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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/07/2020 in all areas

  1. There are more and more Chinese language Youtube channels popping up, covering a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and they make for a great learning resource. Here are a few of mine. Feel free to add your own. General life in China Channels: One of my new favourites is 小叔TV . His content consists of walking around various localities in China, with a focus on the more forgotten, left behind type places. While it doesn't sound too exciting, I really like to watch now that I'm not living in China anymore. He offers some interesting insights into Chinese society and e
    20 points
  2. I recently completed 300 lessons on italki.com with my Chinese teacher, and it's been suggested that I write something up. I'll try to focus on lessons learned, as in: things I would do differently if starting again. Background When I started learning Chinese in Feb 2017 it was more or less from zero. I knew nihao and xiexie, and I could recognise a few Hanzi thanks to the beginner's level Japanese I've done twice in F2F evening classes. That was it. My motivation for learning was partly because I was living in Singapore at the time (and
    18 points
  3. Wow, this is so funny, I experienced an eerily similar situation to the OP, only mine came from the opposite side: I was on a long train journey in southern China a couple of years back. Unfortunately there weren't any sleepers left, so I had to take a seat. There were four of us squeezed around a tiny table, all strangers, but we got to know each other a little as the afternoon wore on. As night began to fall, one of the passengers, a lady in her early thirties, started to open up about her unhappy marriage: about her bad relationship with her mother-in-law, about how her husband
    14 points
  4. After a pretty rough year, I don't even want to look at my language goals from 2020. On the one hand, after about four months of really solid studying starting of the year it all tapered off and I didn't really pick it back up until a month or two ago in large part due to switching jobs, dealing with COVID, and other personal things that happened. On the other hand, with all those experience now turned to memories I'm ready for a fresh start. At this point, my language ability has mostly stabilized in the advanced range. What I mean is that recall and fluency is very rarely a chall
    13 points
  5. Most reviews of Chinese language programs focus on reflections immediately after the student finished. I instead want to share my review of ICLP 5 years later now that I am in the workforce, in the US, and do not always use Chinese formally. I believe this is particularly important because the majority of Chinese language learners unfortunately do not have the luxury - or desire - to live or work in China/Taiwan/etc. for an extended period of time. How does ICLP prepare you for a life of using Chinese? https://iclp.ntu.edu.tw/ Summary: ICLP helped me bridge
    12 points
  6. So i finally made it back. A bit about my little experience: Boarding is done 5 rows at a time regardless of travel class (back>front). Mask must be worn at all times and they discourage walking around on the plane. After landing, people in full hazmat board the plane to check your health code. 5 rows leave at a time (front>back). You have to show various QR codes about 10 times at the airport so make sure you have a fully charged phone. They are still unsure about how to handle foreigners but get there in the end. Covid test was really well organis
    12 points
  7. Disclaimer: This write up is not a guide on how to type using Cangjie, check out the wiki page for a basic intro if you're interested. This is aimed at anyone who simply wants to know whether learning a new input method is or is not worth the time investment. 2020 has been a very strange year for me, as I'm sure it has for most of us. With all the extra time, I decided to get down to some things that I've wanted to do for a while but...just never had the time. One of those things was learning to type Cangjie both fast enough that I can use it for live conversation on Wechat, and fo
    12 points
  8. According to this page the HSK exam will be changed to offer nine levels: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/48yDq48T_WzCjfD9uT4laA I don't know if this is (a) fake news (I don't see a source for the information) or (b) new news (maybe everyone knew this already) The link suggests there'll be nine levels, not six. Reading through - not very well - I'm not sure the text explicitly says this will replace the previous HSK regime. I certainly don't see any date for it doing so. Old timers will remember that the 'original' HSK co-existed for a while with the "new" HSK that is the cu
    11 points
  9. Long time lurker, first time poster...thought this data might be of interest to some of you. The graph below shows my increasing reading speed over the course of about 15.6 million characters read between December 2018 and July 2020 (so just over a year and a half). Some notes: Reading time includes time spent looking up unknown words in Pleco's document reader, creating Pleco flashcards, and googling unknown references, plus a little occasional texting. Most of what I read was webnovels, with a few real books thrown in here and there. Other than startin
    11 points
  10. I'll save you the work. I got impatient and ended up hiring a freelancer in China to buy the 2010 book and do the data entry. If anybody wants the list, please feel free to send me a direct message.
