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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/17/2020 in all areas

  1. 19 points
    There are more and more Chinese language Youtube channels popping up, covering a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and they make for a great learning resource. Here are a few of mine. Feel free to add your own. General life in China Channels: One of my new favourites is 小叔TV . His content consists of walking around various localities in China, with a focus on the more forgotten, left behind type places. While it doesn't sound too exciting, I really like to watch now that I'm not living in China anymore. He offers some interesting insights into Chinese society and economy, and it's interesting to see these normally unseen locales. You really get to see what everyday life is like for many (maybe most) Chinese people. I discovered 当下频道DxChannel while researching an essay about 地摊经济 (the idea of jump starting the post lockdown economy by allowing people to set up little market stalls in the streets). In their video they tried to set up their own little stall in Shanghai to see how much they could make in a day. Most of their recent content is about young people trying to set up businesses, so I think it's quite an interesting insight into entrepreneurs trying to make it in China. IC实验室 is a channel about marketing, the economy and society in general. They have some great videos about Chinese internet culture and how that relates to marketing. The first video of theirs I watched was this great one about 奋斗逼 (people who work themselves into the ground, with no benefit to themselves or their colleagues). Their video about 添狗 was an interesting insight into dating in China. Gaming Channels: I got into gaming (particularly retro gaming) channels a few years back, and decided to find some Chinese channels about the topic to turn it into a learning opportunity. Gamker is a good one, creating professional long-form reviews of the latest games (they just released their Cyberpunk one), and 小宁子 is always a relaxing watch, with more chilled game reviews. 老孙聊游戏 is probably my favourite though. Although ostensibly a retro gaming channel, he actually ends up covering the changes in Chinese society from the 80s to early 00s, as he talks about how he met his wife, how he set up a gaming shop, the development of his city etc. TV/Movie Reviews and Retrospectives: I have been able to watch and understand TV shows and films with no problem for a couple of years now, but always struggled to explain the plot or content of what I had watched to my teacher. I mean, I could do it in a simple way, but just not as articulate as I would have liked, so I started watching these kind of channels to fix that. These two mostly just take the mickey out of really bad Chinese dramas, but also feature the odd really good show now and again (I've discovered some really good TV shows as a result): 哇哇哇妹 (I like their end of year "worst of" awards) 开心嘴炮 These movie channels only really review ones that they like, and it's a good way of finding good potential movies, both modern and classic: 看电影了没 大聪看电影 越哥说电影 News: For official Chinese government news I quite like新闻1+1 and 今日关注 (they normally focus on a single topic). When I need a break from the official party line, I check out these North American based news channels: stone记 公子沈 (a little bit too anti-CCP in an axe-grindy kind of way, but a good balance to official news channels) Misc: I used this channel to learn Chinese cooking while in lockdown in China: Chef Wang 美食作家王刚 李永乐老师 is fun education/lecture channel about economics. maths and science. He manages to get hundreds of thousands of views, despite the super low production values (basically just him in front of a blackboard), which is a testament to the quality of the teaching: 李永乐老师 True life crime channel: X调查 Mr and Mrs Gao is a good one for Chinese learners, as the uploads generally consist of a husband explaining various topics and weird stories from around the world to his wife. They range from black hole theory to the lives of famous people, so you get a wide range of vocab. They consistently get millions of views an upload, so are one of the most popular Chinese channels on youtube: Mr and Mrs Gao Profiles of famous Chinese people: Your Studio 有耳工作室 Everyday economics (ok, if you can get over the weird disguise the presenter always wears 😂 ) 人人都该懂的经济学 逻辑思维 stopped uploading their philosophy/history podcast around three years back, but their library of 200 uploads is worth watching, if you're into that sort of thing: 逻辑思维 Good channel about computer programming (by a Chinese coder living in the US): SchelleyYuki This is the channel of the Beijing MMA fighter who likes to expose fake martial artists by challenging them to real fights (expect lots of profanity and beef): 徐晓冬北京格斗狂人 This is a channel that does a good job of explaining current affair topics, accompanied by some nice illustrations. Good for Chinese learners given the breadth and relevance of the subjects covered: 点点动画 Finally, I probably should include Papi酱. She's one of the biggest 网红 in China (or at least she was), and although she seems to have moved on to 抖音 now (hence the 60 sec videos), her older videos are still worth watching for their satire of modern Chinese life: Papi酱
  2. 12 points
    After a pretty rough year, I don't even want to look at my language goals from 2020. On the one hand, after about four months of really solid studying starting of the year it all tapered off and I didn't really pick it back up until a month or two ago in large part due to switching jobs, dealing with COVID, and other personal things that happened. On the other hand, with all those experience now turned to memories I'm ready for a fresh start. At this point, my language ability has mostly stabilized in the advanced range. What I mean is that recall and fluency is very rarely a challenge at this point. However, I want to move from sounding fluent to sounding educated, which means starting to develop a more robust literary vocabulary as well as branching out into more specialized vocabulary. I feel like I'm back in the "collecting new words" phase after spending a lot of time digesting many years of learning, an advantage of some time off of studying while still living in China. So, my modest language goals for this year are: 1) Learn 3 new words per day and spend 20 mins studying/reviewing vocabulary. I assume I'll have some days that go beyond three and hope to hit 1000 by the year's end. In the interest of developing literary Chinese I'm getting these words from the collection of essays used for the 普通话水平测试 which has the added benefit of moving me toward a long term goal of passing that test with a high score. I want to reach the same score required of native speakers to be 语文 teachers. 2) Write one essay (>1000字) each month and go through two rounds of feedback and revision. This is a new one for me and will consider it on trial while I figure out how well it works into my life. I welcome feedback if anyone has set writing goals before. 3) Read the books I have on my shelf: 《红高粱家族》、《蒋勋说宋词》、《一只独立行的猪》、《白夜行》、《雅舍小品》. The last one is a challenge but I'm hoping that after building up my literary vocabulary in the 1st goal I'll be closer to comprehensible input when I return to it. I also have 《吾国与吾民》but have been told the original English version is much better than the translated version. However, it's also a classic so I might try to read both. I won't be using vocabulary from these from my 3 words per day and will instead just take what I get from passive learning.
  3. 9 points
    Its that time of year - share your aims and objectives for the coming year here! For me, I have two areas I really want to push myself forward into: 1) Reach 150WPM in shorthand speed. I halfheartedly began learning Pitman shorthand back in 2018; it got put on the back burner until lockdown this year, and now I've finished all the textbooks and workbooks available. Currently sitting at a mediocre 40-50WPM. I want to be able to note take speeches at speeds exceeding 150WPM by this time next year (roughly the normal speed of human speech). 2) Second goal is related to first. I want to complete translations of 100 news articles in Chinese by sight interpreting directly into shorthand. Thats around 1 article every 3 days, so this is a big goal that I'm committing to. As a result, thats it for me for targets for this year.
  4. 9 points
    Last year's goal reflection: One of my goals last year was to get my chinese 驾照, and boy did I just squeak that one in. As of Xmas eve of last year, I am now a licensed driver here in China! It took about 3 mo. of studying with 驾考宝典, 5 attempts, and plenty of times pestering my Chinese friends, but I did it in Chinese. I scored a 90, which means I just barely hit the 通过线. But boy, if I got a point for each time someone told me to just take it in English, I would've passed just on that alone. This year: Goal for this year is to finally get around to passing hsk 5 as well as signing up for a college course in Chinese (not a college chinese course). Not sure what the availability is like for night classes in Shanghai, so I can't commit yet. 加油 to everyone else 👍
  5. 9 points
    Interesting idea. Just wanted to note that my experience of HelloTalk is completely different from yours. Background: I live in the US and have been studying Chinese as a hobby for almost 4 years (4 year anniversary is January!) I went through a period of time this year where HelloTalk was a major part of my study routine. I wanted to try to have some form of speaking practice every day, so if I didn't have a class that day, I would find someone on HelloTalk to talk to. My process was the following: 1. Make a post on HelloTalk asking if anyone was available to have a call, because I wanted to practice my Chinese (the post is written in Chinese) 2. Get bombarded with 10s of requests within seconds, because the ratio of Chinese learners to Chinese Natives is heavily skewed. Be careful of time of day in China before making these posts - if you make one during the middle of the night, you obviously won't get responses. 3. Respond to the ones who sent Chinese messages with an audio clip of me speaking Chinese. 4. If people continue to ONLY respond in Chinese, then I would initiate a call. I did most of these calls while walking the dogs, and they were usually 20-30 min long. I almost never had an issue where people started speaking English. If I did, I just explained I was looking to practice Chinese right now and we can talk some other time, then found a new partner. Everyone should place value on their time. I think you are misunderstanding the reason most people use apps like HelloTalk. People who are "serious" learners are the small minority; the vast majority are either (1) lonely, (2) curious about "foreigners", or (3) both. Simply find people who don't care to actually learn English, and even if your call is only in Chinese, it is still mutually beneficial and enjoyable. I don't know your Chinese level, but another thing that may be happening is that your Chinese level isn't quite good enough to be able to hold a conversation completely in Chinese without frustrating the other party. This will cause them to try to help you, and the easiest way to help is frequently by using English. I personally have steered away from conversation practice with other Chinese learners because (1) I don't want their accents and grammar mistakes to imprint upon me, (2) I live in the US, so I find incremental value in hearing people with different accents so that I can understand people that speak something other than "standard" Mandarin, and (3) it is SO easy to find native speakers interested in having conversations in full Mandarin on HelloTalk that I haven't found the need. To drive this point home, I did the above process for several MONTHS 4x per week, almost always speaking with a new person. It never took more than a few minutes to find a suitable partner.
