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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/20/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 15 points
    A few days ago, I finished reading the short story collection 《樱海集》 by 老舍. This brought my reading total above one million characters, completing my goal for the year. 《樱海集》 was first published in 1935. The collection contains a funny and self-effacing preface plus ten short stories of varying lengths (from six to forty-two pages). The stories deal with classical human failings—hypocrisy, pride, envy, bitterness, cowardice, lust, revenge, greed, anger—and the consequences that arise from such failings. Though the stories are thematically related, they differ considerably in their characters, plots, point of views, and settings. Below is a brief synopsis of each story, along with some amplifying details and concluding thoughts. The first story in the collection, 《上任》, is about a recently promoted government official named 尤老二 and the opium-smoking thugs he employs. Much of the story is concerned with 尤老二’s inability to pay for his thugs, who show up at odd times asking for money for travel and other expenses. This story was difficult for me to get into. I found the details of the plot hard to follow and the language more challenging than any other story in the collection. 《牺牲》 is a character sketch of 毛博士, a bizarre 崇洋媚外 teacher educated in the United States. 《柳屯的》 is about a small village, a powerful Christian family, and an unrestrained woman who tries to take over them both. 《末一块钱》 is about a young dissatisfied college student who yearns for the kind of life enjoyed by his more affluent classmates. 《老年的浪漫》 is about an old man who, cursed with greedy former colleagues and a foolish son, decides to settle old scores. 《毛毛虫》 is a very short story that asks the question: What does a community think about that unenviable husband and wife who live down the street, and that husband’s former wife, and their new children? 《善人》 is about a well-to-do woman who sees herself as generous but is oblivious to the suffering of those around her. This story was my favorite story of the collection. 《邻居们》 is about the tensions that flare up between two neighboring families after one receives the other’s mail by mistake. The 明 family and the 杨 family are neighbors. 明家 is selfish and uncivilized. 杨家 is altruistic and lettered. The husband and father in the 杨 family, 杨先生, is described as a “最新式的中国人.” One day, 杨先生 receives a letter addressed to 明先生. 杨太太 attempts to deliver the letter, but 明太太 misunderstands her neighbor’s intentions and rebuffs her. 杨先生 then writes his own letter explaining the situation. 明太太 refuses this letter, too. Tensions between the two families escalate. 杨先生 believes that he and 明先生 can resolve their differences like rational gentlemen, and continues to write his neighbor letters. 明先生 sees 杨先生 as a weak man and despises him for his bookishness and inaction. Eventually… 《月牙儿》 is a longer story about a girl and her hard life after her father dies and her mother is forced out of exigence into prostitution. 《阳光》 is about the life of a beautiful, proud, and dissolute woman from a rich family. Her eventual arranged marriage to a prominent morality-promoting Daoist is comfortable, but stifling. 《樱海集》 is the second work I’ve read by 老舍; the first was his delightful science fiction satire 《猫城记》. There is something irreverent about 老舍’s style in these two works. 老舍’s stories foreground the character defects of early 20th-century Chinese people, whatever their station in life. Opioid-addicted menial laborers, wives of rich businessmen, the orphaned, the educated, the religious and the ideologically possessed—none are spared. By pointing out character defects in such a wide-ranging way, 老舍 advances a kind of criticism of the Chinese society of his day. But 《樱海集》 is not a “critical” work, at least not in the sense that modern people use the term. It isn’t a systematic, theory-driven critique of Chinese society; nor is it especially tragic or concerned with issues of justice. Rather, 《樱海集》 is a moral work. The stories in 《樱海集》 are cautionary tales filled with negative moral examples. They are the modern literary equivalents of fables. The stories paint a pessimistic and probably unbalanced picture of Chinese life. Readers interested in positive moral examples—the righteous government official or revolutionary, the loving and longsuffering mother, the diligent young student who succeeds in life despite enormous opposition—will not find them here. Some of 老舍’s negative moral examples are also offensive to contemporary Western sensibilities. His portraits of women are pretty unflattering. 老舍’s women are ostentatious, stubborn, and quick to anger. (To be fair, the men don’t come off much better. Most of 老舍’s male protagonists are feckless hypocrites.) Others will find 老舍’s portrayal of poor people unsympathetic. The peasants in 《樱海集》 are lazy and spend what little money they find on drugs: It is interesting to consider 老舍’s portrayals of Chinese people in 《樱海集》 in light of then-upcoming theories about politics and art in China. In his lectures at Yan'an in 1942, Mao advocated a new pro-proletariat literature and denounced “petit bourgeois writers” that write “pessimistic literature” and “harm the people.” Were 老舍’s mid-1930’s stories compatible with the new Chinese literature Mao would soon advocate? Was 老舍’s literature “pessimistic”? [For the curious, I blogged about Mao’s Yan'an literature lectures in an earlier post on this blog.] The Chinese language in 《樱海集》 is not especially difficult. The vocabulary is more challenging than contemporary Chinese fiction writers like 余华 and 韩寒, but far easier than writers like 张爱玲 and 莫言. 老舍’s word choices are frequently different from those found in contemporary fiction. This may confuse language learners unfamiliar with early 20th-century Chinese literature. For the uninitiated, try reading other authors from the same period. (I read short stories by 丁玲, 沈从文, and 施蛰存 before. That helped.) My new year’s resolution was to read one million characters in books and articles in 2019. I have now reached that goal with a little over a month to spare. This year I read mostly fiction. I also read Mao’s literature lectures, an article by IBM, a undergraduate thesis on the music of American saxophonist Sonny Stitt, and a third of the Bible. It’s been a great and rewarding experience. From time to time, people ask about the value of studying Chinese language given recent political and economic changes in China. It’s a fair question; there are many reasons to study Chinese and people differ in their motivations and goals. For me, the desire to engage in the cultural and literary traditions of a large and important foreign world was and is a main driver of my Chinese study. This desire was sustained and strengthened this year. I intend to keep reading in Chinese, both fiction and non-fiction. For literature, my near-term goals for the next couple years are to continue with works at or slightly above my current reading level; to move on to major works by 张爱玲, 莫言, and 阎连科; and to tackle tougher early 20th-century works by authors like 鲁迅. I’d like to wade into 文言 someday too, though that day is still a long way off. I had a lot of fun writing these posts and interacting with all of you. In the future, I may continue writing posts here. For now, however, because of many pressing demands on my time, I will put this blog on hiatus and return to posting intermittently in the excellent and underutilized “What are you reading?” thread. Thank you to everyone who read or commented on this blog this year. Link to《樱海集》: https://www.aixdzs.com/d/117/117466/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 1,000,931 Characters left to read this year: 0 Percent of goal completed: 100% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters) 《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒 (81,547 characters) 《偶然事件》 by 余华 (20,226 characters) 《第七天》 by 余华 (84,847 characters) 《圣经》 (新译本) (1,055,606 characters; 315,144 read in 2019) 《樱海集》 by 老舍 (83,649 characters)
  2. 14 points
    This is my last entry for this blog now that my course has finished (for those asking how the second year is going, it is only a one-year MA at Bath). I’ve been meaning to update for a while, just not had the time to sit down and write. Anyway, here it is: last thoughts on exams, dissertation, outcomes and achievements and of course what the future holds: Final exams As said in previous blog entries, translation and interpretation are totally different in terms of the skillset and workload requirements, and the same was true during exams. I got fairly good marks in my translation exams, which took the form of two unseen English articles to be translated into Chinese, and vice versa. The content for the E-C was fairly technical stuff on windfarms and medicine, the C-E was a clinical trial and an art exhibition (I’m working on some pretty hazy memory tbh, it might have been slightly different, but roughly in these areas). In E-C the biggest challenge was trying to keep up pace with the writing speed of my Chinese classmates. I didn’t finish the exam as a result, I translated the first article in full, but only 80% of the second (bad exam tactic: I drafted my translation in Chinese then wrote out in full in clear kaishu…then ran out of time…yeah). The C-E was a different story, I finished the paper with an hour to spare and walked out just after the amazing Taiwanese/American guy, which was a massive feeling of accomplishment for me. The mark I got was better than I had hoped for too, so that was a big plus. Interpretation was of course another story. Consecutive exams went okayish, I scraped through and got mediocre marks. My simultaneous exams all went terrible, I got so nervous I just froze up and stopped speaking in some of them, it really was awful. My marks were naturally very bad, surely the worst in the class I would imagine. Thankfully my average dragged me up overall, and all that really came of the experience was a harsh reminder that I am not able (nor do I ever hope to) do interpreting professionally. My own personal opinion is that interpreting really is for people who have lived in a bilingual environment for at least 10 years from a young age (starting from teen years at the very latest). I first started dabbling in Chinese when I was 20, and I think I am borderline. I believe I would be able to get to a professional level if I put in another 5-10 years from now (I am 31 as of writing). And I don’t really think I’m willing or able to give that time unfortunately. Dissertation I managed to make contact with a famous Taiwanese author and got the translation copyright for a final dissertation translation of a book on the history of Chinese calligraphy. It was an amazing project to work on, I learned a lot of in depth specialist knowledge, and has given me a lot of ideas for the future. I am very happy to say I got a distinction for the translation, and hope to get an English translation of the full book published at some point in the future. The future If I learned from my exams that interpreting wasn’t for me, I learned from my dissertation that translation…is! That being said, while the money is fairly decent, the way in which projects come at you randomly as a freelancer is not so much fun (sure many here can relate). As a result, I’m hoping to now go into education as a Chinese teacher here in the UK, with translation as a supporting income. The dissertation project has also thrown me in a new direction, with a current cooperative currently being set up with a group of fantastic artists and calligraphers I know from Hubei. I’m sure there will be more to come from this in the coming years too. Final thoughts For me – this was the hardest, most challenging year of my life. Regarding the change in my Chinese abilities over the last year: Pros - Speaking has become a lot more formal and adult like, less ‘cute’ and childlike. - Writing has become a lot quicker and again more formal in style, less ‘wechatty’ - Reading is rapid, I can now do sentence reading in 2-3 chunks rather than word by word now, and reading out loud with proper emphasis is much, much better now. Cons - Listening has become more difficult, as my brain gets frustrated when I am not 100% about every single word, tone, sentence level implication, etc. Although this might be a good thing in the long run. - I hesitate and stutter a lot more when speaking, as I am so much more aware of when word order/grammar/word choice is slightly off during the mental preparation of a sentence. I have learned too many new words over the last year, and not absorbed deep enough – as a result it causes me to stop for recall quite a lot now. If you are a native English speaker interested in doing a Chinese/English interpreting-translation qualification, I say be sure you know why you want to do the course. I was very clear that I wanted to do the course to see whether or not becoming an ‘English’ Chinese interpreter was possible for me or not. I found out it was not. But I met a few people along the way for whom it was, and that’s great! However, some people were doing the course to improve their language skills, and this kind of course will not necessarily do that – in fact it will require you to sacrifice language ability for codeswitching ability, particularly in the case of interpreting. Codeswitching is a skill that requires you to rewire the way in which your brain wants to access information – great for being ‘in the booth’, but not so much for playing mah-jong and general chitchat over some baijiu. I think quite a few students struggled to come to terms with the fact that they were being outperformed by students with worse English but better T/I skills. But as long as you are clear what your goals are before you start, a course like this can only be an asset to your Chinese in the long term. It will weed out every single one of your weaknesses and cracks in your knowledge and remind you of them all day every day until you tackle them. Its been a painful medicine to take, but I certainly don't regret it at all. Good luck to future translators and interpreters reading this!
