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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/29/2022 in all areas

  1. At some point we've all encountered the know-it-all native speaker who's convinced he's right about some grammar or vocabulary point and won't listen to reason when we cite chapter and verse from our textbooks explaining why he's dead wrong. The nerve! Some years ago Hofmann started a thread for venting about such people. Great idea! Let's resurrect it and vent some more. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/20566-rant-about-native-speakers (To preserve the continuity, it's probably best to post any replies in the original thread, not here.)
    4 points
  2. We ask that people don't delete their posts. My answer "It's just outside the Second Ring Road, north of Jishuitan," becomes useless if the question "Where is BNU" is deleted. But some members maintain wiki-like posts where they're updating something over the course of years, and I suspect I'm not the only one who has sneakily edited a typo they spotted in a post made a decade ago, so it remains possible to edit long-term. Given that, there's not a lot we can do if someone wants to remove their content. A request for account deletion involves anonymising the username and removing IP data / email. See interface in the attachment. With username obscured, obvs.
    4 points
  3. Just curious... Why would you be so interested in a county in Anhui province that you'd want to have it tattooed on your butt, or wherever??? Dontcha think that if ya can't read the little red thingies, that ya really oughta be careful of the big black ones, too. All the calligraphy you included has exactly the same meaning, and expresses whatever idea it expresses in the same manner. There's no difference in that respect. The only difference you've shown is in the style of the calligraphy used. Tattooing and branding (as they often served the same purpose) were generally reserved for criminals in Chinese society. And they were done on the cheeks and forehead so they were impossible to hide. In more modern times, tattoos were frowned upon as filial piety usually required you to keep your body the way your parents gave it to you... Just askin'... TBZ
    3 points
  4. If you want to be in charge of 889's Bump of the Week, go for it!
    3 points
  5. As an aside, after almost 20 years there are a lot of interesting threads tucked away in the archives. Maybe revive one every week or two.
    3 points
  6. Will see what I can find. Won't be boring grammar or vocab threads, though.
    2 points
  7. Yesterday China announced that they are cutting the quarantine on arrival from 14 + X (where X is an undetermined amount of bullshit depending on your final destination....) to 7 days centralized quarantine + 3 days of home monitoring. Won't have a huge impact as the limiting factor is still the flights (cost, availability and reliability), but any change in the right direction is good news! I'm still holding on to a small hope that a Christmas trip back home might finally be possible.
    2 points
  8. There are 3 completely separate scenarios where this happens, though, and they should be dealt with in different ways: The native speaker is correct about their own use of the language, but their dialect is non-standard regarding that aspect of the language. In this case, it's worth making note of the variation so you can recognize it in future, even if you don't want to emulate it yourself. The native speaker's usage is actually the de-facto standard, and the textbook teaches an older, outdated, or more prescriptive standard that is rarely adhered to. In this case, it's usually best to simply disregard what the textbook says, as your goal will typically be to speak naturally, rather than like a CCTV presenter. The native speaker's usage is actually the same as the textbook's, but they believe it to be different. This is surprisingly common, especially for pronunciation (questions about tone sandhi etc), because introspecting about one's own use of language doesn't come naturally and has to be learned. This is potentially the trickiest situation, because it's difficult to detect when that's happening, though a bit of research can usually clear it up. It can also reveal interesting details about how native speakers are taught and perceive their own language.
    1 point
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei No-one's gonna see this and assume you mean the county in Anhui, lol. It's actually a decent idea for a Chinese character too — better than the vast majority, anyway, as it's a concept that has deep cultural significance in Chinese, rather than a poor translation of "live laugh love" or some other nonsense. Plenty of young Chinese people have tattoos these days. It might be a bit more frowned upon by older generations, but it's become normalized enough (at least in big cities) that most people don't have any negative views of it. Can't comment on what's considered good calligraphy, but personally I quite like the first and last ones in OP.
    1 point
  10. Probably I'd start a new topic where I link to the archive topic, rather than bumping it directly. Your call though, looking forward to whatever you find!
    1 point
  11. I vaguely recall that some years ago when we were all given eternal right to edit our posts that there was a friendly warning it wasn't meant to be used for wholesale deletion of posts, in line with forum policy: "To protect the integrity of discussions we do not remove posts at users' request (although we will on occasion remove information such as contact details, etc)."
