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Archive for November, 2011

Kashgar (喀什) Posted by on Nov 29, 2011

Located roughly 250 km from the borders of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and  Pakistan, Kashgar or 喀什 (Kāshí) is a border city of approximately million people located in western Xinjiang Province. The surrounding countryside is almost all desert, with average temperatures sea-sawing between extremely frigid colds and scorching heat (sometimes both happening within 24 hours). It is…

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Qingdao (Part Two) Posted by on Nov 29, 2011

After a fun day getting settled in Qingdao, we headed out to hit some of the major attractions of the city. We visited St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Protestant Church, the Governor’s mansion, and another beach, before we headed out to the main reason for our visit to the coastal city – the Qingado Beer Festival…

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Chinese Love – Part Six Posted by on Nov 28, 2011

After the Three Letters and Six Etiquettes, the bride’s dowry, the installing of the bridal bed, the hair combing, and the groom’s struggle to fetch his own bride, it’s finally time for an actual wedding ceremony. The physical movement to the home of the groom’s family symbolizes the transfer of the bride from her family…

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The Taklamakan Desert (塔克拉玛干沙漠) Posted by on Nov 27, 2011

The Taklamakan Desert or 塔克拉玛干沙漠 (Tǎkèlāmǎgān Shāmò), is the world’s 17th largest desert (and one of the largest sandy deserts), running north-south throughout western Xinjiang, Mongolia and even parts of Russia and Afghanistan. It is bordered by the KunLun mountains to the south and the Tianshan (later post) to the north. Taklamakan is a cold desert, elevated more than…

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Qingdao (Part One) Posted by on Nov 23, 2011

After a solid summer back home in the US, we got back to Beijing only to head out again two days later, this time to the coastal city of Qingdao (青岛). On the Yellow Sea, this famous Chinese city still shows its German influence, and it is known mostly for its namesake – Tsingtao Beer…

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Tongue Twisters (绕口令) Posted by on Nov 22, 2011

On the first day of study abroad in Beijing, my Chinese teachers taught our class this little tongue twister to help us work with our tones: 老师是四十四,是不是?(lǎoshī shì sìshísì, shì bú shì) Translation: The Teacher is 44, no (is this true/true of false)? Why this seemingly innocuous sentence? Was it really all that important to…

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The Bǎ Construction (把) Posted by on Nov 20, 2011

With few prepositions in the Chinese language, adding depth to your conversations is often difficult for non-native speakers.  That’s why learning the bǎ construction (把) is a helpful way to improve your sentence formation and add grammatical complexity to your conversations. Instead of sticking to basic (and often boring) Subject-Verb-Object sentence patterns, the ba construction gives native…

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