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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/29/2021 in all areas

  1. I've been waiting for the past two years to go and see a Broadway performance in Shanghai after seeing Matilda but COVID has rendered that impossible. I decided to try out a Chinese production of Tennessee William's "A Streetcar Named Desire" at 上海话剧艺术中心 yesterday. First of all, the whole production was amazing. The performances for Stanley and Blanche were something else entirely and I've already purchased tickets to the Chinese production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." On the language side of things, though, I was stoked to walk out of the theater having understood nea
    12 points
  2. I appreciate this post, because my summer has been spent almost entirely on listening practice (90-120 minutes a day). I've read a ton of testimonies on this site about reading success, for instance, and it seems like most people follow a similar course. Once they start reading native-level novels, they feel "good" about their reading after 8-12 books. However, there are less success stories about listening comprehension--maybe because it's a more difficult skill to precisely benchmark, and also because many people either don't attempt it or give up on attempting it. My listening skills have b
    6 points
  3. Honestly I spent most of those 9 years expecting that both macOS and Windows would be dead within a few years, macOS replaced by more powerful iPads and Windows replaced by Chromebooks running Android apps. And so I’ve spent much of the time basically sitting back and waiting to see what would happen with the market. (Also somewhat relevant in discussions of this time period is the fact that my oldest kid is 8 and a half) Google actually did move pretty fast with Android on Chrome, but that seems to have had barely any impact on the market; Chromebooks remain niche educational devi
    6 points
  4. You already asked whether this phrase has a similar figurative meaning to "aim for the moon" in English. The answer is still no. Changing 月球 to 月亮 makes no difference to that answer. The only difference is that 月球 is a more scientific term referring to the physical celestial body of the moon, whereas 月亮 is a more everyday term. The suggestion from your friend that you posted in that earlier thread, 九天攬月, remains by far the best option for the meaning you're trying to convey.
    5 points
  5. I unwittingly hijacked a thread about how to find a replacement battery for a phone while in China. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/61375-buying-samsung-note9-battery/?tab=comments#comment-480833 Wasn't my intent, but by telling several anecdotes over the course of several days, I kind of veered away from the main topic. I apologize for that. Will try to repair the damage by moving the anecdotes to a new thread, here. The thing they have in common was that each of these practical tasks helped me master some bits of the language. If you are someone who like
    5 points
  6. Literary works are amongst the most demanding material to read. Literature is deliberately written with flowery language, rarely used vocabulary, metaphors and allusions. Even for native speakers, literature can be a slog. It is no surprise that there is a chasm between graded readers which have their vocabulary and use of language dumbed down for the learner, and literature which is at the other extreme. I think there is plenty of native material between these levels. In fact, I'd argue that pretty much any native material besides literature itself lies in this gap. You could try
    5 points
  7. I recently faced this same issue and I will share how I moved past it. There may be better methods out there, and this may not work for everyone, but it did work for me (at least to my satisfaction). I first decided to read a novel after I finished learning the HSK5 vocabulary. I took a look at the HSK6 list and determined that I would rather develop some practical skills vs just learn more words. After some research, I decided to pick up 三毛’s 撒哈拉的故事. I read the first chapter (only 5 pages) over a period of several weeks and it was brutal. I read the book in paperback and added eve
    5 points
  8. I have occasionally felt this frustration, but most of it comes from other people, directed at me. Especially when engaging in small talk, when somebody realizes I'm interested in Chinese. "Why would you ever want to learn Chinese?" "How do you plan to use it?" "Why haven't you already learned how to speak it?" "Why is it taking so long?" "Without immersing yourself in China, how do you ever hope to succeed?" My country (the USA) is infamous for its resistance to learning languages--most of us only know English. Most people around the world have to learn 2 or even 3 languages. So most people I
    4 points
  9. Before the pandemic I taught a weekly basic English class at my local senior center for Chinese-speakers, which was pretty rewarding.
    4 points
  10. Hope it works. 买电池, 换电池。 Must admit that most of my younger Chinese friends order everything over the internet. It will soon become an obsolete or at least a "legacy" skill to hunt up and buy things in person. The rest has been collapsed and moved. Look here for more: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/61400-using-daily-tasks-to-learn-chinese/
    4 points
  11. Hi! I just want to share with you guys a list I'm using for my personal study. I downloaded subtitles from 61 dramas available on Netflix that seemed watchable (I omitted those in the horror, crime and fantasy genres) and used SegmentAnt + AntConc to find the most common words across different dramas. In this document you'll find all words that appear in at least 6 different dramas. That is, those that appear in at least 10% of the dramas in my database. Here's how I'm using this to study: -I deleted all of my existing Pleco's flashcards, including the default HSK cards
    4 points
  12. You may find HanziCraft and the Outlier Dictionary useful. Don't expect to find some sort of Grand Unified Theory that explains the radicals of each character or the characters of each word.