    1 point
  12. Also, you overload folks here if you post too many within a day or two. Three maybe four at a time is about right. But keep everything within a single thread. And number the photos serially. Otherwise it becomes really confusing referring back to them.
    1 point
  13. I am also a fan of 小Lin说. I am looking for more channels like her channel now that I went through most of her videos. By that, I mean I generated transcripts for her videos and identified the expressions that I'd like to review using Anki. Does anyone have any recommendations for something that resembles her channel?
    1 point
  14. Apropos of nothing but a previous couple of posts, 小Lin说 publishes some of her stuff on DVDs, if you're lucky enough to come across them. I have one on the Chinese space program that she did consisting of interviews with a really seminal figure responsible for some of the most important advances that put China in the international space race. Good hunting... TBZ
    1 point
  15. I mentioned this before in another thread, but as you have studied in Taiwan and might want to pass that experience along to others, a Taiwanese channel would be nice. It's called NEXT TV in English, and 台电视 (in 繁体字) in Chinese. It's available in the Google app store, so if you're using a newer phone or tablet from the big companies in China like Huawei, you might have to side-load it. But if you're using an older Huawei etc., tablet or phone, Google stuff still works if it was on your device when you bought it. I'm blissfully ignorant of what's available from the Apple Empire, but I can't see this not being available somehow. It's a mainly TV news channel, with a number of categories usually found on a news channel: local news, international news, human interest, entertainment, etc. And because it's from Taiwan, the news isn't totally censored like it is in news originally from "you-know-where." There's even a streaming section for a live-stream of the current broadcast. I've never tried fancy stuff like downloading segments or stories, but as they're available for an unknown (to me) period of time, repeat viewing is easy. I like it, and it is an extremely good fit with the iclp news and current affairs materials. Just sayin'... TBZ
    1 point
  16. -------------- I like her too. Must admit that I have to be on my toes to understand her rapid, sophisticated speech. Interesting choice of topics. She's just so damned bright! I would like to surround myself with people like her. (At least part of the time; 24/7 would be exhausting.) One of the great things about YouTube as a learning resource is that you can find something suitable at any level of language proficiency and you can find a variety of topics that will hold your interest, over a fairly diverse range of topics.
    1 point
  17. Ha! I came here to say this, and I see that you already said it. I feel like the Chinese content on YouTube is getting better all the time. A lot of great, well-produced stuff. I sometimes wonder how that's possible, seeing that YouTube is blocked by the Great Firewall. They just use VPN? They register with the government? Or the government doesn't care or enforce stuff? Anyway, I enjoy the convenience of navigating an American site to find these channels. I like "56BelowTV 零下56" because of its interviews with a whole range of people from every kind of background. It's actually about Chinese people who emigrated to Canada (which is irrelevant to me, because I'm not a Chinese person emigrating to Canada). Some of them regret their decision and want to go home, while others love it. I still find it interesting, and it has "soft" simplified subtitles. 李永乐老师 is just a fun STEM education channel for me. I like his delivery and his personality a lot, and can't really articulate why. The soft subtitles and his use of the chalkboard make him easy to understand for me (although he does talk really fast). I like "小Lin说" for its reporting on Silicon Valley (she lives in California). She's quite challenging for me, and her mannerisms are...extremely lively. She does fun mini-documentaries about major fraud cases, like Enron, Elizabeth Holmes, Bernie Madoff, etc. 小叔TV is a popular one around here, of course. I like getting a tour of Chinese cities from him, and his speech is nice and simple. Feng's Music Channel is where I learn about the theory behind popular and classical music. His enthusiasm is contagious. 贤宝宝 is more of a guilty pleasure for me. Silly Gen-Z humor (I'm a little older--in the millennial generation). He doesn't talk too much (so it's probably not great for language learning), but "手工耿Handy Geng" is fun to watch. He can build any crazy machine in his garage.
    1 point
  18. One word: Youtube! It is not one channel, podcast or programme, but it is the mix of sources that make this fun. I cannot believe how awesome Youtube has become for language learners. You can find virtually any HSK grammar point explained by several sources, there are tons of different podcasts, channels, etc.
