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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/11/2020 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Disclaimer: This write up is not a guide on how to type using Cangjie, check out the wiki page for a basic intro if you're interested. This is aimed at anyone who simply wants to know whether learning a new input method is or is not worth the time investment. 2020 has been a very strange year for me, as I'm sure it has for most of us. With all the extra time, I decided to get down to some things that I've wanted to do for a while but...just never had the time. One of those things was learning to type Cangjie both fast enough that I can use it for live conversation on Wechat, and for practicing my character retention abilities. There are a number of shape-based input methods for Chinese out there, the most famous being Cangjie (倉頡), Dayi (大易) and Zhengma (鄭碼) for traditional, and Wubi (五笔) for simplified. I chose to learn Cangjie as it is well suited for typing both traditional and simplified, which can't be said of most other shape-based methods (most are now able to some extent, but mainly rely on 'conversion' rather than directly typing in the specific character according to its structure). Thats not to say Cangjie is 'the best' of these systems, its just the one that suited my needs the most. Other benefits of Cangjie are that it is widely available and license-free, so no worries that it will suddenly disappear or require some payment to use. It also uses a lot less keys than methods such as Dayi, so less finger stretching. Regardless, I believe Cangjie is an incredibly well-designed system, a real work of genius that functions to break down computer-font characters in the same way stroke order helps with handwriting characters. After 6 months of practice I have racked up just close to 100 hours of typing practice on anki (typing out sentences from memory based on prompts). I can now reach around 25-30cpm. I type at around 60-70wpm in English, so I've still got a long way to go, but I'm happy with my progress as it stands. Here's what I've found is important on my journey: 1. Your keyboard keys affect how a shape-based input method helps with character retention I originally set out using normal keys with alphanumeric symbols. I learned to touch type fairly quickly in Cangjie, but found that I began to see characters as strings of English letters in my head, a little like how when you're typing in pinyin you often think of the romanised version of what you're writing before the image of the character floats into your mind. This became quite annoying and counterconstructive, so I got some Cangjie stickers from ebay and stuck them on blank keycaps to see what difference there might be. The difference was noticeable immediately, as I began to associate the keys with Chinese characters much quicker. However, I still found that with some of the more difficult keys (where the character and the element it could represent are connected in a fairly abstract way), my brain would start remembering the string of keys for the character instead of properly decomposing it into its elements. The brain always chooses the easiest option I guess. A good example of this would be 麼, where 戈 represents both 广 and 丶 in the decomposition, with 女 also representing the stroke 𡿨, it was just easier to remember 麼=戈木女戈, or even just the shape the keys made on the keyboard. So I decided to make a set of keys similar to the ones you see for 五笔, where every single symbol is listed on the keycaps (ive seen them for 鄭碼 too, probably because the amount you need to remember for it is too much of a burden on the brain). I should emphasise, I decided to use this keyboard specifically for the purposes of character retention. If I wanted raw speed I would just use blank keycaps and rely on muscle memory. This keyboard has had a massive effect on how Cangjie has helped with remembering character writing, and if anyone is interested I'll be happy to send on the inkscape file. Now when I look at my keyboard to type 麼 I can actually look for 广 - 木 (-木) -𡿨-厶 instead of remembering some arbitrary code or pattern. Think that looks scary? Its not, it is very intuitive and can be learnt in half an hour of typing I would estimate. Check out 徐碼 for a typing system that has a single code for every single character you could possibly type. Bet you like the look of that Cangjie keyboard now: 2. Cangjie 5 is a massive improvement on Cangjie 3. Microsoft Cangjie is riddled with errors. I first set out using Cangjie probably around 2 years ago, but it was only really out of curiousity and I only used it on my phone. I didnt realise it at the time but I was using the 3rd generation of the system (for reference, 1 and 2 were largely just glorified betas). Then when I moved onto using cangjie on my laptop (ms surface), I discovered that many of the codes were different, despite it still being classed as Cangjie 3. Thankfully I came across this fantastic wikibook which not only explained the errors that MS has made in its own hacky version of Cangjie (after parting ways with the creator of Cangjie), but also showed how the 5th generation of Cangjie had corrected all the weird decomposition errors and inconsistencies in Cangjie 3. I immediately switched to Cangjie 5 and have not looked back, it is internally consistent and logical throughout. I strongly recommend any future students of Cangjie to use Cangjie 5, it is a pleasure to type with and really feels like you're writing characters, just like that feeling you get when you type English and your thoughts seem to just 'appear' on the screen - there is no feeling of detachment. Here are some notes I made when I first made the switch from MS Cangjie 3 to Cangjie 5 (using 倉頡平台) Correction of character selection order based on frequency. Eg 致 before 玫,知 before 佑. Damn that ms input was annoying, always having to add in '2' after so many common characters. recognition of 尸 as representative of the double dot, eg 假 人口尸水 應:戈人土心 this is fantastic, finally the parts are separated properly! 篼 has been corrected to 竹竹女山 (instead of 竹竹尸弓, which breaks away from the treatment of 兜 as a single unit (both in 3 and 5) 撐 and 撑 have their own unique codes (another MS error, typing 牙 here gives you 手...) 木廿 来 大木 东 etc the list goes on... I encourage anyone thats interested in comparing the differences between CJ 3 and 5 to have a look at this list. In fact, browse through the whole book, its incredibly well written. (Written by the 'boss'? of 倉頡之友, a forum without which I would never have found any success in learning 倉頡). 3. Cangjie is really fun to type with If you've ever felt the frustration of having to cycle through pages of characters to find the one you want, hate typing out whole words then delete the parts you don't want, or if you just can't stand 联系and 练习 causing all your friends to question what on earth you've been doing with all those hours of Chinese study, then Cangjie is defintely worth a try (or any other shape-based input method for that matter). Once you get used to typing using a shape-based method, you realise just how annoying typing phonetically is. Yes, I get it, its very, very, very easy to learn, and it means you don't have to remember how to write characters, only recognise them. But if you are at all interested in writing Chinese, then try Cangjie (or Wubi if you're simplified only gang) and I'm sure you'll never look back. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an obscure character and being able to check it instantaneously in your dictionary. I still remember the first time I saw 鑾 and realised it was just three keys right next to each other (女火金), the pure satisfaction... Here is an update video of me typing from today:https://youtu.be/DaZ9QRSKTbc I drafted a short paragraph then recorded myself typing it back out. There are errors, and its pretty slow going, but still, shows where I am honestly at after 6 months. Hope some of this helps, and if you've got any questions let me know and I'll try and help out
