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  1. 11 likes
    Tomatoes and scrambled eggs 番茄炒鸡蛋 is one of those simple, "go-to" dishes that even newly-wed brides and bachelors with tiny efficiency kitchens can easily whip up. The ingredients are available in all parts of China from the rural deep south to the industrial frozen north. It can be served at breakfast as a meal by itself, or at supper as a side dish which furnishes both a vegetable and a protein colorfully combined. You will find some variations, but the fundamentals are pretty well established. I made it this morning; let me show you how it went. Two large free-range eggs 土蛋 from Mr. Yang at the local market. Two small vine-ripened tomatoes 番茄 or 西红柿。Decided after starting that they were a little small, so I added a third one. One smashed and chopped garlic 大蒜/蒜茸。 I had a crisp stalk of celery 芹菜/西芹 left over from last night. A word about proportions 比例。Some cooks prefer a one-to-one balance of eggs and tomatoes, but most opt for having a little more tomato. I usually add a bit of minced scallion 葱花, but this morning I didn't have any in the fridge. Sometimes I will use a small palm-full of pre-cooked green peas as a color and texture ingredient. Today the celery served a similar purpose. Whatever you add, it need to be just a small amount and mild of flavor so as to not overpower the other two "star" ingredients. Remove the skin of the tomatoes by dipping them for half a minute or so in boiling water. Cool quickly under the tap and the skin will slip right off. This improves the texture of the finished dish as well as making the tomatoes release their juice more easily during the final sauté. But, truthfully, it isn't the end of the world if you omit this step. Core and coarsely chop the peeled tomatoes. Then turn your attention to the eggs. Crack them into a small bowl and add two tablespoons of cooking wine 料酒。 It's fine to use water if you don't have cooking wine on hand. Stir them up well with a fork or pair of chopsticks, but you do not need to actually whip them like you would for a soufflé Oil a wok that you have preheated over a medium flame. You do not want the wok to be too hot, because you only want to cook the eggs a little bit. Stir them quickly a few times until about 70% done, and remove to a warm dish you have placed nearby. (I rinse that dish with warm water, so it doesn't cool the partially-cooked eggs.) This egg stage is where you can go wrong; if you cook them too long they will be tough 老 instead of fluffy and soft. Still with medium heat, stir-fry the celery and garlic together until you can smell the garlic aroma, then quickly add the tomatoes. (You don't want to burn the garlic because it will develop a bitter taste.) Add a sprinkle of salt and half teaspoon or so of sugar. Chinese think of tomatoes as a fruit more than as a vegetable and they always worry that it will be too sour. If this dish were Italian, French, or Greek, I would use more salt than sugar. But since we are cooking Chinese, we will follow the local custom and preserve the traditional seasoning properties. Now add back the egg, stir it all up, giving it another half minute or so. Serve while still slightly soupy. Some recipes call for adding a couple tablespoons of catsup, but they are in the minority and a traditional cook would consider that overly trendy. Serve it up; that's all there is to it. Some Chinese dishes are fine made ahead and eaten at room temperature, but this one is best enjoyed right away, while still nice and warm. This is available in just about every Chinese restaurant all over the world. But you can just as well give it a whirl at home for yourself. Ingredients are readily available in the west as well as in the Middle Kingdom, and the results are attractive as well as tasty. Last but not least, it's even pretty healthy.
  2. 10 likes
    You see tea eggs 茶叶蛋 everywhere you turn during 春节 Spring Festival, but you also find them a lot during ordinary times 平时。Yunnan tends to put its distinctive stamp on many food that are popular all over China. So it should come as no surprise that what I'm going to show you today is our regional variation on this popular snack food item. You can either use chicken eggs 鸡蛋 or quail eggs 鹌鹑蛋, and you will encounter both when out and about, even though the chicken eggs are more common. One frequently sees a big pan of them simmering away near the entrance to 米线 noodle stands or 小笼包 dumpling shops. The 老板 owner will scoop one out and give it to you in a tiny plastic bag which is open at the top so you can eat it with your fingers without too much of a mess. Typical cost today in Kunming is 1.5 Yuan. Tea eggs are also extremely popular as "long-distance bus food" and are sold at most bus stations 汽车客运站 here. Accompanied by an ear of steamed sweet corn 水果玉米, and a small bag of steamed peanuts, they actually make a pretty decent meal: economical, tasty, and nutritionally balanced. That "holy trinity" bus-rider's feast plus a bottle of Chinese fruit-flavored milk will last you most of the way north to Shangri-La, or most of the way south to Xishuangbanna. But when making them at home, you can improve on the basic concept and give them an extra Yunnan kick that you won't find if you buy them prepackaged in a grocery store. I'll show you one way to make them, with the immediate disclaimer that something this common has dozens of small variations. So this might not be the same as your Mom's recipe; and we both know that Mom does it better. 用料 = Ingredients 主料 = Main Ingredients: 鸡蛋 = eggs,茶叶 = tea leaves 辅料 = Auxiliary ingredients: 1. 八角 = star anise 5. 茴香 = fennel seeds 2. 花椒 = Sichuan peppers ("prickly ash") 6. 老抽 = dark soy sauce 3. 香叶 = bay leaves 7. 冰糖 = rock sugar 4. 桂皮 = Chinese cinnamon (cassia bark) 8. 食盐 = table salt 做法 = Method of making Assemble the ingredients. I used fresh free-range eggs 土蛋 from Mr. Chen at the neighborhood wet market. The ones I buy are medium size and cost 1 Yuan each. They have lots of flavor and a dark yellow yolk. He carefully packs them in pine needles, nestling one bag inside another. You will see dried red chilies 干红辣椒 on the upper left plate. These are a Yunnan touch, as are the sliced ginger 姜 and gancao 甘草 pictured above. The gancao has a licorice flavor and is used in TCM as a cough suppressant. Boil these herbal ingredients, together with the sugar and salt, for 10 minutes all by themselves. Then add some decent Pu'er tea, preferably a ripe Pu'er 熟普洱,because it has a deeper color and flavor. This is not the time to break out your very best tea, however; that would be a waste because here it is mixing with quite a few other items and won't have a chance to shine on its own. But using Pu'er leaves in the dish is a distinctive Yunnan touch that you are unlikely to find in other parts of China. Boil the spices and the tea together for another 10 minutes, then add the eggs. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook another 15 or 20 minutes uncovered. Fish out the eggs one at a time with a strainer and crack them gently all over with the back of a spoon. Return them to the pot, bring it to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. The longer they stand now, the more flavor they will develop. I always aim for 8 hours, though sometimes I cheat and eat one of the eggs ahead of time. When you are ready to eat or to serve, fish them out and peel carefully so as to preserve the pretty marbling. The ones you don't want to eat today can be kept in the strained boiling liquid for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can make them with fewer flavoring ingredients and they will still be tasty. Or you can be creative and put everything except the kitchen sink into the mix. Regardless, you will probably wind up with tea eggs that are decorative as well as a treat to eat.
