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  1. Those guys are a lot of fun, despite their strong accent. I have watched a dozen of their recipes, but I think they sometimes leave things out. I use them to just check specific aspects of technique. For example, how fine to chop some ingredient, or how vigorously to stir things in the pan towards the end of the cooking time. For an all-round, followable authentic and native 宫保鸡丁 recipe, I would look to 王刚。https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEkVkT6IU9M . This dish has so many versions. Here's my own "how to" on this classic. It is a simple approach, with clear explanations. Made it many times using this method, and have found it to be steady and reliable: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/59150-the-many-faces-of-kung-pao-chicken-宫保鸡丁/#comment-460139
    3 points
  2. Once I asked my girlfriend (who is a native speaker) a similar question regarding some words that she likes to "speed up" (like 然后,对了,不知道。。。) and she just stared at me, utterly confused and at loss for words I suppose most native speakers do not necessarily analyze each and every sound they make and may even be unaware that they speak in short-cuts and abbreviations (as we all do in our native languages, and unless someone points at them, I suppose we don't realize it either) so I don't know if this is the right answer (neither of us are linguists so it's probably not) but I still want to share her answer, because I felt that it was helpful for me: The speed of your speech does not alter the tones themselves. However, when you are speaking set phrases (or commonly used words) fast, you naturally de-emphasize them. When you are not emphasizing the words the range of your tones shrinks (I am attaching a visual to explain this better). So the tones do not disappear or change, they just get toned down, if it makes sense?? Perhaps, your first tone becomes a lower version of itself, while your third tone gets somehow closer to the fifth tone? My teachers have always emphasized the importance of "the range". In theory, there is not a default "range" that works for everyone. One person's first tone may be higher (in musical sense) than the other. The important thing is that, you are consistent in "your" range, that is, your third tones are always the lowest, and your first tone is always the highest, your second tone may never climb higher than your first tone and your fourth tone may never go deeper than your third tone. My teachers thought that this was a problem for a lot of foreigners and that the inconsistency of their range was immediately obvious to a native speaker. My teachers gave us this exercise to help us find our range: Say "早安“ in the most 标准 way that you can muster, similar to how children recite poems on TV Your 早 is the lowest tone you will go for in your speech, and your 安 is the highest. Try to navigate between these limits. So, I suppose as long as you have a consistent range, you can tone it down to de-emphasize phrases and speed up your speech. When people are preparing a formal speech, they speak with utmost care, emphasizing each tone, sticking closely to their 早安 guidelines, if that makes sense? But when they are casually speaking, the tones kinda get less theatrical and more casual, and they may sound like they are converging somewhere along the fifth tone, but actually, they are still there. You just created a more subtle and toned-down range. You will often hear people going back and forth between their emphasized speech and casual speech for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are angry about something so they kinda spit out the words, or maybe they want to avoid misunderstandings so they want to enunciate the word clearly. Maybe, they are telling you a word that they anticipate that might be new for you, like someone else's name. There are a lot of reasons to switch. I tried to find some examples from the video you shared: 7:50 -- she emphasizes 闭嘴 and the nature of the emphasis here is most likely emotional (frustration) 8:32 -- he emphasize 这种人 in order to indicate his dislike. 9:05 -- he emphasizes 名人 (I think with pride or just for the sake of enunciating the word more clearly) Also, one last thing: the subtitles are not always accurate. I mean, they are definitely correct but sometimes they "standardize" the subtitles and omit the idiosyncrasies (or local tendencies) in native speakers' speeches. Sometimes they even add words to make the subtitles more grammatically correct than the original sentence. This happens a lot on the news (not as much in scripted TV shows) So don't get too frustrated if you don't distinctly hear each and every character that is in the subtitles. A very easy and common example: Many people say 今儿 instead of 今天 (maybe it's a Beijing dialect thing, I don't know) but the subtitles will show 今天。 I am sorry for the lengthy explanation but learning about the range was helpful with my spoken Chinese, so I hope it also helps other people too.