    11 points
  11. Right, we had about 50 hours of being offline there, possibly the longest in 17 years? Server got choked up (basically, it got full), I thought I was going to have to shift to a back-up server, had the domain redirected (which takes time to propagate) and database back-up in place (we'd have lost 24 hours of content, so annoying rather than catastrophic). Then server came back up but software wasn't working, so shifted domain back again (again, takes time), back and forth with software support, escalated, might have to wait, managed to figure out what the problem was (corrupt cache file in a f
    11 points
  12. From the outstanding multi-media publication RADII ("an independent platform of artists, writers and creators dedicated to sharing vibrant stories from the rarely explored sides of new China"): 100 films that may help to better understand China. The list is split into 10 categories: Pre-War, Mao Years, Opening Up, Indie and Arthouse, Documentaries, Wuxia, Popcorn, China Today, Bad Movies, Animation. Where available, there are links to the individual films. The You Tube links I tried were working but unfortunately some links are region-dependent or
    10 points
  13. I can speak from a certain degree of personal experience, because I made the transition from graded readers to native-level novels about 1.5 years ago (I felt that graded readers stopped feeling profitable after the 2500 level). 活着 is a really great choice for a first book, and I think that with your level of vocabulary, you're in a good place for it. Granted, it's still going to be a grind. I had an HSK6 vocabulary when I read it, and I still had to look up about 750 words. I've read 8 different books so far, and they've averaged about 1200 new/unknown words for each book (although that numbe
    10 points
  14. @mungouk -- About seasoning your new wok, even though you probably already know these basics, please let me review them here all in one place. (These are specific to your wok, a cast iron wok 铸铁炒锅。) 1. Scrub the wok out with dish detergent and warm water. This is mainly to remove the surface protectant coating which the manufacturer applies to keep the wok from rusting while it is in a warehouse or on the shelf of a retail store. A dish rag or plastic dish scrubbing pad will usually do the trick, but if not, it's OK to resort to harsher measures. In China one can easily buy stainl
    10 points
  15. Time for a recap: whole year: take HSK5 and pass with a good score Nope, didn't want to do the online test read a few easy Chinese novels Yes, on my 7th right now, and will be done before the end of the year:) each month: write at least one essay longer than one page Nope, only wrote an irregular diary for the first half of the year each week: take 2 classes with 50/50 focus textbook/free talk Yes, kind of, though it was way more free talk read a few news articles Sometimes, but often I just read my current novel instead watch a
    10 points
  16. Its that time of year - share your aims and objectives for the coming year here! For me, I have two areas I really want to push myself forward into: 1) Reach 150WPM in shorthand speed. I halfheartedly began learning Pitman shorthand back in 2018; it got put on the back burner until lockdown this year, and now I've finished all the textbooks and workbooks available. Currently sitting at a mediocre 40-50WPM. I want to be able to note take speeches at speeds exceeding 150WPM by this time next year (roughly the normal speed of human speech). 2) Second goal is r
    9 points
  17. This is relatively new as the Microsoft's Edge Chromium browser was only released to the public a few months ago, and I haven't seen it mentioned here yet. Microsoft's new Edge browser can read aloud Chinese pages and pdfs (open in the browser), and you also have impressive new AI voices, can tweak the speeds, can change voices and practice reading alongside listening. You can also use Read Aloud in Word but not sure whether the Online voices are there yet. This page explains all : Use Learning Tools in the Edge browser - Office Support (microsoft.com) Try it, have it re
    9 points
  18. This year will be my 7th year of Chinese! How time flies 😄. Still have my eyes set on getting to a pretty decent (but far from perfect) level of Chinese by the 10 year mark. My biggest goal for 2021 is to improve my speaking skills. I've developed some fairly good daily study habits based on some posts by imron which I was fortunate enough to read pretty early on. One goal is essentially to just keep with it. 1) Have 150 hours worth of voice calls on HelloTalk. I've decided to keep a log of the hours. So far I've done 4 hours and a half and it's only been 5 days 😃. I probably did