  6. 8 points
    This is relatively new as the Microsoft's Edge Chromium browser was only released to the public a few months ago, and I haven't seen it mentioned here yet. Microsoft's new Edge browser can read aloud Chinese pages and pdfs (open in the browser), and you also have impressive new AI voices, can tweak the speeds, can change voices and practice reading alongside listening. You can also use Read Aloud in Word but not sure whether the Online voices are there yet. This page explains all : Use Learning Tools in the Edge browser - Office Support (microsoft.com) Try it, have it read the newspaper for you! You can use this Edge browser in other OS: iOS, Linux, Android, you name it, but they don't have the read aloud capability yet. Besides 听力,I am finding it a good tool to improve my reading speed, it really helps. The AI voices may not be perfect but have improved beyond recognition, these Online Natural voices are top of the range. I can't remember the names but they include Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwan pronunciation (not Taiwanese). Enjoy!
  7. 8 points
    This year will be my 7th year of Chinese! How time flies 😄. Still have my eyes set on getting to a pretty decent (but far from perfect) level of Chinese by the 10 year mark. My biggest goal for 2021 is to improve my speaking skills. I've developed some fairly good daily study habits based on some posts by imron which I was fortunate enough to read pretty early on. One goal is essentially to just keep with it. 1) Have 150 hours worth of voice calls on HelloTalk. I've decided to keep a log of the hours. So far I've done 4 hours and a half and it's only been 5 days 😃. I probably did 100+ hours of this last year and it's worked wonders for my speaking ability. One nice consequence of this is that I've gotten much better at understanding accented mandarin. Having a voice call with a girl who grew up in the villages of Sichuan or a guy in Guangdong with a super non-standard accent does wonders for understanding accented mandarin in a way which watching TV shows really can't compete with. 2) Learn 4 new words per day in Anki. I'll bump it up to 5 if I end up my bumping down the number of characters I learn per day. 3) Go through 500 new characters in my Anki deck. That'll bring me up to 4000 characters in my deck. Right now I'm doing 3 characters a day but will tone it back to 1 or 2 characters per day if need be. 4) Watch at least one episode of some TV show a day. I tend to watch an hour or two of Chinese videos/shows each day. Maybe a better goal would be to do at least 30 minutes per day. I'm rather fond of 相声 so listening to half an hour of 相声 instead of a TV show would work just as well. I'd like to read more novels but honestly even if I were completely fluent in mandarin I still wouldn't read all that many novels so I consider it a secondary goal. I think it's better to practice what I intend to use the language for. Having said that, I'll still make some effort to read.
  8. 8 points
    Its that time of year once again, checking in to update on my 2020 progress. Its been a very strange year for all of us, and particularly so considering I'm back in the uk preparing for some new mutated COVID-20 uk lockdown nearly a year after getting trapped in Hubei with the mystery Wuhan virus. Bizarre... Anyway, onto how I did this year. 1) I managed to learn around 50 Tang poems off by heart, and it has really blown me away just how useful this has become for understanding wordplay and feeling in everyday Chinese, but especially so when watching TV dramas, where they get referenced all the time, and you wouldnt know otherwise. They sit there like little in jokes for those who know, and I strongly recommend learning some of the most common poems to all advanced learners who have yet to do so. 2) I still type in Cangjie, and to my surprise actually find it more of a mindfuck typing according to pinyin nowadays, it just feels like everything is mapped wrongly. That being said, I still frequently forget how some character is written and have to check a dictionary before I can continue. I have typed very little in Chinese in the last few months, so this is definitely a consequence of not having everyday practice to reinforce this skill. Still, very very happy to have managed to make the jump here, both on desktop and mobile. As for 2021, I believe the thread hasnt been made yet, so I'll go and do that later unless someone else wants to take the lead?
  9. 8 points
    @mungouk -- About seasoning your new wok, even though you probably already know these basics, please let me review them here all in one place. (These are specific to your wok, a cast iron wok 铸铁炒锅。) 1. Scrub the wok out with dish detergent and warm water. This is mainly to remove the surface protectant coating which the manufacturer applies to keep the wok from rusting while it is in a warehouse or on the shelf of a retail store. A dish rag or plastic dish scrubbing pad will usually do the trick, but if not, it's OK to resort to harsher measures. In China one can easily buy stainless steel wire scrubbing balls in all grocery stores and supermarkets for very little money. They make quick work of the process. They are called by several brand names, but asking a clerk for 厨房用清洁炒锅铁丝求 will get what you need. (Dishwashing detergent is called 清洁剂 and 白猫 is a popular brand.) 2. Rinse the wok several times to get rid of all the detergent you have used. Heat it on your burner or flame at a medium-high setting for a couple minutes until it is completely dry. Pour in a little bit (one or two teaspoons) of high-smoke-point cooking oil. Canola oil 玉米油 or rapeseed oil 菜籽油 are suitable and readily available. (Olive oil 橄榄油 is not a good choice.) Rub it around. I do this by grasping a wadded-up paper towel with chopsticks. You want to thinly coat the entire surface, but you don't want a pool of oil in the bottom of the pan. Let it continue to cook on medium-high for 15 or 20 minutes, rubbing it with a little fresh oil when it begins to look dry. It will smoke during this process. At the very end of the process, with the pan still hot, I rub the outside well with an oily paper towel. I don't obcess over truly curing the exterior surfaces. 3. If you have time, let the wok cool down, rinse with soapy water as above, dry it and season it again. Even twice more makes sense. If not, that's OK. Once will get the job done pretty well. The idea behind this seasoning process is that the steel of the wok is microscopically porus and the clean hot oil is allowed to bond with it and produce a smooth, non-stick surface. The high temperature allows this oil to polymerize and behave somewhat like a plastic. Since you are using an induction hob instad of a flame, take special care to get the wok thoroughly hot. If it is not hot enough, the surface will wind up being sticky. 4. Serious Chinese home cooks carry it one step further. I am not personally convinced it is actually worth the trouble, though I do follow the dogma out of a religious hope that it is slightly beneficial. This step involves seasoning the wok with a neutral vegetable in addition to oil. Jiuci 韭菜 is the one usually recommended; it is sold year around in fist-sized bunches for 5 or 6 Yuan. Heat the wok to medium high, add oil as before, but this time put in enough jiucai to loosely cover the bottom of the pan. Let it cook until it starts to blacken and char, then grab it with your chopsticks and rub it all around the inside of the pan, being careful to include the sides (not only the bottom.) I do that several times, with several batches of jiucai. (The jiucai is ruined by this; throw it away.) Spring onions 小葱 can be used for this, but they cost more than jiucai. 5. When I use the wok for cooking, I clean it mainly with warm water and a scrub brush. If something has stuck to the pan, I let it soak with hot water for half an hour or so, then scrub it again. I don't use detergent. Rarely I will use the metal scouring ball. Mechanical cleaning is preferable to chemical cleaning since it is less likely to remove the deeply-bonded food oils. (You want those to remain because they make the pan slicker and shinier over time.) 6. When I have washed the wok and rinsed it well, I set it over low flame for half a minute or so and wipe it out with a paper towel. This insures that it is thoroughly dry. Put a small splash of cooking oil on a wadded-up paper towel and rub it all over while it is hot. When it cools, wipe it with a dry rag or paper towel to remove excess visible oil and put it away. I keep my wok in a disposable recycled rag-fabric bag from the supermarket. This allows me to "nest" another smaller pan in it without scratching. (A plastic bag is not a good idea because it traps atmospheric moisture and encourages rust; the bag needs to "breathe.") 7. Once every six or eight months I give it a "mini re-seasoning" just to maintain it at its prime. The only other care precaution that comes to mind is that I don't store food in it overnight since that can degrade the cured surface of the metal and might also make the food taste funny. My wok keeps getting better and better. It's a pleasure to use. I can usually heat it to medium, wipe it with a tiny amount of oil on a paper towel, crack one or two fresh eggs into it sunny-side-up and move them around just by gently shaking the pan. (That's only when I'm showing off or testing the pan; typically I do use oil when frying.)
