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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/03/2020 in Posts

  1. There are more and more Chinese language Youtube channels popping up, covering a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and they make for a great learning resource. Here are a few of mine. Feel free to add your own. General life in China Channels: One of my new favourites is 小叔TV . His content consists of walking around various localities in China, with a focus on the more forgotten, left behind type places. While it doesn't sound too exciting, I really like to watch now that I'm not living in China anymore. He offers some interesting insights into Chinese society and e
    20 points
  2. I started studying Chinese as a hobby 4 years ago when I turned 30. As someone who lives in the US, is married and has a full time job completely unrelated to languages, I had always mentally toyed around with the idea of taking a "sabbatical" for a year and studying in China for a few months...although never in a serious way. Last December, I randomly decided to see if I could take advantage of the fact that covid was making a lot of Universities and programs rethink about having remote offerings, and found Tsinghua University's IUP program. I attended class from January through
    18 points
  3. After a pretty rough year, I don't even want to look at my language goals from 2020. On the one hand, after about four months of really solid studying starting of the year it all tapered off and I didn't really pick it back up until a month or two ago in large part due to switching jobs, dealing with COVID, and other personal things that happened. On the other hand, with all those experience now turned to memories I'm ready for a fresh start. At this point, my language ability has mostly stabilized in the advanced range. What I mean is that recall and fluency is very rarely a chall
    14 points
  4. Wow, this is so funny, I experienced an eerily similar situation to the OP, only mine came from the opposite side: I was on a long train journey in southern China a couple of years back. Unfortunately there weren't any sleepers left, so I had to take a seat. There were four of us squeezed around a tiny table, all strangers, but we got to know each other a little as the afternoon wore on. As night began to fall, one of the passengers, a lady in her early thirties, started to open up about her unhappy marriage: about her bad relationship with her mother-in-law, about how her husband
    14 points
  5. Long time lurker, first time poster...thought this data might be of interest to some of you. The graph below shows my increasing reading speed over the course of about 15.6 million characters read between December 2018 and July 2020 (so just over a year and a half). Some notes: Reading time includes time spent looking up unknown words in Pleco's document reader, creating Pleco flashcards, and googling unknown references, plus a little occasional texting. Most of what I read was webnovels, with a few real books thrown in here and there. Other than startin
    13 points
  6. I've been waiting for the past two years to go and see a Broadway performance in Shanghai after seeing Matilda but COVID has rendered that impossible. I decided to try out a Chinese production of Tennessee William's "A Streetcar Named Desire" at 上海话剧艺术中心 yesterday. First of all, the whole production was amazing. The performances for Stanley and Blanche were something else entirely and I've already purchased tickets to the Chinese production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." On the language side of things, though, I was stoked to walk out of the theater having understood nea
    12 points
  7. Most reviews of Chinese language programs focus on reflections immediately after the student finished. I instead want to share my review of ICLP 5 years later now that I am in the workforce, in the US, and do not always use Chinese formally. I believe this is particularly important because the majority of Chinese language learners unfortunately do not have the luxury - or desire - to live or work in China/Taiwan/etc. for an extended period of time. How does ICLP prepare you for a life of using Chinese? https://iclp.ntu.edu.tw/ Summary: ICLP helped me bridge
    12 points
  8. So i finally made it back. A bit about my little experience: Boarding is done 5 rows at a time regardless of travel class (back>front). Mask must be worn at all times and they discourage walking around on the plane. After landing, people in full hazmat board the plane to check your health code. 5 rows leave at a time (front>back). You have to show various QR codes about 10 times at the airport so make sure you have a fully charged phone. They are still unsure about how to handle foreigners but get there in the end. Covid test was really well organis
    12 points
  9. I could have hardly imagined the day, but 1200 pages later, I'm finally finishing the Three Body trilogy (Chinese edition) by Liu Cixin. I suppose it's been satisfying to read a critically acclaimed series in its original language, to feel each book getting progressively easier to read, and to grapple with ambitious, abstract scientific/philosophical ideas in a language that is foreign to me. By now, one would think I'm getting tired of Sci-Fi (and I am), but using the aid of the Chinese Text Analyzer tool, I've ranked the remainder of my library from easy to difficult (in terms of
