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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/05/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    For years I never considered a HSK exam, however recently I decided to take HSK 5, mainly for two reasons 1) It helps with my work visa (extra points) 2) A rough guide as to where I am with my learning ( see * below for my definition) I have gone through both of the official Hanban HSK books 《Standard Course HSK 5 上 and 下》 twice. I have every word in myflash decks. Interestly there are a LOT more extra words appearing in the book that don't appear in the HSK exam. I am somewhat fastidious in my Chinese approach so record ever single word in ANKI that I come across in the text books and word books. In the text books there are about an extra 900 - 1000 words that are outside the HSK 5 list. The workbooks are very surprising. The first 11 chapters have, on average 50-60 words per chapter that don't appear in this 3500 vocabulary (2500 hsk 5 + EXTRA 1000) in the work book. Hence at this rate there would be approx a further 2000 words appearing in the workbook. I haven't see the actual mock exam yet but I am somewhat pessimistic about the HSK prep material. I can't really say i am learning anything much apart from blagging it and improving exam technique. All the workbook chapter sections I can generally pass but truthfully I barely got the gist of the passages . For example I just read a story about some old timer who makes something, retires, wants to take something home with him as a memento but his boss says no. I got all 4 questions right. Yet I have no idea why the boss said no, what he wants to take home nor what he actually does as a career. Turns it he is a Jade sculpture, make dragons, boats etc and what's a big old lump of jade and the boss has a surprise for him in a lovely old wooden box. So you as a listener would you be happy with me retelling that story half assed? If this was the case with the exam I wouldn't hold much faith in a stated ability of a HSK 5 level. Maybe the exam passages are easier. I learn chinese to be able to understand the language and be confident that I know the passage. I want to understand what i am hearing not just blag my way through it or give a pretence of knowing Chinese at a stated HSK 5 ability My views may change when I practice the mock exams or take the real exam. As regards the actual exam I will take it when I feel like I can genuinely understand more than 85% of the mock exam texts (see * above). Whatever mark I obtain from that, so be it. It's not useful for my career, nor living in China for that matter. This approach is not optimal for someone whose aim is primarily to obtain "HSK Level X" As regards HSK v real life here in China, I think up to HSK 4 is fairly well correlated but after that the distinction starts to present itself. My ANKi decks contain 8000+ words , of which I know about 5 - 6k. However around 1500 of these words have just come from everyday stuff like shopping, hanging out with friends, wechat posts, tv etc Some of the words on this list I use far more frequently that that on HSK list.
  2. 2 points
    When the weather cools off in late fall and early winter dry-cured meats flourish, especially in the south of China. It's too hot and too rainy to make them in the summer months; spoilage would be a problem. But now they are everywhere you look. Today I found these air-cured duck legs 腊鸭腿 for a pittance. Snapped up a couple to turn my rice 米饭 into something special. It's easy to do: I'll show you how. (Please click the photos to enlarge them.) These duck legs 腊鸭腿 are made by brining in a salt and spice solution and then hanging them in a place with good air circulation for several weeks at a cool temperature (in the shade.) They develop a rich color and flavor, much like top-notch sausage. You may recognize the 腊 part of the name from the common name for sausage 腊肠 and bacon 腊肉, both of which are basically dry-cured meats. In the bin next to these legs at the store, they were offering whole ducks, pressed flat, brined and smoked over a combination of tea leaves and camphor wood (from the eucalyptus tree) 樟茶鸭。Next week I'll try one of those! (Pictured below.) Got my two noble duck legs home (after paying ¥3.98 each -- about 50 cents US. ) These have been cured to such an extent that they don't require refrigeration. Simmered them for two or three minutes and then cut them up. This poaching does a couple of things: slightly tenderizes them and removes some excess salt. (Don't use your thin-edged vegetable cleaver 菜刀 to cut through the bones.) Chop some long green peppers (mildly hot) 青尖椒 and a couple spring onions 大葱。You can remove some of the pepper seeds to reduce the heat if you'd like. Wash and soak your rice like you normally would. Use the same proportions of rice to water as for basic steamed rice 米饭。Add the vegetables and meat, give it all a stir. No need for additional seasonings, the duck supplies all you need. Press the "cook rice" button 烧饭 , starting the same cycle you normally would select for plain steamed rice 米饭。(On my rice cooker, this function takes about 30 minutes for completion.) When it beeps, I let it stand with the lid closed for another 5 or 6 minutes on "keep warm" 保温 to develop a little bit of tasty brown crust on the bottom of the cooking pot. Serve it up. You can do something similar with rotisserie chicken if duck is not available where you live.
  3. 2 points
    橙子 and 橙汁 = general terms We get many kinds of oranges here, each has its own name. Eating oranges, juice oranges, navel oranges, blood oranges, small Mandarin oranges, and so on. Then there are tangerines 橘子 -- several kinds of those as well. Now is the time for these citrus fruits in Kunming, late fall/early winter. See lots and lots; prices low. Don't forget 柚子 (English = pomelo.)