    9 points
  19. Last year's goal reflection: One of my goals last year was to get my chinese 驾照, and boy did I just squeak that one in. As of Xmas eve of last year, I am now a licensed driver here in China! It took about 3 mo. of studying with 驾考宝典, 5 attempts, and plenty of times pestering my Chinese friends, but I did it in Chinese. I scored a 90, which means I just barely hit the 通过线. But boy, if I got a point for each time someone told me to just take it in English, I would've passed just on that alone. This year: Goal for this year is to finally get around to passing hsk 5 as well a
    9 points
  20. Interesting idea. Just wanted to note that my experience of HelloTalk is completely different from yours. Background: I live in the US and have been studying Chinese as a hobby for almost 4 years (4 year anniversary is January!) I went through a period of time this year where HelloTalk was a major part of my study routine. I wanted to try to have some form of speaking practice every day, so if I didn't have a class that day, I would find someone on HelloTalk to talk to. My process was the following: 1. Make a post on HelloTalk asking if anyone w
    9 points
  21. As discussed and decided on here, the Book of the Month for May 2020 is 《草鞋湾》 by 曹文轩. Cao Wenxuan (1954) is a children's book writer (he's written some things for adults as well, but children's literature is his main work). Some of his work has been translated, most notably Bronze and Sunflower, and in 2016 he he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award. 《草鞋湾》 is his latest book, published in 2019. 209 pages (in my edition), 22 chapters of about 10 pages each. So far (one chapter in) the language is easy, both in vocabulary and in sentence structure. Chapter 1:
    9 points
  22. Hi all, Something I reflect on alot, is people tend to have a warped view of how long it takes to become fluent in Chinese. I myself had it when I started. I told myself that if I did a year studying Mandarin at university in China, I would definitely be fluent in Chinese. 1 year? what the hell was I thinking. In part it's difficult not to think this way, with snappily titled Youtube videos such as "30 days to fluency" or engaging language services such as "The Mandarin Blueprint". It gives the sense, that becoming fluent is easy, can be done in a short amount of time, and is achie
    9 points
  23. My primary hobby is badminton. More than forty years in the game. I take photos of professionals in international tournaments , undertaken coaching qualifications, teach, compete in competitions. It’s not full time. I have the respect of players who have played at the top level including Olympics. We get along very well. I always wanted to talk to more players. Many players are Mandarin speakers. Learning mandarin helps me communicate with players from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Hobbies are lifelong. I get invited to go to China because of badminton. It’s a pity I don’t ha
    9 points
  24. Wow boy, a crazy year for me. Living and working in Hefei, Anhui, I had co-workers talking about the outbreak in neighboring Wuhan, which I didn't think of much going back to the US for Chinese New year. I was interviewing for a new job in the US while this all went down in January, and I was flying back early February after the New Year to finish my two weeks and clear out my apartment. I kept reassuring everyone in the US that there is no way they would close down the Wuhan area since the population size was like closing down the Midwest in the US (I was very, very wrong). They t
    9 points
  25. That Reddit thread is misleading. The OP there is sharing pictures from a 2019 book that's geared towards advanced CFL students or non-Mandarin Chinese speakers who want to achieve standard pronunciation. That book is based on a 11092 word vocabulary list originally published in a 2010 book called《 汉语国际教育用音节汉字词汇等级划分》, or《等级划分》for short. The vocabulary, character, and syllable lists in the《等级划分》are explicitly cited as the provisional content for the HSK 3.0 in a paper (Liu et al. 2020) shared by the official HSK Twitter account. The finalized content for the HSK 3.0 will be released
