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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/20/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 15 points
    As promised, here is the second installment of my blog following the second term of teaching in a one year Masters program in interpreting and translation at Bath University in the UK. The structure and content of teaching in the second term has been very different to the first term, so if you are interested in comparing, please take a look at my first blog entry. The second term put A LOT more emphasis on live interpreting practice, pressure has been a lot higher, and the requirements for specialized vocabulary has been noticeably greater than the first term. I will break down the different classes over a few blog entries, in the hope its more palatable for reading. I will assess my own performance vs my Chinese classmates, as well as reflect on Chinese-English interpreting from a native English speakers perspective whenever it might be useful. Firstly I’ll start with Simultaneous Interpreting. Simultaneous Interpreting and using Glossaries So, our SI (Simultaneous Interpreting) class has been every Monday at 11:15. The course works both directions C-E and E-C, and we have alternated direction from week to week. We mostly work inside professional interpreting booths for the first hour, doing live interpreting of videos that vary from 10 mins in length to half an hour using headphones and microphones that record live. The second hour is largely dedicated to feedback and guidance for improvement. We are told the broad topic of the class via email around Thursday the week before, for example, “next weeks SI will be on ‘fracking’” and that’s it. We are then expected to prepare a glossary of specialized terms, usually that can fit on one A4 page, which we can then bring to class and place next to our microphones as we interpret, for reference. The point of this is not to actually collect huge lists of words (although this inevitably happens), but rather, read widely and educate ourselves on different subjects in both English and Chinese, as well as learn how to ‘prep’ for real life interpreting jobs. Many students seemed to have no issue with this set up, as many already have rich active vocabularies and encyclopedic knowledge. (side note: Seriously, I have never met such widely read people in my life. And that really goes for every single one of my classmates; they can talk through macro and microeconomics with ease, go to a doctors ward and discuss the treatment regimen for obscure diseases, explain in depth how neural networking is changing media reporting; all in both Chinese AND English. Quite amazing and very motivating for study). One downside of this set up for me has been that I have spent almost all my free time building glossaries and learning vocabulary, whereas my classmates have had time to practice the actual skill of interpreting in out-of-class hours. That being said, if I had known this before starting the course I probably would have been scared away and never even started. It is an inevitability for many of us coming from a background of only starting learning Chinese at university, there is simply not enough time to consolidate the vast amounts of knowledge required for professional level interpreting. Getting back on topic: everyone seemed to have their own method to putting together specialized glossaries, for SI classes some even came with entire prepared folders with concise glossaries on pretty much every entry to an encyclopedia (I later learnt that in some cases these glossaries had already been used for many years and were very familiar to their users). I have spent the better part of every week this year picking out key terminology for Monday’s SI class (and Thursday’s Consecutive Interpreting class), that is, terms that would require thinking time over and above the constraints of simultaneous interpreting. The reaction time to a speaker usually needs to be kept within 2 seconds; if terminology comes up that is not in your active vocabulary, it will almost certainly stretch you to around 5-10 seconds before you get it out in the target language, by which time the entire thread of the speakers argument has been missed. Evidently, glossaries are incredibly important to successful simultaneous interpreting. In almost all cases I short-term memorised every item on each glossary; heres a look at my anki: Vocabulary requirements In the last 3 months alone I have accumulated 1610 specialised vocabulary terms in my anki. This in fact EXCLUDES my cards from Supermemo (another well-know srs system which I both love and hate at the same time) which has another 2733 cards added since early March (see attached images). I use Supermemo for reading, so many of these cards aren’t vocabulary items, but clozed passages from Wikipedia/academic articles. Nonetheless, the mental strain for getting up to the standard required for SI is frankly unhealthy: it is simply not doable in the time frame that the course allows. Many of my classmates have already taken courses in interpreting prior to this course, and so managed to keep up with the pace, but lets just say there were tears in class from some a number of times. Left: Anki deck specifically for interpreting glossaries. Right: excel files for glossaries Regarding the workload and how I coped. I estimate (stressing estimate, based on a pleco deck I have added to over the last five years to track my vocab progress) my passive vocabulary is now around 15-20,000, but active is to be honest probably only around 10-15,000 (again, hard to really know). Which is certainly not good enough to do professional interpreting with. For anyone considering doing a course like this, you should know that you are aiming for ‘near-native’ level size of active vocabulary, what I have been working with seemed like an impressive vocabulary size when I started the course, but now it seems laughable. Some of my classmates are far better read than me in English, 30k+ I reckon. a deck I have added any word I think 'useful' to over the years. I review these words in anki. an example of what my supermemo decks for reading Chinese/English articles looks like. As you can see, the requirements for vocabulary appear very scary. That being said, to someone that has learnt Chinese or English seriously for 10+ years, this is quite reasonable and achievable. I first went to China in 2008, and didn’t properly start learning until 2013/14, so I still have many years to go! I’m sure some of the longer-standing members of these forums must be nodding with a wry smile right now - been there done that! That’s it for now, next entry I’ll go through my thoughts on the CI class. Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble, very hard to try and structure all that has happened over the last few months.
  2. 11 points
    I will get round to writing part 2 of my write up of the university course: in the meantime heres a brief thought I ended up writing out in full. Would be interested to hear others thoughts: Recently I have noticed I am stuttering a lot more when just regularly chatting to friends in Chinese; my brain appears to constantly be asking itself, 'is this really the most appropriate word?' Perhaps this is a result of moving back to the UK and being away from the total immersion of China, but I feel like its more likely a result of learning how to work between two languages when on the mic in interpreting situations... Take the various concepts of 'collapse' in Chinese as an example. There's 垮, it denotes the idea of collapsing inwards on itself. then there's 崩潰, the idea of something or someone collapsing from the cause of not being able to bear a load. what about 瓦解, collapse due to internal disintegration, figuratively as well as literally, or even 塌縮, the idea of, say, a star collapsing inwards on itself to eventually become a black hole. All these different concepts of collapsing will almost always be translated into English simply as 'collapse'. Whilst this makes for very easy interpreting, it actually makes your Chinese worse, as you are constantly drawing together these distinct meanings into one basket named 'collapse', not allowing your brain to understand the finesse in their differences. What one is constantly striving towards in learning another language is to rewire the brain in order to divide and distinguish concepts that are different from one's mother tongue. Not only does learning the skill of interpreting not tolerate such rewiring, it actually bundles all the wires together in a big tangled mess. The brain is told to forget the small but important differences between words and instead group words into easy to manage target language categories. As a result, I find I question my word choice a lot more often than I once did. I find I can no longer simply rely on feeling, or make choices as easily simply based on a gut feeling. So it would seem, while my Chinese has improved a lot in the last year, learning to interpret has perhaps had a negative effect on my "語感", or my ability to simply 'feel' what the right word should be. Hopefully this is just temporary.
  3. 5 points
    Today I finished reading the novel 《第七天》 by 余华. The story centers around protagonist 杨飞 and his experiences before and after his sudden untimely death. Unlike other 余华 novels, 《第七天》 is a work of surrealist fiction. The narrative present is set in the afterlife; all major characters in the novel are dead. Like 余华’s other novels, 《第七天》 is at turns tragic, funny, morbid, and sweet. It is not his best novel, but it might be my favorite. The Chinese in 《第七天》 is not difficult to understand. The novel is easier to read than 《活着》 and 《在细雨中呼喊》, though probably harder than the dialogue-heavy 《许三观卖血记》. Demands on my time prevent me from writing a longer review. In August, I moved to Shanghai and started a new and exciting job, which keeps me very busy. I continue to read Chinese nearly every day and am confident I will meet my 1,000,000 character goal this year. Link to 《第七天》: https://www.aixdzs.com/d/117/117754/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 602,138 Characters left to read this year: 397,862 Percent of goal completed: 60.2% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters) 《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒 (81,547 characters) 《偶然事件》 by 余华 (20,226 characters) 《第七天》 by 余华 (84,847 characters)
  4. 5 points
    The 2nd in the series of public adverts encouraging intelligent of smartphones on the Chongqing subway, this one takes its inspiration from 红楼梦 (Dreams of the Red Chamber). It asks whether the protagonists would have met if they had had phones to play with. The second sentence is a play on a traditional Chinese saying: "有缘千里来相会, 无缘对面不相逢" (if it is fated to be then it will happen even if separated by one thousand miles, if it's not fated to be then it won't happen even if you are face to face). Instead, the second part in the adverts reads "面对面来玩手机" (side by side but playing on their phones). The first half of the third sentence is also a traditional Chinese saying: 有情人终成眷属 (if there is love between them then they will eventually become husband and wife). The second part is new and says that if they play on their mobile phones then they will remain strangers (玩手机终成陌路). It ends by exhorting the readers to use their phone responsibly (合理正确使用手机) for the sake of their loved ones (为了自己的亲人和爱人).