  2. 8 points
    Hey there! So I just saw this informative notice by Chinese Testing international dated June 2, 2020 (attached is the original) that they posted in the Confucius Institute of Barcelona (below is a direct translation into English by google translate). Main points is that the new HSK is intended to first take place in the first half of 2021 and that it will consist in adding a single new "advanced HSK" level that will comprise levels 7 to 9, and depending on the mark that you get in it you will have one or the other HSK level. It looks like levels 1-6 will remain unaltered: Lately, news such as "HSK will have 9 levels! The Chinese level 3.0 test will be coming soon" have attracted a lot of attention inside and outside China. The concerns and inquiries of Chinese students and teachers who are dedicated to the international teaching of this language come one after another, which excites us and shows unprecedented support. In order to answer the main concerns, the "Standards of the Chinese level in international education", the Chinese proficiency test (HSK) and the relationship between the two will be explained. With the development of the teaching of the Chinese language and the changes in the global needs of teaching and learning the Chinese language, it is necessary to adjust the "International Standards of Proficiency in Chinese" (published by the headquarters of the Confucius Institute in 2007), to Continuously improve the international teaching and learning of Chinese. In 2017, we began research and development of a new standard, namely "Chinese level standards in international education" (hereinafter referred to as "Level standards"). This research has already been completed and will therefore be launched in the second half of the year. "Level Standards" is based on the essence of Chinese language and writing, and has been nurtured by the strengths of other language standards in the world, inheriting the experience of teaching Chinese as a foreign language and the international teaching of Chinese. . From this base, divide the Chinese level of non-native speakers into three categories: beginner, medium and high, and each category is subdivided into three levels, that is, three categories with nine levels. Each level description includes three parts: verbal communication skills, content of thematic tasks and quantitative indicators of the language, and describes each level from five aspects according to their abilities to listen, speak, read, write and translate. "Level Standards" is an open and inclusive professional standard system that, after launch, will lead all international fields of Chinese language learning, teaching, testing and assessment, and will become an important indicator of reform and development of international Chinese teaching. The main change to the next "Level Standard" consists of three new advanced levels 7-9. A higher level of the Chinese language requires students to understand complex subjects in various fields and genres, carry out in-depth exchanges and discussions; are able to express themselves on complex issues of social, professional, daily activities, academic research, etc., have a flexible and effective organization of language, with a clear logic, a rigorous structure, a coherent and reasonable speech, and can communicate decently in various situations; Be flexible in using various communication strategies and resources to complete communication tasks, gain a deep understanding of Chinese cultural knowledge, and possess an international vision and intercultural communication skills. To this end, we will expand the levels by developing the Advanced HSK exam (levels 7-9), with the premise of guaranteeing the stability of HSK levels 1-6. The advanced exam is mainly for foreign students who specialize in Chinese language and literature, as well as for students from other majors with Chinese proficiency who come to China to study and for Sinology researchers abroad. A single exam will be implemented in the levels 7-9 test for the three levels, which means that only one exam will be added and will be determined by the score if the level 7, 8 or 9 is obtained. The Advanced HSK exam (Level 7-9) is scheduled to be released in the first half of next year. Check our website and social networks for future news on this topic. This text is a translation of the Chinese original and is for informational purposes only. Chinese Testing International June 2, 2020 2020_nuevo_hsk.pdf
  3. 7 points
    As the title shows, I am a native Chinese and currently study Linguistics, and both Chinese and English translation at the postgraduate level. I found this forum via Google Search and it was listed as the first result, which convinced me that this must be the most pupolar one. The reason for creating an account and posting something is to encourage myself to learn more about both English and Chinese, because I need to use English language and knowledge to solve your problems and describe Chinese langauge and knowledge. In my own words, this experience will be like a field trip, in which I can come across lots of questions that may not puzzle native learner while really cause many difficulties for foreign learners. That is simply my original intention. As for myself, I grew up with reading a number of Chinese literatures, which vary from classic ones to contemporary ones, because I very appreciate the ability of learning life experience from those books. Besides, since I am studying Linguistics, I pay much attention to the usage of languages, that is, English and Chinese. If you are familiar with this subject, I am a functionalist and believe that there are numerous ambiguities and impreciseness during the process of using langauge. Thus, those real-world questions from you may become the key to explain some linguistic phenomenon. In this way, please don't hesitate to ask me questions about either Chinese Linguistics or Literature. I will be very grateful for this mutual learning. By the way, if this post is in the wrong section, please tell me where I can post for more attention. Much Thanks.