  3. 8 points
    Unfortunately I went through another hiatus in learning. It seems to be a character trait that I go through periods of being good and taking a rest when learning Mandarin as a hobby. Here's a list of useful links to posts and articles (to be continually updated) in no particular order. Reading back in Chinese forums helps me get interested again. It just shows how much we can read and learn, yet still forget. 1) List of everyday topics to discuss. Practicing discussing about these topics with different teachers or language partners. One can practice the same topic with different people to gradually increase fluency and also increase vocabulary around that topic. 2) How to make best use of an online tutor. Lots of practical advice by @NinjaTurtle Note: many useful learning strategies in this thread. 3) transcription project. Lots of subtitle materials from shows that you makes searching for content much easier. Also refer to Best way to Use Chinese film / transcripts 4) Accent Improvement: more natural sounding tones - phenomenal post showing the amount of detail that one can analyse ones own tones for that holy grail of sounding native-like. Of relevance, refer to this Towards Better Tones in Natural Speech where one needs to stress the correct tone on key words when speaking to sound more natural whereas some other parts of a sentence, it's not so important. Some important practical advice here. 5) Honorifics in Chinese - this links to a Chinese honorifics wiki entry. I played with this a bit when communicating with newly met mature people on Hellotalk. Excellent resource and when you use it (and get it right), the feedback is pretty satisfying 6) Getting out of a listening rut - a very good thread that makes interesting observations on why a person may have much more difficulty listening despite a lot of effort. The most enlightening post is here on a 12th page. 7) Effective exercises for learning with a private tutor - not to be confused with 2) which has different strategies. Rote learning is an important way to success. A nice recommendation by @Tomsima for this book which I don't have, but learning some idioms for situational dialogues makes a whole world of difference. 8)Looking for more anki based material? It's here in the Subs2SRS Anki Deck Index 9) Transcribing Mandarin as a learning method. Lovely description by @Publius of the transcribing method. A further detailed description in here by @imron. A forum member posts their experience 10) Worst advice when learning Mandarin - third point is great! 11) Drilling tones - takeaway advice is a lot of drilling on the same sentence is required. Chorus method requires drilling more than 20-30 times and this really opened up my insight. For some reason, I am quite happy to do the same amount of repetitive drilling in sports but felt in languages, it should be easier. Not so - you need to put your time in and no short cuts. 12) Getting new vocabulary and syntax from chinese media. One of my favourite threads which contains the detail of how to use subs2srs to make anki cards from media 13) WorkAudioBook – a tool for listening practice (and subtitle creation) how to create .srt files and then troubleshooting the import into anki process 14) Independent Chinese study: review . The most popular post in Chinese-forums. How to learn Chinese away from formal classes. Simply awesome. 15) How to language exchange - this youtube video details the learning process of language exchange. It's the only video that I have seen that details the exact process within a language exchange session - further explanation with respect to input and techniques. Most other people talk about what you should do to find or keep a language partner rather than the content of how to learn within a session. Getting lots of commands can reinforce the acquisition process. 16) An interesting way and fun way to develop more interactions with people and helping your language skills. 17)Listening skills for northern accents, and southern accents 18) The process of using a movie to help your Chinese listening
  4. 5 points
    I recently finished “Art in China” by Professor Craig Clunas. The book organizes the art of China in different contexts, and then describes the history chronologically within that context. This way of learning about history is rather interesting. The discussions are much clearer because the items being compared are discussed right before, and reduces flipping through the book to remember other facts. It also provides a better overall view of the history and development of art in these contexts. I typically read books in Chinese about topics related to Chinese culture because I’m more familiar with names and terms in Chinese. With books in English, I typically have problems with translated or romanized names and terms. (I never learned Chinese romanization). I had no problems with this book. I think it’s a good introductory book for anyone interested in the history of art of China. The book also has a timeline, bibliography, and lists of websites for reference.
  5. 5 points
    Today I finished reading the novel 《第七天》 by 余华. The story centers around protagonist 杨飞 and his experiences before and after his sudden untimely death. Unlike other 余华 novels, 《第七天》 is a work of surrealist fiction. The narrative present is set in the afterlife; all major characters in the novel are dead. Like 余华’s other novels, 《第七天》 is at turns tragic, funny, morbid, and sweet. It is not his best novel, but it might be my favorite. The Chinese in 《第七天》 is not difficult to understand. The novel is easier to read than 《活着》 and 《在细雨中呼喊》, though probably harder than the dialogue-heavy 《许三观卖血记》. Demands on my time prevent me from writing a longer review. In August, I moved to Shanghai and started a new and exciting job, which keeps me very busy. I continue to read Chinese nearly every day and am confident I will meet my 1,000,000 character goal this year. Link to 《第七天》: https://www.aixdzs.com/d/117/117754/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 602,138 Characters left to read this year: 397,862 Percent of goal completed: 60.2% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters) 《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒 (81,547 characters) 《偶然事件》 by 余华 (20,226 characters) 《第七天》 by 余华 (84,847 characters)
  6. 4 points
    戴口罩 Wear a mask Seal script 篆書
  7. 4 points
    A reply to a recent comment from @murrayjames spawned into something perhaps more worthy of an additional entry. The comment reads, This is correct - there is frequent public failure, unrealistic deadlines and demands, and non-specialists taking on specialist jobs. Here are my thoughts on why the industry is like the way it is at present in the West. There is an obvious disconnect between client and interpreter, which, already so wide as it is, is only exacerbated by the fact the market is unregulated and rife with interpretation agencies offering specialists for every field, which they couldn't possibly afford at the rates the real specialists work at. Of course, clients don't know this and don't care - they just want someone in the booth who is 'fluent' to interpret their conference on a niche topic. Most interpreters rely on a good reputation to build a specialism in a certain field - eg. 'life sciences', 'renewables', and gain repeat clients in this way. It is this which results in the growth of confidence and ability. But such a trial and error approach to finding and building up good interpreters is clearly the wrong way to go about raising great interpreters in the field. The same is of course true for translation, but generally translators have the time and space to do the necessary research during the project, whereas interpreters can only guesstimate what might come up in their next job based on a description from the arranging party who is hopefully well-enough informed themselves. On specialist interpretation: IMO, Interpreters should be in-house specialists in specific fields whenever possible. They should be an integral part of the planning process for any event they will be interpreting at. However organisations these days are always looking to cut costs, and when there are cheaper rates from a general agency rather than employing a specialist freelancer, too often it seems the former is opted for, usually by someone who does not understanding what interpreters do. The latest high profile example of this which caused quite a lot of embarrassment was the interpreter for Sun Yang at his WADA doping hearing (watch here). The interpreter clearly was not a specialist in the field of swimming, drug testing, etc. and the result was quite shocking. On non-specialist interpretation: Non-specialists are a necessity, but will never be able to do a good job. I specialise in arts translation, specifically exhibitions and books on Chinese art. This is too narrow a specialism to build a career in, with science, medicine, law etc. being the best paid routes. But even the 'narrow' field of Chinese art is obviously not narrow at all - you could study a lifetime and still not be finished. But there are people that need the job done in narrow, underfunded areas, and 'non-specialist' is better than nothing in their eyes. The result is, all non-high-paying fields get bunched together and given to 'non-specialist' interpreters. People need the job done, and there are those willing to do the job, but the job will almost never be done to a high standard. Conclusions: 1) While there is money to employ and support specialists as full time interpreters, cost-cutting leads to non-specialists occasionally taking on (or being pushed into) jobs they are unable to do. Result: quality interpretation cannot be guaranteed due to organisations cost cutting at the expense of interpreters. 2) Niche fields need interpreters, but there is no money for specialists in these areas. Non-specialists end up taking on a wide-range of jobs they are not specialist in. The result is bad interpretation, but better than nothing. Ultimately, the problem lies with the misunderstanding of clients as to what ‘interpreting’ and ‘translating’ actually is, as well as an abundance of people willing to take on jobs when they’re not actually qualified. Contrary to popular belief, being ‘bilingual’ does not qualify you as an interpreter, but so many organisations think and hope it is the same thing, and to top it off (and who can blame them) there are bilingual speakers who reinforce this hope, because there is money to be made. A fairly hopeless situation, and I’m sure the market is very different in China, where many people are by virtue of the education system are to a certain degree bilingual (speaking not just of English, but other forms of Chinese beyond Putonghua) and understand at the very least what this means (ie. ≠ able to interpret).
  8. 4 points
    I hand an off hand compliment last night. I was at a 湖南饭馆 last night. I was sitting around a corner kind of out of the way. at one point, I called out 服务员, the waitress instantly stopped and looked around for who was calling her. She turned to the guy sitting at the table behind her and asked him what he needed, he said he hadn't called her. She did the same with another customer. I then called her again and she made eye contact with me. This was a small victory, because when I first started, I could never seem to get a response from saying 服务员, last night the waitress thought it could have come from a native speaker😃
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. 3 points
    Time to get this back up to date. After spending a couple months in SE Asia and studying just a little everyday, it's amazing how just being back in country (days before the border closure) raised my motivation. With only a little work to do, and from home, I've spent loads of time on Chinese study. It's pretty cool to have hours and hours to study whatever i want I am using lots of different resources, but all at a similar level: 3 lessons a week with my teacher online doing CME, Chinesepod, Chinese Breeze, Mandarin Corner, Growing Up with Chinese, etc. No flashcards or vocab lists. I think i've raised my vocab and grammar flexibility by a good chunk in the last few months. I've also been weening myself off pinyin.
  12. 3 points
    Trying to improve listening skills is a tedious process. Humans being naturally impatient skip over listening skills. Yes. Guilty as charged. Over the last month, I have been reviewing my anki cards made from Growing Up With Chinese 成长汉语. (See my earlier blog post). It's also an exercise in tidying up the cards with timings of sounds and clarifying some of the translations cards. I try to intensely concentrate on each sound and try to mentally note down each softer, harder and dropped sounds. Mentally, it's very tiring. I try to do at least a few cards each time I open anki and then over one day, I give it a go perhaps three times. It's hard to give objective measures of development but definitely random listening seems much easier than before, mainly applied to standard Mandarin There's also serms to be a slightly better feel for the language 语感 which enables me to guess at the overall meaning of a sentence even without knowing all the individual words. All in all, it's very encouraging. Do I actually know more vocabulary? I don't think so at least not on an active recall basis. I haven't been actively learning vocabulary. I just look up words in the card that I don't know but don't write them down nor store them. Intermediate level spoken Mandarin is easier to understand (YouTube videos). Increasingly, range of vocabulary, is starting to feel like the rate limiting step. Spoken drama is still out of my range. My eyes are irresistibly drawn to the subtitles similar to rocket locked on target. Talking with people is very interesting. In practice, I speak very little to other people using Mandarin. I don't do weekly chats, my chats are on an ad hoc basis and less than once a week. Like really random. It's not an area that I am focussing on at present. However, with the better listening, I can follow the speed of speech much better and work out parts which I am unsure about much faster. When it actually comes to myself speaking, my fluency seems to have improved. Words that I know are coming into my head faster and coming out better. I am not sure if my pronunciation has improved or whether the better flow and intonation is helping the other party understand me better. It's probably a greater proportion of the latter. Future directions? 1) continue with 成长汉语 up to about episode 70 2) go through some Chinesepod lower intermediate with the same methodology. I.e. create flashcards and create listening practice cards. When do flashcards for listening stop being useful. Maybe at upper intermediate level? Someway to go for that. 3) I discovered I like instructional videos I.e. those that teach a skill, so cooking is a good one. At some point, I will need to sit down and fully concentrate on a five minute segment and learn all the sentences. That is, if the background music isn't too intrusive. 4) dramas - lots of learning materials but it looks like I am not at the level to make them appealing. 5) discipline myself to go through the lessons in my listening comprehension books of 发展汉语 6) sort of unrelated but maybe six months time really having a blast at pronunciation accuracy within spoken sentences. This will definitely need a tutor. I have my methodology but that is for another post. Edit: forgot to mention, for the listening practice, I am trying to practically memorise each sentence. Good results have been reported by other forum members using this methodology.
  13. 3 points
    Well, I took about 10 days break from studying Chinese while the virus news started breaking. However, over the last week, I've resumed studying. I'm still somewhat distracted and finding it harder to focus. Partially because of the virus and partially because I've temporarily left China, in S.E. Asia at the moment. But, I'm with my wife and mother in law, so there's still plenty of Chinese spoken around me. I've doing a lot of Chinese podcasts and other online study material. I probably did about 3 hours worth today. I have been keeping up my Skype lessons with my teacher, who lives in Hubei. She looks totally normal, but I still worry for her and feel sorry for her that she's locked down in her house. I think she enjoys doing the lessons though as something to keep her busy. I'm going to really try and take advantage of having no work this month and do as much Chinese study and practice as I can.
