Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Featured

  1. Rufus

    Rufus

    Members


    • Points

      22

    • Content Count

      96


  2. 889

    889

    Members


    • Points

      21

    • Content Count

      3,394


  3. abcdefg

    abcdefg

    Members


    • Points

      17

    • Content Count

      6,306


  4. Dawei3

    Dawei3

    Members


    • Points

      12

    • Content Count

      202



Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/14/2019 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    Hey guys, I can comment on this because I know a lot of people who have been in the China Horizons program and I am familiar with the program over my time in China. They are unaffiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints although they are members of the church and primarily recruit students from BYU. Basically, they have been breaking the law in China for a decade or so. They are being accused of human trafficking which, while I think does not exactly capture what has happened, does have a case as a legal charge. Here is what CH has been doing. They offer a program to primarily undergraduate students to go to China to teach English for 2-3 month stints. The students pay CH a fee to go to China and the students pay for their own flights to China. The students are placed in a small town with largely private English schools in the area, primarily teaching young kids. The students go to China on a tourist visa. During their time in China, the school provides accommodations and a small stipend of around 500 RMB per month. The students then return back to America after their time is up. There are legal problems with this situation as well as some ethical issues I have always had with it. First, the students are working in China illegally. To legally work, in China, you must have a work permit. It's a lengthy and sometimes costly process which would not justify just a 2-3 month employment. The students largely would be unqualified to receive work permits anyways because they do not have a college degree. China Horizons is "double dipping" on both sides: they receive a payment from the students AND they receive money from the school employing the students. This seems supremely unfair the first time I ever heard of it and I've always felt the students are being taken advantage of it. The students have no idea how much of a risky situation they have been placed into. With the stricter enforcement that the Chinese government has enacted over the last few years, they could easily be jailed and deported if they were found to be working without proper documentation. I've heard a lot of people rally for Jacob Harlan and his associates indicating that they are victims of Chinese government oppression, but this is just not the case. While I feel for Jacob and his family (his family being the real victims of his crimes), he has been breaking the law and arguably exploiting students for a very long time and the chickens have proverbially come home to roost. I have been in touch with some of the representatives about this and I have expressed my opinion about all of this but they didn't seem to want any of this information spread around because it is damaging to his case. However, it is my prediction that he will not be coming home till he finishes a jail sentence complete with an apology and possibly fine. I will say that despite what I have said, I have known a number of the students who went through the CH program and had a very good experience and some even went back to China under more legitimate circumstances. I am really happy for them and I am glad that they did have this experience. However, I have always harbored big reservations about the CH program and it appears that things have finally caught up to them. I hope this sheds some light on the issue for anyone interested.
  2. 5 points
    You can have Kung Pao Chicken 宫保鸡丁at the all-you-can eat Chinese buffet in the strip mall on the outskirts of Smalltown, Texas, USA. I know because I’ve eaten it there. Panda Express also dishes up a ton of it at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Concourse B. You can always count on it to form the cornerstone of an honest, solid meal. East or West. But if you start chasing it around Mainland China, you will quickly find that the name is the same wherever you go, but what the waitress delivers to your table definitely won’t be what you remembered having last week down the road a piece. It varies all over the map. More so than most popular dishes. Why is that? Gongbao jiding originated in Shandong during the latter Qing. Chicken and peanuts were both staples of Shandong Cuisine, which is also know as 鲁菜 lu cai. The Governor of Shandong Province 山东省 was a real aficionado of that particular taste combination; anecdote has it that he would even occasionally fiddle around with cooking it himself instead of just relegating the task to his staff. We are talking about Ding Baozhen 丁宝桢(1820年-1886年.) Shandong Governor Ding was originally from Guizhou 贵州省 and that is where he began his political career. When his relatives and friends from back home visited him at the Governor’s Mansion, he couldn’t wait to introduce them to his Shandong “find.” They were suitably impressed and carried the word back to Guizhou. The dish was quickly adapted to the local palate, and soon became a staple of Guizhou Cuisine 黔菜 (Qian Cai) as well. Guizhou loves hot food, so the fire quotient was ramped up. Guizhou also insists that sour be part of the flavor mix. That was accomplished by including pickled vegetables 泡菜。 In his later years, Ding was appointed governor of Sichuan. Not surprisingly, he took his culinary discovery with him. Once again it was modified for local tastes and to make use of prized local ingredients such as Sichuan peppercorns, also known as prickly ash, a mouth-numbing member of the citrus family 花椒 huajiao. Today Gongbao jiding 宫保鸡丁 definitely belongs to the cannon of best-loved Sichuan Cuisine 川菜 chuancai. Ding continued to attract favorable national attention by revising the salt tax codes and by refurbishing the famous Dujiangyan Water Conservation System 都江堰水利工。In the course of his long career, Governor Ding caught the eye of the Qing Emperor in a positive way, and before long his favorite dish got picked up by the power elite in the northern capital city. It earned a proud place in Beijing Cuisine. So today your order of Gongbao Jiding 宫保鸡丁 can have many faces. Not to worry; they are all pretty darned good. I’ll show you one very decent recipe that’s not difficult to cook up at home, but I make no extravagant claims to it being the “one true way” or the “gold standard.” (Please click the photos to enlarge them.) The finished product and the vegetables. Start with the meat. Use two large chicken breasts if you plan to make enough for 3 or 4 people to share as part of a Chinese meal. I suggest buying fresh chicken, instead of frozen chicken breasts since they have more taste. The two I had today weighed 0.549 kg (a little over a pound.) I sliced them open first off so they wouldn’t be quite so thick, then proceeded to cut the meat into roughly one-inch cubes. 