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    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

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  • Latest Topics

    • Xiao Kui
      1
      I'm looking for a good and safe website for downloading Chinese ebooks in pdf form. I am a little overwhelmed by the internet and baidu wenku. I'm wary of clicking on links that may be unsafe.  Perhaps pdf's are safe files but I'm not sure. (I did a search in the forums but a lot of the threads were pretty old.) Thanks!
    • BeachSmiles
      0
      Hello  I  own an antique Chinese incense burner Fangding with cloisonne enamel. It has been in my family for 100 years.  We are nearly certain it is from the Qing Dynasty late 17th , early 18th century I need help translating the inscription on the bottom.  I appreciate  all help and any insights into this beautiful antique.  Thank you
    • china_travel
      2
      Hi everyone, I hope it is ok that I am posting to this forum because I just have a travel related question. We want to travel to china this spring and because I am allergic to birch, hazel and ash-tree pollen and I would like to avoid the peak flowering time of these trees. I can't find helpful resources on this in English so I wanted to ask if someone knows Chinese sites that provide a pollen calendar similar like here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/health/public/pollen-forecast (flowering times might differ for different regions in China I guess? We will be in Beijing + area, Shanghai + area and in Yunnan district)   I am happy about any help, thank you! Greetings,  Peter
    • Geo
      2
      Hello All,   I have three Chinese snuff bottle. One has a seal mark and the other two are signed by the artists. Can someone please let me know what dynasty the seal mark is from and also what are the names of the artists on the other two bottles?   Thank you very much for your help!   George
    • Luxi
      0
      A recent comment to a post in Paper Republic brought me to this very shareable interview with Bruce Humes,  http://bruce-humes.com/archives/759   In this 2009 interview Bruce Humes talks about his translation of "Shanghai Baby", and also about his life in China in general, and about literary translations. His views on  translation offer much ground for thought, including good advice for  people engaged in, or considering, literary translation.  His blog, where this interview was published, has many other interesting-looking articles.    Bruce Humes is also the translator of The Last Quarter of the Moon by Chi Zijian, about the Evenki minority of remote Heilongjiang, one of my favourite contemporary Chinese novels, not less because of Humes' excellent English translation.   His blog, where this interview was published, has many other interesting-looking articles on Chinese literature and on translation.   
    • Publius
      5
      It's like an overnight alien takeover, suddenly this dish is everywhere. Loved by students, migrant workers, office ladies, bachelors and bachelorettes, and pretty much everybody, 黃燜雞米飯 belongs to the venerable school of Shandong cuisine or 魯菜 -- although many people from Shandong admit they've never heard of it or only first tasted it in another province. Anyway, a restaurant based in Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong, with only one dish on its menu has become a tremendous success, boasting more than 6,000 franchised locations worldwide. The dish has become a national favorite, copycats sprung up on every street corner. Anyone who's had a long day and can't decide what to eat, Yellow Braised Chicken will ride to their rescue. Its base flavor is palatable to everyone, yet you can order different levels of spiciness to your liking. And it's cheap and easy to cook. So, today let's try cooking it at home!   Main ingredient 主料: chicken whole leg 雞全腿 .............. ×2 (500g) for 2 persons (chicken thighs 雞大腿 or chicken drumsticks 琵琶腿 are also good)   Auxiliary ingredients 輔料: dried shiitake mushroom 乾香菇 .. ×5 (about 10g) (I originally used fresh shiitake mushrooms, which is okay; but the dried ones are better because of the stronger aroma) (some restaurants will add potato or carrot or something else, because more vegetable = less meat = lower cost, but we're not going that route) green bell pepper 青椒 ................... ×1 (about 150g) (the sweet type, not the pointy and slightly spicy type)   Condiments and other stuff 佐料: ginger 薑 ......................................... ×1 thumb (about 30g) garlic 蒜 .......................................... ×5 cloves (about 30g) (garlic is my addition, it usually goes well with poultry) dried chili pepper 乾紅辣椒 ........... ×4 (about 2.5g) (the result is slightly hot 微辣, adjust the amount according to your taste, and it's totally okay to not use any chili) sugar 糖 .......................................... as needed (rock sugar 冰糖 is the best for our purpose, followed by frosted sugar 綿白糖, have never used granulated sugar 白砂糖) starch 澱粉 ..................................... as needed (I use corn starch, can also use potato starch, other types are not recommended) salt 鹽 ............................................. as needed chicken bouillon powder 雞精 ...... as needed (it contains MSG and salt and dehydrated chicken stock, if you prefer not to use it, no problem) ground white pepper 白胡椒粉 ..... as needed cooking wine 料酒 ......................... as needed (may come under different names, such as Shaoxing wine 紹興酒, 花雕, 黃酒, but essentially the same) soy sauce 醬油 .............................. as needed (the regular type, which is the same as the light type 生抽, not the dark type 老抽, nor 味極鮮, which is for cold salad) vegetable oil 食用油 ...................... as needed (100% peanut oil 花生油 is the best choice, blended oil 調合油 also good)   Here's all we need in two pictures:   Step 1: Start your rice cooker. We don't need a recipe for cooked rice, right? Meanwhile, re-hydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms with warm water. 20-30 minutes is all we need to make mushrooms mushy again (don't throw away the water; we'll make use of it later).   