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  1. Past hour
  2. calibre2001

    Which soy sauce? 酱油

    Don't forget this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_soy_sauce
  3. abcdefg

    Which soy sauce? 酱油

    Yes, that's a real good one that you found.
  4. 2 nights in a row, I stopped for take-out from a restaurant near my hotel in 北京. Last night, I got back to my hotel and realized they had forgotten the most expensive part of my order. However, it was too late & too far to go back. A Chinese friend said “just tell them tomorrow. They will remember a foreigner didn’t get his dish.” I was skeptical. I also wondered if my language skills were sufficient to handle the situation. However, I hardly needed them. Today, I walked by the restaurant very fast on my way to the subway. A guy from the restaurant apparently saw me, chased after me, and told me they would give me my money back (I walk very fast, it’s amazing he caught up to me) He wasn’t even the one who made the mistake. I knew him from the previous night. They gave me my money back with much pride; Everyone smiled. Their food is good as well so I owe them a TripAdvisor review. In the USA, I would expect a restaurant to refund my money, but I can’t imagine them chasing me down the road to return my money.
  5. DavyJonesLocker

    Which soy sauce? 酱油

    @abcdefg excellent write up, thanks. I found a very good one recently and just stick with that now. I do think the taste is richer than the cheaper ones I see it is indeed a 特级 which I never paid attention to before your post!
  6. Today
  7. DavyJonesLocker

    Car rental in China

    @Moshen Really useful info, many thanks!
  8. " . . . partly because of a lot of jargon " This of course is also a problem in English: SLI, PAI, CDW, LDW etc. You never know what you're really agreeing to but you have to agree anyway. (And it's very useful to clear up that temporary licenses are still available to tourists at the airport, since there's been a lot of confusion about that.)
  9. abcdefg

    Which soy sauce? 酱油

    Prompted by a recent question in another thread (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/59118-revisiting-the-classics-家常菜/?tab=comments#comment-459919), here's some simple help on picking the right soy sauce. My neighborhood supermarket has 30 or 40 brands on several yards of shelves. If one just walked in cold, the choice would be nearly overwhelming. It helps to divide them into broad categories or types. Light soy sauce 生抽 is far and away the most commonly used. If a recipe just calls for "soy sauce" without specifying further, best strategy is to use light soy sauce 生抽。It is made by fermenting soybeans for several months. The higher grades usually have a longer fermentation time. Look for brands that have no additives (many of the cheaper ones are laced with MSG.) These better ones often bear the designation 特级 te ji, which roughly means "top grade." Expect to pay 15 to 25 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Please click the photos to enlarge them. Here's the kind I have used for the last 5 or 6 years. Notice that it says 不加味精 (no added MSG.) I'm not against small amounts of MSG, but would rather add it judiciously in my own kitchen instead of having unknown amounts of it hiding in my soy sauce. The arrow points to where it says 特级。It has fermented 280 days; that's what the large number means. Same company makes one with a shorter time (180 days) and another with a longer time (380 days.) I take the middle road; the middle way. This brand also has no preservatives. You can also buy soy sauce in large plastic jugs for little more than the price of Coca Cola. You could afford to take a bath in it, not that you would want to. That stuff is made with lots of zippy "instant chemistry" and has only a passing acquaintance with the soy bean to which it owes its name. Best avoided. It's easy to get seduced by "special purpose" soy sauce being promoted just for making one kind of food. One can buy a special type of soy sauce for steaming fish 蒸鱼豉油 and another soy sauce that has been flavored with tiny 虾米 dried shrimp 海鲜酱油。One other common type is promoted as being specifically for 红烧肉 red-cooked pork. It typically contains star anise plus a little cinnamon. There's nothing wrong with these, but they take a lot of extra cabinet space and aren't really necessary. You can use plain soy sauce just as well and add the extra seasonings by hand as required. Low-sodium soy sauce exists, and will usually be labeled 低盐酱油, meaning "low salt." It would be a mistake to think that "light soy sauce" means it is low in salt. Some brands are labeled as being "natural and organic" 天然有机。I don't have any experience with them. When I use soy sauce in a dish, I dial back the cooking salt 食用盐 a little to allow for it. All soy sauce contains flour in addition to fermented soy, so it's not gluten free, just in case that is something with which you are concerned. The second main kind of soy sauce is 老抽,usually rendered into English as "old soy sauce." It is used in cooking, not as a table condiment. It's quite a bit more concentrated than "young soy sauce" 生抽,and typically contains both flour-based thickeners and molasses-type sweeteners. It is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whereas light soy sauce just runs right off. If I'm using a casual Chinese recipe that calls for both 生抽 and 老抽 without specifying precise amounts, I will use three or four times as much 生抽 as 老抽。Old soy sauce imparts a deeper color to a dish but not a whole lot of flavor. It is very often made with fermented mushrooms added during processing to enrich the taste, to make it more substantial. Here's one I've used several years with good results. Note the arrow pointing out that it is also 特级 (top grade.) Costs about the same as 生抽, 15 or 20 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Sometimes one also uses a very thick soy sauce as a dipping sauce for roast meat or duck 烤肉/烤鸭, alone or mixed with plum sauce. It is slightly sweet and comes in a wide-mouth jar; thick enough to require a spoon to serve it. If you are looking for general-purpose Chinese cooking soy sauce, that's not what you are after. Pass it by. In summary, your kitchen cupboard will be just fine with a bottle of 生抽 and another of 老抽。It's worth shelling out the little bit extra to get 特级 editions of both.
  10. Enjune Zhang

