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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/16/2020 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    For people old enough to have been a child in the 90s, I think the NeoGeo has an almost mythical status. I could never afford those games back then, so had to make do with the Sega Megadrive. Speaking of which, the mini version of that console has been helping to keep me entertained throughout the semi-quarantine I am currently under. I went on one of my weekly adventures out of my 小区 today. The set-up at the entrance/exit has become more elaborate since last week, with some tents now set up. The dreaded "caronavirus pen" awaited me there, however I was well prepared this time and had brought my own so that I didn't have to use the same one as everybody else in the apartment complex. Unfortunately, as I was half-way done writing my phone number, the pen ran out of ink. It was kind of like one of those cliches in a cheesy horror movie where the car won't start at precisely the moment the main character needs to escape from the murderer. I had no choice but to trepidatiously pick up the communal pen and fill in the rest of my personal info. I had to do the same twice more, once at the supermarket, and again when re-entering my 小区. The supermarket itself was the same as it has been ever since the crisis started, with people buying much more than usual (the few people you see outside are invariably carrying at least two full bags of shopping each). The only difference from last week was the extra protection worn by the staff (what looks like a basic, cheap plastic rainjacket for the counter staff, and a more fancy all-in-one white suit for the lady on the left). Although only a fraction of the normal amount of traffic, they were noticeably more vehicles driving about, to the point where I actually had to look before crossing the road. Apart from the cars, another familiar menace has also returned to Harbin - falling icicles. This sign was part of a barrier chain in front of one a few of my local restaurants and I initially thought that they had been sealed off due to a virus-connected incident. It was only as I walked up to the sign and read it that I realised it was warning about another danger (at which point I quickly 远离ed my way back a few steps). The daily 确诊病例s in Harbin are now down to single figures, so I wonder how much longer they will keep the travel restrictions in place here? I've been pretty much just staying in my apartment all day, every day, except for when I need to buy groceries, but starting from tomorrow I am going to start taking little jogs around my 小区 area every morning. Although I have been doing daily yoga and "prison workout" videos, it doesn't quite make up for the lack of fresh air and natural sunlight (and the air has been unusually fresh since the clampdown). At this point I think that is a bigger danger to my health than the tiny chance of contracting the virus.
  2. 4 points
    A major goal for me is to become more familiar with seal script. I think this will help my calligraphy and seal carving immensely. I'll start with memorizing the 540 說文 radicals. Then I'll memorize 篆法百韻歌,a rhyme about the rules of seal script. Not sure how long this will take me, but the sooner I start, the better.
  3. 2 points
    I recently discovered a new podcast and it’s the best one I’ve encountered since 故事FM: https://www.buzzsprout.com/258327. It’s called Loud Murmurs and it’s basically a pop culture roundtable with the occasional expert guest. In many ways, it doesn’t stand out from other, similar podcasts that have come before it. However, the big differentiator is that this podcast attracted the ire of censors, yet it managed to survive. Most Chinese-language podcasts that fall under the scrutiny of government censorship either have to tone down their content or accept being de-platformed. Either way, the podcast dies. This one is still chugging, though it probably helps that the hosts all live and work in the US. You need pretty good listening skills to consume this show, but it helps that all summaries are written in English. A great English-language introduction to the show is here: https://supchina.com/podcast/izzy-niu-on-the-chinese-diaspora-and-popular-culture/. The best recent episode is probably their 2019 year-end retrospective.
  4. 2 points
    That reminds me, I should tap up the foreign community here. They probably haven't read the news and will just think that I'm being really considerate when I ask how they're doing...
  5. 2 points
    I bought a 16 game NeoGeo collection for the Nintendo Wii a few years back, and despite it only costing £20, I treated that disc with reverence like no other. Even if those games have since been ported to every modern system under the sun, in my mind they are each still the enormous £130+ cartridges I used to drool over in the back of Mean Machines magazine.
  6. 2 points
    So it was only a book of short stories and it was incredibly easy, but it ticks the box! I'm halfway through the next volume and I'm really enjoying it. It's funny really, just writing this post and knowing I've ticked one of my list, I'm just about to sign into the chinese-test site to sign up for a HSK 5 test! Have read: Graded Chinese Reader 500 words Reading: Graded Chinese Reader 1000 words
  7. 1 point
    I'm not sure I agree that the literary-ness of Chinese fiction is rarely discussed. It's an issue many learners come across. And certainly lots of people struggle with Jin Yong, but without an example it's hard to know what exactly you find difficult. You seem to be talking about what sometimes gets called parataxis 意合法 (as opposed to English's hypotaxis 形合法). There's a fair bit of debate about this in linguistics, but basically it's the difference between these two sentences: "The idea of a fish being able to generate electricity strong enough to light small bulbs and even to run an electric motor is almost unbelievable." “鱼能发电,其强度足以点亮小灯泡,甚至能开动马达,这简直是令人难以置信的。” (example from here) Is this the sort of thing you mean? In the end, I think the answer to how you get familiar with these types of linguistic phenomena is unfortunately going to be very simple: read more.