  4. 7 points
    I came across a website with past exam papers for undergraduates studying Chinese at Cambridge University. I thought I'd post the link here in case it's of interest, and it might help answer the question that often comes up on the forums about what kind of Chinese proficiency to expect after studying Chinese for one year, or after a full undergraduate course, etc. I was in fact hunting around for Classical Chinese material, but there's the Modern Chinese exams there too. As I understand it, Part IA would be the exams taken after one year of study, Part IB is after two years. Students then study in China for a year before returning for their fourth and final year, so the Part II exams are those taken at the end of that final year. I think all papers (so both Modern and Classical) on Part IA and IB are compulsory, don't know about Part II. I then had a look to see if other UK universities make past papers available too, but the ones I googled seemed to all need student ID. Here's the link: https://www.ames.cam.ac.uk/faculty-library/past-exam-papers
  5. 7 points
    Agreed that "You really can eat" is a much more useful translation. Wiki updated! P.S. Do people like suggesting edits to the Chinese Grammar Wiki on here? I may not be able to catch every post, but maybe we could make this a regular thing... The AllSet Learning team is working on B2 now, and some of those pages need quite a bit of work. We're working on the page for the advanced particle 所 now.
  6. 6 points
    Frankly, I've been waiting for a revision of the test since Hanban introduced the actual format in 2010. The HSK test, even at the highest levels (HSK 5 and 6), is so simple that the equivalence HSK 6=C1 is impossibile to accept. The table for HSK 2020 seems to take into account that at the elementary level a learner need to know 2500 words, at the intermediate level 5000/6000 words, at the advanced level 10.000 words. Now I hope to see in the text more extracts from university textbooks for chinese students, modern literature, magazines, essays, real spoken chinese (media, interviews etc.), and maybe, at the advanced level, classical grammatical structures used today in formal Chinese. 🙂 🙂
  7. 6 points
    A fairly large part of my postgrad dissertation was translating the history of the brush, so I feel like I'm somewhat knowledgeable on the subject, although I'm sure there are some gaps. There is evidence that the brush has been used even as far back as oracle bones, where marks made with red pigment were made with a brush before being carved into the bone. This is also true for stone inscriptions too, where the characters would be written onto the stone directly before being carved on. It is a misunderstanding that the brush was invented by the Qin official 蒙恬; he probably had an important role to play in improving how the brush was made, but brushstrokes on bamboo from areas all around different kingdoms of ancient China show that the brush was being used for writing characters much earlier than the Qin dynasty. The round strokes that became characteristic of seal script, particularly 小篆, naturally still used the brush to be written, where strokes overlap to hide the brush tip, or later was rotated in a circular motion to achieve 藏鋒. This was cumbersome, and was soon replaced by clerical script, where the brush tip could be 'revealed' (露鋒), and thus characters could be written quicker and more naturally. Essentially, the brush has been used for thousands of years by scribes, and the only other form of writing is simply directly carving into stone. I'm going off memory here, but I feel like there are some early bamboo slips that are supposedly written using a hard tipped reed-style pen. I would guess this never entered the mainstream, as writing on bamboo with a hard tip would be incredibly difficult due to the uyneven fibres on the surface. Regardless of what the recording medium was, be it stone, bamboo, wood or paper, a brush would almost always be used to produce a draft first before carving. The brush then entered the mainstream with the widespread use of paper from the Han dynasty onwards.
  8. 6 points
    You're certainly much more informed than me, which is why this forum is so cool! Mine was just a quick guess lol. No prob!
  9. 6 points
    @Lu, I finished the book up over the weekend. I have trouble getting online as much as I'd like due to having a 4 month old at home... he is taking a significant amount of my time, so sorry for not giving so many updates along the way. Overall it was an enjoyable little read and I think the other readers summarized the points nicely. The ending... wow, didn't see that. To add a little different takeaway from the book, and emphasize the value of reading, I'll give a different and completely personal angle. One of my favorite parts of the book had more to do with an overlapping of coincidences happening in my last week of reading the book instead of the actual story. To briefly explain, I'm in the process of finishing a young adult version of 西游记. My goal is to read all the classics, but in their original format they are too difficult, but the young adult versions seems perfect. In any case, there was a point in 草鞋湾 where one of the kidnappers said something along the lines that the subject cannot "七十二变", which refers to 孙悟空 and one of his special abilities. I was also watching a movie with 刘德华 and 舒淇 last week and 刘德华 was pursuing 舒淇 and her friends were teasing him and he said something along the lines of what if I were 唐僧. 唐僧 being the Buddhist monk who is traveling to India in 西游记. If I had not been reading 西游记 this would've been one of those statements that I didn't quite understand due to the cultural context. This was kind of an eye opener to me that even in a children's book they are making references to the classics. These types of stories are really embedded into Chinese culture, and I think as learners of the language there is value in reading these classics. It caught me by surprise and re-enforced my position on reading the classics to better understand cultural context. The other thing I liked about the book was that it was not necessary to always have a dictionary next to me. The book did a good job at re-enforcing vocabulary and patterns, allowing a 1x look up to be useful throughout much of the book. I like to read in bed prior to sleeping (without electronics / my pleco dictionary), and this book was perfect for that. It actually makes me want to get a book of this level to keep next to my bed for an quick 10-20 minute read before putting out the lights.