  14. 3 points
  15. 3 points
    The first semester of third year is done, and I am currently with my family taking a break in Cambodia. Overall I feel that this semester went pretty well. One of our teachers quit when we had 2 weeks left of the semester, and that was really weird. One week he was there, and then the following week he just didn't turn up. He was my favorite teacher and seemed to have the best relationship with all the students by far. I would always message him to ask questions and such, and while he has since said I am welcome to continue doing that, it is still disappointing. I am not sure who will take over the classes we had with him next semester. I've tried to do a bit more reading of late, especially focusing on the type of literature we will be reading next year for our thesis. I read 《棋王》and really enjoyed it, finding it about right for my current level, then I read 《断魂枪》which was short but interesting, and I am currently reading 《啊Q正传》. I am mining a good bit of vocabulary from these books, and of course increasing the number of characters I can read. I am also enjoying the cultural aspects of the books, though at some points they are still quite confusing to me. I do also have 《三体》which I would like to read, but first I just want to focus on stuff for next year a bit. As far as speaking goes, I find myself in much the same position as before. Obviously there is some improvement, but I still find that my tones go haywire when I start trying to speak a bit faster, in contrast to sounding wooden and strange when I speak slowly. I'm still not sure of the best way to improve here. I had a teacher suggest reading through texts that I am familiar with at a slow speed, which in theory sounds good, but my reading isn't anything like good enough to actually have an accurate pronunciation when I read out loud. I think I just need to keep practicing, and doing my best to imitate native speakers. My final exams seemed to go well on the whole, although I haven't bothered to check my results. I can only get access to them through the wifi at the university, and because I live off campus I have never actually paid to be able to use this service. I am also finding that I am less interested in my results, and more interested in my actual ability to communicate with people in Chinese. It seems strange writing this with the whole coronavirus situation going on. We have been contacted by the university - they wanted all our details, where we have been, where we are going etc. They have also said that people are not allowed to return early, and that anyone who is spending the holiday in Harbin isn't allowed to leave without applying 3 days in advance. Furthermore, on their return they need to self-quarantine for 14 days. There has now been a confirmed case in Cambodia, and to be honest with the state of the healthcare here China would likely be a better place to be. For now we are just going to see what happens over the next 2/3 weeks, and what comes through from the university. Until next time!
  16. 3 points
    Mid terms are all done. For the most part they went pretty well. Not really a huge amount to share at the moment, we're in a routine as far as classes go, learning lots across the board. I've been trying to be a bit more active in increasing my input. I started reading the first Harry Potter, and I'm a few pages away from finishing. I marked characters I didn't know so that I could come back and learn the new words, and I've noticed that I've gone from multiple characters being marked in each paragraph near the start of the book, to sometimes 2/3 pages with nothing marked at all. I've also been really encouraged to see lots of the stuff coming up in class appearing in the book, thus further cementing both the term in question, and it's usefulness for me at this point in time. I'm not yet sure what I will read next. I am doing a lot of running at the moment, which looks like 4/5 treadmill runs a week, for anything up to 3 hours per session right now, simply because it's too cold to run outside. The plus side of this is that the treadmills in my gym have TVs, so I have been watching various TV shows. As with my reading, I have again found that lots of the things I have been learning in class are coming up. All in all I am feeling pretty encouraged right now! There is a very long way to go, but there is also noticeable improvement.
  17. 3 points
    This week I finished reading the Holy Bible in Chinese. The version that I read (新译本) contains 1,055,606 Chinese characters. I started it several years ago, and finished the last third of the book (some 315,144 characters) this year. The Bible is an epic millennia-spanning multi-genre story about God and his people. In addition to God himself, its major themes include worship, law and commandment, righteousness and wickedness, love, obedience and faithfulness, judgement, death and resurrection, covenant, conquest, sacrifice, salvation, social order, war, mission, hope, and more. The Bible’s genres include long theological histories of Israel and the Christian church, letters of exhortation and rebuke, philosophical writings, prophecies, proverbs, and songs. The narrative sweep of the Bible is considerable. It covers the creation of the world, the rise and fall of its kingdoms, the end of all things. Its narrative structure is cyclical and complex. Certain events, figures, and themes in the narrative are recapitulated again and again, in different places and under different names and circumstances. The Bible contains perhaps the most surprising third act ever written. After the people of God are judged for their idolatry and cast into exile, and the remnant are waiting in eschatological anticipation of a promised king, the object of worship and apparent author of the text itself comes into the narrative in a new and unexpected way that transfigures everything that has happened in the story up to that point, and will happen after. The Bible is an impressive and powerful book. I recommend it. The 新译本 is one of the more accessible Chinese translations out there. Unfortunately, it is stylistically flat. (Its closest English equivalent is probably the NIV.) The 和合本 is more literal, literary, and majestic by comparison. Translated early in the 20th century, the 和合本 remains the most popular Chinese translation of the Bible today (by far), although its language is older and more difficult. Finishing the Bible puts me within striking distance of my 1,000,000-character goal for the year. Currently I am reading a collection of short stories by 老舍. I expect to complete that book—and my New Year’s Resolution—in the next couple weeks. Link to《圣经》(新译本) http://www.godcom.net/xinyiben/index.htm Some statistics: Characters read this year: 917,282 Characters left to read this year: 82,718 Percent of goal completed: 91.7% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters) 《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒 (81,547 characters) 《偶然事件》 by 余华 (20,226 characters) 《第七天》 by 余华 (84,847 characters) 《圣经》 (新译本) (1,055,606 characters; 315,144 read in 2019)
  18. 3 points
    How we practice spoken foreign language via shadowing and echoing 如何通过影子跟读 & 回声跟读提升外语听力口语水平 Have you been wondering why you have watched a bunch of videos in foreign language but still fail to utter the word appropriately and fluently when you need to. That's probably because you watch but never practice based on what you've watched. 为何看了那么多外语视频还是不能在口语交流中流畅而确切地措辞?那是因为你只是看了视频,却没有据之进行相应的跟读练习。 What we need to make it communicating fluently and finding the exact expression fitting the certain context when we speak? Basically three elements, familiarity of the wordings, pronunciation you are confident with, and swift reaction to what you've heard. Simply put, to manage a conversation well you need to know what the other party means, figure out the suitable words you would like to apply to convey what's in your mind, and pronounce it accurately enough for others to understand. If you stagger in any part mentioned above, the conversation lacks the fluency and agile state of mind to go smooth. 为了能在口语交流中的流畅表达,找出符合语境的那个字眼,我们要做些什么?基本而言,有三点:第一,提高对词汇的熟悉度;第二,练就自信的发音;第三,能迅速反应所听到的内容。再简单粗暴点,要无碍沟通,就得知道对方在说什么,找到表达心中所想的那个词,并通过能让对方正确理解的发音说出来。如果上述三者中某一项不过关,沟通流畅度会降低,沟通者难以维持轻松敏捷的交流状态,对话也会随之受阻。 You may find that people good at talking with foreigners have a lot in common, and that's far from coincidence. First of all, their listening comprehension of foreign language won't get in the way of further expression. They make it understanding what the other is talking about in seconds, and the faster it is, the less time it takes for him to respond. 你会发现善于用外语交流的人都有相似点,而且这不是巧合。首先,他们对外语有较强的听力理解能力,这保证了下一步的表达不受阻碍。对方说的话,他们能秒懂,懂得越快,作出回答的用时越短。 Second, they are resourceful in the volume of expression available. The wordings seem automatically come into mind whenever the idea hits. And they are connected to memory by pronunciation instead of written form. 其次,他们可以用来表达的词汇也很丰富。每当大脑想到了什么,这些想法对应的外语表达词汇貌似都自动地闪进他们脑海。而且这些词汇是通过语音而非字形进行记忆的。 Finally, they are confident in their pronunciation. It doesn't necessarily mean the pronunciation is accurate or native without flaws, but it sounds not too weird for the native speaker to get it, so it won't make them too shy to speak out. 最后,他们对自己的外语发音很自信。这不一定意味着他们的发音准确地道得毫无瑕疵,但至少在母语人士听起来不会太奇怪以致难以听懂。这样他们就不会因为羞怯而不敢开口说外语了。 To make a progress in spoken language, we need to be familiar with the pronunciation, and the meaning corresponding based on how the words sound instead of the way they are written. Therefore, we could react quickly when we hear and get the words with the least struggling when speaking. How may practice echoing and shadowing help with the improvement? 要在口语上取得进步,我们要熟悉语言的发音和相关意思,要根据发音联想到意思,而不是根据字形。这样,当听到某个词的发音,我们就能迅速反应相应意思;口头交流的时候也能更轻松地引用这个词。回声跟读法和影子跟读法又是如何提升口语的? Every time we watch a video in foreign language, especially those with titles, we read the meaning through the written language instead of understand it purely via pronunciation. And we've thought we get it, but actually we just don't focus on the connection between pronunciation and meaning good enough to make us well prepared to the future conversation with similar expression as the potential content. We may find it would be easier for us to realize what it means based on written form instead of reflecting its meaning the minute we hear it, since the connection between pronunciation and meaning hasn't been well developed. 每当我们看一个外语视频,特别是视频带字幕的时候,我们其实更多地是在通过字幕而非纯粹根据发音了解意思。我们以为自己理解了,而事实上我们没有很好地注意发音与意思的联系,以至下一回同样的表达再度出现在谈话中时,我们措手不及,不能很好地根据发音反应对应的意思。我们会发现,我们没有建立起发音与意思的联系,所以我们会发现同一个词,根据字形比根据发音更容易辨别它的含义。 Both echoing and shadowing help us build and strengthen the connection between what we actually hear and what it means. When we echo what we hear, we try to repeat and imitate the pronunciation and lessen the inconformity between what we hear and the way we pronounce. The more consistent it is between them, the less time it costs for us to reflect what's said and further what it means. 影子跟读法和回声跟读法都能帮助我们建立并强化发音与意思的联系。当我们进行回声跟读,我们是在模仿并重复所听到的声音,并使自己的发音趋近于它。当这两者越接近,听力理解所需的用时就越短。 Echoing also improves our muscle memory of the pronunciation and meaning of the words since we are practicing speaking up, which makes it relevant to our daily activity. Memory does serve better to the things we frequently apply than those we have ignored. We have paid little attention to the pronunciation when we watch videos without noticing the voice but the titles, or are too hurried for the meaning to notice how it is spoken. However, echoing brings us close to the pronunciation, which will be closer if we echo the video without titles and with scene where we could see how the commentator moves his mouth muscles. 回声跟读是我们练习发音的机会,使发音过程与我们自己的日常活动挂钩,这有助于增强对发音的肌肉记忆,进而提升对发音对应意思的理解能力。和被忽略的东西相比,越是被高频使用的东西,我们记得越牢。而看视频时我们一般只看字幕,或急于弄清意思而忽略发音。而回声跟读将让我们关注发音,如果进行跟读训练的视频不带字幕,且有发声者嘴部肌肉运动状态的镜头,那作用就更大了。 Pronunciation has something to do with oral movement, and it will be a guidance of how to pronounce by watching how it is pronounced by others. Reading the meaning from lips will bring you closer to the meaning, too. It means the connection among movement, pronunciation and meaning is established. You don't need to reflect the written form to know what it means when hear it, and you can simply move your lips for the certain vocabulary when the thought strikes you. 发音与口腔运动息息相关,看着别人是怎么运动口腔肌肉进行发音的,有助于引导我们正确发音。从运动的嘴唇判断意思,也能加快你理解发音的速率。当发音、肌肉运动与意思三者相互关联,你将可以通过纯粹的发音反应它对应的含义,无需通过联想字形才能得知意思,而当你想到某个点子,对应的外语表达也跃然脑海,脱口而出了。 When you are easy with echoing, it is worthwhile to take a further step to shadowing, which means repeating and imitating without pause. Unlike echoing where we finish hearing each sentence and hit a pause before we repeat, where we have more time to react and polish the way we speak, shadowing leaves us limited time to respond or polish since we are repeating almost simultaneously with the video. 当回声跟读已经不成问题了,可以挑战更高层次的影子跟读,即无间断无缝跟读。回声跟读时,我们听完每句话按下暂停键再模仿读音,模仿的时间更充足,更有利于雕琢每一个发音。与回声跟读不同,影子跟读几乎与视频发音同步进行,给你的反应时间或美化调整发音的时间是相对有限的。 Shadowing requires familiarity with the language, so that you are less likely to make mistake when imitating, and it means a higher level for reaction, which you cannot reach without former practice in echoing. 影子跟读训练要求我们熟悉语言,以减少犯错几率,这是对反应能力更高级的要求,没有前期的回声跟读训练,很难达到这种水平。 Imitation with consciousness is the shortest and most efficient path to mastering a skill, so it counts when you compare your pronunciation with the standard model and fill in the space of improvement if there is any. Make every move effective in boosting spoken language by echoing then shadowing. 有意识地模仿是提高一项技能最短最奏效的途径。对比你的发音与范本发音,找出差距,并填充进步的空间,将大有裨益。从回声跟读到影子跟读走起,一步一步地提升外语口语,让每一步都不白费。
