Learn Chinese in China

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  2. Aww thanks. I'll keep you in my prayers too. Maybe we will meet up in Dalian!
  3. I also found Krashen just after I increased listening time. It is the reason why I have decreased flashcarding.
  4. I've had a month long wait, no response. What's the normal turn around from the CSC?
  5. A friend of mine who used to live in China does tours with a company called, Urban Adventures base in Australia that has walking tours all over the world. It looks like they have some tours in a few cities in China. The prices seem to run about 250 RMB/person to double that. That's a bit pricey for China, but it's probably the going rate for you to get a tour guide who is an English speaker. Or alternatively you could just send them out with some Chinese university student desperate to practice their English. No, that's a bad idea. Well, actually... how much do you like your parents?
  6. I first arrived in China in 2002 and even by then the things he described in River Town felt historical, but still very relatable. I think he is the best foreign writer who has written about China. It helps that he really has a love of the country and the every day people he meets while understanding the huge challenges the country and people face in order to and because of development. I think his most poignant statement (to me anyway) is in Country Driving where he talks about thinking the challenge to understanding China had to do with language and realizing the real challenge to understanding the country is the breakneck speed of change which also impact Chinese people. I would also suggest his book, Strange Stones, which are basically his New Yorker articles that are the seeds of his books. If you don't have the time or the interest in the China trilogy the short stories are good and they deal a bit with leaving China. I bought the book for my parents who haven't ever been to China and due to their age and health are less likely to ever make it here though I will probably be here for some years yet. I think it helped my mother to understand why this country has such a strong appeal to me. Of course she focused on the part where Peter Hessler admits to not being a good planner and how living in China made it worse. The last thing I read of his was his article in The New Yorker about Chinese in remote cities in Egypt selling lingerie to women and trying their hand at other entrepreneurial enterprises and the limitations of it in Egypt. I've heard mixed reviews of Factory Girls by Leslie Chang, but maybe it's time to read it. Another good book on China that I've read is China's Urban Billion (Tom Miller) on urbanization and hukou reform, which connected a lot of dots and things I had picked up on without understanding the bigger picture. Peter French's historical true crime fiction book, Midnight in Peking, on the murder of a ex-pat girl in Beijing just prior to the Japanese invasion of China. I just saw there is another short book that talks about the Badlands area further which I'm thinking about getting. The Last Days of Old Beijing (Michael Meyer) was okay, but probably more interesting to people interested in urban redevelopment, Beijing, or folks who have lived in China with lots of interactions with locals.
  7. I use the New Practical Chinese Reader too and find them very good. In my blog I have written an explanation of how I use NPCR but the point I want to make here is how I use Flashcards. Pleco allows you to make new categories so I make a new one for each lesson. I then study the lesson's words/characters going through each test at least once at the beginning of the lesson and then I review/test as I go through the lesson. The amount of time I spend on flashcards is about 5-10% of my learning time. I now have a categories for each of my lesson, sometimes I will add duplicate characters if they being used in a new combination, but often I won't add them, so there should only be one copy of each character. I can review old lessons when I want to. I find this way of organising my flashcards means I don't have huge lists to work my way through. I believe flashcards are good for learning characters but not for memorising them. I like to learn new words in context and to memorise characters I prefer to use HanziGrids and write characters by hand to memorise and aid muscle memory which I think is very useful. As with all these "which method is better" discussions it all depends on what you want to learn, if you don't want to learn to write characters ( which I think you should, but that is another discussion) then my method of using HanziGrids is not much use for you. It all depends on what is good for you. Try things, there is no rule that says you can't change your mind. Once you have tried a few things, pick what you like and settle down to consistent learning schedule, a little every day is better than large intermittent sessions.
  8. Right now, 10–30 minutes per day. Leading up to an exam, many hours. When I don't have exams and am not loading new words, almost never. In my early years I was obsessed with flashcards. It got me where I am now, but these days I spend most of my time using the language.
