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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/07/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    First time doing one of these "tattoo translations", so let me rant a little. First of all, 接受 is a verb. Also, acceptance is a rather broad term. When translating anything to Chinese it helps to give context. Acceptance could mean that you're happy with your lot in life, or that you've learned from your past mistakes and that you're now able to grow in life. One is resignation, the other is someone trying to turn over a new leaf by acknowledging his past mistakes. Is the purpose of the words chosen for this tattoo to be intentionally vague? If I were to replace "acceptance" to something like contentment you could use: 知足, which means to know contentment (hence happiness). Courage in Chinese seems to be often accompanied by what you might call "lofty foolhardiness". As in that someone has to be bold to tempt their fate in life.The same goes for "wisdom". It's too broad. Are we talking about resourcefulness, wit, enlightenment, intelligence, ingenuity, vision, etc? Personally though, I've never been a fan of such tattoos. I find them superficial. That being said I still would like to give you an alternative; why not go for an idiomatic phrase. e.g. "知足身常乐,能忍心自安。“ Lit. being content with what one has brings happiness; [one who] can exercise forbearance [will be] peaceful at heart.” > This sentence covers everything but courage, albeit in more context. Or, ”知人者智,自知者名。“ Lit. [One who] knows others [is] intelligent; [one who] know himself is wise. Which is a phrase from Laozi's 道德经.
  2. 4 points
    Foreign language performance (listening comprehension, reading rate, speaking intelligibility, etc.) can be regarded as a random variable subject to variance caused by external factors (Did you get enough sleep last night? Are you in a noisy environment? Have you ever encountered the current conversation topic?) Some performance metrics have so much variance that it is hard to see your progress at all over time. For example, the plot below shows about a year's worth of my data from daily reading practice. Some days I breeze through the material, and some days I feel like I'm plowing through mud, but the mean shows slow, steady, and statistically significant improvement. Don't be discouraged by your "downs"; the "ups" will cancel them out.
  3. 3 points
    Oh, only since birth. And suddenly I feel better about my running spreadsheet...
  4. 3 points
    Absolutely, don't beat yourself up. If something isn't working for you, or you need a break, try doing something different. For example, if you're getting burned out on a textbook you could take a break to dive into a podcast, try deeply watching some TV, or maybe read a short story. If you are getting burned out on grinding through books or TV, maybe do the opposite - pick up a graded reader or textbook and see if that brings some focus back to your study.
  5. 2 points
  6. 2 points
    One of the reasons I'm ploughing on with Chinese is that research has shown that language learning (among other things) helps the brain to maintain neuroplasticity, and possibly stave off dementia.
  7. 2 points
    Welcome to the joys of learning Chinese. This must be one of the commonest comments people make, sometimes called the plateau effect. My advice - Don't worry about it, plod on and eventually you will have another aha moment and you will be filled with enthusiasm again. the important thing is consistency, keep at it and you will find the plateaus get smaller and the highs are longer, but I don't think it ever gets totally flat. I think its just the nature of language learning, some of is just hard work and some of it is intuitive and when the hard work outweighs the intuitive it feels like you are not making progress. There will always be progress but it get less and less as there becomes less and less to learn. Its also a case of diminishing returns, as explained very well by our good friends at Hacking Chinese https://chinesehacks.com/study/learning-chinese-and-the-law-of-diminishing-returns/
  8. 2 points
    While I've recommended the website to you, it's also available in APP format; 必胜公考(requires Chinese phone number to register) And, of course, you can buy a book. Though I can't recommend any, as I haven't received mine yet. This is the one I ordered from Amazon which will take a month to arrive or so. Haha. I've probably already spend 20 hours on above mentioned content. I really like it. Though I severely doubt whether anyone else will. 😬
  9. 2 points
    Well put - I'm sure for many of us here the first draw to learn Chinese was precisely this, the aesthetic of characters and wanting to understand the unknown
  10. 2 points
    For those learning to write: learning traditional first then adding in the extra simplified characters after writing the simplified was a very successful way I learnt the differences. Lets be honest, its easier to remember that 韋 can be simplified to 韦, but the character 衛 is written 卫, than going the other way. I feel like for reading it really doesn't matter whether you start with simplified or traditional, but for writing you'll be doing yourself a big favour starting with a good foundation of traditional then later adding in the somewhat arbitrary simplifications later.
