜片,在他的头上来回擦着。父亲擦得很认真,像一个想要让顾客动心的铜匠在擦他的一件青铜器。秃鹤很快就感到了一种火辣辣的刺痛。但秃鹤一动不动地坐着,任由父亲用姜片去擦着。   桑桑他们再见到秃鹤时,秃鹤依然还是个秃子,只不过那秃头有了血色,像刚喝了酒一样。   不知是纸月还是香椿,当秃鹤走进教室时,闻到了一股好闻的生姜味,便轻轻说出声来:“教室里有生姜味。”   当时全班的同学都在,大家就一齐嗅鼻子,只听见一片吸气声。随即都说确实有生姜味。于是又互相地闻来闻去,结果是好像谁身上都有生姜味,谁又都没有生姜味。   秃鹤坐在那儿不动。当他感觉到马上可能就有一个或几个鼻子顺着气味的来路嗅呀嗅的要嗅到他,并要嗅到他的头上时,说了一声“我要上厕所”,赶紧装出憋不住的样子跑出了教室。他跑到河边上,用手抠了一把烂泥,涂在头上,然后再用清水洗去。这样反复地进行了几次,直到自己认为已经完全洗去生姜味之后,才走回教室。   七七四十九天过去了,秃鹤的头上依然毫无动静。   夏天到了,当人们尽量从身上、脑袋上去掉一些什么时,秃鹤却戴着一顶父亲特地从城里买回的薄帽,出现在油麻地人的眼里。     Characters: 桑桑 Sāng Sāng — Protagonist, son of the headmaster of the local elementary school 陆鹤 Lù Hè — Sang Sang's classmate, nicknamed 秃鹤 Tū Hè 'bald crane' 丁四 Dīng Sì — Butcher 纸月 Zhǐyuè — Sang Sang's classmate, titular character of Chapter 2 香椿 Xiāngchūn — Sang Sang's classmate   Other names: 油麻地 Yóumádì — the village where Sang Sang lives 梧桐 wútóng — Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex) 枫树 fēngshù — maple tree 生姜 shēngjiāng (=姜) — ginger   Vocabulary (I'm not a learner nor a teacher. Sorry if the selection is too random. Characters not in the official HSK vocab list are marked red.): Spoiler 乍 zhà — adv. for the first time 暑气 shǔqì — n. summer heat 屋脊 wūjǐ — n. roof ridge 絮 xù — n. cotton wadding 悠悠 yōuyōu — adj. unhurried 忽闪 hūshǎn — v. to glitter 呜咽 wūyè — v. to sob 一大早 yīdàzǎo (=一早) — (coll.) n. early in the morning 载 zài — v. to carry 朝夕 zhāoxī — adv. all the time (lit. 'morning and evening') 秋后 qiūhòu — n. after the autumn harvest 耐看 nàikàn — adj. able to withstand careful appreciation 光头 guāng//tóu — v. to bare one's head 泛 fàn — v. to be suffused with 不光 bùguāng (=不止) — (coll.) adv. not the only one 瘢痕 bānhén — n. scar 打蜡 dǎ//là — v. to wax 无端 wúduān — (lit.) adv. for no reason 蘸 zhàn — v. to dip in 唾沫 tuò·mo (common name for 唾液) — n. saliva 摩挲 mósuō — (lit.) v. to fondle 由 yóu — v. to let (sb. do as he pleases) 掉 diào — v. to turn 要么 yào·me — conj. either... or... 将 jiāng — prep. used in the same way as 把 格尺 géchǐ (=直尺) — (dial.) n. ruler (with markings) 乖巧 guāiqiǎo — adj. agreeable 鹅卵石 éluǎnshí — n. cobblestone (with a diameter of 40–150 mm) (lit. 'goose egg stone') 急眼 jí//yǎn — (dial.) v. to lose one's temper 玩儿命 wánr//mìng — (coll.) v. to gamble with one's life (the erhua is obligatory) 屠夫 túfū — n. butcher 眼馋 yǎnchán — adj. covetous 肉案 ròuàn — n. butcher's block 戳 chuō — v. to stab 归 guī — v. to belong to 咬牙切齿 yǎoyá-qièchǐ — (idiom) gnashing one's teeth 分外 fènwài — adv. especially 油纸伞 yóuzhǐsǎn — n. oil-paper umbrella (my favorite lines of modern poetry: 撐著油紙傘,獨自/彷徨在悠長、悠長/又寂寥的雨巷) 闪 shǎn — v. to move quickly to one side 捂 wǔ — v. to cover with one's hand 缝隙 fèngxì (commonly read as fèngxī) — n. narrow opening 接二连三 jiē'èr-liánsān — (idiom) one after another in quick succession 罢手 bà//shǒu — v. to give up 巴掌 bā·zhang — n. palm, hand 秘方 mìfāng — n. secret recipe 吭声 kēng//shēng — (coll.) v. (not) to utter a sound 铜匠 tóngjiàng — n. coppersmith 嗅 xiù — v. to smell, to sniff 抠 kōu — v. to dig out (with one's fingers) 特地 tèdì — adv. specially  
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