  9. it looks like you're using pleco to output this wordlist... right? if so then you can make a tab-delimited text file, which would be great... you can put them all in one big file and then update it as you go along. it looks like that's what you copy-pasted already actually...
  10. I only have a regular text file. Would that be useful? Chapter 6 蚕豆 cándòu broad bean (Vicia faba) / fava bean 消散 xiāosàn to dissipate 乒 pīng (onom.) ping / bing 黎明 límíng dawn / daybreak 响亮 xiǎngliàng loud and clear / resounding 嘎吱 gāzhī (onom.) creak / crunch 喜气洋洋 xǐqìyángyáng full of joy (idiom); jubilation 挤眉弄眼 jǐméinòngyǎn to make eyes / to wink 稀奇古怪 xīqígǔguài crazy / bizarre / weird / fantastic / strange 嚼 jiáo to chew / also pr. [jue2] 摆动 bǎidòng to sway / to swing / to move back and forth / to oscillate 拖油瓶 tuōyóupíng (derog.) (of a woman) to bring one's children into a second marriage / children by a previous marriage 捧 pěng to clasp / to cup the hands / to hold up with both hands / to offer (esp. in cupped hands) / to praise / to flatter 啄 zhuó to peck 窜 cuàn to flee / to scuttle / to exile or banish / to amend or edit 荡漾 dàngyàng to ripple / to undulate 噢 ō Oh! 议论纷纷 yìlùnfēnfēn to discuss spiritedly (idiom) / tongues are wagging 昏 hūn muddle-headed / twilight / to faint / to lose consciousness 圆鼓鼓 yuángǔgǔ round and bulging / rotund / protruding 鼓鼓囊囊 gǔgunāngnāng full and bulging (of a pocket, pouch etc) 山珍海味 shānzhēnhǎiwèi exotic delicacies / luxury foodstuff from distant locations 嬉笑 xīxiào to be laughing and playing / to giggle 白瓷 báicí blanc de chine (porcelain) 叼 diāo to hold with one's mouth (as a smoker with a cigarette or a dog with a bone) 哄堂大笑 hōngtángdàxiào the whole room roaring with laughter (idiom) 前仰后合 qiányǎnghòuhé to sway to and fro / to rock back and forth 动弹 dòngtan to budge 黏糊糊 niánhūhū sticky 绷 bēng to stretch / taut / to tie / to bind 五花八门 wǔhuābāmén myriad / all kinds of / all sorts of 七嘴八舌 qīzuǐbāshé lively discussion with everybody talking at once 跳蚤 tiàozao flea 虱子 shīzi louse (Pediculus humanus) 趴 pā to lie on one's stomach / to lean forward, resting one's upper body (on a desktop etc) 麻雀 máquè sparrow / (dialect) mahjong 人多势众 rénduōshìzhòng many men, a great force (idiom); many hands provide great strength / There is safety in numbers 愣 lèng to look distracted / to stare blankly / distracted / blank 挡 dǎng to resist / to obstruct / to hinder / to keep off 扫荡腿 sǎodàngtuǐ leg sweep 绊 bàn to trip / to stumble / to hinder 蹬 dēng to step on / to tread on / to wear (shoes 嚎 háo howl / bawl 掀翻 xiānfān to turn sth over / to overturn 诧异 chàyì flabbergasted / astonished 兵荒马乱 bīnghuāngmǎluàn soldiers munity and troops rebel (idiom); turmoil and chaos of war 趁火打劫 chènhuǒdǎjié to loot a burning house / to profit from sb's misfortune (idiom) 扇 shān to fan / to slap sb on the face 照料 zhàoliào to tend / to take care of sb 哀求 āiqiú to entreat / to implore / to plead 不看僧面看佛面 to take a third party into account (not just think of oneself) 伤痕累累 shānghénlěilěi bruised / riddled with scars 仗 zhàng to rely on / to depend on 忧伤 yōushāng distressed / laden with grief 瑟瑟 sèsè trembling / rustling 凑 còu to move close to 盅 zhōng handleless cup / goblet 羞涩 xiūsè shy / bashful 下巴颏 xiàbakē chin 搁 gē to place / to put aside / to shelve 盂 yú basin / wide-mouthed jar or pot 望眼欲穿 wàngyǎnyùchuān to anxiously await 蹑手蹑脚 nièshǒunièjiǎo to walk quietly on tiptoe (idiom 小心翼翼 xiǎoxīnyìyì cautious and solemn (idiom); very carefully / prudent / gently and cautiously 脱口而出 tuōkǒu'érchū to blurt out / to let slip (an indiscreet remark) 亲如手足 qīnrúshǒuzú as close as brothers (idiom); deep friendship 橹 lǔ scull (single oar worked from side to side over the stern of a boat) (free word)