鸡丁 Safety tip: Put a folded piece of damp paper kitchen towel under the cutting board so it won’t scoot around. Marinate the cut chicken in a mixture of 1 beaten egg white 蛋清, ½ teaspoon cooking salt 食用盐, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper 白胡椒粉, 1 tablespoon of yellow cooking wine 料酒, and a heaping teaspoon of corn starch 玉米淀粉。Put on a disposable glove 一次性手套 and massage the seasonings into the meat. Let it marinate 腌制 in the fridge about 15 minutes. Notice that the marinade isn’t “soupy.” It coats the meat without much excess. Wipe a small amount of cooking oil around the inside of your wok and heat it with low flame. Put in a heaping teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns 花椒 and stir them until you start to smell their lemon-zest aroma. Take them out and let them cool. Meanwhile, cook a handful of peanuts 花生米 the same way. You want them to slowly toast, but not scorch or burn. Keep them moving over low flame for a couple minutes. They become crunchy as they cool, not while they are still hot. Crush the toasted Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the back of a stout soup spoon. Toasting and crushing them like this greatly increases their flavor. Set them and the roasted peanuts aside, turning your attention to the vegetables. Cut the red bell pepper 红甜椒 into thumb-sized pieces and chop a cucumber 黄瓜 into cubes 丁that are about the same size as the chicken. If you are using long Chinese cucumbers as shown, no need to peel them. Cut the spring onion into rounds, using only the white part. Mince 切碎 a thumb of ginger 生姜 and a clove or two of garlic 大蒜。 Prepare a thickening sauce 勾芡酱 by putting a heaping teaspoon of corn starch and a half cup of water into a bowl. Stir well to dissolve. Stir in a tablespoon of sugar 白砂糖。Add a tablespoon of cooking wine 黄酒, a tablespoon of dark vinegar 老陈醋, a tablespoon of light soy sauce 生抽 and about a third as much dark soy sauce 老抽。Set aside. Prep finished, time now to cook. Get the chicken from the fridge, stir it up. I always like to lay out the ingredients and mentally rehearse what goes in first, what follows, and so on. I suppose you could even arrange all your “mis en place” dishes in time-sequence order if you were of a mind to. “Hot wok, cold oil” 热锅粮油。I realize you knew that. Preheat it before adding two or three tablespoons of cooking oil. I used corn oil today. Flame on medium 中火 instead of high. Chicken requires a different approach from pork or beef. Add the chicken in one layer, spreading it quickly with your chopsticks (not all mounded up in the center of the wok.) Leave it alone for a minute or so, allowing it to sear. Carefully scrape it up and turn it over, trying to minimize surface tearing. It should mostly have changed color from pink to white by now and have a little bit of golden crust. The goal for this first stage is to only cook it two-thirds or so; not completely done. Only takes two minutes max. Add the crushed Sichuan peppercorns and 4 or 5 dry red peppers 干辣椒。I usually just tear these peppers in half as I add them. Some people cut them into smaller bits with scissors. Stir everything well and then add the chopped cucumbers and red bell peppers. Add new ingredients to the center of the wok; that’s the hottest part. Then stir it all together. Give it a minute or so, allowing flavors to blend, stirring and flipping all the while 煸炒,翻炒。 Now the thickening sauce goes in, mixing it well because the solids will have settled in the bowl. Stir everything well for a minute or so until you see the chicken and vegetables developing an attractive sheen. Last of all, add the peanuts and incorporate them more or less evenly 拌均匀。You want the peanuts to have a very short cooking time so they will retain their crispy texture. Plate it up 装盘。Admire your handiwork. Snap a photo with your phone. Set it on the table. Call the team to come dig in. Gongbao jiding and steamed rice 蒸饭 are just about inseparable, so plan ahead and have some rice ready when the chicken comes off the stove. Took a little over half an hour today, maybe 45 minutes including clean up. I listened to the Sutherland - Pavarotti Turandot while working. London Philharmonic/Zubin Mehta. Although this is fun to make at home, it’s also an easy thing to order in a simple restaurant. Any random six-table Mom and Pop joint will be able to turn it out. I often supplement it with a clear green-leafy vegetable soup. 苦菜汤 kucai tang, for example, is easy to find and serves the purpose of turning this into a real meal: veggie, meat, and soup. Tasty and won’t break the bank. Try it soon and see what you think! Here's the recipe all in one place to make it easier to use: (Click "reveal hidden contents."
  3. 4 points
    We are six days into our China road trip now. We easily procured a temporary Chinese drivers license at the Beijing airport which is valid for 1 year anywhere in China and valid just for driving a rented car. Reserving the rental car was a hassle. What they didn't tell us in advance was that the car rental company (a Hertz affiliate) would not rent any car to foreigners during Golden Week. So we could only start our road trip on October 8. In general, the car rental business in China is small compared to other countries and not very customer friendly. My husband, who is a Beijing native, had a hard time understanding the car rental people - partly because of a lot of jargon he didn't know and partly because of accent. So his sister, who lives in Beijing, did most of the negotiating for us. We have been navigating easily using Baidu Maps. More later when I have time.
  4. 3 points
    Prompted by a recent question in another thread (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/59118-revisiting-the-classics-家常菜/?tab=comments#comment-459919), here's some simple help on picking the right soy sauce. My neighborhood supermarket has 30 or 40 brands on several yards of shelves. If one just walked in cold, the choice would be nearly overwhelming. In figuring out what kind of soy sauce to use, It helps to divide them into broad categories or types. Light soy sauce 生抽 is far and away the most commonly used. If a recipe just calls for "soy sauce" without specifying further, best strategy is to use light soy sauce 生抽。It is made by fermenting soybeans for several months. The higher grades usually have a longer fermentation time. Look for brands that have no additives (many of the cheaper ones are laced with MSG.) These better ones often bear the designation 特级 te ji, which roughly means "top grade." Expect to pay 15 to 25 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Please click the photos to enlarge them. Here's the kind I have used for the last 5 or 6 years. Notice that it says 不加味精 (no added MSG.) I'm not against small amounts of MSG, but would rather add it judiciously with my own hand instead of having unknown amounts of it hiding in my soy sauce. The arrow near the bottom points to where it says 特级。