    9 points
  26. True that it felt like a park bench or a church pew. But mine was designed for a living room. This furniture is popular in traditional homes. One usually puts throw cushions on it to make it more comfortable. But it never quite works. Perhaps my western bones were too decadent. This is particularly popular in traditional homes that have a true 客厅 in which to receive guests. This deep burnished reddish-brown wood, 红木,is the material of choice. It's a type of mahogany. Lots of it is grown in the mountainous areas of SE Asia, where illegal logging still thrives. My inex
    9 points
  27. Hey there! So I just saw this informative notice by Chinese Testing international dated June 2, 2020 (attached is the original) that they posted in the Confucius Institute of Barcelona (below is a direct translation into English by google translate). Main points is that the new HSK is intended to first take place in the first half of 2021 and that it will consist in adding a single new "advanced HSK" level that will comprise levels 7 to 9, and depending on the mark that you get in it you will have one or the other HSK level. It looks like levels 1-6 will remain unaltered:
    9 points
  28. Sharing some 中国QT Photos... I know someone on their 14 day QT right now. They picked a hotel at the 400rmb per room price and this includes breakfast. They can order food and drink into the hotel. The food is actually from a different hotel where 3 meals were provided due to having no option to order in. Overall they’re very happy with how they’ve been treated and the experience in general. Someone regularly checks in on them (phone calls) and in English. The people on site also speak some English. If they have any issues there’s always someone available to ask.
    9 points
  29. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/60490-test-users-for-online-class-system-wanted-free-classes/?tab=comments#comment-475544 After seeing the above, I tried out LTL’s system for online classes. I contacted Andreas for some free trial lessons. I have read his previous postings on the forum with interest (especially the home stay and Chengde) but never taken any lessons with LTL. My background prior to classes: 1. First started with online classes with an online school 2. Moved on to italki with most classes under community tutors and not following any
    8 points
  30. I've achieved a big milestone recently. Up until the last few months my significant other(a native) would never speak mandarin with me. When I first started, I pushed it but she wouldn't budge. I let it go and decided not to push it anymore. Still had her mother to speak Chinese with. As I've improved, expanded my vocabulary, grammar etc, I casually - even accidentally would slip in some mandarin and she kind of naturally started replying in mandarin. It has happened quite naturally. Lately she's even been starting conversations with me in Chinese sometimes. Also, if she says somet
    8 points
  31. This one is a bit of a complex case. I actually had to revisit a lot of the research on these characters to answer this question (and to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes in the dictionary entries), and I'm going to end up rewriting some of the dictionary entries for 尚 and 堂 just to make them more clear. These were actually some of the very first entries we wrote, 6 years ago or so. Short story: 堂 is 尚 (sound) + 土 (meaning). The fact that 尚's original meaning had to do with halls doesn't automatically make it a semantic component, because it had lost that meaning by the time 尚+土
    8 points
  32. “A chord is like a family.” A video where I teach beginner jazz harmony in Chinese. https://youtu.be/qrq5dHundbc
    8 points
  33. Unfortunately I went through another hiatus in learning. It seems to be a character trait that I go through periods of being good and taking a rest when learning Mandarin as a hobby. Here's a list of useful links to posts and articles (to be continually updated) in no particular order. Reading back in Chinese forums helps me get interested again. It just shows how much we can read and learn, yet still forget. 1) List of everyday topics to discuss. Practicing discussing about these topics with different teachers or language partners. One can practice the sa
    8 points