  11. forgive me for a slightly dissenting opinion... backed up by seven years of aggressive language self-study. i find the idea of setting out to study the four skills (reading/writing/listening/speaking) in equal measures kind of upsetting in how little it seems to be grounded in anything useful other than the fact that there are four skills to learn. that doesn't mean that an efficient study practice involves learning them all at an equal level. famed linguistic professor stephen krashen provides a pretty convincing description of why the most important elements of language acquisition happen almost exclusively within passive input (listening / reading) and not through active output (speaking / writing). from the beginning I found Krashen's ideas very reasonable, and focused almost all of most of my energies on these passive skills. I then spend a month or two in the country of my L2 / 3 every year. when I am there, my active speaking/writing skills jump at a tremendous level, about to where my passive skills are... and then plateau. then I go home and repeat the process. it's been very productive for me. here are some good videos of Krashen discussing his research and famous book the input hypothesis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiTsduRreug https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QyX9XhGX3s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh6Hy6El86Q
  12. Episode 7 咸鱼翻身 xiányúfānshēn lit. the salted fish turns over (idiom) / fig. to experience a reversal of fortune 整顿 zhěngdùn to tidy up / to reorganize / to consolidate / to rectify 诚恳 chéngkěn sincere / honest / cordial 开除党籍 kāichúdǎngjí to expel from the Party 侵蚀 qīnshí to erode / to corrode 私欲 sīyù selfish desire 官不聊生 (a variation of the 民不聊生mínbùliáoshēng The people have no way to make a living (idiom, from Record of the Grand Historian 史記|史记) / no way of getting by ) 造反 zàofǎn to rebel / to revolt 润滑剂 rùnhuájì lubricant 导火索 dǎohuǒsuǒ fuse (for explosive) 听风就是雨 tīngfēngjiùshìyǔ lit. to believe in the rain on hearing the wind (idiom) / to believe rumors / to be credulous 狗肚子里藏不了半斤油 the closest phrase I could find was 狗肚子装不了二两油, which means can't keep a secret 尊容 zūnróng august countenance / your face (usually mocking) 症结 zhēngjié hard lump in the abdomen (in Chinese medicine) / crux of an issue / main point in an argument / sticking point / deadlock in negotiations 常理 chánglǐ common sense / conventional reasoning and morals 过桥贷款 guòqiáodàikuǎn bridge loan 不可终日 bùkězhōngrì to be unable to carry on even for a single day / to be in a desperate situation 钻营 zuānyíng toadying for personal gain / to curry favor / to study in great depth 风平浪静 fēngpínglàngjìng lit. breeze is still, waves are quiet (idiom); tranquil environment / all is quiet / a dead calm (at sea) 要职 yàozhí key job / important position 稀客 xīkè infrequent visitor 意气用事 yìqìyòngshì to let emotions affect one's decisions 争分夺秒 zhēngfēnduómiǎo lit. fight minutes, snatch seconds (idiom); a race against time / making every second count 患得患失 huàndéhuànshī to worry about personal gains and losses 隐蔽 yǐnbì to conceal / to hide / covert / under cover 靠拢 kàolǒng to draw close to 横空 héngkōng filling the atmosphere / covering the sky 顾盼 gùpàn to look around / to care for 生辉 shēnghuī to dazzle / to brighten up (a room etc) 明眸善睐,顾盼生辉 Míngmóushànlàigùpànshēnghuī to look around flirtatiously with beautiful and lively eyes
  13. When my mom came to visit me I found her a private tour guide on the Facebook group for the city I was in. I forget how much he charged, however.