It has fermented 280 days; that's what the large number means. Same company makes one with a shorter time (180 days) and another with a longer time (380 days.) I take the middle road; the middle way. This brand also has no preservatives. You can also buy soy sauce in large plastic jugs for little more than the price of Coca Cola. You could afford to take a bath in it, not that you would want to. That stuff is made with lots of zippy "instant chemistry" and has only a passing acquaintance with the soy bean to which it owes its name. Best avoided. It's easy to get seduced by "special purpose" soy sauce being promoted just for making one kind of food. One can buy a special type of soy sauce for steaming fish 蒸鱼豉油 and another soy sauce that has been flavored with tiny 虾米 dried shrimp 海鲜酱油。One other common type is promoted as being specifically for 红烧肉 red-cooked pork. It typically contains star anise plus a little cinnamon. There's nothing wrong with these, but they take a lot of extra cabinet space and aren't really necessary. You can use plain soy sauce just as well and add the extra seasonings by hand as required. Low-sodium soy sauce exists, and will usually be labeled 低盐酱油, meaning "low salt." It would be a mistake to think that "light soy sauce" means it is low in salt. Some brands are labeled as being "natural and organic" 天然有机。I don't have any experience with them. When I use soy sauce in a dish, I dial back the cooking salt 食用盐 a little to allow for it. All soy sauce contains flour in addition to fermented soy, so it's not gluten free, just in case that is something with which you are concerned. The second main kind of soy sauce is 老抽,usually rendered into English as "old soy sauce." or "dark soy sauce." It is used in cooking, not as a table condiment. It's quite a bit more concentrated than "young soy sauce" 生抽,and typically contains both flour-based thickeners and molasses-type sweeteners. It is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whereas light soy sauce just runs right off. If I'm using a casual Chinese recipe that calls for both 生抽 and 老抽 without specifying precise amounts, I will use three or four times as much 生抽 as 老抽。Old soy sauce imparts a deeper color to a dish but not a whole lot of flavor. It is very often made with fermented mushrooms added during processing to enrich the taste, to make it more substantial. Here's one I've used several years with good results. Note the arrow pointing out that it is also 特级 (top grade.) Costs about the same as 生抽, 15 or 20 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Sometimes one also uses a very thick soy sauce as a dipping sauce for roast meat or duck 烤肉/烤鸭, alone or mixed with plum sauce. It is slightly sweet and comes in a wide-mouth jar; thick enough to require a spoon to serve it. If you are looking for general-purpose Chinese cooking soy sauce, that's not what you are after. Pass it by. In summary, your kitchen cupboard will be just fine with a bottle of 生抽 and another of 老抽。It's worth shelling out the little bit extra to get 特级 editions of both.
  5. 2 points
    @vellocet First of all, I'd like to say thanks for piping in. But, since this is a public forum and since our livelihood quite literally depends on public opinion of our competency, I'd like to address the term "enthusiastic amateurs." You seem to be referring to our business sense (in which case, it may be a fair assessment), but for anyone else who may be reading this thread, I'd like to clarify a bit. I left a pretty cushy job as an electrical engineer to go to Taiwan to spend a year (and no small amount of money) at ICLP in order to get my Chinese up to a level that I could survive in a Chinese academic environment. After that, I spent 6 years in a PhD program for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (TCSL) at National Taiwan Normal University and was the first westerner to pass the PhD qualifying exams (two 6-hour exams, all in handwritten Chinese with nothing but pen and paper -- I memorized 15 books over a 4.5 month period to do this. It was over 20,000 supermemo flashcards. I had to be able to answer any question about linguistics (first exam) and any question about Chinese language pedagogy (second exam). The linguistic areas I studied for the first exam include topology and universals, semantics, transformational grammar, case grammar, functional grammar, contrastive analysis, Chinese syntax, pragmatics, phonology and Chinese morphology. During my time in the TCSL department, I became interested in Chinese paleography and Old Chinese phonology. I took 18 hours of classes in the Chinese department on paleography and historical linguistics, including classes by paleographers 季旭昇 and 杜忠誥. I had the good fortune to do two 2-week courses with Dr. William Baxter (specialist in Old Chinese phonology) and 陳劍 (one of China's top paleographers), one in 2007 and one in 2009. After talking with 季旭昇, Dr. Baxter and Dr. Dirk Meyer (of Oxford University), I left TCSL and move over to the Chinese department to pursue more academically rigorous studies in paleography. I was only allowed to transfer 9 credit hours, so had to do another year plus of courses including more historical phonology, paleography and excavated texts. I also participated in 季旭昇's weekly study group on excavated texts for over 2 years. To summarize: not including the time I spent learning Chinese and classical Chinese to a level that I could even start preparing for this project, I've spent at least 7 years full-time preparing to do this project. My PhD proposal (i.e., for my dissertation) was accepted 22 Oct 2015. I put off writing it up until a month ago, because I was spending 6 days a week on this project. I'm now only putting 1 day a week toward my dissertation, which has to be written entirely in Chinese, also so I can put time into this project. John lived in Taiwan for 3 years before moving to Japan. He learned Mandarin really quickly. Within two years of being in Taiwan, he applied to and was accepted into the masters program in the Chinese department, also at NTNU. He did a year in that program, focusing on paleography and Chinese calligraphy and was very successful. He has a real solid basis in paleography. Better than any of the popular books available in English (and Chinese for that matter). The two of us earn our living from Outlier and have done so for years now. So, if we have a say in this, we prefer the term "underfunded professionals."
  6. 2 points