    read aloud or silently

    There is gap between what you think you could and the fact, so that's why reading aloud helps you detect the disparity between your actual condition and the ideal one.One needs to read aloud to see the room of further improvement. It helps if you may get it recorded and compare it with the correct pronunciation if there is any example available. Or you could download an app where you could transform the text input into voice. So you know how it is correctly pronounced.
  11. abcdefg

    read aloud or silently

    During my first couple years, teachers always urged me to read out loud as part of my homework. I was skeptical but did it anyhow. I think it probably helped. Not sure why, since nobody was listening. Perhaps it was just that if I stumbled over how to pronounce a word, it was obvious and I had to pause and get it straightened out. If I had been reading silently, there would have been a strong temptation to just gloss it over and keep going; it would have been easier to ignore things I didn't know.
  12. abcdefg

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    Many thanks for all those fine suggestions. To be frank, some of them are things I've only eaten in a restaurant, have not tried making them at home. I will start doing some background reading and talking to my local cooking friends. @suMMit -- Those look delicious. Were they a lot of trouble to make? I usually buy 小笼包 and 包子 outside instead of making them at home, mainly out of laziness. Do you have a bamboo steamer basket? The place I usually go is very small and they do the whole process out front where customers can see their meat and how they handle it. Somehow I find that reassuring; they aren't hiding the process in a dark back room. @Shelley -- Fore sure some sweet and sour dishes need to be on the short list. I love those too. And you are right about soup being often overlooked. Chinese have soup with nearly every main meal (not with breakfast.) I particularly like soups during the colder months, and they are coming up. @889 -- Yes indeed. In particular I'm a die hard fan of 麻婆豆腐。Go through spells of making it once or twice a week, and then I don't think of it again for a month or two. Always a pleasure to return to it. @DavyJonesLocker -- That's a great question and it comes up a lot. I definitely can help with "the soy sauce issue." Promise to give you some info on that within the next 24 hours. It's an interesting subject.
  13. We are six days into our China road trip now. We easily procured a temporary Chinese drivers license at the Beijing airport which is valid for 1 year anywhere in China and valid just for driving a rented car. Reserving the rental car was a hassle. What they didn't tell us in advance was that the car rental company (a Hertz affiliate) would not rent any car to foreigners during Golden Week. So we could only start our road trip on October 8. In general, the car rental business in China is small compared to other countries and not very customer friendly. My husband, who is a Beijing native, had a hard time understanding the car rental people - partly because of a lot of jargon he didn't know and partly because of accent. So his sister, who lives in Beijing, did most of the negotiating for us. We have been navigating easily using Baidu Maps. More later when I have time.
  14. Yesterday
