The end of year is drawing near. I hope you had a good and productive one so far and managed to stay positive, despite of the state our world is currently in. Here are some more Chinese vocabulary notes, a double dose of omicron or 奥密克戎 included.
How did I learn English well enough to become a lawyer in California?
I’m not Chinese and I’m not studying English either, but I got some useful tips from this video (with transcript). What’s more, there’s a load of vocabulary on language learning in it. Maymay is a Chinese lawyer based in the US who reached a high proficiency in English and speaks Chinese quite fast. Basically, she’s advocating old-school reading and writing, combined with speaking. Of course not just blindly reading away, but only picking stuff that’s relevant to you.
Some of the tactics discussed in this video remind me of Chinese class in China. The basic procedure for each chapter was always the same:
- Listen to the text and vocabulary (like 100x), discuss it
- Read, read aloud, read fast (our teacher would give us a time limit)
- Do exercises, role-playing games, dictation (good old 听写!)
- Write your own “essay” based on the text (what she calls 默写 in this video)
Although, back in the day in China, this kind of “textbook-centered” learning made me feel like a school kid, however, it did work to some extent. At the end of each chapter, I had the feeling I learned about everything the authors wanted me to know. I absorbed all the important information. I had invested a serious amount of time completing the chapter and practiced all four language skills. To do this outside of a class situation by self-studying requires the highest standard of discipline though.
|遇到生僻词||yùdào shēngpì cí||Encounter rare words|
|背词汇书||bèi cíhuì shū||Memorize vocabulary book|
|背单词||bèi dāncí||Memorize words|
|提高自己的词汇量||tígāo zìjǐ de cíhuì liàng||Improve your vocabulary|
|通过上下文的理解||tōngguò shàngxiàwén de lǐjiě||Understanding through context|
|在一个自然的语境中||zài yīgè zìrán de yǔjìng zhōng||In a natural context (语境 )|
|在这个新闻的标题里||zài zhège xīnwén de biāotí lǐ||In this news headline|
|猜测一下这个词大概的意思||cāicè yīxià zhège cí dàgài de yìsi||Guess what the word means|
She also mentions rote learning in alphabetical order as a particularly ineffective practice for language learning. Surprisingly, this approach must be quite common. Many HSK vocabulary books are in alphabetical order. I prepared my HSK 4 test in China by rote learning all vocabulary from A to Z, because I knew no better. I couldn’t agree more that this is not the way to actual fluency.
|上下文阅读理解的能力||shàngxiàwén yuèdú lǐjiě de nénglì||contextual reading comprehension|
|固定搭配||gùdìng dāpèi||fixed collocation|
|跟着MP3朗读||gēnzhe MP3 lǎngdú||read aloud with MP3|
|默写||mòxiě||write from memory|
|巩固你自己的记忆||gǒnggù nǐ zìjǐ de jìyì||consolidate your own memory|
Chinese top medical expert offers first statement regarding “Omicron”
The top Chinese medical expert for respiratory diseases 钟南山 (Zhong Nanshan) talked to CCTV about the newest SARS-Covid virus mutation named Omicron. The German media have been hyping this topic for days as I write this. That’s why 钟南山’s calm demeanor is absolutely refreshing in my eyes. He tells his Chinese viewers what is known about the newest variant, namely next to nothing. He cannot say if Omicron is more harmful than any of the other previous mutations, it might be more contagious. That’s about it.
|奥密克戎||Ào mì kè róng||Omicron|
|变种病毒||biànzhǒng bìngdú||Variant virus / mutant virus|
|奥米克戎变种病毒似乎更容易传播||ào mǐ kè róng biànzhǒng bìngdú sìhū gèng róngyì chuánbò||the Omicron variant seems to spread more easily.|
|疫苗对于Omicron的保护力||yìmiáo duìyú Omicron de bǎohù lì||The protective power of the vaccine against Omicron|
VOA: Is Omicron worth panic?
Contrary to the previous video, VOA presents twenty minutes of
more or less well informed speculation about the nature of the “new variant of interest”. I’ll just share the video here for reasons of historical documentation. It’s a perfect example of hyperventilating media coverage. A comment summarizes the answer to the main question nicely: “If you want to panic, you can panic; if you don’t want to panic, you can not panic.”
|感染病例||gǎnrǎn bìnglì||Infection cases|
|引发广泛担忧||yǐnfā guǎngfàn dānyōu||Cause widespread concern|
|实施旅行限制||shíshī lǚxíng xiànzhì||Implement travel restrictions|
|采取防范措施||cǎiqǔ fángfàn cuòshī||Take precautions|
|值得恐慌||zhídé kǒnghuāng||Worth panic|
Is China’s real estate bubble about to burst?
This is a compilation of short videos of people relating their bad experiences buying property in China. I don’t know what to make of this. The situation seems to be the exact opposite of what I’m seeing over here. In contrast to Germany at the moment where property prices continue to rise, in China they are falling – or at least so it is claimed in this video. This means that people who recently bought property to live in or as an investment are loosing money or overpay in case they still have to pay off the debt. Say you bought the apartment for 500.000 Renminbi a year ago and now its worth has dropped 20 percent to 400.000. That’s not something that you intended to happen.
|亏了30万||kuīle 30 wàn||lost 300.000|
|方正||fāngzhèng||right, the right layout (看的时候，我们就觉得这个房子方正)|
|小露台||xiǎo lùtái||small terrace|
|烂尾楼||lànwěi lóu||unfinished building|
|花光了我们所有的积蓄||huā guāngle wǒmen suǒyǒu de jīxù||Spent all our savings|
|房子降价降得非常厉害||fángzi jiàngjià jiàng dé fēicháng lìhài||The price of the house has dropped drastically|
|从A跌到B||cóng A diē dào B||(price) dropped from A to B|
|说起来都是泪||shuō qǐlái dōu shì lèi||idiom, talking about it makes me want to cry|
|交物业费||jiāo wùyè fèi||pay the property fee|
|停车费||tíngchē fèi||parking fee|
Visiting the countryside of Shanghai
This month’s overview wouldn’t be complete without a Afu video. Here’s a quite interesting one about Shanghai’s countryside. Amazing to see how long it takes to leave the urban jungle of Shanghai and visit one of the villages on edge of the city. What’s particularly interesting in this episode is Afu’s struggling with the local dialect, although he gets by extremely well. It’s just one of these occasions where you get reminded no matter how splendid your command of Chinese, you should never underestimate the lingual variety of China.
|国际大都||Guójì dàdū||international metropole|
|住在郊区||zhù zài jiāoqū||live in the suburbs|
|赶上车||gǎn shàng chē||catch the bus|
|太偏僻了||tài piānpìle||too remote|
|讲究||jiǎngjiù||to be picky about something|
|村庄的老干部||cūnzhuāng de lǎogànbù||old cadre of the village|
That’s it for this month and 2021. I really hope and pray for a better 2022 without travel restrictions so our two-year-old daughter can finally visit her Chinese grandparents. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope to see you in ’22! : )