    How we practice spoken foreign language via shadowing and echoing 如何通过影子跟读 & 回声跟读提升外语听力口语水平 Have you been wondering why you have watched a bunch of videos in foreign language but still fail to utter the word appropriately and fluently when you need to. That's probably because you watch but never practice based on what you've watched. 为何看了那么多外语视频还是不能在口语交流中流畅而确切地措辞?那是因为你只是看了视频,却没有据之进行相应的跟读练习。 What we need to make it communicating fluently and finding the exact expression fitting the certain context when we speak? Basically three elements, familiarity of the wordings, pronunciation you are confident with, and swift reaction to what you've heard. Simply put, to manage a conversation well you need to know what the other party means, figure out the suitable words you would like to apply to convey what's in your mind, and pronounce it accurately enough for others to understand. If you stagger in any part mentioned above, the conversation lacks the fluency and agile state of mind to go smooth. 为了能在口语交流中的流畅表达,找出符合语境的那个字眼,我们要做些什么?基本而言,有三点:第一,提高对词汇的熟悉度;第二,练就自信的发音;第三,能迅速反应所听到的内容。再简单粗暴点,要无碍沟通,就得知道对方在说什么,找到表达心中所想的那个词,并通过能让对方正确理解的发音说出来。如果上述三者中某一项不过关,沟通流畅度会降低,沟通者难以维持轻松敏捷的交流状态,对话也会随之受阻。 You may find that people good at talking with foreigners have a lot in common, and that's far from coincidence. First of all, their listening comprehension of foreign language won't get in the way of further expression. They make it understanding what the other is talking about in seconds, and the faster it is, the less time it takes for him to respond. 你会发现善于用外语交流的人都有相似点,而且这不是巧合。首先,他们对外语有较强的听力理解能力,这保证了下一步的表达不受阻碍。对方说的话,他们能秒懂,懂得越快,作出回答的用时越短。 Second, they are resourceful in the volume of expression available. The wordings seem automatically come into mind whenever the idea hits. And they are connected to memory by pronunciation instead of written form. 其次,他们可以用来表达的词汇也很丰富。每当大脑想到了什么,这些想法对应的外语表达词汇貌似都自动地闪进他们脑海。而且这些词汇是通过语音而非字形进行记忆的。 Finally, they are confident in their pronunciation. It doesn't necessarily mean the pronunciation is accurate or native without flaws, but it sounds not too weird for the native speaker to get it, so it won't make them too shy to speak out. 最后,他们对自己的外语发音很自信。这不一定意味着他们的发音准确地道得毫无瑕疵,但至少在母语人士听起来不会太奇怪以致难以听懂。这样他们就不会因为羞怯而不敢开口说外语了。 To make a progress in spoken language, we need to be familiar with the pronunciation, and the meaning corresponding based on how the words sound instead of the way they are written. Therefore, we could react quickly when we hear and get the words with the least struggling when speaking. How may practice echoing and shadowing help with the improvement? 要在口语上取得进步,我们要熟悉语言的发音和相关意思,要根据发音联想到意思,而不是根据字形。这样,当听到某个词的发音,我们就能迅速反应相应意思;口头交流的时候也能更轻松地引用这个词。回声跟读法和影子跟读法又是如何提升口语的? Every time we watch a video in foreign language, especially those with titles, we read the meaning through the written language instead of understand it purely via pronunciation. And we've thought we get it, but actually we just don't focus on the connection between pronunciation and meaning good enough to make us well prepared to the future conversation with similar expression as the potential content. We may find it would be easier for us to realize what it means based on written form instead of reflecting its meaning the minute we hear it, since the connection between pronunciation and meaning hasn't been well developed. 每当我们看一个外语视频,特别是视频带字幕的时候,我们其实更多地是在通过字幕而非纯粹根据发音了解意思。我们以为自己理解了,而事实上我们没有很好地注意发音与意思的联系,以至下一回同样的表达再度出现在谈话中时,我们措手不及,不能很好地根据发音反应对应的意思。我们会发现,我们没有建立起发音与意思的联系,所以我们会发现同一个词,根据字形比根据发音更容易辨别它的含义。 Both echoing and shadowing help us build and strengthen the connection between what we actually hear and what it means. When we echo what we hear, we try to repeat and imitate the pronunciation and lessen the inconformity between what we hear and the way we pronounce. The more consistent it is between them, the less time it costs for us to reflect what's said and further what it means. 影子跟读法和回声跟读法都能帮助我们建立并强化发音与意思的联系。当我们进行回声跟读,我们是在模仿并重复所听到的声音,并使自己的发音趋近于它。当这两者越接近,听力理解所需的用时就越短。 Echoing also improves our muscle memory of the pronunciation and meaning of the words since we are practicing speaking up, which makes it relevant to our daily activity. Memory does serve better to the things we frequently apply than those we have ignored. We have paid little attention to the pronunciation when we watch videos without noticing the voice but the titles, or are too hurried for the meaning to notice how it is spoken. However, echoing brings us close to the pronunciation, which will be closer if we echo the video without titles and with scene where we could see how the commentator moves his mouth muscles. 回声跟读是我们练习发音的机会,使发音过程与我们自己的日常活动挂钩,这有助于增强对发音的肌肉记忆,进而提升对发音对应意思的理解能力。和被忽略的东西相比,越是被高频使用的东西,我们记得越牢。而看视频时我们一般只看字幕,或急于弄清意思而忽略发音。而回声跟读将让我们关注发音,如果进行跟读训练的视频不带字幕,且有发声者嘴部肌肉运动状态的镜头,那作用就更大了。 Pronunciation has something to do with oral movement, and it will be a guidance of how to pronounce by watching how it is pronounced by others. Reading the meaning from lips will bring you closer to the meaning, too. It means the connection among movement, pronunciation and meaning is established. You don't need to reflect the written form to know what it means when hear it, and you can simply move your lips for the certain vocabulary when the thought strikes you. 发音与口腔运动息息相关,看着别人是怎么运动口腔肌肉进行发音的,有助于引导我们正确发音。从运动的嘴唇判断意思,也能加快你理解发音的速率。当发音、肌肉运动与意思三者相互关联,你将可以通过纯粹的发音反应它对应的含义,无需通过联想字形才能得知意思,而当你想到某个点子,对应的外语表达也跃然脑海,脱口而出了。 When you are easy with echoing, it is worthwhile to take a further step to shadowing, which means repeating and imitating without pause. Unlike echoing where we finish hearing each sentence and hit a pause before we repeat, where we have more time to react and polish the way we speak, shadowing leaves us limited time to respond or polish since we are repeating almost simultaneously with the video. 当回声跟读已经不成问题了,可以挑战更高层次的影子跟读,即无间断无缝跟读。回声跟读时,我们听完每句话按下暂停键再模仿读音,模仿的时间更充足,更有利于雕琢每一个发音。与回声跟读不同,影子跟读几乎与视频发音同步进行,给你的反应时间或美化调整发音的时间是相对有限的。 Shadowing requires familiarity with the language, so that you are less likely to make mistake when imitating, and it means a higher level for reaction, which you cannot reach without former practice in echoing. 影子跟读训练要求我们熟悉语言,以减少犯错几率,这是对反应能力更高级的要求,没有前期的回声跟读训练,很难达到这种水平。 Imitation with consciousness is the shortest and most efficient path to mastering a skill, so it counts when you compare your pronunciation with the standard model and fill in the space of improvement if there is any. Make every move effective in boosting spoken language by echoing then shadowing. 有意识地模仿是提高一项技能最短最奏效的途径。对比你的发音与范本发音,找出差距,并填充进步的空间,将大有裨益。从回声跟读到影子跟读走起,一步一步地提升外语口语,让每一步都不白费。
  7. 2 points
    Thank you for the support! A lot of things fly under the radar in China. In some ways its like the wild west. However, you can just think about this in the USA. How do so many illegal immigrants live and work in the country and "get away with it"? My company in China is a bakery, so in no way competing with CH. In fact, many of the CH teachers who have heard about my bakery come and visit it whenever they are in Shanghai. My other company is a US based publishing company of the Mandarin Companion Chinese graded reader series. I don't know the founders, but I know one of his cousins. Their very business model is based on skirting the law in China. I believe the real victims in this situation is the family of Jacob Harlan and the family of his other associate who was detained. They are the ones who have been unaware of the legality of the situation and will be without their father for some time, possibly years. @重大雷雨 I understand you are skeptical about my comments, but I assure you my view points on the matter are not because of any animosity towards CH or its owners nor are they due to any affiniation to the Chinese government. I just believe the reported story is incomplete and paints CH as a victim when in fact they have been breaking the law in China for years. I carry no doubt that the timing and detention and prosecution has political influence, but regardless of the timing, the Chinese gov has a legal case to do so.
  8. 2 points
    Not even a teasponful of sugar! I'm pretty sure in Beijing there's a cupful in this dish.
  9. 2 points