  11. 2 points
    This seems to be coming more popular, learning traditional alongside simplified. Once you realise that the differences are not that huge and you put that bit extra effort in, it is very rewarding. There is generally more information contained in traditional characters and sometimes there is a lightbulb moment (at least for me) that adds to my understanding and actually makes it easier to remember. I have to admit I am only learning to read traditional characters not write them or at least not with the same effort as simplified. I think it is good to at least be familiar with traditional characters even if not studied thoroughly. If you can scan a page of characters and tell without much problem which one it is then you are already making some progress. I asked this question a little while ago and one of the answers I had was along the lines of - Go on, its fun, you will enjoy it. Its true, it is and I do. This was with the caveat that I am learning for pleasure and have no need for business or anything else. It might be different if you really need spend your time getting to a certain level in simplified and shouldn't be distracted.
  12. 2 points
    See also here. I started out flashcarding the characters that were different between the sets but I found that a very dry way to learn and in the end just went with the reading approach, which was much more interesting and much more effective for me.
  13. 2 points
    Just do what I did. Wait until you are more or less comfortable with reading simplified and have a dozen novels under your belt, and then read a novel that is written in traditional. By the time you've finished reading it, you'll be mostly comfortable with reading traditional also.
  14. 1 point
    Anyone else who lives in China and could help me test out two VPN setups I have running right now? One uses OpenVPN and requires you to download either Tunnelblick[0] (MacOS) or OpenVPN Connect client[1] (Windows), the either one uses Wireguard and you need the Wireguard client[2] for that one. The OpenVPN client and Wireguard are also available on mobile platforms. [0] https://tunnelblick.net/downloads.html [1] https://openvpn.net/client-connect-vpn-for-windows/ [2] https://www.wireguard.com/install/
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    I've done it and found it helpful. The only problem was that my teacher hated Chinese Breeze, or at least the book we were using. She kept telling me "That's fake Chinese." Wanted me to use native content instead. The reason I preferred the Chinese Breeze book was that I could listen to the dialogues on my own (the CD's were included) and practice saying things right on my own in between sessions with the teacher. I could also do the short "self tests" that were included at the end of each chapter.
  17. 1 point
    I have download the CTA, and it is quite a nice tool. I imported only HSK1-3 (to be on the safe side) and so there are a lot of "dud" unknown words so far, but it's really convenient that I can just mark them as known with one hit of the spacebar. It's nice to see my progress - I have probably quite a few "dud" unknown words to mark off but so far my number of known words is a lot higher than I expected and that is very reassuring for those times when I self-consciously wonder if my Chinese abilities might just be more acting skills than attained knowledge. Interestingly, the vast majority of my unknown words are either HSK5, 6, or (in most cases) * tier. I had no idea that the HSK was so limited.
  18. 1 point
    Note that Zhang Yimou's "Shadaow" has been added to Netflix. If you haven't seen it I recommend that is your next movie to watch.
  19. 1 point
    The non-native copying characters has to get the characters from somewhere. Perhaps a native-speaker mistakenly wrote the wrong character someplace else and this soldier copied it onto his helmet.
  20. 1 point
    Yes, just playing around wih the colour balance, saturation, and contrast to bring out the script.
  21. 1 point
    To help those learning to read handwritten Chinese or trying to improve their penmanship, here is a compilation of handwritten Chinese characters for reference. It currently contains examples extracted from the HCL2000 database (PDF). I created an individual PNG image for 3755 Chinese characters, and each image contains 16 handwritten examples of that character selected randomly from one of 1000 different writers. For example, "好.png" is shown below. Find the Github repo here. Download a ZIP file of the images here. (28.8 MB)
  22. 1 point
    I do this with my italki teacher for all the dialogues and texts in the standard course textbook. They look like this: First we review the new words by the side of the text, then I try to read the text out loud. Teacher prompts me if I can't remember any hanzi. Next she reads the text in short chunks and I repeat: teacher - student - teacher - student etc. so I can hear the tones and make sure I'm pronouncing correctly. Then she'll ask me if I understood the text. (Answer is usually: 差不多, but I don't get hung up on understanding every single word.) If I have any grammar questions this is when I pick that up. Finally she'll ask me several comprehension questions about the text: Why did this person say that? According to person X, why shouldn't you do Y? And so on. This might not be to everyone's taste, but it works for me. Actually I think these texts are one of the more useful parts of the textbook (and they come with MP3 audio too).