    11 points
  10. Hi all, Something I reflect on alot, is people tend to have a warped view of how long it takes to become fluent in Chinese. I myself had it when I started. I told myself that if I did a year studying Mandarin at university in China, I would definitely be fluent in Chinese. 1 year? what the hell was I thinking. In part it's difficult not to think this way, with snappily titled Youtube videos such as "30 days to fluency" or engaging language services such as "The Mandarin Blueprint". It gives the sense, that becoming fluent is easy, can be done in a short amount of time, and is achie
    11 points
  11. I can speak from a certain degree of personal experience, because I made the transition from graded readers to native-level novels about 1.5 years ago (I felt that graded readers stopped feeling profitable after the 2500 level). 活着 is a really great choice for a first book, and I think that with your level of vocabulary, you're in a good place for it. Granted, it's still going to be a grind. I had an HSK6 vocabulary when I read it, and I still had to look up about 750 words. I've read 8 different books so far, and they've averaged about 1200 new/unknown words for each book (although that numbe
    11 points
  12. @mungouk -- About seasoning your new wok, even though you probably already know these basics, please let me review them here all in one place. (These are specific to your wok, a cast iron wok 铸铁炒锅。) 1. Scrub the wok out with dish detergent and warm water. This is mainly to remove the surface protectant coating which the manufacturer applies to keep the wok from rusting while it is in a warehouse or on the shelf of a retail store. A dish rag or plastic dish scrubbing pad will usually do the trick, but if not, it's OK to resort to harsher measures. In China one can easily buy stainl
    11 points
  13. From the outstanding multi-media publication RADII ("an independent platform of artists, writers and creators dedicated to sharing vibrant stories from the rarely explored sides of new China"): 100 films that may help to better understand China. The list is split into 10 categories: Pre-War, Mao Years, Opening Up, Indie and Arthouse, Documentaries, Wuxia, Popcorn, China Today, Bad Movies, Animation. Where available, there are links to the individual films. The You Tube links I tried were working but unfortunately some links are region-dependent or
    10 points
  14. This year will be my 7th year of Chinese! How time flies 😄. Still have my eyes set on getting to a pretty decent (but far from perfect) level of Chinese by the 10 year mark. My biggest goal for 2021 is to improve my speaking skills. I've developed some fairly good daily study habits based on some posts by imron which I was fortunate enough to read pretty early on. One goal is essentially to just keep with it. 1) Have 150 hours worth of voice calls on HelloTalk. I've decided to keep a log of the hours. So far I've done 4 hours and a half and it's only been 5 days 😃. I probably did
    10 points
  15. Time for a recap: whole year: take HSK5 and pass with a good score Nope, didn't want to do the online test read a few easy Chinese novels Yes, on my 7th right now, and will be done before the end of the year:) each month: write at least one essay longer than one page Nope, only wrote an irregular diary for the first half of the year each week: take 2 classes with 50/50 focus textbook/free talk Yes, kind of, though it was way more free talk read a few news articles Sometimes, but often I just read my current novel instead watch a
    10 points
  16. Its that time of year - share your aims and objectives for the coming year here! For me, I have two areas I really want to push myself forward into: 1) Reach 150WPM in shorthand speed. I halfheartedly began learning Pitman shorthand back in 2018; it got put on the back burner until lockdown this year, and now I've finished all the textbooks and workbooks available. Currently sitting at a mediocre 40-50WPM. I want to be able to note take speeches at speeds exceeding 150WPM by this time next year (roughly the normal speed of human speech). 2) Second goal is r
    9 points
  17. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/60490-test-users-for-online-class-system-wanted-free-classes/?tab=comments#comment-475544 After seeing the above, I tried out LTL’s system for online classes. I contacted Andreas for some free trial lessons. I have read his previous postings on the forum with interest (especially the home stay and Chengde) but never taken any lessons with LTL. My background prior to classes: 1. First started with online classes with an online school 2. Moved on to italki with most classes under community tutors and not following any
    9 points
  18. I'm subscribed to about a dozen different Chinese YouTube channels, but my favorite, by far, is 李永乐老师. His content is extremely interesting and top-notch, and rather than simply build the subtitles directly into the video, he uses YouTube subtitles. That means that I can use the "Zhongwen Popup Chinese Dictionary" browser extension to hover my mouse over the subtitle text and get a quick translation of any words I don't know. Most other Chinese channels that I've seen don't really have that feature. That also means that when I want to practice without the subtitles, I can turn them off. It's p
    9 points