  34. Its that time of year once again, checking in to update on my 2020 progress. Its been a very strange year for all of us, and particularly so considering I'm back in the uk preparing for some new mutated COVID-20 uk lockdown nearly a year after getting trapped in Hubei with the mystery Wuhan virus. Bizarre... Anyway, onto how I did this year. 1) I managed to learn around 50 Tang poems off by heart, and it has really blown me away just how useful this has become for understanding wordplay and feeling in everyday Chinese, but especially so when watching TV dramas, where th
    8 points
  35. 1) This year I added and learnt 1,300 word flashcards (probably learnt a few hundred additional words outside of flashcards). 2) Learnt 300 new characters, for a total of 3500. 3) Probably read 500k to a million characters via novels. Not as much as I hoped but I still feel like my reading skills improved a fair bit, maybe from watching so many TV shows. 4) Watched loads of TV shows (watched something everyday). Diversified what I watched to include lots of new genres like 推理剧,盗墓剧,古装剧 etc. 5) Finally, the most important thing I did for my Chinese
    8 points
  36. I thought I would write a brief update on my progress: Here I am happy with my progress. I am probably averaging 4-5 episodes a day. I never listen to the whole episode, but rather just shadow the dialogue and "expansion" sentences. I feel my tones and overall smoothness when speaking are getting much better. I pretty much stopped doing this around March/April. I realised watching TV dramas is a subtle way of procrastinating. I believe at my level I can invest my time better. So, I started TheChairmansBao. The
    8 points
  37. Dear fellow Chinese learners, I just wanted to point out an uplifting trend I have noticed in my own personal journey, which I hope may be applicable to you guys. Chinese, and learning Chinese as an activity, for me, has continued to get more and more fun. The more you know, the easier it is to keep studying, and the more joy you get out of going a bit deeper. Point being, the more I have improved over the years, the easier it has been me to think, oh I will sit down and learn this today! (As opposed to when i started, it was like homework/a chore that I had to force
    8 points
  38. Yes. The difficulty is that in all European languages I'm familiar with, we count in groups of three zeroes (thousand, million, billion etc) while in Chinese you count in groups of four zeroes (万,亿,兆等). Since this is really hard to re-calculate on the fly in your head, you run into difficulties. Some people can probably get fluent in this area, I think one could with simply lots of practice. I'm not fluent, so what I do: - If interpreting (or listening for a test or such things), write down the number without thinking and then go back and add dots (or commas if that's what you
    8 points
  39. Hahaha, you'll love Japan then. Only Chinese people will say something like that. Japanese people will expect you to have to do "it", no exceptions for being a foreigner. Striving to become Chinese is more like an option in China, but it's absolutely necessary to strive to be Japanese in Japan if you're anything more than a short term visitor. After the first day when everyone is super excited to meet you and everything, expect everyone to hate you as you do everything wrong and inconvenience everyone... until you manage to learn Japanese culture, which is honestly a little hard. The point is,
    8 points
  40. This morning I had the seemingly innocuous idea to leave a comment on a video I liked on Bilibili. What happened next blew my mind. First, I had to register an account and verify it by linking it to my phone number and email. Ok, I thought, just some extra security, should have expected that. No problem. Then, it told me that in order to comment on a video, first I had to 转正. That is, get my new account promoted up a level. In order to do that, there’s a 100-question exam (I kid you not) where a pass consists of at least 60 correct answers. Being it a lazy Saturday
    8 points
  41. Update: so one more day until freedom! i did my final covid test (just as brutal as the airport) on Tuesday. I will be issued with release papers and test results upon checkout that will allow me to freely travel until my health code turns green. My 社区 in Beijing asked me to fill out another WeChat mini app form that details my return to Beijing - they require me to report my temperature twice a day for 7 days once i'm back in Beijing. I've heard some other 社区s have asked people to quarantine for a further 7 days at home...