    2 points
  3. There are more and more Chinese language Youtube channels popping up, covering a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and they make for a great learning resource. Here are a few of mine. Feel free to add your own. General life in China Channels: One of my new favourites is 小叔TV . His content consists of walking around various localities in China, with a focus on the more forgotten, left behind type places. While it doesn't sound too exciting, I really like to watch now that I'm not living in China anymore. He offers some interesting insights into Chinese society and economy, and it's interesting to see these normally unseen locales. You really get to see what everyday life is like for many (maybe most) Chinese people. I discovered 当下频道DxChannel while researching an essay about 地摊经济 (the idea of jump starting the post lockdown economy by allowing people to set up little market stalls in the streets). In their video they tried to set up their own little stall in Shanghai to see how much they could make in a day. Most of their recent content is about young people trying to set up businesses, so I think it's quite an interesting insight into entrepreneurs trying to make it in China. IC实验室 is a channel about marketing, the economy and society in general. They have some great videos about Chinese internet culture and how that relates to marketing. The first video of theirs I watched was this great one about 奋斗逼 (people who work themselves into the ground, with no benefit to themselves or their colleagues). Their video about 添狗 was an interesting insight into dating in China. Gaming Channels: I got into gaming (particularly retro gaming) channels a few years back, and decided to find some Chinese channels about the topic to turn it into a learning opportunity. Gamker is a good one, creating professional long-form reviews of the latest games (they just released their Cyberpunk one), and 小宁子 is always a relaxing watch, with more chilled game reviews. 老孙聊游戏 is probably my favourite though. Although ostensibly a retro gaming channel, he actually ends up covering the changes in Chinese society from the 80s to early 00s, as he talks about how he met his wife, how he set up a gaming shop, the development of his city etc. TV/Movie Reviews and Retrospectives: I have been able to watch and understand TV shows and films with no problem for a couple of years now, but always struggled to explain the plot or content of what I had watched to my teacher. I mean, I could do it in a simple way, but just not as articulate as I would have liked, so I started watching these kind of channels to fix that. These two mostly just take the mickey out of really bad Chinese dramas, but also feature the odd really good show now and again (I've discovered some really good TV shows as a result): 哇哇哇妹 (I like their end of year "worst of" awards) 开心嘴炮 These movie channels only really review ones that they like, and it's a good way of finding good potential movies, both modern and classic: 看电影了没 大聪看电影 越哥说电影 News: For official Chinese government news I quite like新闻1+1 and 今日关注 (they normally focus on a single topic). When I need a break from the official party line, I check out these North American based news channels: stone记 公子沈 (a little bit too anti-CCP in an axe-grindy kind of way, but a good balance to official news channels) Misc: I used this channel to learn Chinese cooking while in lockdown in China: Chef Wang 美食作家王刚 李永乐老师 is fun education/lecture channel about economics. maths and science. He manages to get hundreds of thousands of views, despite the super low production values (basically just him in front of a blackboard), which is a testament to the quality of the teaching: 李永乐老师 True life crime channel: X调查 Mr and Mrs Gao is a good one for Chinese learners, as the uploads generally consist of a husband explaining various topics and weird stories from around the world to his wife. They range from black hole theory to the lives of famous people, so you get a wide range of vocab. They consistently get millions of views an upload, so are one of the most popular Chinese channels on youtube: Mr and Mrs Gao Profiles of famous Chinese people: Your Studio 有耳工作室 Everyday economics (ok, if you can get over the weird disguise the presenter always wears 😂 ) 人人都该懂的经济学 逻辑思维 stopped uploading their philosophy/history podcast around three years back, but their library of 200 uploads is worth watching, if you're into that sort of thing: 逻辑思维 Good channel about computer programming (by a Chinese coder living in the US): SchelleyYuki This is the channel of the Beijing MMA fighter who likes to expose fake martial artists by challenging them to real fights (expect lots of profanity and beef): 徐晓冬北京格斗狂人 This is a channel that does a good job of explaining current affair topics, accompanied by some nice illustrations. Good for Chinese learners given the breadth and relevance of the subjects covered: 点点动画 Finally, I probably should include Papi酱. She's one of the biggest 网红 in China (or at least she was), and although she seems to have moved on to 抖音 now (hence the 60 sec videos), her older videos are still worth watching for their satire of modern Chinese life: Papi酱
