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First episode 11 - 奋斗


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Agree with Renzhe. I wanted to watch a complete modern Chinese soap series, and this was probably the best. The problem is that modern Chinese soaps don't seem to be much more than watchable at most. Having said that, 奋斗 was definitely watchable though not enthralling.

The show I would recommend is 魔幻手机, although you would need to struggle through the atrocious special effects in the first episode and it is probably best to just stop watching at episode 29.

Interesting question about the learning aspect. It depends on your level a bit, I guess. A Chinese colleague of mine advised me to stay away from the historical stuff. She said she knows an ABC who learnt most of her Chinese from costume dramas and sounds like someone from the Tang Dynasty. If you live in China and/or already speak Chinese pretty well, this might not be a problem, but until very recently the first episode project was 100% of my exposure to spoken Chinese. I have certainly seen some very real and tangible benefits from watching these shows.

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Terribly sorry for the long silence. The forum is unblocked at work now but I am careful.

I haven't finished Episode 2 but I've done about 2/3 of the transcript. It's 22 pages in Word (font 12)!

Perhaps, someone can use it. Attaching here along with the vocab.

Fendou ep.2.txt

Fendou2 - vocab.txt

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  • 1 month later...

Here is the vocab for episodes 16-20. Only stuff that's not in HSK vocab lists. Hope it helps someone.

虚伪 xū wěi * false / sham / hypocritical

加号 jiā hào * plus sign + / positive

背地里 bèi dì li * behind someone's back

官司 guān si * lawsuit

欣慰 xīn wèi * to be gratified

苦涩 kǔ sè * bitter and astringent / pained / agonized

高尚 gāo shàng * nobly / lofty

打住 dǎ zhù * to stop

无害 wú hài * harmless

攀比 pān bǐ * to make invidious comparisons / to emulate others

魅力 mèi lì * charm / fascination / glamor / charisma

肺腑之言 fèi fǔ zhī yán * words from the bottom of one's heart

数落 shǔ luò * to enumerate sb's shortcomings / to criticize / to scold

幽怨 yōu yuàn * hidden bitterness

人流 rén liú * an abortion

低谷 dī gǔ * fig. low point / lowest ebb

彩票 cǎi piào * the lottery / lottery ticket

想通 xiǎng tōng * to think something through

鄙视 bǐ shì * to despise / to disdain / to look down upon

扯平 chě píng * to break even / to get even

万宝路 Wàn bǎo lù * Marlboro (cigarette)

牛仔 niú zǎi * cowboy

雄心壮志 xióng xīn zhuàng zhì * great ambition / lofty aspiration

花心 huā xīn * playboy / playgirl

片子 piān zi * film / movie / film reel / gramophone record

乐极生悲 lè jí shēng bēi * extreme joy turns to sorrow / Don't celebrate too soon, things could still go wrong!

贞节 zhēn jié * loyalty / chastity

烈女 liè nǚ * woman who dies in defence of her chastity

灵犀 líng xī * rhinoceros horn, reputed to confer telepathic powers / fig. mutual sensitivity / tacit exchange of romantic feelings

虚荣 xū róng * vanity

蒸蒸日上 zhēng zhēng rì shàng * becoming more prosperous with each passing day

来劲 lái jìn * to be full of enthusiasm

烂泥 làn ní * mud / ooze

脏话 zāng huà * profanity / obscene language / speaking rudely

厚道 hòu dào * honest and kind / generous

麻将 má jiàng * mahjong

势利 shì lì * selfishly concerned with gaining advantages for oneself

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Vocab for episodes 21-25. Only stuff that's not in the HSK vocab. Enjoy.

希腊 Xī là * Greece

耍无赖 shuǎ wú lài * to act unreasonably and shamelessly

虾兵蟹将 xiā bīng xiè jiàng * shrimp soldiers and crab generals (in mythology or popular fiction, the army of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea) / useless troops

插座 chā zuò * socket / outlet

危险品 wēi xiǎn pǐn * hazardous materials

欣慰 xīn wèi * to be gratified

无息 wú xī * interest-free

趁虚而入 chèn xū ér rù * move in while the opponent is off guard

去火药 qù huǒ yào * medicine against fever

得逞 dé chěng * prevail / succeed

巴基斯坦 Bā jī sī tǎn * Pakistan

焦虑 jiāo lǜ * anxious / worried / apprehensive

荒漠 huāng mò * barren

认命 rèn mìng * to accept one's fate

金屋藏娇 jīn wū cáng jiāo * a golden house to keep one's mistress / a magnificent house built for a beloved woman

