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How to get some HEAT in my Chinese food

I live in an extremely whitebread town, and nothing I have done has induced any of the Chinese restaurants to make my food in the least hot. I say "extra hot" or "extra spicy" or "with hot peppers" and the food seems exactly the same. They must have had people complain that what they ordered was "too hot." What can I say in Chinese to get the point across? How do you say the pepper paste stuff that is made out of pepper flakes and oil, and then lots of it?
posted by ackptui on Sep 27, 2014 - 21 answers

what are some steps that I can take towards my ideal career set-up?

I have an idea of what I think would be my ideal career set up (involving social, ethnographic and/or market research in China) , but am not too clear on the next steps to take. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by bearette on Sep 26, 2014 - 2 answers

How should I go about becoming fluent in Chinese?

TLDR: I'm in a serious relationship with a girl whose whole family is native Shanghainese speakers. They are ok Mandarin speakers. If I'm gonna be with her long-term (seems likely), I want to have a relationship with her family and feel like I need to learn either Mandarin (or Shanghainese -- open to that). So I need strategies to get as fluent as possible as efficiently as possible. I can spend whatever I need to on this. Can't go live in China for a while, though can at some point in the distant future maybe. I live in NYC. More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by wooh on Sep 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Options for Cantonese study in the SF Bay Area

I'm working on a project that would benefit from Cantonese speaking skills. Luckily, I live in the SF Bay Area, where there are a couple college-level classes, and lots of native speakers. Unluckily, the class I'm enrolled in is terrible. What are my other options for Cantonese language learning in the Bay Area, or online, or even just via self-study? And, if you have any experience with self-study, what worked best? [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf on Sep 3, 2014 - 4 answers

If you were learning Japanese, which radical list would you use?

I'm going to start learning Japanese in a couple of months, and in researching the language, I'm realizing that it's going to be a *lot* easier if I could recognize all the component parts of any Kanji I encounter. But..I'm noticing that there are a lot of different lists of those component parts...Heisig's lists, Wikipedia's tables of radicals, The Kanji Dictionary's 79 radicals, etc. Which radical lists do you like best, and why? Are there any out there that show you the radical, show you the characters that use it, and explain how the radical fits into those characters (meaning-wise)? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Jul 25, 2014 - 9 answers

Hey, Chinese speakers . . . got a question for you

Actually, that should read "Hey, readers of Chinese script, etc". Recently, some of my neighbors took exception to the opening of a homeless shelter in my neighborhood. They held a protest. Some of the signs were in Chinese. What do these signs say in English, if you've got a moment? Many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet on Jul 1, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me translate these Chinese breaker box labels.

Mrs. Penguin and I just bought a house, but we discovered today that the circuit breaker box is labeled in a mixture of English and Chinese. We will eventually just turn them off one at a time to figure out which is which, but in the meantime can y'all translate them for me? [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jun 28, 2014 - 3 answers

State of Being Other

How to reconcile the differences between your origin and daily society? [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jun 27, 2014 - 12 answers

Los Angeles: Season 1 of Sherlock with Chinese subtitles in a store?

Are there any stores in Los Angeles that might carry this version of Sherlock - Season 1 (region 3 Taiwan version with Traditional Chinese Subtitles)? I need it quicker than YesAsia's 7-14 day shipping estimate.
posted by bluecore on Jun 13, 2014 - 1 answer

Heritage Speaker Guilt

How can I deal with this nagging sense of guilt that I should know more Chinese than I presently do? Or, how can I improve my Chinese as a busy twenty-something year-old? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jun 10, 2014 - 9 answers

Translation of Chinese pen

I recently got an old fountain pen marked in Chinese. Please help translate the pen. Links to photos and more information below the fold. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Jun 3, 2014 - 3 answers

Funny/Inspirational/Work-Appropriate Pictures for Chinese Colleagues

I lead a monthly teleconference with a small team of colleagues in China, and would like to kick off each session with a funny or inspirational image or quote. Help me find something that doesn't get lost in translation! [more inside]
posted by LolaGeek on May 27, 2014 - 2 answers

Ideas for earning money to complement creative/freelance projects?

Any ideas to help myself continue to be a wandering freelancer while increasing my income and expanding job opportunities? [more inside]
posted by bearette on May 1, 2014 - 8 answers

What's with the chinese takeout mustard disparity?