  19. This is relatively new as the Microsoft's Edge Chromium browser was only released to the public a few months ago, and I haven't seen it mentioned here yet. Microsoft's new Edge browser can read aloud Chinese pages and pdfs (open in the browser), and you also have impressive new AI voices, can tweak the speeds, can change voices and practice reading alongside listening. You can also use Read Aloud in Word but not sure whether the Online voices are there yet. This page explains all : Use Learning Tools in the Edge browser - Office Support (microsoft.com) Try it, have it re
    9 points
  20. Last year's goal reflection: One of my goals last year was to get my chinese 驾照, and boy did I just squeak that one in. As of Xmas eve of last year, I am now a licensed driver here in China! It took about 3 mo. of studying with 驾考宝典, 5 attempts, and plenty of times pestering my Chinese friends, but I did it in Chinese. I scored a 90, which means I just barely hit the 通过线. But boy, if I got a point for each time someone told me to just take it in English, I would've passed just on that alone. This year: Goal for this year is to finally get around to passing hsk 5 as well a
    9 points
  21. Interesting idea. Just wanted to note that my experience of HelloTalk is completely different from yours. Background: I live in the US and have been studying Chinese as a hobby for almost 4 years (4 year anniversary is January!) I went through a period of time this year where HelloTalk was a major part of my study routine. I wanted to try to have some form of speaking practice every day, so if I didn't have a class that day, I would find someone on HelloTalk to talk to. My process was the following: 1. Make a post on HelloTalk asking if anyone w
    9 points
  22. My primary hobby is badminton. More than forty years in the game. I take photos of professionals in international tournaments , undertaken coaching qualifications, teach, compete in competitions. It’s not full time. I have the respect of players who have played at the top level including Olympics. We get along very well. I always wanted to talk to more players. Many players are Mandarin speakers. Learning mandarin helps me communicate with players from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Hobbies are lifelong. I get invited to go to China because of badminton. It’s a pity I don’t ha
    9 points
  23. Wow boy, a crazy year for me. Living and working in Hefei, Anhui, I had co-workers talking about the outbreak in neighboring Wuhan, which I didn't think of much going back to the US for Chinese New year. I was interviewing for a new job in the US while this all went down in January, and I was flying back early February after the New Year to finish my two weeks and clear out my apartment. I kept reassuring everyone in the US that there is no way they would close down the Wuhan area since the population size was like closing down the Midwest in the US (I was very, very wrong). They t
    9 points
  24. I’m not an expert because I’m still around HSK 5 level and decided not to follow the HSK route anymore. I felt unmotivated after I finished HSK 4 because I couldn’t string simple sentences, couldn’t understand most of TV shows, podcast and unable to read native materials. My listening and reading have improved a lot in the last year and my speaking even though still awful but compared to where I was in 2019 has improved a little. I personally think apps and textbooks start to get redundant around this level because you want to be exposed to as much native materials (or close to) as possible as
    8 points
  25. I think this type of advice is helpful if and only if you've already learned the Chinese grammar patterns in question. Some relevant patterns here: Degree complement Expressing "even" with "lian" and "dou" Expressing "about to happen" with "le"
    8 points
  26. Well first of all, everyone has their own learning preferences, so what works for one learner might not be good for another. I know some people will disagree, but I found it unhelpful to try and learn radicals first, or at least learning them on their own. They don't have consistent "translations" and knowing what they're called in Chinese isn't helpful unless maybe you're advanced. You can't actually use many of them on their own. I found that I became familiar with them over time... some of them are very common (part 2, part 3) and they are easy to recognise just th
    8 points
  27. This one is a bit of a complex case. I actually had to revisit a lot of the research on these characters to answer this question (and to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes in the dictionary entries), and I'm going to end up rewriting some of the dictionary entries for 尚 and 堂 just to make them more clear. These were actually some of the very first entries we wrote, 6 years ago or so. Short story: 堂 is 尚 (sound) + 土 (meaning). The fact that 尚's original meaning had to do with halls doesn't automatically make it a semantic component, because it had lost that meaning by the time 尚+土
    8 points
  28. “A chord is like a family.” A video where I teach beginner jazz harmony in Chinese. https://youtu.be/qrq5dHundbc
    8 points