    The Chinese is much better than the awkward English, though there will be an even neater way to say it in wenyanwen.
  10. 2 points
    I think any company doing this is likely operating illegally in China. There are some provisions to obtain visas for internships which are unpaid and have restrictions on how many hours the person may work, but this requires sponsoring companies and approval. It is likely that these companies are doing this.
  11. 2 points
    ironically i remember taking an HSK test where one essay was describing techniques students could use to improve reading speeds. their biggest advice was to not mouth the words or imagine pronounciation as you're going because it will slow you down. i'm finding in practice that that has to be true as your reading speed will eventually outpass your comfortable speaking speed. anyway the essay really slowed down my test because i was too interested in the subject matter to just skim for correct answers
  12. 2 points
    He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better 沈冰山:27载习棋练琴,只为更好地作画 It was Sunday, trapped in house by the rainy morning, that I read the story about him. I was not knowing what to do then since the rain put an end to my plan going out for a walk and doing the recording along the way. I was thinking about doing the recording at home only to find that the goddamn cellphone was unavailable for clear record without blending some noise of electric current into my voice. What the hell is going on? What a big joke! 星期天的清晨,正被雨天困在家里,我读到了关于他的故事。当时我正无所事事,这雨一下,我外出散步顺带录音的计划泡了汤。好吧那就在家里录音得了,谁知道这该死的手机居然闹起来别扭,录音也不能好好录了,人声跟电流干扰声还混声了。这是在闹哪出?诸事不宜吗! We have planned to do a lot in the leisure future when we are busy, making a to do list and awaiting them to be finished when we have the time. But the things don't see any accomplishment when that time comes, since a lot of other things unexpected do come along with the time available. 在忙的时候,我们计划好要在将来闲暇的某个时段做很多事情,也列了相应的清单等待着那个空闲时间的到来。但当有时间了,我们却不见得能完成计划的事项,毕竟随之而来的可能是其他意想不到的状况。 Somebody may go around the obstacle and find another way to his goal set, while the others stand still wondering why, cursing damn, or moving to another direction when they see no possibility to go through the barrier. 困境当前,有人会绕过障碍,开拓出另一种路径去接近原定的目标,而其余的人只是站在那里,或问着为什么,或诅咒着什么,或因为看不到穿越屏障的可能而改变初衷。 The story I read about Mr Bingshan Shen is a well reflection of the somebody mentioned above. 读着沈冰山的故事,我看到了上述“某一种人”的真实写照。 What if what you do could always have something to do with what you are going to do next? It may be a perfect form of efficiency in life, because nothing you've ever done has been wasted. 如果你现在所做的每一件事都能与接下来所要做的产生联系,你的生活会是怎样?这将是人生的一种高效形式,因为你所做的一切都不曾白费。 Mr Shen enjoyed drawing when he was young, and that's his lifelong love of labor too. Sight means almost everything to a painter, but illness got him blind when he was right 26 years old. He had to quit drawing unless he could draw without seeing, which means he should draw with the guidance of memory, judging the position of next stroke based on the last one, and having his own rhythm in mind to move along. 沈先生热爱绘画,这是他年幼时的爱好,也是他一生所爱。视力对于一个画家而言何其重要,然而他26岁时因病失明。他不得不放弃作画,除非他可以在什么也看不见的情况下画,这意味着他要凭借记忆对他的指引去画,根据前一笔的落笔去规划下一笔的走向,并心存作画时可依据的节奏。 That's difficult for even normal people, let alone for someone disable. But one has no idea of what difference he is capable of making until fate gets him cornered. He put drawing aside, starting to learn to play chess and a kind of traditional Chinese music instrument named Yangqin. It took him 27 years. 这对于正常人而言,都显得困难,何况是他这个残障人士。但若命运没有将你逼到绝处,你还不知道自己还能剑走偏锋。他暂时把画画这事搁置在一旁,开始学习下象棋,学习弹扬琴这种中国传统乐器。这花了他27载光阴。 He led the way back to drawing when he had mastered both chess and Yangqin well, which brought him fame nationwide. He wouldn't rest on that glory, since he knew what he had learned these for. 当棋艺与琴艺都掌握了,并且在国内也名声渐长的时候,他让精力回归到作画上。他没有在荣耀之上长眠,因为他深知,学习琴棋是为了什么。 I was shocked when I saw how he connected drawing with the way he played chess and the Yangqin. Playing chess gave him a great improvement in memory, so he's good at visualizing the chessboard in mind, systemizing every move based on the lines crossing each other on it. He made it planning what to do next playing without watching the layout. 当领悟到他是如何把作画跟下棋和弹奏扬琴相联系时,我被震撼了。磨炼棋艺提升了他的记忆力,因此他善于让棋局在心头可视化,并有系统地根据其上纵横交错的线去设计接下来每一步棋的走位。于是他便可以不用看棋局也能自如地走子。 The layout's in his heart. And when this game saw its transformation on the paper and color, he could manage drawing well by memorizing what he had done and designing the coming steps based on what's formed in his mind, so blindness was no longer in the way. He took the paper his chessboard and every time he put a brush on it, it's like moving a piece of chess thereon. 布局就在他心里,当这个游戏延伸到纸面上,与颜色挂钩时,他便能凭借对之前步骤的记忆和心中所想,去画好接下来的每一笔,这样,双目失明不再是种障碍。他视纸箱为棋盘,每在上面添一笔,都像是挪动棋局之上的一枚棋。 His experience in Yangqin sharpened his sense in rhythm and alteration of details. Different pitches arranged in various rhythm make the melody. And he was specialized in making ever-changing melody possible without seeing. He saw drawing as the flow of music where colors and lines got changing to make what's in his mind vivid onto the paper. That's how playing the Yangqin helped him with his drawing. It's all about control of rhythm when you polish the details. 扬琴的弹奏经验锐化了他对节奏和细节变化的感知。不同的音高根据不一的节奏进行排列重组,形成了旋律。他擅长仅凭感觉去弹奏并展现这种多变的旋律。绘画对他而言只是一幅流动的音乐,色彩与线条跃然纸面,且变化多端,他心中的画卷也随之在纸上活灵活现。弹奏扬琴有助于他作画:一切关乎雕琢细节时对节奏的把控。 Barrier brings him patience, and he makes it a legend. 命中的阻滞给了他耐性,而他成全了这段传奇。
  13. 2 points
    I attended 1 on 1 classes at Culture Yard bear Beixinqiao and found them excellent. Would mean a commute for you though.
  14. 1 point
    I don't know whether it's a question of disliking Mandarin, but Cantonese people certainly prefer to speak Cantonese with other Cantonese people. It is the mother tongue of the Cantonese people (small pockets apart) and anchors the Cantonese identity. Understanding the significance of regionalism is important in understanding China.
  15. 1 point
    Sun Tzu disagrees: "The greatest victory is that which requires no battle"
  16. 1 point
    Thank you @Larry Language Lover -- Cooking Chinese food is one of my hobbies. I live in Kunming and have access to lots of prime fresh seasonal ingredients. They are always an inspiration, year around. I just walk through the local farmers market and get ideas. Talk with the vendors about how they suggest cooking their produce; they always have practical suggestions. And I also like to recreate the classics. Here are some other Chinese Forum recipes which are indexed alphabetically. You might find something else that strikes your fancy. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/52430-alphabetical-index-of-food-articles/ @Xiao Kui -- Well, actually it sort of is from Sichuan. But it is also sort of from Shandong, Guizhou, and Beijing. Several regions claim it. This dish got around, and everyplace it passed through produced some changes. Now it also exists in New York, London, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and so on. Every place which has adopted it as its own makes some changes so it will appeal more to local tastes.
  17. 1 point
