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  1. Paul Nation believes that if you want to make an active effort to improve fluency (so, here, reading speed), you should only use familiar material. (And it should also be meaning-based, you should train under time pressure, and do plenty of it.) It used to be really hard to get hold of reasonably long but fairly easy texts in Chinese, outside listening comprehension textbooks. But @MoonIvy's site looks like it provides a solution. You could try opening up a short portion of such a text in CTA, which shows e.g. 97% known words, and read the text within the CTA programme, changing the status of any 'known' words to 'unknown' if you don't understand them, and vice versa. Then at the end of the text, see what the % known figure is: if it is now below 97% then that suggests CTA is too optimistic, and you perhaps need to find easier texts.
    3 points
  2. 点着(zháo) is a verb + resultative complement construction (light-alight). Structurally, 往着点 is a bit like 往死里打 (to beat, with 'death' as the expected result). 没往着点 may look strange at first, but I think it's quite natural in this context. Consider this sentence: 他接过递上来的香烟,点着了,深吸一口…… That's the usual sequence, right? What if he didn't light the cigarette? 他接过递上来的香烟,却没点着…… Does that mean he tried to light it but failed? 没往着点 makes it unambiguous: He didn't have the intention of lighting it. It's all because 'to light-alight' ≠ 'to light'.
    3 points
  3. Don't be disappointed! Reading speed comes with time and practice. I only really felt my reading speed improve after at least 18 months of reading every single day. Prior to that, I read books like snail pace. 3,000 characters use to take me 30-45 min to finish (with pop-up dictionary and looking up all unknown words). Sometimes it could take more than 45mins, it depends on the context, writing style, my mood, my concentrations....and many other factors. Even now, I don't read that fast, it's just much better than before. Of course, it hugly depends on the type of content. CTA may tell you that you know the words, but your brain may still require a bit of time to recall it and bring it to the forefront. This takes a long long long time to improve.
    2 points
  4. This seems like an amazing way to learn Chinese, and if I had been able to access these kinds of textbook bundles in the beginning, I would have loved to do it that way. Like you said, you learn a lot of stuff beyond the Chinese language itself. Also, the books are written for the sake of clarity and teaching, so they're never too obscure or flowery in their language. They're filled with fun illustrations. They reflect the kind of education a Chinese person would have while growing up. They promote a knowledge of Chinese culture (especially those books about history and "morality and law"). I've only read a few non-fiction books in Chinese so far (most recently, a book on the history of quantum physics). The fun thing about reading those books is that I feel like I'm never the target audience. I sometimes wonder if the author expected some midwestern American guy with no Chinese ancestry whatsoever to pick up the book, read it through, and learn a lot from it. There are a lot of English language books about quantum physics, and the history of quantum physics is overwhelmingly European (though that's changing). Yet I learned about it through a Chinese source! My knowledge of that topic is indebted to an anonymous Chinese author who was writing for other Chinese people. Fiction has been an extremely rich source of vocabulary acquisition, but maybe too much so. When I read more practical sources (like news stories on the internet), I don't encounter the flowery language I get from novels.
    2 points
  5. 油画里的情人节 http://music.163.com/m/song?id=167962&market=baiduqk
    2 points
  6. Time pressure makes you read faster than you would with no pressure. As a result you get better at reading faster. Ultimately, you become comfortable reading at a higher speed, without any pressure. I guess that's the logic.
    1 point
  7. 先斩后奏 it described the power as in the entry you just prompted me to look up, which is rather neat too.
    1 point
  8. 1 point
  9. Works like "didn't go on and light it...." As an aside, I always assume the use of 纸烟 in such social contexts is because they were a bit novel in the countryside in those days still, and the default smoke was either a pipe or that sort of rough cigar thing you see.
    1 point
  10. 瞬移: to teleport, teleportation. Today two children asked me “你会瞬移吗?" because they felt I switched the place I was staying a moment ago quickly. Weirdly, I couldn't find this word on any dictionary, only the long form 瞬间移动, appeared in one of them.
    1 point
  11. Wow, you have no idea how this changed my mood, I just read your reply now, XieXie big time...
    1 point
  12. Thank you all! With this help, I finally got it: 这两条((藤萝附身)(互为镣锁))的影子 藤萝附身 and 互为镣锁 are two things that are said about the pair of 影子. A comma in the middle would have been useful here.