  15. He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better 沈冰山:27载习棋练琴,只为更好地作画 It was Sunday, trapped in house by the rainy morning, that I read the story about him. I was not knowing what to do then since the rain put an end to my plan going out for a walk and doing the recording along the way. I was thinking about doing the recording at home only to find that the goddamn cellphone was unavailable for clear record without blending some noise of electric current into my voice. What the hell is going on? What a big joke! 星期天的清晨,正被雨天困在家里,我读到了关于他的故事。当时我正无所事事,这雨一下,我外出散步顺带录音的计划泡了汤。好吧那就在家里录音得了,谁知道这该死的手机居然闹起来别扭,录音也不能好好录了,人声跟电流干扰声还混声了。这是在闹哪出?诸事不宜吗! We have planned to do a lot in the leisure future when we are busy, making a to do list and awaiting them to be finished when we have the time. But the things don't see any accomplishment when that time comes, since a lot of other things unexpected do come along with the time available. 在忙的时候,我们计划好要在将来闲暇的某个时段做很多事情,也列了相应的清单等待着那个空闲时间的到来。但当有时间了,我们却不见得能完成计划的事项,毕竟随之而来的可能是其他意想不到的状况。 Somebody may go around the obstacle and find another way to his goal set, while the others stand still wondering why, cursing damn, or moving to another direction when they see no possibility to go through the barrier. 困境当前,有人会绕过障碍,开拓出另一种路径去接近原定的目标,而其余的人只是站在那里,或问着为什么,或诅咒着什么,或因为看不到穿越屏障的可能而改变初衷。 The story I read about Mr Bingshan Shen is a well reflection of the somebody mentioned above. 读着沈冰山的故事,我看到了上述“某一种人”的真实写照。 What if what you do could always have something to do with what you are going to do next? It may be a perfect form of efficiency in life, because nothing you've ever done has been wasted. 如果你现在所做的每一件事都能与接下来所要做的产生联系,你的生活会是怎样?这将是人生的一种高效形式,因为你所做的一切都不曾白费。 Mr Shen enjoyed drawing when he was young, and that's his lifelong love of labor too. Sight means almost everything to a painter, but illness got him blind when he was right 26 years old. He had to quit drawing unless he could draw without seeing, which means he should draw with the guidance of memory, judging the position of next stroke based on the last one, and having his own rhythm in mind to move along. 沈先生热爱绘画,这是他年幼时的爱好,也是他一生所爱。视力对于一个画家而言何其重要,然而他26岁时因病失明。他不得不放弃作画,除非他可以在什么也看不见的情况下画,这意味着他要凭借记忆对他的指引去画,根据前一笔的落笔去规划下一笔的走向,并心存作画时可依据的节奏。 That's difficult for even normal people, let alone for someone disable. But one has no idea of what difference he is capable of making until fate gets him cornered. He put drawing aside, starting to learn to play chess and a kind of traditional Chinese music instrument named Yangqin. It took him 27 years. 这对于正常人而言,都显得困难,何况是他这个残障人士。但若命运没有将你逼到绝处,你还不知道自己还能剑走偏锋。他暂时把画画这事搁置在一旁,开始学习下象棋,学习弹扬琴这种中国传统乐器。这花了他27载光阴。 He led the way back to drawing when he had mastered both chess and Yangqin well, which brought him fame nationwide. He wouldn't rest on that glory, since he knew what he had learned these for. 当棋艺与琴艺都掌握了,并且在国内也名声渐长的时候,他让精力回归到作画上。他没有在荣耀之上长眠,因为他深知,学习琴棋是为了什么。 I was shocked when I saw how he connected drawing with the way he played chess and the Yangqin. Playing chess gave him a great improvement in memory, so he's good at visualizing the chessboard in mind, systemizing every move based on the lines crossing each other on it. He made it planning what to do next playing without watching the layout. 当领悟到他是如何把作画跟下棋和弹奏扬琴相联系时,我被震撼了。磨炼棋艺提升了他的记忆力,因此他善于让棋局在心头可视化,并有系统地根据其上纵横交错的线去设计接下来每一步棋的走位。于是他便可以不用看棋局也能自如地走子。 The layout's in his heart. And when this game saw its transformation on the paper and color, he could manage drawing well by memorizing what he had done and designing the coming steps based on what's formed in his mind, so blindness was no longer in the way. He took the paper his chessboard and every time he put a brush on it, it's like moving a piece of chess thereon. 布局就在他心里,当这个游戏延伸到纸面上,与颜色挂钩时,他便能凭借对之前步骤的记忆和心中所想,去画好接下来的每一笔,这样,双目失明不再是种障碍。他视纸箱为棋盘,每在上面添一笔,都像是挪动棋局之上的一枚棋。 His experience in Yangqin sharpened his sense in rhythm and alteration of details. Different pitches arranged in various rhythm make the melody. And he was specialized in making ever-changing melody possible without seeing. He saw drawing as the flow of music where colors and lines got changing to make what's in his mind vivid onto the paper. That's how playing the Yangqin helped him with his drawing. It's all about control of rhythm when you polish the details. 扬琴的弹奏经验锐化了他对节奏和细节变化的感知。不同的音高根据不一的节奏进行排列重组,形成了旋律。他擅长仅凭感觉去弹奏并展现这种多变的旋律。绘画对他而言只是一幅流动的音乐,色彩与线条跃然纸面,且变化多端,他心中的画卷也随之在纸上活灵活现。弹奏扬琴有助于他作画:一切关乎雕琢细节时对节奏的把控。 Barrier brings him patience, and he makes it a legend. 命中的阻滞给了他耐性,而他成全了这段传奇。
  16. ChTTay