    1 point
  4. Better to write your numbers as 一到六 instead of 1-6 so they'll get the pronunciation too.
    1 point
  5. This page seems to suggest you can add it as ruby text but also says there's only limited support for pinyin: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/formatting-cjk-characters.html#:~:text=Select the text to which you want to,the Character panel menu or Control panel menu.
    1 point
  6. I'm in this camp and have been for a long time. Tennis coach will soon discover my backhand is weak when I have to run cross court to reach the ball even though it's solid when I'm standing more or less still. So guess what he or she does to help me improve that weakness? Sets up multiple situations in which I am forced to work through those shots that are not strong for me. Obvious ones first, then subtle ones. Progressive levels of difficulty. Drills them until they become second nature for me and the weakness is gradually improved, eventually corrected. I'm willing to pay a pro who knows how to set up situations that facilitate the learning process. Over the years, I've become less tolerant of bumbling, if well-intentioned, attempts.
    1 point
  7. In my personal opinion, 95% of Chinese teachers(on any platform) I've had lessons with suck. 99% of them are friendly and nice, but they do not know how to facilitate language learning. And most of them put in very little/no time into preparing anything for a lesson.
    1 point
  8. One thing I will say - the quality of tutor on Preply seems very hit or miss. Met with one for the first time in almost a year a few days ago, and while there initially prepared materials, it quickly devolved into conversation and "I think you don't need materials, let's just chat". I, perhaps foolishly, bought 5 more weeks of lessons, so we'll see if it improves. The the LTL staff actually have education backgrounds, that would be a good start.
    1 point
  9. 1 point
  10. I am really amazed how many 1 hour interviews he has on his channel. Really easy to understand and full of real life language. He is definitely underappreciated with only about 4100 subscribers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YOovW6eqfw&ab_channel=ChinesewithBen
    1 point
  11. There is TPR and TPRS: https://spanishmama.com/tprs-storytelling-method/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm3F5tk5T-c&ab_channel=Poly-glot-a-lot https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=illApgaLgGA Here Chinese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG1ujcRuonA&ab_channel=HitChinese https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/46693-any-experience-with-tprs/
    1 point
  12. Love this one. She speaks so clearly. But just listening, I'm just not quick enough, but with the subs, I can understand 80% at normal speed. Class find! Thanks!
    1 point
  13. This may not be fair, but it the reality of human existance. A mediocre singer in a boyband can make 100s of millions, while the best opera singers make only a fraction of it. Equally, a well known polyglot might get only a few thousand views (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P3pHZfVM28) while a Youtuber, who dabbles with multiple languages, has millions of followers (https://www.youtube.com/c/小马在纽约). To be honest, entertainment does matter and it would be good if the "serious" guys could learn a bit from those Youtubers. Arguelles may be super smart, but as a student I would walk out of his classroom and I cannot finish his videos. So, ideally someone, who entertains and provides quality content.
    1 point
  14. That's the insane internet world we live in today. It's the same crazy BS that makes lots of Youtube recipes worthless. At least worthless from an instructional standpoint. They do serve a niche as entertainment. Cheap, lazy entertainment, but entertainment none-the-less.. False-pretense entertainment. Aimed at people who will never in a hundred years actually cook the recipe. Still they comment on it with criticism or praise. It's a game to them. The worst kind of dilettantes. Beneath contempt. These are the same pitiful fucks who write in "recipe comments", that "I didn't have any rice, so I substituted wheat, and "I was out of butter, so I substituted bacon grease" and "I was out of sugar, so I used black strap molasses." And "Didn't have any eggs, so omitted them." Oh, yes, "No potatoes, so I used carrots." And are not in the least apologetic about it. Then they have the gall to pass judgement: "And in my opinion, the flavor is there, but the texture is lacking something. Would not make it again, though the concept is brilliant."
