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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/13/2020 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    Having just returned to Canada, following a rather lengthy Christmas visit, I would like to provide a bit of an update to the current WeChat/AliPay cashless options for non-Chinese nationals. I have experience in IT, have lived in China, and speak the language rather fluently; so, one would assume that if the average person should be able to get this working, I should find it a breeze: Foreign nationals who reside in China can use both services, just like a local, provided they have a local Chinese bank account number. Non-resident foreign nationals do not have this option. AliPay does work, provided you are OK with the rather significant caveats. First, non-resident foreign nationals MUST use the AliPay Tourist Pass option, as a regular account requires either a domestic Chinese bank account number or a Chinese ID card number. Second, AliPay Tourist Pass MUST be configured using an overseas mobile number, so make sure you get things set up before you depart. This also means that if AliPay Tourist Pass ever locks your account, you're out of luck as you likely won't be able to access your SMS text messages, from back home, which is uses for verification. Third, AliPay charges a 5% transaction fee in addition to the 3-5% transaction fee charged by credit cards for foreign currency transactions, making this an absolutely horrible value proposition when compared to simply carrying cash. Fourth, if Google/Apple store reviews are anything to go by, not only are there significant limits to time (max 90 days per account), and significant transaction limits (currently 5000 CNY), but some accounts are being frozen (along with all the money in them) with little to no recourse. Summary: Can work; but with high fees, and high risk. WeChat Pay is further behind the curve even than the AliPay Tourist Pass mess, described above, to the point where it seems non-resident foreign nationals still cannot use the service at all. You may be able to add your foreign credit card; however, you will not be allowed to add funds from them, nor will you be able to send/receive money from other WeChat users. Real name verification still requires a local bank account or Chinese ID card number, even though a passport option exists. Finally, attempting to use said passport option got my WeChat Pay account frozen. After three weeks of dealing with telephone support (Chinese language only), my WeChat Pay account is both frozen (due to "suspicious activity") and unable to be cancelled (due to a balance which exists from before these regulations barring foreigners took effect). Odds are, I will need to start a whole new WeChat account, in future, and somehow move over all my contacts, in order to rectify this mess. If this ever does get fixed, however, I will update the post. Summary: Doesn't work, full stop. Make use of the passport option and you run the risk of permanent loss of WeChat Pay functionality even if/when they full support on-resident foreign nationals. in a nutshell, I would bet that very few non-resident foreign nationals will make use of either service any time soon, and those that do are subjecting themselves to what feels like a Wild West of extortionate fees and frozen accounts. I normally like to present things in a more positive light, or at the very least provide mere facts without editorializing. That said, it would be remiss of me to not admit that the whole mess has left be with a very poor impression of both services. Use at your own risk.
  2. 4 points
    In general I would not recommend someone from the Western countries with good education system to kick-off their academic life in China. Even though you consider these "top universities of China", their global reputation is still under development, and there is a good chance that a scarce number of people would recognize them in case you decide to come back to Europe and work and live here. At least do your bachelor here in Europe, then as a university student apply for scholarships in China, spend a year there as a language student, see for yourself whether you like what you see, and you can apply for master's degree program later (with quite good scholarship options).
  3. 4 points
    1. If you do plan to take formal Chinese instruction while here, make it a point to find a school which can sponsor a student visa. Many (perhaps most) don't care about your age as long as your wallet still works. Many (probably most) will help you find a simple place to live, sometimes in the form of shared accommodations. It's not unusual for two or three students to get together to share rent and associated housing expenses. The school will act as a "matchmaker" and typically helps you with basic legal matters, such as looking over the lease. 2. If you don't plan to take formal Chinese classes, but you think you are likely to stay 6 months or more, then rent a small apartment. Use that as your base of operations for travel. Gives you a place to leave heavy stuff and come back to between backpack expeditions. (It's very difficult or impossible to rent an apartment for less than 6 months.) 3. If you don't plan to take formal Chinese classes, but think you are not likely to stay 6 months or more, then look into serviced apartments that rent by the week and look into small residential hotels. Personally, I'm a fan of serviced apartments in this scenario because they usually have a small kitchenette where you can fix at least some of your meals. Another option in this last scenario is sharing an apartment with working Chinese or other expats. In Kunming a resource for that would be the classified ads in GoKunming. https://www.gokunming.com/en/ Many other cities have somethings similar. Age doesn't really enter into the equation since you aren't planning to work. Most jobs are not available to men over 60. At 50 you can still get hired, all other factors being equal. What I did when in your situation, was just work real hard and live frugally while in the US, save my money, and then travel in China. The US was for earning 挣钱; China was for spending 花钱。Several months back home working; several months traveling in China and learning the language. Went back and forth like that until I eventually retired. Glad to try and help further as your plans develop.
  4. 3 points
    Thanks for the tip, picked up a copy today!