I love the sinus-clearing flare of the mustard at chinese restaurants but it seems unique to what's on the dine-in table. The packets at the same restaurants are never truly hot and what gets sold in most groceries around here from the "Asian Gourmet" brand also is only barely hot (despite its claims on the label). What gives? And where do I get the stuff that really nukes my nasal passages? [more inside]
posted by phearlez on Apr 24, 2014 - 19 answers

Why call it "Seafood Restaurant?"

Why do some Chinese restaurants have names ending in "Seafood Restaurant" when most of their menu is not seafood? I've found this most often in North American Chinatown areas with menus and signage in Chinese characters. Is "seafood restaurant" an incomplete translation of something Chinese or describes some particular culinary tradition, the same way a "steakhouse" describes a kind of restaurant where I have a good idea of what kind of non-steak foods to expect? Anywhere I can read up on what that tradition is? Or are they simply trying to advertise that they are particularly good at seafood?
posted by grouse on Apr 4, 2014 - 14 answers

Recommended resources for intermediate Mandarin Chinese study?

I am looking for books and other resources to help improve my intermediate Mandarin Chinese skills! I'm at a point where a lot of the adult books that I try to read are stuffed with chengyu and obscure vocabulary, but I want something a little more advanced and a little more engaged with contemporary Chinese culture than translations of American children's novels. [more inside]
posted by Jeanne on Feb 27, 2014 - 6 answers

Chinese podcasts to listen to on the way to school

I'm currently studying Chinese in Beijing and I'm looking for podcasts or audio recordings to help me learn more. Do you know of any good Chinese language podcasts that can help me study? [more inside]
posted by lalunamel on Feb 24, 2014 - 1 answer

What is this panel with Chinese characters about?

Asking for a friend, who has on his office wall this wooden panel, about 3 feet by 4 feet, divided into 18 sections each densely filled with Chinese (I assume) writing. It came from his mother's estate, he has know idea where she acquired it. There is also writing on the outside edges of the panel. It's hard to tell whether the writing was done directly on the wood, or on paper which was then pasted to the panel. Here's a shot of one of the sections, and here's another. Can anyone translate some of this and provide an idea of what it is all about? And any idea how old it might be?
posted by beagle on Feb 18, 2014 - 2 answers

Need Chinese translation to english

Can any one tell me what it says at the bottom of this picture in english? I think it is Chinese.
posted by tomjoadsghost on Feb 5, 2014 - 7 answers

Traditional Chinese Music combined with other styles or genres?

I really like the musical combination of traditional Chinese music and trip hop from DJ Krush's Beyond Raging Waves. I also love this CD by Martin Simpson and Chinese lute player Wu Man. Can you recommend other pairings of what I think is traditional Chinese music, played on traditional instruments that have been combined with other music styles or genres? Extra bonus for trip hop pairings, but I'm open to anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 3, 2014 - 11 answers

What is this Chinese booze?

Gong Hei Fat Choi! My beloved was given this bottle of booze but has no idea what it is - can anyone ID this bad boy? Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3. Thanks!
posted by Carravanquelo on Jan 31, 2014 - 10 answers

How do I make the green peppers in my Chinese dishes just amazing!?

In various Chinese dishes that I've had the green peppers are always in bitesized cuts and they are never over cooked or under cooked- they are just the right mix of crunchy and soft. How do I make that happen? I am cooking a Chinese saucy chicken dish in a couple of hours and would be thrilled if I could FINALLY get my peppers right! Thanks!
posted by misspony on Jan 29, 2014 - 24 answers

How to make deep-fried tofu with thick, chewy breading

My favorite Chinese restaurant makes fantastic sesame tofu. I want to know how they prepare the tofu. [more inside]
posted by alex1965 on Jan 1, 2014 - 13 answers

Fun Fun Elmo Filter

Looks like they just finished producing the first season of Fun Fun Elmo, which is the Chinese version of Sesame Street. I'm looking for other recommendations of Chinese children's shows that would be appropriate for my 5 year old. Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (喜洋洋) is popular, but too violent. And "Dora the Explorer" in Chinese is interesting, but also not what we're looking for. We'd love suggestions like Adventures of Little Carp (小鲤鱼历险记) that were originally produced for a Chinese audience. Bonus points if you can direct us to shows that were designed to be educational (like Sesame Street), rather than just shows directed at kids.
posted by richmondparker on Dec 27, 2013 - 3 answers

Chinese translation, please

Asking for a friend, can someone translate this chinese frame, please?
posted by jgwong on Dec 13, 2013 - 2 answers

Chinese water torture. In Chinese.