  29. Its that time of year once again, checking in to update on my 2020 progress. Its been a very strange year for all of us, and particularly so considering I'm back in the uk preparing for some new mutated COVID-20 uk lockdown nearly a year after getting trapped in Hubei with the mystery Wuhan virus. Bizarre... Anyway, onto how I did this year. 1) I managed to learn around 50 Tang poems off by heart, and it has really blown me away just how useful this has become for understanding wordplay and feeling in everyday Chinese, but especially so when watching TV dramas, where th
    8 points
  30. 1) This year I added and learnt 1,300 word flashcards (probably learnt a few hundred additional words outside of flashcards). 2) Learnt 300 new characters, for a total of 3500. 3) Probably read 500k to a million characters via novels. Not as much as I hoped but I still feel like my reading skills improved a fair bit, maybe from watching so many TV shows. 4) Watched loads of TV shows (watched something everyday). Diversified what I watched to include lots of new genres like 推理剧,盗墓剧,古装剧 etc. 5) Finally, the most important thing I did for my Chinese
    8 points
  31. I thought I would write a brief update on my progress: Here I am happy with my progress. I am probably averaging 4-5 episodes a day. I never listen to the whole episode, but rather just shadow the dialogue and "expansion" sentences. I feel my tones and overall smoothness when speaking are getting much better. I pretty much stopped doing this around March/April. I realised watching TV dramas is a subtle way of procrastinating. I believe at my level I can invest my time better. So, I started TheChairmansBao. The
    8 points
  32. Dear fellow Chinese learners, I just wanted to point out an uplifting trend I have noticed in my own personal journey, which I hope may be applicable to you guys. Chinese, and learning Chinese as an activity, for me, has continued to get more and more fun. The more you know, the easier it is to keep studying, and the more joy you get out of going a bit deeper. Point being, the more I have improved over the years, the easier it has been me to think, oh I will sit down and learn this today! (As opposed to when i started, it was like homework/a chore that I had to force
    8 points
  33. Yes. The difficulty is that in all European languages I'm familiar with, we count in groups of three zeroes (thousand, million, billion etc) while in Chinese you count in groups of four zeroes (万,亿,兆等). Since this is really hard to re-calculate on the fly in your head, you run into difficulties. Some people can probably get fluent in this area, I think one could with simply lots of practice. I'm not fluent, so what I do: - If interpreting (or listening for a test or such things), write down the number without thinking and then go back and add dots (or commas if that's what you
    8 points
  34. Hahaha, you'll love Japan then. Only Chinese people will say something like that. Japanese people will expect you to have to do "it", no exceptions for being a foreigner. Striving to become Chinese is more like an option in China, but it's absolutely necessary to strive to be Japanese in Japan if you're anything more than a short term visitor. After the first day when everyone is super excited to meet you and everything, expect everyone to hate you as you do everything wrong and inconvenience everyone... until you manage to learn Japanese culture, which is honestly a little hard. The point is,
    8 points
  35. Update: so one more day until freedom! i did my final covid test (just as brutal as the airport) on Tuesday. I will be issued with release papers and test results upon checkout that will allow me to freely travel until my health code turns green. My 社区 in Beijing asked me to fill out another WeChat mini app form that details my return to Beijing - they require me to report my temperature twice a day for 7 days once i'm back in Beijing. I've heard some other 社区s have asked people to quarantine for a further 7 days at home...
    8 points
  36. On my listening marathon, I just finished all lessons of TCB HSK 2 (~975). Since April 4th (I estimate) I listened actively for around 100 hours. Each lesson is around 1:30 min and I listened to almost every lesson at least 2-5 times. I did very little reading and no speaking. So, with the HSK 1 lessons I listened to in March, this amounts to approximately 200 hours of TCB listening since early March and around 2000 lessons total. There were several things I noticed: I become more "certain" of tones. So, there is less wondering if e.g. 圣诞 is 2 fourth tones or so
    7 points
  37. Like many on this forum, I did a fair amount of Chinese reading in 2020. Below, I list some of my favorite reading materials from this past year. What are yours? Everything listed here is a webtoon, since I hardly read anything else in Chinese this past year 😥 俺哥来自深山 - A supernatural gag strip about a high school girl who reunites with her long-lost brother after he spent the past 10 years studying with a Taoist priest. No other comic, Chinese or otherwise, made me laugh more in 2020. 未来的古董店 - Extremely atmospheric and meticulously drawn horror manhua about a famil
    7 points
  38. The former domain hanban.org is now being redirected to http://www.chinese.cn/page/#/pcpage/mainpage in line with the general re-branding that's going on. Hanban is now "Center for Language Education and Cooperation", and who knows what's happening to Confucius Institutes after the disastrous last couple of years in terms of PR. I emailed all the CI centres in the UK (because I happened to have their email addresses) to ask them about what's happening, and here is the first response, from Lancaster.