    Speak Chinese in Beijing and people sort of expect it. Speak Chinese in Shanghai and not only do people do a double-take, they want to switch to English.
  18. 1 point
    Wow that seems long for a tattoo, there must be a Chinese proverb (usually 4 characters long) that expresses this much more eloquently. I am not a fan of tattoos, this seems like a bad choice for many reasons. Who among the people you know will be able to read it? Why not find a shorter, more poetic way of saying it in your own language, choose a nice font and a good background and have that. This way you will be able to share your idea with people. I am sure you have your reasons but I strongly suggest you rethink your choice.
  19. 1 point
    My rental contract ends this month and my landlord came around last week. He wanted to up the rent by 1400 a month. 5400 to 6800 for an empty apartment. I live out past the 5th ring road. That's what? a 25% increase in two years! I really though he was being unreasonable but he said he just wants to charge the market rate. he'd a good landlord to be fair. I checked with a few estate agents and asked a wechat group. He'd pretty much in line with the market. I checked my old building in shuangjing. I paid 7500pm two years ago. They are asking 10000+ pm month now! I noticed everything is rapidly increasing. Restaurants , gym membership, etc Rapidly becoming an expensive city.
  20. 1 point
    QuickPinyin QuickPinyin is a small app for typing pinyin with tone marks. It works in any Windows program and with any keyboard layout. I originally created QuickPinyin for my private use because I didn't like the way other pinyin typing apps worked. My classmates at the time liked it and I thought other students might find it useful too, so I decided to share it here. Why use QuickPinyin? Portable: QuickPinyin is a portable app. This means you can run it on any computer directly from a USB stick without installing anything at all. Other pinyin typing programs must be installed first to work. Faster: QuickPinyin adds tone marks as soon as you type the tone number—no need to press Space or Enter like other pinyin typing programs require. Compatible: QuickPinyin runs alongside normal input methods without getting in the way—no need to constantly switch input languages. Mixed-case: Any combination of mixed-case pinyin is supported, for example: GuAn1 becomes GuĀn, etc. Erhua: Full erhua support, for example: dianr3 becomes diǎnr (mixed-case erhua is also supported). 32 and 64-bit: QuickPinyin runs happily on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Zero-bloat policy: I hate bloatware and malware as much as anyone. QuickPinyin contains no hidden, annoying or malicious garbage. Open source: The source code made available for anyone to audit and modify. I provide QuickPinyin free of charge for anyone to use, share and modify—go mad! I am always happy to improve my creations so feel free to post your suggestions here, and maybe a short thank you message if you like QuickPinyin... or buy me a beer some day 😋 Usage instructions: This is the easy part... Just run QuickPinyin and then type each pinyin syllable followed by a tone number, for example type hao3. As soon as you finish typing the tone number, QuickPinyin will immediately convert hao3 to hǎo and, yes, it will place the tone mark on the correct vowel so you will get hǎo (correct) and not haǒ (wrong). You can toggle QuickPinyin by double-clicking its system tray icon or via a user-defined keyboard shortcut that you can set in the preferences. For detailed usage instructions, please refer to included Readme.txt document. Enjoy! Portable version: If you prefer portable apps (I do), get the "portable version" below. This version is identical to the "installer version", but doesn't need installation. Instead, you simply copy-paste the QuickPinyin files to a folder and run from there. You can also make a portable version from the installed version simply by copying out the entire QuickPinyin folder to a location of your choosing (such as a USB stick, etc). Downloads: Current software version: QuickPinyin v1.15 Release date: 6 September 2014 System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 either 32-bit or 64-bit Installer version (main download) Download Alternative download* Portable version (optional) Download Alternative download* Source code (requires Autohotkey to run as script) Download Alternative download* *Alternative download links don't require forum membership, downloaded files are the exact same.
  21. 1 point
    The initial sentence as well as the comment about the boss hating anyone who dares asking suggests to me a reality check is in order about what work is like, especially in China and especially since the OP apparently wants to continue to work in China. You either accept China's a very the-boss-is-the-boss type of society or you look for work elsewhere. If you see someone blindly walking out into traffic you're going to call out to them, whether they asked for help crossing the street or not.
  22. 1 point
    The initial sentence had no relation to the rest of the post? I think we were meant to link her absence from work (which she apparently felt was justified) with the problems she's having with her employer. Why else did she add it? And my message is, if you walk off the job when the boss says no, don't be shocked or amazed when there are problems down the road.
  23. 1 point
    You might also want to consider an online teacher for 1:1? I love the way I can reschedule classes whenever necessary, and I can do the lesson from wherever is convenient without worrying about getting to a school in rush-hour traffic etc. I've done lessons while on holiday, stuck late in the office, back home in the UK etc... all you need is a decent network connection. For comparison with the above rates I pay about ¥153 per lesson with my teacher on italki.com, buying 10 lessons in a package, and we always have a full 60 minutes. Different teachers have different rates.
  24. 1 point
    忆东方,取自白居易的忆江南。 忆 is more of recall ,less meaning of longing for fareast远东 in mandarin sounds political, someting about imperialism and war, better avoid it.
  25. 1 point
    I would use 想念 if the context allows. "I lived in Shenyang for nearly 10 years, and now that I'm back in Peoria, I really miss it, really long for it. Would love to go back. Those were the days! 我真的好想念沈阳。(Substitute 东方 for 沈阳。) Might work in your example. Of course, it's not the only way to express those sentiments. @Jim 怀念 appeals to me too. Both it and 想念 verge on being poetic, full of emotion and feeling.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Correct. This is why I don't recommend trying to increase your speeds on any text that still requires learning, and only do it on texts that are fully learnt. The speed increase you get from doing that will then carry over in to normal reading and you'll find that even when you slow down, it will still be faster than what you could previously read at.
  28. 1 point
    thanks @Bibu @abcdefg very informative. I noticed one or two recipes online just simple mention 红烧 in the procedural steps yup thats what I do a lot with my dishes, nuke the meat in the pressure cooker, when tender caramelize with peanut oil and sugar, the start whacking in the soya combo and other ingredients The turn out well actually, Took a lot of trial and error though