  10. 8 points
    1) This year I added and learnt 1,300 word flashcards (probably learnt a few hundred additional words outside of flashcards). 2) Learnt 300 new characters, for a total of 3500. 3) Probably read 500k to a million characters via novels. Not as much as I hoped but I still feel like my reading skills improved a fair bit, maybe from watching so many TV shows. 4) Watched loads of TV shows (watched something everyday). Diversified what I watched to include lots of new genres like 推理剧,盗墓剧,古装剧 etc. 5) Finally, the most important thing I did for my Chinese this year was spend a tonne of time calling people on HelloTalk and WeChat. I must've spent 100+ hours, not sure exactly how much. I always felt like my speaking skills lagged so far behind my other skills. Now that my speaking skills have improved significantly, it no longer feels like speaking is holding me back significantly. Still a long way to go but I'm much more confident talking to people now. Feels good man.
  11. 7 points
    2020 has been the year I finally got back into the Chinese. It's also the year I regularly visited this site again on a daily basis and it's been an inspiration. I ended up enrolling in a distance learning 300 level paper at Massey University; https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/programme-course/course.cfm?course_code=241305&course_offering_id=1267498 I ended up with a B+ and was less than 1% away from an A-. If I'm being honest I didn't deserve an A- but it's nevertheless been good to get the whole process going again. COVID hasn't been too bad for us over here but it's certainly given me the perspective change I needed and the Chinese study this year has been so enjoyable. Fancy taking another paper next year in Chinese Diaspora but that's a paper totally in English and will be just out of interest. In the meantime, I'll make a better attempt at posting on the recently formed 2021 thread which will hopefully keep me on task and enable me to plan more of a structured approach. I really need to work on my spoken and listening Chinese. I did buy some of the books suggested in the book reading threads and intended to get involved but they were simply just above my level for it to be a worthwhile project. Nevertheless, they will be useful in the future. Finally a big shout out to all who post regularly on here. I now visit every day and find it so inspirational. A particular mention for @mungouk whose posts are a treasure trove of useful stuff.
  12. 7 points
    My project for the year will be learning 繁体字 so for my year goals: study 简化总表 (list of character simplifications) add 繁体字 to all Anki cards, existing and new read 1-2 textbooks in 繁体字 start consuming some news written in 繁体字 Goals for every month: read 1/2 book write one article by hand and correct it together with a teacher Every week: watch some TV show episode(s) or/and some movie(s) listen to at least 1,5 hours of podcast (故事FM while cooking is a good combo for me) 1-2 Italki classes, but less free talking than this year, more concentrated study one session of 50/50 German/Chinese with my girlfriend, with focus on more complex topics than the everyday 家常 Every day: Anki review + at least 5 new words write entry in dream journal Basically keep up the pace of 2020, with more focus on writing and learning 繁体字. I'm wrapping up my studies in the beginning of the year and then gotta find a job, so maybe my planning for Chinese is a bit much, we'll see 😀
  13. 7 points
    Since many people read this section, I'll note. These vaccines were >90% effective in preventing severe disease, not preventing the virus. While it might be hard to conceive how a vaccine protects you from disease, but doesn't stop you from transmitting it; this is how the injected inactivated polio vaccine works. It protects you from getting sick, but you can still be infected by and transmit the virus. The oral live polio vaccine stops transmission, but it also presents a very low risk of causing polio, so most countries have moved to the inactivated ones. However, countries like Israel now use both, first the inactivated to protect people and then the live one to stop transmission. As to whether Pfizer's, Moderna's, or AstraZeneca's vaccines stop transmission, time will tell. Pfizer's & Moderna's are the 1st ever clinically approved mRNA vaccines.... As others have noted, we don't know yet.... Both the Pfizer & Moderna FDA discussions are available to watch via youtube and other platforms. They are full day meetings. It is quite impressive the lengths FDA goes to get expert and public input on safety & efficacy. Both meetings also had significant discussions on ethics. Neither meeting discusses disease transmission by those vaccinated because this wasn't studied as part of the safety & efficacy trials. Another unknown is whether getting a vaccine will cause you to test positive for Covid (because you'll have the antibodies....)
  14. 7 points
    Beijing Helicopter Chases Part II: The Chinese Dragon Family.
  15. 6 points
    So, if you're like me, you avoid birthday cakes like the plague. Flavorless sponge cake, bland icing, and random fruit slices. All cakes are like this. I do not believe I've ever seen any cake of any kind that is not a sponge cake. The hardest part is the social aspect: it's someone's birthday and if you don't take a slice of cake, you're a dick. I've gotten in the habit of visiting the bathroom during cake cutting. My birthday was recently, and I had a baker foreigner friend make a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing. Everyone loved it, Chinese as well. And yet one cannot be had for love or money. If I didn't have a friend who was a baker, I wouldn't have been able to get one, either. Yet Chinese people liked it a lot, and I'm sure if they went on sale people would buy them. My new hobby is watching Douyin videos. No matter how many times I fail to press like, it keeps showing me cooking and baking videos. Every single time there's a baking video, the cook is always making a sponge cake. Rarely the cook will crush some dry chocolate cookies into the mix to make a brown sponge cake. I've had these, and you think you're in for a chocolatey treat, but the taste is just as flat and disappointing as ever. Why are sponge cakes so popular that they crowd out any other kind of cake? I've never even seen one for sale.