    7 points
  39. To improve my listening skills, I decided to listen to all TCB lessons. Starting with HSK 1 lessons (approx. 900) as extensive listening practice, I just completed all HSK 1 lessons in TCB. The great thing about TCB is that they do not cling to the HSK levels rigidly. So, even though the lessons were supposed to be HSK 1, all HSK 1 lessons combined contained about 2687 unique words and 1418 unique characters (see stats below). The great thing about listening to them was that they were really fairly easy, but almost every lesson had 1-2 words I did not know
    7 points
  40. I'm a little late to the party, but here's mine. In some ways, 2021 looks like being a very depressing year for me. I'm back in the UK, living with my parents, no job, and not much chance of any of that changing due to the constant covid lockdowns. But on the bright side, it's not often in life that you get to be "free" like this, with 24 hours a day to arrange exactly as you please. I have a decent amount of savings and am getting enough unemployment benefit from the government not to have to use any of it, so I don't have any financial stresses. I even get on well with my family,
    7 points
  41. That explanation for 王 is correct. It was an axe blade, a symbol of power. The explanation for 主 (a candle) is an old one, which comes from the Shuowen Jiezi 說文解字. Unfortunately it's not correct. 主 was originally a depiction of a memorial tablet used for sacrifices to the dead. That meaning (memorial tablet for sacrifices) was extended to mean "god of a locale", then further extended to "leader", "ruler", then "prominent", etc. The two characters are entirely unrelated, despite their surface-level resemblance in the modern script. I try not to plug our stuff
    7 points
  42. @Jan Finster Must say I find that a really odd approach, but each to their own. None of the words is obscure and rural life might not be what interests you but it's hardly a niche aspect of the culture.
    7 points
  43. Hello everybody, I have been reading in this forum for some months, and I think this thread is a good occasion for a first posting. I have studied Japanese about 30 years ago (and forgotten most of it), and when Corona came I was searching for some online MOOC to brush it up. But since I could not find good Japanese MOOCS but lots of Chinese ones I decided to start something new. So far I have finished "Chinese for Beginners" at coursera.org which was Pinyin-only; then "Chinese for HSK1", and now I am in week 4 of "Chinese for HSK2". My plans for 2021: Practise with Anki 30 m
    7 points
  44. 2020 has been the year I finally got back into the Chinese. It's also the year I regularly visited this site again on a daily basis and it's been an inspiration. I ended up enrolling in a distance learning 300 level paper at Massey University; https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/programme-course/course.cfm?course_code=241305&course_offering_id=1267498 I ended up with a B+ and was less than 1% away from an A-. If I'm being honest I didn't deserve an A- but it's nevertheless been good to get the whole process going again. COVID hasn't been too bad for us over her
    7 points
  45. My project for the year will be learning 繁体字 so for my year goals: study 简化总表 (list of character simplifications) add 繁体字 to all Anki cards, existing and new read 1-2 textbooks in 繁体字 start consuming some news written in 繁体字 Goals for every month: read 1/2 book write one article by hand and correct it together with a teacher Every week: watch some TV show episode(s) or/and some movie(s) listen to at least 1,5 hours of podcast (故事FM while cooking is a good combo for me) 1-2 Italki classes, but less free talking than this ye
    7 points
  46. Beijing Helicopter Chases Part II: The Chinese Dragon Family.
    7 points
  47. I've been there. I was in Hong Kong, though. I was awarded a scholarship targeted at international students to study in a Chinese department from 2010-2012, after two years of Chinese study at the college level. As a naive 23 year old, even though it was in Hong Kong I thought it would be like 2 years of Chinese bootcamp where I would have an abundance of Chinese classes as well as language and culture classes. When I got there, I found something much different, and that something was "not much at all". HK grad students are like UK grad students - coursework takes a b
    7 points
  48. Lately, I've been binge-watching the second season of Big Band (乐队的夏天). This is a battle of the bands reality show featuring a mix of established and up-and-coming rock bands. In my expert opinion (as an avid watcher of Chinese music reality shows), this is the best-in-class of this sub-genre of reality TV. If you are into music and Chinese then you should just go check it out now. You can either watch it in the iQiyi app or through the English-language site https://iq.com (link to episode one). The series isn't available on YouTube. Recent evolution of music reality television
    7 points
  49. In hospital? All the best @Saxondale! Well I'm getting all the travel anecdotes without actually going anywhere... I arrived in Shanghai on Monday, but for the first 6 days of QT my suitcase was sat in Heathrow airport, waiting for the next flight out of London. It had all my comforts, snacks, medication and most importantly COFFEE in it. It finally arrived on the first Friday. Yesterday's drama was "how to clean up a mercury spillage". They gave us all mercury thermometers to report our temperatures twice a day, and I dropped mine. It broke and the bulb to
    7 points
  50. This thread has come full circle. Mine: 斑妃竹, also known as 斑竹 and 湘妃竹, meaning 'dappled bamboo'. ('Gevlekte bamboe' in Dutch.) The more poetic names are because the consorts of 大舜 cried when he died and their tears dappled the bamboo. 斑竹 is also used as an internet synonym (or what is the word for that, intentional 错别字) for 版主. All this according to Wikipedia.
    7 points
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