  10. 5 points
    Has anybody here ever used the Common Voice dataset for their language studies? They released an update last week and the Mandarin Chinese parts of the dataset now have a total of about 140 hours of recorded sentences for China and Taiwan. From Wikipedia: I immediately thought of the MorphMan add-on for Anki when I read about this update (paging @NinKenDo), though not having English translations for these sentences is a limitation. About 15% of the sentences are tagged with the speaker's birthplace. Perhaps this dataset could be used to find good examples of regional accents? Some example sentences from the corpus are below. 宋朝末年年间定居粉岭围。 渐渐行动不便 二十一年去世。 他们自称恰哈拉。 局部干涩的例子包括有口干、眼睛干燥、及阴道干燥。 嘉靖三十八年,登进士第三甲第二名。 这一名称一直沿用至今。 为了惩罚西扎城和塞尔柱的结盟,盟军在抵达后将外城烧毁。 河内盛产黄色无鱼鳞的鳍射鱼。 他主要演出泰米尔语电影。 福崎町是位于日本兵库县中部的行政区划。 下行月台设有厕所。 耶尔河畔圣伊莱尔人口变化图示 光绪八年再中举人。 赫拉克勒斯是希腊神话中的半神英雄。 蔡声白。 该区舰队主要负责为公海舰队的战列分舰队提供屏护。 雷诺在回归的第一年比赛中以第四名的成绩完成了比赛。 这样都可以啊 此原理也广泛应用于家庭之中用于生产软水。 本片的导演是赵秀贤和梁铉锡。 奥特拉德诺耶农村居民点是俄罗斯联邦沃罗涅日州新乌斯曼区所属的一个农村居民点。 吉内斯塔。
  11. 5 points
    I went to search the source text and tried to get some hints from its context. And then I would like share my thoughts. This part of the story happened at the beginning of the marriage of the author's parents. Although the author's grandpa on her mother's side disagreed with his daughter's marriage with her father, they finally got married. After the marriage, the grandma on her mother's side and her mother's elder brother brought a few things (including this 年糕面) visited some relatives in Jinan. I think your opinion is correct because nobody will bring some noodles to visit others. However, the time of this story happening is also important for figuring out what 年糕面 is. In my opinion, I may say it is the flour used to make 年糕. The reason is that at that time (around 1976), these ingredients like flour, rice and meat were very short because they are allocated a fixed amount. For example, there were five people (2 adults and 3 children) in your family, you may have a little amount that was just enough for your family. Therefore, if you bring a bag of flour to visit your relatives, it means your home has stored some food. Then, you can imagine how close you and your relatives are and how rich and powerful your family is (LOL). Does it make sense?
  12. 5 points
    This is hilarious. Glad that the forums gave Roddy a chance back when he was a new member!
  13. 5 points
    Checking into this thread as I'm now reading Roddy's copy. Started reading yesterday afternoon and have just reached chapter 10, its proving to be a very relaxing read after 荒朝, and I love the simple but effective character writing by 曹文轩. In fact its made me realise one of the key things 荒朝 was lacking: every character, regardless of whether it was male or female, old or young, all sounded like the same person, namely the author. But every character in 草鞋湾 feels so clear and distinct, especially the difference between adults and children. I suppose this is to be expected of a novel for a younger audience, but its really highlighted why I didn't get along with any of the characters in 荒朝 at all. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far for hiding their spoilers for those of us yet to finish!
  14. 5 points
    It's Saturday afternoon now and I've gone through lots and lots of "source notes." It's not as easy as I thought to single out a couple of always-dependable sources. And I hasten to add that I cannot really answer your original question about a general "go to" multi-purpose Chinese cookbook written in Chinese. You might try Chef Wang's 王刚 video cooking series. He has a channel on Youtube and another hosted on Baidu. They were initially recommended to me by another member. I checked them out little by little and have now watched just about all of his video descriptions of how to make China's most revered classics. He is a Sichuan chef, and Sichuan food is what he does best; nonetheless he has worked in 60 different restaurant kitchens and has acquired a mastery of all eight of China's main cuisines. What I like best is that he shows ingredients and techniques clearly but at normal speed. He has not "dumbed-down" his presentations with foreign audiences in mind. He speaks clearly, albeit a little fast at times. His style is direct and not overly edited or slicked up. Most of his videos have carefully-done subtitles. Some have English notes and commentary, supplied by his brother. Some of his videos are done in restaurant kitchens and some are done in home kitchens. Here are links to two of them so you can get an idea of whether they might be suitable for your needs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7qsyMXUiL8&app=desktop and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zl-SyceEzc This is a short interview about his approach to cooking: https://haokan.baidu.com/v?vid=11248331076128774140&pd=bjh&fr=bjhauthor&type=video. Here's a Baidu piece on his humble background: https://baike.baidu.com/item/王刚/23623830?fr=aladdin China has its share of flashy "celebrity chefs" who put on a show and try their best to dazzle during the demo. I've waded through hundreds of those, and frankly find most to be over-rated as instructional tools. I think of them in the same category as glossy "coffee-table" cookbooks. I frequently use the 下厨房 app as a quick reference when looking at ingredients in the market. "Here's a terrific batch of great-looking eggplant that just arrived and is selling for about half what it usually does. Wonder what I might make with it tonight?" I also use that app when I'm in a restaurant if I don't recognize a dish on the menu. If nothing else, it will tell me the ingredients and how they are usually put together. Some of the 下厨房 recipes are better than others. Some forget or leave out "minor ingredients" and gloss over steps. Some are too casual with measurements. I try to select recipes by people who have posted a lot instead of by a home cook who is just writing down a "one off" success. Here's a link to the website: http://www.xiachufang.com/ And here's a recipe from that website that Chef Wang posted in answer to a request: https://hanwuji.xiachufang.com/recipe/104212093/. It describes how he makes Mapo Doufu 麻婆豆腐。 Most of my own cooking is seasonal and ingredient driven. When the spring squash flowers are everywhere you look, then I want to know the best way to use them at home for a treat. When it's summer mushroom season and they are abundant, fresh, and cheap, I explore new ways to use them. If a new stall opens featuring some interesting varieties of chilies, ground to order, then I buy a batch and read up on how to turn them into a killer hot sauce 红油。 Hope this helps you a little.