    1 point
  15. In regards to the use of the terminologies manhua and donghua instead of comic or anime/animation, we decided to use these words because that's what it's referred to in the growing oversea non-Chinese community. Both of these mediums are becoming increasing popular, you may or may not have noticed a few Chinese donghuas popping up on Netflix over the last 9 months. Oversea interest in manhua has been growing quite rapidly over the last few years, with Chinese publishers publishing translated manhua via a website and app especially made for the oversea audience. For example, Bilibili, a famous entertainment platform in China (some people call this the Chinese Youtube), released their oversea manhua platform early last year, and has already recieved 10mil downloads via Google App store. With increased awareness, comes increased interest in the language as some people want to read these in the original language. In our Discord community, we've noticed a huge increase in learners who are interested in these type of entertainment, they often join especially looking for manhua and donghua. These seems to be the right terminologies to use. I'm aware that leaves out the non manhua and donghua fans, but it's all about finding the right balance. Neither manhua or comic is entirely correct, they are both equally confusing. Like @alantin said in their post, "comic" doesn't convey the type of medium we're trying to present. Comic to many people often means Western style or really old style comics that are usually in printed format, where panels are designed for a printed book. Modern Chinese manhua (what the oversea audience is familiar with) are always digital, often coloured, often drawn and layed out specifically to be read on a phone/tablet and the art style is entirely different from Western comic. Labelling it comic might miscommunicate to users that it's a page of Western comic that has been translated to Chinese, but in fact it's a page of original Chinese manhua in digital form. Like you've all mentioned, labelling it manhua sparks confusion for those that are unfamiliar with this type of media. At the end of the day, who do we cater for? Those that are completely new to this form of media, or those that are already familiar with it? We decided to go for the latter. Those that are already familiar with this, are the ones most likely going to use that resource. You might then say "but you're not introducing those that are new, maybe they'll become interested", well if someone is particularly interested in finding out what it is, as others have already mentioned, there's always Google. In a way you can say it is deliberately targeting fans, but at the same time it's also a chance for someone new to learn the term used by the fan community. If they ever become interested, they'll find that the subreddits are r/Manhua and r/Donghua. Going to r/Comic or searching for "Chinese comic" on Reddit will lead them to an entirely different community. None of this is about the audience's level, but more about the type of audience and who will most likely click on those links. An advance learner who has been learning for years may never come across this word if this type of content isn't of any interest to them, but a beginner who barely knows pinyin would know manhua because it's something they already love (and maybe even have started Chinese because of their love for manhua). So to conclude, we won't change the terminologies used on the homepage right now. We do plan on having some sort of glossary as manhua and donghua are not the only new and unfamiliar terms. We also have some Chinese characters thrown in places, because we also want to teach learners the Chinese word and character for these type of media and genres. For example, telling someone "Here's a list of fantasy novels" isn't nearly as useful as "Here's a list of fantasy novels and the Chinese word and character for fantasy is 奇幻, and novels are called 小说". By learning the word 奇幻 and other terms, learners will be eventually learn enough words that the top navigation of a Chinese webnovel website isn't as scary anymore. We can't teach every word (as we're not here to teach Chinese like we said) but we can help out a little bit here and there. We noticed that not knowing what the Chinese word and characters for certain media and genre is a huge blocking point for learners from get into a Chinese website. I remember I couldn't navigation a Chinese webnovel platform till I learnt what all the genres were, and now that I've learnt them I know where to go to find webnovel of my favourite genre. In general, we try to use an English equivalent (alongside the Chinese word) when possible but that's not always the case. @alantin You should be able to change the filter, by clicking "Filter" on the right (next to the search bar). You can customise it how you like, it won't effect the view for other users.