  5. 3 points
    Chinese new year/spring festival is most important celebration in Chinese calendar. Most important phrase for Chinese New year is about making money. Gift everyone gives for Chinese New year is money Most important god, 财神 god of money. Half the stuff we eat, is because they are homophones to words related to money/riches The lion in the lion dance eats lettuce as it sounds like making money Imagine something bigger than Christmas, but replace baby Jesus, Santa, reindeer and Turkey all with money
  6. 3 points
    I would echo what ZhangKaiRong said above. I have undergraduate degrees from both Fudan University and one of the top universities in the UK. There are a few things to consider. One is the quality of education. In China, the syllabuses are essentially the same across universities, which are dictated by the few standard text books available. Most lectures will essentially just consist of a lecturer going through exactly what's in the textbook. Exams essentially rely on you memorizing the material by rote - there is little scope for creative or your own analytical input. I'd say this contrasts with the UK, at least, where the emphasis is on your understanding and application of the material, rather than just your ability to regurgitate it. Also, I can't speak for all institutions, but cheating in exams in my UK university was almost unheard of. Yet in Fudan, cheating (mainly through talking to each other and reading each other's answers) happened to a greater or lesser extent in every exam, and the invigilators did little to curtail this. This puts you in a difficult position - either you stay honest and suffer against everyone else's inflated marks, or you join in with the cheating. The other thing is, no matter how good your Chinese is, covering the vast quantities of material will be difficult, especially when you are competing against some of the most diligent students in China at those top universities. Also worth considering is that learning resources are very limited - apart from the standard textbooks, there is little other material available, either in Chinese or English. Resources on the web in Chinese pale in comparison to those available in English (Wikipaedia for example), and most of the outside web is blocked from China. You can use VPNs to circumvent this, but they are slow and unreliable, and who knows whether these will be working at all by the time you get to that stage. Doing a degree in China is an experience. I would not want to dissuade anyone from doing this if it is the experience they are after. But from a purely academic point of view and in terms of future job competence and prospects, I would really recommend you do a degree in your own or another Western European or similar country.
  7. 3 points
    Thanks, Jim! I'm a vet, and a patient ingested baits containing this active compound (everything is ok with him). Thanks!
  8. 3 points
    The time can be as short as only minutes. For example, it's fine to walk across from Shenzhen into Hong Kong, turn right around and come back. Or it's fine to cross from Zhuhai at Gongbei into Macau, turn right around and come back, getting stamped into Mainland China 5 minutes after you exited it. The border officials don't blink or give you hard looks. No length of stay stipulations at all. In point of fact, however, I usually take advantage of the exit requirement to spend a few days in someplace of interest. Kunming, where I live, is currently connected by convenient air routes to much of SE Asia. In about two hours I can be in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. A little longer gets me to Malaysia and Indonesia. Tickets are cheap and this makes it attractive to explore other countries in the region in conjunction with meeting the 60-day exit requirement. Nonetheless, I wish it were every 90 days instead of every 60 days. Once one returns with a new visa stamp 盖章,it's required that you go to your local police station 派出所 and give them a xerox copy of it for their records. This lets them know that you are in compliance with the terms of your visa. It's usually fast for me now, but in the past it has meant waiting in line and spending most of an hour.
  9. 3 points
    The website horizontalhanzi.com was set up to collect commonly-confused characters Since users can contribute those they have trouble with, there's a body of user-generated "most popular" issues.
  10. 3 points
  11. 2 points
    Reading 活著 now, about 70% through on Kindle. It is my first full novel aside from a few children's novels. I find it very easy with only a few sentences here and there that don't seem to click for me. Damn it's depressing though.
  12. 2 points
    For anyone interested in getting into low-difficulty Chinese literature, consider reading 巴金. I am currently reading his novel 《寒夜》. It is one of the easiest and most accessible novels I have read in Chinese. It is noticeably easier than 余华’s 《活着》, the most frequently “easy” novel recommended on this site. 巴金 wrote three trilogies between 1933 and 1947. The names of the three trilogies and the works they contain are: 《激流三部曲》《家》、《春》、《秋》 《爱情三部曲》《雾》、《雨》、《电》 《人间三部曲》《憩园》、《第四病室》、《寒夜》 The first trilogy starts with 《家》, 巴金’s most acclaimed work. I have read that the language in 《家》 is not challenging and that the latter two books of the trilogy are more difficult. I obtained copies of the works from all three trilogies and checked them out, skimming through the texts and uploading them into @imron’s Chinese Text Analyser. As I previously read, 《家》 seems not that hard; 《春》 and 《秋》 are harder. The books in the second trilogy seem considerably easier than any book in the first. The books of the third trilogy seem easier still. To users who want to read a novel in Chinese but are worried about the difficulty: check out 1940’s 巴金.
  13. 2 points
    For those of you considering whether you should respond: While some of the surveys posted here were poorly developed such that I didn't respond, this one is good. It didn't take much time. I liked that it offered the chance to type some free text. For Daidai: In terms of improving the survey: it asks whether the user's goal is to write Chinese characters. I assumed this meant "hand write characters." I now spend zero time trying to hand write characters (我不会写), but I want to improve my ability to type Chinese (打字). While some who post to this website also are learning to hand write characters, there are also likely many like me whose goal is to be able to communicate verbally & electronically.