    4 points
  13. As I have been working with this flash card deck for a little while now, I thought I’d do a quick review. Enjoyed writing this so it turned out to be bit longer than intended though…. tl;dr I like this deck a lot und fully expect to use it for years to come. Made by someone who seems to know a thing or two about Chinese and learning with flashcards. Recommended. Background: As this is one of my first posts – I have been studying Chinese for roughly 2 years. Busy job, so class on Saturday mornings at the Confucius Institute and flashcards (up to HSK 4 level
    3 points
  14. I've been studying for 10+ years and I occasionally bump up against this... I simply have no practical use for my Chinese abilities. It sure is a fun and rewarding hobby most of the time but I don't use it for work, I don't have any Chinese friends or family in my immediate vicinity, and there are no other interactions in my daily life which would require me to use it much at all. I like Chinese movies and novels but again there are few I know who share those interests. I guess it is strange to think this way because there are plenty of people who speak Chinese far better than I d
    3 points
  15. The only kind of awkwardness I've had in the UK a couple of times is talking to people who have one Chinese-speaking parent but never learned Chinese themselves. And it's only awkward beacuse they both sort of beat themselves up about never learning the language. Or have the kind of exaggerated wow-that's-special but-also-genuinely-interested reaction that is normal enough in China but not elsewhere. In the UK the reaction generally is more like if you'd say you were training to become an Olympic Taekwondo champion. Bit niche, I should probably know if that's the kicking one or the wrestling o
    3 points
  16. I wouldn't say that the responses have ever been 100% negative. It's been like, "Oh, wow! Chinese! That sounds hard. Why do you want to learn that?" Much of the time, it's a polite, even if awkward, response. I certainly understand that Chinese can be a very niche hobby, and very few people in my part of the world would be interested in it. Therefore, it becomes a pretty big discussion stopper. A "non-starter," socially speaking. "Huh...that's cool. What else do you do with your free time?" That sort of thing. Even the topic of China itself is a non-starter. Although it dominates the American
    3 points
  17. Yeah same experience here. I might be a tad too self-conscious, but I got to the point that I generally refrain from saying publicly that I study Chinese, because I know most of the times people do not understand and I'll get myself in a very awkward conversation. It is completely absurd for me to see that people appreciate other people for dedicating thousands of hours in activities like playing videogames, collecting stamps or polishing the bonnet of a car to a shine, without reservations, but they can't understand why you would want to learn a language. My conclusion is tha
    3 points
  18. I got my copy signed by Chen Zhongshi himself when he came to Beijing to do a talk years back! Carpenter Wei is a character, he's mentioned in this review: https://www.douban.com/group/topic/32002769/ Lu is right about the 摊派, as well as sharing round a work quota like this it's also used for having a whip-round when e.g. you decide to do up the shrine to the God of the Soil.
    3 points
  19. I really like the ranbow bridge stories. I am currently at the lowest level. I bought the rainbow bridge starter bundle for Pleco, but I think there is no difference to the paper versions. What is in it: One story per book. All stories are written in (simplified) hanzi with no pinyin. Every story comes with a translation, some exercises and the solutions to the exercises. The stories I have read so far are old chinese myths and fairy tales. What I like: They are "real" stories. No stiffly choreographed dialogs of real life situations. No toddlers books. But stories with a st
    3 points
  20. If that's how you feel, then maybe that's something worth pursuing? Why not do something with it after all? Join a local meet-up or something, you can use it to socialise or enjoy cultural events. I dunno your particular situation but one thing I've done this semester at University is seek out Mandarin language clubs. If it bothers you that you're not using it more, then find excuses to use it more. Socialising isn't a time-waste despite how we often feel about "being productive" these days.
    3 points
  21. Timeline of the dynasties: https://lensdump.com/i/ZzoQE0 These dynasty names are often used in literature, people's names/titles, stories, etc. -- anytime you feel lost for not having a time reference for these dynasties, just swipe open your desktop!
