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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

    • emuboy
      Does anyone know of any resources for politics directed at intermediate learners? I find a lot of the time I want to talk about it but I'm missing so much vocabulary that it makes it really difficult.   Also looking for stuff relating to medicine and space, which is quite random, but I figured I may as well ask.   Cheers!
    • whatistreasure
      美女出行,闲人回避   Is this an idiom? What does it mean?
    • Urban0406
      Hello I recently purchased some blooming teabags from China and they said to have these ingredients in: "Common flowers used in flowering teas include globe amaranth, carnation, chrysanthemum, jasmine, sweet Olive, lily, tea flowers, peony and marigold" I was wondering if someone could help me identify them? Thanks a lot! https://sites.google.com/view/teaflowers/home?authuser=1 I had to put them on a link as the file size was too large even after compression.
    • RedPianoHongqin
      Background: Girl is a traditional PRC Chinese lady working in a factory We are coworkers in different depts, we sometimes work together. Usual signs of flirtation, staring etc. Then one day I took the courage to ask for her number, she got frightened off. She was totally nervous and said she needed to attend to something. I was kinda devastated and surprised at her actions. Couple of hours later, bumped into her in the hallway. She was on all smiles and even greeted me. I didn’t think too much of it as I thought she was just being civil. When we knocked off we bumped into each other at the locker again. This time she and her friend were teasing me big time. They were singing “let’s wait for the handsome man behind us”. Purposely walking slowly for me to catch up. I was confused as I thought she would react differently like avoiding me and stuff like that but instead I was teased. Following week with my mind set to move on from her, I was minding my own business with another co-worker and she suddenly SCREAMED out to me. Needless to say I was scared shitless. She then asked if she could have my wechat ID instead, I was totally weird out. I’ve texted her for these few days, she was quite responsive but don’t seem to carry on the conversation. Sadly she doesn’t ask me any questions. We converse a bit on the phone. She doesn’t ask me anything either but tends to elaborate a lot whenever I ask about her personal stuff. Is she playing hard to get or just totally uninterested? I really don’t quite get her. If she’s not interested she doesn’t have to ask for my WeChat id.
    • whatistreasure
    • Tianjin42
      I've been listening to the lectures on American Mandarin Society podcasts (highly recommended by the way - good for listening skills).  I was thinking that it might be good to have a transcription to work through for various reasons. Just wanted to check here before I begin - what sort of level would you say the auto transcriptions are at for longer pieces in Mandarin (40 mins + in this case, but in what I consider a very clear, standard 普通话)? Also, any particular methods, software anyone would recommend? Quick and simple would be ideal.   I had a quick look on here and the only things of note are a few years old (at least what I could find). I imagine there has been a lot of rapid development so worth another shout.    Thanks. 
    • ParkeNYU
      I am developing a custom watch face for circular smartwatches based on the period of traditional Chinese timekeeping spanning from the early Song Dynasty until the late Ming Dynasty, during which time the hours (大時) were divided into 'beginning' (初) and 'central' (正) halves (小時) and transposed one half-unit forward (i.e. 子初 as midnight) from their Tang Dynasty positions. I refer to this particular design as a 'phase' clock (時相鐘錶), as each Chinese hour is visually divided into segments that mirror the phases of the moon (i.e. 時初 as 朔月, 時初半 as 上弦月, 時正 as 望月, and 時正半 as 下弦月) and align perfectly with the minute angles of modern clocks (i.e. 0° as :00, 90° as :15, 180° as :30, and 270° as :45). More simply stated, the illuminated minute tiles add up to the center of the hour and then subtract back down to the initial position. The optional colours chosen are exactly 30° apart on the RGBCMY colour wheel and echo the time of day. One of the drawbacks is that :119 is difficult to distinguish from :001 from afar (also :059 and :061). An option will be available to revert to the Tang Dynasty hour positions (i.e. 子正 as midnight) from the Song Dynasty default positions.