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    Ten reasons why I admire Li Ziqi so much 喜欢李子柒的十个缘由 If people are talking about a girl who could make a set of bamboo sofa without a single nail, show you how the ancient Chinese writing tool is produced, tell the story of how a grain of rice grows from a seed,they are talking about Li Ziqi, a Chinese girl doing what she likes regardless of what they say. 1 She is true to herself Rumor goes that she’s just a cyber-celebrity who aims at a rise to fame, and a benefit from that reputation. She could be anything bad given how the gossips are going to shape, but she still keeps on with these vlog, where she shows us every detail of her life. 2 She knows that silence is the best way to suffocate gossip The way she lives and the way she handles things is too amazing for us to believe. That’s probably why she becomes a target of the negative comment from those far away from such a way of living. Instead of getting involved in rebuttal, she prefers updating the videos for years to show how persistent she is to something she had chosen, with or without comments. 3 She is willing to learn everything new to achieve her goals She admits that she no nothing about some of the skills shown in her video at first. Her eagerness to learn opens up the possibility to trying something new. 4 She is a genius with business acumen Her name becomes a brand now and products related are available on line. Commercial benefit is just the byproduct from her previous effort winning the fans with the videos of high quality. 5 She promotes the spread of Chinese culture with talented videos Foreigners and even Chinese get to know how things are made or coming to being by watching her videos. She acts like an almighty craftsman telling you how things awesome may start with something quite usual and simple, in a creative way. 6 She realizes financial freedom by doing the things she enjoys She keeps doing what she likes, sharing her life in videos, making you the witness of her life interesting and vivid, showing you how she makes the things she wants on her own. She gets lucky by earning both attention and money the way she deserves. 7 She lives a life of pastoral style far from the madding crowd Living in the remote village, surrounding by plants she grows as food, accompanying by dogs and goats she keeps as pets, she plays the role in a poem-like farm where those people struggling in the urban life don’t even have the time to dream of. 8 She knows what’s important to her and sticks to it while leaving out all the rest She used to work in the city as a DJ, a waitress, a Taobao seller, and her grandmother’s getting ill making her back to hometown. Being with grandmother means a lot to her, given her childhood without care from parents but grandparents, and her yearning for self-sufficiency further motivates her stay in Mianyang, Suchuan. 9 She’s brilliant in an ordinary way She can do almost everything, capable of all kinds of skills, making things from the most common materials and ingredients, creating stuff better than you could have imagined. She looks like a fairy, but she’s living a normal life industriously. You may find that what she manages to do is nothing impossible when you break it into steps, but all when all these easy sections combine, you see something complicatedly great. That’s something we fail to cope with without distractions. We lack that kind of concentration to make it. 10 She knows how to tell the story and opens up our mind for more possibilities Her videos are silent in conversations or monologues. She shows you all the things in the way she works. Thanks to her breaking things into steps to make it simple to know how things work. Her videos act like a trigger of inspiration, especially to those who imitate her and tell the story of their lives. She knows how to dye the cloth and awake the beauty and magpies on the dress with thread and needle. This is about the art of embroidery. https://www.bilibili.com/video/av62976159 She knows how to make Chinese traditional food out of the normal ingredients. This is about the taste of China. https://www.bilibili.com/video/av81545399 She knows how to make the sculpture of characters and get the printing done. That’s the beauty of ancient Chinese inventions. https://www.bilibili.com/video/av29859659 She knows how to make the cosmetics applied by ancient Chinese ladies with flowers and honey. That’s the secret of make-up. https://www.bilibili.com/video/av14406175 No more meaningless debate on whether she’s doing this alone or with a team backing her up, no more negative comments on her making videos for the sake of fame and fortune. Mind the way she conveys her love of Chinese culture in modesty, and the truth that Chinese culture shines in the eyes of foreign YOUTUBE audience because of her post. She is real and vivid the way she is.
  21. 2 points
    vocabulary 前言 须臾 = xu1 yu2 = a moment, an instant 3S体系的特点 一、将写字与书法分离,即实用与艺术分离 里程 = li3 cheng2 = course of development 歧途 = qi2 tu2 = wrong road 开宗明义 = kai1 zong1 ming2 yi4 = to make a purpose clear from the start 二、直接学习行书 字体 = zi4 ti3 = style of calligraphy 书体 = shu1 ti3 = style of calligraphy 楷书 = kai3 shu1 = “regular script” calligraphic style (what you learned in Chinese class) 草书 = cao3 shu1 = “cursive script” calligraphic style (emerged in Ming dynasty) 隶书 = li4 shu1 = “official script” calligraphic style (used in Han dynasty) 篆书 = zhuan4 shu1 = “seal character” calligraphic style (used on chops) 潦草 = liao2 cao3 = illegible and hastily written 流畅 = liu2 chang4 = fluent; easy and smooth 约定俗成 = yue1 ding4 su2 cheng2 = established by popular usage 颜真卿 = yan2 zhen1 qing1 = famous calligrapher from Tang Dynasty 字迹 = zi4 ji4 = handwriting 法度 = fa3 du4 = laws, rules 习字 = xi2 zi4 = learn penmanship 依葫芦画瓢 = yi1 hu2 lu hua4 piao2 = to draw a dipper with a gourd as one’s model; to copy mechanically without modification 一步到位 = yi1 bu4 dao4 wei4 = to accomplish something without going through a bunch of intermediate stages 行楷 = “running-hand script” calligraphic style (style between running script and regular script) 行草 = “running-cursive script” calligraphic style (style between running script and cursive script) 三、实用硬笔字的设计 鉴赏能力 = jian4 shang3 neng2 li4 = connoisseurship, good taste 不啻 = bu4 chi4 = to be tantamount to 范本 = fan4 ben3 = model for calligraphy 慕名 = mu4 ming2 = to admire somebody’s reputation 韵味 = yun4 wei4 = implicit charm 顿挫 = dun4 cuo4 = turning and transition 钉头 = ding1 tou2 = head of a nail 累赘 = lei2 zhui4 = encumbrance, burden 蛮 = man2 = quite, very 张扬 = zhang1 yang2 = to unnecessarily make public 外露 = to reveal, to show 匀称 = yun2 chen4 = well proportioned 四、重视整篇摹写训练 举一反三 = ju3 yi1 fan3 san1 = to deduce many things from one case 一厢情愿 = yi1 xiang1 qing2 yuan4 = wishful thinking 能动 = neng2 dong4 = dynamic 流于形式 = liu2 yu2 xing2 shi4 = to become a mere formality 相得益彰 = xiang1 de2 yi4 zhang1 = to bring out the best in each other 3S训练应注意的几个问题 一、工具材料、执笔方法与姿势 执笔 = zhi2 bi3 = to write 钢笔 = gang1 bi3 = fountain pen 圆珠笔 = yuan2 zhu1 bi3 = ball-point pen 湮 = yin1 = to blotch 碳素墨水 = tan4 su4 mo4 shui3 = high carbonic ink 拘泥 = ju1 ni4 = to be a stickler 拆卸 = chai1 xie4 = to dismantle 拇指 = mu3 zhi3 = thumb 食指 = shi2 zhi3 = index finger 中指 = zhong1 zhi3 = middle finger 无名指 = wu2 ming2 zhi3 = ring finger 小指 = xiao3 zhi3 = pinky 指肚 = zhi3 du4 = pad of the finger 虎口 = hu3 kou3 = web of the hand between the thumb and index finger 自如 = zi4 ru2 = freely, smoothly 为宜 = wei2 yi2 = as suitable, as appropiate 脊椎 = ji3 zhui1 = spinal column 端正 = duan1 zheng4 = upright 俯 = fu3 = to bow (one’s head) 振作 = zhen4 zuo4 = to uplift, to stimulate 充沛 = chong1 pei4 = abundant, plentiful 撑开 = cheng1 kai = to open 踮脚尖 = dian3 jiao3 jian1 = to stand on tiptoe 二、掌握正确的摹帖、描红和临帖的方法 一气呵成 = yi1 yi4 he1 cheng2 = to do something in one go 领会 = ling3 hui4 = to understand 呼应 = hu1 ying4 = to echo, to coordinate 虚线 = xu1 xian4 = dotted line 三、严格按教材要求进行训练 (no vocabulary) 四、坚持不懈 捱过去 = ai2 guo4 qu4 = to pull through, to persevere 领略 = ling3 lve4 = to experience 不折不扣 = bu4 zhe2 bu4 kou4 = totally, completely 喜形于色 = xi3 xing2 yu2 se4 = to look pleased, to light up with happiness 前功尽弃 = qian2 gong1 jin4 qi4 = to waste all previous effort 新颖性 = xin1 ying3 xing4 = novelty 方略 = fang1 lve4 = overall strategy 鼓足干劲 = gu3 zu2 gan4 jin4 = to make an all out effort 挑剔 = tiao1 ti = to nitpick 眼高手低 = yan3 gao1 shou3 di1 = to have high standards but little ability 气馁 = qi4 nei3 = to lose heart 五、学以致用 惯性 = guan4 xing4 = inertia 依然故我 = yi1 ran2 gu4 wo3 = to be one’s old self, to be stuck in one’s ways 一干二净 = yi1 gan1 er4 jing4 = thoroughly, completely 3S体系的适宜范围 立竿见影 = li4 gan1 jian4 ying3 = erect a pole and see its shadow; to see instant results 舍本逐末 = she3 ben3 zhu2 mo4 = to neglect fundamentals and concentrate on details 拂去 = fu2 qu4 = to whisk away 曲折 = qu1 zhe2 = tortuous, winding 琐碎 = suo3 sui4 = trifling, trivial 简单明了 = jian2 dan1 ming2 liao3 = clear and simple 艺术体操 = yi4 shu4 ti3 cao1 = rhythmic gymnastics 广播体操 = guang3 bo1 ti3 cao1 = radio programs with physical exercises set to music 邪门 = xie2 men2 = strange or dishonest practices 方块字 = fang1 kuai4 zi4 = Chinese characters 有劲 = you3 jin4 = energetic; interesting 不如人意 = bu4 ru2 ren2 yi4 = unsatisfactory 启蒙 = qi3 meng2 = to enlighten via teaching 批改 = pi1 gai3 = to correct (homework) 教案 = jiao4 an4 = lesson plan 偏废 = pian1 fei4 = do one thing and neglect another
  22. 2 points
    One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Beijing is the very big red and white banners which appear to have propaganda/slogans on them. I can translate them literally, but I wonder if there's a proper way of expressing them in English which has the right tone and vocabulary to make them sound like the voice of the Party?
  23. 2 points
    Ladies in TV plays as charming agents (I) 影视剧里的美艳特工 之一:于曼丽 A legendary agent in The Disguiser (伪装者) with complex background https://www.bilibili.com/video/av5175971/?spm_id_from=333.788.videocard.0 People see how stunningly glamorous she is, not knowing what she has been through. What’s on her is shining, making you trapped in the way she looks fascinating. What’s behind her is a mystery, a disguiser trying to get rid of suffering. She’s silent, indifferent and unusual in the crowd. Staying in the same military camp, no one knows where she’s from. All they know is that she’s far from easy to get along with, or even get near to. She gives everyone a break in his arm when she is approached by someone in a way deemed offensive to her. She’s supposed to be trained to be a weapon killing without a blink, and she’s close to that end step by step, a cruel assassinator cold in blood, without sense of love, kindness or mercy but the proficiency in certain mission. She doesn’t need feelings to survive, just a task is enough. She was told not to let anything warm settle in her heart, or that will be the most aching barrier pulling her from staying excellent and professional as a qualified agent. She met him as her partner, an unwanted guy stepping right into her fence, bringing her back to a lady with innocent wish from a killer caring for nothing but endless assignments, together with a rhythm disordered and the experiences unexpected . She’s a condemned prisoner for killing three bandits without mercy. They picked her as a potential agent for the way she looks and the way she acts, pretty face with innocent eye contact, sexy figure disarming enemies of their defense, and a swift response supported by ruthlessness that’s going to pull the trigger before the prey knows it’s too late. She got killed by the way she loves a man. I have been cursing the stupid arrangement dragging her into a partnership for times. Idiot captain, if you do want to keep a knife sharp, keep it away from anything that’s possible to get it rotten or weakened. Stop asking why it is rusty when you put it in the water contained environment away from scabbard. No more unnecessary test, since woman can hardly stand the test of mission over true love.