  29. 1 point
    @Balthazar ya i’m sure they have fancier ones by now, i’m kinda turned off by the whole brand though honestly, anything by suntory as well. @abcdefg this is my favorite sea salt, fab taste and it comes in flakes which have a great little crunch.
  30. 1 point
    They have a whole range of varieties. I recommend you try their marudaizu version (if you haven't already), which uses whole beans. Nothing like the standard offering, but can be hard to find abroad and it's not cheap. I wouldn't really put Japanese and Chinese soy sauce up against each other, as they are quite different beasts (I have no experience with Korean soy sauce, but hear they are closer to the Chinese). I prefer using Chinese soy sauce when making Chinese food and vice versa. Living in the West severely limits our options, but I'll post a info on what we use when I get home Great write-up as usual @abcdefg
  31. 1 point
    in the old nice days, 红烧 means soybean sauce + sugar, the two would make the color of dish into red(红), for me it looks more dark brown. The major differ between 生抽 and 老抽 is have sugar in or not..., so in a modern recipe it is always use 老抽 for 红烧. @abcdefgfor the real classic family dishes, i recommend you can reference this book wrote in 1966: https://book.douban.com/subject/3017522/
  32. 1 point
    I don't bother going to the hutongs anymore . Many seem to have become more like hipsters place to hang out with prices to match.
  33. 1 point
    @abcdefg the kikkoman is basically just flavorless colored saltwater. this stuff, called kishibori shoyu, has got a really strong flavor; great for japanese, chinese or western cooking. i’m often looking for something to add a little punch of flavor and this is one of my go-to solutions. my friend’s wife is an editor for a cooking blog, and after i gave her some she wrote a whole article about how much she like it: www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/this-is-the-best-soy-sauce-article/amp
  34. 1 point
    This is definitely true. People build up reading habits such as moving mouth and so on when they are a beginner, and then those habits stick even as your ability improves to the point where you no longer need them. Actively drilling to avoid that can help solve that problem, and if it was a problem you can probably double reading speed with a bit of effort. By far though, the biggest hit to reading speed is encountering an unknown word or character.
  35. 1 point
    This is a good case where both examples are correct and have different meanings. I can now see how this is not an American/British difference at all.
  36. 1 point
    Don't forget this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_soy_sauce
  37. 1 point
    Yes, that's a real good one that you found. Top shelf!
  38. 1 point
    I look forward to 红烧茄子, and even have some aubergines at home waiting for a recipe. If there's room for another request, I used to like 罗汉斋 (Buddha's delight), I guess the dish can take different combinations of tofu and many types of vegetables (or pickled Chinese veggies only?), and would love to know what is the sauce.
  39. 1 point
    Gotta have 回锅肉 on “the list”.
  40. 1 point
    do you use different 老抽 or 生抽 for the different dishes. I have bought a few different 生抽 now but some seem to verge towards the 老抽 end of things
  41. 1 point
    Epicures can sneer all they want, but you can't ignore 古老肉/糖醋里脊. (But yes, it seems embarrassing to order it, so I usually don't.) Another can't-miss is 炸酱面. (It can be ordered without embarrassment.) 麻婆豆腐 and 京酱肉丝 also belong on the old-standbys list. (These all assume you can these days still afford to order meat.)
  42. 1 point
    We had some 家里做的包子 tonight
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    I think it is really important to develop this skill - the ability to think of, and hear in your mind any sound in Mandarin and to be able to clearly differentiate (in your mind's ears) the different sounds and different tones, building a model in your mind where different tone = different sound. Once you can do that, remembering the tones becomes simple because you don't need to remember the tone, you just remember the complete sound (which includes the tone). Even if you think you don't have the ability to remember sounds like this, that's probably not true. I'm sure if you try you can think of and hear "Happy Birthday", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or the voice of your favourite TV/movie character in your head, and that's because you've heard them over and over and over again. You need to do the same with the sounds of Mandarin until they are ingrained enough in your mind that you can hear them at will.
  45. 1 point
    Hi! This is my case, you will hace to pay whatever's not covered by the CSC
  46. 1 point
    First time buying a graded reader, bought My Teacher is a Martian, Kindle version on Amazon. Love it! Well done on all fronts. Can't wait to read the other 150 and 300 character level ones. @Rufus If you're out there, I'm curious, do you recommend reading it silently or out loud? https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/44660-eliminating-subvocalisation/ Would you mind putting in your two cents as a publisher?
  47. 1 point
    yup i do it every now and then (5, 6 times a year ). Its a great way to see the nearby and faraway places . I went to 古北水镇 last weekend but have done a lot of much longer road trips. I heard about this temporary driving license facility at Beijing airport but no idea if its a reality or not., Might be best to to go and ask directly as rules and websites can become out of date quite quickly in China. As of a more general long term suggestion, If you plan to stay in Beijing for a while and have a resident permit then a chinese driving licence is the way to go. Its pretty straight forward if you use an agent.He wll bring you to the testing center and do everything (apart from sit the test). The test is fairly straightforward, 2 full days study you should pass Driving in Beijing is an experience, some foreigners make a song and dance about it but you get used to the rules or lack thereof, quite quickly. Its not as dangerous as people make out as everyone drives at a modest pace, even on the freeways, ring roads (compared to Europe) but the chances of a fender bender is higher. Its sterotyping i know but the average chinese person can't drive for *insert derogatory word of your choice*. So if you expect the unexpected (people cutting in front of you from junctions, no indictaors, driving whilst browsing their phones, driving down the street the wrong way etc) its pretty mangeable and an adventure. You can park overnight on the street (there is sometimes a number you can phone or someone will come peddling after you on a bike to take payment, in carparks etc) but its not cheap so best to hire the car the day you leave Beijing to go elsewhere . Finding a parking spot on the street is a difficult enough task though even a good deal out from the center I use the 神州租车 APP. its