Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Introduction of Teacher 48 - Wang Li - Learn Chinese

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I have learned tourism guide in Beijing. I like to communicate with others, especially to foreign friends.I often help foreigners who cannot communicate with Chinese people, and enjoy the feeling and pleasure after helping them.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Introduction of Teacher 47 - Su ying - Learn Chinese

View Evaluation History from Students

Teacher 47, SU Ying, a native of Beijing and was graduated from Fudan University in 2006 with a Master's degree. She can speak English and German fluently as a bilingual Chinese teacher. She is majoring in Literary Theory based in Chinese Literature and Language Study Department. She has 3 years Chinese teaching experience in both Fudan University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Chinese World. She taught writing, listening and speaking. She had passed the National Advanced Chinese Language Teaching Skill Test. Now She is teaching in Peking University.

She had taught two type of students. One is majored by students from Japan and South Kora. She found they do not had much difficulty in Chinese characters and Chinese cultures. But because of their class consistency, they do not have to use Chinese to communicate in their class. The other type is the class majored by students from western language speaking countries, they have more difficulty on Chinese characters and some of them are addicted in grammar and sentence patterns. But the advantage is they are active in class and very welling to express themselves by what they learned, although sometimes it seems not easy to control the topic of the class for the teacher.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Business Chinese--About the Time

If you arrange to meet a Chinese customer at 10:00 am,when should you reach the appointed place?

At 9 '50, 10:00 or 10:05, which is better?

According to the Western habit, you will probably arrive on time or a bit later. However,
a Chinese will arrive on time or sometimes several minutes ahead of schedule When meeting an important person or keeping an important appointment to show respect to the other party. So be sure not to be late for a meeting with a Chinese, if you arrive several minutes earlier, the other party will be pleased. This means that you are honest and reliable.

However, there is such a popular saying in China:"Time is not valuable."
Why is that? Since the Chinese observe time,why dose time worthless?
In fact, however, you will find it contradictory if you analyze their attitude
towards time carefully. On the one hand,they observe time; while on the
other, they waste time.

The Westerners often waste materials but treasure people and time,
believing that as time is short for human life, it is of great importance;
while the Chinese waste people and time, but treasure materials, not
sparing to exchange more materials with time and life, and even striving
to leave rich materials for the later generations as the continuation of their
lives. However, with the deepening of the exchanges between China and
the Western countries, some foreign cultural concepts have been gradually
spread to China, influencing the ancient land. Now you will also often
hear the Chinese say "Time is money" or "Time is life".

the mood 情绪

Do you know how to express your mood in Chinese?
Here're some words to help you.

高兴 gāo xìng happy
快乐 kuài lè joyful
生气 shēng qì angry
悲哀 bēi āi sorrow
伤心 shāng xīn sad
兴奋 xīng fèn excited
激动 jī dòng excited
惊讶 jīng yà surprised
满足 mǎn zú satisfied, content
狂怒 kuáng nù furious
尴尬 gān gà embarrassed
忧虑 yōu lǜ worried
郁闷 yù mèn gloomy, melancholy
失望 shī wàng disappointed
平静 ping jìng calm
恐惧 kǒng jù terrified
胆怯 dǎn qiè timid
感激 gǎn jī grateful
骄傲 jiāo ào proud

The dialog about mood


Lǐ: Wǒ fù qīn shàng gè yuè qù shì le.
Wáng: Tīng dào zhè gè xiāo xī, wǒ hěn nán guò. nǐ hái hǎo ba?
Lǐ: g, bié dān xīn. Xiàn zài wǒ hěn ping jìng.

Li: My father passed away last month.
Wang: I'm sorry to hear that. Are you OK?
Li: Yes. Don't worry. I'm calm now.

The dialog about mood(2)


Sū: Tài gāo xìng le! Gōng sī de xiàng mù jié shù le, wǒ xià gè yuè kě yǐ huí guó xiū jià!
Lǐ: Tài hǎo le! Zhòu hè nǐ! wǒ yě wèi nǐ gāo xìng!
Sū: Xiè xiè nǐ! Méi yǒu nǐ de bāng zhù, wǒ de xiàng mù bù kě néng zhè me shun lì! wǒ hěn gǎn jī!
Lǐ: Bù yòng xiè!

Sue: I'm very happy! My company's project is over and I can go back to my country and take a vacation next month.
Li: Great! Congratulations! I'm happy for you!
Sue: Thank you! Without your help, my project would not have gone so well! I really appreciate your help.
Li: You are welcome!

