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Archive for April, 2010

A Phrase to Avoid Posted by on Apr 24, 2010

Sometimes when you’re speaking Chinese- especially when you’re at the beginning or intermediate level- it’s easy to get caught up in trying to express your meaning by directly translating your thoughts from English without fully considering what the listener understands. Here is an example of where that can go awry: I once was with a…

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Spring Cleaning Posted by on Apr 23, 2010

Taking a break from urban transport discussion, I’d like to talk about cleaning up the apartment.  If you’ve found that your 木板 (mu4ban3 – floorboards)  are caked with 灰尘 (hui1chen2), it may be time to break out the 拖布 (tuo1bu4 – mop) and start to clean your abode.  You’ll need your best 海绵 (hai3mian2 –…

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Urban Transport in China pt. 2 Smart Cards Posted by on Apr 22, 2010

When you’re riding public transport in China, you may go some time without seeing people using 现金 (xian4jin1 – cash), opting instead for their 智能卡 (zhi4neng2ka3 – smart card), maybe just 刷 (shua1 – swipe) their 钱包 (qian2bao1 – wallets) without even taking the card out. Where can you get these cards?  In cities that…

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Urban Transport in China, pt. 1 Posted by on Apr 21, 2010

How do people get around Chinese cities, and what does it usually cost? One common method for getting around the city is 出租车 (chu1zu1che1) taxis, but depending on where you are in China, the prices and availability can vary.  The 上海起价 (shang4hai3qi3jia4) Shanghai starting price is 12 RMB.  While in Shenzhen it fluctuates.  Formerly it…

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Getting Grammatical (语法)Who, What, When, Where Posted by on Apr 15, 2010

Many followers of this Blog have requested some basic grammar rules with explanation, so today lets focus on the basics of a sentence: Who (谁 shéi) What (什么 shénme) When (什么时候 shénme shíhou) Where (在哪儿 zàinǎr) *Note Why is not among this list, because it is a little more complicated in terms of grammar* Let’s…

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Tomb Sweeping Festival (清明节) Posted by on Apr 5, 2010

As the Easter holiday weekend passes here in the west, China is already taking part in one of it’s historic, yet newly reinstated holidays: the Qing Ming Jie (清明节)or Tomb Sweeping Festival. While a staple of Taiwanese, Macau and Hong Kong traditions, the 清明节,much like the Tet in Vietnamese culture is a holiday that falls…

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