  5. 5 points
    Earlier this week I finished reading the novella 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文. 《一个女剧院的生活》 is a story about several men of different ages and stations in life all vying for the love of a beautiful and talented young actress. While the men contend for her love, the actress, 萝, rejects their advances. The opening chapters of the novella establish a love triangle, which later turns into a love quadrilateral, which later turns into a love pentagon. Much of the novella consists of drawn out conversations about love in the abstract; of men having trying to convince 萝 to be with them; and of 萝 criticizing the men’s behavior and mannerisms and words. Here is an example of one such conversation. The conversation is between 萝 and her uncle(舅父), who criticizes 萝 for her capricious treatment toward one her suitors. While 沈从文 is a talented storyteller, I didn’t much like this novella. I found the story boring and didn’t care about its characters. I also found the dialogue tiresome. In over half the conversations in this story, characters lecture each other, chastise each other, and engage in overlong detached disputations on love and freedom. That is not what people in love do. 沈从文 made his female lead character unlikeable. 萝 has this tremendous power to make any man around her want to marry her. But rather than be gracious, wise, or even shrewd, 萝 is haughty, hectoring any man who would presume to compete for her affections. In the real world, this kind of behavior would lead to gossip, resentment, and reputational damage. In 《一个女剧院的生活》, no one seems bothered by her badgering. The men in this novella don’t come off much better than 萝. They are desperate, neurotic, feckless, vain. This story would be more believable if it had contained a strong supporting female character. There are a female student actress and an 阿姨 (who works for 舅父), but these characters don’t have much to say. Also, the dialogue is sometimes cheesy. An example: Yech. At 61,154 characters, this novella is the longest work I have completed so far this year. The language wasn’t too hard and should be accessible to any advanced Chinese-language learner. (The quotes above are fairly representative, difficulty-wise.) 《一个女剧院的生活》 is the third work of 沈从文’s I have read. The first was his short story 《牛》, which I loved. The second was the short story collection 《虎雏》, which was pretty good. My reading list contains many other works by 沈从文, including his classic novels. I plan to read some other authors, then come back to him. Link to 沈从文’s 《一个女剧院的生活》: https://m.ixdzs.com/d/116894 Some statistics: Characters read this year: 211,905 Characters left to read this year: 788,095 Percent of goal completed: 21.2% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters)
  6. 4 points
    I hand an off hand compliment last night. I was at a 湖南饭馆 last night. I was sitting around a corner kind of out of the way. at one point, I called out 服务员, the waitress instantly stopped and looked around for who was calling her. She turned to the guy sitting at the table behind her and asked him what he needed, he said he hadn't called her. She did the same with another customer. I then called her again and she made eye contact with me. This was a small victory, because when I first started, I could never seem to get a response from saying 服务员, last night the waitress thought it could have come from a native speaker😃
  7. 4 points
    Yesterday I finished reading a series of articles by IBM, in Chinese translation. The articles pertain to a commercial service called Personality Insights. The service helps companies find the right customers by analyzing text posted on Twitter and other social media platforms. IBM claims it can predict human behavior by looking at Tweets. The Personality Insights service creates psychological profiles of Twitter users based on the words they use on the platform. According to the research that underlies Personality Insights, the words that people choose reveal aspects of their personality. By studying a person’s words, IBM can predict if that person is altruistic, trusting, orderly, self-disciplined, assertive, excitement-seeking, prone to worry or anger, artistic, intellectual, and more. The words people choose also reveal their needs and values. IBM claims it can predict if a person is likely to use credit cards when making a purchase, is susceptible to impulse buying, is likely to buy environmentally-friendly products or eat organic foods, is likely to start their own business, is likely to invest in a start-up, what kind of books and movies the person likes, etc. Here is the sales pitch, in IBM’s own words: The IBM Cloud website contains a demo of the Personality Insights service. I tried out the demo using some Tweets and other texts I wrote. I was unnerved but not surprised at how accurately the service predicted my personality. Maybe IBM predicted that, too. Here’s a link to the demo: https://personality-insights-demo.ng.bluemix.net Since my last blog post I have also read three short works by 丁玲. The first work is《彭德怀速写》. It is a brief 1936 paean to celebrated CCP general Peng Dehuai. The second work is 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》. It is a 1946 autobiographical essay. In the essay, 丁玲 writes on a number of topics: the May Fourth Movement, two feminist comrades that inspired her, her relationship with her mother, and her literary beginnings. The third work I read is 《夜》. It is a 1941 short story about a husband and a wife and their relationship in trying times. The Personality Insights articles can be found on the IBM Cloud website. The website contains numerous articles; I read those describing and marketing the service, and explaining the personality research that undergirds it. Those articles are titled《关于》,《个性模型》,《大五类人格 - 随和性》,《大五类人格 - 尽责性》,《大五类人格 - 外倾性》,《大五类人格 - 情绪程度》,《大五类人格 - 开放性》,《需求》,《价值观》,《消费偏好》,《用例》,《使用指南》,《服务实战》,《服务背后的科学》, and《研究参考资料》. Here is a link: https://cloud.ibm.com/docs/services/personality-insights/index.html?locale=zh-cn#about Text of 《彭德怀速写》: http://www.millionbook.com/mj/d/dingling/000/002.htm Text of 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》: http://www.millionbook.com/mj/d/dingling/000/004.htm Text of 《夜》: http://www.millionbook.com/mj/d/dingling/dlzp/004.htm Some statistics: Characters read this year: 92,142 Characters left to read this year: 907,858 Percent of goal completed: 9.2% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters)
  8. 4 points
    Despite learning Chinese Mandarin, I don't get the chance to use it very often. I get the feeling of minimal progress. I haven't really been watching many intermediate learning materials since my last post. A bit boring for my liking... I wasted a lot of time on the hellotalk app. Being a native English speaker is a big advantage when learning Chinese. Eventually, I decided to tell people I am only interested in talking verbally and real time conversation. This proved helpful in screening out quite a number of people who just wanted a friendly text chat with a foreigner. I tend to screen out people who have a strong 南方 accent though Taiwanese are fine. In the end HT is just an area for practice and I cut down my time on it. For learning, I have been using Glossika. 25% through the A1 course. It's a bit boring but I stick with it. I don't like that it only gives two reps of a sentence. I prefer 3 or 4 at one time. Does it have an effect? I think it is hard to say for me - maybe a longer duration of practice would help. I recently dug out some old ankicards that I made long ago. These were made from the Growing up in China series. I remember I had tremendous difficulty in following the speech at time of making them. Well, amazingly, I found my listening comprehension is definitely much better. There are words which I forgot but definitely relearn much better and it's much less frustrating. I recently went to Qingdao for business and badminton. Initially a bit apprehensive yet looking forward to trying out the field experience. Last time I was by myself in China was two years ago in Guangzhou and I fell back to using Cantonese much of the time. Pleased to say I didnt really have any major problems using the language for day to day life. Of course there were the trip-ups. What I particularly liked was I had to use the language for some simple problem solving which sharpens the mind considerably. Although there is still a lot to learn in terms of extending conversations, the initial handling of issues went quite smoothly. I had a couple of nice conversations with taxi drivers and made a large number of wechat contacts from playing badminton. I played a lot of amateur competitions in the past and when I played my trickshots on this trip, they were really well received. Of course, there was also the novelty factor of being an overseas Chinese. So a great morale booster that there is some progression and I got a lot of extensive listening experience even though I didn't understand all of it.
  9. 4 points
    Here is the first installment of my blog on doing a Masters course in Translation and Interpretation (Chinese) at Bath University in the UK. Seeing as it is reading week, I've found I finally have time to do an update on how things are going, I guess I will probably do the next update when we break up for Christmas in December. There's really no time to do anything else except study and class prep in normal term time. Well I've been on the course for six weeks now, and it has been as intense as expected. Despite being at a UK university, I am the only westerner on the course, with 23 students, mainly mainland, but also a few Taiwanese and HK too. There is actually a Taiwanese American student who has taken English as his mother tongue (with all due right), but having been bilingual and living in Taiwan for the last 20 or so years, I feel like we're not really in the same boat. I am clearly bottom of the class in terms of relative language ability, as expected. Being surrounded by people who have studied English for decades, my 5/6 years of Mandarin stands out as particularly bad. I am so used to speaking Chinese colloquially, I am frequently lost for words when asked to interpret English speeches into Chinese using the right register. Anyway, onto the course content. All parts of the course have a two hour class slot that meets once a week: Simultaneous interpreting: we have a dedicated lab with fully equiped professional booths that all face into a bigger room with a conference table in the middle. The set up accurately mimics a real simultaneous interpreting situation, and the tech available is fantastic. Classes are very active, with every student having a chance to practice every class at least twice (practicing skills taught by the teacher in the lesson). I was placed on an internship at a UN week-long environmental protection meeting two weeks ago in London, to get in some valuable practice time. We used the real booths used by the pros for a week (with our mics switched off of course). We did shadowing and interpreting (almost exclusively from English into Chinese) for around 8 hours a day for a week. After this week something clicked in my brain, and now I can keep up with my peers in this class now. Not only that, but my professional Chinese has improved a lot as a result of the E-C direction. I have also discovered that in many cases working from English into Chinese is more often than not EASIER than Chinese to English. Why? I personally feel like the sparsity of phrases 'like' 成語 in English, plus the terseness of professional Chinese means you've always got enough time to think and interpret. Chinese to English is so much harder than I expected, to put it lightly. For example, 授人以魚不如授人以漁 was said in a speech during class a few weeks ago; not only had I not heard the phrase before, but I had no time to guess the meaning (多音字嘛 I thought the person had said the same thing twice by a mistake...), and by the time it was already too late the interpreting student had already interpreted it into "better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish". I mean, that makes more sense than what I was able to offer (which was just silence). So, simultaneous as a skill, I can do. But the sheer amount of knowledge you need at your fingertips is insane, and I am still far from being at a professional level yet. Consecutive interpreting: This class is largely centred around memory skills and note taking. Most of my peers have already studied interpreting in some form or another before starting this course, and many are already able to acurately remember speeches of five or more minutes long using some quite fantastic symbol-based systems. The teacher does not teach us a system, but rather teaches us how to build our own personal system effectively. I have found that using English keywords and acronyms has helped a lot, but really don't get too much of a kick out of arrows going everywhere and houses with dollar signs on them etc. As a little side hobby, I've taken up learning Pitman shorthand (new era) mainly for fun, but also with the hope that /some/ of it may come in handy with consec. note taking at some point in the future. This class is by far the hardest, and the teacher seems to enjoy choosing incredibly difficult speeches from people with non-standard accents. Very difficult, very embarassing for me, as most students have no issues in this class. What can you do when you didn't understand, or have forgotten what was said, and have no way to ask the speaker to repeat/clarify? This class makes me so nervous. Liaison interpreting: We have a mock conference/meeting every friday and are expected to prepare for it in the preceding week. The class is split into two groups: Chinese side, English side, and interpreters. The two sides discuss a topic for 2-3 hours whilst the interpreters take it in turns to sit one-by-one in between the two groups and act as a liaison interpreter. The pressure is noticeable, as the whole course is there watching you, and everyone is able to discern how good or bad your interpreting ability is (unlike when you're in the sim. interpreting booths, secluded and safe). Again, note taking is a skill that many of the students here employ. I would say to any westerner thinking about taking on a course like this, aside from having a very, very strong and well-rounded ability in Chinese, you should almost certainly also be practicing note-taking on speeches both in English and Chinese BEFORE starting a course (evidently with Chinese students in particular it would seem). I regret being under the impression I was going to learn note taking skills ON this course; I now know this of course is not the case, as pretty much everyone is already able to do this. Translation: We have both 'Chinese to English' and 'English to Chinese' classes. This needs no real explanation, its pretty much exactly what you would expect: teacher teaches theory, sets translation piece for homework, you translate it, get feedback, rinse and repeat. C-E very relaxing, the teacher seems to enjoy literary translation (lately lots of 紅樓夢 talk), E-C also ok but a much slower translation process for me. The translation process is private, however, so there's no real embarrassment to be had on this part of the course (so far...) All in all? I am loving the course, my classmates are fantastic people, very intelligent, hard working, inclusive, not 'immaturely' competitive if you understand what I mean, and importantly, very supportive as a community. Nobody treats me like a foreigner at all, I'm just another student. In that respect, theres not much leeway given, and as a result I feel like I'm ALWAYS being pushed to get up to their standard rather than being forgiven for being a 'foreigner'. Teaching is top notch, facilities are fantastic. And the fact that the course DOES have English-Chinese direction (as well as C-E) is a massive bonus if you ask me. My Chinese has improved rapidly, I can now read news probably 2-3 times faster than when I started the course. Why? Because I now read (mostly outloud, under my breath) for about 4-5 hours a day (as opposed to about 1 hour before the course). As you may be able to tell, I now live, breath and sleep in a world of studying speeches. I would not recommend this course for anyone who 'wants a life'. I feel obliged to say "sorry for the wall of text" - see you all in December.