  3. 8 likes
    Pai huanggua 拍黄瓜 is another one of those dishes that every Chinese family can make at home and not even the most humble hole-in-the-wall restaurant would dream of not offering. I've eaten it in Harbin alongside 饺子 dumplings and in Zhuhai alongside 蒸鱼 steamed fish. I've had it in Qinghai beside skewers of roast lamb 烤羊肉串 and in Lanzhou with a bowl of hand-pulled beef noodles 牛肉拉面。And I often make it here my Kunming kitchen without giving it a second thought. It's a cool dish, or liang ban 凉拌, served at room temperature. These are the closest China comes to salads. They aren't popular in the Chinese restaurants I've tried in the US; in fact I didn't know they existed until arriving here on the Mainland a decade ago. Pai 拍 means to beat, clap or smash, and that's what you do to the hapless cucumber. Let me show you how it goes. Cucumbers here are not very big around, but are longer than your 综合 text book. One is enough for two people as a side dish. In the market, select ones that have firm flesh and a deep green color. Scrub it well with a bristle brush or coarse dish cloth. Peeling the cucumber is optional. Many people leave all the skin on. I usually take off a third or a half of it to make it easier to handle. It has a distinctive flavor which adds to the dish, so you don't want to peel the cucumber entirely. Now it's time to release that pent up aggression. Slap it with the side of your big vegetable knife 菜刀 until the flesh breaks into fragments. Are you upset about the Trump presidency? Fine. Are you miffed that your girlfriend didn't like the bracelet you bought her? Fine. Take it out on the cucumber; consider it therapy. Finally, cut the fragments crosswise so they will be easier to toss with the sauce. Put them into a big bowl and turn your attention to the seasoning. Do the dry seasonings first. Some garlic 独蒜 and some dry red pepper 干辣椒。Smash the garlic with the side of your knife, just like you did the cucumber. Then proceed to coarsely chop it. The dry peppers can just be torn in halves or thirds. Chinese salt is a little bit tricky because it is very fine. It's easy to make things more salty than you intended. Here's a comparison between it and imported sea salt. Sprinkle in a little of whichever salt you are using plus a sprinkle of granulated sugar. MSG is often used in restaurants, but you can omit it at home if you prefer. Mix it up all up a little with your chopsticks and dress it with the wet ingredients next. Equal parts of vinegar, light soy sauce, and oil. I've used some premium aged vinegar 老陈醋 which is 10 years old. Smooth like Balsamic. The soy sauce should be the light kind as shown 生油/生酱油。I'm partial to sesame oil 芝麻油, and that's what I used today. If you preferred, you could use olive oil or any other salad oil. For one medium cucumber, I generally will use a tablespoon of each of these three. Remember, you are not making a French vinaigrette; it's OK if it's a little soupy. Usually at this point I just toss it well and serve. Today I added a step that someone else* suggested here on the forum in another discussion. I put a lid on the bowl and shook it real hard. Sounded like a good idea, and by golly it was. The result was smooth and well balanced. Maybe I will finally get that elusive Michelin star. That's all there is to it. I often add some chopped cilantro 香菜 or wood ear mushrooms 木耳。 Beyond that you enter the zone of heresy, but can probably get away with sprinkling in a handful of roasted peanuts. At times I will defy convention by turning this into a light one-dish meal just by adding a chopped hard-boiled egg. --------------------- Footnote: The idea for shaking it all up at the end came from Publius, here: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53734-the-basics-tomatoes-and-eggs-番茄炒鸡蛋。
  4. 7 likes
    Some people in this thread are very harsh. While I appreciate Ai Moben's effort in looking into the OP's site and business, the OP didn't post here to sell us his product, he's asking for volunteers. This is not another Benny the Polyglot, this is rather a variant on 'please take my survey'. There are plenty of fluent (OMG I used that word) speakers here, which makes this forum a great place to ask exactly that question. Whether anyone here is interested in being interviewed is a different matter altogether, but anyone not interested can just refrain from replying, no? And for someone who's not yet jaded about being asked about how they learned Chinese, it can be fun to be interviewed on that subject.
  5. 7 likes
    Just a quick update to say that the next release of CTA (hopefully sometime before the end of this month), in addition to fixing the word list problem mentioned above, will also have a new statistics-based Chinese segmenter that will be more accurate and that will also do a reasonable job of guessing names.
  6. 7 likes
    What you do for fun is only part of the transcribing-as-a-learning-method process, namely, looking up unknown/unfamiliar words. You may also need to use search engines for proper nouns -- names of individual persons, places, organizations. Transcribing allows you to attack materials way above your current level. As a result, new words are inevitable. And believe me, words learned this way have a better retention rate than usual. The cause of not understanding natural speech I think boils down to A) speed -- the input rate exceeds your brain's processing rate; B) content -- you wouldn't understand it even if it were written down; C) accent -- and other deviations from the "standard" such as reduced pronunciation, omission of certain words, etc. These all can be learned or trained for. And transcribing is a good way to go about doing it. The immediate goal is to produce a transcript as accurately as possible -- to break down the flow of audio signals into words and phrases and reassemble them into grammatically correct and logically coherent sentences. So hanzi or pinyin doesn't really matter as long as they are meaningful to you as a text that carries meaning rather than a representation of sound syllables. (Speaking from my experience with Cantonese and Japanese, the relatively simple syllable structure and the extra layer of a phonetic IME make it easier to type characters/words you don't even know how to read -- I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing though.) To achieve the immediate goal you can use any tools available, loop as many times as you think is worthwhile, sentence by sentence, word by word, slow down if necessary, use dictionaries/thesauri, the internet, anything -- as long as it's not a speech recognition software -- yup, that would be cheating. But sometimes perhaps you should limit the tools and resist the temptation of being able to understand a very challenging piece through transcribing. The best approach I think is to find something at or even below your level (try speeding up instead of slowing down hehe) and work up the ladder gradually. I always say the most important thing in listening is not the ear. It's the brain. A language user at a higher level can spot a simple mistake and correct it by reading the transcript without even listening to the audio. That's the ultimate listener. If you don't believe me, consider this: If I write "a US piece core member" you will know immediately it's a mishearing of "Peace Corps" -- the listener either does not know the word, or has only seen it on paper without realizing that "ps" is silent. Similarly If you write "攔驢老少" I will know too that if it's not a word play then it must be a mishearing of "男女老少" -- the speaker has an accent that does not differentiate l and n, probably from Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi. There's a joke in the AI circle, "How to wreck a nice beach? You sing calm incense!" (How to recognize speech? Using common sense!) In successfully transcribing a passage you need to actively apply all the knowledge you possess about the language, the culture, the subject matter. So in a sense it's not merely a listening exercise and also why I consider it a very powerful technique. And intensive studying should always be supplemented by extensive studying. Can't understand news broadcast because of its tortuous sentence structure? Then read more news articles. Find some news radio streams and put them on as background music. The guy at HackingChinese also mentioned transcribing Chinese audio as an active form of listening practice. But contrary to his advice, my approach emphasizes *daily* drilling over a *sustained* period of time (in imron's words). It's a very demanding task, so don't bite off more than you can chew. Start from 5-minute audio clips. If it's still too much, try 2- or 3-minute ones. But you should do at least one hour of transcription exercise everyday for let's say three months. It worked for me, but it's not guaranteed to work for everybody. If it doesn't work for you then I presume you know better than to 在一棵樹上吊死.