Looking for terms or phrases that refer to or describe a repetitive, monotonous action that leads to frustration, boredom...and that particularly suggests annoyance from the one observing said action towards the offending person / act. Humorous, biting, slightly offensive...all accepted. Specific language requested: Chinese. [more inside]
posted by ditto75 on Dec 4, 2013 - 7 answers

(Translation help, please) Help me play this game I bought in Chinatown

I picked up a game of Chinese checkers (yes, I know they aren't really Chinese) to play with my family over the holidays and it came with a bonus game inside (photos here). The problem is, I have no idea what the directions say. It looks like a variant of "Sorry". We would love to give it a try, if anyone could translate or has played this before. Thanks!
posted by halseyaa on Dec 2, 2013 - 2 answers

Japanese/Korean food for the Chinese home cook?

Reasonably decent Chinese home cook would like to venture into Japanese and/or Korean cuisine. I'd appreciate help on (1) good cookbooks, (2) pantry stocking and (3) choice of cuisine! [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on Nov 17, 2013 - 17 answers

Can you translate what's written on these mysterious envelopes?

These two envelopes arrived in my office in the autumn of 2010. I've kept them around because they're neat-looking, and an interesting conversation piece. Can you translate into English what's written on them? They may be in Japanese or Chinese (?). [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Nov 14, 2013 - 16 answers

Tips for making my Chinese studies more enjoyable?

I enjoy studying Chinese but I seem to be going through a slump at the moment. Any advice on how to increase enjoyment in my studying? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Nov 10, 2013 - 19 answers

need help finding a school for a 15 year old Chinese girl

my associate in China wants his daughter to study in the US, learn better English, etc. She's only 15, speaks just okay English (not great).... He wants her to study here at a high school.... but i think it will have to be a private high school... and she will have to live at the school & be supervised... Can anyone help me determine what is involved ? Does she get a foreign student temporary Visa (or something like that) ? Also, he (& I) know nothing about this process.... so i think in terms of location, anything will do.... I need to provide him with choices, locations, costs, what accommodations they can offer, etc. If you need more info., please feel free to ask... one problem about my (& his) position is because we are 'ignorant' about this whole matter, we're not even positive about what the right questions are....
posted by foodybat on Nov 5, 2013 - 20 answers

Language school in Beijing needs social media advice.

Please help. I work for a language school that teaches Mandarin Chinese to foreigners inside China. We specialize in one month intensive teaching for beginners. We want to increase our social media presence and have some (even though we do say so ourselves) excellent stand alone ideas to do this. They are educational free formats that allow people to study Chinese online in creative ways. We don't know the best way to present them though. Should they be 'onsite' options through our main webpage,or would they be better served as stand alone entities with their own page and an affiliation to our main company website? Any thoughts and shared best practice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by tjabeijing on Nov 4, 2013 - 1 answer

Catalogue and Track My Life!

Is there a (preferably online) tool that will track how much time I spend on learning a language? [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom on Oct 29, 2013 - 2 answers

Who are some artists that play traditional Chinese or Japanese music?

I would like to build a Pandora station around traditional-sounding Asian music. Flutes, harps, shamisen, koto, guanzi, erhu, etc. Basically, I want to create the kind of setting that you might find in a quiet tea house. Or the ambient music you might hear watching a movie where a monk silently tills the monastery grounds. But, to get started, I need to provide some particular songs or artists from which I want to build the station. My practical knowledge of music from that area of the world is practically nil, so I could a helping hand. Thanks!
posted by JimBJ9 on Oct 14, 2013 - 5 answers

looking for kung-fu film with underground temple with boiling pool

OK, this is deep in the level of cheezy memories. In the 1970s or early 1980s they used to broadcast totally rotten kung fu movies on television on Saturday mornings. I'm trying to remember a specific one. I know there are like millions of these that were churned out, so this may be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but here goes. It should limit the search that it was 1) in color 2) probably made between 1960 to 1981 3) included an intense fight scene that took place in a kind of underground temple (maybe?) that had as its central feature a pool of water (or acid?) that was boiling and had a kind of statue or something in the middle of it 4) there was a kind of dwarf or midget who had a prominent role. Can anyone remember this crazy film?
posted by cmp4Meta on Oct 7, 2013 - 5 answers

What are the rewards of studying Chinese language?