  10. 4 points
    This machine at Shanghai Pudong was having a bad day. But at least management offered a clear explanation. (Please click the photo to enlarge it.) 设备故障 -- 暂停使用
  11. 4 points
    I recently finished reading the 1928 short story《自杀日记》by 丁玲. This story has much in common with the novella《莎菲女士的日记》, a better-known work that 丁玲 published the same year. Both stories are about troubled young women in large Chinese cities who record their thoughts in diary form. 丁玲 gives both young women transliterated western names: 莎菲 and 伊萨. In some ways the women have similar temperaments. They are angsty, reclusive, and uninterested in the young men who fall in love with them. While both women are deeply unhappy—to the point of wanting to end their lives—their unhappiness manifests differently. 莎菲 is brooding, impetuous, judgmental, misanthropic. 伊萨 is apathetic. Finding no meaning in life, she resigns herself to a nihilistic suicide: 她只觉得这生活很无意思,很不必有,她固执的屡次向自己说:“顶好是死去算了!” Like other works by 丁玲 from this period, the language is not difficult for a Chinese language learner to understand. The story is short, just over 4,500 characters long. Here is a link: https://www.kanunu8.com/book3/8372/186036.html Below are some statistics and a list of the works I have finished reading this year. Despite showing only 3.6% my goal complete, I am ahead of my reading schedule, because these numbers do not include works currently in progress. Next up to finish is the 余华 short story《我没有自己的名字》. Some statistics: Characters read this year: 35,967 Characters left to read this year: 964,033 Percent of goal completed: 3.6% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters)
  12. 4 points
    ....is a favourite song of mine by Nik Kershaw. Wouldn’t it be good to just get a bit of time to oneself just to study without life getting in the way. It’s been very busy. At at least I have glossika to fall back on. It’s now very convenient - connect up my earphones, go into the browser on my phone and start the course. If I don’t finish, then do some reps later at another time. So far I have managed about five days out of seven for the last three weeks. Nice.
  13. 3 points
    How we practice spoken foreign language via shadowing and echoing 如何通过影子跟读 & 回声跟读提升外语听力口语水平 Have you been wondering why you have watched a bunch of videos in foreign language but still fail to utter the word appropriately and fluently when you need to. That's probably because you watch but never practice based on what you've watched. 为何看了那么多外语视频还是不能在口语交流中流畅而确切地措辞?那是因为你只是看了视频,却没有据之进行相应的跟读练习。 What we need to make it communicating fluently and finding the exact expression fitting the certain context when we speak? Basically three elements, familiarity of the wordings, pronunciation you are confident with, and swift reaction to what you've heard. Simply put, to manage a conversation well you need to know what the other party means, figure out the suitable words you would like to apply to convey what's in your mind, and pronounce it accurately enough for others to understand. If you stagger in any part mentioned above, the conversation lacks the fluency and agile state of mind to go smooth. 为了能在口语交流中的流畅表达,找出符合语境的那个字眼,我们要做些什么?基本而言,有三点:第一,提高对词汇的熟悉度;第二,练就自信的发音;第三,能迅速反应所听到的内容。再简单粗暴点,要无碍沟通,就得知道对方在说什么,找到表达心中所想的那个词,并通过能让对方正确理解的发音说出来。如果上述三者中某一项不过关,沟通流畅度会降低,沟通者难以维持轻松敏捷的交流状态,对话也会随之受阻。 You may find that people good at talking with foreigners have a lot in common, and that's far from coincidence. First of all, their listening comprehension of foreign language won't get in the way of further expression. They make it understanding what the other is talking about in seconds, and the faster it is, the less time it takes for him to respond. 你会发现善于用外语交流的人都有相似点,而且这不是巧合。首先,他们对外语有较强的听力理解能力,这保证了下一步的表达不受阻碍。对方说的话,他们能秒懂,懂得越快,作出回答的用时越短。 Second, they are resourceful in the volume of expression available. The wordings seem automatically come into mind whenever the idea hits. And they are connected to memory by pronunciation instead of written form. 其次,他们可以用来表达的词汇也很丰富。每当大脑想到了什么,这些想法对应的外语表达词汇貌似都自动地闪进他们脑海。而且这些词汇是通过语音而非字形进行记忆的。 Finally, they are confident in their pronunciation. It doesn't necessarily mean the pronunciation is accurate or native without flaws, but it sounds not too weird for the native speaker to get it, so it won't make them too shy to speak out. 最后,他们对自己的外语发音很自信。这不一定意味着他们的发音准确地道得毫无瑕疵,但至少在母语人士听起来不会太奇怪以致难以听懂。这样他们就不会因为羞怯而不敢开口说外语了。 To make a progress in spoken language, we need to be familiar with the pronunciation, and the meaning corresponding based on how the words sound instead of the way they are written. Therefore, we could react quickly when we hear and get the words with the least struggling when speaking. How may practice echoing and shadowing help with the improvement? 要在口语上取得进步,我们要熟悉语言的发音和相关意思,要根据发音联想到意思,而不是根据字形。这样,当听到某个词的发音,我们就能迅速反应相应意思;口头交流的时候也能更轻松地引用这个词。回声跟读法和影子跟读法又是如何提升口语的? Every time we watch a video in foreign language, especially those with titles, we read the meaning through the written language instead of understand it purely via pronunciation. And we've thought we get it, but actually we just don't focus on the connection between pronunciation and meaning good enough to make us well prepared to the future conversation with similar expression as the potential content. We may find it would be easier for us to realize what it means based on written form instead of reflecting its meaning the minute we hear it, since the connection between pronunciation and meaning hasn't been well developed. 每当我们看一个外语视频,特别是视频带字幕的时候,我们其实更多地是在通过字幕而非纯粹根据发音了解意思。我们以为自己理解了,而事实上我们没有很好地注意发音与意思的联系,以至下一回同样的表达再度出现在谈话中时,我们措手不及,不能很好地根据发音反应对应的意思。我们会发现,我们没有建立起发音与意思的联系,所以我们会发现同一个词,根据字形比根据发音更容易辨别它的含义。 Both echoing and shadowing help us build and strengthen the connection between what we actually hear and what it means. When we echo what we hear, we try to repeat and imitate the pronunciation and lessen the inconformity between what we hear and the way we pronounce. The more consistent it is between them, the less time it costs for us to reflect what's said and further what it means. 影子跟读法和回声跟读法都能帮助我们建立并强化发音与意思的联系。当我们进行回声跟读,我们是在模仿并重复所听到的声音,并使自己的发音趋近于它。当这两者越接近,听力理解所需的用时就越短。 Echoing also improves our muscle memory of the pronunciation and meaning of the words since we are practicing speaking up, which makes it relevant to our daily activity. Memory does serve better to the things we frequently apply than those we have ignored. We have paid little attention to the pronunciation when we watch videos without noticing the voice but the titles, or are too hurried for the meaning to notice how it is spoken. However, echoing brings us close to the pronunciation, which will be closer if we echo the video without titles and with scene where we could see how the commentator moves his mouth muscles. 回声跟读是我们练习发音的机会,使发音过程与我们自己的日常活动挂钩,这有助于增强对发音的肌肉记忆,进而提升对发音对应意思的理解能力。和被忽略的东西相比,越是被高频使用的东西,我们记得越牢。而看视频时我们一般只看字幕,或急于弄清意思而忽略发音。而回声跟读将让我们关注发音,如果进行跟读训练的视频不带字幕,且有发声者嘴部肌肉运动状态的镜头,那作用就更大了。 Pronunciation has something to do with oral movement, and it will be a guidance of how to pronounce by watching how it is pronounced by others. Reading the meaning from lips will bring you closer to the meaning, too. It means the connection among movement, pronunciation and meaning is established. You don't need to reflect the written form to know what it means when hear it, and you can simply move your lips for the certain vocabulary when the thought strikes you. 发音与口腔运动息息相关,看着别人是怎么运动口腔肌肉进行发音的,有助于引导我们正确发音。从运动的嘴唇判断意思,也能加快你理解发音的速率。当发音、肌肉运动与意思三者相互关联,你将可以通过纯粹的发音反应它对应的含义,无需通过联想字形才能得知意思,而当你想到某个点子,对应的外语表达也跃然脑海,脱口而出了。 When you are easy with echoing, it is worthwhile to take a further step to shadowing, which means repeating and imitating without pause. Unlike echoing where we finish hearing each sentence and hit a pause before we repeat, where we have more time to react and polish the way we speak, shadowing leaves us limited time to respond or polish since we are repeating almost simultaneously with the video. 当回声跟读已经不成问题了,可以挑战更高层次的影子跟读,即无间断无缝跟读。回声跟读时,我们听完每句话按下暂停键再模仿读音,模仿的时间更充足,更有利于雕琢每一个发音。与回声跟读不同,影子跟读几乎与视频发音同步进行,给你的反应时间或美化调整发音的时间是相对有限的。 Shadowing requires familiarity with the language, so that you are less likely to make mistake when imitating, and it means a higher level for reaction, which you cannot reach without former practice in echoing. 影子跟读训练要求我们熟悉语言,以减少犯错几率,这是对反应能力更高级的要求,没有前期的回声跟读训练,很难达到这种水平。 Imitation with consciousness is the shortest and most efficient path to mastering a skill, so it counts when you compare your pronunciation with the standard model and fill in the space of improvement if there is any. Make every move effective in boosting spoken language by echoing then shadowing. 有意识地模仿是提高一项技能最短最奏效的途径。对比你的发音与范本发音,找出差距,并填充进步的空间,将大有裨益。从回声跟读到影子跟读走起,一步一步地提升外语口语,让每一步都不白费。
  14. 3 points
    蚝 is #4882 on Junda's frequency list. The traditional form is 蠔 #8238. It means 'oyster', not a high priority unless you live in Guangdong. And do you think the simplification makes it easier to learn?
  15. 3 points
    While travelling on the Chongqing subway last summer, I noticed a series of public adverts designed to encourage healthy use of smartphones, all based on the 四大名著 (four great works of Chinese literature). Being both a lover of the 四大名著 and a hater of smartphones, these humourous ads caught my attention enough for me to want to take a photo of each. This first one is based on 西游记 (Journey to the West). It asks if the monk (贫僧/圣僧) is travelling all the way to the west just to recharge and play with his phone ("去往西天充电玩手机"). Has he forgotten his original aim (初心) of bringing back the scriptures (取经)? It ends by encouraging people to use their phones in moderation ("合理正确使用手机") in order not to be distracted from achieving their goals and dreams ("为了自身的梦想与目标").
