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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/02/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    You don’t see doing that for yourself as a bit of a milestone? Like the first time you order for yourself, that time the kuaidi understands what you’re saying, when you direct a taxi to exactly where you are. All Chinese learner moments to savour. If these aren’t moments to value as a language learner then what is? I’m honestly curious what you think. Usually our views on here seem pretty in line 😂
  2. 1 point
    左右为难 is a set phrase: https://www.zdic.net/hans/左右为难 though if you break down the Classical there it's more literally "either choice brought difficulties", not knowing which way to turn for the best etc.
  3. 1 point
    I think you need all of this: 但是又得小心不能太殷勤了,变了反客为主,或者反而叫对方感到不快,因此倒弄得左右为难。 It's Mrs Gu who might be made unhappy - Mrs Tao "is careful not to be too solicitous, because if she acted like the host while really a guest she might end up making her unhappy instead...". I think the confusion arises because there's no explicit "if", it is there in the syntax rather than the vocabulary. 顾太太总觉得她们只多着她一个人。 Certainly doesn't say what your translation has, it's something like "Mrs Gu had the feeling that she was the only spare wheel/extraneous person in the situation." i.e. she was the only one there wasn't naturally room for. In context the translation might be a gloss that works I suppose.
  4. 1 point
    Eh, what? Adults need plumbers. That's literally who plumbers are for, for adults who live in their own house independently. And I completely agree with Vellocet here: being able to run your own life is a great thing. An able-bodied and able-minded adult should usually be expected to be able to order their own food, direct their own cab and call their own plumber, without need for hand-holding. I don't think anyone expects new arrivals to be able to do any of that when they step off the plane. But if you come to live in a country, you should make a minimal effort at least to learn the language. Simply as part of being an independent adult living in the world. And this goes for all immigrants to all countries, as far as I'm concerned. If you've lived in the Netherlands for 20 years and still can't pronounce your own street name, I have a problem with that (and I won't tell you to your face because I can be polite).
  5. 1 point
    I completely agree that those are all moments to savour, and I also agree with Vellocet when he (quite honestly) talks about how big and not very humble you can feel when other foreigners marvel when you prattle away merrily in Chinese. They are milestones in language learning sure. But they're not milestones for living in China - unless you've got no one to help you! Maybe someone who hunts and kills his own food would look down on me for going to the butcher, but what can I say, it works for me. So, I wouldn't look down on someone who relies on a translator for their posting to China. Initially, in this thread, I was struck by a couple of things. First, the suggestion that one couldn't respect expats who don't speak the local language - that seemed unkind, for a start. It would like someone saying they don't respect people who don't do any exercise, or don't read poetry, or have never got to grips with Ἀριστοτέλης . Second was the implication that speaking to people about everyday things like plumbing or taxi directions would give you a great insight into China which non-speakers would miss. But it won't! Serious, properly nuanced conversations, will give you insight but until you've got great Chinese, those conversations will be in English or they just won't happen. What would be more interesting - an HSK 2 level conversation about the weather with a taxi driver, or a long chat in the back of the car with a local who speaks your own language fluently and wants to talk about pollution or politics or how their hometown has changed over the last 20 years? If you're assigned to China for three years and you don't need to speak Chinese and you're in an area where there are lots of pleasant interesting people who speak good English, why bother learn Chinese unless you really want to. Most of us here on these forums will want to. But we're the unusual ones. Looking down on other foreigners in China for not being like us is just as narrow-minded as looking down on Chinese people for not being like us
  6. 1 point
    I feel like it’s not old well paid “business” expats who’ve been here 25 years though. From my reading this is what Vellocet is talking about. The days of having extravagant expat packages are long gone. Equally, the overall “quality” of foreigners has improved due to above mentioned requirements. It seems like many foreigners seeking a life here are on the younger side. Equally though, most are not fresh graduates as mentioned above as, again, the requirement above means you need 2 years experience. What NewEnglander is describing doesn’t seem to hold with what I experience actually living here.
  7. 1 point
    It's a lot better in terms of the flow. But you're right, the individual words are a bit muddier. You also need to work on fitting your voice to the message: your voice needs to say you understand what you're saying. Yet you could be reading a recipe aloud for all the feeling you put into that. Don't just recite some characters: speak with the same natural emotion you use speaking English.
