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Archive for December, 2008

Airports and travel, pt. 3 Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

When you arrive at an international airport in China, there’s no doubt that you’ll be going through 海关(customs) and you’ll have to 填表(fill out a table) which will determine your status in China.  Also, if you’re carrying a lot of items, then you’ll have to 申报(declare items) based on their 价值(value).  You’ll undoubtedly have to…

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Use of “xian” Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

There’s a word you can use to change the tone of a lot of situations, and that word is 先(first, xian1).  You can use it in a lot of situations to soften your tone.  Contrast the stark and brusk nature of 别(contraction of 不要) with the tender and mild nature of 先不要.  Take a look…

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Airports and travel, pt. 2 Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

Before, we looked at some terms used while traveling.  Here, let’s go into a bit more detail about some other words we can use.  When you arrive at the airport, you may have to check some of your 行李(bags), but you can still carry a 手提包 , but make sure when you pack beforehand to…

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Airports and travel pt. 1 Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

Going to the 机场(airport) can be a fun adventure, and here are some terms to help you along the way!  When you get to the right 航站(terminal), make sure you have your 机票 (tickets), and you may need to 托运 (check)some of your bags.  Take your carryon items through 安检 (security) and head on over…

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Describing People You Know pt. 1 (simple terms) Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

There are many ways to describe people using Chinese.  Some ways use 4-character idioms, and in other cases you can simply use 2-word phrases.  Here are a couple of my favorites which I have encountered during my time thus far in China.  A person who doesn’t keep promises very well is referred to as being…

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Import/Export on a Small Scale Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

Recently, I did a little bit of small-scale 进出口 (import and export) involving 化妆品 (makeup products).  What I noticed while in China was that 睫毛膏 (mascara), 口红(lipstick) 粉底液(foundation)  from companies such as 兰蔻(Lancome) were so pricey that you could say they were 宰人 (ripoff).  One example would be the price difference between one cream which…

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Making a Good Impression Posted by on Dec 31, 2008

I am the only foreigner in my district in Beijing.  I say this for no reason but to emphasize that I can’t exactly blend in, and that making a good first impression is of high importance.  Below is a story of something that happened not long after I moved in, and I even heard people…

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