  16. 3 points
    Today I finished reading 《致银河》. It is a collection of love letters written by 王小波 and 李银河 in the 1970s. The text is maudlin and schmaltzy. 王小波 misses 李银河. He pines for her and professes his love for her over and over. 李银河 doubts that their love dream can continue indefinitely. Sooner or later they will wake up from this dream, no? 《致银河》 was an okay read. The letters are romantic, sweet, and unobjectionable. Fans of reading private correspondence and intermittent references to poets like Dante will enjoy this work. Link to 王小波’s 《致银河》(pp. 1692–1718): https://storage.googleapis.com/google-code-archive-downloads/v2/code.google.com/wangxiaobo/wangxb_xeCJK_20120501.pdf Some statistics: Characters read this year: 229,620 Characters left to read this year: 770,380 Percent of goal completed: 23.0% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters)
  17. 3 points
    We are currently in the midst of our midterms. Last week was 听力,写作和阅读,next week we have 中国文化,语法学,口语和综合。It's good because we get all of our exams out the way before the 5/1 break. Exams seem to have gone ok so far. As far as how this semester is going, I am really enjoying it and I feel that I am progressing. Last week for 口语 we had to explain one of 8 成语 based on its story, and so I chose 愚公移山。I really enjoyed doing this, and was encouraged and how much I must have improved to even be able to consider doing this. Then a couple of days ago I was in the gym trying to have a conversation and basically couldn't understand a word the guy was saying! This seems to happen a lot - I will be really encouraged by my progress in one area, then take a hit in another area. More often than not it's when comparing what is spoken/heard in the classroom, with the authentic stuff that happens outside the classroom. Regular people are under no obligation to use standard Putonghua and dumb it down for you because you are a foreigner! I suppose this just needs a lot more time and practice. I have been trying to increase the input I get, and so I have been watching 男人帮。 I just finished episode 26 last night, and when I have watched all 30 I will find something similar to watch. I watched this series 2 years ago and understood very little, but now I am getting a ton out of it. I find that so many of the things I am learning at uni keep coming up in it, and it really helps solidify them in my mind. This has probably been one of the most useful things I have done so far, and actually although I would always make excuses about being busy, finding 45 minutes every other evening to watch an episode isn't hard.
  18. 3 points
    Where are you likely to see this sign?
  19. 3 points
    We know the names of dishes don't translate well, but I wondered what these dishes actually are... (From an eatery on 平江路 in 苏州, by the old canal.)
  20. 3 points
    The new semester started a week ago, and it's been a great first week. As far as my goals for this year, I've basically failed them all already! I wanted to read a lot more, but over the break I went home for the first time in a couple of years, and so unfortunately my Chinese took a back seat. However, I did get through one and a half books. Now being back I feel like I have so much more to focus on, and I'd rather do a good job of covering all my class materials well than spreading myself too thin by plodding through a book. Hopefully I can change this up when the books are a bit easier to read, and don't require constant stopping and note making. Rather than dwelling on my failure here, I am trying to put it behind me and go all in with everything else! This semester we have two different classes. Our 中国概况 and 汉字学 classes are over, and in their place we have 中国文化 and 语法学。 I really like 语法学 and find it to be incredibly useful. The books we are using are fantastic, and basically contain answers to many questions that keep coming up for me. 中国文化 seems to be fairly interesting, and we have a new teacher for this class. She's very friendly and asks a lot of questions. Although our class consists of 40+ students, there's only a few of us that don't sit on our phones and actually participate in the class, so I really appreciate an interactive setting. On that note, our speaking class has changed slightly. For some reason all of our exams are now going to be written exams (how someone's speaking can be tested with a written exam is beyond me, but it's out of the teacher's control). So in light of this our teacher has said he will just teach one of our classes each week, and the other one will be dedicated to us speaking (presentations/reports/skits etc.). All in all, I'm really excited about this semester!
  21. 3 points
    Since my last post, I read a collection of four short stories by 沈从文. The short stories are titled 《虎雏》, 《黔小景》, 《三三》, and 《医生》. The stories were written in 1931. They are easy to read and understand. The stories contain a diverse cast of characters from different parts of China: The Shanghai-based author and his military brother stationed in Hunan. Merchants traveling a public road in Guizhou. The mother and daughter with a grain mill and their visitors from a nearby city. The itinerant doctor and the crazy man in the mountains of Sichuan. Each of the four stories has a different setting and tone. The plots are quite different, though there is a thematic connection between them: in each of the four stories, a person dies in a peculiar way. The stories range from pretty good to very good. One story is engaging but anticlimactic. Another story is boring. Yet another story has touching characters but no plot. 沈从文 is a gifted storyteller. Certain parts of 《虎雏》 and 《医生》are exciting and hard to put down. 《医生》is also funny. A doctor goes missing for several weeks. He returns to find his co-workers waiting for him inside his home. The doctor thinks they have gathered to welcome him, but actually they gathered to divide up his possessions. The titular young woman 三三 is strong-willed and sweet and is probably my favorite character from these stories. The stories are an enjoyable read, but none of them are as good or as powerful as the author’s《牛》. This is the longest text I have read in 2019 so far (about 47,000 Chinese characters total). Link to the short story collection: https://www.ixdzs.com/d/117/117016/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 139,087 Characters left to read this year: 860,913 Percent of goal completed: 13.9% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters)
  22. 3 points
    Thanks to @roddy for inviting me to join in here... most of what I post will probably be quite simple due to my level. What's going on here? Taken in a hotel dining room in Nanjing.
  23. 3 points
    Today I finished reading the short story《牛》by 沈从文. It is one of my favorite things I have read in Chinese. The story is about a farmer nicknamed 大牛伯 and his ox 小牛. One day, while plowing the field, 大牛伯 gets angry and strikes the ox in the leg with a wooden mallet. The rest of the story is devoted to the aftermath of this event. When he realizes his ox is seriously injured, 大牛伯 starts to worry about his future. How will he plow the field without his ox? Can the ox’s leg be healed? Should the ox be sent to the butcher? The story is a fable of surprising moral and psychological depth. I was hooked from the first paragraph. Here it is: For most of the rest of the story 沈从文 explores, in plain language, the thoughts and emotions of 大牛伯 and his stricken ox. 大牛伯 feels guilty for hurting his ox. He is also angry with the ox for being hurt and suspects it of exaggerating the seriousness of its injury. The ox enjoys finally having an opportunity to relax in the hot sun. But it also feels guilty it cannot plow the field for its master, because it wants to make him happy. If you like the paragraph quoted above you will like《牛》.The tone and style of that paragraph are representative of what follows. I loved this story, and look forward to reading more works by 沈从文. Text of《牛》: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_53fc4c510100m2sg.html Some statistics: Characters read this year: 59,957 Characters left to read this year: 940,043 Percent of goal completed: 6.0% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) [Thanks to @Lu for pointing out that the animal in this story is an ox, not a calf.]
  24. 2 points
    One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Beijing is the very big red and white banners which appear to have propaganda/slogans on them. I can translate them literally, but I wonder if there's a proper way of expressing them in English which has the right tone and vocabulary to make them sound like the voice of the Party?
  25. 2 points
    He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better 沈冰山:27载习棋练琴,只为更好地作画 It was Sunday, trapped in house by the rainy morning, that I read the story about him. I was not knowing what to do then since the rain put an end to my plan going out for a walk and doing the recording along the way. I was thinking about doing the recording at home only to find that the goddamn cellphone was unavailable for clear record without blending some noise of electric current into my voice. What the hell is going on? What a big joke! 星期天的清晨,正被雨天困在家里,我读到了关于他的故事。当时我正无所事事,这雨一下,我外出散步顺带录音的计划泡了汤。好吧那就在家里录音得了,谁知道这该死的手机居然闹起来别扭,录音也不能好好录了,人声跟电流干扰声还混声了。这是在闹哪出?诸事不宜吗! We have planned to do a lot in the leisure future when we are busy, making a to do list and awaiting them to be finished when we have the time. But the things don't see any accomplishment when that time comes, since a lot of other things unexpected do come along with the time available. 在忙的时候,我们计划好要在将来闲暇的某个时段做很多事情,也列了相应的清单等待着那个空闲时间的到来。但当有时间了,我们却不见得能完成计划的事项,毕竟随之而来的可能是其他意想不到的状况。 Somebody may go around the obstacle and find another way to his goal set, while the others stand still wondering why, cursing damn, or moving to another direction when they see no possibility to go through the barrier. 困境当前,有人会绕过障碍,开拓出另一种路径去接近原定的目标,而其余的人只是站在那里,或问着为什么,或诅咒着什么,或因为看不到穿越屏障的可能而改变初衷。 The story I read about Mr Bingshan Shen is a well reflection of the somebody mentioned above. 读着沈冰山的故事,我看到了上述“某一种人”的真实写照。 What if what you do could always have something to do with what you are going to do next? It may be a perfect form of efficiency in life, because nothing you've ever done has been wasted. 如果你现在所做的每一件事都能与接下来所要做的产生联系,你的生活会是怎样?这将是人生的一种高效形式,因为你所做的一切都不曾白费。 Mr Shen enjoyed drawing when he was young, and that's his lifelong love of labor too. Sight means almost everything to a painter, but illness got him blind when he was right 26 years old. He had to quit drawing unless he could draw without seeing, which means he should draw with the guidance of memory, judging the position of next stroke based on the last one, and having his own rhythm in mind to move along. 沈先生热爱绘画,这是他年幼时的爱好,也是他一生所爱。视力对于一个画家而言何其重要,然而他26岁时因病失明。他不得不放弃作画,除非他可以在什么也看不见的情况下画,这意味着他要凭借记忆对他的指引去画,根据前一笔的落笔去规划下一笔的走向,并心存作画时可依据的节奏。 That's difficult for even normal people, let alone for someone disable. But one has no idea of what difference he is capable of making until fate gets him cornered. He put drawing aside, starting to learn to play chess and a kind of traditional Chinese music instrument named Yangqin. It took him 27 years. 这对于正常人而言,都显得困难,何况是他这个残障人士。但若命运没有将你逼到绝处,你还不知道自己还能剑走偏锋。他暂时把画画这事搁置在一旁,开始学习下象棋,学习弹扬琴这种中国传统乐器。这花了他27载光阴。 He led the way back to drawing when he had mastered both chess and Yangqin well, which brought him fame nationwide. He wouldn't rest on that glory, since he knew what he had learned these for. 当棋艺与琴艺都掌握了,并且在国内也名声渐长的时候,他让精力回归到作画上。他没有在荣耀之上长眠,因为他深知,学习琴棋是为了什么。 I was shocked when I saw how he connected drawing with the way he played chess and the Yangqin. Playing chess gave him a great improvement in memory, so he's good at visualizing the chessboard in mind, systemizing every move based on the lines crossing each other on it. He made it planning what to do next playing without watching the layout. 当领悟到他是如何把作画跟下棋和弹奏扬琴相联系时,我被震撼了。磨炼棋艺提升了他的记忆力,因此他善于让棋局在心头可视化,并有系统地根据其上纵横交错的线去设计接下来每一步棋的走位。于是他便可以不用看棋局也能自如地走子。 The layout's in his heart. And when this game saw its transformation on the paper and color, he could manage drawing well by memorizing what he had done and designing the coming steps based on what's formed in his mind, so blindness was no longer in the way. He took the paper his chessboard and every time he put a brush on it, it's like moving a piece of chess thereon. 布局就在他心里,当这个游戏延伸到纸面上,与颜色挂钩时,他便能凭借对之前步骤的记忆和心中所想,去画好接下来的每一笔,这样,双目失明不再是种障碍。他视纸箱为棋盘,每在上面添一笔,都像是挪动棋局之上的一枚棋。 His experience in Yangqin sharpened his sense in rhythm and alteration of details. Different pitches arranged in various rhythm make the melody. And he was specialized in making ever-changing melody possible without seeing. He saw drawing as the flow of music where colors and lines got changing to make what's in his mind vivid onto the paper. That's how playing the Yangqin helped him with his drawing. It's all about control of rhythm when you polish the details. 扬琴的弹奏经验锐化了他对节奏和细节变化的感知。不同的音高根据不一的节奏进行排列重组,形成了旋律。他擅长仅凭感觉去弹奏并展现这种多变的旋律。绘画对他而言只是一幅流动的音乐,色彩与线条跃然纸面,且变化多端,他心中的画卷也随之在纸上活灵活现。弹奏扬琴有助于他作画:一切关乎雕琢细节时对节奏的把控。 Barrier brings him patience, and he makes it a legend. 命中的阻滞给了他耐性,而他成全了这段传奇。
  26. 2 points