  14. 2 points
    Don't be fooled. Finnish schools were once the envy of the world, but their embrace of progressive education policy is coming to fruition and the result is a continued slip down PISA rankings. The UK, on the other hand, has embraced some aspects of traditional teaching methods that would be common place in schools in China, and they have seen their position move up recently. I'd like to know what exactly is meant by "traditional Chinese teaching methods", and how this differs from just plain "traditional teaching methods". The forefront of the educational debate in the UK is a return to certain aspects of so-called "traditional" teaching, mainly as a remedy to going too far down the progressive rabbit-hole. I wouldn't want to go to a Chinese school, but there are plenty of "traditional" schools in the UK that I would be more than happy attending. On the question of whether or not British pupils are tough enough for a Chinese school, the answer is emphatically "yes". To find out what's happening, simply google "strict schools in britain" and you'll see what our young men and women are capable of.
  15. 2 points
    I meant a component part of the first character! As written, it does say "bed" as Lu pointed out, with an extra 木 component it would be a different character, 麻, which makes a recognised word in combination with the other character which looks like 利. Is it written on a piece of fabric like a cover slip then? Can't think of any part of a bed that's known as a 床利, but there is the homophone 床笠 which means a mattress cover. Is that a possibility? The latter character of the second word is a bit rarer and the person may have written it wrong.
  16. 2 points
    Contains 2% Propoxur (an insecticide I'd never heard of): https://baike.baidu.com/item/残杀威/8055399
  17. 2 points
    靸 sǎ - one meaning is a type of straw slipper, but what I liked was the dialect verbal sense: 方言,把布鞋后帮踩在脚后跟下. So that's a special verb for wearing your cloth shoes with the heels crushed down like slippers.
  18. 1 point
    I agree with you about this being the best way! Genuine immersion is extremely valuable. Excellent write up!
  19. 1 point
    First: I work for LTL (I founded it),so this is not an unbiased comment Thanks a lot for considering us I obviously wont make any recommendation between the different schools as I could not do this objectively, however I can say a bit more about LTL. Your Pros: Shanghai is fun Yes it is. Absolutely. And there is loads to do. I dont think we can take credit for that though. Shanghai/Chengde Extreme immersion Combo This program (originally its a Beijing/Chengde immersion combination but we offer it with all our cities by now, including Shanghai) is my absolute favorite and very much how I believe Mandarin should be studied. Completely immersed without the temptation of English speakers around you, 1on1 classes (4 or 6 hours/day) in a city where everyone speaks Mandarin (very often in smaller Chinese cities this is not the case). Also its a pretty place as the old imperial summer capital, with the old summer palace, great wall, a lot of mountains, hiking, temples etc. and a very relaxed life style. However it is 100% Chinese language and culture immersion, so this program is not for everyone and comes with quite a few cultural challenges, so make sure that is what you want before signing up for it. Dont go if you are not up for an extreme immersion environment. It is definitely how I wish I would have studied Mandarin back in the day. Big Activity Calendar I hope we also have some other advantages than just a busy social activity calendar, but our aim is definitely to organize a great experience in China for our students and making friends is an important part of that (our activity co-ordinator in Shanghai Jason is very dedicated about that), though our main focus is to get our students to learn Mandarin fast. Your Cons: Prices For prices there might be a bit of confusion, however this is very much to be expected as even I find it incredibly hard to exactly compare them (we do this every year) because there are so many different options, courses, things included etc. and I have been doing this professionally for more than ten years by now. Our aim is to offer the best Chinese program there is, however at a similar cost to other programs in Beijing and Shanghai (though any course in Beijing/Shanghai will cost more than programs in smaller cheaper cities, the LTL program in Beihai comes at a 40% discount for example if you are looking for a cheaper option) and after creating several pretty long spread sheets with our finance department I am pretty sure we are, though it always depends on the exact options. In general 1on1 classes cost more than small group classes and the Shanghai/Chengde combination costs more because the whole Chengde part is a complete immersion program and the course is completely individually designed for you and all classes are 1on1. For things included, it is actually not possible to open a bank account for another person in China, you have to do it in person yourself. If you buy the survival kit one of the services included is that usually someone will actually go with you to the bank to help you set it up (which can sometimes take hours unfortunately). I have no idea if that's what happens at other schools when they say it is included, but in general going to the bank to get a bank account is something you can do yourself too of course (advice where to go and phone support if needed anyone gets for free at our school), its just nicer to have someone go with you. I would like to add that we include all study materials (text books) in the course price, have not high season surcharges, no accommodation finding fees, have very small group classes (average of 3 and a guaranteed maximum of no more than 6 per class) and that our class duration is pretty long 😀 Speaking English in Shanghai Yes that risk exists and I share your concern there. This is a problem with studying in Shanghai. We are located in the center of downtown and while it is of course still very much pre-dominantly Chinese, there are a lot of international bars, restaurants and a big expat community in Shanghai. It is absolutely possible to speak Mandarin all day in Shanghai (there are more than 20 million Chinese people living there), but there are loads of international options too, many of them very fund and that comes with a lot of temptation that can be hard to resist. Its a very valid concern. Being Lonely in Chengde That very much depends. Many of our students make life long friends there and have an amazing social life in Chengde - but not everyone does. The main part is that in Chengde everything is 100% Chinese. At our schools in Beijing, Shanghai or Taibei for example it is easy to meet other students at the school and there is the option to meet other foreigners in the city. Neither exists with our Chengde program. This doesnt mean you will be lonely, as you will live with a homestay family, you have the back up of our co-ordinator, there might be a few other LTL students in town (though you wont be