  8. 1 point
    I find the standard distribution (Bell curve) is very wide. I know several learners10+ years and despite continual learning really have a very moderate level (can't understand TV etc) Others adopted a street style learning and achieved a good level very quickly, however character recognition is almost non existent. Lots of factors involved and even if you take a group of learners with an identical study pattern, the variation amongst individuals to learn the language varies greatly depending on age, previous experience, general ability to learn languages etc I was clearly the worst in my class (even my teachers noted it ) despite doing my far the most work. My modest improvements only came through shear effort. No magic formula despite what technique falls in and out of fashion. One thing I believe vital to effective study is to find your own path. Sure you should consider what others have you say but don't take any thing as the optimal way. Good example is rote learning, flash cards. Some people are dead set against it. For me it's s vital component (as long as it's in conjunction with others learning ), other highly disagree. It's clearly the right choice for me personally . Others suggest speed reading as a good technique. I think it's bad technique and actually counterproductive. However I would never suggest anyone to not at least try it.
  9. 1 point
    My only thought is that it sounds choppy and not very natural: you'd never speak in a robotic way like that in real life. So now that you've got the tones and pronunciations of the words more or less down, work on the flow and rhythm of the sentences: do this sentence by sentence, repeating a sentence dozens of times until you feel you've got it down. Then move to the next sentence. Finally assemble them into the speech and get the flow and rhythm of the speech as a whole down. In short, first work on the words, then the sentences, finally the paragraph.
  10. 1 point
    Sure, but they still have a life, no? Even if you don't care about Chinese cuisine, you still need to buy Chinese groceries; even if you don't care about Chinese literature, you still need to read the Chinese bill your landlord slipped under your door. Sure, you can outsource that if you have enough money, but most people don't have that kind of money, or not straight off the plane. And even if speaking some Chinese won't help your career, it will help you find your way around. If you never learn any Chinese, you basically isolate yourself from your surroundings, so that you never really live in China, while also not living in your home country anymore. I'd think you get a stunted life that way.
  11. 1 point
    Yeah, that. I sound so fluent and extremely competent in everyday situations, and then I try to do something two centimeters outside my comfort zone and it all crumbles.
  12. 1 point
    You must have been hanging around with southern softies After sufficient years in Beijing and rural surrounds he sounds clear as a bell to me.
  13. 1 point
    I am currently reading Shiji (volume 8, biography of Lu Zhonglian) with the help of a translation in my native language. I study one sentence per day.
  14. 1 point
    Actually, 片 is a measure word for 心. But only when 'heart' means mind, thoughts, feelings, not the muscular organ, i.e. 心思, 心意. And it only combines with 一. 《漢語大詞典》 12. 量词。用于情感、声响、景象等。限于与数词「一」连用。 ●唐王昌龄《芙蓉楼送辛渐》诗之一:「洛阳亲友如相问,一片冰心在玉壶。」 ●五代和凝《天仙子》词:「桃花洞,瑶台梦,一片春愁与谁共?」 ●叶圣陶《线下·桥上》:「此时他们兴致正浓,只听见一片嚷嚷。」 如:一片新气象。 P.S. This sentence 一片冰心在玉壶 is hugely famous. An early 20th-century writer chose 冰心 as her pen name. And here's more: 游人五陵去,寶劍值千金。分手脫相贈,平生一片心。(唐‧孟浩然 《送朱大入秦》) 逢人且說三分話,未可全拋一片心。(民間格言,語出明‧馮夢龍《警世通言‧卷三十二》) 只是,那么个心思狡诘的女人,偏偏以一片赤诚之心待我。就如这触手可及的夜色星光,剔透玲珑。(丁墨《你和我的倾城时光》) 他怀揣着对祖国的一片赤子之心,在接下来的工作生涯中,将毕生心力全部投入到了国家水利事业建设当中。(张海君《爱国‧爱国之心从分毫开始》)
  15. 1 point
    From the context A Bao must be a maid. http://www.guoxuedashi.com/hydcd/140231a.html 小大姐 补义条目 方言。青年女佣。 Also https://kknews.cc/zh-hk/news/jlap4y.html 小大姐—— 舊社會稱年輕女傭為「小大姐」。與「大小姐」只倒了一下位置,身份大不同。
  16. 1 point