新奇 xīn qí * novelty / novel

喧闹 xuān nào * make a noise / noisy

飞镖 fēi biāo * darts

剟 duō * throw (darts) / cut / strike

芭比Q barbecue

拧 nìng * stubborn

肯德基 Kěn dé jī * KFC / Kentucky Fried Chicken

知本家 a pun on 资本家

炮儿局 slang for police office

坑惨 kēng cán * to cheat (and really hurt) somebody

叛逆 pàn nì * to rebel / to revolt

耍赖 shuǎ lài * to act unreasonably and shamelessly

竟拍 jìng pāi * auction

出让 chū ràng * to transfer (one's property or rights to sb else)

管理 guǎn lǐ* to supervise / to manage

滋润 zī rùn * moist / comfortably off

发廊 fà láng * hair dresser's shop

倒插门 dào chā mén * to marry and live with the bride's family (inverting traditional Chinese expectations)

乌鸦嘴 wū yā zuǐ * lit. crow's beak / fig. harbinger of doom

心碎 xīn suì * heart-broken / extreme depth of sorrow

乌托邦 wū tuō bāng * utopia

拾掇 shí duō * to clear up / to tidy up / to pick up

古董 gǔ dǒng * curio / antique

骨灰 gǔ huī * bone ash / ashes of the dead

自助 zì zhù * self service

调情 tiáo qíng * flirt

破罐破摔 pò guàn pò shuāi * lit. to smash a cracked pot; fig. to treat oneself as hopeless and act crazily

周到 zhōu dào thoughtful / considerate

含蓄 hán xù implicit

随和 suí hé amiable (disposition) / easy-going

糜烂 mí làn dissipated

整容 zhěng róng plastic surgery

丑八怪 chǒu bā guài ugly person / wretch

退票 tuì piào bounce (a check) / ticket refund

富家女 girl from arich family ??

绕弯子 rào wān zi * lit. to go on a long detour / fig. to beat about the bush

文秘 wén mì * secretary

磨蹭 mó ceng * to move slowly / to brush lightly

抻 chēn * pull

显摆 xiǎn bǎi * to show off

差劲 chà jìn * bad / no good / below average / disappointi


焦虑 jiāo lǜ * anxious / worried / apprehensive

绿帽子 lǜ mào zi * cuckold / cheated husband

浴巾 yù jīn * bath towel

开发商 kāi fā shāng * developer (e.g. real-estate, software etc)

打岔 dǎ chà * interruption / to interrupt (esp. talk) / to change the subject

不堪入目 bù kān rù mù * unbearable to look at / an eyesore

煽风点火 shān fēng diǎn huǒ * to fan the flames / to stir up trouble

模棱两可 mó léng liǎng kě * ambivalent / to hold two contradictory views at the same time / to sit on the fence

后怕 hòu pà * lingering fear / fear after the event / post-traumatic stress

及时掐灭 do things at the right time ??

防范 fáng fàn * to guard

意识 yì shí * consciousness / awareness / consciously

贼眉鼠眼 zéi méi shǔ yǎn * to have a thievish/sneaky look

催眠 cuī mián * hypnosis

勾魂 gōu hún * to bewitch

地段 dì duàn * section / district

性价比 xìng jià bǐ * cost performance

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, I finally watched my first first episode ... quite apart from the show itself, thank you very much to everyone, especially renzhe with those heroic vocab lists! :D:D:D will certainly watch the rest of the series.

really appreciated!

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How easy did you find it to understand?

The first few minutes, where 3 or 4 guys are walking and talking, I couldn't understand a word! I would certainly have stopped watching if it wasn't for the material available here.

In terms of understanding who is who and what happens in the episode, I would say I understand it well, there's nothing I'm puzzled about. There was plenty of language that I missed, but a few times I paused and read the (very clear) subtitles when I thought necessary, and listened again.

