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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. 

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  • Latest Topics

    • aroundthebell
      2
      Hello,   I am new to the forum and I am seeking assistance in understanding the meaning of a Chinese speaker's response to a query on a video I have been asked to assist with research on. To give some background and context: I am a researcher in masculinity/masculinity practices, and I was asked to precis an independent  documentary video with English voice-overs on the situation of Chinese baby boys in this regard, viewed in comparison to a Western perspective. The section of the video that led to my original query was a scene with a woman holding a Chinese baby boy, about 8 months of age. As the woman and the baby boy are shown, the English voice-over says, in part, "There are various practices that may have implications for the perceptions of masculinity of baby boys, such as if the boy is  circumcised, for example". Because of the context given by the voice-over, I did wonder if the suggestion was that the boy featured in the segment was being referred to as having been circumcised, or whether the implication was that Western baby boys may be circumcised, but he as a Chinese baby boy would not be circumcised. In order to clarify this, I wanted to write to a Chinese speaker who was involved in the documentary project. However, since I have very little knowledge of Chinese, I relied upon an English-speaking project member who thought they may be able to help, though I had no real way of authenticating their efforts. Since I was effectively ‘flying blind’ with regard to whatever the English-speaker might translate on my behalf, I asked that they produce a ‘bare bones’ query, that would not portray the presentation of the baby boy featured in the segment in a negative light, but would also clarify the context of the voice-over and could be asked easily. They suggested that the relevant scene could be asked about simply in these terms: “可爱的宝宝。 他有包皮吗?”. Ultimately, the Chinese speaker responded with “三胞胎”. I am wondering if anyone could help me to understand: 1) If the ad-hoc attempted Chinese translation could have conveyed the clarification I had sought, and 2) If the Chinese speaker’s response could be seen as understandable in light of the translation attempt. I do apologize for the uninformed nature of my query, but I thought that the only way to try to resolve my questions was to put them out there and hope for something in response.    
    • abcdefg
      3
      If you are recently arrived in China, you may have discovered that the vegetable section of many restaurant menus features hearty combinations with stick-to-your-ribs portions of meat and potatoes that overshadow the lighter veggies in the dish. Furthermore, these often arrive at your table swimming in oil.   If you are puzzled regarding how to get some simple fresh vegetables in a restaurant, three approaches can help you out. The first is to just order a vegetable stir-fried alone, such as 清炒菠菜。This would get you a plate of plain sautéed spinach. The waitress might ask if you wanted them to add garlic, 加蒜泥。   Another method is to order a clear soup made with a green leafy vegetable. Example of that would be 苦菜汤, the unfortunate translation of which is “bitter sow thistle.” It’s usually just the named vegetable and water, boiled till tender, with perhaps a dash of oil and a pinch of salt.    The third approach is to order a 凉拌 or cold dish, made with a vegetable and an oil-vinegar dressing or sauce. Even though the name says “cold,” these are usually served at room temperature and take the place of salad in a western meal more or less.   Today I’ll show you how to make one of my summer favorites: long green beans and king oyster mushrooms 四季豆杏鲍菇凉拌。Simple flavors with a pleasant crunch. I sometimes eat it by itself as a light lunch topped with a hard-boiled egg, but it can also be a side dish for your dumplings/jiaozi 饺子 and your lamb kebabs 羊肉串。   These 四季豆 beans go by several names, much as they do in English, and are easy to find in supermarkets here as well as closer to the source. They should be fairly stiff and not limp; color should be a vibrant green. I buy mine at the wet market, where a large bunch, enough for two generous meals, sells for 2 or 3 Yuan. They are traditionally paired with king oyster mushrooms  杏鲍菇,but if you can't find these, the dish will work with other mild-flavored mushrooms just about as well.    (You can click the photos to enlarge them.)    King oyster mushrooms 杏鲍菇 are on the left. They often grow on the stumps of dead hardwood trees. They have an umami note as expected and a tender texture, about like abalone or ... well,  better yet, about like oysters. Flavor is mild, sometimes with a slightly sweet aftertaste.                    Cut away and discard the base of any thick, woody stems. Brush off soil with a wet paper towel. It's not necessary to scrub or soak them. Chinese chefs find their texture is best if you tear them into strips or coarse shreds with your fingers instead of chopping them with a knife. This gives a more pleasant mouth feel 口感。           Wash the beans and cut off the stem end. These are about as long as my forearm, but they aren't tough or knobby. The beans inside the long pods are tender and immature. They don't have tough "strings" or "threads" on the margin like some other varieties. I slice them into 6 or 8 inch sections, cutting on a bias, but you could chop them straight across to save a few seconds if necessary. I've also finely chopped three or four cloves of garlic 大蒜 and a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger 生姜。Removed some of the seeds from three hot chilies and cut them into thin strips 切丝。           Blanch 焯 the mushrooms in a pot of lightly-salted boiling water for a minute or so. Lift them out with a strainer and drain their water 捞出、流干水粉。You will use the same pot of water in a minute to boil the beans, so don't discard it. Saute the chilies, garlic and ginger in a little oil. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry quickly, adding a conservative pinch of salt. They don't need to brown; you just want the flavor of the aromatics to develop and blend with that of the mushrooms. Scoop them out into a temporary holding pan 备用。              Boil the beans for 4 or 5 minutes, testing them frequently so as to stop the process when they just barely begin to get tender. Don't overcook them; better if they are al dente. Drain them and "shock" them quickly with ice water. This stops the cooking and also improves their color. Drain them well and toss them with the cooked mushrooms 拌匀。           Sauce the combined beans and mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of olive oil 橄榄油, 1 tablespoon of aged vinegar 老陈醋, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce 生抽, half a teaspoon each of salt 食用盐 and sugar 白沙糖。 MSG 味精 1/4 teaspoon if you use it. (I do.) Toss everything together and allow the flavors to blend by putting it in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes. It doesn't need to actually get cold. Best served at cool room temperature.          It's easy to find this dish or some variation of it in simple neighborhood restaurants all over China. It's also pretty straight forward to make at home. Give it a try and see what you think. This kind of food works real well when the days are warm, such as now. 