  8. 1 point
    You are awesome. Great effort. 😃 Your hiking picture in the fog reminded me of the movie "The Ritual", which I watched yesterday on Netflix (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5638642/) 😲 😆
  9. 1 point
    Decided to try it out and just spent the weekend hiking around Taipei and I would move Taipei up to first spot for hiking in a good city to learn Chinese now. Yesterday I up 象山 which is only 15 minutes from our school downtown and quite busy on a weekend. It's a beautiful hike and there are loads of different trails for shorter or longer trips. The amazing part is that it's just a short walk from Taipei 101 though so incredibly easy to get to. There are very few cities who have such good hiking right in the middle of town. Had beautiful weather and an amazing view of Taipei too. Today we went up 七星山 which is a still active volcano. Proper rain and wind up there so no view at all (I am told it's beautiful though usually - we had only five meters visibility so I would t be able to tell) but it was a very nice hike (2h) and there are a lot of trails around there too for longer hikes. It's a 45 minute drive from downtown Taipei. If you want to live in a city and enjoy good hiking close by, Taipei is a great place.
  10. 1 point
    What's your address? It's for a.... prize.
  11. 1 point
    Luckily, in the UK at least, we are returning to such traditional methods of teaching. There are high performing state schools that now require their pupils to memorise and recite great works of poetry on a daily basis. Some people hate it, but I’ve seen it in action and I find it massively impressive that 15 year olds are able to recite the charge of the light brigade from memory and then discuss the meaning of it. Certainly much more impressive than being able to google the text and it’s meaning - which is the common argument against rote memorisation.
  12. 1 point
    This is why we never let you place the bets, @roddy
  13. 1 point
    I really wish I had been a bit braver and subtley taken some videos, because it really was so surreal. When we were indoors for those few weeks, despite reading all the shocking social media posts, I really didnt expect anything once we were outside, and tbh once we were off our little alley and onto the main road, it really wasnt anything remarkable, just an empty street (although that is fairly remarkable in china i guess). It all got all bizarre and apocalyptic-like once we had to go to the centre of town, where all the govt buildings and hospitals are. As long as you were on foot and passed the temp check, police were letting anyone walk in and out of the areas cordoned off to cars in the city centre. In two hours we must have seen around 20 people in total, mostly queueing up to scream at govt officials who were locked in rooms with an open window to talk to people about whatever problems they were having. We had to go into the hospital body check area, and thats when it got scary, bad timing on our part I suppose: we were being tested by a guy in a hazmat in one of those outside tents when a man started hysterically screaming at a doctor across the road from us. Then an ambulance pulled up and a bunch of doctors jumped out in a panic and started unpacking coolers and boxes with blood on them. We immediately jogged off without trying to look in a panic ourselves. It was one of those moments where you just kind of look at everything as if you arent really there, almost like it was too weird to really be happening. Presumably large parts of Wuhan, Yichang, Huanggang, Jingzhou etc. are the same right now, ie. understaffed and overinfected. I would hazard I guess that many people living in Hubei dont know what its like outside because they haven't been outside nor do they want to. The only people that are outside are those who absolutely have to be out for some emergency reason, causing a concentration of panicked people to all be congregating in one place. edit: added a photo I took of one of the 'windows' where people were shouting, this one was for applying for the 通行证 permit that would get you out of town. Also added one of the many signs up at the entrance to every road
  14. 1 point
    well my 2020 goals have pretty much been thrown out of the window, time to revise: Cangjie is still going strong, i do the majority of my typing with it now, unless it's a particularly urgent situation and i have to go back to pinyin as im still not quick enough without. This goal stays All my cantonese stuff is back in the uk, pretty much back to square one. Considering how much time and progress has gone into my hubei dialect since being barricaded in here, I am thinking scrap canto altogether and just run with being that guy with putonghua + obscure dialect instead. Pretty much all calligraphy exhibitions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, so this goal is also out the window too it would seem. There is actually an 'online' calligraphy exhibition bring held by Hubei calligraphers association, with the theme of 'wuhan coronavirus'. Not really sure what kind of inspiration that will draw, but interesting nonetheless. Revised goals: finish learning to write out 千字文 in full, and cursive too if there's time. be able to recite 100 poems. Im currently on 12.