  23. 1 point
    same here mate! I have been studying English for 20 years now, it is the only language I speak daily and I still feel ups and downs...so yeah that's probably not going to change. Just enjoy the good moments and don't take it personally
  24. 1 point
    I am now roughly at HSK5 level, and noticed the following: 1) only from very recently I have been able to start consuming a significant amount of native material (websites, TV series, anime, comic books - nothing that requires specialized knowledge). I found that, while a HSK4 foundation is in my opinion insufficient in allowing you to transition to "real world" stuff, HSK5 is largely sufficient. The challenges for me shifted quite a bit: wth an HSK4 vocabulary I just couldn't understand because I didn't know half of the words in a sentence, doesn't matter how many times I listened. With an HSK5 vocabulary - I still don't understand most times - but it is largely a matter of speed. 2) among the new words that I learn from native material which are too advanced for HSK5, comparatively few belong to HSK6. In my opinion, this is because the HSK6 is very academic in nature. That is to say, some of the words you will learn for HSK6 will not really help you in explaining a concept that you wouldn't be able to explain otherwise, but rather doing it so in a more "refined" way. This is of course desirable but -in my view -not as necessary as having a good base for getting by in any situation. So in conclusion, I think there isn't really an alternative to studying at least to HSK5 if you want to achieve any degree of proficiency. Or in other words, whether you are a hairdresser or a university professor, you will need most of the HSK5 words in your everyday life. From there on however, I think the choice varies from person to person. Of course you can stick to the HSK if you find it convenient, but I think you already have all you need to move on to different (and more interesting) sources. You will probably end up covering most of the HSK 6 vocabulary in the end anyways, but in a more balanced way.
  25. 1 point
    Common experiences for me when I first arrived in China: (Orders food in Chinese in a restaurant) Waitress: (in Chinese) "wow, your Chinese is really good!" Compared with: (Orders food in Chinese in a different restaurant the next day) Waitress: ???? Zero understanding of what I just said. We try to communicate but in the end I point the menu and say "这个". And similarly for taxi drivers, etc I think some of it is down to whether people are used to dealing with foreigners. Chinese is difficult! 加油!
  26. 1 point
    I'm currently working on a compilation based on the HIT-MW database, which was collected from people copying texts out longhand. I think the examples here are more reflective of the sort of handwriting you'd actually encounter in day-to-day life.
  27. 1 point
    The jump to native materials is always going to be difficult no matter when you make it because there are skills and stamina required for reading native content that you can only build up by reading native content.
  28. 1 point
    What? You've never had deep discussions about the Loess Plateau and soil composition? Man, you haven't lived. /s That hits way too close to home, haha. Though when it comes to verbs it isn't that uncommon, for example "沁". Or the names of animals/dinosaurs. I don't mind the broad scope of the word lists. The perfect solution would be a brief introduction to topics, with relevant vocabulary... Or you know... better focus on grammar, writing, logic etc... In the end you all have to admit that the jump from HSK to "native" materials makes you launch from a pretty shaky foundation.
  29. 1 point
    Many people who come here for tattoo advice don't know much more about Chinese characters than that they look cool. Many have never considered that they can be written wrong or in an ugly font, or that the tattoo artist can get things wrong. Occasionally someone comes here with a tattoo idea and in the end decides against getting the tattoo after learing more from people like Shelley, or decide to do more research into the tattooist before getting one. Sure, people come for the simple 'what characters to get' part of the advice, but the rest of it is valuable too and I don't think we should stop doing it just because the asker is a fellow adult.
  30. 1 point
    My father-in-law wants a tattoo that says, "serenity, acceptance, courage, wisdom". I've passed the HSK5, but I still struggle to find the best words to use. Can someone double-check these translations? The main one I'm not sure about is acceptance. Can 接受 convey the sense of acceptance as a state of mind, or is it more just to accept something? Serenity: 宁静 Acceptance: 接受 Courage: 勇气 Wisdom: 智慧 Thanks!!!
  31. 1 point
    Until you start diving into authentic Chinese materials you don't really know how much these kind of words show up. How would you feel about being HSK5-6 if you picked up a children's novel and had to look it up?