Having the synopsis was a huge help: I felt I didn't have to "strain" or stress to work out what was being said, because if I missed something it didn't matter -- I had the synopsis. And by being relaxed I think I actually understood much more of the dialogue than I would have done if I was worried about not being able to follow the plot (if that makes sense?).

Also, obviously, knowledge of the plot gives context which makes understanding much easier.

I found that in general I understood the dialogue more easily when I wasn't looking at the subtitles at all. I guess my reading speed is too slow!

Anyway, a much-appreciated confidence boost. And good practice listening to northern Chinese accents, I really find the stronger ones wierd.

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  • 1 month later...

Episodes 26-30. The last two are coming soon. Enjoy.

眉目 méi mu * progress / prospect of solution / sign of positive outcome

山穷水尽 shān qióng shuǐ jìn * mountain and river exhausted (成语 saw); at the end of the line / nowhere to go

底线 dì xiàn * to underline / base line (in sports)

开河 kāi hé * to open a river / to dig a canal / to thaw (of river)

龙虾 lóng xiā * lobster

芥茉 = 芥末 jiè mo * mustard / wasabi

磨蹭 mó ceng * to move slowly / to dawdle / to work sluggishly / to brush lightly

祖宗 zǔ zōng * ancestor / forebear

禽兽 qín shòu * birds and animals / creature / beast (brutal person)

骑虎难下 qí hǔ nán xià * if you ride a tiger, it's hard to get off (成语 saw); fig. impossible to stop halfway

修女 xiū nǚ * nun

请求宽恕 qǐng qiú kuān shù * to sue for mercy / to ask for forgiveness / begging for magnanimity

激怒 jī nù * to infuriate

要命 yào mìng * to cause sb's death / very / extremely

显摆 xiǎn bǎi * to show off

义气 yì qì * spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice / code of brotherhood

折腾 zhē teng * to toss from side to side (e.g. sleeplessly) / to repeat sth over and over again / to torment sb

苦涩 kǔ sè * bitter and astringent / pained / agonized

施工 shī gōng * construction

抻 chēn * to pull / to stretch / to draw sth out

失恋 shī liàn * lost in love

心理医生 psychoterapist

康复 kāng fù * to recuperate / to recover (health) / to convalesce

资用 zī yòng * available

外加 wài jiā * in addition / extra

绝交 jué jiāo * to break off relations / to break with sb

游乐场 yóu lè chǎng * playground

开业 kāi yè * to open a business / to open a practice / open (for business)

吹牛 chuī niú * brag / chat (dialect)

野营 yě yíng * to camp / field lodgings

繁星 fán xīng * many stars / a vast sky full of stars

郁闷 yù mèn * gloomy / depressed

铅笔 qiān bǐ * (lead) pencil

强壮 qiáng zhuàng * strong / sturdy / robust

赞同 zàn tóng * to approve of / to endorse / (vote) in favorzàn tóng * to approve of / to endorse / (vote) in favor

引狼入室 yǐn láng rù shì * to lead the wolf into the house (成语 saw); to leave oneself open to attack / to act imprudently, asking for trouble

俗气 sú qì * tacky / inelegant / in poor taste

心理学 xīn lǐ xué * psychology

喜新厌旧 xǐ xīn yàn jiù * lit. to like the new, and hate the old (成语 saw); fig. enamored with new people (e.g. new girlfriend), bored with the old

迷住 mí zhu * to fascinate / to strongly attract / to obsess

心慌 xīn huāng * irregular heart-beat


起哄 qǐ hòng * to heckle / rowdy jeering / to create a disturbance

迷茫 mí máng * dim / hazy / (of the mind) in a trance

丰田 Fēng tián * Toyota or Toyoda (name) / Toyota, Japanese car make

跑车 pǎo chē * racing bicycle / sporting bicycle / sports car

迷恋 mí liàn * to be infatuated with / to indulge in

付出 fù chū * to pay

沮丧 jǔ sàng * dispirited / dejected / be dismayed

融资 róng zī * financing

强行 qiáng xíng * to force / to break

预售 yù shòu advance sale / to sell in advance / to book

余地 yú dì * margin / leeway

华尔街 Huá ěr jiē * Wall Street

小巷 xiǎo xiàng * alley

当中 dāng zhōng * among / in the middle / in the center

合伙人 hé huǒ rén * partner / associate

过冬 guò dōng * to get through the winter

风险 fēng xiǎn * risk / venture / hazard

才华 cái huá * literary or artistic talent

报表 bào biǎo * forms for reporting statistics / report forms

预测 yù cè * forecast / predict

故宫 gù gōng * The Imperial Palace

回报 huí bào * (in) return / reciprocation / payback

离场 pull out of a business venture????