Step 2: Chop the chicken legs into 2×2 cm chunks (use a cleaver or 斬骨刀, which is thicker and heavier; do not use a regular kitchen knife or 切片刀). Put them in a bowl, add 4-5 slices of ginger, a small pinch of salt (<¼ teaspoon), 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of starch, blend well using your hand (抓勻), marinate for 20 minutes. (1 tablespoon = 15 ml; 1 teaspoon = 5 ml)   Step 3: Cut things up: shiitake mushrooms into slices; bell pepper into pieces or strips; ginger into slices; garlic peeled but no need to cut or smash; dried chili peppers into small rings and seeds removed.   Now we have everything ready. Step back and take a picture!   Step 4: This is called 炒糖色, a rather descriptive name and a rather tricky process, in which the sugar is slowly heated to its melting point, then some more heat till it turns brown but not burnt. The browned sugar gives the meat ingredient a reddish lustrous coloring which looks and tastes better than simply using dark soy sauce. Browned sugar is also used in red-cooked pork 紅燒肉 (the difference between Huangmen and Hongshao is the amount of browned sugar and soy sauce). Here's how we do it: Pour 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into the wok/skillet. Add 15 grams of rock sugar or 1 tablespoon of frosted sugar while the oil is still cool. Stir-fry with low heat. The sugar will begin to melt and turn yellow and give off small bubbles. Don't stop stirring, continue until the sugar turns dark brown and bigger bubbles start to appear. And now is the time!   Step 5: Add in the marinated chicken, stir-fry with high heat until it's evenly coated with browned sugar and the chicken skin is curling up. Add in 2 tablespoons of cooking wine.   Step 6: Add in ginger, garlic, chili pepper, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, stir-fry for another 2 minutes.   Step 7: Pour in hot water (and the water left from re-hydrating mushrooms) till the chicken is well submerged. Add shiitake mushroom, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper, blend evenly. Turn to low heat, put on lid, simmer for 20 minutes.   Step 8: Open the lid. Turn to medium to high heat, let the broth thicken a bit. Add bell pepper and 1 teaspoon of chicken powder, stir a bit, bubble for 2 minutes.   Step 9: Serve in a clay pot; or if you don't have one, any pot will do. (Some believe the authentic Yellow Braised Chicken is cooked with a clay pot. That franchise I mentioned even translated 黃燜雞米飯 as Claypot Chicken. But I just don't buy it.)   Step 10: Eat. Mmmmm yummy!
    • advancedip
      2
      Theme: A lonely boy that is really depressed and is worried about his future.   我没有朋友. 为什么我没有朋友? 我为什么要独自生活. 我讨厌我的生活! 在这个年纪,我应该找女朋友,而不是朋友。为什么应该女孩约会 失败者? 我会孤独永远. 如果我遇到一个好女孩,  我就会开心.   Can you guys fix my grammar?
    • Moshen
      2
      I am on week 3 of the new Coursera HSK 5 course, created by Peking University professors. I am sorry to say that it's a train wreck. I loved their HSK 3 and HSK 4 courses, which were designed to teach you the relevant material in an engaging way and then help you become familiar with and practice the testing procedures. They were excellent educational tools, well planned out. I made it through these courses easily because they were so well constructed. For HSK 5, they've changed the teaching team and the teaching methods, and now it's not possible to proceed through the course unless you have already mastered HSK level 5 material! For example, in Week 1 they introduce HSK Level 5 vocabulary, which is to be expected, but then the quizzes have no relationship whatsoever to the teaching in the corresponding unit and include quite a lot of words that were neither in HSK 4 nor in that lesson's vocabulary lists. You cannot go on to the next lesson unless or until you get all three questions in each quiz correct. I had to get the help of a native Chinese speaker on several of the quizzes, and in a few cases he told me that the speakers were using both slang and Beijing dialect. Now, it's valuable to give people practice on the kind of questions that will actually be on the HSK exam, and the prior HSK 3 and HSK 4 courses did this, but only after teaching the content for that level. If you present actual questions from the HSK exam at the beginning of the course for that level, as this course does, how is the person supposed to have already reached completion-level understanding when they've barely started learning at that level? Ditto for the first reading-assignment quiz, which likewise has no relationship to the vocabulary introduced in that lesson and includes so many words I've never ever seen before that I can't tackle it without using Google translate - which of course partly defeats it being part of a learning course. Maybe it's sheer laziness underlying this poor excuse for a course. But in any case, I cannot recommend this course except as a review before taking the HSK 5 exam. It's not set up as a truly educational experience.
    • DavyJonesLocker
      10
      My friend is coming to Beijing and I was trying to book a hotel for him today on several chinese APPs (携程旅行, alipay internal programs such as 飞猪酒店 etc) but it's the same problem, they all want a 身份证号码 I rang 2 hotels and the both said just enter any chinese citizens ID number and when you arrive at the hotel you can show you passport and visa. Ctrip help line also said the same thing   I would rather not put a friend on the spot and ask them if I can use their ID card. Going to the hotel is not a option as some nights are in Tianjin   What do you all do?   EDIT: just an update: ok it appears with some hotels that the field requiring the 身份证  is not present and can be directly booked. This seem to correspond to the more expensive ones naturally.  The problem is there seems to be no way on the APPS that I am using to select hotels that can be directly booked without having to go through each and every one. Perhaps check western apps and see what can be booked directly and then check the price on the chinese APP    
    • Tony24
      7
      Hi everyone! lately I’ve been studying 了 and all of its uses. I must admit that I still don’t get whether it is always used with past sentences or can be omitted, as I’ve seen more than one phrase without it. e.g. 昨天我买三本书。and 昨天我买了三本书。 are both of them fine ?   Any help would be very appreciated
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