    1 point
  13. Good tool for HSK Word-list: 查询文本中词汇所在的等级
    1 point
  14. I hesitate to open my mouth here as I will only display my ignorance, but... Images I find standing out, but difficult to integrate are Mandarin ducks, often seen as the perfect couple (I think that they mate for life), so they're aways drawn/painted/represented in pairs, almost never alone or as a single fowl. These two don't seem like the perfect couple to me. Sarcasm perhaps... And secondly, the wisteria image: the purple color of wisteria is often (aways???) used as the color of the cloud the Bhudda floats on in painted statues or wall hangings here in Japan. Again, to me, the image seems out of place. Well, you said anything would be helpful... TBZ
    1 point
  15. That's really good, but based on my observation of wisteria that we have right behind our house, I'd tweak it to "...entwined like tendrils of wisteria..." It's quite a nice image. Here's a (lousy) photo of two stalks of wisteria entwined around each other to show what the author meant. You may need to enlarge the photo to pick out the two strands...
    1 point
  16. I think it's difficult to translate it literally without sounding a bit odd. I'd say something like, "the two shadows, locked together like tendrils of wisteria, eventually rose up together".
    1 point
  17. 无非是说两人一个要跳一个不要跳,在纠缠扭打中一不小心,男子惊恐地发现自己与女子一起越过围墙掉下了楼顶。 “这两条”指的是“影子”。
    1 point
  18. Now onto my grade-7 maths textbook (from this bundle). Reading non-fiction is more my style: I'm not only learning/practicing Chinese, I'm also learning about other things. I'm not anticipating this particular textbook will take a long time (I have a maths PhD, but I'm not familiar with some vocabulary, and Chinese teaching standards).
    1 point
  19. I'm not as advanced as you folks in my language ability, it seems. I'm just working through a graded reader - a shortened, localized Chinese translation of "Voyage au centre de la Terre" ("Journey to the Centre of the Earth" - it was originally in French) - 《地心游记》。
    1 point
  20. It'll still be there when you're ready for it.
    1 point
  21. "走建國路" is a song concerned with lovelorn, I guess that the reason for breaking up is from lacking money. So it has the lyric "快乐到底去哪里买 到你爱的古着店看 情绪却在门口打转 怎麽会这么难", that means the leading male role has no enough money for her girlfriend on shopping. "就算你说上台要脱" indicates that his girlfriend needs selling her dignity, stripping to earn money. At last the "快乐根本就不用买 在脚踏垫上数着拍 也没再那么想不开 好想要变简单" says that he was standing alone at the doormat of that antique shop(古着店), relieved himself, has given up this love relationship beyond his ability. furthermore he is a musician, so he counting beats to create a song for this vanishing love. "就算这样还是写了一首破烂的歌".
    1 point
  22. I suck at reading handwritten but isn't that 治?
    1 point
  23. Here's the MID file, hope it helps... chinese song.mid
    1 point
  24. It's from a collection of short stories called "荷尔蒙夜谈" by 鲁敏. I haven't read it but some commentaries. 弓 in this story is a metaphor for 章涵's sexual desire, and the process of raising her sexual desire is similar to that of pulling a bow's drawstring back, or something shifting from 瘪 to 丰满.
    1 point
  25. Here are all the HSK level 6 practice exams released by Hanban that I have been able to find. Are people aware of any others? H61000 H61001 H61002 H61003 H61004 H61005 H61006 H61007 H61008 H61009 H61110 H61111 H61218 H61219 H61220 H61221 H61327 H61328 H61329 H61330 H61332 H61333 I uploaded everything to the Internet Archive. edit for those having trouble finding the PDF files: Under "DOWNLOAD OPTIONS" on the right there is a link that says "PDF". You'll find the files in the drop-down menu. As @mungouk pointed out below, the following practice exams are available at http://cnhsk.org/mk. (Update: the page is no longer up.) H61113 H61114 H61115 H61116 H61117 H61221 H61222 H61223 H61224 H61225
    1 point
  26. Yeah, language learning is fun. I was baffled by the Japanese names for hydrogen (水素) and oxygen (酸素) until I learned they were borrowed from German, Wasserstoff 'water stuff' and Sauerstoff 'sour stuff' respectively.
    1 point
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