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China’s Stereotypical Distinction between North and South Posted by on Jul 1, 2019

Whenever Yu Juan, my Yunnanise friend, recalls her time in Beijing she’s pouting. She graduated from a famous university, but didn’t enjoy her stay in the capital city. “The food there is not spicy enough, and the people are so different”, she explains. “Different?”, I ask, and she elaborates: – 北方人脾气凶暴 (běi fāng rén pí…

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Talking About Summer in Chinese Posted by on Jun 20, 2019

Tomorrow is the first day of summer (夏天 – xià tiān). Many students are getting ready to go on summer vacation (暑假 – shǔ jià), so lots of families plan to take a vacation (假期 – jià qī) in the coming months. All over China, people are excited for what the summer months bring. Learn…

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Talking about Smoking in Chinese Posted by on Jun 17, 2019

Smoking (吸烟 xī yān) is a bad habit (坏习惯 huài xí guàn). Cigarettes appear to have originated in Mexico and Central America around the 9th century in the form of reeds and smoking tubes. In the 19th century, the cigarette had crossed into Europe and received the name cigarette (香烟 xiāng yān). Nowadays, the adverse health…

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The Poems of Qu Yuan Posted by on Jun 5, 2019

This Friday is the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 – duān wǔ jié), a traditional holiday that’s celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. While many know this Chinese festival for its exciting dragon boat races, it actually came about to honor a poet named Qu Yuan (屈原 – qū yuán). While we’ve…

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About the Dragon Boat Festival Customs Posted by on Jun 3, 2019

The Dragon Boat Festival is known in Chinese as 端午节 (Duān wǔ jié). It is celebrated every year on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, which falls on June 7 in 2019.      端午节,这个重大节日举国同庆。                Duān wǔ jié, zhè ge zhòng dà jié rì jǔ guó tóng qìng.                The whole nation celebrates…

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The Gaokao – The Most Important Exam in Chinese College Admissions Posted by on May 20, 2019

Next month, millions of high school seniors will take the most important exam (考试 kǎo shì) of their lives – the Chinese National Higher Education Entrance Examination. Shortly known as the 高考 (gāokǎo, higher education exam). The gaokao is the sole criteria for determining university (大学 dà xué) admissions in China. Failure in the gaokao, a…

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7 Must-Know Questions for Eating Out in China Posted by on May 16, 2019

If you’re at a beginner level of Chinese, one of the most intimidating experiences is going out to a local restaurant. You show up to a crowded, noisy place and glance at the menu on the wall. It’s nothing but Chinese characters. The waiter asks you a question, and you have no idea what he…

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