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The Grand First Episode Project. . .


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IT's hard to say, and it's different for different people. Watching/listening is a skill of its own, and whatever your grammar/vocabulary level, it will take a while to get used to it. But if you've finished (say) the first two volumes of NPCR, it might be not too early to peek around and attempt the easier shows -- especially with the vocab already available.

The best way is to try. You could look at the 奋斗 thread and watch an episode of that. Take as much time as you need, and consult the thread often -- we've covered the vocabulary and the story in great detail. Don't feel bad if you have to stop after every sentence and read the subtitles -- we all started like that. If you can get through that episode, then I'd say that you could definitely benefit from watching TV shows.

奋斗 is not the easiest show (not the hardest either), but we are currently watching it in a small group, so it may be easier to jump in. There are some even easier shows to try if that's too difficult: 家有儿女 or 花樣少年少女 (trad. subtitles though), or 康乾盛世秘史. Also, 空镜子 is not too difficult, but has a strong Beijing accent, so it takes getting used to.

In any case, it will be a bit difficult in the beginning, but it gets better with time. If you can get through an episode and understand basically what happened (even if it takes you hours), then it will be a good exercise for you. If you're totally and utterly lost, then perhaps not yet.

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Have a look at some of the transcripts of dialogue that Renzhe posted for 奋斗. If it's not too far above your level, try to read and understand one of them, and then find that position in the show (you might need to ask someone to help locate the exact time the conversation starts) and then listen to it over and over to see how much you can pick up. Start small, and work up to bigger things. There's no need to try and watch a full episode at once if that is too far above your level, but you should easily be able to take it in smaller pieces.

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useful to the Chinese-learning masses for years to come!

I agree. It will probably take me years to fully take advantage of this resource, but it's definitely something I'm looking forward to. In fact, being able to follow Chinese movies without elbowing the person sitting next to me was one of my original motivations for learning Mandarin.

Tremendous work!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder what the practicalities would be of synchronized episode watching. Everyone participating starts watching at the same time and chats over MSN or similar as they're watching to discuss the plot / language issues / etc. The transcript of that then gets posted here as a minute by minute viewing guide for others.

Would be tricky to arrange due to time differences, but might be fun. In an odd kind of way . . .

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  • 2 weeks later...


Chinese name: 難兄難弟

English name: Old Time Buddy

Summary: Bosom friends Yuen (Ng Chun Yu) and Ki (Lo Ka Leung) try their luck in the show business together. But it turns out that only Yuen is destined to stardom. He is given the chance to often costar with the two hottest actresses, Fong (Hsuan Jessica Hester) and Chu (Cheung Ho Yee). But ill-fate Ki remains a nobody still.

Ki secretly admires Fong. He is broken-heart when he learns that Fong falls for Yuen. He then dates Chu, but is again met with opposition. Chu's mother intervenes and the two lovers are forced to go separate ways. Not long after, Fong also breaks up with Yuen.

When Ki eventually becomes popular, the black and white movie industry starts to find its way downhill. Worse still, Ki is badly defamed when the secret of his father being a murderer is disclosed. He suspects Yuen to be behind this and they become enemies.

Thirty years later, Yuen, Ki, Fong and Chu meet again. Will time help unravel their misunderstanding?

Credits to sensation


Law Ka Leung

Maggie Cheung

Francis Ng

Jessica Suen

Jerry Lam

Joyce Tang

Personal Review

I'm nearly at the end of this series and I think I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. This show was a TVB best series circa 97/98 and IMO deserves it. It's mostly a comedy but what I like most is that its set in 60s entertainment circle of HK. Alot of side characters here are references to that era i.e. 細路祥 , 沈殿霞

Language: I watched it in cantonese and find the language used extremely rich (read: a goldmine for learners). Plenty of sayings thrown in that make it more difficult than most contemporary TV series. Subtitles are typically HK style- plenty of canto slangs thrown in along with very formal chinese words. I haven't seen it in mandarin but I'm sure it's worth it too.

Overall, a good comedy with plenty of opportunities to listen to colourful colloquial language and expressions.

The 主題曲 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnwS1IUXpo&feature=related

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  • 3 weeks later...

Coming back to simultaneous watching

People watch at very different speeds though. It would be difficult to synchronise.

I think it'd be fun though :mrgreen: I'm up for giving it a shot if anyone's interested. Might make sense to do the chatting over IM rather than forums posting.

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We could just do it on here, but the whole reloading thing can be a bit slow. Do you want to pick a show?

Also, with catching up - we could do something like watch 10 minutes, then break for five minutes, so anyone falling behind could catch up in the break. 40 minute show would still only take one hour. Although given that I doubt anyone bar you and me will be interested, it might not matter . . .

Edit: That Sohu "HD" video is well worth a look, although it lost the connection to the server and won't let you skip forward to anything that hasn't already buffered. Any know if it is viewable from outside China, and what are speeds like?

Edited by roddy
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Edit: That Sohu "HD" video is well worth a look, although it lost the connection to the server and won't let you skip forward to anything that hasn't already buffered. Any know if it is viewable from outside China, and what are speeds like?

It's viewable, but it buffers quite a lot for me.

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Good to see some activity around here.

I'm planning to watch some more TV nowadays, so this is most welcome.

I'd like to watch 射雕英雄传, but I don't like the 2008 version, and the 2003 version is painfully slow to download (I don't even know if I can get it at all).

Anyone have a link for watching it or something? My search on youku only gives the 1983 version, which is historically relevant, but I can't really stomach it :)

EDIT: I found all the 4 major versions on youku. The 2003 version is by far the best of the lot, but it's the only one without subtitles :( That is not a major problem (I know the story already), but it's so slow to download that I might have to watch it on youku :(

Edited by renzhe
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