    1 point
  16. Here's the link to our club: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/club/芝加哥汉语聊天社. Anyone on Clubhouse can follow our club. Our regular meeting is now on Saturday evenings at 7 pm CST. If you want to become a member, please attend a meeting and ask to be added as a member. Membership gives you the right to open a room on behalf of the club, which will automatically notify all other members of the club. It possibly notifies followers as well, but I'm not sure about that.
    1 point
  17. You can have Kung Pao Chicken 宫保鸡丁at the all-you-can eat Chinese buffet in the strip mall on the outskirts of Smalltown, Texas, USA. I know because I’ve eaten it there. Panda Express also dishes up a ton of it at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Concourse B. You can always count on it to form the cornerstone of an honest, solid meal. East or West. But if you start chasing it around Mainland China, you will quickly find that the name is the same wherever you go, but what the waitress delivers to your table definitely won’t be what you remembered having last week down the road a piece. It varies all over the map. More so than most popular dishes. Why is that? Gongbao jiding (kung pao chicken) originated in Shandong during the latter Qing. Chicken and peanuts were both staples of Shandong Cuisine, which is also know as 鲁菜 lu cai. The Governor of Shandong Province 山东省 was a real aficionado of that particular taste combination; anecdote has it that he would even occasionally fiddle around with cooking it himself instead of just relegating the task to his staff. We are talking about Ding Baozhen 丁宝桢(1820年-1886年.) Shandong Governor Ding was originally from Guizhou 贵州省 and that is where he began his political career. When his relatives and friends from back home visited him at the Governor’s Mansion, he couldn’t wait to introduce them to his Shandong “find.” They were suitably impressed and carried the word back to Guizhou. The dish was quickly adapted to the local palate, and soon became a staple of Guizhou Cuisine 黔菜 (Qian Cai) as well. Guizhou loves hot food, so the fire quotient was ramped up. Guizhou also insists that sour be part of the flavor mix. That was accomplished by including pickled vegetables 泡菜。 In his later years, Ding was appointed governor of Sichuan. Not surprisingly, he took his culinary discovery with him. Once again it was modified for local tastes and to make use of prized local ingredients such as Sichuan peppercorns, also known as prickly ash, a mouth-numbing member of the citrus family 花椒 huajiao. Today Gongbao jiding 宫保鸡丁 definitely belongs to the cannon of best-loved Sichuan Cuisine 川菜 chuancai. Ding continued to attract favorable national attention by revising the salt tax codes and by refurbishing the famous Dujiangyan Water Conservation System 都江堰水利工。In the course of his long career, Governor Ding caught the eye of the Qing Emperor in a positive way, and before long his favorite dish got picked up by the power elite in the northern capital city. It earned a proud place in Beijing Cuisine. So today your order of Gongbao Jiding 宫保鸡丁 can have many faces, many different looks. Not to worry; they are all pretty darned good. I’ll show you one very decent recipe that’s not difficult to cook up at home, but I make no extravagant claims to it being the “one true way” or the “gold standard.” (Please click the photos to enlarge them.) The finished product and the vegetables. Start with the meat. Use two large chicken breasts if you plan to make enough for 3 or 4 people to share as part of a Chinese meal. I suggest buying fresh chicken, instead of frozen chicken breasts since they have more taste. The two I had today weighed 0.549 kg (a little over a pound.) I sliced them open first off so they wouldn’t be quite so thick, then proceeded to cut the meat into roughly one-inch cubes. 鸡丁 Safety tip: Put a folded piece of damp paper kitchen towel under the cutting board so it won’t scoot around. Marinate the cut chicken in a mixture of 1 beaten egg white 蛋清, ½ teaspoon cooking salt 食用盐, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper 白胡椒粉, 1 tablespoon of yellow cooking wine 料酒, and a heaping teaspoon of corn starch 玉米淀粉。