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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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!
posted by misspony
on Jan 29, 2014 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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.
posted by JimBJ9
on Oct 14, 2013 -
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 -
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?
posted by Musashi Daryl
on Aug 30, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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?
posted by baseballpajamas
on Aug 9, 2013 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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".
posted by karathrace
on Jul 4, 2013 -
Asking for a friend who does not share my intense love for cilantro: "Can someone please translate some simple cilantro-avoidance phrases into Thai, Mandarin, and Japanese for me?" [more inside]
posted by maudlin
on Jun 25, 2013 -