  15. 1 point
    I've used HSK 3 (10 chapters), HSK 4上 and am half-way through HSK 4下 (20 chapters in total across 2 volumes). I find they're OK... I like the way they introduce the vocab in manageable chunks, about 15-20 words per chapter for HSK3 and about 30 words per chapter for HSK4. I've created StickyStudy decks that break down HSK 4 according to how the vocab is presented in the textbook, and that's working for me. There are short dialogues/texts in each chapter (4 at HSK 3, 5 at HSK 4) plus gap-fill exercises etc. I also like that both the textbook and the workbook come with MP3 audio — although I read somewhere recently that the newer editions require you to access it on an APP, which sounds like it could be inconvenient. Having the MP3s means you can move them around devices, chop them up for shadowing or whatever. I've also been working through the workbooks with my teacher in class, on the reading and "writing" exercises. For HSK 3 I did all the workbook audio questions as well before launching into doing the sample exams, which aren't particularly numerous. The workbook exercises are like cut-down, shorter versions of the exam, one set for each chapter, and they only use the vocab you'll have studied so far up to that chapter, which is helpful. What I don't like is the sometimes-obtuse way they introduce grammar points, usually using baroque terminology and often without actually saying what the equivalent might be in English. I'm studying with a teacher so it's not a deal-breaker, and I do use Chinese Grammar Wiki a lot when I want a different explanation. All the grammar is explained in Chinese as well as English, which seems pretty pointless at this level. Also, I don't think they're available as e-books which seems like an oversight. If you're in China then they're pretty cheap — I paid ¥40 each for the workbooks on JD.com. Before I came to China I got the textbooks from https://www.purpleculture.net/ in HK and those are around USD 13-14. You can get them on Amazon as well.
  16. 1 point
    This is not zero. This is something. It will be like riding a bike, you will remember it and make better progress than if you actually had zero.
  17. 1 point
    This conversation really developed into something else. Anyway, I emailed SMC publishing regarding the audio for this book. The response was interesting but essentially not that useful if the goal is buying the audio. In a nutshell, they don’t provide audio for the book. Only the version published by NTU (International Chinese language program) does include audio. However, I cannot see that for sale by NTU online. SMC provided a link to NTU but it’s not a shop page, just a description of various books they use. I think unless you were or are a student on the course that uses this book OR there is an NTU shop you could visit in person then it’s unlikely audio is available to buy. Even then it may just be some ripped/burned copy as mentioned above. As a result, I think the Dropbox files are fine. More than that, they are super super helpful for anyone on here who wants to look at that textbook but can’t attend the actual course at NTU. I don’t even have this book (yet) but this kind of thing really annoys me. Why make something so difficult? By now the audio is probably pretty worthless (financially to NTU) so why not just make it a free download/stream on NTU? Rather than making people literally hunt it down...
  18. 1 point
    For completeness, this is what my edition of the book looks like - as bought from ICLP (CD included) a few summers ago: https://iclp.ntu.edu.tw/textbook/ins.php?index_id=42 My edition often uses English in each chapter's vocabulary lists - I remember one of the teachers saying earlier editions were Chinese-only but they decided to add English in order to make better use of students' time when preparing for class. I'm curious if the audio I provided matches exactly the texts that other people have? I hope no one coming new to this topic is under the impression that this textbook is some kind of magic bullet. It was designed to be used by teachers working to a specific methodology, with students at a certain point in their studies. The language ICLP teaches is self-consciously formal, e.g. you're encouraged to use expressions like 何以见得 instead of 为什么 on the grounds that you already know how to use 为什么 so why not get comfortable with more formal expressions that you might bump into in the future. The expectation too is that when your Taiwanese friends laugh at you for saying