studying with them) and in general you are a bit of a "rockstar/alien" there because most people in Chengde have never spoken to a foreign person before. However it takes a lot more effort from you to overcome the cultural and linguistic barriers and build a circle of local friends. Chengde is a program that is an absolutely amazing experience for some - and not suitable at all for others. Personally I think LTL biggest strengths are our very strong homestay network, great personal service at the school (doenst matter if you bought a survival kit or not), very high teaching standards and wide choice of program options, including things like complete immersion in Chengde and our biggest disadvantage is that we are just not that much of a party school. I would definitely recommend LTL but having founded and running it, I am also definitely biased. However I have traveled through China quite extensively so I can make some recommendations for cities (LTL has Chinese programs in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengde, Beihai, Taibei, Xian, Chengdu and we are working on Singapore ). Female, young professional Thats good wherever you go Happier in cold weather than in hot weather The North is colder than the South of course, however in April it is quite pleasant in pretty much all of China. It only starts to get really hot in the summer, so probably this shouldnt be a too important factor and personally I wouldnt base my decision on this. However for more coolness I would look at Beijing and definitely Chengde as they are both in the North and Chengde especially is in the mountains which makes it very pleasant in the hotter months (thats why the Chinese emperors went there every summer - they didnt have air-con back then). Beihai and Taibei definitely start to get warmer towards May and pretty hot in June. Not good at talking to strangers, but not a total introvert either In my experience a homestay can be a very good start to get into making Chinese friends. In general I would say it is easiest to make friends with other students at our schools in Beijing and Shanghai and with locals in Chengde and Beihai. Like: being active, the outdoors, cooking For outdoors Chengde and Beihai are the best with loads of mountains (Chengde) or beach and seaside (Beihai) around. From Beijing and Taibei it is quite easy to get out in the countryside but it is a drive and you would do it for a weekend, not just after class. Shanghai is the worst for getting ot, as it is quite further and harder to get to outdoor activity areas from downtown there than other cities. Dislike: partying a lot (the occasional bar outing is ok) That fits everywhere as Chinese life in general is not very party focused. The nightlife options in Shanghai, Beijing and Taibei (in that order) are the best however nobody has to (and many dont) go. Love big cities - Shanghai sounds great - but I think the 'contrived' environment of a private language school in a smaller city would be better in my case? Shanghai and Beijing are almost the same size and massive but Xian and Chengdu are actually very big cities too. Taibei is already a lot smaller and also feels like that and Beihai and Chengde are "small“ (with "only" 500,000 - 1 million people living there). Our school environment in Beijing, Shanghai and Tabei are quite similar, though the others are a bit different. Clean is better than dirty, but I have no illusions about where I'm going In general I find China quite clean, though it is a developing country. Pollution wise being close to the sea and far away from coal power plants is very helpful. Best two places I would say are Taibei and Beihai for that. I'm skeptical of 'cultural activities' like calligraphy, tai chi, or tea ceremonies - I'd rather go have a conversation over coffee or go on a walk / hike… I fully agree and you wont have find any tea ceremonies at our schools. Calligraphy has some use in learning and developing an interest how to write characters though. For Tai Chi I think the best thing is to just join a group in a park (there are loads) and it is a great way to practice Mandarin too. Looking for: Full-time private immersion environment (don't have enough time for a university program, and I'd like the assistance offered by private programs) The word immersion is used very loosely these days and somehow any program is called immersion. The only real 100% immersion program we offer is Chengde. Beihai also offers a very immersed environment (there are about 50 foreigners living there), however it is already not 100% anymore. By order of immersion experience from top to bottom I would rank: Chengde, Beihai, Xian, Chengdu, Beijing, Taibei, Shanghai A nice place to live where I can stay active and eventually use it as a home base to travel to other places on the weekends. I'd like to be able to visit parks, museums, try new restaurants etc in the afternoons - this is a language 'vacation' after all All of these cities are nice (at least I think so - thats why we have schools there). I personally love parks in China, especially in the early mornings when people go there to do TaiQi, KongFu, sing, dance, play cards and do a million other things, its really quite fun. Museums in China are a bit hit and miss for me. Food wise, there are a lot of different opinions about that and plenty of people will disagree with me, but Beijing offers for me the best choice of different kinds of Chinese food, followed by Shanghai. The local cuisine is best in Chengdu, but there are fewer options from other provinces there. Beihai specializes in little sand worms, which are not my cup of tea, but otherwise the food is very nice. At least 4 hrs of instruction per day, ideally more In my opinion 4 hours is the absolute minimum for an intensive course. When you have a limited amount of time I would suggest going for six hours if you want to get ahead as fast as possible. I would start with a small group & individual course, with four hours of small group (average 3 students, maximum 6 and April is usually not a busy time) and 2 hours of 1on1 after that and then switch to only 1on1 once I reached upper HSK 3, either 4 or 6 hours/day. It depends on how much self study you do of course, but anything less than 4 hours a day is - to me at least - not a full time language course. Ok, Its 9am on a Monday and I avoided work for almost an hour by writing this and will stop now. Whatever you do, have fun in China, you will love it. Its a great place, the people are fantastic and dont worry about making local friends - Chinese are very hospitable and while sometimes a bit shy and uncertain around foreigners most are really interested in people from the "outside" world and be very happy to get to know you. I wish I had the opportunity to do what you are planning to do.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    I've noticed this, too. Indeed, you'd have to be deaf not to. Just listen to people around you talking. (A great way to improve your listening skills, by the way.) Then count down till money rears up in the conversation somehow. It won't be long: just seconds usually.