    • abcdefg
      This is one of those dishes for which there are a hundred casual recipes on the internet, most of them sorely lacking. It has been oversimplified to death; but good results can be achieved with a modicum of effort. The bonus is that if you master the technique you will find it is transferable to a dozen other tasty dishes, all of which use this Chinese braising process. I'll show you how to do it.    Buy 16 chicken wings, the medium joint. These should weigh about half a kilo or one pound. I've included a quick review of chicken wing anatomy below. The part to buy for this dish is the 鸡翅中。They cost more than the first joint, the 鸡翅根, but they are easier to work with because their size is more uniform, they don't have one large end and one small end.    (You can click the photos to enlarge them.)                  You will need 3 or 4 large spring onions 大葱, a thumb of ginger, 4 to 6 dried chilies 干辣椒, and a teaspoon of Sichuan prickly ash peppercorns huajiao/花椒。         Toast the huajiao 花椒 and the dried red chilies 干辣椒 over low heat until they begin to release their aroma. Scoop them out and pound the 花椒 with a mortar and pestle or simply crush them in a bowl with  the back of a spoon. Tear the dry chilies into sections. Cut the white part of the spring onions into long pieces 切段 and slice the ginger into coin-sized segments. (The ginger does not need to be peeled.)         Rinse the chicken, shake it dry, 洗净流干水分, poke a couple holes in each side with the point of a paring knife. You don't need to marinate the chicken for this recipe; it will acquire plenty of flavor as it cooks.          Chinese poultry recipes usually have a step designed to remove any "off" flavors 去腥味 and cleanse the meat of blood 去血。This one is no exception. Put some of the spring onion and ginger into a deep skillet or wok along with the toasted and crushed Sichuan peppers and the chilies. Add a tablespoon of cooking wine 料酒。Boil this stock for a minute or two and then add the chicken. When the water comes to a full boil again, scoop the chicken out and set it aside to drain. This quick blanching step 焯 also serves the important function of thawing any frozen places so that all the wings will be the same temperature and can cook uniformly.          Blot the wings dry with paper kitchen towels. Wipe out your wok or skillet 平地锅 and add two tablespoons of cooking oil. I generally prefer corn oil, 玉米油 though for this dish rapeseed oil 菜籽油 or peanut oil 花生油 are also fine. Add the wings and brown them about 3 minutes per side. If you have too many to do them in one batch without crowding, divide them in half. If you squeeze them all in too tight, they won't brown and will stew instead. The skin will never become crisp; it will be mushy and unappealing.   By the way, even though I'm a firm believer in a standard, well-seasoned iron wok for most Chinese cooking, this browning step works best if you have a non-stick utensil 不粘锅。                       Remove the chicken when it is golden 金黄 and add your liquid ingredients to the wok or fry pan. The cola needs to be standard old-fashioned Coke. Coke Lite or Coke Zero 零度 won't work. The artificial sweetener breaks down and turns bitter when cooked. Furthermore, the sugar is necessary for the meat to develop a pleasant caramelized surface. Pour in 250 or 300 ml; don't dump in the whole bottle. Two or three tablespoons of light soy sauce 生抽, two or three tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine 料酒 or dry sherry, and only one scant teaspoon of dark soy sauce 老抽。If you use too much dark soy sauce, everything will just acquire a nasty axle-grease color.                To these add the remainder of your spring onion and ginger plus a teaspoon of salt. When it reaches a gentle boil, add the pre-browned chicken wings.          Let it simmer uncovered about 10 minutes over low to medium heat. Then pick out and discard the spring onions and ginger slices.                            Now you are ready to thicken the sauce by reducing it carefully over low heat 小火慢炖。Be attentive and don't let it scorch since that will ruin the dish. This stage usually takes about 10 minutes, but depends somewhat on your pan and flame. Might take a little longer.         When the sauce develops a rich color and is almost gone, you're ready to plate it up. Sprinkle on some minced cilantro 香菜 and white sesame seeds 白芝麻。These wings can be eaten right away while nice and hot, or served later at room temperature.        The chicken is tender and moist, not dried out, and has a rich flavor. The glistening skin is intact and not soggy or falling off. No surprise that this recipe was a favorite of the Qianlong Emperor. (Smile)    To be truthful, there are many ways this dish can go wrong; it isn't foolproof; it does require some care. But if you can master the process, you will find that it provides a key to a host of other tasty traditional braising recipes such as red-cooked ribs 红烧排骨。    
    • norwegianstudent
      Hi, I want to take a semester or several in China to be a part of my Bachelor degree in International Relations. I do not speak any Chinese, so it would have to be in English. International recognition of the university isn't very important, as I will get my degree at my Norwegian university - however I do want a good university obviously, to get more insight on the world from a Chinese perspective - which is my one of my two main academic goals by studying in China (the other is learning about China itself).  Peking University claims to have an International Relations program, and several/enough (interesting) subjects taught in English and seems to be recognized globally. Would this be a good idea? I would love to live in a smaller historic Chinese city, but I don't want to sacrifice my academic development. I am also open to spending a summer in China to learn as much of the language as possible.  I hope this is the correct subforum to ask. 
    • hongquang1003
      Hi guys,   I'm taking HSKK Intermediate in less than a month time and am pretty worried now as I don't know how to prepare. I couldn't find any textbooks/resources on this exam preparation, so would appreciate hugely if anyone can share any tips or experiences of revising or taking the exams.    Many thanks.
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