The Purple Forbidden City

the palace museum; also know as the Purple Forbidden City. It is the largest and most well reserved imperial residence in China today. Under Ming Emperor Yongle, construction began in 1406. It took 14years to build the Forbidden City. The first ruler who actually lived here was Ming Emperor Zhudi. For five centuries thereafter, it continued to be the residence of23 successive emperors until 1911 when Qing Emperor Puyi was forced to abdicate the throne .In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognized the Forbidden City was a world cultural legacy.

It is believed that the Palace Museum, or Zi Jin Cheng (Purple Forbidden City), got its name from astronomy folklore, The ancient astronomers divided the constellations into groups and centered them around the Ziwei Yuan(North Star). The constellation containing the North Star was called the Constellation of Heavenly God and star itself was called the purple palace. Because the emperor was supposedly the son of the heavenly gods, his central and dominant position would be further highlighted the use of the word purple in the name of his residence. In folklore, the term ”an eastern purple cloud is drifting” became a metaphor for auspicious events after a purple cloud was seen drifting eastward immediately before the arrival of an ancient philosopher, LaoZi, to the Hanghu Pass. Here, purple is associated with auspicious developments. The word jin (forbidden) is self-explanatory as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-explanatory as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-limits to ordinary people.

The red and yellow used on the palace walls and roofs are also symbolic. Red represents happiness, good fortune and wealth. Yellow is the color of the earth on the Loess Plateau, the original home of the Chinese people. Yellow became an imperial color during the Tang dynasty, when only members of the royal family were allowed to wear it and use it in their architecture.

The Forbidden City is rectangular in shape. It is 960 meters long from north to south and 750 meter wide from east west. It has 9,900 rooms under a total roof area 150,000 square meters .A 52-meter-wide-moat encircles a 9.9-meter—high wall which encloses the complex. Octagon —shaped turrets rest on the four corners of the wall. There are four entrances into the city: the Meridian Gate to the south, the Shenwu Gate(Gate of Military Prowess) to the north, and the Xihua Gate(Gate of military Prowess) to the north, and the Xihua Gate(Western Flowery Gate )to the west ,the Donghua (Eastern Flowery Gate) to the east.

Manpower and materials throughout the country were used to build the Forbidden City. A total of 230,000 artisans and one million laborers were employed. Marble was quarried from fangshan Country Mount Pan in Jixian County in Hebei Province. Granite was quarried in Quyang County in Hebei Province. Paving blocks were fired in kilns in Suzhou in southern China. Bricks and scarlet pigmentation used on the palatial walls came from linqing in Shandong Province .Timber was cut ,processed and hauled from the northwestern and southern regions.

The structure in front of us is the Meridian Gate. It is the main entrance to the forbidden City. It is also knows as Wufenglou(Five-Phoenix Tower). Ming emperors held lavish banquets here on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar year in hornor of their counties .They also used this place for punishing officals by flogging them with sticks.

Qing emperors used this building to announce the beginning of the new year. Qing Emperor Qianglong changed the original name of this announcement ceremony from ban li(announcement of calendar)to ban shou(announcement of new moon )to avoid coincidental association with another Emperor` s name, Hongli, which was considered a taboo at that time. Qing Dynasty emperors also used this place to hold audience and for other important ceremonies. For example,when the imperial army returned victoriously from the battlefield ,it was here that the Emperor presided over the ceremony to accept prisoners of war.


The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Youngle of the Ming Dynasty. Situated in the southern part of the city ,this grand set of structures covers an area of 273 hectares. To better symbolize heaven and earth ,the northern part of the Temple is circular while the southern part is square .The whole compound is enclosed by two walls, a square wall outside a round one. The outer area is characterized by suburban scenery, while the inner part is used for sacrifices. The inner enclosure consists of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Circular Mound Altar.
the Circular Mound Altar is enclosed by two walls ,each containing four groups of Southern Lattice Star Gate, each in turn consisting of three doors, with 24 marble doors altogether. Standing on the passage facing north, you will notice that with each pair of doors on is narrower than the other. This reflects the feudal hierarchy: the wider door was reserved for monarchs, while the narrower one was used by courtiers.
On the day of the ceremony ,the emperor would don his ritual costume and be ushered in by the official in charge of religious affairs. He ascended the three terraces in the forefront to pay tribute at the alter.

simple finals

The main topic of this week is Articulation and Speech Organs
Let's begin with the first part--Simple finals

Compound Finals

The second part is compound finals
There are 13 compound finals in Chinese


The third part is initials
There are 21 initials in Chinese which are consonants.