  7. 7 likes
    This bold-flavored air-cured beef 牛肉干巴 originated with Yunnan's Muslim 回族 population hundreds and hundreds of years ago, but soon took the entire province by storm. Yunnan's Han 汉族 population prides itself on making succulent salt-cured huotui ham 火腿, and I've told you about that in an earlier post. These two meats are Yunnan's pride and joy, with our special Yiliang roast duck 宜良烤鸭 being a definite contender as well. The best of Yunnan's 牛肉干巴 comes from steep, rocky Zhaotong Prefecture 昭通州, up in the northeast of the province. This is a poor area, where once there was mining until it pretty much played out; and it's not a place tourists go unless they are very adventurous or are lost. Zhaotong now survives by subsistence farming and by raising sheep, goats and lean, rugged cattle. If you have been above Lijiang and Shangri-La, far up in Yunnan's popular northwest, you might have run into the delicious dried beef made from the huge hairy yak 毛牛 which thrive in the high mountains there. This is sold in small strips, mainly for snack chewing much like western jerky. It costs three or four times as much as the sort of more standard Zhaotong niu ganba 昭通牛干巴 we are discussing today. It's typically made from lean beef hindquarter meat, which is butchered into long pieces that follow the grain of the muscle. These are rubbed with salt and an assortment of spices, then hung on racks out of direct sun and allowed to air dry for several weeks. As the curing proceeds, the meat is cut into smaller strips and rubbed repeatedly with a combination of salt 食盐, hot pepper 辣椒,prickly ash 花椒,fennel 茴香 and perhaps some others, such as crushed star anise 八角。 At this point the meat can be shredded into floss for use in manufactured snack food or pounded into thin strips to make jerky. But the best of it is left as is and just cut to order across the grain and sold by weight in specialty stores, such as the one I visited yesterday in my neighborhood market. This popular stall is near the entrance to the market and they always draw a crowd. They sell a similar cured meat made from goats, but it is not as popular. I usually buy a piece of this cured beef, take it home and slice it myself to use in a stir fry. These guys are the same ones from whom I usually buy my tasty rubing 乳饼 (Yunnan goat cheese, pictured above) and they had been urging me to go "all the way" with their ganba for the best part of a year. So yesterday I finally gave in and decided to try it the more authentic 地道 and more popular way: deep fried with handfuls of dried chilies 干辣椒 and Sichuan Peppercorns 花椒。I wanted to experiment with just a trial-size piece, but 40 Yuan was the smallest order they would accept when cooking it for me there on the premises. A young woman carefully shook the thinly sliced meat into a deep wok of boiling oil after dumping in a generous handful of spices. The oil was already quite fragrant, since she uses the same batch over and over for each customer's order. She stirs it with a large perforated ladle 汤勺, carefully cooking it until well done. Then she scoops it into a paper carton 桶, which is placed in an open top plastic bag. The young man in the white butcher smock who was advising me said I could eat it just as is, letting it be part of a larger meal alongside vegetables dishes and rice. He said it could be warmed in the microwave for a few seconds if desired. I told him I would prefer to use it in a stir fry, and he said that was OK, but kind of wasteful 浪费 because cheaper meat would be adequate for that application. When I got home I nibbled a few pieces of it plain just to get an idea of its potency. Wow, it explodes in your mouth! Incredibly rich: concentrated flavor of cured beef plus all those aggressive spices and dripping with now-scented oil. But it was too much for my palate, and I had to mix it with some vegetables to dilute the strong kick a little bit. Cut up some crinkly Yunnan green peppers 虎皮椒 along with a scallion 葱,and a tomato 番茄。 And of course my fine cured and fried beef, bursting with Soutwest China flavor. (Even though it originated here, it is popular today in Sichuan, Guizhou and Guangxi as well.) Made a quick stir-fry, giving the vegetables a head start since the meat was already fully cooked. The resulting dish was monumentally loaded with flavor. Definitely not bland or boring. It would never remotely be mistaken for 清淡 Guangdong fare 粤菜 and it is admittedly not something everyone would enjoy. Served it with steamed rice 米饭 as a 盖饭。I was eating alone, and much prefer to make a one-dish supper when it's feasible. With guests, I take a different approach to meal planning. But I'd have to say it was right up there at the top when it comes to exploring adventurous regional cuisine. Being able to discover things that are not readily available elsewhere, like glorious Yunnan ganba 云南牛肉干把, is one of the reasons I like living here. Be sure to try some when you visit Yunnan.
  8. 6 likes
    Hi all, Just to flag a project I've been involved with here - whilst reading a PhD at University of Nottingham I have done some part-time work for the university's China Policy Institute. The is basically a forum for China academics but one part - 'CPI: Analysis', is a platform where a number of leading China academics from around he world publish on topical issues. The idea is to bridge the gap between academia and those with an interest in China - it's a university project rather than anything commercial, and posts are around 1000 words only. Typically there is a weekly theme and a post will go out each day. This week, for example, is China and the environment - including posts on water pollution, smog, environmental activism, and a post on climate change by an academic who has just performed some interesting research on the Loess Plateau. Recently we put out commentary on the NGO law, South China Sea, and Sino-British relations. Home page is: https://cpianalysis.org/ You can follow if interested.
  9. 6 likes
    I think that regardless of what anyone thinks of the OP's methods or way of asking for guest speakers, you have to admit that thinking Chinese Forums would be the best place to look for people who have learnt chinese to a very high level is very sensible. I don't think its a problem that it is the OP's first post and they are asking for help without any preamble, stating the question first and then sorting out the details as they arise is not unreasonable. If you don't want to help then you don't have to, its no reason to assume others will feel the same. Some people might feel it would benefit them to be able speak with the OP and practice their chinese or they are happy to share their knowledge and help others. Don't dismiss this out of hand, you know very little about what is happening and about what might happen. If my level was high enough, I might contemplate it. (My level is nowhere high enough so I won't)
  10. 6 likes
    Good to see people are continuing the great tradition of discovering alternatives to the traditional learning method. And now 'instant fluency'... a great time to be alive... Good luck with the venture and all, but I've seen enough "I discovered the secret" websites and "just give me your email address" free lessons for a lifetime. Talk pedagogy or go home.
  11. 6 likes
    https://www.chinesetalkeze.com/ His website seems to be his account name. It also seems he is just getting going and there aren't previous episodes to listen to. But let me save you a few clicks. He is selling the "The Simplest Chinese Course: A Chinese course designed to help busy English speakers to achieve fluency FAST." which, in summary, skips right to speaking. What makes him a qualified creator of such a course is having studied English himself and being a native speaker of Chinese as well as this snippet: Emphasis added. I would have to question what he means by the traditional method? Grammar-translation, perhaps? Communicative Language Teaching is the go-to way to teach English in most of the US now, does that make it traditional? The traditional way of teaching language in China? Because that is certainly not the traditional way in most other places in the world. His first blog post is useful: https://www.chinesetalkeze.com/ni-hao-ma/ His poll asks people how to translate a phrase and then says they are wrong for giving the literal translation over the figurative translation. He probably could have skipped that and just gone right to his solid explanation of how to greet someone when you meet them for the first time in China. He offers lessons (the first is free) but you have to create an account to see more info about the pricing structure. I didn't create an account.