  23. 1 point
    Your work permit (it looks like an ID card) is not the same as your residency permit (which is stuck in your passport like a visa). Your employer has to cancel your work permit. PSB cancels your residency permit. I'm not sure if anyone will be able to answer your main question though... the previous experience of other people is no guarantee of how you will be treated. Have you tried contacting an embassy or consulate of your country in China to ask them for advice?
  24. 1 point
    Guideinchina reports that WeChat pay is trialling a collaboration with Visa, Mastercard and AmEx, which would allow foreigners without a Chinese UnionPay card to finally pay for stuff without having a local bank account. Meanwhile The Beijinger also reports that the international version of the Alipay APP is now able to use the "Tour Pass" mini-program to pay for stuff via a "prepaid card service provided by the Bank of Shanghai" that can be topped up in RMB using an international credit or debit card.
  25. 1 point
    @Zabeth http://campuschina.org/universities/categories.html here you can search by language, provinces, and programs
  26. 1 point
    And this video to see how easy peasy and delicious it is to make egg fried rice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPVqyWBtE6M Sorry if you can't get YT.
  27. 1 point
    This is an excellent point. I've not faced this yet, but I could easily imagine it happening. I'll have to make sure I keep small bills with me (I don't have wechat pay).
  28. 1 point
    This Chinese-made detective game looks interesting: https://store.steampowered.com/app/942970/Unheard/ "What if you could hear every word spoken at the scene of a crime? “Acoustic Detectives” wanted for testing our new device! Return aurally to crime scenes and use the voices you hear to identify potential suspects and solve the mysteries. What is it that’s connecting these seemingly unrelated cases?" "Step through time as you use our device to eavesdrop on conversations from past crime scenes. Every clue, every move, and every motive will be presented in the form of audio. Rather than controlling any one character, you only need listen to their conversations, following along as the story evolves. Use the information you hear to match names to voices and determine how everything (and everyone) is related. Can you discover the truth?" I haven't played the game (the system requirements look to be a little over what my laptop can handle), but these reviews give a good idea of what to expect: "Answering questions about an incident using only audio from the incident. Matching the voices with the names and piecing together what happened. It's a recipe for a good few hours of thought provoking fun. The only downside is there isn't really any replayability once you've figured it all out" "Extremely unique game that is most enjoyable. The idea of solving mysteries by sound requires a different skill set and is quite captivating! I recommend this for anyone looking for a new gaming experience that is very immersive!" Sounds like you would get a lot of Chinese listening practice from playing this game. It's currently on sale for £3.11 in my region. Might be worth a try.
  29. 1 point
    @Zabeth you can check the first page. There's a link to campuschina.org where you can search for available courses and institution.
  30. 1 point
    Are you just talking about fairy tale "once upon a time" or are you including today? Are you writing a term paper in school?
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    Ah yes that makes sense! Where I work I was putting out duvet covers, they come packed in a box and there was a random piece of cardboard inside the box with that writing on it, so I was curious as to what it said
  33. 1 point
    I had to use it to download a massive video file for a subtitling job and, as far as I could work out, unless you pay for the premium service they throttle the download. I was never going to cough up, so downloaded their awful client and let it trickle for about a day to get a file that i could have torrented in twenty minutes. Nuked the horrible software from orbit once the job was complete.
  34. 1 point
    For Cantonese speakers, a Hong Kong horror game similar to last years Devotion has just come out, called 港詭實錄ParanormalHK https://store.steampowered.com/app/1178490/ParanormalHK/
  35. 1 point
    When I applied for mine, there wasn't a box on the form to request a 10 year visa. I just typed in the request for a 10 year visa. However, that was in 2017. They may have updated the form now. A side note: if your passport expires, you can still use the 10 yr visa, you just need to bring the old passport (containing the visa) with the new passport. I was uncomfortable the 1st time, but a flight attendant friend said it would be OK. She was right. It's never been a problem.