  15. 4 points
    Ha! This was really useful. I hadn't realised Word could do the conversion, but it's done a much better job than whatever was used to create the file I was given. Daft of me. Headache over, I think.
  16. 4 points
    戴口罩 Wear a mask Seal script 篆書
  17. 4 points
    @roddy and @Tomsima, the book has reached me, thank you so much! I'll start it right now, trying to keep on with 笛安's novel.
  18. 4 points
    Thanks for posting the source for those wishing more background info. I'll note that ALL of the vaccines in development show immune activity (if they didn't, they would be cancelled). However, triggering an immune response doesn't mean they will provide protection from SARS Cov-2. Some Covid-19 vaccines have undergone/are undergoing "Phase I" and "Phase II" clinical trials. Phase I determines tolerability. Phase II explores dose response, i.e., how much of a dose do you need to cause a response. Both Phase I & II trials give some information on safety. However, Phase II trials typically involve, at most, a few hundred people. In contrast, Phase III trials, which study efficacy and safety, involve thousands of people when drugs are tested and 10s of thousands when vaccines are tested. The vaccine Rotateq had 70,000 people worldwide in its Phase III trial. In addition to showing the risks of the vaccine, Phase III also informs the efficacy; how much protection will the vaccine provide and for how long. In contrast, a Phase II trial in a few hundred people doesn't give enough information to know how safe/dangerous a vaccine will be in the population. Jumping from Phase II trials into the military is slightly more acceptable ethically because the military will have young & healthy people and we know that Covid-19 is more dangerous to the elderly. (this said, many countries wouldn't do this.) For those who want an in-depth look at the vaccines in development, including CanSino, check out: https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/06/29/coronavirus-vaccine-update-june-29 For those who don't have time to look, one issue with the CanSino vaccine is that it uses a common virus as its vector. As a result, many people already have immunity to the vector. This can be bad because the body may attack the common virus before the body has a chance to build immunity to SARS Cov-2. We need Phase III trials to know whether this vaccine really works and what the side effects might be. To be clear, I fully support all of the vaccine studies. We don't know now which one (if any) might be effective nor the level of risk each poses. The more candidates we test, the more likely we''ll find a safe & effective vaccine. It's a challenge for the world (my soapbox for the day.....) (I always like it when others in this group offer their expertise on different things, so I'm offering this)
  19. 4 points
    I did the "at home" version of HSK 4 this morning, conducted by the Confucius Institute at Nottingham University in the UK. There's not really much to add to this lengthy thread about this "at home" version of the test, except that the arrangements went smoothly from my point of view. There were 4 of us taking tests this morning, plus 2 invigilators. We all logged into the same Skype call, presented our ID to the camera and then gave a 360-degree view of the room we were in... it was all very casual. Then we set up our phones/tablets to show ourselves and our computer so that the invigilator could watch us doing the test. My laptop's camera was also on throughout the test... I think the software takes some stills of you during the test for temporary records until the results are released. Then we ran the Exam Client program, it downloaded the test, and we sat there for 30 mins waiting for it to start. Overall I thought Ms Chen the coordinator at the Nottingham CI was really helpful... communications were regularly (emails), she explained everything really well before the test began and so on. I didn't even receive a reply to my email enquiries from some UK Confucius Institutes, but I was very happy with Nottingham — as well as Sheffield, Manchester, London South Bank and Edinburgh, who were all helpful and responsive even though they weren't running the tests this time. The results will be out in 10 days.
  20. 4 points
    2020 Update One or two new 古汉语 / Ancient Chinese moocs have appeared since 2018, so here's an updated list in the 中国大学MOOCs platform. BLCU 古代汉语入门 Introduction to Ancient Chinese https://www.icourse163.org/course/BLCU-1450193180 Don't be put off by the awful introduction in the general pages! This is a rare one, because it is designed for foreign students and doesn't assume any previous knowledge of classical Chinese. It is very well presented and very clear (at least the first few lectures that I have seen), has Chinese subtitles and enough handouts to be able to follow the videos without much trouble. It is very basic, but I think a nice introduction for beginners in Classical Ancient Chinese. More advanced: BLCU 古代汉语 Ancient Chinese https://www.icourse163.org/course/BLCU-1206312837?tid=1206618259 No subtitles, no handouts either. Probably not very appealing for western students. I gave up after the first 2-3 videos. Fujian Normal University 古代汉语 (上)(下) https://www.icourse163.org/course/FJNU-1205698810 Much easier to follow than BLCU's, Chinese subtitles and plenty of handouts. Looks quite well organised, some very interesting insights relating Min language to ancient Chinese. I enjoyed the first few videos and will get back to do more at a slow pace. Wuhan University 古代汉语 https://www.icourse163.org/course/WHU-1002922024?tid=1450286449 Still there and still my favourite but get my brain done in by the teacher's dialect, can only take a bit at a time, tough it is very interesting and funny. Worth the effort. Thankfully the videos have clear Chinese subtitles and the ppts are available for download.