  12. 6 likes
    >>" On a recent trip to Guangzhou, I was at the wrong counter for the ticket but not able to understand the directions to the correct counter. Until I can handle basics like this, only then I can classify myself at intermediate." Flickserve, Good for you for trying, and I definitely feel your pain! How did you finally figure out where to go? What I've done in similar situations is once I realize she was saying, "Go to A8; it's straight ahead and around the corner to the right," then I would stop at 3 or 4 or 5 other counters and ask the same question that initially threw me for a loop, so as to have the immediate benefit of hearing several other people say the same thing in slightly different words. And I would repeat it back to them each and every time so that I would get practice in not just understanding it when spoken, but also could practice producing the words and phrases myself. And they would correct me when wrong; splendid immediate feedback. When I get to check in and can sit down, I'll write it out in my pocket notebook three or four times using the Hanzi that I've looked up on my phone's Pleco. This three-pronged attack cements if for me: I will own it forever. In the same block of time, still at the airport, I would change it up a little and ask people at the information desk for something similar. Instead of "Where do I check in for the 2 o'clock China Eastern flight to Shanghai?" I would ask "Where do I check in for the 3 o'clock China Southern flight to Beijing?" Then I would complicate it a bit and try out asking something about checking my luggage or changing my ticket for a later departure. Each time, the thrust of it would be understanding directions to go to some new place or other. The whole world thus becomes my classroom. Everyone becomes my teacher. It's a game and a sport and a drill. But I'm also dead serious about it. If some helpful person says, "Come along, I'll take you there." I demur and insist on directions instead. Being taken in tow would be cheating. It would deprive me of a great learning opportunity. All it takes is a little energy and a little time; it also requires not minding if you are perceived as stupid or silly or odd. Persistence and fearlessness carry the day.
  13. 6 likes
    I would be more scared of getting very ill or even dying. Get tested, find out for sure. Then do whatever needs to be done to keep well, this should be your priority and you should know so you don't pass it on to anyone else.
  14. 5 likes
    Certainly not and even if you tried you wouldn't make any difference to the country. I think there are two issues, one broader, one narrower. Broadly: 'as we know,' group identity and individual identity are treated differently in different cultures, especially (and crudely) east versus west. Recently I read a Chinese author say that for the first couple of years living in the UK she felt too uncomfortable to say "I like eating rice" and instead stuck to "We Chinese like eating rice". So, when Chinese people refer to foreigners and a big group, I would suggest it's less about saying "all foreigners have characteristic A" as it is about saying "all non-Chinese have characteristic A, while we Chinese have characteristic B". I think that in discussions with foreigners, a lot of Chinese are less focused on how people in country X might use forks and people in country Y might use their hands to eat; they're more interested in that Chinese people use chopsticks and most non-Chinese don't. Narrower: in the West there's been a recent cultural attempt to stop people generalising; personally I think prejudice is to be avoided, but generalising about people is unavoidable. However it's hard not to carry that cultural baggage of 'generalising about people is wrong' when leaving a western country. But maybe if you were a Martian looking down on Earth you'd think that both attitudes ('lump people together for easy reference' and 'generalising about people is wrong') were simply current cultural attitudes, neither one being morally good or bad. So I think part of your discomfort is perhaps because we tend to mistake our own local cultural norms for universal goods. And I think "all foreigners do that"!
  15. 5 likes
    I am rather disappointed that this thread has turned so sour. OP might have found candidates for his podcasts, or at least might have met with thundering silence if nobody was interested. He might also have started another thread where we could discuss (or pile on, as the case may be) his teaching methods, after learning what they actually are. Who knows, he might have inspired someone while defending his practices, because they're probably decent enough, whether or not they are revolutionary. Instead, we got no information and no podcasts guests, just a lot of people angry at each other.
  16. 5 likes
    For those who don't know, MorphMan is a tool we've been using in the Japanese learning community for a while. It will analyse your Anki cards and order them on the basis of known and unknown morphemes, attempting to produce as much of an i+1/k+1 experience as possible. This is especially useful when working through subs2srs decks or other decks generated from corpora. You guys can do some Googling or read the MorphMan wiki to get a better idea of what this means and some of the other awesome features MorphMan brings to the table. But it boils down to this, MorphMan changes the order of new cards so that they only have one new word in them, so that you don't suddenly get hit with a sentence where absolutely nothing is familiar. Such an approach is backed up by well supported linguistic theories which emphasise the importance of scaffolding learner knowledge (Appeal to authority: I'm doing my MA in Applied Linguistics). Anyway, I recently started learning Chinese, and with a couple hiccups, and with some help from MorphMan's latest creator, I managed to get MorphMan working with Jieba alongside the normal Japanese, Space Delimited, and CJK Morphemisers. So you can now use this powerful tool with your Chinese Anki decks, to supercharge your study of corpora, or to just make sentences gathered from materials more approachable, or even better, both. So check it out over at https://github.com/NinKenDo64/Jieba-Morph
  17. 5 likes
    I'm reading 《中国的好女人们》 欣然 , I read this book in English sometime last year (The good women of China by Xinran) and decided to read it in Chinese. It's a collection of short stories that the author (former broadcaster) who once ran a call-in radio segment that brought awareness to many issues that women faced in China. The collection of stories detail what the author heard, but also involves some of her own investigations on stories. I think all of the stories are true and I didn't feel any were particularly exaggerated. The stories are very touching and the one about the women in the village still breaks my heart. It's an old book (2002) but still worth a read in my opinion. It's not too difficult, I read the first 50 pages relatively easy so if you feel like taking on the chinese version feel free to
  18. 5 likes
    My question is usually: who do you want to talk to? In your case, it seems you have no particular person or group of people you wish to talk to, so that's not really a consideration. What the waitstaff in your local restaurant speaks varies by location (and restaurant). If this is an important consideration for you, the best way to find out is by asking them. Traditionally, most restaurant staff spoke Cantonese, but this is changing with most newer immigrants speaking Mandarin and many of the newer generations of Chinese-American not speaking much of any type of Chinese. From personal experience I can tell you that being able to order in Chinese is not actually all that interesting, and performing that trick for family and friends gets old very quickly. As to learning material, there is more on Mandarin than on Cantonese, but I think there is plenty on Cantonese to get you on your way. Now if you were considering Minbei, or Sichuanese, or something like that, it might be a different story, but for Cantonese that is not the bottleneck. You'll need to search a little bit longer for a textbook and a good teacher, but I'm confident that they are out there. If you want to use Chinese in your work at some point, I'd recommend Mandarin. To my knowledge, most Chinese animation is done on the mainland and in Mandarin, and even if there are some Hong Kong people who get into the field, odds are many of them will speak Mandarin as a second language. Although keep in mind that it will take years of diligent studying before your Chinese becomes of a level that you could conceivably use it in a professional setting. As to Cantonese sounding cool, yes it does. Can't argue with that. All in all, I think Mandarin would be the best choice for you. It's the bigger language, spoken in the country that has the most going on, including in the field of animation. Many Cantonese speakers also speak Mandarin or English, so you can communicate with them if you wish. And you don't have strong reasons to choose another dialect, so then Mandarin is the best default choice. (Unless Cantonese sounding cool is important enough for you, which I would totally respect. You need to like the language you're learning.) Good luck, let us know what you end up deciding!
  19. 5 likes
    Even if jgraham11 doesn't come back I think it's still worth noting a few things. In my experience, Chinese people don't need to like somebody in order to agree to date (or even end up marrying someone). A girl could not really like you that much but still see you as a good marriage prospect given your social status, family situation etc. I'm not saying this is any better or worse than the general western principle of "love is blind" - it's just two completely different views on the issue. And while the definition of fluency indicates accuracy, it doesn't preclude the existence of mistakes. The kids round where I live are fluent English speakers, but they probably wouldn't get very far in an "English as a foreign language" class. Naaah wha' I'm sayin' fam?