  24. 2 points
    Best for beginners If you live in China, you have probably seen something similar to this in the last year or so. My snapshots are from this morning. What is this about? The photo on the left provides detail. The photo on the right provides context. (Click to make the photos larger, to make the small text legible.) What two words does Chinese turn into this "efficiency contraction," as shown in the bottom of the frame? -- 环保。When starting out learning the language in a practical way, beyond the textbook, these things can throw you for a loop because they often are not in the dictionary. (Click to see the answer.) And here's the give-away in pictures in case you are still wondering.
  25. 2 points
    He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better 沈冰山:27载习棋练琴,只为更好地作画 It was Sunday, trapped in house by the rainy morning, that I read the story about him. I was not knowing what to do then since the rain put an end to my plan going out for a walk and doing the recording along the way. I was thinking about doing the recording at home only to find that the goddamn cellphone was unavailable for clear record without blending some noise of electric current into my voice. What the hell is going on? What a big joke! 星期天的清晨,正被雨天困在家里,我读到了关于他的故事。当时我正无所事事,这雨一下,我外出散步顺带录音的计划泡了汤。好吧那就在家里录音得了,谁知道这该死的手机居然闹起来别扭,录音也不能好好录了,人声跟电流干扰声还混声了。这是在闹哪出?诸事不宜吗! We have planned to do a lot in the leisure future when we are busy, making a to do list and awaiting them to be finished when we have the time. But the things don't see any accomplishment when that time comes, since a lot of other things unexpected do come along with the time available. 在忙的时候,我们计划好要在将来闲暇的某个时段做很多事情,也列了相应的清单等待着那个空闲时间的到来。但当有时间了,我们却不见得能完成计划的事项,毕竟随之而来的可能是其他意想不到的状况。 Somebody may go around the obstacle and find another way to his goal set, while the others stand still wondering why, cursing damn, or moving to another direction when they see no possibility to go through the barrier. 困境当前,有人会绕过障碍,开拓出另一种路径去接近原定的目标,而其余的人只是站在那里,或问着为什么,或诅咒着什么,或因为看不到穿越屏障的可能而改变初衷。 The story I read about Mr Bingshan Shen is a well reflection of the somebody mentioned above. 读着沈冰山的故事,我看到了上述“某一种人”的真实写照。 What if what you do could always have something to do with what you are going to do next? It may be a perfect form of efficiency in life, because nothing you've ever done has been wasted. 如果你现在所做的每一件事都能与接下来所要做的产生联系,你的生活会是怎样?这将是人生的一种高效形式,因为你所做的一切都不曾白费。 Mr Shen enjoyed drawing when he was young, and that's his lifelong love of labor too. Sight means almost everything to a painter, but illness got him blind when he was right 26 years old. He had to quit drawing unless he could draw without seeing, which means he should draw with the guidance of memory, judging the position of next stroke based on the last one, and having his own rhythm in mind to move along. 沈先生热爱绘画,这是他年幼时的爱好,也是他一生所爱。视力对于一个画家而言何其重要,然而他26岁时因病失明。他不得不放弃作画,除非他可以在什么也看不见的情况下画,这意味着他要凭借记忆对他的指引去画,根据前一笔的落笔去规划下一笔的走向,并心存作画时可依据的节奏。 That's difficult for even normal people, let alone for someone disable. But one has no idea of what difference he is capable of making until fate gets him cornered. He put drawing aside, starting to learn to play chess and a kind of traditional Chinese music instrument named Yangqin. It took him 27 years. 这对于正常人而言,都显得困难,何况是他这个残障人士。但若命运没有将你逼到绝处,你还不知道自己还能剑走偏锋。他暂时把画画这事搁置在一旁,开始学习下象棋,学习弹扬琴这种中国传统乐器。这花了他27载光阴。 He led the way back to drawing when he had mastered both chess and Yangqin well, which brought him fame nationwide. He wouldn't rest on that glory, since he knew what he had learned these for. 当棋艺与琴艺都掌握了,并且在国内也名声渐长的时候,他让精力回归到作画上。他没有在荣耀之上长眠,因为他深知,学习琴棋是为了什么。 I was shocked when I saw how he connected drawing with the way he played chess and the Yangqin. Playing chess gave him a great improvement in memory, so he's good at visualizing the chessboard in mind, systemizing every move based on the lines crossing each other on it. He made it planning what to do next playing without watching the layout. 当领悟到他是如何把作画跟下棋和弹奏扬琴相联系时,我被震撼了。磨炼棋艺提升了他的记忆力,因此他善于让棋局在心头可视化,并有系统地根据其上纵横交错的线去设计接下来每一步棋的走位。于是他便可以不用看棋局也能自如地走子。 The layout's in his heart. And when this game saw its transformation on the paper and color, he could manage drawing well by memorizing what he had done and designing the coming steps based on what's formed in his mind, so blindness was no longer in the way. He took the paper his chessboard and every time he put a brush on it, it's like moving a piece of chess thereon. 布局就在他心里,当这个游戏延伸到纸面上,与颜色挂钩时,他便能凭借对之前步骤的记忆和心中所想,去画好接下来的每一笔,这样,双目失明不再是种障碍。他视纸箱为棋盘,每在上面添一笔,都像是挪动棋局之上的一枚棋。 His experience in Yangqin sharpened his sense in rhythm and alteration of details. Different pitches arranged in various rhythm make the melody. And he was specialized in making ever-changing melody possible without seeing. He saw drawing as the flow of music where colors and lines got changing to make what's in his mind vivid onto the paper. That's how playing the Yangqin helped him with his drawing. It's all about control of rhythm when you polish the details. 扬琴的弹奏经验锐化了他对节奏和细节变化的感知。不同的音高根据不一的节奏进行排列重组,形成了旋律。他擅长仅凭感觉去弹奏并展现这种多变的旋律。绘画对他而言只是一幅流动的音乐,色彩与线条跃然纸面,且变化多端,他心中的画卷也随之在纸上活灵活现。弹奏扬琴有助于他作画:一切关乎雕琢细节时对节奏的把控。 Barrier brings him patience, and he makes it a legend. 命中的阻滞给了他耐性,而他成全了这段传奇。
  26. 2 points
    We have just completed the first week of third year! I can't believe I am now half way through this degree, perhaps even over half way as 4th year finishes earlier than the previous 3 years. We have a new teacher for 综合 this year, and so far I think she might be the best teacher we've had. She has a great way of teaching, and explains things really well. In both 综合 and 口语 our teachers have said that the major focus this year is going to be 近义词。 This is because our vocabulary is growing, and as it does a common problem we will face is misusing words that have a similar translation in the dictionary, but can't be used in the same way in Chinese. A good example from this first week was 保存/储存,or 职业/行业。 Our other subjects are 中国历史,写作,修辞和阅读。I was really excited about history, and the book is great, but the class so far was uninspiring. It was all focused on getting through the material and prepping for what will be on the exam, so we covered right up until 秦始皇 in one class, which was way too fast. We also did some on 孔子,which ironically we have covered in more detail last year (twice). Our 写作书 is actually 高级 instead of 准高级,so it's quite challenging, but the first class was laughable. Unfortunately our teacher seems to think we are retarded, and so spent most of the lesson explaining what a sentence is, what a question is, how a question mark/comma works etc. She also calls us 'babies', which perhaps should offend me, but when a 36 year old woman refers to me, a 31 year old man, as a baby, it grinds my gears a bit! Anyway, hopefully this class will improve, and the material in the book looks great. 修辞 was fun, and I am also looking forward to this. We looked at 比喻句 which are pretty straight forward, being as we use them in English all the time. But it's interesting to see how Chinese metaphors differ from English ones! All in all this was a great first week, and I am excited for this semester! Other good news is that I got a scholarship which knocked my fees down 20%! My teacher said if I had done more with the university then I would have gotten a higher one, so maybe next year!
  27. 1 point
    Time to update this blog. I have been ridiculously busy with work coming back onboard. I have not stopped working on Chinese at all though. I was planning to post more "One minute speaking" recordings, but 1) I realized I was running through them 10 times to get a decent one without too many mistakes and I don't think that is best done unless someone checks the grammar first. 2) I thought it best to wait a while and see if there's any progress over a longer period before posting another. Now its been a few months, I may do another round soon. I've been doing a lot of speaking practice in class and out on the street, learning characters, reading. listening - I'm pretty happy with my progress the last 6 months. This last few weeks we've been working on an eating out chapter in my main textbook, so I've made a real point of ordering new(to me) dishes, getting them to modify my order, etc in order to practice what I'm learning. I travel a lot for work, so I ask my teacher what I should try here and there. It gives me a nice language practice mission each time. I am going to 武汉 for work next week and it's doubly exciting because my teacher lives there. I told her I'm coming and we've arranged to meet for a meal. We have been studying together on Skype for just over a year so it will be really interesting, if weird to talk in person! I'm a bit nervous, but I don't want to pass up the opportunity. She's a great teacher too so the least I can do is 请老师吃火锅!