  21. 4 points
    I announced Pleco desktop in 2005, then have announced it again in some manner or other pretty much every year since 🙂 I mean yeah we’re probably going to have to support desktops in some form now; there are no license restrictions I’m aware of that would compel us to *not* allow our app to be downloaded on ARM Macs, the main reason why we might opt out of that is if we were working on a much better desktop app we planned to charge for. (And in that case we might still sell the quick lazy version through our website in the meantime, since Mac supports sideloading, hopefully with x86 support too)
  22. 4 points
    I’m halfway through chapter 2 now, and I have to say I’m liking it a lot. It moves along quite quickly, and there isn’t lots of description of scenery or anything, which I usually find much more challenging to read. There are some pithy quotes as well - just came across this one: “钢铁侠并不是严格意义上的工作狂——他只不过是发自内心地讨厌私 人生活。” Now that I’m into the story, I’m a bit more hopeful that I’ll be able to read it in a timely manner. Great pick!
  23. 4 points
    @biyalan glad to see another person is joining! Each part is divided into smaller chapters, part 1 goes from chapter 1 to 5, so you can see that we're still at the beginning of the story! You arrived just in time.
  24. 4 points
    Yes, they found one guy originally then they tracked 2 more. Finally, they tested everyone related to this market in Fengtai district and found about 45 People testing positive (But still without symptoms at that time). They then closed down another big market in Shunyi as a precaution (I think) and stopped the sale of imported produce. Last I heard they’re blaming imported fish or meat products for the outbreak. I couldn’t get smoked salmon in a restaurant yesterday as they weren’t allowed to sell it. We were originally set to welcome kids back Monday (I teach G1 at an Intl school) but that has been postponed. Sporting events have been postponed and I think some gyms closed again. I imagine Fengtai will be the most affected with closures and restrictions. edit: Salmon getting mentioned a lot. Some restaurants just aren’t serving any fish or seafood at the moment.
  25. 4 points
    I've seen a similar study with a cutoff at 35, so yes, 55 is generous. (I also once was rejected for having played the piano when I was young.) And I think it's unnecessarily hostile to call to others to boycott the study just because you feel you are unjustly excluded.
  26. 4 points
    I also just finished 许三观卖血记 and I agree with what @matteo said about it. However, for me two books in a row about hardship in the Chinese countryside is not too much, so I am now starting 活着 😁 Aside from these novels, which I prepare for by studying new words chapter by chapter, I have also started reading some other stuff more casually. Currently that is 掌控习惯 (Atomic Habits), which is quite boring, and a diary about the Wuhan lockdown by 方方 http://fangfang.blog.caixin.com/), which is interesting but very hard for me. For these casual reads I only look up words occasionally and only add them to my study queue if I feel they are useful.
  27. 3 points
    For those that don't have Word, the free OpenOffice Writer can also do this.
  28. 3 points
    Not sure this will help you, but if at least one of your docs is a pdf (if not Word already), and you have Word/Office 2016 or 365, it's easy to convert the orientation to whatever you want, so at least you'll have both documents with the same orientation. Use 'Open with' to open your document with Word, save that copy as a docx file. Now you can edit it. Select 'Layout' from the ribbon menu and use the 'Text Direction' options on the left hand side. If working on paper and desperate, you can always OCR and convert.
  29. 3 points
    @Milkybar_Kid not only did you pass, that's an unreal result for HSK 6 - no doubt hard earned! Congrats.
  30. 3 points
    Results from the 28 June exam are just out.... very relieved to have passed. My score is much higher than expected, actually. Can't believe I'm already working on HSK 5 with my teacher... although by the time I get through the textbooks it might not exist any more.
  31. 3 points
    Results of that online exam are allready out! I failed again, but failed better! 55% this time... last time I got over 60 in the ting li, must have reall made a mess of it this time lol , but last time only got 48% overall, , The global average for the exam was 203. Best of luck everyone! Ticket No. Test Subject Scores Average H52067646010100001 HSK五级 2020-06-28 写作 56.0 68.26 听力 53.0 71.67 阅读 56.0 63.34 Score 165.0 203.27
  32. 3 points
  33. 3 points
    Not every CI is the same, a lot depends on who is running it. Sometimes it's really over the top (there was an incident in Portugal where the Chinese director of the local CI had the first page ripped out of booklets because it also had the sponsorship of a Taiwanese institute, I forgot the details but it was really ridiculous), often there's no problem at all (CI gives language classes and organises or sponsors some cultural projects), but there is always the political background noise. The CI in Leiden sponsored all kinds of interesting cultural things, but you wouldn't even think of asking them to sponsor something that was not 100% in line with the political direction in China. Everyone in China circles accepts this as a normal reality, but imagine a Goethe-Institut official diplomatically informing you (not in writing of course) that it's better if you don't ask them for funding to stage a certain German play in your city because it's critical of Angela Merkel or the German policy on refugees. And that whole 'the teachers in language classes don't tell us about Tian'anmen' is on one hand of course a bit silly: you're learning to talk about 你家有几口人 and 你是哪国人, political history is simply not the subject. But the problem is not that the teacher isn't talking about it, the problem is that she's not supposed/allowed to talk about it. Like you, I've only ever had positive interactions with the CI. But I am very much aware of the boundaries we're not supposed to cross. ETA: The incident with the page ripped out of booklets was in Portugal, not France. See here.