    I think the translator is largely to blame for the confusion. See this link. 交際花 and 舞女 are practically synonymous in the context of 1930s Shanghai. 舞女 is more literal. You know what a 舞男 is? A gigolo. 舞女 is the female counterpart, a gigolette. In fact, the word 'gigolo' is derived through back-formation from a French word 'gigolette', meaning a woman hired as a dancing partner. You pay them to dance with you. But often there is more involved than dancing. 交際花 was original meant to be a translation of the French word 'courtesan'. The concept is somewhat alien to the English-speaking world and I don't think 'escort' quite covers it. As you can see in this Wikipedia page, there are two types of 交際花. The best of them lead a glamorous lifestyle à la Madame de Pompadour, become mistress of a wealthy, influential patron, or marry into the upper class. They're essentially prostitutes, only they're more exclusive, more expensive, usually well-educated, enjoy higher social status than, say, the streetwalkers or the whores in a brothel. I think that's what the translator's note meant to say. But he got the reduced income part wrong. 二路, as I understand it, means 二流 'second-rate, second-tier'. In 交際花's case it means the second category, where there is less dancing/chatting/drinking/etc, more sex. Your understanding of 實惠 is wrong. It means economical. Becoming a 二路交際花 is more economical because the overhead costs are lower. You don't have to spend a lot of money on clothing, transportation and such. But consequently your 身價 (literally 'price of a person') also drops. To me 一幢房子 always means a house. Not an apartment, not a room, but a proper, standalone house. I have no idea where “a set of rooms” come from. And lastly, 頂 is a verb. He bought (頂下來) the house for (給) her. 17. 指轉讓或取得企業經營權或房屋租賃權。 ▶ 《官場現形記》第五十回:「一注是在上海頂人家一爿絲廠,出股本三十萬。」 ▶ 茅盾《子夜》十七:「上海有一種會打算盤的精明鬼,頂了一所舊房子來,加本錢粉刷裝修,再用好價錢頂出去。」 ▶ 巴金《關於〈海的夢〉》:「本來我那兩個朋友和我都不想再搬家,可是那裏的二房東要把房子頂出去。」 ——《漢語大詞典》
  17. 1 point
    Smithsgj: May I remind you that in South Korea, the kids do not need to study Chinese characters at all (lately I heard that their Education Dept starts to revive the learning out of necessity). In fact, the Koreans even brag that their phonetic system -- Hangul -- is even more scientific than the Roman alphabets. But isn't the phenomenon you find in Taiwan as common as in South Korea? The Korean kids need to go to cram school and study hard and also don't have much free time at all as the other kids in those Chinese characters studying countries. So is Chinese character studying related to all those phenomena you mentioned? I bet it is more related to some other factors -- i.e. study culture, parent's mentality etc.
  18. 1 point
    Hmmm...maybe...but I grew up in America (yeah, I'm sorry too) and I've never heard that one. I've heard it all - I'm from a very small town in upstate New York and attended one of those tiny high schools where you think that the small number of students means a more interactive education. What I really got was an education in what ignorant people think - or more often than not, don't think - about the rest of the world. I was lucky to attend university in a place somewhat more cognizant of, well, everything. No to say that everyone I knew in my youth was so bad, but most people fit the bill for your average, stereotypical American. But I've never heard that the Chinese invented Communism. I was of course taught that Communism was "evil" (it didn't stick, thankfully, I'm not Communist but I don't think it's evil even if it doesn't work so well). I was taught that China was "bad" because it wasn't friendly with the USA for so long and was Communist, and therefore evil, that India was "bad" because when we sided with Pakistan, they sided with Russia instead of begging the USA for favors and that everyone with the last name Bush is "good" because they fight for "freedom", whatever that is. It's all a big joke, really...at least I think so. It seems like both countries (I'd say all countries, but I didn't really see it in India except among the communalist groups) have some form of indoctrination, but that America's just tries to be more subtle.
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