  32. 1 point
    Upside down, but 中華陶瓷, the mark of the China Pottery Arts Co., as it was known in English. It operated from 1958 at Beitou on Taiwan.
  33. 1 point
    New HSK stops at upper intermediate. Old HSK advanced actually was advanced. So it was 'better' in that it went further and required a higher level in order to pass the upper levels. It still had its flaws (it didn't really test speaking), but it was more thorough. Words show up in unexpected places. You'll probably be seeing this word everywhere for the next few weeks (only half joking here). At some point though, if you're preparing an advanced level test you're going to be reaching in order to produce relevant vocab. The current HSK has 5,000 words at the top level, the old one almost 9,000. Almost every word from 5,000 to 9,000 will be low frequency, but generally speaking a 9,000 word vocabulary will provide significantly better comprehension of texts than a 5,000 word vocab (I say comprehension of texts, because that's really what the HSK is testing with those vocabs).
  34. 1 point
    OK, I don't have time just now to address this fully, but how was it "better"? As a teacher (not of Chinese, of course) for more than 25 years, I am usually very suspicious of the claims of assessments and tests. But as a Chinese learner, I'm also curious about the graphs on that blog which appear to show (if I understand them correctly) that HSK levels 5-6 include a lot of very uncommon vocabulary. As if learning those words makes you a better communicator. How useful really are those "advanced" words? To put it another way: for those who've studied HSK 5-6, is it really useful in terms of living your daily life in a Chinese-speaking country? When I look at the old HSK list I see words like 沙土 (sandy soil) which I can't ever imagine using in my life. So I do wonder if we can argue against "modernisation" of the word list.
  35. 1 point
    I'll save a copy here - it might be useful if the other link goes down. GooglePinyinInstaller.exe
  36. 1 point
    @mungouk and @Tomsima I agree with you both on the aesthetic appeal of characters and I too appreciate and enjoy them and yes other writing scripts too are appealing. I have no objection to chinese character tattoos per say, but they do not always lend themselves to the ideas people want to express. Yes, a lot gets lost in translation. Apart from the actual translation you have the problem of the skill of the tattooist and their ability to write characters correctly and beautifully, this is the reason we appreciate them and when done badly it becomes ugly. I just want to advise people to think again before making such a permanent decision.
  37. 1 point
    @suMMitYou must have really good ears, because I grew up in the States
  38. 1 point
    Let me endow you all with a suggestion straight out of left field. Last time I introduced the Putonghua Proficiency Test (普通话水平测试) - an exam meant for teachers/media figures - in another thread with a neat APP to test your pronunciation by native standards. This time I'll turn it up a notch. Let me introduce to you; China's Civil Service Examination (国家公务员考试 CN-Link), otherwise known as the Guokao ”国考". An exam where only 1% of all examinees get offered a job. But before any of you start biting your nails, let me give you some background as I think it's materials, which focuses on logic, are great for foreign-language students that want to move past the HSK but still enjoy an "academic" setting. Also, they're multiple choice. Like most of you know in ye olde times, or rather up till the Republic of China was established, there used to be Imperial Examinations as a tool to recruit bureaucrats for government positions within the Imperial court and other various positions within Imperial China's extensive bureaucracy. But after the fall of the Qing dynasty it wasn't reestablished, as in the 19th century, critics blamed the imperial system, and in the process its examinations, for stifling Chinese science and technical knowledge. It wasn't until 1994, when Deng Xiaoping called for a new way of hiring government personnel, that it was reinstated. And later on in 2005 it was made a legal precedent to hire the applicant with the most competitive score. Now, why am I sharing this? While foreigners can work for the government and even enroll into the Chinese Communist Party through special procedures, they aren't hold to the same standards as natives and thus don't have to join in on the rat race that is the ”国考“. The thing is though; its contents are kind of amazing. Here is why: The exam is divided up in several parts, these are the ones that I find most relevant. Language Section (言语)- List of Examination Questions Basically the reading section of the HSK on steroids. The list of examination questions for all of the 4 subjects are updated daily, all of which are accompanied with answers and the reasoning behind said answers. The topics of featured passages are far-ranging and unlike what you might expect rarely cover politics. The answers to the questions are explained clearly. Logical Deduction (逻辑天空):A passage is provided where certain words are left