    1 point
  19. Ok, it's been a while since there was a book of the month, so I'd thought I'd get it up and going again. With that in mind, I propose that the book for December should be《圈子圈套》by 王强 (which coincidentally just so happens to be the book I'm reading at the moment ) I probably won't be providing word lists or anything that requires too much effort, but I'll try to provide a brief overview of chapters as things progress. A full official online version can be found here, however the chapter numbering there seems to be little bit out of sync with my hardcopy (the hardcopy has 18 chapters, the online version has 21, however a brief look seems to indicate that it's the same content, just split differently). My overviews will be following the chapter numbering of the hardcopy. Anyway, it's the first book in a trilogy dealing with office intrigue and politics inside high-tech companies in modern-day Beijing (and greater China). The language is not too difficult, and the characters are mostly the type of young-ish white collar Chinese workers who like to use English names when talking to each other and who pepper their sentences with English (so for example it's not uncommon to see abominations like "必须拿着file什么的指指点点才算report"). It's also full of great quotes, such as: 洪钧不喜欢和娶了中国女人的外国男人打交道,更不希望遇到这样的老板。凡是娶了中国女人的外国男人,大多以为自己已经成了中国通,其实他充其量只是了解了一个或几个中国女人而已。而且,这种外国男人常常基于他们对中国女人的了解来对付中国男人,而这最让洪钧受不了。 Ho ho, and the gloves haven't even begun to come off yet. Anyway, chapter 1 starts off with our hero 洪钧 (a.k.a Jim), director of sales for the Chinese office of American software firm ICE, rushing off to meet his foreign boss at the airport. He's running late thanks to a lunch-time shag with one of his subordinates (琳达 - Linda), who he's seeing on the side. His boss Peter, who is English, and not like the kind of boss mentioned in the quote above, is heading out to Beijing to sign a large contract with Chinese home electronics manufacturer 合智集团. Jim's happy because once the deal is signed, he'll be made chief representative of ICE's China operations. A move that Jim believes will make it inappropriate to continue his affair with Linda, and so he's tried to convince her to look for a job elsewhere so they can continue their thing without it interfering too much with work and office politics. Jim makes it to the airport slightly late, but his boss, who is as cool, calm and collected as you'd imagine your typical Englishman sterotype to be, is not too fussed. Driving back to the office, Jim gives Peter a run down of recent developments and so on (using the above mentioned file to make his report). Everything seems to be going swell, until Jim gets a call from 赵平凡, his counterpart at 合智集团, who tells him that an urgent matter has come up, and the president of 合智集团, a Mr. Chen, who was to be the one signing the contract, has had to rush off to Hong Kong on an urgent matter, and so the signing of the contract will need to be delayed. The first chapter finishes off with Jim determined to get to the bottom of why Chen suddenly had to leave at such a crucial time....
    1 point
  20. Ok, before going into the next chapter, there were a couple of things from chapter one I forgot to mention that will be relevant to future chapters. Firstly, we learnt that there are 3 main companies offering competing software products in the same space: ICE, 科曼 and 维西尔. When debriefing Peter in the car, Jim wasn't worried about competition for the 合智 deal because 科曼's software only runs on UNIX servers and all of 合智‘s servers are Windows. He also mentioned that 维西尔's sales team is no good, hence his confidence in the deal. The other thing from chapter one is we get the impression that Linda is very much the type of person who is more than prepared to sleep her way to the top, and she's interested in Jim because he's soon to be made the boss rather than anything else. Anyway, with that out of the way, on to chapter two. Chapter two starts off on the other end of the phone call that happens at the close of chapter one, with 赵平凡 telling his colleagues that ICE can't find out what they're doing and that if they try to get any information from 合智 employees, then everyone has to give a consistent story so as to keep them from getting suspicious. When his colleagues leave his office, 赵 picks up the phone and calls 俞威. 俞威 works for one of ICE's competitors 科曼 - the one with the software than only runs on UNIX. 科曼's main office for Greater China is in HK, and it turns out the purpose of Chen's urgent trip to HK is to discuss a deal with 科曼. At the time of the call 俞 has just arrived at HK airport. He's also here for the talks because he's the sales guy that's been making promises to Chen about what they can do. After the call, 俞 sees Chen ahead of him in line at customs and is hoping to be able to get through quickly, so he has a chance to talk with him at the airport. 俞 is amused that the customs official checking his papers is called Jacky and jokes to himself about how all it takes is for Jacky Chan to get famous and suddenly everyone in HK wants to call themselves Jacky too. He's less than pleased however when he gets asked to stand to the side and wait for a minute (especially as he's in a hurry to catch up with Chen). He's made to wait for quite a while before finally getting his papers back and being told there is no problem and he can proceed. 