  36. 1 point
    Generally, if something's interesting enough to post about, we'd appreciate it if people write at least a line or two about it, rather than a simple copy and paste.
  37. 1 point
    Half of which you'll never need to learn.
  38. 1 point
    Initially I thought the 辶 radical is easy enough to spot and remember. Some of the first characters were: 这 and 还. At first somewhat confusing, but not too difficult after all. Then I realised there are: 这, 还, 过, 进, 送, 连, 选, 远, 遍, 道, 腿, 边, 追, 逃, 近, 逼, 通, 达, 透, 随, 退, 迟, 迷, 造, 运, 迪, 逮, 遭, 逗, 遇, 缝, 速, 逛, 谜, 链, 逊, 避, 迈, 邀, 递, 莲, 遮, 遛, 遥, 迹, 逝, 巡, 哒, 述, 途, 迭, 逆, 蓬, 逢, 迎, 篷, 返, 违, 逞, 迫, 逐, 槌, 褪, 适, 遗, 迦, 迁, 谴, 遣, 暹, 迅, 逸, 遂, 鞑, 遁, 糙, 遵, 逾, 逖, 髓, 迸, 挞, 遏, 辽, 跶, 迺, 逡, 嗵, 謎, 樋, 逻, 醚, 邊, 遐, 迴, 辺, 逋, 邏, 遺, 辻, 邋, 燧, 逑, 迂, 遜, 迄, 這, 邁, 缱, 遽, 達, 迢, 選, 躂, 叇, 嗹, 嚃, 垯, 壝, 挝, 摓, 摙, 擿, 梿, 檖, 涟, 瀡, 煺, 琏, 璡, 璲, 穟, 笾, 簻, 繨, 缒, 膇, 荙, 蓪, 蕸, 薖, 薳, 蘧, 裢, 襚, 跹, 辶, 込, 辿, 迋, 迍, 迓, 迕, 迣, 迤, 迥, 迨, 迩, 迮, 迳, 迶, 迻, 迿, 逄, 逅, 逌, 逍, 逓, 逦, 逭, 逯, 逴, 逵, 逶, 逹, 遄, 遅, 遑, 遒, 遘, 遝, 遟, 遢, 遨, 遫, 遰, 遴, 遹, 遻, 邂, 邃, 邅, 邈, 邉, 邎, 鎹, 鏠, 鐩, 鐽, 闼, 隧, 餸, 髄, 鲢, 僆, 儙, 噠, 噵, 嚺, 塠, 塳, 墶, 嬘, 搥, 撻, 撾, 曃, 槰, 橽, 檛, 檤, 櫏, 漨, 澻, 澾, 濄, 瀢, 熢, 熥, 燵, 琎, 瓋, 瓍, 瞇, 磀, 磓, 礈, 禭, 縋, 縌, 縫, 繸, 繾, 膖, 膸, 膼, 蒁, 蒾, 薘, 藡, 螁, 蟽, 蠭, 譢, 譴, 讁, 讉, 蹆, 躚, 辷, 辸, 迀, 迃, 迆, 迉, 迊, 迌, 迏, 迒, 迖, 迗, 迚, 迠, 迡, 迧, 迬, 迯, 迱, 迲, 迵, 迼, 迾, 逇, 逈, 逎, 逕, 逘, 逜, 連, 逤, 逥, 逧, 逨, 逩, 逪, 逫, 逬, 逰, 週, 進, 逳, 逷, 逺, 逽, 逿, 遀, 遃, 遆, 遈, 遉, 遊, 運, 遌, 過, 違, 遖, 遙, 遚, 遞, 遠, 遡, 遤, 遦, 遧, 適, 遪, 遬, 遯, 遱, 遲, 遳, 遶, 遷, 遼, 遾, 還, 邆, 邇, 邌, 邍, 邐, 鎚, 鐹, 鑓, 闥, 闧, 隨, 靆, 韃, 韆, 韼, 鬔, 鱁 😅
  39. 1 point
    From my experience, I don't think anyone can really inform you what's confusing and whats not, its very individual . I have made a character SRS deck and always update it periodically with confusing characters. I remember at the start of my study that we were supposed to be confused by 八 人 入. I never was was though. However plenty of others I mixed up constantly , mainly when the radical differs like 快, 块 etc 白 and 日 doesn't confuse me at all but some some unknown reason I get 通 and 道 mixed up a lot! I found that updating your own customised list as you come across them is the way to go, but its important not try pre-empt what you might find confusing as it would soon spiral out of control with all the possible combinations
  40. 1 point
    These episodes are on youtube if anyone's interested: S01E01 S01E02 S01E03 See also some reactions in China reported in English via Xinhua and CGTN.