out/blank. You have to deduce from the context which of the words are most fitting. Reading Comprehension(阅读理解):An excerpt is provided and the examinee has to decide what the contents are, what intention is being brought across, how best to summarize, or what the most important part of said excerpt is. Sentence Expression (语句表达):Grammar. Which sentences have errors. Which word order is correct. Which idiom fits best. Questions in that nature. Essay Reading(文章阅读): Same as Reading Comprehension, but the longer parses of text with multiple questions covering its contents. Which means that if you get one question wrong you get all subsequent questions wrong as well. Haha General Knowledge (常识)- (Main subjects: Politics [政治],Economy [经济], Legalism [法律], and the exotic "others" [其他] ) Contents range from politics, economics, law, history, culture, geography, environment, nature, technology, mythology, sports, traffic, etc. etc. While I wouldn't exactly call it a pub-quiz, as it's severely lacking on the celebrity front (except for maybe Cao Cao and Liu Bei). These questions, as you might expect do lean left and often discuss China's social heritage. But, it's questions are literally all over the place. One day you could be answering questions about why the Yellow River is yellow, and the other day you'd have to come up with an argument for bioethics. There are close to 14,000 mock exams all with several questions, so you'd still be spoiled for choice even if you were you planning on avoiding the politics of it all. And topics like Legalism are AMAZING, as the wrong answers are often rife in sarcasm. Let me link you some of the mock-questions: Politics(政治) Economy(经济) Legalism(法律) Geoscience (地学) Self-Defence(正当防卫) Ancient Literature(古代文学) Nobel Prize(诺贝尔奖) World History(世界历史) Anthropology (人类科技) Holidays(节日) Deductive Reasoning(判断)- List of Examination Questions Simple and plain logical deduction. Quite fun actually. Regardless of you one's knowledge on the topic or how extensive their Chinese vocabulary may or not be these questions test the whether your idea of the world, whether the meaning behind the words and their place within our said world make sense. The questions often have you deduce from the definition of used words, or from an illustrated, whether A is true, whether B is true, and or if A is true is B also true. If you like brain teasers, these are for you. Analogical Reasoning(类比推理)- A set of words is given. e.g. Apple, Pear, Tree. Then you have to choose an answer that has the same correlation as the illustrated example. Definition Reasoning(定义判断)- The provided text describes a situation, event, etc. Then you have to choose which of the answers apply to the described situation. If they describe an animal that can be caught by throwing a net from a boat, then you shouldn't choose an ox that has run away from home named Erik. Just saying. Logical Reasoning(逻辑判断)- These questions are there to trick you. The answers tend to be stoic. E.g. The text describes a car speeding towards a wall. What can we derive? A. You need to pull the brake. B. The car will hit the wall.You choose B. Because here its more about the logical outcome as opposed to the logical action. There is actually one more, but this one has nothing to do with Chinese. It's just a bunch of shapes, like those you'd see in a IQ test. There are tons more that don't follow the same formula as above. They could be a long passage with just one question, or ask you derive information from a graph. -------------------------------------------------- I'll leave it there for now. If you'd like to browse the rest of the resources. Here is the website, just scroll down. WEBSITE LINK Do take in mind that some of text can have typos. Seemingly a lot of the content is typed over or scanned it by a computer using character recognition. 兔 could easily turn into 免, so when a search Pleco doesn't turn up anything then it might have such a typo.
  39. 1 point
    Have any of you learned traditional characters along side of simplified characters or learned both traditional and simplified together from the very beginning? I am curious about traditional because I have two conversation partners from Taiwan and have found them to be so open and friendly.
  40. 1 point
    Thanks so much, Weyland and Edelweis! You guessed right about it being an AA related serenity prayer thing. I had a feeling 接受 wasn't really a synonym for "acceptance," but couldn't think of any word that worked. I'll run getting the whole poem as a tattoo by him. He might not want to give up the geometry of having eight big characters tattooed on him, but I think the whole tattoo would be better. I hadn't thought of that as an option. If it were my body, I wouldn't get any tattoo, and if I did get a tattoo, it definitely wouldn't be Hanzi. If I had to get a tattoo, it'd probably be a wrist watch with the face blank so I can write things like "party," "smashing" or "to go" on it with a sharpie and then point at it and say, "it's party time," "it's smashing time." or "it's time to go." This is why I don't have a tattoo. But I've been well trained and generally don't question my in-laws' decisions.