    8 points
  42. I had my test today. I found it challenging in places especially as in the past few weeks my active and passive exposure to Mandarin has dropped off considerably these last few weeks. My Mandarin is pretty basic as rated by myself. As explained later by @Lusimonia , the test probes your ability in using the language. It was a bit of a surprise to find out that I am intermediate ability and some vocabulary that I use touches on advanced level. However, I feel that I don't have the necessary range of vocabulary to be truly intermediate. After the test finish
    8 points
  43. I have a one-way ticket on American Airlines and Cathay Pacific to Kunming departing DFW (Dallas) on 7 July and flying via EWR (Newark) and HKG (Hong Kong.) The layover/stop in Hong Kong is 15 hours (overnight.) As of right now, to the best of my knowledge, this itinerary will be impossible, as entry of US citizens into Hong Kong is not permitted and passage onward to Kunming is also forbidden. Also, I've been told the airlines are mainly offering these flights to accommodate citizens/permanent residents of Hong Kong and Mainland China who are returning to their homes (repatriatin
    8 points
  44. Interesting thread. I really envy Meng Lelan - I can't imagine what an experience arriving in China in 1980 would have been. My first foray into China was in 2000. Doesn't sound that long ago, but even then, things were very different compared to now. I couldn't speak Chinese in those days, and very few people spoke any English - even at the information desk at Beijing Airport (unthinkable now). Part of the change since then is specific to China, but in my opinion, the single biggest change to China and the rest of the world has been the digital/internet/information rev
    8 points
  45. Since my Kunming apartment has no built in oven, I concentrate on stove-top dishes, stir-fries and such. When back in the US I revel in using the oven. Fresh, home-made bread with a rich honest crumb and a slightly-chewy golden crust makes its way into my Kunming fever dreams on a long Yunnan night. Sometimes I not only see it, but I smell it as well. Baked a lot of bread in the 1970’s and 80’s. Viewed it as “sanity therapy” during a crazy stretch of life starting-out in medical practice. Any time I baked some for myself and my wife I would always double the recipe and call someone
    8 points
  46. Who said anything about racism? There are all kinds of reasons one can not want Confucius Institutes and most of these reasons have nothing to do with racism. I can't read the article either, but given what I know about CI's and Chinese foreign policy, the reasons are almost certainly based in international politics.
    8 points
  47. Being the German federal state worst affected (neighbouring Austria and with close ties to Italy), Bavaria put a curfew into place from last night on, for the next 14 days. It is nothing like the Chinese measures [edit: I should have said, "like the original Wuhan measures". Please see ChTTays reply below] though, you can - see a doctor when needed (cosmetic surgeries etc. are suspended) - buy food and hygiene articles for everyday life - buy food for your pet(s) and take them to a veterinarian - go to work (if you can't do home office) - take walks outside, and walk your dog, but on
    8 points
  48. We have just taken the decision based on the update from the UK government to close our shop for the foreseeable future as I am in the vulnerable group and can't take the risk. As we are in the entertainment business ( electronic audio equipment) the source of much of our work is also closing so won't be losing much business anyway and not worth being open for one or two passersby that don't actually want anything we sell. We are in a positive financial situation so not worried for the immediate future and will access what funds are available from the government for small businesses
    8 points
  49. This will probably be my last update from Harbin, as things seem to be much more "interesting" in Europe now. I went outside of my apartment complex on Thursday for the first time in over 2 weeks (not due to being scared about catching the virus, it's just such a hassle signing in and out etc). Harbin finally opened up the big shopping malls, and even some smaller shops have opened too. Hopefully they will begin to do away with the constant temperature checks and name signing over the next couple of weeks. There is a fair bit of traffic now, although still much less th
    8 points
  50. I came across a website with past exam papers for undergraduates studying Chinese at Cambridge University. I thought I'd post the link here in case it's of interest, and it might help answer the question that often comes up on the forums about what kind of Chinese proficiency to expect after studying Chinese for one year, or after a full undergraduate course, etc. I was in fact hunting around for Classical Chinese material, but there's the Modern Chinese exams there too. As I understand it, Part IA would be the exams taken after one year of study, Part IB is after two y
    7 points
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