  16. 6 points
    In 2020, I listened to well over 4000 Chinese songs. I took 50 of my favorites and compiled this playlist. The total duration is roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes. The majority of the songs are sung in Mandarin, but some are sung in topolects such as Hakka or Cantonese. A handful of songs are in a non-Chinese language spoken in mainland China or Taiwan. Note that this is a list of songs I discovered in 2020--some songs are older, and others are new covers of old songs. Link to YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPU-SZNWWh0&list=PLKPg6d3PEwV1GrVZ9X0hW94ePqEtxJDBZ&index=1 昆仑山牧人 ✪ Haya乐团xYamy郭颖 ♫ 摇滚+说唱 Rock+Rap 望 Mong ✪ 邱淑蝉 Chiu shu-chan ♫ 民谣 Folk 妹妹你大胆地往前走 ✪ 大波浪乐队 & 福禄寿FloruitShow ♫ 电子 Electronica 碎吧睡吧 ✪ 许净淳 ♫ 民谣 Folk 流光似水 ✪ 梦离子 ᴍ∞ɴʀɪᴢᴇ ♫ 电子 Electronica 光明的道路 Na Demelja Lja Jalan/ Bright Path ✪ 巴赖(Balai) ♫ 世界音乐 World 扯谎哥 ✪ 阿朵 ♫ 世界音乐 World 即时通 ✪ 就已 Joey Huang ♫ 说唱 Rap 胜利就在前方了 ✪ K.A咔咔 ♫ 说唱 Rap 吃土的表演工作者 ✪ 寻人启事The Wanted ♫ 阿卡贝拉 Acapella 22kMagic ✪ 许时ShiShr ♫ 说唱 Rap 玉珍 ✪ 福禄寿FloruitShow ♫ 民谣 Folk 洋楼芳梦 ✪ 胭脂虎 Rouge Tiger ♫ 摇滚 Rock 草莓蛋糕 ✪ Anie Fann 范安婷 ♫ 民谣 Folk 恋爱的麻烦 ✪ 花季男女生队 ♫ 说唱 Rap 远方 ✪ 四枝笔 Four Pens ♫ 民谣 Folk 人间普通指南 ✪ 午夜蠕动子队 ♫ 说唱 Rap 吐露空空 ✪ Wishbao ♫ 民谣 Folk 屋顶着火 ✪ 康姆士乐团 ♫ 摇滚 Rock 消失 ✪ 傅欣瑶 ♫ 流行 Pop 天光 Twilight ✪ 黄宇寒Han ♫ 流行 Pop 你还有个我 ✪ 王启 ♫ 流行 Pop 香味 ✪ RECall ♫ 流行 Pop Go psycho ✪ 孙瑄阳 ♫ 说唱 Rap 柔黄 ROYAL YELLOW ✪ 邱比 CHOVBE ♫ 电子 Electronica Qui Con Me 你的色彩 ✪ 声入人心男团 ♫ Europop 模拟人生 ✪ AR 刘夫阳 ♫ 说唱 Rap 夜坐绳桥 Tightrope Walker ✪ 眠脑 Sleeping Brain ♫ 摇滚 Rock Hey Kong ✪ 刘聪 KEY.L ♫ 说唱 Rap disco的快乐 ✪ 泰蜜Tammy ♫ 电子 Electronica 如果没有你2020 ✪ 将个烂就队 ♫ 说唱 Rap 盗梦骑手 ✪ 星号69 ♫ 电子 Electronica 小娟 (化名) ✪ 谭维维 ♫ 流行 Pop 说说 ✪ KUNG 龚敬文 ♫ R&B Mirror ✪ 阿达娃 ♫ R&B My Way ✪ 张碧晨 ♫ 流行 Pop 小房间 Hideaway ✪ Vivien Loh卢苑仪 ♫ 流行 Pop 三行情书 ✪ 曹旭组合 ♫ 摇滚 Rock 梦·川 ✪ 婆罗洲之子 ♫ Post rock 后摇滚 不值得 ✪ 郑伟杰组 ♫ R&B 玻璃屋 Aquariam ✪ JADE ♫ 摇滚 Rock 甲午战争|War ✪ 厌世少年 ♫ 朋克 Punk 来自外公的一封信 ✪ 彩虹合唱团 ♫ 流行 Pop 你是不是在生气 ft. SJIN & 张伍 ✪ G5SH ♫ 说唱 Rap Peace & Love ✪ Lcz小强 ♫ 雷鬼 Reggae 执着 ✪ 倪琰宸组 ♫ 摇滚 Rock 点点点 ✪ Sam ♫ 民谣 Folk 银行关门后 When The Bank Closes ✪ 88balaz ♫ 摇滚 Rock 留一盏灯给漫漫长夜 ✪ SoulFa 灵魂沙发 ♫ 流行 Pop 顽家 ✪ Jony J ♫ 说唱 Rap
  17. 6 points
    @abcdefg If you're not writing your Chinese cookbook, have you thought of writing a book about how you came to know Chinese food and learn to like it? It's always so interesting to read.
  18. 6 points
    Hello everybody, I have been reading in this forum for some months, and I think this thread is a good occasion for a first posting. I have studied Japanese about 30 years ago (and forgotten most of it), and when Corona came I was searching for some online MOOC to brush it up. But since I could not find good Japanese MOOCS but lots of Chinese ones I decided to start something new. So far I have finished "Chinese for Beginners" at coursera.org which was Pinyin-only; then "Chinese for HSK1", and now I am in week 4 of "Chinese for HSK2". My plans for 2021: Practise with Anki 30 minutes every day. Finish the last three weeks of "Chinese for HSK2" until March (yes, I need more than one real-life-week to complete a week of the course). After that I plan to reward myself with a good Chinese grammar book and recap all the grammar points I have met so far. And then I am not sure if I should go on with Coursera's "Chinese for HSK3" or buy some chinese readers. My long-term-goal is to pass the HSK3 certification by the end of 2021 or in 2022 (skipping HSK1 and HSK2 certs). But first things first. Half an hour of Anki every day. This forum is really great and I got lots of information and motivation already.
  19. 6 points
    Not YouTube, but if you like podcasts, check out soundon. They have podcasts on a broad range of topics. I quite like 那些你不敢跟老闆說的事
  20. 6 points
    Like many on this forum, I did a fair amount of Chinese reading in 2020. Below, I list some of my favorite reading materials from this past year. What are yours? Everything listed here is a webtoon, since I hardly read anything else in Chinese this past year 😥 俺哥来自深山 - A supernatural gag strip about a high school girl who reunites with her long-lost brother after he spent the past 10 years studying with a Taoist priest. No other comic, Chinese or otherwise, made me laugh more in 2020. 未来的古董店 - Extremely atmospheric and meticulously drawn horror manhua about a family's multigenerational struggle against a supreme evil. 3cm猎手 - A great science fiction thriller about people who get sucked into a brutal game of survival where each contestant is granted one superpower. 步天歌 - Fantasy wuxia about a brother and sister who are separated at birth but can use the telepathic link between them to help each other survive a cruel world filled with demons and immortals. Not new, but this series finally opened up its world in 2020. The 古文-ish dialogue is quite challenging, but not totally impenetrable, so it might be a good gateway for those interested in classical Chinese. 面王 - A wuxia manhua about a boy who dreams of becoming the King of Noodles and using his culinary powers to heal people. Besides the typical kung fu action, there's a heavy focus on food and traditional Chinese medicine. The only webtoon that I paid to read this year that was actually worth the money. A shame that it didn't receive a proper ending. Note that you can read the majority of it for free inside the 快看 app. 魅惑 - A lushly illustrated vampire tale about the owner of a hotel and the painter hired to create her Dorian Gray-like portraits. Also available in traditional. 时间回归 - A short but sweet manhua about a man with the power to travel back in time. 绝顶 - A wuxia gag strip about the everyday struggles of the Jianghu life. In 2020, this manhua's supposedly epic main story got sidelined in every possible way, from taking a break to eat lobster hotpot to exploring the insular world of wuxia prisons, blithely making the case that it's the journey that matters, not the destination. Looking forward at 2021, I hope to return to reading more print manhua. Although there are some awesome Chinese webtoons out there, it takes too much effort to find the good ones. I think it would be a better use of my limited time to look up classic manga and read their Chinese translations.
  21. 6 points
    I've been there. I was in Hong Kong, though. I was awarded a scholarship targeted at international students to study in a Chinese department from 2010-2012, after two years of Chinese study at the college level. As a naive 23 year old, even though it was in Hong Kong I thought it would be like 2 years of Chinese bootcamp where I would have an abundance of Chinese classes as well as language and culture classes. When I got there, I found something much different, and that something was "not much at all". HK grad students are like UK grad students - coursework takes a back seat to doing a thesis. Upon recognizing that I had studied Integrated Chinese up through Book 3, with very little practical speaking or listening experience outside of that. So, I had a foundational level of Chinese, but my Chinese was far from good. Graciously, the Chinese department worked with me so that I could use English to do my thesis and gave me other TA and translation/editing duties for international conferences, etc., instead of what normal grad students did (such as Teaching Assistants). Still, I wanted more, and felt like I wasn't getting wait I... uh... didn't have to pay for... but thought I would get. I audited several classes which were taught in Mandarin, but sat through them mostly clueless and hoping that the teacher would never call on me. Meanwhile I had a tutor, and several language partners. My Chinese improved a lot, but not really because of the class/coursework, and this was partly because the department seemed more interested in my English abilities. Even though they had a scholarship to attract international students, there didn't seem to be much of a plan around what to do with us when we arrived. I would say my Chinese improved like 10% due to my coursework and classes, and 90% due to friends I made outside class. In the end, doing a Master's in Chinese in Hong Kong didn't have much value in and off itself - I prepared myself, I suppose, for doing academic research at a higher level, if I wanted to. I had a great life experience, didn't have to pay much for it, got to do something like language immersion for a few years, and came out with a degree that is not really practical for me. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but if I could think about it a bit longer, maybe I'd have found a way to do it that would have dovetailed more easily into a professional that actually exists.