    3 points
  22. These sites have a lot of Cantonese dubs but you can find Mandarin dubs as well. Just look for 国语/國語 (guoyu) and you can find a treasure trove of classic anime in Mandarin. https://www.yueyuds.com/dongman https://www.ktkkt.top/ Here are also sites that have local chinese anime. Just look for 动画 (donghua) Not exactly sure if that is what you asked for but if the cdramas were a too dry for you then you should give these a try. https://v.qq.com/ https://www.bilibili.com/ https://www.iqiyi.com/ https://youku.com/
    3 points
  23. I'm reviving this thread as BFI Southbank is screening all his films throughout July and I went to see 6 of them. I'm almost certain I probably have watched some of his 90's stuff because one of my friends said I watched them with her but since I can't remember anything about them, it just felt like a first time watch. My favourite is definitely Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love, followed closely by Happy Together and Fallen Angels and then 2046 and Days of Being Wild. After watching Chungking Express I couldn't help thinking that Amelie must be somehow inspired by Chunki
    3 points
  24. Yep there's always some kind a trade-off. One reason I prefer to make my own flashcards is so I can include the sentence of text where I first encountered the word, or more usually, the sentence of text where I'm about to first encounter the word: that in fact happens courtesty of Imron's Chinese Text Analyser programme (which mines for unknown vocabulary in any novel I'm about to start reading)!
    3 points
  25. Sorry, to be clear, I didn’t think the form factor was going to die, just the OSes. I thought Apple would do in 2011 what they finally started to do in 2020 - add desktop-specific UI affordances to iOS so that eventually you’d simply be writing iOS code to run on Macs as well as on iPhones/iPads (they had just done an impressive job with that sort of work for the iPhone to iPad transition in iOS 3.2) - and I thought Google would do the same thing with Android and, by giving it away for free + leveraging their large and growing mobile app catalog, eventually replace Windows. Mobile
    3 points
  26. Why Pleco? Because when you email customer support, Mike Love himself replies to your email.
    3 points
  27. One of them asked 她们中的 - [from] among them 她们中的一个 - one [person] from among them
    3 points
  28. I've read 10 books so far (I waited until I was fairly acquainted with the 5000 HSK words before reading my first book, but that totally wasn't necessary). This has been my experience so far, upon reaching each vocabulary level (or in this case, the number of flash cards in my Pleco collection, which is actually less than my actual vocabulary, because I don't look up words whose meaning I can easily guess). 2500 words: A good time to begin engaging with native-level content, in my opinion. Though it won't be easy. 5000 words: Pure drudgery. About 6-10 unknown words on each pag
    3 points
  29. Well I'm 1/3rd of the way through the first 三體 novel. I would say it's going okay. There are definitely the expected "encounters with Cthulhu" and I have an English version of the book which I have tried my best not to consult with at all except for these rare occasions when I was relieved to find that it was all a bunch of technology talk that I would have probably registered without really understanding where I reading that translation. In terms of readability it's definitely not as hard as my first encounter with 金庸, but I'm not as far as I would like to be given that I've been
    3 points
  30. 時不我待 is a chengyu. The word order is reversed in negative sentences in classical Chinese. In modern Chinese, the order would be 時不待我, or 時間不等我.
    3 points
  31. Are you sure you're Roddy dreaming of emulating Pleco, or Pleco dreaming of emulating Roddy?
    3 points
  32. I’ve recently stumbled upon a book written in the early 1900’s with progressive sentences written in what appears to be literary Chinese. It starts out very simple then builds upon from there. A few people told me it’s almost like a hybrid of modern and literary, but more so further into the book. Can anyone check it out and let me know? Is this a good text following general 文言文 grammar, etc? I really like it so far. Here’s an archive.org scan: https://archive.org/details/progressiveexerc00bull/page/34/mode/2up
    2 points
  33. @Anon100 If you want a tattoo that says 'aim at the moon', nobody is stopping you. Just call a tattoo parlour right now and get an appointment, I'm sure most tattooists will be happy to ink it on you. But if you want someone here to tell you that 瞄准月亮 is a good translation for the meaning you want, that's unlikely to happen. Get any tattoo you want though, you don't need our blessing. And I don't think Demonic Duck was rude at all. He gave a good answer to your question.