  28. 1 point
    Li Ziqi(李子柒), a Chinese internet celebrity(网红,wǎng hóng) who cooks in village became the first Chinese-language creator with more than 10 million followers on YouTube. Subscribers(订阅者,dìng yuè zhě) watch(观看,guān kàn) her in the quiet countryside(农村,nóng cūn), farming, picking and finally, turn that freshness into delicious dishes. Ten years ago, CCTV’s food documentary “A Bite of China(《舌尖上的中国》)”, ushered in the “public age” of Chinese documentaries(纪录片,jì lù piàn) and spurred the creation of food documentaries(美食纪录片). According to incomplete(不完全的,bù wán quán de) statistics, after the popularity of “A Bite of China”, more than 100 food documentaries have been made in the past few years, which is a prosperous scene(繁荣景象,fán róng jǐng xiàng) never seen in the country’s food documentary industry. “There is no country in the world that has a food story like this.” Zhang Tongdao, director of the documentary center at Beijing Normal University, once told Nanfang Daily in an interview. But some of those documentaries fall into the stereotype(刻板印象,kè bǎn yìn xiàng), where the story was not told in a proper way. What kind of documentary can win audiences(观众,guān zhòng) over after “A Bite of China”? Just like Li Ziqi’s videos, which integrates farming(务农,wù nóng ), rural life(田园生活,tián yuán shēng huó), and gourmet dishes. It seems like those with high ratings on Douban(豆瓣), a Chinese rating website have gone out of their own style. Short videos(短视频,duǎn shì pín) are also more convenient(方便,fāng biàn) for the millions watching on smartphones(智能手机,zhì néng shǒu jī ). Micro-documentaries such as “Food for one person”, “World of Hot-pot”, “One-meter bento” and “The tale of cookie” have made their mark. Its fresh and pleasant rhythm(节奏,jié zòu) and loving eating atmosphere(氛围,fēn wéi) are popular among netizens(网友,wǎng yǒu), and the form of its short videos is more in line with the habit of “Internet generation” viewers to browse(浏览,liú lǎn) in fragments(片段,piàn duàn). Ten minutes long, the cooking and presentation process is just right to satisfy people’s curiosity(好奇心,hào qí xīn) and patience(耐心,nài xīn). Good looking and good taste are the basic requirements(基本要求,jī běn yāo qiú) for a successful food documentary. How to make a greasy kitchen, especially the kitchen table environment of many small stalls(小摊,xiǎo tān) become “clean” and delicious is a challenge(挑战,tiǎo zhàn) to the documentary on food. From rice noodles(米线,mǐ xiàn) to deep-fried dough sticks(油条,yóu tiáo), one dish at a time,one episode with one story. “Breakfast China(《早餐中国》),” a micro-documentary presenting breakfasts at small stalls across China, zooms in and focuses on the food detail in pots to solve this problem. “This is what real life is, not fancy, but tasty,” commented fans on Douban. You can view this essays at this website too: chinesegirl.me
  29. 1 point
    The project I am starting now (inspired by Imron's https://www.chinesethehardway.com/article/train-what-you-want-to-learn/ ) is to record myself speaking about a topic freely - no reading, no stopping/starting Audacity and no editing out mistakes. I may record several times to listen for mistakes i can catch myself and trying to improve on it, choosing the best of the lot to post. I will try first to speak for one minute and gradually increase it. My aim is to improve my fluency, speed, pronunciation, grammar and vocab speaking about a topic. That being, for me, the most difficult aspect of learning Chinese. I am going to post these on my blog to motivate me to keep doing this activity and maybe get some useful feedback as well. Although I realize listening to a Lower Intermediate level 老外 is not a joy - feel free to listen if you feel like it and give any kind of feedback if you like. Here goes, topic #1 慢跑 / Jogging 主题 慢跑.wav
  30. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. 10:30 on the subway Finally everyone gets a seat Gentle breeze Softly, softly, softly blows The (fairly chubby) girl sitting next to me Leaning heavily against me while sleeping I didn't push, I can't bear to push She looks very tired Slide down the seat, lean back I lazily stretch my legs The uncle across from me While snoring, widely opens his mouth Nearby auntie, rocking to and fro She sleeps soundly in her unsteadiness The girl next to me, gossiping with a friend about someone's Scandals I'm also tired This is the only place where I don't experience insomnia Sorrowful things, difficult things Here, I don't have the strength to think of them The city night, above my head Silently pass through its heart Even if it's riddled with problems Still it smiles elegantly and beautifully I'm already tired This is the only place where I don't experience insomnia Serious things, troublesome things Here, I can temporarily set them aside Wait until the stop, get out of the train The remainder of the trip is still pretty long Don’t think about it, whatever Let the breeze blow on my face 10:30 on the subway Finally everyone gets a seat Gentle breeze Softly, softly, softly blows The (fairly chubby) girl sitting next to me Leaning heavily against me while sleeping I didn't push, I can't bear to push She looks very tired clip.mp3 Answer
  31. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Jiajia, the next time we meet, give me a smile You see it’s been so long and yet no answer, just stop putting on a brave face Jiajia, let’s both concede to (your) father and mother I still have freedom, but they only have you Look Jiajia, you ought to have remembered my drunken words (I’ll) personally design a wedding dress of your very own OK Jiajia, don’t keep opening the wounds on your heart Hang in there a little longer, very soon it’ll be completely healed Look Jiajia, you ought to have remembered my drunken words (I’ll) personally design a wedding dress of your very own OK Jiajia, don’t keep opening the wounds on your heart Hang in there a little longer, very soon it’ll be completely healed Forget it Jiajia, stop taking my drunken calls I'll hang in there a little longer, very soon I'll have forgotten you clip.mp3 Answer
  32. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Wenzhou (city) in Zhejiang (province), Wenzhou in Zhejiang, Jiangnan leather factory went bankrupt Wenzhou’s biggest leather factory, Jiangnan leather factory went bankrupt Bastard, boss Huang He is a bastard, he leads a debauched life, leads a debauched life Owes a debt of 350 million, ran off with his wife's sister We don’t have, don’t have, don’t have any choice, use the wallets to make up for lost wages Wallets with original price of 100 plus, 200 plus, 300 plus, all are 20 bucks All are 20 bucks, 20 bucks, 20 bucks, all 20 bucks, 20 bucks, 20 bucks Huang He is a bastard, bastard, Huang He is a bastard, you are, you're a piece of crap Ah, huge clearance sale, ah, everything is 20 bucks Ah, huge clearance sale, ah, 20 bucks clip.mp3 Answer
  33. 1 point
    Ok, it's finally time for the next lesson in Volume 1 of PAVC! Lesson 2! Grammar Notes: This lesson goes over stative verbs and introduces the following sentence structures: 我很忙。 我不忙。 我不太忙。 我很忙,你也很忙。 你忙不忙? Which basically can be formulated as: Affirmative: N/PN + ADV + SV. Negative: N/PN + NEG + SV. -or- N/PN + NEG + ADV + SV. Question: N/PN + SV + NEG + SV? Vocabulary Notes: 不 is usually unstressed in the SV question sentence type. Hanzi Learned: 早,趙,小,姐,張,久,見,啊,很,謝,也,這,太,天,氣,熱,去,上,課,們,忙,再,冷 Exercises:
  34. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Watch Beijing opera, play on a swing, kick a stone by the side of the road Hallway door’s lantern, outdoor market’s soup noodles Newly-bought clothes, pocket money from lunar new year Small cloth shoes, flower print handkerchief Uncle that makes sugar people and celestial beings from the stories I put a handkerchief over my face, count to three You quickly hide behind the old tree Elder sister, l saw you once last year You’re laughing, laughing with others and start to talk about the past Alleys from childhood were long and short Without realizing it, twenty years have passed You said you remembered my pigtails from when I was six Laughing at my craziness, say that I should become a performer Now, faraway from home, when I come across a street performer girl Can’t keep myself from giving a few pennies more Small cloth shoes, flower print handkerchief Uncle that makes sugar people and celestial beings from the stories I put a handkerchief over my face, count to three You quickly hide behind the old tree Elder sister, l saw you once last year You’re laughing, laughing with others and start to talk about the past Alleys from childhood were long and short Without realizing it, twenty years have passed You said you remembered my pigtails from when I was six Laughing at my craziness, say that I should become a performer Now, faraway from home, when I come across a street performer girl Can’t keep myself from giving a few pennies more Elder sister, l saw you once last year You’re talking, talking with others and start flipping through a photo album Mottled smudges, bits and pieces How did twenty years pass without us realizing it? I’ve already cut off my pigtails Your looks have a bit more weariness to them Now, faraway from home, when I come across a girl who loves laughing Still can’t stop myself, your face pops into my mind Elder sister, I’ve also been fondly remembering Childhood fruits were so fragrant and sweet That year when you were married off, I suddenly grew up Every day hoping, when will I receive your letter? clip.mp3 Answer
  35. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Hi everyone, I'm Wang Qiang, guitar teacher Wang Qiang Let me tune everyone's strings Firstly, strum the E string, let me listen to see if it's in tune Uh, this is off, turn it 30 degrees to the left It's off, it's off, turn it 30 degrees to the right Still off, another 30 degrees Teacher, I've turned it as far as it'll go Oh, if it's all the way then it's alright Wang Qiang is a guitar teacher He's not a qualified guitar teacher First turn a string 30 degrees to the left Then turn it 30 degrees back to the right Wang Qiang is a guitar teacher A guitar teacher who'll lead students astray He has a priceless Acoustic guitar tuner Students, let me tell you When you study under me, you must buy my tuner My tuner is 3000 bucks Special insider price is 2000 to take it home Wang Qiang is a guitar teacher Still not up to par with Fenghua Arts Academy's instructor Liu Chuan Mr Liu Chuan teaches us how to use the pitch pipe Wang Qiang, all you know is 30 degrees (method) Wang Qiang's tuner costs 3000 bucks I really think it's a little too pricey Mr Wang Qiang, you shouldn't lead students astray Actually, you're just a fraud Is Wang Qiang really a guitar teacher? Actually he's just a big fraud Is Wang Qiang really a guitar teacher? Actually he's just a dumbass clip.mp3 Answer
  36. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. I was born in a small northern town, by the banks of the serene Chaobai River To commemorate her tranquility, my name is Peace Spring wavering between warm and cold, sparrow flies over open country White snow quietly melts, my name is Peace When I was 18, I departed from her gaze Came to a strange city, maybe I’ll never go back In a spring wavering between warm and cold, sparrow flies over open country Fly to a strange city, my name is Peace My name is Peace, in this strange world It turns out the world is vast and expansive, no way to see its edges People drift further and further apart, hearts become ice-cold and apathetic I found my beloved, now I’ll never go back I told her my name, my name is Peace My name is Peace, in this unpeaceful world Hope you find happiness in the city, find happiness Hope you find happiness in the city, find happiness clip.mp3 Answer
  37. 1 point
    举一反三 石,布,月,青,首,背,骨,朋,脑,能,脱,脂,胖 摹帖训练 数学教师:“……现在,我们可以得出结论,x等于零。” 学生:“唉!算了这老半天,都白费功夫了!” 作业
  38. 1 point
    vocabulary 捺 = na4 = right-falling character stroke 凌乱 = ling2 luan4 = disorderly 弧线 = hu2 xian4 = arc 收笔 = shou1 bi3 = to finish (a stroke of the pen) 撇 = pie3 = left-falling character stroke 沿用 = yan4 yong4 = to continue to use (an old method) 举一反三 大,天,太,犬,合,会,命,队,众,过,建,文 摹帖:伪币 跑堂的:“你给我的小费是一枚伪币。” 顾客:“是你找钱时给我的呀!” 跑堂的:“你明明知道我不想要它。干嘛偏要给我呢?” 作业
  39. 1 point
    举一反三 元,克,兄,光,先,也,电,风,充,现,视,欢,规 摹帖训练 一位肥胖的妇女对前来车站迎接她的朋友说,“售票员真糊涂,刚才还说车子挤满了,可我一下车,他就说车上还可以乘三位。” 作业
  40. 1 point
    https://clyp.it/kufimo2g Decided to record this little diary entry about tonight's dinner in 长沙. I'm sure I made plenty of grammar mistakes. 出差的日记.wav
  41. 1 point
    For the month of January, I am going to stop doing flashcards entirely. I am going to try following the advice thats often seen on this forum: practice whats hard for you (or something similar). I find it incredibly easy to repeat single words. However, full sentences keeping the correct tones, natural flow and the right grammar is another story. Even if just repeating them is a much harder task for me than single words. I think the reading and listening I do will act as natural spaced repetition for vocab anyway. My goal is(with the exception of naturally one word answers) no Chinese comes out of my mouth unless its a complete sentence.
  42. 1 point
    The last few days I've been moving up to some Intermediate ChinesePod lessons. The thing I love about them, compared to Elementary ones, is the Chinese host speaking completely in Chinese(at least the John Pasden and Fiona Tian episodes) while the native English speaker speaks English. This 50/50 banter is great listening practice and nice grammar and vocab reinforcement. I had been getting pretty tired of listening to Jenny, etc speak English to be honest, as its kind of a waste of time. Looks like theres over 700 of them in front of me, yeehaw!