  20. 4 likes
    This is another wildly popular Yunnan favorite that has gradually migrated to other parts of China. Yunnan cuisine has a knack for using unlikely ingredients in imaginative ways which sets it apart from many other better known food styles. Yunnan cooks embrace boldly fragrant herbs, such as fennel and mint, and they marry them to our famous hot peppers without batting an eye. Today we will see how that works with Grandma's Fennel Potatoes 茴香老奶洋芋。The potato 土豆 is called "foreign tuber" 洋芋 here for reasons that go back to the days when Yunnan was a remote backwater province, populated by proud minorities, rebels and outlaws. Things like potatoes, introduced from other parts of China, were foreign indeed. Most of China's potatoes are produced in the northeast 东北 and northwest 西北, but Yunnan also produces an abundance of good ones, especially in its high, rocky northeast, specifically Qujing 曲靖 and Zhaotong 昭通。This part of the province is as proud of its potatoes as Honghe Prefecture 红河州 is of it's paddy rice, grown in the famous terraced fields 哈尼梯田 of Yuanyang County 元阳县,which crown the Ailao mountain range 哀牢山 in the southeast of the province. But Yunnan's best potato fields are not as photogenic as its rice paddies 水稻。 I bought some of these potatoes today at the big Sunday wet market 菜市场 from a vendor who had a mountain of them stacked six feet high. It was a struggle to only buy a few; he kept trying to stuff more and more in my bag. Wound up with about 1 斤,roughly 500 grams for 3 Yuan. Larger potatoes, with a more uniform shape and fewer blemishes cost 4 Yuan. Those big pretty ones might have been better for "French frying" or other dishes where they remained more intact. Also bought a bunch of small scallions 小葱。 The fennel 茴香 here is gorgeous, picked young and sold complete with the slim roots, for only 2 Yuan per bunch. Fennel is a relative of carrots, and western varieties have a large bulb on one end. But this Chinese fennel is grown for its delicate lacy fronds, which are aromatic and full of flavor. Scrub the potatoes and chop them into thick slices. Steam them until they are done 蒸熟; check them with a fork or the point of a knife. You can cook them in the steamer basket of your rice cooker just as well, but I wanted to use a stove-top steamer pot today because that way I could use the boiling water to strip the skin off a ripe tomato. (Dunk it for 30 seconds, then peel under cool running water.) We saw this tomato technique recently in the recipe for scrambled eggs with tomato. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53734-the-basics-tomatoes-and-eggs-番茄炒鸡蛋/ While the potatoes are cooking, prep the other ingredients, scallions, dry red peppers 干辣椒, garlic 独蒜, ginger 老姜。 Take a moment to make sure everything is lined up, ready to go. When the potatoes are done, let them cool enough to be able to handle, then skin them and break them up. You can use a tool or put a glove on one hand and break them up that way. They do not need to be totally mashed and smooth; just soft enough for your toothless old Grannie to be able to gum them down. Oil your wok; use high heat at first. Begin cooking the aromatics until they release their aroma 爆香。 When you add the potatoes, turn the flame way down because they are easy to burn. As you stir them up, add a half teaspoon or so of salt. TIP: Sprinkle the salt in with your fingers, because it is difficult to distribute it evenly if you rely on stirring alone. The last thing to go in is the finely-chopped fennel. Toss it around 翻炒 for a minute or so, and then you are done. Serve it up. Works well in place of rice, alongside a meat dish 荤菜, a green leafy vegetable 青菜 and a simple soup 汤。 I should point out that you can easily make this without the fennel. You can also omit the tomato. Like many popular dishes, this one has endless variations. Every restaurant will have its own individual take on it. But it's also definitely "make at home," family-style food 家常菜 of the highest order.
  21. 4 likes
    Besides the better known platforms like edX, Coursera, FutureLearn etc. that we're familiar with, there is a 100% Chinese moocs platform that most people outside China probably don't know about: 中国大学 Moocs I only discovered it accidentally searching for something totally unrelated, as one does, and was quite amazed at the number and variety of courses on offer. All the courses are in Mandarin and without any subtitles, not even in Chinese. For foreign students to be able to follow requires upper intermediate or higher level. It's jumping at the deep end, though it is a fantastic learning resource for those of us who can't attend courses in China. Well worth having a look. I registered using my Weibo login, my UK location is obvious from my IP address and I had no problems.The course I joined is about to start, it is organized by 华中农业大学 (Huazhong Agricultural University). It's called 魅力汉语 (Fascinating Chinese) and is a very interesting and well presented introduction to basic Mandarin linguistics (I was able to see some of the classes from the previous run). The teacher, Professor Lan Xia, is unusually clear and her clases are well organized. There are no subtitles or transcript, but a good part of the lectures' content is given also on slides, no downloads but one can print the screen. All the moocs in this platform can also be accessed from dedicated Android and IOS apps and the classes can be downloaded from the app to watch offline.
  22. 4 likes
    Or, killing 2 birds with 1 stone, "蒙娜丽莎的丽莎"
  23. 4 likes
    Just needed to come here to celebrate that I finally got my letter of recommendation filled out (after many bumps along the way) and submitted my application to study a year of Chinese at Beijing Normal University as my number one and East China Normal University as my second choice. So excited!
  24. 4 likes
    I just thought I'd add a list I compiled a while ago. 蓝瘦香菇:难受想哭。 我好方:我好慌。 虾米:什么。 表酱紫:不要这样子。 子豪酱紫:只好这样子。 有木有:有没有。 肿么办:怎么办。 灰常好次:非常好吃。 闹木滴可爱:那么的可爱。 美腻:美丽。 笑屎了:笑死了。 开森:开心。 稀饭:喜欢。 果酱:过奖。 炒鸡:超级。 蟹蟹:谢谢。 一哈:一下。 涅:呢。 帅锅:帅哥。 萌妹纸:萌妹子。 男盆友:男朋友。 Reasons I can think of (also mentioned above): 1. Some Chinese people hardly distinguish the difference between l-n, h-f, s-sh, z-zh, c-ch because it sounds the same in their dialect. Like l-n in 蓝瘦香菇:难受想哭(which got viral all over China because a guy from Guangxi with a heavy l-n accent posted a video online)。Or h-f in 我好方:我好慌 and 稀饭:喜欢。Lastly, c-ch as in 好次:好吃。 2. It's so much cuter, girls are especially fond of them. Some have Taiwan accent origins and sound more flirtatious/acting spoiled(嗲) in Taiwan drama series. 有木有 and 虾米 sound cuter than 有没有 and 什么。 3. It sounds funny and playing with characters like we play with words makes sentences more interesting and creative. 笑屎了 (laugh-shit-passive tense particle) sounds way more fun that 笑死了 (laughing to death). 4. Some were accidently created because of pinyin input typos and they were too lazy to correct it. The pinyin input system also records the frequency of a word used, so if we constantly neglect correcting 果酱 for 过奖, it will often appear as first choice. 5. Sometimes when two characters are read quickly, they compress it in one single character. Like 表:不要,酱:这样 or 造:知道。 6. Some originate from foreign languages. Like 小萝莉 as in Lolita. 7. Then you have those sentences with an English word that makes no sense... (like 厉害了word哥) until you understand that "word" sounds like 我的。 It's a bit like in English we have puns, like she's wasting on her waist. Then there are colloquial words which sound more casual/cute/cool. Gotcha: got you. Wanna: want to. Cum'on: come on. Hubby: husband. Brexit: Britain Exit. Dogz: dogs. Nite: night. How about Kleenex:clean? Rollin': rolling. Check out rap language for instance, gangsta: gangster, mill:million dollar. What about shoot instead of shit? And gr8:great? Imagine Chinese people learning these and trying to get the point I'm going off subject but it's really fascinating when you just compare and contrast slang between the two languages. At the end of the day, you realise how languages are truly living and evolving, with people using it in new creative ways to suit new different needs in modern communication.
