Jump to content
  • Sign Up


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

I'm starting this blog because sometimes I feel like saying something about (my) Chinese learning that isn't really worth a forum post or is not a question. Somewhere to document my progress. It has been just about exactly a year now of consistent work, so I'm interested to see where my 普通话 is next New Year's holiday. I will try to use this space to post some interesting things I find along the climb!

Entries in this blog


30 days speaking practice:Day 8




So far this has been an excellent practice activity. Honestly, it's hard to film myself speaking and every evening I'd rather not do it. However, every time after it's done, I'm glad I 坚持. I practice it several times, I try to put in some grammar that I don't use enough,  try to push myself to go faster, it's good exercise. I've had some corrections and feedback from native speakers on WeChat. Will definitely carry this out for 30 days.


Hskk speaking practice


I made a video practicing for the speaking test:




I really enjoyed practicing part 2 and 3 and think I will do more of it in the future, whether specifically for the test or even just as something to practice talking about. I did two hours of it with a tutor on Italki last night and the time flew by. Seems that although I "know" all the vocab and grammar of Hsk 4, I don't readily produce it?.


Home 烧烤


OK, this is barely cooking, but so delicious. Had this home 烧烤 a few days ago. The beef was sent frozen and vacuum sealed as a gift from my wife's friend in Guangzhou. She sent it to us to have during the impending BJ lockdown...which never happened - hooray! 









Chinese Breeze progress


I was reminded by the "2022 goals" thread that I had listed a goal of completing all the Chinese Breeze level 2 and 3 readers. Up to now, I had only completed 3 of 7 of 二级 and hadn't cracked one open in 6 months. So last week I banged out the remaining 4 books of 二级. The nice thing was that I was able to read them extremely easily. I remember a year ago I found them very slow going. Now I was able to read them in one sitting of about 1.5 hours each and not looking up anything , just glancing at a few footnoted items. I also rarely had to re-read a sentence to get the meaning. I put that down to reading DuChinese intermediate every day and just general improvement.



I also ordered (and received next day - 京东谢谢!)four of the five level 3 books and will start in on them next week.




扎啤 ? bags

draft beer

This summer I've been enjoying an extra bit of 扎啤 / draft beer. Something about draft always tastes better than bottles and I like buying local stuff. It's pretty popular in Beijing to sell these bags(or sometimes canisters) of draft beer by waimai 外卖 or walking in the shop directly. They add  pressure to the bag before sealing, so it arrives fresh, bubbly and cold within about a half hour. The price is right too. 1.5 - 2 liters for around 17rmb for Beijing/qingdao draft, 35-50 for white or wheat beer, 70-100 for Ipa. 


This one is wheat from a place called URbrew and made in 河北:



Standard Beijing draft and Qingdao( I was drinking the Qingdao during a zoom call with some friends back home and they thought it was hilarious:



My favorite hands down, a beautiful beer, ipa, from 叁金叁 whatever that is(?)  85kuai for about 5 pints:



Another wheat beer that's very popular, 泰山 Taishan from Shandong, pretty nice fresh wheat beer, 60kuai for 2 liters:



I just received this yesterday cold-chain shipped from the city of 青岛 , no idea yet how it tastes, but 40,000 people have ordered it on taboo and positive reviews, on sale for 28kuai for 2 liters, I had to get one:



Next one I'll prob try is this one:





My wife was busy doing something and asked me to cook. I said ok you instruct me something (in Chinese, of course) and I'll do the footwork. So I made these 2 dishes, nothing complicated, but they turned out damned tasty! 


1)String beans 豆角儿 

cubed Beef 牛肉块儿

potatoe 土豆儿条 ?

green onion 葱

garlic 大蒜 ?

oil 油

oyster sauce 蚝油

soy sauce 酱油

cooking wine 料酒 ?

sugar 白糖 

salt 盐?

Thirteen aroma 十三香


2)Water spinach 空心菜,

garlic 大蒜 ?

green onion 葱

soy sauce 酱油

red pepper that I have been drying for months 辣椒 ?️

oil 油

salt 盐?













4上 to 下


Finally finished Hsk-4上. Took me six months. That's a bit slow but I'm simultaneously studying the Chinese Made Easier 4 book and almost halfway through that as well. The CME and Hsk series have a different focus, but also overlap in many places. Tomorrow I will break the seal on the 4下 book. I definitely feel it's getting harder, but not overly difficult, so I think Im at my sweet spot.




I happened to be near Beijing Foreign Studies university today and saw there was a bookstore, so I popped in for a look. They had loads of Chinese study books, graded readers and so on. I need more resources like I need a hole in the head but I couldn't help myself. I can NEVER have enough listening, so I picked up 汉语听力系列教材( hanyu tingli xilie jiaocai). I assumed intermediate level but was surprised to see:

Elementary 上 = hsk3

Elementary 下 = hsk4.

Intermediate 上and下 comprises hsk 5


So I took the hsk 4 one for now and the hsk 5 for later. These have downloadable mp3s by scanning the QR code.


I also bought Short-Term Listening and Short-Term Reading, again Elementary corresponds to Hsk 4(Elementary sounds so low ?). This came with a CD of mp3s, so I will have to go to a copy shop and get them to put it on a usb for me.


Finally, I took a sort of Hsk4 dictionary 词汇学习手册 and a book of cloze practice for Hsk4 words. Altogether ran me 165 块. Not for dust collection, I will finish them all ?





我的青春谁做主 -My Youthfulness


Had to give up on 人世间 for now. Too difficult for my level. Dongbei hua and the length don't make it any easier. Decided instead to watch 我的青春谁做主 -My Youthfulness (2009). This is the second series of the "Youth" trilogy 奋斗,and 北京青年 being the first and third. Have watched the first two episodes, there are 32 in total. I'm watching it on my 小米 wall projector, so it's not very convenient to stop and look up words. That's my goal for this one, just to watch it and get what I get. 






Latest study routine


I've switched up my language learning schedule several times over the years, I'm really enjoying my current routine(somewhat influenced by Matt vs. Japan/AJATT). It's also simple to  follow:


1/3 time spent on textbook - currently Hsk Standard Course 4 and CME 4

1/3 time spent on reading (including videos where I read all hanzi subtitles line by line) - currently 奋斗 tv drama and Du chinese

1/3 time spent just listening - currently "Free to Learn videos", Native YouTube videos(on topics that I'm familiar with)


Other: 3-4 italki classes per week, Srs Flashcards, real life 

  • Create New...