  43. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Uncle Li wants to be a Red soldier Red Army doesn’t want that uncle Because Uncle Li’s butt is big Too easy for Japs to spot the target Uncle Li found the commander The commander is also an uncle (an old guy) Because uncle feels sorry for uncle Uncle honorably joined the army Uncle Li went on a mission Got halfway up the mountain Because Uncle Li’s butt is big He was spotted by the Japs Uncle Li patted his stomach and ran Japs came up stabbing For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself Rain falling on pear blossoms Tightly close the door Yan clay is spent Flowers falling into dust Hoping you are an honoroed guest that understands my kindness and intention And not a confused person who can't tell right from wrong I did not come seeking fame and glory I hope, Mister, that you don't let me down Uncle Li wants to be a Red soldier Red army doesn't want Uncle Li Because Uncle Li’s butt is big Too easy for Japs to spot the target Uncle Li found the commander The commander is also an old uncle Because old uncle sympathizes with old uncle Uncle Li honorably became a Red soldier Uncle Li went on a mission Climbed up a small hillside Because Uncle Li’s butt is big He was spotted by the Japs Uncle Li slapped his butt and ran Japs came up stabbing For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself clip.mp3 Answer
  44. 1 point
    给自己的情书 Love letter to myself Original by 王菲 Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang 请不要灰心 你也会有人妒忌 Please don't be upset You may be envied by someone else 你仰望到太高 贬低的只有自己 Don't look up above so high That you forget about yourself 别荡失太早 旅游有太多胜地 There are so many choices for journey Don't linger around everywhere And lose yourself 你记住你发肤 会与你庆祝钻禧 Just don't forget the color of hair and skin It will see you through your love and marriage 啦啦啦 慰藉自己 AH Comfort yourself 开心的东西要专心记起 Remember only the best And leave out all the rest 啦啦啦 爱护自己 是地上拾到的真理 AH Love yourself That's the truth of happiness Better than the rest 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company 请不要哀伤 我会当你是偶像 Please don't be in tears I will take you as my idol shining 你要别人怜爱 先安装一个药箱 Get a medical kit Before you have someone else's sympathy 做什么也好 别为着得到赞赏 Do whatever you like Not just for praise from others' lips 你要强壮到底 再去替对方设想 Be strong enough to stand against the world Before you show your pity 啦啦啦 慰藉自己 AH Comfort yourself 开心的东西要专心记起 Remember only the best And leave out all the rest 啦啦啦 爱护自己 是地上拾到的真理 AH Love yourself That's the truth of happiness Better than the rest 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 在夜阑尽处 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company 拋得开手里玩具 Not until you let go what's in your grip 先懂得好好进睡 Can you fall into sound sleep 深谷都攀过后 Not until I'm away from the valley 从泥泞寻到这不甘心相信的金句 Do I pick up from the muddy The truth I've been unwilling to believe in 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company Love letter to myself-enjune.mp3
  45. 1 point
    花样年华 The perfect time Original by 梁朝伟 Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang 渴望一个笑容 Longing for a pretty smile 期待一阵春风 And the spring breeze passing me by 你就刚刚好经过 You pass me by in the minute perfect right 突然眼神交错 All of a sudden your eyes meet mine 目光炽热闪烁 They're in fever Flicking like fire wild 狂乱越难掌握 Feelings go mad in my mind 我像是着了魔 I'm bewitched with you in my eye 你欣然承受 You take it perfect fine 别奢望闪躲 There's no more to hide 怕是谁的背影叫人难受 Your figure's in my mind It's hard to leave behind 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让我笑你无情 Let me tease your mask cold outside 连一场欲望都舍不得回避 You would rather keep desire burning Than suffocate it inside 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让这一刻暂停 Let everything stop at this perfect time 都怪这花样年华太刺激 We get no one to blame But what's in me you excite 渴望一个笑容 Longing for a pretty smile 期待一阵春风 And the spring breeze passing me by 你就刚刚好经过 You pass me by in the minute perfect right 突然眼神交错 All of a sudden your eyes meet mine 目光炽热闪烁 They're in fever Flicking like fire wild 狂乱越难掌握 Feelings go mad in my mind 我像是着了魔 I'm bewitched with you in my eye 你欣然承受 You take it perfect fine 别奢望闪躲 There's no more to hide 怕是谁的背影叫人难受 Your figure's in my mind It's hard to leave behind 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让我笑你无情 Let me tease your mask cold outside 连一场欲望都舍不得回避 You would rather keep desire burning Than suffocate it inside 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让这一刻暂停 Let everything stop at this perfect time 都怪这花样年华太美丽 We get no one to blame But the moment well beautified The perfect time-enjune.mp3
  46. 1 point
    John Lone: A lonely Chinese movie star famous in Hollywood He's known for his excellent acting proficiency in various roles, no matter it is the god father of the gang, the spy in disguise as an opera actress, or the last emperor of Qing dynasty. His oriental face was once getting in the way when he struggled to become a movie star in America, but it gave him the flame and glory when he reached the top in Hollywood. There is something deep down this Asian look that European actors hard to imitate or show. He hadn't lost everything unique in him, he polished his skill in American drama, spoke American English in a native way, and the western form he shaped for himself, hadn't changed the core in him. Deep down he deems himself Chinese. What's different in a person may make it hard for his way up, since he is so different from the popular criteria claiming what elites in this filed should look like. However, those loyal to what he originally was thrive and win. It was a lonely way for him to get to where he is now, but it is simply worth it. His time comes after it passes the turning point. There seems to be a lonely king living in his heart, making every rise and fall of his eyebrow elegantly lined with noble temperament. This is something rooted in his life, his life as an orphan at the early age, a poor child without childhood, and an apprentice in operatic circle bullied and teased by the peers. What's painful inside the body of a shell, may be bred into the pearls. What's doom and gloom in his early life finally become the shining medal for the rest of life. John Lone 尊龙 https://b23.tv/av69177103 Master work 1985 龙年 Year of the Dragon 1987 末代皇帝 The Last Emperor 1993 蝴蝶君 M. Butterfly
  47. 1 point
    7 facts about Cantonese 有关粤语的七个事实 Not everyone speaking Cantonese knows the facts about this language, more specifically, a dialect of Chinese. However, knowing them may smoothen your path of learning Cantonese. 1 Not every Cantonese could speak Cantonese We call people born in Guangdong province Cantonese. People in Chaozhou and Meizhou are Cantonese, but they both have their own mother tongue, Teochew and Hakka. 2 Cantonese is spoken not only in Guangdong province People in several parts of Guangxi province speak Cantonese, say Wuzhou and Yulin. Immigrants moving from south China to foreign countries speak Cantonese, especially those in New Zealand, Australia, American and Canada, etc. 3 Cantonese applies the same Chinese characters applied in Mandarin Frequently applied Chinese characters are with their Cantonese pronunciation, but some are not applied when we write in Cantonese while we may have some other wordings describing the same thing different from Mandarin. It will be hard to find the exact character in dictionary corresponding to the pronunciation, since the modern dictionary is edited according to Mandarin. Therefore, we may make the written form of Cantonese closer to the Mandarin style, applying the characters normally used in Mandarin with the same meaning let along getting the character 100% matchable with the Cantonese pronunciation written. It is quite normal when someone speaking Cantonese doesn't know how to write a certain character he has just spoken. Written language in Cantonese is highly consistent with that of Mandarin, which makes the title in TV program reading friendly nationwide, while leaving that part of characters alien from the perspective of Mandarin seldom applied and recalled even by people speaking Cantonese. 4 There is Pinyin for Cantonese too Pinyin in Cantonese is a romanization of of pronunciation. It is invented for foreigners or Chinese not natively speaking Cantonese. Actually, native Cantonese speakers have no idea of the tones and Pinyin of Cantonese, which is even hard for them to comprehend and master. Cantonese native speakers learn Cantonese via daily imitation and practice without the help of Pinyin. https://cantonese.ca/romanization.php 5 There are more than four tones in Cantonese There are six tones in Cantonese, which is marked as 1-6. If the Cantonese pronunciation of a character is ended with p, t or k, which sounds short, strong and stops in an abrupt way, it is taken as a special tone since it shares the same pitch of tone 1, 3 or 6. 6 Chinese mark the pronunciation of Cantonese with characters There is no such a thing as Pinyin in ancient China. Pronunciation of Chinese is marked by a combination of characters, with one familiar character sharing the same consonant with the alien character, and the other sharing the same vowel. 7 There are varies accents and styles of Cantonese Not people speaking Cantonese can understand the Cantonese they speak to each other. Cantonese spoken by people in Hong Kong may sound a little bit different to those spoken by people in Guangzhou. But anyway they could understand each other. However, it is not the same when it comes to the case where the difference is distinct, say, pronouncing the same thing in hugely different accents, or describing the same thing in different wordings. It is talking about the difference between Cantonese in Guangzhou and Cantonese in other Guangdong cities. The latter may develop toward a way close to Cantonese in Guangzhou style or Hong Kong style, given that Guangzhou is the capital in Guangdong province, and its accent is taken as something standard for people in any other area of Guangdong to follow, while Hong Kong media like TVB are widely known and they are having greater influence to people in mainland China. Video resources for Cantonese learners TV SERIES 七十二家房客 法证先锋 金枝玉孽 使徒行者 外来媳妇本地郎 NEWS 城事特搜 珠江新闻眼 CANTONESE SONGS BY THE SINGERS BELOW 陈慧娴 梅艳芳 徐小凤 叶倩文 Beyond 张学友 张国荣 陈百强 陈奕迅 TEACHING VIDEOS IN BILIBILI BY THE ACCOUNTS BELOW 粤语卜卜斋 笑谈广州话 粤语老师 粤知一二 粤讲越好玩
  48. 1 point
    喜欢你 I'm into you Original by Beyond Translated and presented by Enjune Zhang 细雨带风湿透黄昏的街道 Sun's setting Drizzle in wind drenches the street 抹去雨水双眼无故地仰望 Dry the rain away I look up insensibly 望向孤单的晚灯 I see the streetlight lonely 是那伤感的记忆 Reminding me of the sad memory 再次泛起心里无数的思念 Growing yearning for you keeps stirring in me 以往片刻欢笑仍挂在脸上 Right on my face laughter of the past stays still 愿你此刻可会知 I wish that now you would know 是我衷心的说声 This is the thing I'd like you to know 喜欢你 那双眼动人 I'm into you The eye contact from you 笑声更迷人 The attracting smile from you 愿再可 轻抚你 I wish to Have my hands on you 那可爱面容 Your pretty face I do 挽手说梦话 Wanna hold your hand telling you Everything I knew 像昨天 你共我 Just like yesterday You and me 满带理想的我曾经多冲动 With dreams ideal in me I was impulsive and crazy 屡怨与她相爱难有自由 I deemed her as the hindrance of my being free 愿你此刻可会知 I wish that now you would know 是我衷心的说声 This is the thing I'd like you to know 喜欢你 那双眼动人 I'm into you The eye contact from you 笑声更迷人 The attracting smile from you 愿再可 轻抚你 I wish to Have my hands on you 那可爱面容 Your pretty face I do 挽手说梦话 Wanna hold your hand telling you Everything I knew 像昨天 你共我 Just like yesterday You and me 每晚夜里自我独行 I wander alone every night 随处荡 多冰冷 Nowhere to rest It's cold inside 以往为了自我挣扎 I have been busy with the struggling of mine 从不知 她的痛苦 I fail to see the pain in her mind 喜欢你 那双眼动人 I'm into you The eye contact from you 笑声更迷人 The attracting smile from you 愿再可 轻抚你 I wish to Have my hands on you 那可爱面容 Your pretty face I do 挽手说梦话 Wanna hold your hand telling you Everything I knew 像昨天 你共我 Just like yesterday You and me I'm into you-Enjune.mp3
  49. 1 point
    FOUR REASONS WHY CHINESE 成语 PUZZLE YOU I have asked people learning Chinese as their foreign language what will be something puzzling them beside Pinyin, and 60% of them have idiom (成语) as answer. Backed up by story and historical quotation, idioms frequently come in the form of four characters combination, based on the meaning of ancient Chinese, or extended meaning and metaphorical meaning of Chinese. It is a hard-to-crack case even for Chinese native speaks, let alone to mention the challenge they present to foreign friends. I still remember the first material guiding me to Chinese idiom. It is not the dictionary but a picture book with cartoons vividly showing the background story of idiom. And that's probably the most frequently applied resource that open up a Chinese child's door to this special kind of wording culture-related. There will be many reasons why a certain idiom fails your comprehension, but most of them fall into the four mainly listed below. Elaboration is given based on 狼狈为奸 for example. 1. Not knowing the story behind it Almost right behind each idiom lies a story, and some of them sound like a fable(寓言), containing the truth you need to know the idiom better. 狼 and 狈 pass a sheepfold and the sheep are attractive to them but out of reach. The fence is high for both of them. An idea occurs to狈, and he asks狼 to stand onto his shoulders so that狼could lay his hands to the sheep. And they get their meal by carrying out this plan. 狼狈为奸gives a description of this situation in brief wording. Both characters 狼&狈 appear at the beginning of the idiom, while 为奸means doing something evilly bad. So you know why it is stated as" act in collusion with each other "in the dictionary. 2. No comprehension based on classical Chinese Idioms come from traditional Chinese culture, so ancient Chinese is involved beside modern Chinese. If you cannot figure it out based on the literal meaning applied nowadays, try the corresponding meaning in ancient Chinese. I bet you may wonder why 狼狈, describing an embarrassing and awkward situation, as it is shown in Pleco, would have something to do with 为奸. It may take you less time to see what 狼狈不堪 means, since the word狼狈here is consistent with what you are familiar with. That's it. 狼狈in 狼狈为奸means something different in ancient Chinese. 狼is wolf and 狈is a wolf-like animal. They refer to bad guys alike. Words in modern Chinese come in two-character form, so you may take为奸here as a unit instead of breaking it into two parts, 为and奸. Take a check in Pleco you may find the meanings are given respectively, which suggests that this is a combination of two parts, representing two separate meaning in ancient Chinese. 为=做=实施=do, 奸=奸邪之事=坏事=bad thing. The meaning could be around the corner if you take the words from the perspective of ancient Chinese, even if you don't know the story behind. 3. Things hardly existent in modern daily life Something involved in the idiom could be rarely seen in daily life, and something is not even existent. It makes idioms more strange to non native speakers. 狈is the animal in tale only, so you would hardly know that it refers to someone next to the wolf in this idiomatic story,not a clue that it will be an executor 故事中的执行者 and subject 主语/主角 of the story. 4. Extended meaning and metaphor contained Idioms act like a fable telling something more than the story itself. It involves meaning extended or implied. 狼狈为奸tells more than the story of how two evil animals snatch the sheep. 狼狈indicates the bad guys while stealing sheep could be extended to anything evil or illegal. Idioms are formed in detailed story but they are highly summerized and logically inducted, from the concrete to the abstract, from the particular case to the universal phenomena, available for analogy based on individual case arising from daily life. 成语是故事的高度概括与浓缩,归纳成一个道理,而我们对成语的运用则是基于日常个案的类比,借用成语形容类似的情况。The meaning implied or extended to fit in the summary universally applicable in daily circumstances makes idiom not straightforward enough to understand.