  25. 4 likes
    @Publius -- I moved it to a footnote at the end. (If you insist, I will remove it entirely. Just wanted to give credit and thanks where it was due.) ------------------------ @somethingfunny and @zander1 -- I had no idea it was so popular in the UK. Right about the different type of cucumber. The kind I buy in Texas is different from these long, knobby Chinese ones too. They might just disintegrate and fly all over the room if punished the way this recipe requires. I would approach them with less vigor the first time for sure. ----------------------- Extra points quiz: Anyone know where 黄瓜 gets its name? Does "yellow melon" seem like a strange way to describe a green vegetable? Spoiler:
  26. 4 likes
    I'm trying to put together a guide of useful tools, websites, apps, and services for people who come to China. Think of it like a digital "onboarding" or "orientation" to China. This is what I've got so far, but I want to add a lot more useful info to it. I plan to add a sentence or two of description to each item, and I want to add many more items as well. Any suggestions? Communication How to use WeChat Payments 支付宝 淘宝 WeChat Wallet (how to set up) How to Reset your WeChat Wallet 京东 Food Ordering 百度外卖 (Baidu Waimai) 饿了么 (Ele me) 美团外卖 (锦食送) Jin shi song Chinese Language Learning Anki Pleco Transportation Finding Restaurants 大众点评 Travel 携程旅行网 (Ctrip) How to purchase plane/bus/train tickets through WeChat How to retrieve train tickets at train stations Delivery 送闪 - An on-demand delivery service for within the same city. Expect to pay about 20-40 RMB to have an objet less than five kilograms delivered across Beijing. Miscellaneous WeSecretary - An English-language concierge service that uses WeChat 赶集网 - Adds and classifieds for housing, jobs, second hand items, cars, and so much more.
  27. 4 likes
    I just wanted to drop by to give an update. I previously did not think I'd ever use the Chairman's Bao with a paid subscription. Fast forward a few years and I'm still always struggling to find reading content that keeps me engaged and learning. I decided to give TCB a try again. I wish I was more open minded the first time. I signed up for an account and am enjoying it. I believe TCB can be used at more advanced levels of Chinese. I find myself note reading as much as I'd like to out of pure laziness. TCB makes it easy for me to have one place to go. The key thing is for them to keep up the consistent content of HSK5, HSK6, and HSK6+ articles. Nice work TCB team.
  28. 4 likes
    Review of Premium Service- Chairmans Bao 4/5 stars overall I recently signed up for a month to the premium service and I have to say overall have really enjoyed it. Its made reading alot more enjoyable, and has kinda switched from a chore to a choice. The website really suits me, because I can read it at work during down time, but easily switch away if necessary (as oppose to say memrise, where i have a timer counting me down, committing me to ten continuos minutes of activity) . I really like the structure of article, keywords, grammar, idioms (and ability to listen to text) and I love the ability to chose via HSK level (in fact i think this is the strongest selling point). My only complaints would be, frequently the app on my phone takes ages to update. IE i open it, and it has a swirling circle for along time, attempting to update articles. Id say 1/3 time I cba waiting, and i switch to pleco for some flashcards. This is just on my phone All in all, Id say its the 2nd best Chinese product (behind pleco) and is absolutely central resource for me. I am however working, so have money to spend, and I wonder if you could do a cheaper rate for students? I know i wouldnt have paid this much when i was studying! But yeah, overall, great. Thanks for making learning Chinese more pleasant
  29. 4 likes
    "Character Dreams: The Chinese Brush in Motion" ("Chinese Characters" is something of a mouthful in English -- contrast with hanzi -- so I'd suggest avoiding it here; an exhibition title should sound a little elegant, but not pretentious of course.)
  30. 4 likes
    "Great to know you!" versus "Great to see you!"
  31. 4 likes
    For the vocab junkies: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): 暴露前預防性投藥 - continuous preventative treatment for people at high risk of contracting HIV, effective to as much as 90% Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): 暴露後預防性投藥 - preventative treatment for people who have been exposed, generally is the same as/similar to the antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV Antiretroviral Therapy (ART): 抗逆轉錄病毒治療 - treatment for people who have contracted HIV that effectively prevents it from ever becoming AIDS Viral Load: 病毒載量 - what gets lowered through ART, also lowering the chances of transmitting the virus to another person Undetectable: 檢測不出 - what happens to your HIV "status" when you take antiretroviral drugs properly for several months, meaning you still have it but the amount in your body is small enough that it is "undetectable" As far as I'm aware, PrEP aka Truvada(tm) is not available in China, which is altogether unsurprising, so even if OP wanted to go on PrEP and supppement with condom use it would cost even more to bring it in from elsewhere.
  32. 4 likes
    I actually also wondered if perhaps she doesn't like you that much. I don't know you and I don't know her, but just throwing this out there: many young Chinese women (and men?) never really learned about how to date, and especially that it's okay to say no, to turn someone down (or that it's okay to be turned down). I just have some anecdotes, no data, but they add up: a girl who went along because the guy just kept asking and asking and showing up at her house and basically bully her into dating; girls who don't want to be with their boyfriend anymore but never considered breaking up as an option, or who don't know how to even go about that, what words to use; a guy whose girlfriend is drifting away and changing her life but he never considered the possibility that she might leave him; a girl who doesn't like the guy who is calling her all the time but doesn't know how to tell him to stop; things like that. This may be a bit unfathomable to many westerners, who grew up with soap series and magazines and internet full of stories of relationships that end, and on how they end, etc, but among young Chinese this is a thing. Not saying this is the case for you and the woman you're dating, but it's something to keep in mind - and perhaps ask her about. Communication! It might end with the end of the relationship, but then at least you know where you stand.
  33. 4 likes
    Chinese people tend to have a different view on dating than many westerners and it's not uncommon in China for people to only enter in to a relationship with a view of it building towards marriage.
  34. 4 likes
    Hmm are you fishing for some more examples? I don't know what English meaning you assigned to it, but I think 'supervise' is an apt one. The traditional form of 监 is 監. In seal script it's written as The 2nd-century dictionary 《說文解字》 classifies it as 形聲. The semantic component is 臥. The phonetic component according to 許慎 is 'congealed chicken blood' pronounced 'kan4'. But some modern scholars disagree. They say it's just a person looking down at a receptacle full of water (using it as a mirror). Anyway, the explanation given by 《康熙字典》 is 「安居以臨下,監之也。」 We know supervise comes from Latin super 'over' + videre 'see' ⇒ to oversee. Ergo 監 = supervise. (I'm sure some of our forum members have the experience as an exam supervisor/invigilator 監考.) 督 is similar in meaning. (The phonetic component 叔 rhymes with 督. The semantic component is 目.) It's very common in Chinese to juxtapose two words of similar meaning to create a new one. To use my teacher's favorite formula, 監 = 督, 督 = 監. Japanese has the same word 監督, but it is most often used as a noun to mean director of a film or manager/coach of a sports team.