    6 facts you should know about Chinese radical 1. Code of character There are lots of characters sharing the same part, and meanings of these characters have something to do with that certain part, and this is more than coincidence. We call this part radical.It exists as part of the character before it is applied as the clue to search for the characters in dictionary.Radical (部首) is just the name given later.Characters with this part are essentially related to a certain kind of thing or something related to that certain kind of thing, and that's how characters are formed and the meanings stretch. A new character formed with the radical carries the basic meaning of radical itself, and some specific meaning further, which the radical itself could not reach. For example,氵means water, characters with it as radical (海江湖泊) have something to do with water,but their meanings will be more concrete than water.Relation between meaning of radical and meaning of character with the radical is like that between the general and the specific. An accurate identification of a character's radical could help you distinguish it from its counterparts by revealing what it is mainly about. Sometimes,we may come across confusing characters like 请清情晴蜻氰鲭, but the meanings may reveal themselves if you know the meaning of the radical 讠(talk),氵(water),忄(heart),日(sun),虫(insect),气(gas),鱼(fish). 讠refers to conversation, so 请 (please) is a wording applied in daily communication;清(clear),a description of water 氵; 情(feeling),a mental activity related to heart 忄; 晴 (sunny),a status of weather related to sun; 蜻(dragon fly), an insect; 氰 (cyanogen), a poisonous gas; 鲭(mackerel),a kind of fish. Knowing the meaning of radicals can also help us with the identification of similar radicals like 礻(supernatural being) and 衤(clothes). Therefore, you won't apply 礻by mistake when you try to write the character 袖(sleeve),which is part of the clothes; neither will you think that 衤will be part of 福 (blessing),something supernatural beyond your control. 2. A crack on the radical with greater amount of characters first Focus on the radicals widely applied to tons of characters instead of keeping your eye on those with small amount of example available. So it is wise to pay more attention to several radicals frequently employed. You will find the rule mentioned applies to most of the occasions.Sometimes when it is hard to find the relation between the character and its radical, don't be too hurried to cast a doubt in it.The evolution of characters may leave some original radicals behind. For example,it is unclear why 白 has anything to do with 的,and 宀 with 它.However, if we take a further look into the ancient form of character,the answer is around the corner.旳 is the original of 的,it takes 日(sun) as the radical.旳 means as clear and bright as the sun.And meaning could be extended into "as certain and undeniable as something's existence under the sun", which leads to 旳确 dí què. Here in this word 旳=确. Although its modern form 的 has another pronunciation of de, the wording of 的确 remains. And the transformation of the radical makes the relation between the radical and character confusing. Another case is 它 (牠).It makes sense that 他 (he) has a radical of 亻and 她 (she) takes a 女 as radical. And 牜(animal) acts as the radical of 牠(it). 牠 is the original of 它, and again the inconsistence of ancient and modern form brings about the mystery. Therefore, if the link between modern character and its radical is weak,try to give an exploration to its ancient form. Drop it if you don't have adequate clue to make the relation make sense. Just focus on what you know applicable. It is a rule self evident and can justify more than half of the stories if it is not for every occasion. Even universal law may have its exception. And what's more, it is a valuable clue for you to link characters together for easier memory.Building connections is the way to make learning less complicated,so if you figure out the path,don't squander it. 3. Memorize the certain radical with its essential meaning and the related characters frequently applied It is unrealistic to learn radicals separating therm from characters related.It will be a utopian thought to conquer all the radicals and then take a look of the characters and expect that you could open every door with the key you get. Start with the common characters and find the radicals corresponding. Every link you see between the character and its character may mean another strengthening of your belief in mind. 4. Focus on the radical that could be a character itself There are radicals acting as an independent character itself, and a concentration on them may save your trouble. 5 How to strengthen familiarity with radicals Practice searching characters via radical; analyse the radical for every new character you come across, trying to see why the meaning has something to do with radical. 6 How to decide the radical of a certain character If it is a character with a part reflecting the pronunciation (not the 100% pronunciation and probably the vowel of the Pinyin), and another part indicating the meaning, try the part carrying the meaning (清 with 氵). If it is a character with a part embracing another part, try the part outside (围 with 囗;句 with 勹, 函 with 凵).If it is a character with side by side structure, the left part is likely to be taken, but the right part could be the radical if it contains less strokes (姑 with 女; 故 with 攵). If it is a character with top-bottom structure, take the part less incompact (盛 with 皿, 覆 with 覀).If it is a character inseparable,take it as the whole (羊 takes itself as radical). If the radical is not clear to find, try the first stroke to see if you get it right (中 wtih 丨). Finally, for those who would like to learn more about Chinese radicals, resources available are listed below. 汉辞网 http://www.hydcd.com/zidian/hz/2240.htm 汉字英雄 explanation of radical given by 于丹 Essential Meaning Of Radicals Frequently Applied-enjune.pdf
  27. 2 points
    FOUR REASONS WHY CHINESE 成语 PUZZLE YOU I have asked people learning Chinese as their foreign language what will be something puzzling them beside Pinyin, and 60% of them have idiom (成语) as answer. Backed up by story and historical quotation, idioms frequently come in the form of four characters combination, based on the meaning of ancient Chinese, or extended meaning and metaphorical meaning of Chinese. It is a hard-to-crack case even for Chinese native speaks, let alone to mention the challenge they present to foreign friends. I still remember the first material guiding me to Chinese idiom. It is not the dictionary but a picture book with cartoons vividly showing the background story of idiom. And that's probably the most frequently applied resource that open up a Chinese child's door to this special kind of wording culture-related. There will be many reasons why a certain idiom fails your comprehension, but most of them fall into the four mainly listed below. Elaboration is given based on 狼狈为奸 for example. 1. Not knowing the story behind it Almost right behind each idiom lies a story, and some of them sound like a fable(寓言), containing the truth you need to know the idiom better. 狼 and 狈 pass a sheepfold and the sheep are attractive to them but out of reach. The fence is high for both of them. An idea occurs to狈, and he asks狼 to stand onto his shoulders so that狼could lay his hands to the sheep. And they get their meal by carrying out this plan. 狼狈为奸gives a description of this situation in brief wording. Both characters 狼&狈 appear at the beginning of the idiom, while 为奸means doing something evilly bad. So you know why it is stated as" act in collusion with each other "in the dictionary. 2. No comprehension based on classical Chinese Idioms come from traditional Chinese culture, so ancient Chinese is involved beside modern Chinese. If you cannot figure it out based on the literal meaning applied nowadays, try the corresponding meaning in ancient Chinese. I bet you may wonder why 狼狈, describing an embarrassing and awkward situation, as it is shown in Pleco, would have something to do with 为奸. It may take you less time to see what 狼狈不堪 means, since the word狼狈here is consistent with what you are familiar with. That's it. 狼狈in 狼狈为奸means something different in ancient Chinese. 狼is wolf and 狈is a wolf-like animal. They refer to bad guys alike. Words in modern Chinese come in two-character form, so you may take为奸here as a unit instead of breaking it into two parts, 为and奸. Take a check in Pleco you may find the meanings are given respectively, which suggests that this is a combination of two parts, representing two separate meaning in ancient Chinese. 为=做=实施=do, 奸=奸邪之事=坏事=bad thing. The meaning could be around the corner if you take the words from the perspective of ancient Chinese, even if you don't know the story behind. 3. Things hardly existent in modern daily life Something involved in the idiom could be rarely seen in daily life, and something is not even existent. It makes idioms more strange to non native speakers. 狈is the animal in tale only, so you would hardly know that it refers to someone next to the wolf in this idiomatic story,not a clue that it will be an executor 故事中的执行者 and subject 主语/主角 of the story. 4. Extended meaning and metaphor contained Idioms act like a fable telling something more than the story itself. It involves meaning extended or implied. 狼狈为奸tells more than the story of how two evil animals snatch the sheep. 狼狈indicates the bad guys while stealing sheep could be extended to anything evil or illegal. Idioms are formed in detailed story but they are highly summerized and logically inducted, from the concrete to the abstract, from the particular case to the universal phenomena, available for analogy based on individual case arising from daily life. 成语是故事的高度概括与浓缩,归纳成一个道理,而我们对成语的运用则是基于日常个案的类比,借用成语形容类似的情况。The meaning implied or extended to fit in the summary universally applicable in daily circumstances makes idiom not straightforward enough to understand.
  28. 2 points
    8 Q&A ABOUT QIXI FESTIVAL 1 Why is it called 七夕? It is on July 7 lunar calendar, and the related activity worshiping Zhinv, the seventh daughters (织女/七姐)of the Queen of Heaven (王母娘娘), comes in the evening of this day. We call evening 夕(xi) in ancient Chinese. So it means a festival falling on the evening of July 7. And the legend of 织女 furthers the meaning of this custom and its connection with the number seven. 2 Why does somebody regard it as Chinese Valentine? As the myth goes, 织女 comes to the man's world (we call it 下凡) and falls in love with 牛郎. However, their love gets hindered by the parents of 织女, and the couple is forced to be apart, without any opportunity to meet each other except the date July 7, when the magpies (喜鹊) of the world gather to make the bridge across the milky way for them. It is said that 牛郎织女 will meet each other this day, which is a symbol of reunion of couples through the thick and thin, a reflection of 有情人终成眷属. 3 Is it really the Chinese Valentine? Traditional Chinese Valentine is on Jan 15 lunar calendar, and it is lantern festival (正月十五:元宵节) too. Girls stay at home with no chance to meet the potential BF in ancient China, but their opportunity comes in lantern festival, when they are allowed to go out watch the lantern show (赏花灯) and have fun figuring out the lantern riddles (猜灯谜). And that's when the single get to each other, so lantern festival works like the Valentine better than Qixi, when single girls just have fun on their own. 4 Why is it also called 乞巧节? Being smart in mind and deft in handcraft (心灵手巧)is the best praise for girls in ancient China. It is a day when single girls ask that quality and ability from 织女. Zhinv is good at waving and capable of getting the fabric done next to perfect. Girls dressed up decently gather and worship the goddess with the handcraft they make, praying for the skillfulness like 织女 and a happy marriage like 牛郎织女. 5 What did girls in ancient China do in Qixi Festival? Worship 织女 with their handcraft. There will be a competition in handcraft, and girls are judged by their handwork, like embroidery, decorations knitted with beads, clay figurine, etc. as offerings. Collect the dews to wash their hands and eyes. It is said that eyes will be clearer and hands will be more skillful and proficient with the craft after wash. Water is deemed blessed by 织女 on that day. Wash their hair and dye their nails. Single girls do this as a way in seek of beautify and happy marriage. 6 Why does ancient Chinese have a festival like this on July 7? Initially, festival on July 7 has nothing to do with 牛郎织女, and it is just a day to worship time and nature. 七 is a special number in Chinese culture, which sounds similar to 吉. It means lucky. July 7 could be deemed as double 吉, conforming to the Chinese saying 好事成双. China has several festivals like this, with the day in the same number as the month per lunar calendar, say, double five, May 5 as dragon boat day, double nine, Sep 9, Chongyang Festival. 7 Why is it a festival for single girls in ancient China? It was originally a day for single girls to pray for all the best from 织女. Actually married female are fully occupied by family and kids and they are far away from those days when they gather to pray for a better self and the ideal marriage accordingly. Qixi provides a good timing for young girls to get together and discuss what they are longing for. 8 Why do people store water or go swimming that day as a custom? It is said that 织女 comes down for a bath in the river that day and the water is blessed. People believe that water fetched in a certain period of time is magically good for human body.