  4. 1 point
    You need 2 years experience in related field for a work visa.
  5. 1 point
    I can only speak of the situation in the US. Most jobs (Gov, private, etc.) that require proficiency in Chinese have their own tests to ensure you're not just "faking" it. Putting a high level of proficiency on your Resume is obviously not as good as official certifications, but might have a better return on investment. As far as translation goes, I say don't do it. My logic is this: there is a common assumption that being proficient in two languages=ability to translate successfully. That'd be a misrepresentation of the challenges of translating. A certificate that aims verify skilled translators will most certainly work to sift out those that are merely bilingual. I relate it to teaching where there is a common assumption that good doing something (math, Chinese, etc.) is the major prerequisite for being a good teacher on the subject. I'm sure all here have had teachers that embody this misconception. I think the question you are asking is perhaps too narrow. The common opinion on these forums, that I also stand behind, is that Chinese on it's own is not a skill that will land you a job but is a skill that will enhance your application when paired with other skills. I'd go a step farther and say that many corporations are looking for those who understand, deeply, Chinese culture (even minus language ability) to help them communicate with their Chinese counterparts. As for a degree in "Chinese Studies," that might move you in the above mentioned career path as acting as interlocutor between two parties, one of which would be Chinese. Alternatively, there are a lot of government positions that require said knowledge. I don't know if your home country has an equivalent of USAjobs with government listings. Try checking that and search for Chinese and Mandarin and see what pops up. Glassdoor and Linkedin are other alternatives. There are such a variety of jobs out there, it's quite hard to say I only want this one when there might be a better fitting one you simply don't know exists. Some other possible paths: Helping Chinese students study abroad, focus on intercultural-communication trainings for those going to China or Chinese going abroad, going the thinktank route, supporting international programs that take students/employees on trips to China, tourism industry (tour guide, hotel management, etc), and even things like the Census Bureau that need people that can ask questions in Chinese.
  6. 1 point
    There's an error in early print versions on page 100. It's missing an image of 夷. You can see it here.
  7. 1 point
    Hello, for your case, believe it's about the method when you do Chinese listening practices? When you do your study, you can try audio learning. The suggestion is: Learn with textbooks, along with audio. When you're learning a new text, fist, start with listening to the text once, then read and learn the new words. Finally, listen to the audio once more, without reading the text. Translate the context to yourself to ensure all is well understood. Then, you may then go for the listening exercises of that text (usually textbooks come with workbook which has listening practices), and should find that easier. Repeat this method whenever a new text comes by, and in time, your listening skill should improve. Regarding the TV and cartoons, believe you can leave that later until you're upper beginner level. But you can check this out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCipQJmg3yqouy6MRtPv_0Bg, as they have many beginner level's stories and songs.
  8. 1 point
    橙汁 and 橙子 is what I hear . It seems say 橙汁 on the cartons I buy however, I do see there are one or two advertised as 柳橙汁 on the shopping apps (JD) It doesn't seem to be anywhere near as common as 橙汁 though. The word 脐橙 is used a lot on the apps but that's just to distinguish which type of orange. Most people just say 橙子 I'd imagine . Not sure what happens in other parts of the country.
  9. 1 point
    Yes, I have been won over to that camp most of the time. Meat on the bone delivers more flavor. It bothered me a lot when I first came to China; thought the chefs were just being lazy. Could not fathom it. Gradually I saw the light. Similarly, I now share the Chinese penchant for leg meat instead of breast meat when cooking chicken or duck. This cut yields more flavor. I found these smoked whole ducks and dry-cured duck legs somewhat exotic and was surprised to see them in large displays at my corner supermarket at a low price. As I understand it, they aren't really a "gourmet" item; just winter fare. I've read they are quite popular in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, sometimes cut up and cooked with rice porridge 粥。 Always eager to explore new ingredients, I could not resist.
  10. 1 point
    My high school made Chinese compulsory (this was in the 1980s) and you had to do at least 4 years of it. After settling on my objective to study maths/science I barely passed the last year of it and said goodbye to Chinese at age 16. I remember the textbooks were all about the number 3 bookstore (that's changed, but not a lot), the friendship store (ok that's changed), and making dumplings together (hasn't changed). Chinese study seemed useless as all the Chinese people in Australia spoke Cantonese - you couldn't use it at all, and my family was not rich enough to go overseas on holidays or anything like that. Years later, my career had travel opportunities, so while living in Belgium I learned Dutch to a decent level quite quickly, and discovered that I actually quite enjoyed the process and the outcome. Something about studying alone was very peaceful too. So when I moved to Singapore and later Malaysia, I picked up learning Chinese as a hobby, with poor effectiveness and discipline, but a growing interest - it's kind of fun to speak in Chinese in these places, but you don't need it to survive. To kind of repeat the experience of learning Dutch, I planned to move to China at some point (and fortunately my wife though that was a pretty cool idea too).
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