  35. 4 likes
    Episode 5 ready! Xiaowei's blind date! Watch here: https://youtu.be/XMY0K7N8AA4 Get the .SRT subtitles from here: http://www.learnchineseslowly.com/blog/happy-chinese-ep005-srt-subtitles-and-transcription
  36. 4 likes
    One tool I always wished existed was a GOOD tone training software. I used rosetta stone early on almost entirely for the drawn lines of tones so I could practice getting mine to look like the native content in rosetta stone. I wish there was something that could take a phrase and map the tone visually, then allow me to try to mimic them and see what my tones look like. The visual feedback helps me a lot. A lot of the software the does something like this sticks to one or two characters when I need phrases. Practicing tones outside of isolation is very different. For example, three third tones can be 2-2-3 or (half 3)-2-3 depending on what characters get paired. All the other tools I want already exist (The Chairman's Bao, Chinese Text Analyser, Chinese Breeze (esp. the audio files), Anki/Pleco for notecards, and Pleco dictionary now with detailed descriptions from outlier, Hacking Chinese for advice, and early on the popup Chinese podcasts). Now i just want resources: List of native books, graded by difficulty and sorted by type of vocabulary (tech, military, political, etc) List of audio content in the same way Money to pay for tools... All these discussions on methods/tools, while I have found them useful, now I'm just at the point that I need to focus on doing a method, whether or not it is the most effective. Even the most effective method is useless if I only understand how to use it but never use it.
  37. 4 likes
    Imron is a dyed in the wool delitist ... 无可救药. This is definitely true. Well, it is in practice. But the more I think about it, the more I'm sure you are actually learning something with SRS. If most of the time you see a card and know the answer, then sure, you're just embedding your knowledge -- that which you've already learned -- a bit deeper into you memory. But for a card which you often get wrong, or usually find difficult, or always worry about confusing with another one, then each time you see it, and each time your brain starts turning round wondering is it this one or that one, I never get this one right, then what you're actually learning is: to panic when you see this word, to believe that you won't get it right, and to confuse it with another. I'm now strict about yanking a card out of my deck if I feel like I'm getting into any kind of rut or 'bad habit'. Most recently was seeing 威风 and never being able to recall its meaning because my brain kept whispering 微风 at me。 Were I to keep repeating that process, I'd learn to see 威风 and immediately think 'gentle breezes'. That's why I worry a bit for the OP's success rate: if you're frequently lots of cards wrong then you're learning to get them wrong in the future too.
  38. 4 likes
    For me, or rather for the way I use flashcards, this would be too low a success rate. Simply from a flashcards point of view, it means you'll be spending too much time relearning words that you've forgotten. That takes up lots of time, obviously. And I find the most soul-destroying aspect of flashcards is always coming across cards which I know I always seem to get wrong. If you get your rate up closer to 90% I wouldn't be surprised if you can cut the time spent on daily reviews by one-third to one-half. How to achieve that? Lots of different ways. Your deck is 5000 cards, so personally I'd consider removing the 1000 'worst' cards. Over time go through those 1000 cards one by one: if you think a word is important, then keep it; if it's not that important then delete it. You'll end up with a list of several hundred words which are important but which you keep forgetting. Relearn them, using a different method, pen and paper or whatever, and as you go along, once you're confident you have successfully relearned a batch, reintroduce them to the flashcards deck. Later on, you can take out the next 'worst' 1000 if you feel the need. This is good advice. Material with a simpler, more limited vocabulary will mean you're seeing the most important, most common words more often, which will help you remember them.
  39. 4 likes
    Angelina, couldn't you just wait with creating this topic until you actually are free to actually post said text? This post is essentially empty, why did you make it?
  40. 3 likes
    My view is that central government is serious about dealing with this, and will ultimately succeed - and that determination is filtering down the layers of government. It's an enormous task - auto makers might not want tougher vehicle standards and half the local governments in China have some kind of stake in coal mining / power generation / a random polluting industry. But there are feasible routes to success and I think the will is there, even if it means shaving GDP growth a little more.
  41. 3 likes
    Sounds pretty good to me, your introduction.
  42. 3 likes
    Sure. The link is: http://a.co/i1rGENv and the name is: China SIM Card 1GB 4G LTE data + 50 mins local calls or 100 texts,! Free Incoming Calls and Texts There's also a 2GB version, but 1GB was enough for me for one month, since most hotels and other places had Wifi. The seller is LvyCom. I activated it in NYC before going to China. When I traveled with my friends through China, one of my friends (using a college provided plan from Beijing) was left without data, but I still had data. Of course you can get much better plans in China, but for a traveler this one was perfect.
  43. 3 likes
    It's the lack of cars. The old buses. The run down hutong homes which aren't exclusive hotels. And most of all, it's the whistling pigeons.
  44. 3 likes
    Had a blind massage this afternoon. Large room with 5 tables side by side; no partitions or curtains. Everybody fully clothed. One female therapist, three male therapists. Guy on one side of me was snoring. He would wake up every few minutes and ask for it to be harder "重一点" then drift back off to sleep. Guy on the other side was moaning and groaning like he was being killed, "啊呀, 我疼死了。“ I was somewhere between the two extremes. Must confess that some parts of the process hurt, especially places where I was real tight. I kept reminding myself that I will feel better tomorrow. 90 minutes, 90 Yuan. Good, no-frills Chinese massage is something I really miss when back in the US, though I readily admit it is an acquired taste.
  45. 3 likes
    @Jabri When I applied, I used scanned recommendation letters. However, it depends on what your dispatching authority stipulates. Some insist on original recommendation letters, some even demand that it should be sealed
  46. 3 likes
    I get deep muscle work here in Kunming every week or two, either from a skilled and experienced blind masseur 盲人按摩 or from a TCM 中医推拿 practitioner. Have gone to both of them off and on for about 5 years. I think that the discomfort sometimes perceived during parts of the treatment has two main components, two main contributing factors. One component is the skill of the therapist. For example he or she can do things to reduce discomfort, such as not abruptly attacking a sensitive area with maximum force. Doing that inevitably produces a reflex "flinch" in even the most stoic patient. Instead, a skilled therapist will begin treating that tender area with somewhat less pressure and gradually build up, thus sort of "easing into" it. Also he or she will first do some stretching and mobilizing moves before beginning deeper "cross-fiber" and "trigger point" 穴位 work. A skilled therapist also will vary whether he applies force over a small area with something hard, such as a knuckle or point of the elbow, or over a larger area with something softer, such as the palm of the hand or middle of the forearm. The second component in how much the treatment hurts is in the hands of the patient. With practice one can learn how to breathe deeply and actually consciously will a body part or region to relax into the sensation of the treatment. One learns to mentally "rephrase" the sensation as "pressure" or as "stretch" instead of perceiving it as "pain." It's not anything mystical, but it does require some focus and concentration at first. With time, the old, maladaptive response of tightening up and resisting falls away if you let it. In fact that becomes nearly automatic. One ceases to unconsciously fight. One lets go. It's in that frame of mind that one can drift off to sleep. This relaxation response is aided by an experienced therapist, who will often combine pressing and pulling 推拿 movements with rhythmic rocking of the portion of the body receiving attention at the moment. Lots of skill is involved in doing this well. I have the greatest respect for practitioners with these talents. And it requires a degree of collaboration between the therapist and the patient.