  29. 2 points
    FOUR REASONS WHY CHINESE LISTENING IS SO DAMN DIFFICULT It takes listening, speaking, reading and writing to make a language complete, and listening is always the hardest part to crack. Compared with reading and writing, you have limited time to react, without any possibility to go over a certain wording for times the way you do when reading. Moreover, reading doesn't involve pronunciation and sometimes you may find that you understand what's been said once you have the script of the listening materials. What'll be said and the way it sounds, the speed it takes depend on the person leading the conversation, and the uncertainty of content, accent and pace make listening harder than spoken Chinese. Conclusion above is based on the assumption that the degree of complexity stays the same. Characteristics of Chinese below make you need more time to figure out the content orally expressed, and further the uncertainty of Chinese listening. 1 Different characters in the same pronunciation There are several characters sharing the same Pinyin, and you have no idea what's talked about without connecting it to the words around it or putting it in the context. You won't see the difference about 气, 器, 弃 since they sound the same. And you have no idea which of the following is mentioned here, 中指, 终止or 中止if "zhong zhi" is all you hear. Such a high frequency in application of same pronunciation makes Chinese confusing to foreign speakers. Therefore, memorizing the characters in words, and minding how the certain word match with the other (collocation) mean a lot to improvement of Chinese listening skill. 2 Standard Mandarin challenged by dialects Not every Chinese speaks standard Mandarin like the host or hostess in broadcast. Unfortunately, people living in different areas of China have a lifelong battle against their dialect's negative impact on Mandarin pronunciation. This could be a huge influence since Chinese dialects vary a lot from each other. You know the English is speaking English even if he has accent, but you don't know the Chinese is speaking Mandarin if he sounds much too dialect influenced. However, it's not the reason that you could slack off in practicing standard Mandarin. On the contrary, you should be familiar with Mandarin pronunciation to know which pronunciation is likely to be influenced by dialect and how it is affected, so you could realize which character is about even if it is not pronounced in perfect Mandarin. Be well prepared with the Mandarin blending with several dialect, so you are not losing confidence when you doesn't sound good for the moment, and you won't be too shocked when some Chinese disappoint you with their pronunciation far from perfect. 3 Pronunciation in monosyllable with tones unfamiliar to non native speakers Characters are pronounced in monosyllable no matter how long its Pinyin seems to be. Each character is pronounced separatedly, like water drops falling down to hit the ground one by one, different from liaison in English, which sounds like a river flowing forward. Say each Chinese character independently without lengthening the sound or make them connect to each other. That's the way how Chinese is spoken, and familiar with such a style in pronunciation does matter to your listening. It is true that some Chinese students claim that the listening materials in English test will be easier to understand if the announcers making the audio tape speak English the way they do, pronouncing each t, d, k at the end of each vocabulary clearly, without consonant at the end of a word connecting to the vowel at the beginning of next word. Be familiar with the pronunciation rules and style of a language does smooth the process of listening comprehension. We may understand in seconds if our own pronunciation is identical with how native Chinese people speak Chinese. 4 Wording out of range There are words you seldom come across in text book or literature reading, and you are likely to get trapped if they show up in the conversation. Make yourself exposed to 成语, 谚语, 歇后语, 网络热词, 双关语, etc, and listen to conversation or materials with topics close to daily life. I am not recommending CCTV news but you could try it if it is not boring to you. Documentary in CCTV 9 will be good choice but go get some refreshment before it makes you doze off. TV shows recording how people are asked to finish the tasks or introducing you to something worth your attention or place worth visiting (综艺节目, 游记, 美食节目) are easy for you to cling to and follow through. The more you don't understand, the more you need to practice listening. We didn't understand most of our parents' conversations when we were around two or three, but we still listened until we learned enough to comprehend what's been said. Therefore, do not say no to listening material because you understand little about it. Try and you may find even if you can't tell the meaning of a word you are still getting familiar with the way Chinese is spoken, how Chinese people describe things and what kind of wording they choose. It is a process of accumulation hidden but may see its meaning as you proceed with and finally make what you've heard part of your wordings.
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    Today I finished reading the novel 《熊猫》 by 棉棉. The novel consists mostly of casual nighttime conversations between attractive young people in Shanghai. Sex, love, and infidelity are frequent conversation topics, popping up every few pages. There are occasional monologues on random subjects, like eating pigs and the social harms of television. The plot and structure of 《熊猫》 are unconventional. There are the trappings of a plot: main characters, recurring settings, interpersonal relationships and conflicts. But not much happens. Characters talk repeatedly about sex—how often they have it, what kind of people they have it with, etc. While some arguments arise from this, the characters themselves do not change. The death of a main character is mentioned several times, but the circumstances surrounding the death go unexplained. Most of the main characters in the novel are shallow, and it is difficult to see what motivates them. The novel is divided sequentially into chapters, but these chapter divisions seem arbitrary, and the story does not progress. 《熊猫》 reminds me of the writing of Bret Easton Ellis. It is a book full of beautiful, rich, young characters having superficial conversations in a consequence-free world. Unfortunately, 《熊猫》 is less stylized, less seductive, and more banal than Ellis’s novels are. A number of the characters in 《熊猫》 are named after actual people. The Shanghai jazz musicians mentioned in the novel are people I know in real life! 棉棉 also references herself at numerous points in the story. I decided to read 《熊猫》 after @Lu listed it in the “What are the first 10 books you read” thread. I found the language of the novel easy to understand, especially compared with the last novel I read, 余华’s 《在细雨中呼喊》. Most of 《熊猫》 is dialogue, which keeps the difficulty low. Link to 《熊猫》: https://www.kanunu8.com/book3/7951/ Some statistics: Characters read this year: 415,518 Characters left to read this year: 584,482 Percent of goal completed: 41.6% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters) 《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文 (61,154 characters) 《致银河》 by 王小波 (17,715 characters) 《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华 (132,769 characters) 《熊猫》 by 棉棉 (53,129 characters)
  32. 2 points
    This fourth and final entry in the anti-mobile phone campaign on the Chongqing subway takes the famous "Wu Song Defeats the Tiger" (武松打虎) story from the The Water Margin (水浒传) as its subject. It says when the ferocious tiger ("吊睛白额猛虎") attacks ("袭"), the warrior is busy playing with his phone ("好汉却在玩手机"). It goes on to state that the hero has become a phone zombie/idiot ("打虎英雄变手机痴汉"), and asks how he can allow himself to become so absorbed with his phone during such a vital moment ("紧要时刻怎轻易低头?"). As with the previous three adverts, it requests that people use their phones wisely ("请合理正确使用手机"), so as not to endanger their health and safety ("为了自身的安全与健康").
  33. 2 points
    Read before you intend to escape, not at the time of said escape. (Location: Taipei apartment balcony)
  34. 2 points
    Learning Chinese isn't easy and if you want to really improve your reading skills, you need to take every opportunity to practice you get, even when using the toilet. Apart from the ubiquitous 向前一小步,文明一大步 (the title of this blog entry), there is also a handwritten note. I still find messy, handwritten Chinese quite tricky and can't quite make out some of the words here. This is as much as I could read at first: 师哥 泡。。。要吐在小便池里 多谢合作 After a little thought, I'm pretty sure it's saying 泡糖不要吐在小便池里 (don't spit out bubble gum into the urinal), but the 不 looks more like a 又 to me, and there also seems to be a small additional character between 泡 and 糖. Can anybody confirm?
  35. 2 points
    The past few weeks I have not read much in Chinese. This is because I recently received some excellent news, news about something that will keep me very busy in 2019, far busier than I expected. Going forward, I will need to set aside time specifically for reading Chinese, or it will be difficult to meet my million-character goal. A few weeks ago I finished a short story by 20th-century Shanghai author 施蛰存. The story is 《在巴黎大戏院》. It is part of a collection of short stories available online. The story is about a man on a movie date with a girl. The man is a neurotic mess, overthinking every word his date says and every movement she makes. The man is also probably an adulterer—he’s married—and a weirdo/pervert. At one point, the man, nervous and sweating profusely, is handed a handcloth by his date. He wipes his sweaty face, then discreetly tastes (and even sucks on) his date’s handcloth. Eww. The narrative is told entirely from a first-person, in-his-brain running-commentary perspective. The language is simple, but I found the story difficult—even unpleasant—to read. The man is weird and obsessive and I did not enjoy being inside his head. That being said, I will read more short stories from 施蛰存. He is a famous author and surely not all of his stories are like this. Today I finished reading 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》. It is the thesis of an undergraduate music student at 中国音乐学院 in Beijing. The topic of the thesis was jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. I am something of a Stitt expert, having studied Stitt and his music for years, and having written a 552-page doctoral dissertation about him. (Link for the curious.) The student reached out to me to ask some questions about Stitt and jazz music analysis. I don’t want to name the student since he is not a public figure. But his thesis was pretty good, especially compared with other work in jazz studies in China I have read. Link to 施蛰存’s《在巴黎大戏院》: http://telestarbookshelf.blogspot.com/2005/03/blog-post_13.html Some statistics: Characters read this year: 150,751 Characters left to read this year: 849,249 Percent of goal completed: 15.1% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters) 《牛》by 沈从文 (8,097 characters) 《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲 (693 characters) 《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲 (2,176 characters) 《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM (25,098 characters) 《夜》by 丁玲 (4,218 characters) 《虎雏》by 沈从文 (46,945 characters) 《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存 (6,181 characters) 《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》 (5,483 characters)
  36. 2 points
    I saw many slogans like this written on the side of the hills and mountains while cycling through the 甘孜 Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province last spring: This one says "感党恩 爱祖国 奔小康". Roughly translated: "Be grateful to the party, love your country, strive to be middle-class". I noticed it when I went with a friend to look for a valuable type of caterpillar fungus, called 虫草. There were also a large group of locals there, all looking to 奔小康 by finding the fungus and then selling it in the market (apparently, a single large piece can fetch potentially fetch several hundred RMB). Unfortunately, despite the encouragement of the mountainside slogan, my friend and I both left empty handed.