  41. 1 point
    This blog post Top 258 Most Commonly Confused Chinese Characters also has some interesting resources, including dictation practice split across 3 levels of difficulty, and transcriptions which give common ways of describing the characters, e.g. 刀、力 刀刃的刀 — dāorèn de dāo 力量的力 — lìliang de lì
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Good question, @mungouk -- Thanks for asking. It has a fresh, bland flavor which is similar to young Brussels sprouts or Napa cabbage. Not bitter. It does best when combined with a meat which has lots of flavor. In Chinese cooking, it it usually stir-fried with a flavorful meat. Examples are sausage 香肠, smoked bacon 腊肉, and pork belly 五花肉。Here in Yunnan, it is often stir-fried with our famous slow-cured ham 云南火腿。My approach in the recipe above was to steam it in the rice cooker while making rice with sausage slices on top. Did it that way in the interest of efficiency and reducing the need for dishwashing/cleanup. Texture is tender after it's cooked. Could easily slice through a piece with the side of a fork. Around here, seeds for them are planted in September, seedlings are set out in October. Harvest is late December through mid February. It's a traditional food of winter; often associated with Spring Festival banquets in these parts. It's sometimes pickled, sometimes served room temperature as a 凉拌 (Chinese salad.) It's actually quite different, in that it is mainly a tough, woody stalk 梗 about as big around as my arm. The most frequently eaten part is the "knees" or "knobs" that extend from that heavy main stalk. One of the stories about how the vegetable got its name is that these knobs are "sons" of the big mother -- 儿子。 It's hard to explain clearly, but these pictures might help. These first two show the big vegetable entire ("the mother.") I've split it down the middle to expose the tough woody interior. (I only use this part for soup.) The tender parts which are most commonly eaten are the knobs growing from the sides of the main stalk. These are the "sons" -- the 儿子。You break them off with your fingers and slice them or quarter them before cooking. I marked them with arrows. Upscale markets, such as @DavyJonesLocker is talking about in his reply, often sell the knobs alone, pre-trimmed and packaged. This makes for less labor and less waste. Below left is a picture of those. I've sometimes bought them like that, gladly paying more because I was in a hurry. Below right is a picture of the tough stalk, cut up and getting ready to become part of a slow-cooked pork bone 猪骨 winter soup.
  44. 1 point
    Incidentally, friends don't let friends get Chinese character tattoos.
  45. 1 point
    Today I finished reading the novella 《地久天长》 by 王小波. The novella is a beautiful and touching story about love, friendship, and loss. I highly recommend it. Today I also read 王小波’s short story 《猫》. This story is so haunting and upsetting that I regret reading it, especially on Christmas Eve. I’m emotionally depleted from all this 王小波. I’ll take a short break from literature and read some Chinese non-fiction to recharge my affective batteries.
  46. 1 point
    The Zhongguancun area in Beijing with all the big universities around is probably the biggest tech and start up community in China. However Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou all also have very big start up communities. Be aware though that all of these are in Chinese only, so you need to be able to speak Mandarin to really benefit from that. If you are looking for an English tech community, Shanghai is probably your best bet because a lot more people speak English, but in the end it is the same, without Mandarin most doors will remain closed, though it of course depends on what kind of business you want to run. In my experience Chinese Tech people tend to be good and many things, but learning a difficult foreign language like English is not necessarily one of them. Often the people who are good at English are not as much into technology (though of course that is a very general statement and each person is different, which especially matters when there are 1.4 billion of them).
  47. 1 point
    There is gap between what you think you could and the fact, so that's why reading aloud helps you detect the disparity between your actual condition and the ideal one.One needs to read aloud to see the room of further improvement. It helps if you may get it recorded and compare it with the correct pronunciation if there is any example available. Or you could download an app where you could transform the text input into voice. So you know how it is correctly pronounced.
  48. 1 point
    95% of Chinese learners are at the beginner level. Something I think the users of this website forget.
  49. 1 point
    Found these when I was poking around on an old server. They're probably available in a few places, but figured a new topic might bring them to the attention of people who aren't aware of them and if I put them here I can delete a database without it feeling too unloved. These are from the older version of the HSK - 8822 items across four levels. Columns are Chinese - pinyin with tones - pinyin with numbers - level CSV, utf-8 I get quite nostalgic for these lists. I believe the new vocabulary lists (to be fair, they're not that new) don't even include essential vocabulary like 手榴弹 and 共产主义. oldhsk.csv
  50. 1 point
    In my own experience memorising words and characters at this level is essential if you ever want to see improvements in your Chinese. Otherwise you'll just coast by on existing skills, and get stuck in the rut of always only being able to read 95%. At this stage, learning by osmosis is useful, but also full of pitfalls because many words that you think you can guess the pronunciation/meaning of, you actually find out later that you were wrong (秀才识字识半边 and all). Also, don't worry about words you think are too uncommon that they'll never appear in other novels. At the beginning of the year, I decided I wanted to really focus on my reading, and since then I've gone through about 14 novels (it's amazing how much spare time you have when not reading the forums ). I'm constantly surprised at how words I thought I'd never see again continue to pop up over and over, both in the same novel and in others. It always makes me happy and gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see a word I learnt in one novel appearing somewhere else. To begin with, personally I think the most important thing to do is develop a reading habit. You need to make it so that reading is not a chore. Despite previously already being able to read quite well, I found that reading for extended periods of time (1/2 an hour or more) was always painful and it was easy for me to get distracted. Since starting to make an active