  47. 3 likes
    Just watched the first episode, absolutely loved it. Thanks for the recommendation Renzhe (it was your passion for the show that convinced me to start it). Honestly living in Beijing some of the dialogue felt so natural it was impossible to tell it apart from real-life conversation. One to continue!
  48. 3 likes
    Hey, guys, good news: 1) I just found out that YouTube user haztuznezo has already synced text-based dual-language subtitles for almost all episodes. The playlist is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiNe_bumx_AX4RA-Wa-rRZo082f4mdzu6 I'll still keep working on my cropped, Chinese-only video versions, as they allow you to watch it with/without subtitles, leading to an even more immersive experience. This could also serve as the basis for subtitles in other languages, for the benefit of Mandarin students everywhere. I'll borrow haztuznezo's subtitles with timings as a starting point, to speed up the process. 2) Rainbowfish, the guy who originally typed the transcripts commented on my Learn chinese slowly blog, mentioned me in his Happy Chinese blog and also mentioned this thread. On other news, I have already created flashcards for my personal use for episodes 1-5, using subs2srs. I believe they make for very good listening practice: By focusing on a single line at a time, you really notice how people actually speak, how it differs from the "standard", how they add extra noises here and there that are not in the subtitles, and how they slur together sounds when speaking fast. I'll soon give more details on recommended settings for subs2srs and Anki if you also want "listening practice only" cards.
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    Its hard to say for I haven't gone/studied in Taiwan, but I did do a gap year in China specifically in Shanghai at the prestigious Fudan University fro 2015-2016 SY. Did a year of language study from the absolute bottom to the end of the beginner leveled classes from September till May (left a month and a half early). It was really nice for I met people from all over the world and I was on the Chinese Government Scholarship. There's a huge thread on how to apply on chinese-forms. Look into it and its not hard to get depending where you're from and how many people apply from your country. I would say though that our classes taught by our professors were ok. Teachers varied among the level of English and the teaching styles were a bit boring and too systematic and too-the same, but honestly it depends. Although a big and well known school in China, they are quite unorganized and contacting them is hard when you're not in China, but I do recommend the program for people who are willing for a challenge. We took classes up to 20hrs a week varying from grammar, speaking, listening, and writing. Have any more questions? Let me know or just head over to the Fudan University fourm on chinese-forms. I have made lots of great input there and possibly have answered a question you probably want to know more of
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    In my previous posts, all quotations of 金鹏王朝 were coming from a traditional character version found on haodoo.net. Now I'll be using a simplified character version I found on reader365. Let's see if there are many OCR problems. The story has not started just yet. Two other characters have to be introduced first. (三)西门吹雪 Yet another interesting guy with a funny name. He's wearing clean white clothes, he's been fasting for three days. Why is that?   因为他正准备去做一件他自己认为是世上最神圣的事。 And what's that sacrosanct thing?   他要去杀一个人! The poor guy is called Hong Tao. Ximen Chuixue does not know him and never saw him, but Hong Tao committed the mistake of slaying one Zhao Gang. Ximen Chuixue did not know that Zhao Gang either, but everybody knew he was a good guy. So , there: now you know why Ximen Chuixue is wearing white clothes and has been fasting for three days. And will ride 1000 li to meet Hong Tao.   他不远千里,在烈日下骑着马奔驰了三天,赶到这陌生的城市来,熏香沐浴,斋戒了三天,只不过是为了一个从来也没有见过面的陌生人复仇,去杀死另外一个从未见过面的陌生人。 There are two more things you ought to know about him. Ximen Chuixue does not speak much. During his fateful meeting with Hong Tao, he will pronounce exactly four words:   洪涛问他的来意时,他只说了两个字:“杀你!” That's two.   洪涛再问他“为什么”的时候,他又说了两个字:“赵刚!” And that's four.   洪涛问他:“阁下是赵刚的朋友?”他只摇了摇头。   洪涛又问:“阁下为了个不认得的人就不远千里赶来杀我?”   他只点了点头。   他是来杀人的,不是来说话的。 In other words: "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk." (YouTube). And now it's time to know *why* Ximen Chuixue is called like that. 吹? Maybe it's 雪 because he wears white clothes? Nope. There's another kind of "xue".     所以西门吹雪刺出了一剑,一剑就已刺穿了洪涛的咽喉。   剑拔出来的时候,剑上还带着血。   西门吹雪轻轻的吹了吹,鲜血就一连串从剑尖上滴落,恰巧正落在一片黄叶上。   黄叶直被西风舞起时,西门吹雪的人已消失在残霞外,消失在西风里。 Ximen Chuixue drew his sword and, dealing a single blow, stabbed Hong Tao in the throat. When he drew back his sword, there was blood on the blade. Ximen Chuixue gently blew and the fresh blood dripped from the tip of the sword. By chance it fell on a yellow leave. And when that yellow leave was blown away by the western wind, Ximen Chuixue himself had already disappeared in the setting sun, in the western wind. (四)花满楼 Compared with the guys we've just talked about, Hua Manlou is a welcome change. He is a mild-mannered dreamer. His favourite pastime is *not* to stab or poison his contemporaries, but just this:   黄昏时,他总是喜欢坐在窗前的夕阳下,轻抚着情人嘴唇般柔软的花瓣,领略着情人呼吸般美妙的花香。 How sweet. But… suddenly a young girl rushes into his house. Panting, she explains: “后面有人在追我,我能不能在你这里躲一躲?”(…) “追我的那个人不但凶得很,而且还带着刀,随时都可能杀人的!” But the young man reassures her that he will protect her and she has nothing to fear. When the man rushes into the house, Hua Manlou asks: “你是谁?”   大汉挺起了胸,道:“老子就是‘花刀太岁’崔一洞,老子给你一刀,你身上就多了一个洞!” The big guy straightened up and said: "I am Cui Yidong, the king of the flowery daggers. If I stab you, there will be one more hole in your body." After that customary exchange of courtesies, Cui Yidong proceeds to stab Hua Manlou - but:   花满楼身子连动都没有动,只动了两根手指。   他突然伸出手,用两根手指一夹,就夹住了崔一洞的刀。   这柄刀好像立刻就在他手指间生了根。   崔一洞用尽了全力,竟还是没法子把这柄刀拔出来。他的冷汗都已流了出来。 Hua Manlou's body did not even move. He only moved two fingers. He suddenly stretched out a hand and, using his two fingers as pliers, he blocked the dagger of Cui Yidong. It was as if that dagger had suddenly taken root between the fingers. Try as he might with all his strength, Cui Yidong could not take back the dagger. He was bathed in cold sweat. Quite a feat. But Hua Manlou is not only a mild-mannered dreamer with an impressive gongfu, he's also modest: “不是我有本事,是他没本事!” Once the baddie is gone, the girl (by the way, she's called 上官飞燕 Shangguan Feiyan) and Hua Manlou keep on discussing. Darkness comes. The girl notices that Hua Manlou does not care to light a candle.   上官飞燕轻轻叹了口气,道:“一天天过得真快,现在天又黑了。”   花满楼道:“嗯。”   上官飞燕道:“你为什么还不点灯?” He hints that: “我用不着点灯。” Hua Manlou is not only a mild-mannered and modest dreamer with an impressive gongfu, he does not need light…