  22. 5 points
    A lot of what makes Chinese food interesting and different from the "old standards" in the west is an appreciation for a wide range of textures. From chewy items like beef tendon and chicken cartiledge to an assortment of very soft "custard like" dishes (silken tofu 嫩豆腐)。And the pig ears and pig noses and pig tails referred to above. It took me time to widen my horizons. Other texture features were slow to become something I tolerated, let alone craved. Authentic minority cuisines of Yunnan, which are easy to find in Kunming, often serve wild vegetables 野菜。Quite a few of these have soft, tender leaves, but the stems have small thorns. They are not stiff and sharp enough to cause injury, but they do kind of surprise your mouth. Didn't like them at first; now I look forward to them. The chefs call those plants "playful." As to flavor, it seems that Chinese food (Japanese and Korean too) give umami a higher status than most western cuisines. Sweet, sour, salty and bitter often take a back seat to umami. Appreciating lufu/furu (卤腐 or 腐乳) took some time, as did stinky tofu 臭豆腐。 Same with certain wild mushrooms; at first they were not very interesting. Gradually I became able to appreciate their subtle appeal. Sometimes there was an "aha moment" when a skilled chef prepared them in such a way that showcased their glory. Will never forget staying in a guesthouse in the high northwest Tibetan mountains of Yunnan and eating plain 松茸菌, freshly picked from a pine forest on a nearby mountain and pan fried in butter. A little salt on top was the only adornment. (Matsutake.) Like some other members have said above, embracing bitter tastes was not immediate. Bitter greens 苦菜 became delicious more quickly than bitter melon 苦瓜 probably because their bitterness was less intense. Getting used to the various hot chilis of Yunnan and Sichuan was a gradual process. Took a while to learn that it was not just all about the "fire" but also about their subtly sweet flavor. A Sichuan whole fish pan fried with three or four kinds of chilis working together in concert, none of them overpowering the delicate taste of the fish. Green onions 小葱 and cilantro 香菜 plus slivers of lime on top. Dishes which played with and balanced sweet and sour were pretty easy to like at first when the balance favored the sweet end of the spectrum as in 糖醋排骨 sweet and sour pork ribs. But when the sour predominated as in quite a few Dai dishes (a prominent minority in parts of Yunnan) then it took time to become fond of them. Sour as a taste paired with hot (spicy hot) was surprising at first, even though likeable. 酸辣汤 was an easy start because it was not too radical. But more advanced plays on that combo required acclimatization. It took me a while to get over western notions of "courses" in a meal or at least a usual sequence of dishes. Sweet things with fruit could come out right along with the vegetables and meat. It wasn't a mistake. The chef was dancing to a different drummer. Little bones took some accomodation. Chicken and other small birds were just chopped into pieces with a cleaver instead of the meat being cut away from the bone. I learned that this was to capture the flavor of the bones and make the dish more full of flavor. But at first I wasn't used to spitting out so many fragments. The turning point was in Zhuhai one year when I came to enjoy steamed rice cooked together with small pieces of pigeon. The setting was summer and we were sitting outside, steadily spitting fragments onto the table top or the ground. Big bones too. I realize that pig feet/trotters 猪蹄 are not exclusively Chinese. A family of friends in Kunming would always invite me for a pig foot stew because they viewed it as a special treat. It was cooked in a pot of onions and greens. There was precious little real muscle meat: mostly skin, fat, cartilege, tendon and bone. Not something you could take apart elegantly with knife and fork. Had to bite, chew, swallow some, spit out the rest. One of my favorite beef noodle joints featured 带皮牛肉 (beef with the skin on.) This was a young cow; tender meat boiled and sliced with the skin. Encountering the skin at first surprised me, but I gradually came to like it. It required an extra chew or two more than the underlying meat. Good chinese cooks value that contrast and try to preserve it for the diners.
  23. 5 points
  24. 5 points
    Let us know what you're planning to read and perhaps we can do another group read! I don't really have many clear goals, since things are going well and if I just continue to do what I'm doing they will hopefully continue to go well. One my 'next step' goals was to stand on a stage as myself (not as interpreter), telling an audience something I know a lot about. That is set to happen in March (an online stage, but still a stage). So: - Learn words and chengyu. - Read Chinese books, both in Chinese and in translation, and books about Chinese literature. - Finish current translation (that doesn't need to be a resolution -- it has a contract and a deadline and I will do it) and start new translation project. Preferably a book for an established publisher, but if no assignment is forthcoming, I should finish the short story translation I started and get that published somewhere. - Write and publish things about Chinese literature, preferably paid, but unpaid also works. And one bigger one: - Look into getting a PhD. I want to learn how to think better, analyse, see connections and bigger pictures. Also I want to have a PhD at some point, so it's time to look into getting started studying for one. Non-Chinese goals: - Learn to cook curry. It's healthy and delicious and not rocket science; I want to learn how to make it. - Visit all four of my nieces and nephews on their birthdays. Or more often, that's even better, but definitely on their birthdays. Three of them live relatively far away and I don't see them often enough.
  25. 5 points
    I spent half of 2020 in China, and yet my 2020 goals all did not end up being achieved. This year I will be a little less ambitious due to the fact that I have started a new job in the USA and won't be able to spend an extended time in China for at least the next two years or so. As such I am mainly concerned with maintaining my level, and to hopefully improve my listening as that is my weakest area. Although my goals are smaller, I will be trying harder to be more consistent and hold myself accountable. My goals are simple and I will be tracking my progress throughout the year. 1. Actively listen to 300 hours of chinese audio. This will mostly be podcasts, and maybe some tv shows here and there. The idea is to try to listen for about an hour a day for most days of the year. I am adding a rule for myself where I can do transcription exercises and they count for double time. Meaning if I do 30 minutes of transcribing an audio clip, that will count as one hour to my goal. My reasoning for this is I feel that transcribing is very intense and very effective, but I hate doing it. It also gives me some much needed writing practice, as I want to keep up with my hanzi writing skills. 2. Read 4 chinese books. In 2019 I read 2 books. These were the first two novels I ever read in Chinese and I loved them. In 2020 I read half of a book. I need to do better in this area. I could have made my goal to read a book every month which I think would be manageable, but I really want to put the majority of my time into listening practice, since I think for my purposes I really need to improve my listening more than I need to improve my reading.
  26. 5 points
    It is a very good idea making this thread. I hope you edit the first post in order to have everything together. Here is my contribution: Life in China Pangzai, a common Chinese guy who has a great ability drinking beer. His videos show natural daily language with English subtitles. TreeMan, hidden camera channel to see people's reactions about things like a poor child looking at delicious foods. Misc Ergeng, even though it focuses on foods and restaurants with history, you also can find many interesting stories like the one of a black baby who was adopted by a Chinese lady. Videos are shot with a vert good taste. Yitiao, this must be some kind of sister channel of Ergeng, because they share some videos like the one of the black baby, but in this case it focuses in beautiful or special flats and buildings. Maoxian Lei tanzhang, this is about a handsome Chinese guy who has been in almost any country in the world including Afghanistan. He tries to show some special things about the places he gets into, but his style could be regarded sometimes as controversial since he didn't respect the will of some people of not being filmed. Good for intermediate learners. Miao Zhao jie, a cute Chinese housewife who teaches skills that range from opening a pomelo to poisoning cockroaches in your home. Chinese Language Whity chinese白白國文, a Taiwanese girl who explains interesting topics about Chinese language like gaokao tests, poems or differences between Taiwan and Mainland China speech. For advanced learners. Chinese Zero To Hero, I haven't watched his channel too much but seems to be focused on explaining grammar and other HSK stuff. History Zuoyou shipin, some interesting facts that happened mainly in the last century. For intermediate to advanced learners.