  34. 3 points
    So, I've taken this course from start to finish. I'll leave my opinion here just in case someone wants to read a fair and detailed review in the future. I rate this course 4/5. The teachers seem nice, it's easy to follow, it doesn't take too much time, it almost doesn't stray away from HSK 4 vocabulary. It helped me. I recommend it. Now, the HSK 4 course from PKU also has its problems: 1) A few (indeed few) words taught are not HSK 4 level. Some 10~20 words in the whole course are HSK 3 level, HSK 5 level, or non-HSK words. No big problem, but it would sometimes confuse me as I'd try to keep track of how many words I still had to learn, and I wouldn't find some of the newly learnt words on my list, the official HSK vocabulary list. 2)The video lessons are short. You'll only be taught how to use each word in a single way, and you'll definitely have to complement your studies looking for more examples on your own, as most words can be used in more than a single way. Also, you won't be taught the difference between synonyms such as 准时, 及时, 按时, you'll have to look that up too. 3)The course basically doesn't help you with the writing part, there's very little information about it, but that's somewhat expected since it's a free online course; there's no one to correct your writing. 4)The last 4 weeks of the course were poorly designed. You won't learn anything new at this point, only do some exercises to practice what you learned on past weeks and listen to some explanations about how the test works. The problem is that watching the daily video lesson plus doing such exercises takes 15 minutes a day, which is too little. Everything you're supposed to do in those 4 weeks can easily be done in less than a week. I actually did it in 3 days. 5)There are no practice tests. Solving 5 questions feels a lot different from solving 100. You'll have to do the training by yourself to be truly prepared for the test. I did one practice exam every weekend. At first my results weren't that nice, but it helps to see the progress at least. 6)Not all HSK 4 words are taught. Actually, out of the 600 new words required for the test, 179 words are left out. A little bit too much. Some of them you probably already know, like 帅, some are better left ignored, like 传真, and some do appear in the middle of some exercises at some point in the course (and might be quickly mentioned by one of the teachers). Still, at least 100 words are left completely unexplained, most of which are pretty useful. I'll try to attach an Excel file to this post, it should contain all words that cannot be found in any word list in this course. HSK 4 - Missing Words (Coursera).xlsx Overall, the course is fine, it's worth your time, but you can't expect it to do everything for you.
  35. 3 points
    A nice question about Chinese names because I am recently writing a paper concerning a few Chinese names in one novel. I may share my idea on it. The character 萍 refers to grass floating on the water. When it is used as someone's name, it means tender, natural, and friendly. However, since this character always appears in ancient works, it is rarely used for naming my generation born after 1995. That's my personal opinion.
  36. 3 points
    Just to let you know I received my new passport a few days back. Documents received 28 April Application being processed 12 May Application approved 24 June! Passport printed and sent 25 June. Through another group that I am in, a person in UK had sent their passport in and had it approved within 2days in the first week of June. 8 weeks for mine is mystifying though fortunately I am not needing to travel.
  37. 3 points
    What a strange season this has been. I'm not really sure what to write, as our whole semester has been online. I feel like I my improvement was minimal due to the online classes, and the format in which they came. Speaking was done as an interactive online class, and so that was actually not bad. But a lot of the other classes were prerecorded lectures, with a few questions to follow, in order to check that we had been listening. The hardest class we had was 文学,and I got next to nothing out of it, because it was basically a teacher talking at us for a couple of hours, without any interaction. I feel this class would have been really good if it was in person. A lot of class time I just spent reading and doing flashcards, so that I was at least getting some self study in. Overall this semester has been far from ideal, but I do feel there has been some small improvement at least, and was happy to get through 《三体》,which I will do my thesis on next year. As far as getting back to China goes, I have absolutely no idea (nor do I think anyone else really does) as to when/how this will happen. If the next semester starts online, I struggle to understand how we would be able to go back before it ends. The logistics of trying to switch from online classes to actual classes, while international students are all having to book flights to get back, along with going through a two week quarantine, just seems like too much of a headache. I imagine it would be much wiser to do it during a break. Anyway, not much to report this time unfortunately. We have our final 4 week semester now - today is the last day of class, then 2/3 pieces of homework/papers over the next 3 weeks before we finish for the summer. Watch this space to see what happens next!
  38. 3 points
    About to finish 活着, which is a great read. All good things are 3 so I'll do one more by 余华:在细雨中呼喊
  39. 3 points
    Just finished HSK 5 home edition. About 10 others taking it. Had great fun in the writing section - normally it's a nightmare trying to remember how to write anything. At the end it just finished the timer and said exam complete (I didn't get to click on "submit paper"). Did that happen to you Mungouk? I assume it just submits it automatically. Audio section was much harder than previous mock exams... reading section the usual disaster - I'd say my result will be similiar to the last time I sat the HSK last November, except writing section should be slightly better. I could have done well in the writing, but sentence structure not great 虽然。。。但是 won't get very many marks at this level but did manage to squeeze in 莫名其妙. The first writing section story I have to admit got a bit weird - it was 浪漫 母亲 至今 and one other word I forget (remembered 微笑)。 (not a difficult word), and another word I didn't know what it meant....I used the word i didn't know as an adjective, and the story was about my mum advising me on the most romantic way of wooing (追ing)my girlfriend...we ended up with 4 kids at the end of the story - not sure that is great advice from my mu qin. And the Second writing section was a dad and Son together - and the son had just caught a fish and is holding the fishing rod with fish on the hook in the picture. So you know I say I'm so proud of you son, but you know we aren't getting any younger and we will have to rely on you soon...so study hard and earn lots of money type thing...now lets go home and eat the fish... yea creative writing is not my strong point! but there was some decent chinese in there compared to my normal crappy writing section.