things like 何以见得 then you'll quickly learn what is or isn't appropriate in different contexts. I believe the book was actually designed with audio in mind too, with students supposed to use the cassettes as part of pre-class preparation. So that's why I'm happy to share the audio, given it's not being sold anywhere. As the link to the ICLP website above says, the book is supposed to help take you from textbooks to authentic texts. I've pasted below some text from chapter one (the one about catching cold, the audio of which I posted as a single file earlier) that's partially available online. It's maybe one quarter of chapter one. If what I've pasted below would take you an hour or two to basically memorise, so you know all the vocab and could discuss the contents of each sentence with someone - without the text or any notes in front of you - then you're probably at the right level to find the textbook useful. What's so useful? For me it was the written expressions which I 'kind of' knew when I saw them but was never entirely comfortable with. They help make written Chinese 'flow': assuming you are completely comfortable with their use, they make reading much easier, they're signposts to the direction the sentence will take. But if you aren't super confident with their use, then you're not getting signposting function benefits that native speakers from these words, so the flow slows. 每到天氣變化很快,白天晚上的溫差很大的時候,許多家庭或是辦公室裡就可以聽到咳嗽、擤鼻涕的聲音,我們就知道又有人感冒了。 這種討厭的毛病有很強的傳染力,常常是在一個團體當中,有一個人得了,不久就會傳染給第二個、第三個。有的時候,在很多人都患過以後又反過來回到第一個人身上。 輕感冒不算太難過。白天流鼻水、咳嗽、喉嚨痛,最多說話的時候發不出聲音而已。倒是晚上,因為鼻孔塞住,影響呼吸,比較不舒服。可是即使不管它,熬一個星期左右,也就自然好起來了,所以很多人就是感冒了,也還是帶著病照常上班、上課。重感冒除了包括輕感冒所有的症狀以外,病人還會覺得非常疲倦,全身肌肉疼痛,也會頭痛、發高燒,必須請假休息。有的時候還必須看醫生、吃藥,否則轉變成像肺炎一類的併發症就更麻煩了。 由於醫藥發達,很多人在感冒症狀嚴重的時候,自然會使用藥物,所以引起併發症的情形比幾十年前少,感冒流行時候的死亡率也比以前低得多。不過不太嚴重的感冒患者卻隨著經濟成長年年增加,隨著越來越富裕、越來越舒適的生活增加,也就是隨著現代化增加。 感冒跟現代化怎麼會發生關係呢﹖這就要從人類生活現代化以後改變了生活習慣說起。 在原始時代,人類為了吃飽,必須打獵,為了逃避野獸,必須跑得快。總之,為了生活必須付出很多勞力。在這些需要之下,人身體內的各種器官和組織也就很自然地演變得能適應那麼重的勞動力了。可是在現代化的社會裡,很多工作可以交給機器去做,很多人已經沒有機會做粗重的工作了。我們有祖先的手、腳、肝、肺、胃,卻失去了祖先的勞動生活。現代化才短短幾十年,人類的生活型態幾乎完全改觀。要人類學習不勞動是很容易的,可是要祖先遺傳給我們的手、腳、胃、肝、肌肉迅速地退化,迅速地適應現代化生活卻不容易。人類體內的各種器官、組織只能慢慢地適應,經過幾萬年的時間才會改變。於是現在人體的器官、組織的結構就和現代化生活發生了衝突,不能彼此適應,也就比較容易生病了。
  19. 1 point
    Awesome! realmayo got the goods!! Meanwhile, filling in some more of the blanks on the legacy of this unusual but outstanding book and audio. And how they came apart!!! Some interesting background on this book: The original publisher was the Inter-University program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP). It was once the premiere study Chinese abroad, due to its affiliations with NTU and Stanford and many other elite U.S. universities. However , the IUP consortium in its entirety moved from Taipei to Beijing in 1997. Having lost the IUP in 1997, NTU continued administering an Advanced Chinese program without the auspices of any other universities. Still around today, known as the ICLP. That was certainly a devastating loss of prestigious affiliations, but the ICLP at NTU did get to keep the excellent in-house developed textbooks, and of course many local faculty. Sadly, ICLP doesn't seem to be able to publish revisions to the books and it's been a couple of decades now. I't is kind of interesting to sinophiles. The official legend of the IUP here, and ICLP's version of the breakup here. It seems that back when the IUP was in Taiwan, there was a period during which they did bundle an audio CD with the book, e.g. 1995 edition. realmayo, is that the one you have? When the IUP moved to mainland in 1997, the ICLP formed and they contracted with SMC Publishers to continue printing this book for them. Fortunately the book had gone through SIX student-tested revisions by that point, so what we have now as far as text has been really well vetted. The major upgrade to the 1997 ed seems to be the pinyin glossary index. TheBigZaboon alluded to a mainland version of the book earlier. I did a search for 思想与社会 but didn't see anything related. Then I realized, if a book titled "Thought and Society" written by Taiwanese could get published in mainland, what would it even look like??
  20. 1 point
    OK reassuring to see that this audio is not commercially available for sale. So I'm not uneasy about bundling the files up and putting them here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5flh0ov4flhuqs/Thought and society.rar?dl=0 Please let me know if this is easily downloadable and that therefore I have been marvellous.
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