effort to change this, it took about 4 novels before reading for long periods (1/2 an hour or longer) became pleasurable and not just something I was forcing myself to do. It probably took a further 4 novels after that to get to a point where I could be engrossed enough in a book that I wouldn't notice that 3-4 hours had passed. In order to accomplish this, you need set yourself a target of reading at least 1/2 an hour a day and stick to it no matter what. Whatever happens you need to make the time for this, and you need to keep at it every day in order for it to become a habit. At the beginning it will be painful and slow, but it will get easier the more you do it, especially as you will be learning new words as you go and this in turn will make future reading easier and so on. Please bear in mind that any memorising of words/characters needs to be outside this 1/2 hour. That is, don't spend 10 minutes reading and 20 minutes looking up words, you need to make sure you're putting in the reading time. Realistically speaking, this means you may need to set aside at least an hour a day - 1/2 an hour for reading, and another 1/2 hour for learning new words and revising. Something like Pleco is an essential tool for this sort of activity, because it allows you to look up words quickly as you are reading and add them to a list for later revision. This means you have minimal interruption when reading, the ability to understand what you've just read, and the ability to then revise newly encountered words at a later point in time. If you don't have Pleco, underlining new words with a pencil is also a good way to achieve a similar thing, although going back and looking up those new words is more laborious. When doing this there are two things you should pay attention to. Firstly, you need to be reading things of the appropriate level. If you start reading something and there are too many new words it will mean constant interruption to the reading process, which will make things less enjoyable, and also give you the feeling that you are making no improvements. If on the other hand you pick something that is more suited to your level the opposite will be true. Case in point, at the beginning of the year, the first book I started reading was 金庸's 书剑恩仇录. Although I could read it, there were too many unknown words per page to strike a comfortable balance between reading and learning new words (see below about quotas). It's not that I couldn't have read it, but more that I wanted to focus my time more on reading than on learning new words, and so 10-15 pages in, I put it aside in favour of something easier. Fast forward 9 months, 10 books and some 2 million characters later, I picked it up again and this time was able to breeze through it. This was partly because I was now much more comfortable reading for extended periods of time and partly because I'd already encountered many of the words that were previously new to me in those other novels, but spread out over time and so the frequency of new words was greatly reduced. It was really good to do something like this because it provided great positive feedback showing me the progress I'd made over the year. This then leads in to the second thing to pay attention to, and that is to set yourself a sustainable quota of new words to learn on a given day. For me, I've found that this is 5-10 words a day (with a word sometimes containing more than 1 new character). I could learn more, but then I'd find I'd be spending more of my time learning and revising new words than on reading, which is not something I want to do (I prefer to get the revising through more reading). When doing this, you'll then need to prioritise which new words will fill up your quota, and which words you can leave to another day. Don't worry that you might be missing out on learning important/useful ones by not learning all the new ones at once. The important ones will keep showing up in other places so they'll fit in a later day's quota. The less-useful ones wont repeat and are therefore probably not worth your time learning. I tend to prioritise in the following order: 1) Names of people/places - These take top priority for me because in a given novel the names will be repeated often enough that it should be quite trivial to keep them in memory. Common characters used in names/surnames will also continue to pop up in different variations in both the same novel and others, plus in newspaper articles or anywhere else you might expect to find a name, so they're always useful in that respect. I typically don't place too much emphasis on learning the meaning of the rarer characters used in names, more just the pronunciation. Also of note, is that it's worth looking up the pronunciation of surnames even for characters you think you know, because quite often the pronunciation of a character when used as a surname is different from the pronunciation you might be more familiar with e.g. 单 Shàn, 曾 Zēng, etc. 2) Words that look suspiciously like words I already know how to pronounce. At higher levels, I've found more often than not that less-common words containing parts of characters I already know typically contain different pronunciations to what I'd expect e.g. a couple off the top of my head 倩 qiàn, 栉 zhì, 耿 gěng. If you don't make sure to learn the correct pronunciation, you'll fall in to the trap of guessing the incorrect pronunciation and then start to reinforce that mistake each time you see the character, which will make it that much more difficult to correct later. 3) Words that I've seen previously, but that I didn't learn because I'd already filled up my quota for the day. Logic dictates that these words are more common (at least in the context of whatever I'm reading at the time) and therefore more likely to be worth learning ahead of others. 4) Other new words. When learning words, in general I'll read the meaning to get an understanding, and then relate it back to the part of the novel where I read it. I typically won't spend much time trying to memorise the meaning. If the word is useful it will continue to come up in other places and that will help reinforce the meaning through context. In terms of memorisation, I'll really only focus on the pronunciation. Anyway, this is now starting to get a little long so I’ll finish off by saying the most important part to all of the above is perseverance, and making sure you keep reading a little bit every day. You can memorise all the characters you like, but it’s not much good if you find you can’t then read more than one or two pages of Chinese without getting tired/distracted and switching to some other activity. You can use tools like "Don't Break the Chain", or my own 100% to provide motivation and keep track of progress.
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