  40. 3 points
    Haven't seen anything much myself; mostly 'brand expansion' sort of stuff rather than actual usable apps. My impression is that the demand is pretty tiny - hardly any customer email about it - and in my own experience it's just not very comfortable to do stuff on the watch for more than a brief interaction; about the only time I'd ever use it for more than 10 seconds at a go is if I've loaned one of my kids my phone for some reason. Chinese handwriting works reasonably well, but not enough to discourage you from taking the extra few seconds to pull out your phone and do it properly. We do get a lot of requests for automated background flashcard playback and that's something we are working on, so when that's available you should at least be able to run an all-audio flashcard session that you can play/pause from your watch, though you can also do that by double-tapping your AirPods / pushing a button on your steering column / tugging the sleeve of your smart jacket / yelling at Siri to pause audio / etc. If there's ever going to be a watch app revolution, it'll probably come ~2 years from now when SwiftUI (Apple's Grand Unified Interface Design System For All Apple Devices) is sufficiently stable / widely adopted that rebuilding an app for Apple Watch becomes the sort of thing one can do in a week or two. But by then we may all be looking at doing Chinese learning for our AR headsets instead, which have a lot more long-term potential...
  41. 3 points
    https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/pronunciation/Tone_changes_for_"bu" Note that the tone change is not normally marked in Pinyin, thus your confusion.
  42. 3 points
    The calligrapher Tong Yang-Tze 董陽孜 has a work titled 'Immortal at the River' on display at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. It can be seen on the exhibit website, where there is also video of the work in its entirety. The website also has the words and translation of the work. It's quite a stunning work that spans 54 meters long!
  43. 3 points
    I think this will definitely help in the long run. Else we can all just stick to the official HSK books. During the HSK5 exam last year and now while doing HSK6 prep exams I must say that 20% +/- of the vocab isn't part of the HSK word list. Here CMB is helpful enriching vocabulary. I read CMB since 1 year, 3 articles daily. sticking to CMB's HSK6+ articles for a while makes the transition to native newspaper articles more smooth.
  44. 3 points
    What level are you looking for? I quite like these by Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington: Basic Chinese: A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge, 2009) Intermediate Chinese: A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge, 2009) Also Claudia Ross, Schaum's Outline of Chinese Grammar (McGraw-Hill, 2009) These all have exercises with answers.
  45. 3 points
    Totally agree. I still listen to John's Chinesepod lessons from many years ago. No matter how many times I listen, I still find them interesting. He & the other Chinesepod instructors (Dilu, Jenny & Ken) had a special magic. John offered lots of cultural input that supplemented the language learning. My Chinese friends are always surprised when I'm aware of aspects of Chinese culture that I learned from his lessons. Sometimes cultural differences aren't obvious & you need someone to point them out. John did. These lessons still have value in surprising ways. I recently got to know a Chinese dentist. Because of CP's lessons on dentistry, I knew about some of the basic differences in dentistry between the US and China (and I didn't have to ask her "What is a dentist doing working in a hospital?" or why her work focuses on very serious oral problems versus the US approach of preventative dentistry).
  46. 3 points
    @murrayjames here is a link to the set I bough on Amazon. It ships from (or at least mine) China and took a while to get to me. All four of the classics are in this set: 四大名著套装:三国演义+水浒传+西游记+红楼梦(青少年版)(套装共4册) After I finish 西游记 I'm going to move onto 三国. The nice thing is that 喜马拉雅 has some good audio books on these books as well. I like reading the chapter first and then listening to the chapter on 喜马拉雅. The books and the audiobook are not the same, so you can't really follow along and read, but I find this to be good passive listening practice as I multi-task (e.g. clean or cook) since I already know what is happening in the story.
  47. 3 points
  48. 3 points
    I’ve only ever heard it pronounced kǎ
  49. 3 points
    There was a LOT of vocab for me, so I may not be the best person to do this, but I haven't seen anyone else do it yet so I thought I would share some vocab from the Prologue + Chapter 1: 粗重 cu1 zhong4 - loud and jarring 繞樑 rao4 liang2 - reverberate 運籌 yun4chou2 - draw up plans 遲鈍 chi2dun4 slow (in thought or action); obtuse 一貫 yi1guan4 adj consistent; adv - always, all along 脫胎換骨 - tuo1tai1 hun4gu3 - to be reborn to remould oneself 敷衍 - fu1yan3 - to act in a perfunctory manner 注資 - zhu4zi1 - to invest capital; n. capital investment 微醺 - wei1xun1 - tipsy 憑空 - ping2kong1 - out of the void 蔓越莓 - man4yue4mei2 - cranberry 港交所 - Gang3jiao1suo3 - Hong Kong Stock Exchange 膠囊 - jiao1nang2 - plastic packet 等級森嚴 - deng3ji2sen1yan2 - to be rigidly stratified; form a strict hierarchy 力排眾議 -- li4pai2 zhong4yi4 - prevail over all dissenting views Sorry for traditional only but I do not have a simplified keyboard installed on this machine at the moment .
  50. 3 points
    @luc9999, @ChTTay - Good news, the podcast is now available on Ximalaya (the mainland Chinese version)!! I've just uploaded all of the episodes this morning, some of which are still under review so, if they pass the review stage (I don't see why they shouldn't but you never know...), it'll show up a bit later. The channel can be found here: https://www.ximalaya.com/zhubo/239824570/
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