  41. 1 point
    So the Wikipedia article you linked has a nice structured version by Hong Songxian (洪宋弦), if @Dahuzi's father doesn't mind getting the entire poem inscribed on his body. But then again... Though, if it's for AA then I guess it's fine.
  42. 1 point
    I've just recently decided to learn to read traditional characters for all the simplified characters that I know. (I'm around HSK 6 level I suppose) At first I wasn't sure how to go about it, then I decided to find out which HSK words have both a traditional and simplified variant. I found a list of HSK vocab with traditional and simplified on a website called "purple" something or other (purple culture?), removed words where simplified and traditional are the same, and then imported it into a new Anki deck (where the goal is ONLY to be able to recall the simplified character when the traditional comes up, although I have also left in pinyin and English definitions). I've found it suprisingly easy and fast to learn these if I already know the simplified character. I guess the next step is to do what Imron suggested and read a book, but I thought this is a good start to make things easier. Here is the list if you want to do it for yourself (only HSK 1 -5): Vocabulary List for New HSK ALL - HSK 1-5 where simp. and trad are different .txt The fields are as follows: traditional, simplified, pinyin, HSK level (I imported this field as a tag) I imported all of these, suspended everything but HSK 1, then when those were done I un-suspended HSK 2, etc. It's surprisingly easy to do 30-50 words/characters a day.
  43. 1 point
    Ladies in TV plays as charming agents (I) 影视剧里的美艳特工 之一:于曼丽 A legendary agent in The Disguiser (伪装者) with complex background https://www.bilibili.com/video/av5175971/?spm_id_from=333.788.videocard.0 People see how stunningly glamorous she is, not knowing what she has been through. What’s on her is shining, making you trapped in the way she looks fascinating. What’s behind her is a mystery, a disguiser trying to get rid of suffering. She’s silent, indifferent and unusual in the crowd. Staying in the same military camp, no one knows where she’s from. All they know is that she’s far from easy to get along with, or even get near to. She gives everyone a break in his arm when she is approached by someone in a way deemed offensive to her. She’s supposed to be trained to be a weapon killing without a blink, and she’s close to that end step by step, a cruel assassinator cold in blood, without sense of love, kindness or mercy but the proficiency in certain mission. She doesn’t need feelings to survive, just a task is enough. She was told not to let anything warm settle in her heart, or that will be the most aching barrier pulling her from staying excellent and professional as a qualified agent. She met him as her partner, an unwanted guy stepping right into her fence, bringing her back to a lady with innocent wish from a killer caring for nothing but endless assignments, together with a rhythm disordered and the experiences unexpected . She’s a condemned prisoner for killing three bandits without mercy. They picked her as a potential agent for the way she looks and the way she acts, pretty face with innocent eye contact, sexy figure disarming enemies of their defense, and a swift response supported by ruthlessness that’s going to pull the trigger before the prey knows it’s too late. She got killed by the way she loves a man. I have been cursing the stupid arrangement dragging her into a partnership for times. Idiot captain, if you do want to keep a knife sharp, keep it away from anything that’s possible to get it rotten or weakened. Stop asking why it is rusty when you put it in the water contained environment away from scabbard. No more unnecessary test, since woman can hardly stand the test of mission over true love.
  44. 1 point
    Please allow me to amplify that by giving a recent example. Cold weather hit hard here about the middle of this week. Chicken soup immediately moved up to the number one spot in my "must make" food list. Just had to have some good home-made Yunnan chicken soup. This involved a trip to the farmers market to find the right chicken. The birds are in cages and the seller kills, cleans and chops up the bird you designate. For chicken soup, the most flavorful bird is an old, skinny, "worn out" laying hen 老母鸡。Need to check the age of the bird in several ways, including a look at the configuration of the feet. Must make your way through five or six other kinds of chicken that are on sale, each one best for it's own purpose. No such thing as "universal chicken." If you choose the wrong chicken, your soup will not be great, no matter whether you do everything else right or not. Then I bought a handful of wild "stinky ginseng" roots 臭参。This is a type of "poor man's ginseng" which is only found near the edge of alpine forests on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, 2,000 to 3,000 meters elevation. They turn the soup into a powerful tonic with impressive preventive and curative properties. Also picked up some fresh-dug shanyao ("mountain medicine") roots 山药 to boil with the chicken near the end of its cooking time. (臭参 below left; 山药 below right.) Made it all up in a purple clay pot 紫砂锅, using low heat and a long cooking time. Finish by adding some gouqi 枸杞 (dried Chinese wolfberries) and hongzao 红枣 (dried Chinese jujubes.) Came out real good, but the process would not have been one I could have done equally well if I had been in Texas instead of Kunming. Compromises would have been required. Would have had to figure out practical substitutions and sensible modifications. Might have still been a good dish, but not the same. Also, not sure the somewhat odd taste and smell of the medicinal roots would have gone over well with my family or friends back in Texas. They aren't very accepting of alien, unusual textures and flavors.
