Online Chinese dictionary: finding the right one

Post by Eva  

For the past couple of months Chinese learners throughout the world have been mourning the death of one of the most used and loved online Chinese dictionaries (did I mention it was free?) by the name of Nciku. Yes, for a couple of months before being shut down the site has been acting up,  yes, it Read More…

I speak Chinese. But which?

Post by Eva  

I am sure that all of our readers are already aware of the fact that the term ‘Chinese’ (language) refers to more than one variant of the language. Usually, people refer to standard Chinese 普通话 (PǔTōngHuà), also known as Mandarin Chinese, which is the official language in Mainland China and Taiwan, is one of four Read More…

Let’s Talk about Chinese Cinema

Post by Eva  

The majority of movies featured here were created by one of the members of the so-called fifth generation of Chinese movie directors. The five generations correspond to historical periods: silent films; first sound films during the 1920s and 1930s; films from 1949 through the Cultural Revolution; films after the Cultural Revolution; and the fifth generation, Read More…

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a match

Post by Eva  

As we are approaching the Spring Festival, many young Chinese are dreading their visit home. The long travel, the rigid traditions with no room for rest and, of course, all the nosy personal questions that one would rather avoid. Particularly afflicted are single women over the age of thirty. Though they might be successful in Read More…

Chinese New Year Series III

Post by Eva  

In our previous post we already discussed such esoteric terms as heavenly stems and terrestrial branches, but I am afraid there is more to come. In order to understand the many roles that the traditional calendar has in China, as well as understand the rules that govern how the calendar is set up, we will Read More…

You ask; we answer!

Post by Eva  

Recently, one of our students asked us this question: “Chinese grammar is proving to be a challenge! The difference between the subject of the verb and the object is often not clear to me. For example, I have seen both the following as greetings when you first meet someone… Jian dao wo hen gaoxing. Jian Read More…

Chinese New Year Series II

Post by Eva  

The basic unit of the Chinese calendar is 日 (Rì) which means ‘the sun’ and we translate it as ‘a day’. A day was defined as a period of time which involves the exchange between the light and the darkness. The astronomers then had to decide when exactly should a day start and end . Read More…

Chinese New Year Series I

Post by Eva  

We are approaching the Chinese Spring Festival (春节 ChūnJié) or the Chinese New Year. The coming year, celebrated on the 19th of February, will be the  year of the goat (羊 Yáng). 19th February must sound like an odd date to celebrate the beginning of something, but let’s see what are the reasons behind it. Read More…

Chinese tourists

Post by Eva  

面子 (MiànZi) – ‘face’. A person’s manzi is very important in China, but so is the face of the whole country. I’m sure you have witnessed a news event where a Chinese official was ferociously defending his country – whatever the charge was – and saying that instead, each country should take care of their Read More…

Things we love about China

Post by Eva  

Whether you are just going to China for a short trip, or whether you are already a China veteran, I’m certain you will be able to relate to at least some of the points listed below. We would also love to hear what you love about China. Drop us a line in the comments section! Read More…

Rich in China and abroad

Post by Eva  

Today China’s borders are wide open and getting a passport is not a hassle anymore. This resulted in a huge wave of outbound tourism, with more than 100 million Chinese crossing the borders last year. Most of these, of course, return home. But there is also a growing number of those who choose to stay: Read More…

Pollution, pollution!

Post by Eva  

Pollution, pollution! Wear a gas mask and a veil. Then you can breathe, Long as you don’t inhale! (Tom Lehrer) China has been stamped as the world’s biggest polluter for a while now – although it’s still far from being number 1 in per capita basis (ranking 78th as of 2013). For a long time Read More…

Back to basics: 5 Chinese phrases I wish I would know from the start

Post by Eva  

Back to basics: 5 phrases I wish I would know from the start 1. Getting around When walking down the streets of China, no matter how confident your walk and no matter how good your Chinese is, your looks will always betray you and in the eyes of Chinese you shall forever remain a foreigner. Read More…

Driving in China: Do you Dare?

Post by Eva  

I recently read an article that said that the Chinese government is going to make the process of obtaining a driver’s license easier and more convenient for the Chinese citizens. I must admit that my first reaction after reading that, was that of fear. Let me explain this to those of you who haven’t been Read More…

Open Sesame

Post by Eva  

What have you heard of the e-commerce giant Alibaba? Launched in the way back time (at least in the Internet terms) of 1999, Alibaba has become the world’s largest business-to-business marketplace. Among others, Alibaba owns Taobao (the Chinese version of eBay) Alipay (the Chinese Paypal), and Yahoo! China (the Chinese version of… you know what Read More…

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