  14. @Opi I believe it's different for each institute/country but ours (Scotland) are closing this week. Is there anyone you can email or talk to at your institute even when classes aren't in session? Either way it won't hurt to just start your application online and have it ready to submit whenever you have spoken to your recommending institute. That's what I did and I was really glad for it when they told me on Sunday that applications are closing on Wednesday (ie tomorrow). Good luck! @spock Sorry for the late reply, you've probably figured it out on your own by now but as I understand it, there won't be much point in applying without your CI recommending you. Of course you can submit an online application if you want to but your CI has to forward your application to the powers that be. Is there anyone at your local CI you could contact and ask about this? They may well recommend you without you having taken courses there (this is a guess, I don't know for sure) but I think it'd make a better impression if you contacted them first. Good luck!
  15. Well this won't be an answer regarding flashcards but I use the book (and workbook) New Practical Chinese. This could be an answer on your question because if I understand you correctly you want to divide your time in a structured and 'honest' way. So you can learn writing/reading/listening AND speaking. I like this way of studying because you learn all these skills on an equally level. I start out with learning to write the whole character list(50 max) of the chapter and pay close attention to the pinyin(mà/má e.g.). This takes me around 90 minutes with full focus(normally a lot more because I tend to write here/do something else at the same time instead of continue studying :P). Secondly I try to comprehend the dialogues (in the textbook) by reading the characters(pinyin is available). So this way I am repeating the vocabulary list and I prepare myself for the listening exercises. The first listening exercise is an audio of the dialogue. On Youtube there are videos of the dialogues available but I like the CD because I can hear the tones better. I pause the CD after every sentence and repeat it out loud. Same with second audio of the vocabulary list. After I finish more exercises containing speaking/listening and reading comprehension/paraphrasing. I start with the grammer of the chapter. All these things you put in practise by yourself in the workbook. In the same order. So it starts with all kind of listening and speaking exercises. So for example you hear a sentence and you have to fill in the missing charater in the blanks. Or you have to listen to questions and answer them in Chinese sentences. Or they give you a character and you have to make a sentence out of it. Anyway to summarize this comment, which is already too long. They give you a learning path and you can learn all skills on an equally level. They continue on what you have learned so this way you repeat all kind of things on a natural way. Hope this helps.
  16. Sounds like you have several questions kind of rolled into one. Might be easier to analyze your options if you broke them out into separate items. 1. Academic considerations. 2. Language considerations. Traditional vs. simplified characters. Standard Chinese vs. dialect. 3. Economics and cost of living. 4. Quality of life and health considerations. Lots will boil down to your personal goals and preferences. I live in Kunming; it has pros and cons.
  17. Agree. I've read all his books and liked them a lot. Factory Girl too. Great stuff!
  18. What parts of China do they want to see? Where are you working? When are they coming? (What time of year?)
  19. China please, gimme the scholarship Did anyone applied through the OAS here?
  20. @aymen I applied to Sichuan University, no changes yet
  21. @Danidan Don't worry.I'm sure it will work out.You are in my prayers.
  22. @Tiri I've been admitted by a university as well. Like you, my application still says "Submitted". Looks like we've got 2.5 months of the waiting game. Woooo.
  23. @hejmeddig actually, I ended up applying directly through the university. It accepted me, but my scholarship application status is still "Submitted". Unless I'm looking in the wrong place ;_____; @Artemiy Thank you! I will die waiting for this results. It helps to think we're all in this together...
  24. Has anyone applied to Sichuan University? If so, has your status changed yet?
  25. @Tiri Yeah, you usually get all the the scholarship package in mid-July, but they usually warn you in late-May or smth like that if you didnt pass. Also you can check your application status at Laihua website.
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