    2 points
  34. Do people in China and Hong Kong really mind giving directions in the age of smartphones? When I see people in my city looking at a map or standing at a corner peering at their phone, I actively seek them out to ask if they need directions. I never hesitate to ask random people on the street for directions (and they always help me), and wouldn't in China either. It usually takes less than half a minute, they get to feel good about their knowledge and helping someone and I get closer to where I'm going. I used to always ask bus drivers to 报站 and they always did. Now I wonder if they
    2 points
  35. One that surprised me was going to see movies in Kunming (in the theater) and later not remembering if the dialogue had been in Chinese or English. I remembered the content of the film, remembered the characters and the action, but just hadn't thought about the language enough to know what version I had seen. (Sometimes these were American films released on the Mainland in Chinese editions 中文版。) I also remember being caught up short a couple times when part of a film moved to Thailand. Whoa! What are they saying? It was startling to suddenly not be able to understand. Had to start
    2 points
  36. The teacher was someone I hired for one-to-one instruction. The rest is collapsed and moved. See here for more: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/61400-using-daily-tasks-to-learn-chinese/
    2 points
  37. Thanks very much, Lu. Yes, mural makes more sense. This trip to China was the first time I realized I like taking photos. I am putting these old photos together as a book, but it will be a draft as there is so much one could add, so I may do more work on it later. The more I look through the photos, the more I like this picture, actually. It's rather powerful. It isn't one of those standardized groups of worker, peasant and soldier, all grinning into the sunrise - which I also like but one can have enough of them. As to where it was, it seems to have been at the Chiliying commune nea
    2 points
  38. 坚持数年 jiānchí shùnián 必有好处 bì yǒu hǎochù 认真学习马列主义的书 rènzhēn xuéxí Mǎ-Liè zhǔyì de shū The font is interesting, bit unusual, that makes it difficult to read.
    2 points
  39. Google Translate. Although from memory it only translates pinyin without tones (seriously wth Google).
    2 points
  40. It is, but that upgrade also includes fairly robust Anki import / emulation support. So if you do end up putting your flashcards in Anki, you'll be able to bring them over to Pleco once that's out, including custom fields, images, audio, reasonably solid support for custom templates (we don't actually render them in HTML at the moment but we do a pretty competent job of converting your HTML to our system - we've got a built-in HTML+CSS parser we added for EPUBs that also happens to work well there), and score data (we were able to design a set of settings for our system that emulat
    2 points
  41. I read this several years ago and was quite proud of myself for doing so. Read it again the last couple of days and found it extraordinarily boring. I can see why it was important for its time and place, and even in 2008 would be interestingly different from lots of other Chinese fiction. But all it's done for me now is put me in a bad mood. And I'd been hoping to spend the next couple of weeks reading quite a bit of Wang Xiaobo.
    2 points
  42. I'm no expert, but what I will usually do is guess the pronunciation of a word the first time I see it. If it starts to recur, I then look it up. It's a very "feel" based approach. The more you do this, the better you get at guessing, and there's been a few times now when I've guessed a pronunciation, reread a sentence, and realised what the word was, maybe adjusting a tone, but maybe not. I presume this is similar to how a lot of native speakers do it.
    2 points
  43. Nicely done! Watching and understanding something on stage is a pretty big acheivement, and I think quite a bit ahead of me right now. No subtitles is one thing for easier audiobooks, but being in a theatre definitely takes the game to a whole different level. My own recent milestone was recently when I finished watching 《赘婿》. About two years ago I remember saying to someone that I wished I could watch Chinese shows for fun in the same way I watch English. I'm not at 100% understanding all the time yet, but 《赘婿》was definitely closer to fun than study. I've also found that the exper
    2 points
  44. You need to get copybooks specifically meant to teach handwriting. There are ones for children as well as more advanced ones for moving on to more cursive forms.
    2 points
  45. OCR! Live OCR for when you're in a hurry or out and about. Long-press shortcut on the icon and choose "OCR Latest Screenshot" when you're trying to use an APP that's only in Chinese. Also, long-press > shortcut "Clipboard reader" to lookup what's on the clipboard (which, if you're using an iOS device and a Mac, can be on the Mac's clipboard which still seems like magic to me...) Built-in flashcards. Easily save flashcards. Document reader that can lookup words in PDF, EPUB, HTML files etc Outlier etymological dictiona
    2 points
  46. I've never used Oxford Chinese dictionary app so I won't try to compare but these are just a few reasons why I like Pleco: - Compares entries from multiple dictionaries - Lots of example sentences on most entries - Chinese - English , English - Chinese - Includes a lot of common sayings, idioms and slangs - It has lots of other useful add ons like readers and flashcards - Has lots of other niche, specialised and comprehensive dictionary add ons - Includes traditional and simplified characters - User friendly
    2 points
  47. So, now half of the year has passed. Time for a review. Done Bought. Read. Twice. I like grammar. Then I tried to work with Heisigs book. But it did not work for me. Absolutely not. Maybe I will give an analysis in an other thread. Then I bought "Discover China" volume 2, did the first four lessons and gave up. The reasons for that are quite silly and trivial: First, the book is (as its title says) too much focused on travelling through China, which made me grumpy. We have a pandemic and travelling is impossible. So all these dialoges about
    2 points
  48. Thanks for the advices! Yes, I'm aware that no language course would be as fruitful as immersing in the language with a lot of personal initiatives. For conversation it shouldn't be a problem, as my girlfriend is native and she lives there. So that also explains why Shenzhen ;)
    2 points
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