  50. 1 point
    Basic numbers in Chinese In Chinese, there are only TEN characters you need to learn before you can express basically every number including the extremely huge ones. These ten characters are: 零(líng) ----- zero ----- 0 一(yī) ----- one ----- 1 二(èr) ----- two ----- 2 三(sān) ----- three ----- 3 四(sì) ----- four ----- 4 五(wǔ) ----- five -----5 六(liù) ----- six ----- 6 七(qī) ----- seven ----- 7 八(bā) ----- eight ----- 8 九(jiǔ) ----- nine ----- 9 十(shí) ----- ten ----- 10 百(bǎi) ----- hundred ----- 100 千(qiān) ----- thousand ----- 1000 万(wàn) ----- ten thousand ----- 10000 亿(yì) ----- hundred million ----- 100000000 So you might be wondering: how do we Chinese express numbers between 10 and 100, 100 and 1000 and so on since the words don't conjugate? The answer is simple: by arithmetic rules, we just tie two characters together to form a compound word for those numbers. Number words in Chinese functions similarly as Roman numerals: given two consecutively placed characters for numbers, when a smaller number is tied after a bigger one, we add them together; when a smaller number is put before a bigger one, we multiply them together. By this rule, we can express any numbers using only nine characters through calculations! Let's look at some examples: -十七: literally translated as "ten seven", you could see the smaller number "seven" is placed after the bigger one "ten", so we add seven to ten and get — you're right, seventeen! -三十: now this one is "three ten", or "three tens" in a sense. Three, the smaller one, is before the bigger one, ten, so we take three times ten and this word means thirty! -六十一: this starts to be a little bit more complex. We firstly notice "six" is before "ten", so we multiply them to get a sixty. Then there's another "one" after it, so we add one to sixty. Thus this word represents sixty-one. (Tip: you may have already noticed by now that the order of operations to get a compound Chinese number word is exactly the same as the four arithmetic rule: multiply first before addition.) -二百五十三: this is getting even more complex. Adhering to the rule mentioned in the last example, we firstly multiply a hundred by two and ten by five, then add everything together. In short, this word can be figured out by 2×100+5×10+3=253, two hundred and fifty-three. -十二万六千: here may cause you some confusion as you'll find that with the rule above, you're gonna get 10+2×10000+6×1000=26010 which is incorrect. Now, in Chinese, 万 is like "thousand" in English, before which you can put a number more than nine. (What I mean by this is that it makes sense to say "eleven thousand" while not if you say "eleven hundred".) Therefore, any number before 万 that is within the range 1 to 9999 is considered as a entirety. So you need to multiply 万 with the whole number before it. In this case, it's 12×10000+6×1000=126000. The same rule goes for 亿. Notice: another difference in Chinese number words is we divide big numbers in 4-digit groups. This is why Chinese has a character for ten thousand (万) and a hundred million (亿). In contrary, we use compound words instead to express "million" "billion" etc.. (million is 百万, billion is 十亿) Now let's move to a slightly more advanced level. The use of "0" in Chinese Zero is an extremely important number, especially in Chinese, because there would be so many ambiguities in modern Chinese expressions of numbers if zero was not introduced. For instance, let's look at these three numbers: -一百五(yī bǎi wǔ) -一百五十(yī bǎi wǔ shí) -一百零五(yī bǎi líng wǔ) Applying the rules you've just learned in the previous session, you may get confused and wonder: aren't the first and last numbers the same? You take 100+5=105 and 100+0+5=105 but only find out later that in fact the first and second numbers are the same. Then you get even more confused because 100+5 obviously can't be equal to 100+5×10! However, here is the thing: when 十, 百, 千 are not included in the first 4-digit group in a number and the digits after them are only occupied by zero, we often omit them in spoken language. So numbers like 130, 1300, 13000 are also spoken as 一百三(十), 一千三(百) and 一万三(千). Hence in this example, 一百五 actually means 150! By this, we clearly see the fact that how huge a confusion will occur if zero is not used in modern Chinese. A zero helps indicate the "empty" digits in a number to avoid ambiguity. Here are rules of the use of zero: 1. if after a digit of a number, all the rest of the digits are zero, those zeros are not spoken. 2. if there's a zero in between two digits when the number is written in Arabic Numerals, the zero is spoken to indicate the "empty" digit. The pronunciation is "líng"(零). 3. Only one zero is pronounced no matter how many are there as long as they are in consecutive digits. Here are some examples: -10000: although there are 4 zeros in the number, since they are all at the end of the number, they're not pronounced. So this is 一万 instead of 一万零, just like in English we say "ten thousand" instead of "ten thousand zero" or that sort of weird things. -101: in this 3-digit number, the 1st and 3rd digits are occupied by 1 and a zero is in between. Since after zero there's still an occupied digit, it should be pronounced. So this is 一百零一. -10001: so here is what I mean by "zeros in consecutive digits". Firstly we can tell that zero should be pronounced as a 1 is after all the zeros. But despite there're three zeros next to each other, we don't say it thrice. Instead, we only pronounce one zero. So this is 一万零一. -10050: now try to combine those rules together. The two zeros between 1 and 5 are consecutive, so only one zero is pronounced. And the zero at the end is not pronounced as there's no more digit. In conclusion, this is supposed to be 一万零五十. -1010: the reason why I show a seemingly identical example as the last one is that there is a small little detail that needs to be noticed. Though we know that 10 is pronounced as 十, we don't say 一千十 here as it sounds rather awkward. To obtain a smoother flow and rhythm of the voice, this is pronounced as 一千零一十. Decimals in Chinese (decimals ----- 小数(xiǎo shù) ----- "tiny numbers") In English, there're several ways to pronounce a decimal. For example, for 3.15 we can say "three point one five" or "three fifteen"; for 0.08 we can say "zero point zero eight" or less formally "zero point O eight". However, in Chinese there is only one way to say a decimal. The decimal point is read as 点(diǎn) (but its name itself is 小数点 xiǎo shù diǎn). And everything after the decimal point you just read them one by one. As simple as that, right? Let's look at some examples: -1.15: 一点一五(yī diǎn yī wǔ). So although after the decimal point the thing seems to be fifteen you pronounce them individually. This is the same as the ordinary way to do it in English. -1.10030: 一点一零零三零(yī diǎn yī líng líng sān líng). One thing you should have noticed here is that the rules of zero's not applicable for decimal places. After the decimal point, no matter where the zero is and how many zeros there are, every individual numeral is required to be read out. Fractions in Chinese (fractions ----- 分数 ----- "divided numbers") Fractions might not be heard as frequently as decimals but are still quite commonly used. Same as decimals, whilst you may have two ways to say the fraction 2/3 in English as "two thirds" and "two over three", generally there's only one way to say it in Chinese for daily conversations.(if you want to discuss about mathematics we do have other ways but who will be so mathematical in casual conversations?) In Chinese, the numerator and the denominator are pronounced as integers as usual, the fraction line is read as 分之(fēn zhī) (again its name itself is 分数线 fēn shù xiàn). So, take 2/3 as an example. In Chinese you say it as 三分之二, which is a more logical way to express it as it literally means "take two in three parts". One difference between Chinese and English here is that in English you say the numerator first while in Chinese it's denominator first. The rationale behind is you must decide the total portions into which you divide something before you can ascertain how many portions you've taken. Examples: -5/8: 八分之五(bā fēn zhī wǔ) -1111/3333: 三千三百三十三分之一千一百一十一(no Pinyin for this one because it's gonna be crazily long). This example is to highlight that there's only one way to say a fraction even though it's such a long one. -8/5: 五分之八(wǔ fēn zhī bā). Even improper fractions also follow the same rule strictly. Percentages in Chinese (percentages ----- 百分数 ----- "numbers divided by 100") Percentage has the same difference in ways to pronounce between English and Chinese as fractions. In English we read a percentage by normal reading order, while in Chinese we read the percentage sign first followed by the figure. The percentage sign is read as 百分之(bǎi fēn zhī) (the name of the sign itself is called a 百分号 bǎi fēn hào). So following the rule mentioned, 10% is read as 百分之十(bǎi fēn zhī shí). Make sure you read the sign before the figure. Examples: -0.050%: 百分之零点零五零(bǎi fēn zhī líng diǎn líng wǔ líng). Those rules for decimals are applicable in percentages. -100%: 百分之一百(bǎi fēn zhī yī bǎi). This is something worth taking down a note. Actually in real life people rarely say 百分之一百. In fact, "一" is often omitted and sometimes even "之" as well. So you would frequently hear 百分之百 or 百分百. Notice: usually in a news report when percentage is used in a trend to express a rate of increase or decrease, despite saying "上升(下降)百分之三", a more formal and professional way is to say "上升(下降)三个百分点". If you ever watch Chinese news please don't get confused. The use of 几(jǐ) This is one of the simplest characters you can find in Chinese so there seems to be no reason to not remember it if you want to study Chinese... Now going back to the main topic, 几 basically means "several" or "a few". It's used to replace any integer between 1 and 10. When it comes to speaking, just add this character in at the digit that needs to be approximated. You can also use 几 alone (with a measure word if required) to express a single-digit number. Let's use some examples to make it clearer. -十几(shí jǐ): literally means "ten and a few". By saying so, you assume the number is an integer between 10 and 20. -几十(jǐ shí): when you swap the two characters in the last example, you amazingly get "several tens", which implies the number might be 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. till 90. The same usage is applicable before 百, 千, 万, 亿. -零点几(líng diǎn jǐ): when used for decimals, since everything after the decimal point is read as single-digit numbers individually, you can use 几 repeatedly to express "zero point something". An approximate number with two decimal places would be, for instance, 零点几几, and with three decimal places, 零点几几几 and so on. See the pattern? -有几个(yǒu jǐ gè): this literally means "have how many" and you can use it to construct a question to ask for quantities of something which are between 1 and 10. The use of 多(duō) After learning 几, you may have a question: now I know how to say an approximate figure between 1 and 10, but how about things like "dozens"? No worries, compared to 几, there's another word which can more generally replace any numbers. And that word is 多, which means "many". It functions like the English word "some", by which you'll never know what exactly is the number being referred to. The way to use it is to place it after a confirmed digit. And unlike 几, it cannot be used alone to represent a single-digit number, neither can it go in front the confirmed part of the number. It is used in decimals but much less commonly. Here're some examples: -一百多(yī bǎi duō): "a hundred and many". By this phrase you're referring to an uncertain quantity within the range 100-200. One thing to take note is that we never say 一百几 in this case, neither do we say 一万几, 一千几 in normal conversations. -二十多(èr shí duō): it is the same as saying 二十几. The only difference is the latter could be used for a question to ask for further confirmation of the number. -十多(shí duō): please take note that usually nobody will use this to represent a number itself alone. For a number from 10 to 20 itself, 十几 is the correct way to say it. But when combined with a measure word, such as 个(gè), both 十多个 and 十几个 are correct, only witn the former more frequently seen in formal and literary writing. -多少(duō shǎo): when you tie the antonym of 多, 少, with it, they form a pronoun used in a question to ask for any quantities. For instance, 多少人(duō shǎo rén) means "how many people" and 多少钱(duō shǎo qián) means "how much (is it)". 左右(zuǒ yòu) If there's a top 100 words list in Chinese, this will probably be included. 左 is left and 右 is right. So this word is literally telling you " left or right", which equals to "around/about" in English. Thus "around 500" in English would appear as "500左右" in Chinese. It's used to say a guessed number with slight difference expected from the actual one. To insert it in your sentence is easy: simply guess a random number, and add 左右 after it!
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