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A Chinese Book Review: Chronicle of a Blood Merchant Posted by on Sep 7, 2020

许三观卖血记 (Xǔ Sānguān Mài Xiě Jì) is a 1995 novel by the Chinese writer Yu Hua. Translated to English by the name Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, the book tells the story of Xu Sanguan who finds a way to augment his meager salary. A way that changes his life. Xu Sanguan lives in the city…

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Qixi Festival: China’s Romantic Holiday Posted by on Aug 25, 2020

Today marks the most romantic holiday on the Chinese calendar. In China, the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar is known as the Qixi Festival (七夕节 qī xì jié). This ancient Chinese festival goes by many names, including: the Night of Sevens, the Magpie Festival, and Qiqiao (乞巧 qǐ qiǎo). Many…

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Using Children’s Fairy Tales to Practice Chinese Posted by on Aug 17, 2020

When I first arrived in China, more than a decade ago, I had a hobby: visiting book stores. I used to stand in awe in front of shelves full of books written in this beautiful ancient language. I stood there and wished one day to be able to open any of these books and read…

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The Drama with TikTok Posted by on Aug 12, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’re probably familiar with TikTok. Known as Douyin (抖音 dǒu yīn) in Chinese, the popular video-sharing social network has been making a lot of headlines these days as the US government is considering banning it. Before we address the drama with TikTok, let’s answer an important question…

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Chinese Vocabulary for the Tencent vs. Lao Gan Ma Case Posted by on Aug 3, 2020

A much-discussed drama involving the Chinese tech giant Tencent and the well-known Chili sauce brand Lao Gan Ma erupted last June. Lao Gan Ma (老干妈 Lǎo gàn mā) is one of the most favored chili sauces in China. The company was founded by an illiterate woman from a mountain village who built her small noodles restaurant into a…

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Summer Fun in Beijing Parks Posted by on Jul 29, 2020

Summer Fun in Beijing Parks

Summer in Beijing is very fun (北京的夏天很有趣 Běi jīng de xià tiān hěn yǒu qù). Sure it’s a bit hot, but there are plenty of ways to cool down. Plus, if you can’t make it to a body of water, you can always just roll your shirt up over your belly and rock the now…

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Chinese Vocabulary for the (Postponed) 2020 Olympic Games Posted by on Jul 20, 2020

The Olympic Games (奥运会 ào yùn huì) are the world’s biggest celebration of sport. More than 200 nations participate in the foremost international sporting event. For a couple of weeks, people from all over the world engage together in fair competitions and athletic skills. The international festival aims to promote solidarity and respect, and to rejoice…

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