September is gone. In this month’s edition: Chinese public opinion on Mao Zedong & Kim Jong-Un, successful Chinese immersion in Britain, sex education in China, parenting – yes or no, Chinese phonetics master class, lockdown in Chengdu and cycling in Changsha.
What do the Chinese think of Mao Zedong?
A bit of modern Chinese history here: Mao Zedong. What do Chinese people think about the great chairman that founded the PRC? Li Can offers his perspective on the question. I disagree on several points, especially his positive remarks about the “great leap forward” during which millions of people starved to death and which still isn’t discussed openly. His conclusion that Mao laid the foundations for future prosperity suggests that all the pain and suffering somehow weren’t in vain, but eventually led to a brighter future. I guess it’s uncomfortable to admit the opposite, namely that under Mao much of China’s prosperity was destroyed and its economical rise was delayed. Anyway, this is HSK 5 / 6 stuff.
zāo dàole pòhài
(citizens) were persecuted
shèhuì tíngzhì bù qián
society was stagnating
qī fēn gōng sān fēnguò
the statement by Deng Xiaoping about Mao that his legacy was 70 percent good (七分功), 30 percent bad (三分过)
to calm things down
to cover (something up)
engage in industrialization
build the atomic bomb
What The Chinese Think Of Kim Jong Un | ASIAN BOSS
A pre-covid street interview in Shanghai from Asian Boss. The question: what do Chinese people think about Kim Jong-Un? North Korea is an outcast in the international community. If I were to make a list of the worst autocratic governments on this planet, North Korea would probably be number one. As far as I’m concerned it’s hell on earth. But what do Chinese people think about the current leader, what do they know about him? After all, Kim is their neighbor and he’s depending heavily on their help. The interview takes place after Kim’s first official visit to China in 2018.
Kim Jong Un
tā xiǎngdédào wǒmen de bāngzhù
He wants our help
yǒu nénglì de rén
aid North Korea
wǒmen bù quēshǎo yīgè zhèyàng de péngyǒu
we don’t lack a friend like that
Chinese Podcast #10: British Guy Wins a Chinese Girl’s Heart with Perfect Chinese
The first time I listen to the “Dashu” (the Chinese word for uncle) podcast. In this episode, they interview the British medical student Will who learned Chinese during lockdown and has reached a near-native level like we saw before (Chinese vocabulary notes # 10). He tells us more about his Chinese language journey and why he decided to study medicine. 55 Minutes of relaxed conversation, with Chinese subtitles.
Does China have sex education?
Eileen, Kirk and Da Er, discuss Chinese thinking about sex and sex education. Are sex and sexual development a taboo in Chinese society? And what about all these sex shops in Chinese cities that sell their goods quite openly. Great topic and discussion by Mandarin Corner.
menstruation / period
menstruation / period
wǒ yǒu yīgè hěn shēnkè de yìnxiàng
I have a very deep impression
shame / to feel ashamed
humiliation / to feel humiliated
duì nǚshēng yǒu hǎogǎn
to be fond of girls
to have a crush on a boy
jiǎng huáng duànzi
to tell dirty jokes
Why a month of parenting has taught me I don’t want kids (at the moment)!
Do you want children? It seems Ella found the answer by taking care of a little boy for one month. I think it’s a good thing to reflect this kind of fundamental questions early on. You can’t plan everything, but at least you can try to make conscious decisions in favor or against something. And it’s even better when you’ve experienced what it’s like to take care of little children firsthand.
yào bùyào zuò fùmǔ
to be parents
gǎnwù de biànhuà
change in perception
bù chǎo bù nào
meaning a baby or toddler that doesn’t make noise or annoy you from time to time
yòu kǔ yòu lèi
bitter and tired
ràng rén kǒng yù
make people afraid of raising children
zìyóu shíjiān suōxiǎole
Free time shrinks
wǒmen de shēnghuó fāngshì huì fāshēng hěn dà de biànhuà
Our way of life will change a lot
Laoma Chris’s PERFECT Chinese Learning Secrets | How to Pass HSK 5 in 1 Year
Chris Ma reached a state of fluency in merely one year’s time, taking Chinese classes during his gap year in Beijing, but – according to his Chinese teachers – he kept messing up the tones, intonation and pronunciation in general. In this interview, he shares his Chinese learning experience, which methods and strategies allowed him to truly progress and how he elevated his pronunciation to his current level. Highly interesting and completely subtitled.
Ǒurán de jīhuì
in theory, theoretically
to advance by leaps and bounds
qítā de wàiyǔ tūfēiměngjìn
other foreign languages advance by leaps and bounds
rìcháng de jiāoliú
běijīng de kǒuyīn
to receive a blow (to be shocked by something)
bù zhīdào wèntí cúnzài
didn’t know the problem existed
méiyǒu yìshí dào
didn’t realize something
to correct his pronunciation
yǎngài diào wǒ shuō bu zhǔn
to cover up (his) non-standard pronunciation
to regress (instead of making progress)
zònghé de xuéxí
integrated (comprehensive, all-round) learning
18 days – lockdown in Chengdu
Peng shares his experience on the 18th day of self-isolating in his apartment in Chengdu. Hope he’s doing better now and this madness soon be over for good.
quarantine at home
gè zhǒng xiāoxī mǎntiānfēi
All kinds of news “are flying around”
to take measures
out of stock
rumor (that there will be a lockdown)
refute the rumor
Daily Chinese Expression 179「 骨子里 」
Da Peng explains the meaning and use of 骨子里. Really great listening material.
Gǔzilǐ shì zhōngguó rén
Chinese at heart
yòng lái bǐyù
used as a metaphor
zài yīgè rén de nèixīn lǐ
in one’s heart
wúfǎ gǎibiàn de dōngxī
something that cannot be changed
yìsi jiùshì shuō
means to say, in other words
Cycling in Changsha
Last but not least, a little cycling tour with Shenglan in Changsha. I used to love biking in Chinese cities, always an adventure and lots of scenery to take in.
Qí xíng de lùxiàn
chóngfù de huàmiàn
wǒ wéiyī de yùndòng
my only sport
too lazy to go out
couch potato (male)
couch potato (female)
night snack market stall
to eat snacks from a night market
That’s it for September. Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you back next month with more Chinese content!