    Changing Visas

    It used to be more common a few years ago. They started to clamp down on it and made applicants apply from their home country. It’s possible to do it in HK I think but not that common. You’d need your visa letter to state that you can go to HK and, as this is issued in China, they usually won’t do that. Better to do it in your home country. Also “come on an L and we’ll change it” is a classic way to get scammed by unscrupulous English schools. There are cases where you can covert an L to a Z within China but hard to say what the rules are on that. Maybe someone else knows
  17. Shelley

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    A favorite of mine and on the menus here in the UK along with sweet and sour chicken or prawns or even beef. One thing I think that is often forgotten is soups, egg drop soup or sweet corn soup. there are probably more - a clear soup I don't know the name of.
  18. Luxi

    New Vocab Podcast

    No, unfortunately. But it's easy to get the vocabulary from the English part where all the main words and phrases are translated (remember this is primarily for people studying English). I wonder if one could use an audio translator like Microsoft/Bing. I listened to quite a few episodes earlier and they seemed quite good for practise and generally easy to understand. Good as audio practice but quite a bit of work if you want to collect the vocabulary, you'd have to look up the written characters somewhere else.
  19. Flickserve

    New Vocab Podcast

    Do they provide transcripts?
  20. Khaoula

    Changing Visas

    have you ever traveled to china with L visa then had transfer it to a Z visa by applying in Hong Kong? Do people do it all the time?
  21. Dawei3

    read aloud or silently

    I'm a huge fan of Pimsleur's teaching approach which advocates speaking out-loud. This teaches your mouth to pronounce things correctly. Before using Pimsleur, I would have thought you need to have a teacher correct your pronunciation. However, hearing it spoken correctly and repeating it back, my pronunciation got better & better. Although some of Pimsleur's content is questionable, I think it's teaching approach is very effective. Speaking out loud is key.
  22. Luxi

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    I look forward to 红烧茄子, and even have some aubergines at home waiting for a recipe. If there's room for another request, I used to like 罗汉斋 (Buddha's delight), I guess the dish can take different combinations of tofu and many types of vegetables (or pickled Chinese veggies only?), and would love to know what is the sauce.
  23. ChTTay

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    Gotta have 回锅肉 on “the list”.
  24. DavyJonesLocker

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    do you use different 老抽 or 生抽 for the different dishes. I have bought a few different 生抽 now but some seem to verge towards the 老抽 end of things
  25. Hello everyone! I have a question related to education in Taiwan. As I understand it, most Taiwanese learn pronunciation for character using the "Zhuyin" (or Bopomofo) system. What I´d like to know is if anyone knows of some primary school in Taiwan (ideally Taipei) that only teaches pronunciation using Pinyin? I´d like to know if some Taiwanese people use Pinyin as their main way to write using phones or computers. Thanks!
  26. 889

    Revisiting the classics 家常菜

    Epicures can sneer all they want, but you can't ignore 古老肉/糖醋里脊. (But yes, it seems embarrassing to order it, so I usually don't.) Another can't-miss is 炸酱面. (It can be ordered without embarrassment.) 麻婆豆腐 and 京酱肉丝 also belong on the old-standbys list. (These all assume you can these days still afford to order meat.)
  27. Luxi

    New Vocab Podcast

    By chance, I found an answer to this 12 year old question (actually, I had to search for a question that fitted the answer). It's a podcast for native Chinese speakers learning English, but it is bilingual and seems to work perfectly both ways - basically, a short informal discussion on an everyday topic between Jenny (a native Chinese speaker) and Adam (a Chinese-speaking American ), comparing common words and expressions in Chinese and English. A lot of the discussion is in English but Jenny translates all the useful words and phrases into clear Mandarin. 潘吉Jenny告诉你-学英语聊美国 https://www.ximalaya.com/waiyu/262212/ The titles include topics like: '宜家Ikea到底怎么读', '逛Costco被人流淹没,这些形拥挤的英语太形象了!', '怎么称呼家人?Daddy,Mommy可不叫!' and much more. It looks terribly useful for 听力 and vocabulary, I hope it is accessible to people from lower intermediate level up. The show has been running a long time and is nearing episode 700, but the earlier episodes I checked were mostly in Chinese and no Adam to be seen heard. Still, the current format goes back several pages, plenty to listen to and the show is still running. Jeny has other podcasts on a same vein in Ximalaya, check the links if you want more. This reference came in this article from What's on Weibo : Top 10 of Popular Chinese Podcasts of 2019 (by What’s on Weibo)
  28. hello guys, i would like to know about this if anyone here ever face this situation. if you got 2 scholarship from CSC, let's say from type B and type A. which one you will be granted? the scholarship result that first come out or the scholarship with bigger benefit?
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