  45. 1 point
    Pretty sure any serious long term student of Chinese ends up with a knowledge of both simplified and traditional. Its a fairly straightforward process of learning an extra few hundred characters, the rest are then covered by set rules for simplification. Search 'simplified or traditional' on the forums and you'll find the answer to pretty much any question you have on this topic already discussed in various threads.
  46. 1 point
    No ads if you use your firewall to block everything
  47. 1 point
    Old habits die hard, which is why its so important to get into good habits as early as possible. This is why so many struggle with tones. Its also why some of my Chinese friends who have studied English for 20+ years, and speak fluent English often with more eloquency than native speakers, will still say "open the light".
  48. 1 point
    I also have aphantasia (I self-diagnosed about 11 years ago, before it was a recognized condition). I don't have a huge amount of advice for you, but want you to know you're not alone! I've always struggled to produce vocabulary, even in very familiar situations, which I attribute to the inability to attach new terms with their real-world object. Concepts and objects are very rooted to their linguistic representation in my mind, so it's hard to get past the mental translation stage. I just started learning Chinese. I imagine writing will be a challenge (I draw a house just like you do, but I can't draw the house I lived in for 22 years because I can't remember how many windows it has, or whether it was white or grey), but reading has been surprisingly easy - probably due to years of coping strategies & finding explicit ways to recognize things. What has worked well for me so far has been diving in to the character components that aren't always taught, in my experience, at the beginning - learning the most common radicals and pronunciation components. Learning the components (rather than just entire complete characters) makes it a bit easier for me to decode and puzzle together the meaning.
  49. 1 point
    Pretty much. But there are some logical connections missing from your translation. 我這時候死了,... *If* I die now, ... 別的...,就是... It's a contrastive structure with the main clause in the post position, so the general meaning is really like "There's nothing much I can't leave behind, except him. I'm worried about him."
  50. 1 point
    So, this is more information, that may or may not be useful.. (if no one ever reads this thread at least it serves as a bookmark of useful links to me ) However if you specifically want to improve your Putonghua, you can look here, www.bjradio.com.cn or specifically this link here. They have a training center and apparently do accent correction...etc etc. It was the info that I received from the putonghua office i talk about below: And if you want to get yelled by a mean chinese lady, but in the process get a free Putonghua evaluation (depending on how slick you are) call this number: 首师大测试站电话:68903424 68902814 To make a long story short I wanted to inquire about this whole exam since I might take it next year and need to actually start preparing. My personal goal is just ultimately score in the solid 80's after I work on my tones more, etc etc...,which according to this would be"中小学及幼儿园、校外教育单位的教师,普通话水平不低于二级乙等(80分),其中语文教师不低于二级甲等(87分)。" So anyway I call and ask about the exam. Immediaty the lady says you won't pass the exam you would only get a score of 70 something and asks if I'm from Xinjiang. OMG! I actually don't mind getting some really direct criticism (since my other teacher gives it to me all the time anyway, and given my totaly disregard for tones lately, in comparison to my friend who had the 80.7, this sounds about right) but I then had to explain, yes I KNOW I wouldn't 'pass it' and I am trying to find some Putonghua resources (I also want to学好普通话,让普通话伴我天下行嘿嘿嘿), hence I am calling your office. . Anyway, the whole conversation was quite funny I suppose in a 哭笑不得 kind of way...but after a diaperless baby peed on my shoe on the bus today I think I'm leaning more towards 哭
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