  37. 2 points
    In the last few days I read two short stories: 《我没有自己的名字》 by 余华, and《手》by 萧红. The two stories address a common theme: the humanity of damaged people, juxtaposed with the cruelty of everyday people.《我没有自己的名字》is the story of a boy with very low intelligence, 来发, and the harassment he receives from other boys in his village.《手》is the story of a poor girl with abnormally-colored hands, 王亚明, and the harassment she receives from her classmates and her school president. While 来发 and 王亚明 are dimwitted and dirty, they are good people who do not deserve the abuse they receive from their peers. They also do not object to this unfair treatment, which emboldens their abusers. I have noticed a theme appear in several 20th-century Chinese stories. There is a maligned but ultimately sympathetic person (e.g.: 来发, 王亚明, 贞贞 in 丁玲’s《我在霞村的时候》). The person is damaged or compromised in some way, either by birth (来发, 王亚明), or by societal circumstances outside their control (贞贞). The damaged person is righteous, while the “normal” people in society are callous and cruel. The damaged person suffers loss, but faces this loss with equanimity. Both《我没有自己的名字》and《手》are short (under 10,000 characters). They are also easy to read. I would not recommend《我没有自己的名字》. The story is stylistically underwhelming and less engaging than 余华’s longer works, like《活着》and《许三观卖血记》. I would recommend《手》, although I don’t know quite what to make of 萧红’s style. I have added two longer works of hers,《生死场》and《呼兰河传》, to my reading list. Text of《我没有自己的名字》: http://www.rain8.com/article/class6/3582.htm Text of《手》: https://www.kanunu8.com/book3/8047/175923.html Some statistics: Characters read this year: 51,860 Characters left to read this year: 948,140 Percent of goal completed: 5.2% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters) 《自杀日记》by 丁玲 (4,567 characters) 《我没有自己的名字》by 余华 (8,416 characters) 《手》by 萧红 (7,477 characters)
  38. 2 points
    I recently finished reading《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东. It is a series of five talks on literature and art that Mao delivered between February and May 1942 at Yan’an. In these five talks, Mao expounds the purpose of revolutionary literature, criticizes the defective thinking of his Yan’an comrades, and prescribes widespread intra-party thought reform for these defects. Below is my loose paraphrase of Mao’s arguments with corresponding quotations from the text, and a brief thought on mainstream art in modern-day China. = Literature is a part of the machinery of the revolution. It is a weapon used to unite and teach the people, and to strike and destroy the enemy. 我们今天开会,就是要使文艺很好地成为整个革命机器的一个组成部分,作为团结人民、教育人民、打击敌人、消灭敌人的有力的武器,帮助人民同心同德地和敌人作斗争。 Literature is not neutral. Writers must be on the side of the proletariat, the people, and the Party. 我们是站在无产阶级的和人民大众的立场。对于共产党员来说,也就是要站在党的立场,站在党性和党的政策的立场。 Unfortunately, many comrades champion petty bourgeois ideas. They view the intelligentsia and petty bourgeoisie as more important than the workers, farmers, and soldiers. They stand with the petty bourgeoisie and express petty bourgeois ideas in their work. 在实际上,在行动上,他们是否对小资产阶级知识分子比对工农兵还更看得重要些呢?我以为是这样…… 他们是站在小资产阶级立场,他们是把自己的作品当作小资产阶级的自我表现来创作的 There is much of value in Chinese and foreign literature traditions. What has value should be kept. Older literary forms can be used, but they should be changed, filled with revolutionary content, and pressed into the service of the people. 对于中国和外国过去时代所遗留下来的丰富的文学艺术遗产和优良的文学艺术传统,我们是要继承的,但是目的仍然是为了人民大众。对于过去时代的文艺形式,我们也并不拒绝利用,但这些旧形式到了我们手里,给了改造,加进了新内容,也就变成革命的为人民服务的东西了。 Some comrades mistakenly believe that all art must flow out of “love,” as though love were some transcendent ideal untouched by social class. Others argue that literature should reflect “human nature.” But human nature is a concrete thing with a class dimension, not an abstract concept. What is often called “human nature” is actually capitalist individualism. Literature must not proceed from so-called abstract notions of love, freedom, truth, or humanity. The presence of these errors in the Party show that some comrades have been deeply influenced by bourgeois and capitalist ideas. These comrades should cast off this influence, and study Marxist-Leninist thought. 但是我们有些同志… 说什么一切应该从“爱”出发。就说爱吧,在阶级社会里,也只有阶级的爱,但是这些同志却要追求什么超阶级的爱,抽象的爱,以及抽象的自由、抽象的真理、抽象的人性等等。这是表明这些同志是受了资产阶级的很深的影响。应该很彻底地清算这种影响,很虚心地学习马克思列宁主义…… “人性论”。有没有人性这种东西?当然有的。但是只有具体的人性,没有抽象的人性。在阶级社会里就是只有带着阶级性的人性,而没有什么超阶级的人性。我们主张无产阶级的人性,人民大众的人性,而地主阶级资产阶级则主张地主阶级资产阶级的人性,不过他们口头上不这样说,却说成为唯一的人性。有些小资产阶级知识分子所鼓吹的人性,也是脱离人民大众或者反对人民大众的,他们的所谓人性实质上不过是资产阶级的个人主义,因此在他们眼中,无产阶级的人性就不合于人性 We must not love our enemies. We must not love noxious social phenomena. Rather, we must seek to destroy them. 我们不能爱敌人,不能爱社会的丑恶现象,我们的目的是消灭这些东西。 Many petit bourgeois writers write pessimistic literature that exposes the darkness in society without also showing the light. Capitalist writers invert light and darkness, portraying revolutionaries as thugs and themselves as saints. Only true revolutionary writers praise and expose correctly. All dark powers that harm the people must be exposed, and all the revolutionary struggles of the people must be praised. This is the fundamental duty of revolutionary writers. 许多小资产阶级作家并没有找到过光明,他们的作品就只是暴露黑暗,被称为“暴露文学”,还有简直是专门宣传悲观厌世的…… 反动时期的资产阶级文艺家把革命群众写成暴徒,把他们自己写成神圣,所谓光明和黑暗是颠倒的。只有真正革命的文艺家才能正确地解决歌颂和暴露的问题。一切危害人民群众的黑暗势力必须暴露之,一切人民群众的革命斗争必须歌颂之,这就是革命文艺家的基本任务。 Revolutionary writers must expose the invaders, the exploiters, the oppressors, and their harmful influence on the people. Revolutionary writers must not expose the people themselves. 对于革命的文艺家,暴露的对象,只能是侵略者、剥削者、压迫者及其在人民中所遗留的恶劣影响,而不能是人民大众。 Literature is subordinate to politics. But literature is also a tool of great political influence. Revolutionary literature is like a gear and a screw. These tools are less important than other parts of the machine, but the machine cannot function properly without them. 文艺是从属于政治的,但又反转来给予伟大的影响于政治。革命文艺是整个革命事业的一部分,是齿轮和螺丝钉,和别的更重要的部分比较起来,自然有轻重缓急第一第二之分,但它是对于整个机器不可缺少的齿轮和螺丝钉,对于整个革命事业不可缺少的一部分。 How can we know if the primary motivations of a writer are correct and good? Not by listening to what the writer says, but by observing the effect of that writer’s work on society. 检验一个作家的主观愿望即其动机是否正确,是否善良,不是看他的宣言,而是看他的行为(主要是作品)在社会大众中产生的效果。 In light of many false ideologies that have taken hold among the comrades, what is needed is a strict rectification campaign. Many comrades are unclear of the difference between the proletariat and the petit bourgeoisie. Many comrades have joined the Party with their bodies, but have only partially joined the Party in their thinking. The minds of these comrades are filled with the thoughts of the exploiting class; they do not know what proletariat thinking is, what communism is, what the Party is. So although most within the Party and its ranks are pure, for the future of our leadership, there must be a serious transformation in the thinking and organization of the Party. To transform the organization of the Party, first we must transform the thinking of the Party. There must be an ideological struggle against non-proletariat thinking. 同志们中间还有很多的唯心论、教条主义、空想、空谈、轻视实践、脱离群众等等的缺点,需要有一个切实的严肃的整风运动。我们有许多同志还不大清楚无产阶级和小资产阶级的区别。有许多党员,在组织上入了党,思想上并没有完全入党,甚至完全没有入党。这种思想上没有入党的人,头脑里还装着许多剥削阶级的脏东西,根本不知道什么是无产阶级思想,什么是共产主义,什么是党…… 因此我们的党,我们的队伍,虽然其中的大部分是纯洁的,但是为要领导革命运动更好地发展,更快地完成,就必须从思想上组织上认真地整顿一番。而为要从组织上整顿,首先需要在思想上整顿,需要展开一个无产阶级对非无产阶级的思想斗争。 [end paraphrase] = A concluding thought: Back when I lived in China, I ascribed the bathos, banality, and overwrought patriotism of much modern-day mainstream Chinese music and television to government censorship. But I also sensed that such an ascription was pat and lacked explanatory power. Seeing mainstream Chinese music and television in light of Mao’s instructions on literature and art makes a lot more sense. One of the many things Mao did at Yan’an was come up with—and inculcate—a framework for understanding the making of art in modern China. He provided artists and future leaders of the Party with answers to questions like: Why make art? Who is art is for? What does art do? How should art be made? At Yan’an, Mao made a positive case for Chinese art that serves the people and their Party. This view of art was highly influential and informs the making of art in China to this day. I became aware of Mao’s talks on literature and art through an episode of the Chinese Literature Podcast. A link to that episode is below. Link to the text in Chinese: https://www.marxists.org/chinese/maozedong/marxist.org-chinese-mao-194205.htm Link to the text in English: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/mswv3_08.htm Chinese Literature Podcast: “Art for the Masses: Mao Zedong’s Yan’An Lectures” https://www.chineseliteraturepodcast.com/?p=493 Some statistics: Characters read this year: 31,400 Characters left to read this year: 968,600 Percent of goal completed: 3.1% List of things read: 《三八节有感》by 丁玲 (2,370 characters) 《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲 (10,754 characters) 《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东 (18,276 characters)
  39. 1 point
    For the month of January, I am going to stop doing flashcards entirely. I am going to try following the advice thats often seen on this forum: practice whats hard for you (or something similar). I find it incredibly easy to repeat single words. However, full sentences keeping the correct tones, natural flow and the right grammar is another story. Even if just repeating them is a much harder task for me than single words. I think the reading and listening I do will act as natural spaced repetition for vocab anyway. My goal is(with the exception of naturally one word answers) no Chinese comes out of my mouth unless its a complete sentence.