useful. You need to upload you passport and visa on the APP, wait for a few days for them to register you, go to one of their offices and enquire as to why they haven't, the guys wakes up from his afternoon nap looks at you startled like your an alien, then gets on with it , and bingo your set to go I link my ALIPAY account to it, you have 3 options, credit card details , alipay 芝麻points if you have them (700) or prepay deposit on the day. The car are usually good and cheap 200kuai upwards, 300 for a SUV but there is always 70 or so extra charges for this and that fee. A decent company don't make any issues about a few scuffs here and there, no more that hertz or avis do anyway. I like driving as its part of a road trip for me, full up with snacks, stop off at small towns, take detours to see lakes etc, see the sights but if its just a way of getting from A to B e.g. beijing to Xi'an then the high speed train is the way to go. However others I know just see it as stressful and avoid it if possible, each to their own. Actually I am thinking about the same trip soon to Xian, haven't been there in 10 years I doubth thats correct Shelly I have done it a load of times and every year there is a max exodus of rental cars leaving Beijing during chunjie and national holidays. In fact its hard to rent a car at that time as they are nearly all gone. Last time I went to 辽宁 and had to hire the top end range, everything else already gone can you even go there as a foreigner without an invite I seem hear varying reports about that all contradicting each other.
  48. 1 point
    Is it Hanping Chinese HSK (1-6) deck? Best do it on PC then Download the deck (Hanping_Chinese_HSK_1-6.apkg), double click to import into ANKI Open Browser Click on 'Hanping Chinese HSK' deck (left hand side) click on any card in the window. (The top window bar (right hand side) should show "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" ) Select All (CTRL A) click SUSPEND, all rows will turn yellow in the window bar add the text 'tag:HSK1' so it will show "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" tag:HSK1 600 rows should be displayed (150 of the HSK cards x 4 card types ) Select All again (CTRL A) click SUSPEND again, all 600 rows will back to white (i.e. unsuspended) when you want HSK2 included as well, just change the search to "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" tag:HSK1 OR tag:HSK2 (1200 cards will be shown) and click SUSPEND (to toggle the 'suspend' action on /off) and you get the idea ....
  49. 1 point
    As far as the accents and dialects go in China, there are a ton. I studied in Beijing and found it hard to understand typical people on the streets. I studied in Kunming, at Keats, and also found the accent there different. But, most people can speak standard Mandarin so that once I got a feel for the accent, I was able to understand them. I found younger people to have the least accents, in general. The older driver from the airport to Keats had a pretty thick accent so I asked him if Mandarin was his native language, and it wasn't. I think that it's all part of the learning experience, and I wouldn't let the local accent be the deciding factor on where you choose to study. Also, I did a homestay for a month in Beijing and found it to be OK, but my biggest problem is that I think in English. I'd have a short dinner (and breakfast) with the family, then I'd go to study and they'd go to watch TV, and didn't invite me to join them. So, I'd go to my room, and think in English, so wasn't particularly "immersed". At the meals I didn't understand the older folks at all because of their very thick Beijing accents, and the 50 something "kids" would translate for me into standard Mandarin. I was probably an advanced beginner at that time. When I went to Keats I just stayed in the school itself and found it a lot less stressful than living in a stranger's apartment (but that's me). I found a coffee shop where the staff was bored and spoke standard ("perfect") Mandarin and would chat with them a few times a week. They were nice 20 something women who appreciated the foreigners going to their shop. If/when you find people who are willing to talk with you, you luck out. I went to a local temple and befriended the older men there through doing gung fu. They did have thick accents, but we had very interesting discussions about housing costs and prices of things. Keats hired a driver of a car to go to the Stone Forest and I sat in the front and had two hours each way of discussions about everything. As your vocabulary and Chinese move to higher levels you'll find that more people want to talk to you, because they're also curious about the west. Around the corner from Keats the last time I went was a new Western coffee shop and an English language school. Parents would drop off their kids and wait. I'd go there to get coffee (almost double the price of American coffee!) and study. I had two occasions to talk to parents in Chinese waiting for kids. To me, not the most extroverted person around, it took a little work to be available and open to talking to strangers. You get better at it with time, and have to be willing to accept rejections as well, because people have their own priorities in life and often don't want to have to try to understand a foreigner. Once you get beyond the "you speak Chinese very well, where do you study" level of conversation, it gets easier, and harder, to have "real" conversations about a vast array of topics. I'm a veterinarian and always find a vet hospital to visit where ever I am in China. I spent an afternoon in Kunming at a practice where the vet there is doing stem cell research, so I brushed up on my medical Chinese with my Keats teacher before I visited him. It takes work and dedication to find a way beneath the surface of Chinese people, language and culture. I found that my profession has helped a lot in that regard, though it wasn't my intent at the beginning. Since the vet didn't speak a word of English, the immersion was complete. Good luck on your journey, and be willing to try different schools and cities to broaden your experience.
  50. 1 point
    I have been going to China on business for 7-8 times, each time tagging on one or two weeks of intensive study. However, I work full time in another country and use Chinese at work sometimes when I am not in China (my work involves communicating with experts (mostly in English) in various countries and China is one. I need Chinese if I am to communicate with these people but I could have used an interpreter too). I have learnt most of my Chinese on those short courses though. Additionally I probably spent 80 percent of my time on listening comprehension and this has paid off. You end up knowning what to say in a particular context because you have "heard" it before. I do 2-4 hours of skype with a Bejing based teacher over the weekend. That works as well as the course nearly. I also study 3 hours a day which is related to a commute I do. Took me around five years to reach this level. I dont know what you term near fluency. I can do presentations and moderate events. For my line of work that is enough fluency.
×
×
  • Create New...