  27. 5 points
    I think my year began and ended well, but the middle 6 months weren't so great (probably the same for many people). A lot of my achievements came with heavy caveats, but I suppose it's better to aim for 100 and just get 30 than not aim at all and end up with 0. My main thing next year will be to review my goals weekly, that should help keep me on track. I'll list a few of my favourites below, if we share similar interests then maybe you'll end up subscribing to a few too. General life in China Channels: One of my new favourites is 小叔TV . His content consists of walking around various localities in China, with a focus on the more forgotten, left behind type places. While it doesn't sound too exciting, I really like to watch now that I'm not living in China anymore. He offers some interesting insights into Chinese society and economy, and it's interesting to see these normally unseen locales. You really get to see what everyday life is like for many (maybe most) Chinese people. I discovered 当下频道DxChannel while researching an essay about 地摊经济 (the idea of jump starting the post lockdown economy by allowing people to set up little market stalls in the streets). In their video they tried to set up their own little stall in Shanghai to see how much they could make in a day. Most of their recent content is about young people trying to set up businesses, so I think it's quite an interesting insight into entrepreneurs trying to make it in China. IC实验室 is a channel about marketing, the economy and society in general. They have some great videos about Chinese internet culture and how that relates to marketing. The first video of theirs I watched was this great one about 奋斗逼 (people who work themselves in the ground, with no benefit to themselves or their colleagues). Their video about 添狗 was an interesting insight into dating in China. Gaming Channels: I got into gaming (particularly retro gaming) channels a few years back, and decided to find some Chinese channels about the topic to turn it into a learning opportunity. Gamker is a good one, creating professional long-form reviews of the latest games (they just released their Cyberpunk one), and 小宁子 is always a relaxing watch, with more chilled game reviews. 老孙聊游戏 is probably my favourite though. Although ostensibly a retro gaming channel, he actually ends up talking a lot about Chinese society from the 80s to early 00s, as he talks about how he met his wife, set up a gaming shop etc. TV/Movie Reviews and Retrospectives: I have been able to watch and understand TV shows and films with no problem for a couple of years now, but always struggled to explain the plot or content of what I had watched to my teacher. I mean, I could do it in a simple way, but just not as articulate as I would have liked, so I started watching these kind of channels to fix that. These two mostly just take the mickey out of really bad Chinese dramas, but also feature the odd really good show now and again (I've discovered so really good TV shows as a result): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBML_W8liMKmy9ey60rR1Jw (I like their end of year "worst of awards") https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4gRf9kDyBq4Rlzmr2iRn2g These movie channels only really review ones that they like, and it's a good way of finding good potential movies, both modern and classic: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZmyD8-UsaxaVL-Zx3KEQKw https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkM0vZ9Q2ZxxRPORzTDI7eg https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChgCVolsF6L7DWmOpWKSkMA/featured News: For official Chinese government news I quite like新闻1+1 and 今日关注 (they normally focus on a single topic). When I need a break from the official party line, I check out these North American based news channels: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCghLs6s95LrBWOdlZUCH4qw https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrGSFNEBmCN0rqhATZels2Q Misc: I used this channel to learn Chinese cooking while in lockdown in China: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg0m_Ah8P_MQbnn77-vYnYw/featured 李永乐老师 is fun education/lecture channel about economics. maths and science. He manages to get hundreds of thousands of views, despite the super low production values (basically just him in front of a blackboard), which is a testament to the quality of the teaching: https://www.youtube.com/c/李永乐老师/featured True life crime channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/X調查/featured Mr and Mrs Gao is a good one for Chinese learners, as the uploads generally consist of a husband explaining various topics and weird stories from around the world to his wife. They range from black hole theory to the lives of famous people, so you get a wide range of vocab. They consistently get millions of views an upload, so are one of the most popular Chinese channels on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMUnInmOkrWN4gof9KlhNmQ/featured Profiles of famous Chinese people: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFhktojBok7f7CD4ykaRKTA/featured Everyday economics (ok, if you can get over the mask): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0A5S7szcwQPiLXMVrQckmw/featured 逻辑思维 stopped uploading their philosophy/history podcast around three years back, but their library of 200 uploads is worth watching, if you're into that sort of thing: https://www.youtube.com/user/logictalkshow/videos Good channel about computer programming: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS1kMgt4igpfjL5lhGvo-fw This is the channel of the Beijing MMA fighter who likes to challenge fake martial artists to fights: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIXOIjR2mp8tHz78DE0vj2A This is a channel that does a good job of explaining current affair topics, accompanied by some nice drawings. Good for Chinese learners: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9At5St-HHh04XFh1JAuiAA/videos Finally, I probably should include Papi酱. She's one of the biggest 网红 in China (or at least she was), and although she seems to have moved on to 抖音 now (hence the 60 sec videos), he older videos are still worth watching for their satire on modern Chinese life: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgHXsynhD8GxbFcNlPEn-_w/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid
  28. 5 points
    All in all, I think I'm happy about my 2020 Chinese-studying wise, although with a few ups and downs. I didn't have any proper objective for 2020, but If I had to list what I'm most and least happy about that would be: I'm happy about: - improved reading skills and reading speed. I started reading more native material, read 4 novels, had a go at a fifth and dropped it (too hard). I'm now 20% into another (山楂树之恋 ) which is on average not too hard...I'm struggling to keep at it though cause I just find it too sappy and not interesting enough to keep me going. Selection and procurement of good novels at the right level is a major problem for me... @jannesan could you please give me the titles of the novels you read? I'm in dire need of inspiration! I'm not unhappy with: - vocabulary: 650 words added in Anki this year. It's not many really considering the time I spend reviewing every day (45 mins on average) but this must be because I review sentences (which I pick up from the various books and other sources) rather than individual words. I find this method to be very effective in retaining the words and providing a context for them - so I think I can't get rid of it yet - but it's very time consuming and doing it day in day out is a bit of a weight on the mind. - speaking: once a week for a couple of hours me and girlfriend have a non-structured conversations with our friend/teacher and we are getting better at expressing ourselves. We can speak about almost anything without switching back to english and that's something we were not able to do last year. I'm aware this is in large measure due to our teacher being super patient and maybe even having developed an "ear" for our mistakes but still pretty happy on that front. Still struggling with: - I feel listening is still the hardest activity. Earlier this year I decided I would make a point of listening every day to native material (podcasts): I've done so for at least half an hour to an hour (depending on life commitments) each morning and I see results, but they are coming in soooo slowly. I still can't dream about watching tv without English subs. I tried last week listening to a HSK 5 audio (one of those longer ones at the end of the listening section which I really struggled with at the start of the year) just to have a reference: while I find the speech much clearer and the speed approachable, I can only get the gist with many holes. So still lots to do. Will definitely have to sketch up an objectives list for 2021, even if I'm afraid there is a high risk of them being massively influenced by the pandemic developments...my life/work/china plans are changing wildly by the moment, I guess just like everybody else's...😭
  29. 5 points
    Yes - to chat with colleagues, make small talk, impress clients, offer surface level value. No - offer any serious value in large majority of jobs and any technical, or complex subject. And study the Masters using Chinese? Practically yes, pass HSK 5 and you can study a masters in China. HSK 5 pass is achievable in 2 years. However with a health dollop of reality - absolutely NOT. I think it's laughable to think a person could study a subject to Masters level (ie very hard) in a foreign language after 2 years. This is all about university wanting to get more students in and more recruitment money and so not setting the bar too high. (Thinking of the many Chinese students that do masters in UK , their english is almost never good enough, but its a good income stream for unis) It's hard enough doing a masters in your native tongue. 99.9% of people would not be at a lingual ability after 2 years study to comprehend complex theory's, paradigms etc, and the lingual dexterity to write essays poking at nuances or arguing points etc Most people (thinking of a normal distribution graph here) will be a lot less good thank you think or hope. After 2 years you are going to be , in my opinion scraping the lowest level of what you might be able to say is fluent. You will be able to talk on a range of subjects about your life and some current events. But with little depth. You probably wont sound that good. And you will often stumble on areas where you have no clue what is going on. If you listened to the news or radio, you'd be lost pretty quickly. My general gauge of how long it takes to become good enough at Chinese that language brings significant and consistent, value to your work? At least 5 years. Study a masters in a subject (ie History or Philosophy) and its in Chinese, and for you to actually study to the depth a masters should be studied too. Probably 10 years. Some people are gonna hate on these time lengths. But it takes a long time. I think there are multiple emotional and societal reasons for why people in my opinion massively under-estimate time lengths, which i wont bore you with or going into. But my advice is, it always takes longer than you might hope. So in summary, no, two years is not enough. Certainly not do it to any credible standard! Show me someone thats studied Chinese for 2 years thats now operating in the language for their job, or studying a masters, and I will show you someone that is barely treading water.
  30. 4 points
    Have you tried adding oil? Edit - lol - but in all seriousness wish you to rekindle the passion. For me, Chinese always has been motivated by social instincts. I barely ever sit down to study, unless ive got friends or colleagues who i get opportunity to speak to. It's difficult sometimes if you don't live in China. Ive organised my life however to the point though where I live and work with Chinese people. That way everyday i get chance to speak to them, and i get the rewards of improving social interaction, which gives me the motivation to study. Without that, i literally do nothing. So hoping you can find a Chinese friend to play a sport with? or work environment with a colleague? or move into a houseshare with some students? or language partners? or start livestreaming on tiktok and chat to peeps in chinese? Something to give your brain that dopamine hit of communicating with someone else. For me thats a wayyyyy betteer driver than reading a book/listening to a podcast etc (but we are all different i know)
  31. 4 points
    Once I got to this points I stopped choosing words based on frequency and more based on “oooh I want it” with an attitude of fun. That’s why I learned 陨石 (meteor) the other day. What are the chances I’ll see that again but I find fun and humor in that word. I think so. As an alternative to other’s encouragement to just keep reading, I prefer switching focus and collecting interesting books on the side. I was doing that for awhile and now that I have five books I REALLY want to read getting back into has been easy. I picked one up and read 20 pages decided it was meh and set it down. Picked up another and loving it and looking forward to reading it before bed each night. as noted in my 2021 goal, I’ve also forgone learning vocabulary from reading novels and am just focusing on enjoying it with a dictionary by my side.
