Chinese vocabulary notes (December 2022)

The final edition from 2022: the death of Jiang Zemin, job hunting in Taiwan and the white paper revolution in China. Happy new year to all serious Chinese learners! Keep studying, keep growing!

Reviewing the Jiang Zemin era

Jiang Zemin died November 30th at the age of 96. Chinese journalist Wang Zhi’an evaluates his 13 years in power and contributions to reform and opening up. Everybody in the west is familiar with “old Mao” and Deng Xiaoping, but much less so with Jiang Zemin. So what about this Chinese leader? How will he be remembered? Reviewing Jiang Zemin with Japan-based, Chinese journalist 王志安. Level indication: HSK 5 / 6, with Chinese transcript that can be translated.

完全不敢接受西方的媒体采访了wánquán bù gǎn jiēshòu xīfāng de méitǐ cǎifǎngledare not accept interviews from Western media at all
问尖锐的问题wèn jiānruì de wèntíask tough questions
知识分子zhīshì fēnzǐintellectuals
意识形态yìshí xíngtàiideology
阶级斗争jiējí dòuzhēngclass struggle
实用主义者shíyòng zhǔyì zhěpragmatist
三个代表sān gè dàibiǎothree representatives
把共产党由革命党变成了执政党bǎ gòngchǎndǎng yóu gémìng dǎng biàn chéngle zhízhèng dǎngTransform the Communist Party from a revolutionary party to a ruling party
核心讲的是héxīn jiǎng de shì…The core is / the bottom line is / essentially it means…

Job Hunting in Taiwan – Mandarin Chinese Podcast

What’s it like job hunting in Taiwan? How hard is it to land your first job? This is a rather subjective take on the Taiwanese job market, mostly reflecting personal experience and feelings. 小伊 explains to Abby why he has a difficult time finding a job that suited his personal standards. It features the popular slang word 摆乱, it refers to a certain mentality among young people to be indifferent about pursuing a career and go into energy-saving mode.

Level indication: HSK 4

工作环境gōngzuò huánjìngworking environment
职场环境zhíchǎng huánjìngworkplace environment
理想的工作lǐxiǎng de gōngzuòideal job
实际上工作shíjì shang gōngzuòactual job
换工作huàn gōngzuòchange jobs
难搞的人nán gǎo de réndifficult person
稳定的工作wěndìng de gōngzuòStable job
商业化shāngyè huàcommercialize
摆乱bǎi luàn“Let it rot”, slang for performing one’s job with minimal effort
与同事之间的相处yǔ tóngshì zhī jiān de xiāngchǔGet along with colleagues
面试完,我就再也不去面试了miànshì wán, wǒ jiù zài yě bù qù miànshìleAfter the interview, I will never go to the interview again

Chinese Girl Talks About Marrying a Foreigner in China – Intermediate Chinese – Chinese Conversation

Yes, a new interview from Mandarin Corner! Jane tells us about her international marriage in Mainland China. 40 Minutes of free-flowing Chinese conversation.

Level indication: HSK 4 / 5, pinyin, Chinese and English subtitles

文化差异wénhuà chāyìcultural difference
外国人放得开wàiguó rén fàng dé kāiforeigners “are more liberal”
追求女孩子zhuīqiú nǚ háizi“chasing” / dating girls
获得他们的认可huòdé tāmen de rènkěget their approval
办婚礼bàn hūnlǐwedding

What do the Chinese think of Protests against Zero-Covid Policy in China?

Chinese teacher Li Can shares his thoughts on the recent protests in China against the zero-covid lockdown policy. The demonstrations in at least eight major cities and on dozens of university campuses were the most widespread display of public dissent for as long as I can remember. I’ve been following the events closely on Twitter and it’s good to hear Li Can speak so freely about it. Listening to his podcast, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointing that he doesn’t state clearly whom he supports, instead he attempts to explain the complexity of the whole situation, based on his news consumption on Weibo. I somehow fail to perceive any clear thought or opinion. At least one thing we can agree on: this isn’t the start of a democratic revolution that will overthrow the system any time soon (but it was a hell of a start!).

Level indication: HSK 5, with Chinese transcript.

抗议行动kàngyì xíngdòngprotest action
爆发bàofāto break out
下台xiàtáito step down
表达自己的诉求biǎodá zìjǐ de sùqiúto express their demands
民主运动mínzhǔ yùndòngdemocratic movement
慢慢地放开màn man de fàng kāito open up slowly
清零政策qīng líng zhèngcèChina’s zero-covid policy
保护民众bǎohù mínzhòngto protect the people
保护经济bǎohù jīngjìprotect the economy

How Taiwanese see China’s “white paper revolution”

And what do Taiwanese people think about all this? LeLe Farley conducted these street interviews during the protests. I love the kindhearted and thoughtful answers he gets from them.

Level indication: HSK 5, with Chinese transcript.

表达自己的心声biǎodá zìjǐ de xīnshēngexpress oneself
保护自己优先bǎohù zìjǐ yōuxiānprotect yourself first
体制改变tǐzhì gǎibiànsystem change
自救能力太弱zìjiù nénglì tài ruòSelf-rescue ability is too weak
开放自由的状态kāifàng zìyóu de zhuàngtàistate of openness & freedom

That’s it for 2022, folks. I hope you had a brilliant and productive learning year. As always thanks for dropping by and hope to see you back next month with more Chinese content!

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