Put on a disposable glove 一次性手套 and massage the seasonings into the meat. Let it marinate 腌制 in the fridge about 15 minutes. Notice that the marinade isn’t “soupy.” It coats the meat without much excess. While the chicken is marinating, wipe a small amount of cooking oil around the inside of your wok and heat it with low flame. Put in a heaping teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns 花椒 and stir them until you start to smell their lemon-zest aroma. Take them out and let them cool. Then cook a handful of peanuts 花生米 the same way. You want them to slowly toast, but not scorch or burn. Keep them moving over low flame for a couple minutes. They become crunchy as they cool, not while they are still hot. Crush the toasted Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the back of a stout soup spoon. Toasting and crushing them like this greatly increases their flavor. Set them and the roasted peanuts aside, turning your attention to the vegetables. Cut the red bell pepper 红甜椒 into thumb-sized pieces and chop a cucumber 黄瓜 into cubes 小块 that are about the same size as the chicken. If you are using long Chinese cucumbers as shown, no need to peel them. Cut the spring onion into rounds, using only the white part. Mince 切碎 a thumb of ginger 生姜 and a clove or two of garlic 大蒜。 Prepare a thickening sauce 勾芡酱 by putting a heaping teaspoon of corn starch and a half cup of water into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve. Stir in a tablespoon of sugar 白砂糖。Add a tablespoon of cooking wine 黄酒, a tablespoon of dark vinegar 老陈醋, a tablespoon of light soy sauce 生抽 and about a third as much dark soy sauce 老抽。Set aside. Prep finished, time now to cook. Get the chicken from the fridge, stir it up. I always like to lay out the ingredients and mentally rehearse what goes in first, what follows, and so on. I suppose you could even arrange all your “mis en place” dishes in time-sequence order if you were of a mind to. “Hot wok, cold oil” 热锅粮油。I realize you knew that; just a reminder. Preheat it before adding two or three tablespoons of cooking oil. I used corn oil today. Flame on medium 中火 instead of high. Chicken requires a different approach from pork or beef. Add the chicken in one layer, spreading it quickly with your chopsticks (not all mounded up in the center of the wok.) Leave it alone for a minute or so, allowing it to sear. Carefully scrape it up and turn it over, trying to minimize surface tearing. It should mostly have changed color from pink to white by now and have a little bit of golden crust. The goal for this first stage is to only cook it two-thirds or so; not completely done. Only takes two minutes max. Add the crushed Sichuan peppercorns and 4 or 5 dry red peppers 干辣椒。I usually just tear these peppers in half as I add them. Some people cut them into smaller bits with scissors. Stir everything well and then add the chopped cucumbers and red bell peppers. Add new ingredients to the center of the wok; that’s the hottest part. Then stir it all together. Give it a minute or so, allowing flavors to blend, stirring and flipping all the while 煸炒,翻炒。 Now the thickening sauce goes in, mixing it well at the last minute because the solids will have settled in the bowl. Stir everything well for a minute or so until you see the chicken and vegetables developing an attractive sheen. Last of all, add the peanuts and incorporate them more or less evenly 搅拌均匀。You want the peanuts to have a very short cooking time so they will retain their crispy texture. Plate it up 装盘。Admire your handiwork. Snap a photo with your phone. Set it on the table. Call the team to come dig in. Gongbao jiding and steamed rice 蒸饭 are just about inseparable, so plan ahead and have some rice ready when the chicken comes off the stove. Took a little over half an hour today, maybe 45 minutes including clean up. I listened to the Sutherland - Pavarotti Turandot while working. London Philharmonic/Zubin Mehta. Although this is fun to make at home, it’s also an easy thing to order in a simple restaurant. Any random six-table Mom and Pop joint will be able to turn it out. I often supplement it with a clear green-leafy vegetable soup. 苦菜汤 kucai tang, for example, is easy to find and serves the purpose of turning this into a real meal: veggie, meat, and soup. Tasty and won’t break the bank. Try it soon and see what you think! Here's the recipe all in one place to make it easier to use: (Click "reveal hidden contents."
    1 point
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