  32. 4 points
    The latter. Most people make up at least some stories or narratives to remember characters - for example, remarking on components one character shares with another, even if the true histories of the two characters are completely separate. As for the Matthews & Matthews approach which the OP has followed (and significantly extended), it's brilliantly effective: in a few months I went from knowing 50 characters, to knowing maybe 1500 or so, how to write them and how to pronounce them - easily enough to give me a huge head start when I started my first six months of formal study. But it requires a leap of faith - and it's also fun, which means people who have slogged through blood sweat and tears to learn characters might instinctively look down on it. The really important thing to stress about each silly story you make is that: it starts as your way of knowing the character, then it becomes a crutch to help you remember, and finally, you forget the story! But by the time you've forgotten the story, you know the character really well, because you're already reading Chinese really easily by now. Some people fear the silly stories will stick in their minds and cause them problems if ever they really want to study the real history of Chinese characters - not true, in my opinion. I now never think of catamarans whenever I see 偷, for instance. 勃 = 孛 (comet) and 力 ‘power’. So you combine the two into a memorable story whose outcome matches the meaning of the character ("flourishing"). The second part of the story is for the pronuciation: all second tones involve a "fairy", and "bo" in pinyin is "botanical". Personally when I did this I changed the four tones to different people (I think my "second tone" person was the actress/character in a Wuxia TV series I was watching at the time). To be honest, I sometimes think this approach to learning characters is a bit unfair - unfair on people who can't, or don't want to, try it.
  33. 4 points
    https://megamandarin.com/ After more than 500 hours of work I've finally finished writing and assembling an Anki flashcard deck for all 11400+ words that are on the current HSK vocabulary list or on the proposed HSK 3.0 vocabulary list. It can be purchased at the link above. I will donate 30% of all proceeds from selling this deck to UNICEF. The first 10 people who enter the coupon code "HELICOPTERCHASE" will get $15 off.
  34. 4 points
    You are right that the 了 here indicates change of state. The sentence 你累了 is equivalent to saying 你以前不累。你现在很累 (At some point in the presumably recent past, you were not tired, and now you are). The other sentence, 你很累, gives us less information (You are tired). Just as a side note -- one of the things that drove me crazy about 了 when I was learning how to use it for change-of-state was how different it was from past tense. Being a native English speaker, my mind was just wired to view things through the lens of tenses, and it was very difficult to break out of that. However, I think I can say a few things that might help, if you find yourself struggling with that. Indo-European languages like English require the use of the past tense in situations where an action takes place in that time frame. But the change-of-state 了 is comparatively speaking more optional. Of course there are situations where it is required, but there are also a LOT of situations where you can either use it or not, depending on how much information you want to provide. 你很累 vs. 你累了 is an example of this. Depending on the situation, it may make more sense to use one or the other, but a lot of the time, which one you choose has more to do with what amount of information you want to give. Do you want to emphasize a change? Use 了. If not, then don't. It's the same for sentences like 我有一只猫咪 vs. 我有了一只猫咪. You should use the second one to emphasize or inform that you acquired a cat (you didn't used to have a cat, but now you do). The first one simply omits that information. Obviously it is presumable that you did not always have a cat, of course. But it is not always necessary or desirable to "talk about the before-time", as it were. You don't always need to talk about how there used to not be Terminators, and now there are. Sometimes it's enough to say the Terminators are there. Anyway, I am only at approx. HSK4, so if any more advanced speakers want to chime in here, that would be welcome. But I hope this helps.
  35. 4 points
    I wouldn’t stop using flashcards completely, I’d just look to keep them on a shorter leash. Firstly that means setting them up so that you spend almost zero time creating or maintaining them. I detailed my Pleco settings for doing this here. Then, in order to avoid the problems you list, it’s important to make flashcards a secondary activity. This means that on any given day you can review flashcards, but it should never be the activity that you spend the most time on and it should be used to supplement the other activity (e.g. drilling of words learnt that day/week etc). The way I manage this is by deleting decks once they start taking too much time to review, where ‘too much’ is defined as different thing for different people, but for me when I am in vocab learning mode, is about 30 min a day. Definitely do more reading though 👍
  36. 4 points
    My main goal this year is consistency. Spend an hour per day doing something. Cantonese (45 minutes per day), some or all of the following: Finish Pimsleur Cantonese Level 1 Lesson 13-30 Glossika Mimic and learn transcripts from Cantonese with Brittany Youtube videos (transcripts available for Patreon subscribers) Go through Cantonese Class 101 lessons, mimicking and learning the dialogs Weekly italki Cantonese lessons with Gary Mandarin (15 minutes per day): Start going through the Go Ahead Drama series, mimicking and looking up new words.
  37. 4 points
    Finished. Exceptional in places, but suffered from way too many characters and way too many left field plot developments. I can't decide if it felt made up as it went along or surprisingly tight despite feeling a bit loosely wound. My own language ability is still a bit lacking so I'll be trying Jin Yong again when I have improved. Next up, mulling over a Wang Dulu novel, or else going real easy with some Yu Hua. I may also return to the book of the Month club (景橫街)and I've got a 4 volume Wolong Sheng novel on my shelf.
  38. 4 points
    On the final chapter of 雪山飛狐. Will post some thoughts upon finishing it, but for now, I can't say I'm a big fan of Jin Yong's style. It was an exciting read, but there were so many charcaters who just show up for a half a chapter or so, and so many plotlines that go nowhere. Seems like you've got to read like 3 chapters and get introduced to around 30 characters before the important one show up and you get to the crux of the drama... who knew I'd be yearning for Gu Long stretching the same plot beats across half a volume again... ha.
  39. 4 points
    Ok, so it's that time of year where the current-me tries to think up excuses to tell the last-year-me why I didn't do all the cool stuff he promised to do. He's not buying it: HA! A global epidemic, an expired passport/visa and 3 cancelled flights later and I finally got back to the UK at the end of September. 人算不如天算. I did do a fair amount of writing (probably around an essay a day) for the first few months or so of the year, but that came to an end when my Chinese classes ended. Unfortunately, italki no longer accepts new essays from a PC (mobile only), so I don't have a good outlet for my writing now. I did do some of the essay-related stuff I described here in the first half of the year, but it fell off after that. My "Chinese memory" ability did improve overall though, just as a result of continuing to consume lots of Chinese media, increasing my familiarity with the vocab thus improving retention. Nope I've watched a lot of classic Hong Kong films over the past year, which I think has filled a cultural gap in my understanding of Chinese (as a 80后). Whenever I come across what looks like a cultural reference while watching a TV show etc, I'll almost always do a baidu search and look into it. I'm actually quite please with my progress here. Unfortunately, 财经 stopped being sold where I was in China after the pandemic hit (even once things reopened, my usual newsagent stopped stocking it). I miss it, it was a good challenge for my reading skills, as well as being an interesting insight into China. I hope I can find a place that sells it in London, once we come out of lockdown. I couldn't get into the mood for reading novels for most of the year, but I finally started earlier this month (I can't explain the change of heart). I pretty much only look up vocab when I'm very curious or when it's absolutely necessary for understanding. For all else unknown vocab I just think "oh, that's some kind of flower that I don't need to memorise right now" and read on. Covid pretty much put a stop to that plan. It's not a hugely important thing to me right now tbh, so I might not even bother with it next year. This is another area I did ok in. In China I was mostly watching the official news. I was pretty glued to it in Feb and March, as the whole covid situation was affecting my life in a drastic way and western media wasn't reporting too much, apart from the odd bat meme. I got really bored of the constant covid news around June (although the constant repetition did wonders for my medical-based vocab), and didn't get back into the news until I returned to the UK in September. Since then I've been watching various independent news sources on Youtube pretty much daily and feel my "news Chinese" has improved a lot. While covid messed up my year in many ways, I can't deny its contribution in helping me keep up a consistent guitar practice routine. I pretty much practice every day over the past year, sometimes for 15 minutes, usually no more than 30 (my hand starts aching after that, although it's getting easier). I've gone from a being a person who owned a guitar and could pluck a few strings that somewhat sounded like a tune, to a terrible guitarist who can play quite a few songs off by heart - badly. That represents pretty good progress! It's been a rollercoaster year for my weight. The first month was good, doing lots of exercise (snowboarding) and eating quite healthy, but once covid hit, well... Being stuck inside with all the restaurants close, I decided to learn to cook some Dongbei food, which also involved plenty of eating. Eating being an only pleasure during those lockdown days, I overindulged a bit, and got up to 94kg in weight. I've turned things around since then, especially after getting back home, and a combination of healthier eating, fasting and exercise got my weight down to 78kg just before my usual Christmas gorging. As for the internet usage, I did improve this a little, but had much more time on my hands than usual anyway, so I don't think this is such a big deal. I have shifted a lot of my unfocussed youtube usage to Chinese language stuff, so I think that isn't so bad. I never got around to playing many Japanese language games this year, so didn't bother with this challenge. I did start getting back into Thai though, after many years of not using it. It started when I got back to the UK and noticed that they had some decent Thai TV shows on there. I always had problems finding anything decent to watch after leaving Thailand, so my language ability was left to waste away, but surprisingly it all feels as though it's coming back again now that I'm using it again. I'm pretty sure that this is my first update since that initial post, so no monthly reporting from me! To be fair, monthly is an awkward time period - too long to become a habit, too short to be a tradition. I've been doing weekly updates on my fitness/weight loss progress on another forum and find that works quite well, so I'll go for weekly updates next year. 2020 post mortem over!