  40. 1 point
    Use the translated English lyrics below to find the title and artist of the song. Bonus points for providing a video or audio link. A short audio clip is provided as an additional hint, should you need it. Uncle Li wants to be a Red soldier Red Army doesn’t want that uncle Because Uncle Li’s butt is big Too easy for Japs to spot the target Uncle Li found the commander The commander is also an uncle (an old guy) Because uncle feels sorry for uncle Uncle honorably joined the army Uncle Li went on a mission Got halfway up the mountain Because Uncle Li’s butt is big He was spotted by the Japs Uncle Li patted his stomach and ran Japs came up stabbing For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself Rain falling on pear blossoms Tightly close the door Yan clay is spent Flowers falling into dust Hoping you are an honoroed guest that understands my kindness and intention And not a confused person who can't tell right from wrong I did not come seeking fame and glory I hope, Mister, that you don't let me down Uncle Li wants to be a Red soldier Red army doesn't want Uncle Li Because Uncle Li’s butt is big Too easy for Japs to spot the target Uncle Li found the commander The commander is also an old uncle Because old uncle sympathizes with old uncle Uncle Li honorably became a Red soldier Uncle Li went on a mission Climbed up a small hillside Because Uncle Li’s butt is big He was spotted by the Japs Uncle Li slapped his butt and ran Japs came up stabbing For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself For the revolution, for the party Uncle Li gloriously sacrificed himself clip.mp3 Answer
  41. 1 point
    给自己的情书 Love letter to myself Original by 王菲 Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang 请不要灰心 你也会有人妒忌 Please don't be upset You may be envied by someone else 你仰望到太高 贬低的只有自己 Don't look up above so high That you forget about yourself 别荡失太早 旅游有太多胜地 There are so many choices for journey Don't linger around everywhere And lose yourself 你记住你发肤 会与你庆祝钻禧 Just don't forget the color of hair and skin It will see you through your love and marriage 啦啦啦 慰藉自己 AH Comfort yourself 开心的东西要专心记起 Remember only the best And leave out all the rest 啦啦啦 爱护自己 是地上拾到的真理 AH Love yourself That's the truth of happiness Better than the rest 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company 请不要哀伤 我会当你是偶像 Please don't be in tears I will take you as my idol shining 你要别人怜爱 先安装一个药箱 Get a medical kit Before you have someone else's sympathy 做什么也好 别为着得到赞赏 Do whatever you like Not just for praise from others' lips 你要强壮到底 再去替对方设想 Be strong enough to stand against the world Before you show your pity 啦啦啦 慰藉自己 AH Comfort yourself 开心的东西要专心记起 Remember only the best And leave out all the rest 啦啦啦 爱护自己 是地上拾到的真理 AH Love yourself That's the truth of happiness Better than the rest 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 在夜阑尽处 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company 拋得开手里玩具 Not until you let go what's in your grip 先懂得好好进睡 Can you fall into sound sleep 深谷都攀过后 Not until I'm away from the valley 从泥泞寻到这不甘心相信的金句 Do I pick up from the muddy The truth I've been unwilling to believe in 写这高贵情书 I have this love letter for myself 用自言自语 作我的天书 I see what it means While I am talking to myself 自己都不爱 怎么相爱 How could we love one another If we fail to care ourselves 怎么可给爱人好处 How could we bring others the best 这千斤重情书 Love letter heavier than I could tell 在夜阑尽处 如门前大树 It looks like a big tree Standing outside my door Where the night ends 没有他倚靠 No worry about whether it's rainy 归家也不必撇雨 When you come home without his company Love letter to myself-enjune.mp3
  42. 1 point
    花样年华 The perfect time Original by 梁朝伟 Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang 渴望一个笑容 Longing for a pretty smile 期待一阵春风 And the spring breeze passing me by 你就刚刚好经过 You pass me by in the minute perfect right 突然眼神交错 All of a sudden your eyes meet mine 目光炽热闪烁 They're in fever Flicking like fire wild 狂乱越难掌握 Feelings go mad in my mind 我像是着了魔 I'm bewitched with you in my eye 你欣然承受 You take it perfect fine 别奢望闪躲 There's no more to hide 怕是谁的背影叫人难受 Your figure's in my mind It's hard to leave behind 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让我笑你无情 Let me tease your mask cold outside 连一场欲望都舍不得回避 You would rather keep desire burning Than suffocate it inside 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让这一刻暂停 Let everything stop at this perfect time 都怪这花样年华太刺激 We get no one to blame But what's in me you excite 渴望一个笑容 Longing for a pretty smile 期待一阵春风 And the spring breeze passing me by 你就刚刚好经过 You pass me by in the minute perfect right 突然眼神交错 All of a sudden your eyes meet mine 目光炽热闪烁 They're in fever Flicking like fire wild 狂乱越难掌握 Feelings go mad in my mind 我像是着了魔 I'm bewitched with you in my eye 你欣然承受 You take it perfect fine 别奢望闪躲 There's no more to hide 怕是谁的背影叫人难受 Your figure's in my mind It's hard to leave behind 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让我笑你无情 Let me tease your mask cold outside 连一场欲望都舍不得回避 You would rather keep desire burning Than suffocate it inside 让我狠狠想你 Let me miss you hard inside 让这一刻暂停 Let everything stop at this perfect time 都怪这花样年华太美丽 We get no one to blame But the moment well beautified The perfect time-enjune.mp3
  43. 1 point
    John Lone: A lonely Chinese movie star famous in Hollywood He's known for his excellent acting proficiency in various roles, no matter it is the god father of the gang, the spy in disguise as an opera actress, or the last emperor of Qing dynasty. His oriental face was once getting in the way when he struggled to become a movie star in America, but it gave him the flame and glory when he reached the top in Hollywood. There is something deep down this Asian look that European actors hard to imitate or show. He hadn't lost everything unique in him, he polished his skill in American drama, spoke American English in a native way, and the western form he shaped for himself, hadn't changed the core in him. Deep down he deems himself Chinese. What's different in a person may make it hard for his way up, since he is so different from the popular criteria claiming what elites in this filed should look like. However, those loyal to what he originally was thrive and win. It was a lonely way for him to get to where he is now, but it is simply worth it. His time comes after it passes the turning point. There seems to be a lonely king living in his heart, making every rise and fall of his eyebrow elegantly lined with noble temperament. This is something rooted in his life, his life as an orphan at the early age, a poor child without childhood, and an apprentice in operatic circle bullied and teased by the peers. What's painful inside the body of a shell, may be bred into the pearls. What's doom and gloom in his early life finally become the shining medal for the rest of life. John Lone 尊龙 https://b23.tv/av69177103 Master work 1985 龙年 Year of the Dragon 1987 末代皇帝 The Last Emperor 1993 蝴蝶君 M. Butterfly
  44. 1 point
    恰似你的温柔 Love me tender in your way Original by 邓丽君 Translated and performed by Enjune Zhang 某年某月的某一天 I know not where it is but a certain day 就象一张破碎的脸 Memory fades away like a broken face 难以开口道再见 It's hard to utter goodbye in pain 就让一切走远 Let it be Let it into somewhere far away 这不是件容易的事 It's far from something easy 我们却都没有哭泣 But neither of us shed a tear 让它淡淡地来 In a gentle way it came 让它好好地去 Let it decently go away 到如今年复一年 Now all those years pass me by 我不能停止怀念 I couldn't quit the yearning inside 怀念你怀念从前 Think about you and me Once upon a time 但愿那海风再起 I wish that breeze Comes back to me 只为那浪花的手 For the hand of the wave 恰似你的温柔 It loves me tender in your way 这不是件容易的事 It's far from something easy 我们却都没有哭泣 But neither of us shed a tear 让它淡淡地来 In a gentle way it came 让它好好地去 Let it decently go away 到如今年复一年 Now all those years pass me by 我不能停止怀念 I couldn't quit the yearning inside 怀念你怀念从前 Think about you and me Once upon a time 但愿那海风再起 I wish that breeze Comes back to me 只为那浪花的手 For the hand of the wave 恰似你的温柔 It loves me tender in your way Love me tender in your way-enjune.mp3
  45. 1 point
    Faded 消逝 Original by Alan Walker Translated and presented by Enjune Zhang You were the shadow to my light 你如影嵌入我命里 Did you feel us 能否感受彼此 Another start 新的开始 You fade away 你渐渐消逝 Afraid our aim is out of sight 怕我们的蓝图已遗失 Wanna see us 只愿彼此 Alight 依然明丽 Where are you now 你在何方 Where are you now 你在何方 Where are you now 你在何方 Was it all in my fantasy 难道这只是我幻想 Where are you now 你在何方 Were you only imaginary 难道你长眠于我的想象 Where are you now 你在何方 Atlantis 如岛屿沉溺 Under the sea 沉入海里 Under the sea 匿于海底 Where are you now 你在何方 Another dream 另一重梦境 The monsters running wild inside of me 万千思绪如猛兽追逐心际 I'm faded 我正消逝 I'm faded 我已消逝 So lost 迷失 I'm faded 已消逝 I'm faded 渐已消逝 So lost 迷失 I'm faded 已消逝 These shallow waters never met 浅水区不曾让我满足  What I needed 不曾止步 I'm letting go 我只追逐 A deeper dive 更深的潜伏 Eternal silence of the sea 无尽海里只剩沉寂 I'm breathing 我在呼吸 Alive 尚存一息 Where are you now 你在何方 Where are you now 你在何方 Under the bright 身处微光 But faded lights 却渐渺茫 You set my heart on fire 你点燃我心 光芒万丈 Where are you now 你在何方 Where are you now 你在何方 Where are you now 你在何方 Atlantis 如岛屿沉溺 Under the sea 沉入海里 Under the sea 匿于海底 Where are you now 你在何方 Another dream 另一重梦境 The monsters running wild inside of me 万千思绪如猛兽追逐心际 I'm faded 我正消逝 I'm faded 我已消逝 So lost 迷失 I'm faded 已消逝 I'm faded 渐已消逝 So lost 迷失 I'm faded 已消逝 faded消逝-enjune.mp3
  46. 1 point
    The main menu is entirely English and standard cafe burgers and breakfasts. Not been in yet, but maybe next time I'm passing.
  47. 1 point
    Here are some good-to-know words from the small print near the bottom: 省点 助力 环保 Caution: This spoiler gives it all away.
  48. 1 point
    OK I know weird translations of food are a cheap shot, but I figured someone must know the story behind this one... Possibly even the precursor to women laughing alone with salad?
  49. 1 point
    Thanks to @mungouk for the picture. On your way to work one morning, something goes wrong and you are directed to this sign. 1) What method of transportation are you trying to use? 2) What are your two options now? 3) And an easily-guessable one - what phone number might you need to phone for help?
  50. 1 point
    Hello everyone, It has been a while since I last updated my blog. There were a couple of reasons for this - My eyes My vision was deteriorating quite a lot and last November the decision was taken to under go cataract surgery. As this was in the UK and on the NHS the wheels grind (no complaints it just the way it is) and eventually I now have 2 new lenses and can see better than I have been able to for many years. I found it was becoming increasingly frustrating trying to read characters with bad eyes and magnifying glasses are a pain, hard to scan pages with one. I am still in recovery, it is only the third day after my second eye so slowly slowly does it. My intention is to return and update my blog with my new learning schedule and updates as to my successes and failures and hopefully help myself and others to progress with learning Chinese. Just wanted to update anyone who was interested that my hiatus from learning is now turning slowly into a return to learning.
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