Hello, According to Heisig, there is a high dropout rate for Chinese courses. According to another author, there will be high demand in future for people who have knowledge of Chinese language and business studies. I was wondering if anyone had any more information I could use to boost my motivation when studying Chinese, e.g. the low cost of living in China? Thanks.
posted by Musashi Daryl on Aug 30, 2013 - 20 answers

Need help translating Chinese text

Will someone please help with a translation question? We can't run it through google translate because it's an image, not text. [more inside]
posted by jschu on Aug 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Who is that smooth character?

Between sketchily edited track titles, Google Play music uploads, and Bluetooth stereo sync, somehow a Chinese character (link to picture, with apologies for sun glare) got encoded on the artist title of this song playing on my car stereo. Can any sinologists out there identify this character? I know it's just an artifact, but maybe it's something serendipitous.
posted by planetesimal on Aug 16, 2013 - 1 answer

How do I find the Chinese weather forecast from CCTV online?

Hello, Someone told me that a good way to practice Chinese pronounciation is to try to imitate the Chinese weather forecast from CCTV. I'm having some difficulty navigating the CCTV page. [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Aug 16, 2013 - 3 answers

Looking for a Chinese and English GCSE science book

I'm looking for two books, one biology, one chemistry. They are related to GCSE, they say that on the front of the books, but I don't know if they're licensed. One has a green cover, one has a blue cover, but they both have pictures on the front. The good thing about these books is that they explain scientific concepts through diagrams in one-pagers, which are conveniently in both Chinese and English. Help me find these books? [more inside]
posted by sarae on Aug 14, 2013 - 3 answers

The Written Chinese Bandwagon

Stellarbuffoon's recent question about written Chinese reminded me that I've been meaning to ask the basic same question. In my case, I'd love to know what the characters at the top of this print mean. Can anyone help? 谢谢!
posted by baseballpajamas on Aug 9, 2013 - 4 answers

What do these Chinese characters mean?

A few years ago I was given a Chinese decoration with some characters on it. I'd really like to find out what these mean, but I don't know any Chinese myself, nor anyone who speaks it. [more inside]
posted by stellarbuffoon on Aug 9, 2013 - 6 answers

How and when should I tell my son of his namesake's racist nickname?

My son will most likely at some point think he is Chinese. He is named after his great-grandfather. When and how should I explain to him that his great-grandfather's nickname was a racial-slur against Chinese people? [more inside]
posted by wobumingbai on Aug 7, 2013 - 18 answers

Wall Hanging - Japanese? Chinese? What is it called?

Well, I came across this black lacquer wall hanging inlaid with mother of pearl, relief style and it's kind of pretty. Maybe I'll sell it. Don't know much about these things. [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Aug 6, 2013 - 7 answers

chinese revolving shotguns

If you google "chinese revolving shotguns" you will find lots of forum/blog posts about like these - basically "Neat pictures, I have no idea of the back story". OK, what is the back story? (Possibly related?)
posted by 445supermag on Aug 4, 2013 - 7 answers

How can I figure out if this painting has any value?

I've had this painting for many years. It belonged to my grandfather. He owned an antiques store and he traveled a lot in China. I'm not sure where it came from/how he obtained it. [more inside]
posted by doomtop on Jul 21, 2013 - 6 answers

Information on regional (and international) variations in Chinese food?

Philadelphia Chinese restaurants have dishes that I haven't seen elsewhere: Tomato Yat, fried gizzards, etc. I'm wondering about other regional and international variations in Chinese food as it is served to locals (not Chinese immigrant populations). What are some well-known variations? [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Jul 18, 2013 - 23 answers

Of course it was the fried rice. It was always the fried rice.

How do I make restaurant-quality fried rice at home? [more inside]
posted by karathrace on Jul 16, 2013 - 32 answers

iPhone & iPad: What are the best camera/photo apps in China?

Hi there, I'm teaching my Dad in China to use his Chinese App Store account - His iPhone and iPad Mini are his MAIN cameras these days, and he loves taking photos. I'm a bit rushed as I have to leave China soon, and don't have to time to search through Chinese app reviews (I don't know Chinese well anyway). So, please can you recommend any iPhone and iPad camera and photo apps (paid or free) available on the Chinese App Store that you love. Impressive apps are good; Impressive AND easy to learn and use apps (my Dad is not very tech-skilled and doesn't like complicated instructions) are the greatest. Thanks very much for your tips!!!
posted by zresearch on Jul 6, 2013 - 2 answers

I like to party and have a good time...

Every so often, I meet up with friends. One thing leads to another and pretty soon we're saying "Oh my god, we're so drunk... lets get some chinese food".
[more inside]
posted by karathrace on Jul 4, 2013 - 19 answers

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