  40. 4 points
    I definitely know the feeling. It's so easy to just pick up a book rather than embarrass myself with the level of my listening skills Having never spent any extensive time in China, I need to concentrate on this. So, with this in mind, my plans for 2021 are; 1) Engage with a tutor online. I've had a couple of good suggestions on who to start with and so will initiate this in the next couple of weeks. Just making that initial step is a real block as I know my listening skills are poor compared to my reading and writing. I like the idea put forward by a recent new poster of an online group but, as is often the case living in New Zealand, when everyone else is awake, we tend to be asleep, so the times don't always work out. 2) Keep practising characters. I've recently gone right back to where it all started from for me. I started with the set of books YCSM (You Can Speak Mandarin) by Philip Yungkin Lee. Whilst I don't think they were particularly great, they obviously have sentimental value as it just seems easy to pick up the books and practise the characters every now and then. Plan to have a goal of 'x' amount of characters by the end of 2021 - I just need to set the level of 'x' to make it achievable and therefore more likely to be managed. Got plenty of reading material to help along the way that I've picked up in dribs and drabs over the years. 3) Try at least one Chairmans Bao per day. Life does get busy so I'm not going to beat myself up on this one and perhaps make the rule 5x/week. Only just recently started using the Chairmans Bao and it really works for me. Good way to launch into the listening too. Hovering around the HSK level 3/4 and still making mistakes on 3 so will carry on between these levels for now. 4) Take an interest paper in Chinese Diaspora. On offer through Massey University here in NZ in Semester 2 in 2021 from June onwards. Although this is in English and perhaps isn't as relative to this thread as other stuff, I've had a look at the paper on offer and it looks fascinating. 5) Plan for 2022. At the stage in life were there are no kids at home any more and plan to sell my business to free up time to spend some decent amount of time in China at some stage in 2022. COVID allowing, of course. The more effort I put in during 2021 will mean hitting the ground running when China travel does eventuate. and of course.... 6) Keep logging into this site on a daily basis. So inspirational.
  41. 4 points
    I'd like to transition from reading mainly textbook stuff into reading something else regularly. I've started reading Mandarin Companion graded readers, went through two of their breakthrough level books relatively easily, and have now transitioned to reading level 1 books. I'll probably go through all their level 1 books first and see if I can transition to level 2. At some point I'd like to start Chinese online comics as my reading level improves. I feel like my listening ability lacks behind my reading, so I should do more listening practice. I'll be trying to watch more Chinese TV shows and movies and listen to audio versions of the Mandarin Companion books once I've read them. Also, do more grammar and writing exercises from my textbook.
  42. 4 points
    Because the first 3-4 months of 2021 will be super busy work-wise, my main goal for the first third of 2021 is not to regress. I am a bit hesitant to make any goals for 2021. I guess, I will be happy with 2021 if I look back and I have: 1) read and listened to at least 1000 articles in TCB (at least 50% at HSK 5 level) 2) my reading speed has increased from around 50 CPM to to 150 characters per minute following Imron's method (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/20007-what-to-study-after-heisig/page/3/) 3) I have completed Chinese Zero to Hero's HSK 4 and 5 videos [I have bought it during the Black Friday sales, but have not looked at it] 4) Finish 2 non-fiction books in Chinese 5) considering (according to Lichess) I have spent the equivalent of 21 whole days playing online blitz chess from April 2020 to December 2020 , I hope I can find a way to make learning Chinese as relaxing and addictive. Sadly, I believe I have not spent the equivalent of 21 whole days learning Chinese since April. When I am super tired from work and I have to choose between Lichess and Chinese, Lichess feels much less like "hard work". How do you make Chinese a "zoning-out activity"? 6) Continue shadowing and eventually start online speaking sessions again.
  43. 4 points
    First Quarter Goals: Continue reading at least 30 minutes per day and reviewing new words 10 minutes per day. Do some kind of active listening for 15-30 minutes a day 2nd Quarter Goals: Same as the above, but I would like to start practicing with a language partner again, maybe just a few times per week. 3rd/4th quarter stretch goals: Find a tutor to help with my writing.
  44. 4 points
    The time has come,' the poster said, To talk of many things: Of shoes — and ships — and dragon clans — Of cabbages — and kings — And how to join the PLA — And choppers in Beijing.' (apologies to Lewis Carroll)
  45. 4 points
    冬至快樂! Tried making my own 湯圓 with black sesame filling today. It’s easier than I thought.
  46. 4 points
    Of course there's a name for everything, and those interested in traditional Chinese architecture should check the many fascinating drawings in 梁思成 Liang Sicheng's works. Just one example: https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5f86/2edf/63c0/1777/3a00/03f0/slideshow/2.jpg?1602629336
  47. 4 points
    Thank you very much for your answer I received a response from UNAIDS China to my question. And I want to please you that PLWHA have the right to study and work in China. I have attached the answer I received. I hope this helps other people having the same problem as mine. Thank you for reaching out to UNAIDS China Office. In fact, China has lifted the travel ban toward international PLHIV in 2010, and re-confirmed the policy when UNAIDS conducted an international survey among all member states about removing HIV-related travel restrictions in 2018. So, International PLHIV are allowed to travel, stay, and resident in China. However, the implementation of the policies is uneven in different provinces and at different levels, given considered discrimination still exits among general public. UNAIDS had some experiences to deal with cases when international PLHIV had difficulties to study or work in China. Fortunately all cases have been solved with satisfactory result under the support from international organizations, travel health associations and community groups. Regarding your case, I think you can apply for study in China, go for the test and ask your doctor to write on the report that you are on treatment and the virous load is undetectable. You may get the permission by the university that you applied. But I would like to remind you about medicine. The ARVs in China is different from other developing countries. The China generic ARVs are not free for international PLHIV, and the brand name ARVs are expensive. So you need to be prepared as well.
  48. 3 points
    Read it as Burgess lays it out and I suspect he's telling you -- yes, you, the Chinese literate -- that Tristram isn't as capable in Chinese as he thinks. The sort of only-a-few-will-get-it wordplay Burgess enjoyed. Why else would he actually set out the Chinese characters in his text? He was writing for you. While I don't know what level he achieved, Burgess was a student of Chinese from his time in Malaysia. (Doing stuff like this is how you get professors to spend a lifetime analysing your works.)
  49. 3 points
    I've been studying Chinese for about 4.5 years overall, with 3.5 years being "serious" (2-4 hours a day of SRS flashcards and reading practice, with additional time spent listening to Chinese podcasts). I have worked through 8 books since Fall of 2019, albeit with a system of review (reading each book 3-4 times over--which has been my practice all along, even since the days of graded readers). I tend to think it helped my speed and confidence, but I'm just getting tired of it. So this year, I want to take a more casual approach where I read everything just once, and commit new vocabulary to my flashcards. I need to dial back the intensity of my routine anyway, as I have a lot of other responsibilities piling up. So my goals this year are: 1. Read more casually and for fun 2. Approach (not necessarily reach) a vocabulary flashcard deck of 20,000 (I'm at 15,000 now, and new words are slowing down to more of a trickle) 3. Upgrade my listening comprehension from "meh" to "acceptable" (I know that's subjective)
  50. 3 points
    Hello, new version of the tool with new characters and the sorting optimised Philippe AntiMixUpTool for Chinese 2020.11.25 v1.xlsx
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