振作 zhèn zuò * encouraged / to summon up (courage) / to encourage

气馁 qì něi * to be discouraged

夸张 kuā zhāng * to exaggerate / vaunted / overstated

抵触 dǐ chù * to conflict / to contradict

轱辘 gū lu * wheel / to roll

点滴 diǎn dī * a drip / a little bit / intravenous drip (used to administer drugs)

认同 rèn tóng * identify / approve / acknowledge

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w00t w00t! Finished! Here are the last two episodes:

情调 qíng diào * sentiment; tone and mood; taste

疲惫 pí bèi * beaten / exhausted / tired

薯条 shǔ tiáo * french fried potatoes / french fries

母校 mǔ xiào * alma mater

风云 Fēng Yún * Fung Wan (comic book series)

破戒 pò jiè * to violate a religious precept / to smoke or drink after giving up

忙碌 máng lù * busy / bustling

卢浮官 Louvre

赛纳 (river) Seine

怜悯 lián mǐn * pity / mercy

焦虑 jiāo lǜ * anxious / worried / apprehensive

迷茫 mí máng * dim / hazy / (of the mind) in a trance

下注 xià zhù * to pour / to pour down (of rain) / to lay a bet

懦夫 nuò fū * coward

理想主义者 idealist

技巧 jì qiǎo * skill / technique

四处漂泊 to drift about

弥补 mí bǔ * to complement / to make up for a deficiency

硬汉 tough guy / unweilding man

为人 wéi rén * behavior / one's conduct

对劲儿 normal/right

合情合理 hé qíng hé lǐ * reasonable and fair (成语 saw)

介意 jiè yì * to care about / to take offense / to mind

破罐破摔 pò guàn pò shuāi * lit. to smash a cracked pot (成语 saw); crazy despair in the face of a blemish, defect, error or setback

Some random thoughts:向南 is an idiot of epic proportions and 米莱 is a good friend to have if you're looking to meet girls. The later episodes were indeed the strongest ones, as everyone grows up and things wrap up.

Overall, this was quite enjoyable. It is not particularly realistic, and there is some silliness around, but it remains watchable, the plot keeps moving for the most part, and the characters are mostly interesting. Not something I'd watch for its great artistic quality, but not bad either.

As a learning tool, this is probably the best resource out there. I urge everyone learning Chinese to watch this one all the way through. There are even vocabulary lists to help you along. There is so much dialogue, it is extremely modern, everyday speech, and it covers basically every topic imaginable, from business to family to relationships to weddings to funerals to music to design etc. etc. When starting to watch this, I could barely follow along, and just about manage to get the main idea. Towards the end, I could follow without subtitles and understand almost everything in it. Great listening drill, and a watchable series with pretty people too.

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My favourite parts are when he has the two separate conversations with both his step-father and biological father.

Especially in one of those conversations when he called one of them 爸 - haha, I won't spoil it by saying which one (throughout the series he refused to call either of them 爸) but to me that signified that 陆涛 had finally grown up.

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There is actually a variety of accents throughout. 灵珊 speaks with a Taiwanese accent and her father has a really strong accent that I can't pinpoint. I was dependent on the subtitles for his lines. 陆涛's biological father also has a slight accent. 露露 is also not from Beijing.

The problem, rather than general northern Mandarin, is that a number of characters speak Beijing dialect. For example 陆涛 and 向南, but especially 华子 and 猪头, who speak a really colloquial slang a lot of the time.

But overall, I found it OK and quite easy to follow. Other than 华子 and 猪头, much of the speech is close enough to the standard to not pose a huge problem. And the lines are quite authentic.

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There is actually a variety of accents throughout. 灵珊 speaks with a Taiwanese accent and her father has a really strong accent that I can't pinpoint.

Having seen enough Taiwan shows, I'm quite sure it's a put on accent. The father does pronounce some words with dialect pronounciation, for example 女 with lui (cantonese) instead of nv.

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