俞 is less that happy about this and wants to know the reason why. Jacky tells him that it's because he has the same name as someone else and they needed to verify things more closely. This makes 俞 even more angry because he feels his name 俞威 is quite uncommon and so the only way for someone to have the same name as him is if they were comparing the pinyin. He huffs off, but not before making a couple of disparaging remarks about how Jacky, being Chinese, should study more 普通话. 俞 finally catches up with Chen at the baggage claim, but Chen's already been met at the airport by some of his employees who are taking him back to the office. He says he'll catch up with 俞 that evening at the hotel (which is when they'd arranged to have their talks). 俞 therefore catches the airport express train in to the city by himself. During the ride, 俞 reminisces about 3 years earlier when Jim and 俞 were both in HK catching the airport express together. It turns out the two of them used to be good friends, and were working at the same company. They were sent to HK for some conference, even though they were both about to leave the company they were at, with Jim planning to head to ICE and 俞 heading for 科曼. 俞 is upset because they're parting ways and they will be competing against each other. Jim makes a deal with him then that because they are such good friends then at their respective new companies they won't compete with each other for the first 3 sales deals they find themselves up against each other on, with whoever gets there first being the one who can have it. This cheers 俞 up, and he ends his reminiscing as the train pulls in to his stop. At this point, we cut back to Jim in Beijing, who is beginning to suspect that 科曼 is up to something and that 俞 is behind what's going on. Then we're back in HK for the meeting between 合智 and 科曼. Representing 合智 we have Chen and a couple of his people, and 科曼 is represented by 俞, 俞's HK boss Tony, and another employee. Things aren't going well, because Tony starts out by saying that they can't offer the price or the terms that 俞 had originally promised to Chen in Beijing, and they won't be able to provide any future discounts on yearly service fees either, because headquarters in the US did not approve of such generous conditions. Chen is not happy, saying that for that price he would have just gone with ICE and wouldn't have bothered coming to HK. He gets up to leave and 俞 does a lot of fast-talking to convince him not to leave and that they can still work something out. Chen isn't interested, but 俞 says they'll get in touch with their boss in the US and get him to approve the deal over the phone then and there (despite it being a bad hour to call the US). 俞 and Tony leave the room to make the call, and it is now we find out that actually this has all been a ruse by 俞 to get 合智 to pay more, and the US parent company has already approved the previously promised discounts. Tony is not happy and fears that the deal is about to collapse and wants to just go back in and say everything is sorted out and they can sign a deal at the previously agreed upon terms. 俞 is still convinced he can get them to pay a higher price and tries to convince Tony to go back in and say their boss is currently on a flight and couldn't be contacted but that they'll definitely have an answer the following morning. Then in the morning they can give them the original cheaper up front price, but still get away with not providing any discount on the yearly service fees. Tony's not having any of it, and the chapter closes with Tony deciding to go back in and close the deal on terms originally agreed to with 合智.
    1 point
  21. Flameproof: where all those Chinese in HK, where you are now? I think for all of China, the percetage is a bit higher than that. I agree, native speakers often get things wrong themselves. But the people who correct them should be other native speakers, not us who learned it as a second language, not because we're always wrong, but because of face. This does not only go for Chinese people.
    1 point
  22. Seconded. What also ticks me off is how native speakers, especially native English speakers, often are really quick to judge how good someone is at a language based on his/her accent alone - and treat him/her accordingly. Before I had absorbed the local accent and spoke with a clear European lilt, many Americans dumbed down their language when talking to me - almost as if they were talking to a preschooler. That was after having used English every day for several years, having no problems with understanding any written/audiovisual material or with expressing myself, and having gotten verbal/written test scores in percentiles even natives struggle to place into. I was exasperated by feeling left outside the "real" English speaking community. I wonder if people with speech impediments feel the same way.
    1 point
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