    • Manuel
      7
      Hi people, recently I lost—or at least cannot find—my ICBC debit card. I have it linked to Alipay and Wechat so I can continue to make payments but common sense tells me it's best to have it cancelled and replaced just to be safe , so I went to ICBC yesterday and the guy behind the glass handed me a card cancellation request form entitled 个人客户挂失业务申请书, and another smaller one entitled 中国工商银行无锡分行储搐挂失证书核对单。 I have no idea what the latter form is even needed for but basically one of the fields on it requires my employer's chop (公章). Now, as far as I know the bank have no records of who I work or have worked for, so I don't see how this information is of any use to them. The fact is I don't have an employer at the moment as I'm between jobs (on a spousal visa currently), and I opened my bank account when I was on a student visa. It triggers my bullshitmeter that I can't cancel my own card by just showing up with my passport. The guy told me I could also use the chop form a close friend's employer, so I said to him: "You are now officially my close friend, can I conveniently use your employer's chop?" to which he replied in a quite voice: "No, no, no, there are cameras here". At that point my bullshitmeter exploded.  I'm just thinking I might go to a different branch and try again. It could be that the guy is merely doing as he's been told to, but it doesn't make any sense.   I wonder if anyone here has had a similar experience or any experience cancelling a bank card recently. I appreciate any advice, thanks folks!
    • lazyseal
      0
      Hi All, I am trying to find a way to download Chinese subs from some of the available tv series on Netflix. I would like to use it for cloze anki cards and general reading study. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    • Tony24
      1
      Hi guys! I need you help again I know that the meaning of this sentence : ‘ 你最好早一点人报名,宿舍的事情也要早一点人联系 ‘ is : you had better sign up first, and then you can get in touch for the dormitory affair. ‘ As you can see, the whole menanig is quite clear to me but I still can’t understand why 早一点人 appears twice... is it a pattern that I have never met before? help me guys! 
    • Max1984
      0
      A chinese friend of mine, which is visiting France, has sent me this postcard. Someone can help me translate it? I have tried chinese word recognition online, but I haven't get a correct translation.  
    • Max1984
      1
      A chinese friend of mine, which is visiting France, has sent me this postcard. Someone can help me translate it? I have tried chinese word recognition online, but I haven't get a correct translation.  
    • Bihem
      3
      Received an offer for a design position in shanghai, however I lost my original bachelors diploma. Is there any way I can still go through this process?   My university can send a letter notarized verifying my graduation, transcripts etc and whatever else they need, Just worried.  Never thought Id be working overseas and never thought to replace it; in the US, we don't need to show it.     
    • vivea
      13
      So, whenever I hear someone saying words like 九, what I can hear is jiou, not jiu. I thought that something was wrong with me until I read somewhere that it's actually supposed to be spelled jiou, but pinyin conventions omit that 'o' for some reason. Yet I can hear it, and I tried to imitate the sound, and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Am I supposed to say jiou with a very short 'o', or is the last sound something in between 'o' and 'u'?   Another very similar question: when I hear a word like 岁, I don't hear it as sui, I hear some other letter there, like 'e'? It's barely audible, but it isn't sui that I hear, it's suei. Am I right? If I am, then again I'm not sure how to imitate it, is it sui with a very short 'e', or is the last sound something in between e and i?   And one last question: so, apparently the word 语 is not yu, but yv (a 'u' that has two dots over it). That one I didn't hear, I just read about it somewhere and was really surprised. Whatever gave people the idea to omit those dots?! They must've wanted to make things difficult on purpose... So how do I ever tell if the 'u' letter in pinyin transcription is a real 'u' or a 'v' (a u with two dots)?  
    • jhanzeb karim
      3
      hello gyuz i want to knw that i got syphilis in my medical test.. syphilis result is positive,,, and its a primary stage,, so can china embassy issue me the visa or not ,,,,thanks in advance waiting for your reply
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