Manner of Articulation

The manner of articulation refers to how air stream is stopped or released.

Position of Articulation

The position of articulation refers to where the air stream is stopped or constricted.

An Ancient Poem

Do you like the ancient poem ?
Maybe you find them difficult to understand.
Here's a simple one.

A Riddle Game

Do you find it's useful to learn Chinese by playing games?
In the process of playing ,you can get much information.

What is the Chinese Proficiency Test(HSK)

The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is a series test to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers. It assesses the examinees' ability to use the Chinese language in communicative activities and understanding in the environment of studying in educational institutions, enterprises and other organizations. The HSK is the abbreviation of Chinese Pinyin: Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi.

The HSK consists of HSK (Basic), HSK (Elementary-Intermediate), HSK (Advanced), HSK (for Young Learners), HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries), HSK (for Tourism). The HSK can fulfill the needs of testing and evaluating Chinese language proficiency in world wide.

The HSK (Basic), HSK (Elementary-Intermediate) and HSK (Advanced) are connected on the degree levels. They serve as the examination and evaluation for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners of the Chinese language. They also provide the testing reference to the relating educational institutions and certain organizations. The HSK (for Young Learners) is mainly for the young Chinese language learners under the age of 15. The HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries) and HSK (for Tourism) are formed as the vocational Chinese Proficiency Test, which serves for the related organizations to provide testing reference for the process of policy making when enrolling, selecting and training personnel.

The HSK (Basic), HSK (Elementary-Intermediate) and HSK (Advanced) are primary tests. The HSK (for Young Learners), HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries) and HSK (for Tourism) are secondary or branch tests. Branch tests are the new tests designed and developed from the basis of the main tests, in order to accommodate to the needs of the development of the Chinese language in the world and fulfill the needs of various groups of examinees. The main tests and branch tests are either related or independent. They complement each other. Each test is designed and developed under the fixed standard of the HSK.

With the development and practice of 20 years, the HSK has become a predominant test of bright characteristics. The HSK test has become the first choice of Chinese proficiency adopted by many groups and users worldwide. By the end of 2003, more than 300,000 overseas examinees had taken HSK.


The Host Organization of HSK

The Chinese Ministry of Education has established the State Committee for the Chinese Proficiency Test (SCCPT). The Committee fully supervises the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) and is the host organization inside and outside of China.

SCCPT has set up an office, which is called the Office of the State Committee for the Chinese Proficiency Test (OSCCPT), located at the Department of Testing, China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

In order to accommodate to the needs of the development, the SCCPT decided to set up the HSK Designing and Developing Center and the HSK Testing Administration Center (located at Beijing Language and Culture University). The HSK Testing Administration Center will be responsible for the specific routine work of the Chinese Proficiency Test inside and outside of China.

Institutions for Designing and Developing the HSK

In 1984, the Chinese Ministry of Education entrusted the Beijing Languages Institute (Now, Beijing Language and Culture University) to design and develop the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). In 1990, the HSK was appraised and officially put into practice inside and outside of China.

In 2002, the SCCPT entrusted Nanjing Normal University to design and develop the HSK (for Young Learners), entrusted Peking University to design and develop the HSK (for Business), entrusted Capital Normal University to design and develop the HSK (for Secretaries) and entrusted Shanghai Teachers' University to design and develop the HSK


Countries of Conducting the HSK举办HSK的国家

Since HSK was officially put into practice, it has been set up in 140 testing centers in 34 countries or the world. These countries are: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Russia, France, Philippines, Finland, Korea, Holland, Canada, Czech Republic, Malaysia, United States, Mongolia, Burma, Mexico, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Ukraine, Spain, Singapore, New Zealand, Hungary, Italy, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Vietnam and China.


The Usage of the Results of the HSK成绩的使用

A person, with minimum passing score in each level, will get a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" for that level issued by the State Committee for the Chinese proficiency Test.

5.1. A person, with a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified above HSK Level 3 (HSK Basic A or HSK Elementary C), can attend higher institutions of education in China for he or she also courses in science, engineering, agriculture and Western medicine; can take the test of HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries) and/or HSK (for Tourism).

5.2. A person, with a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified above the HSK Level 6, can attend the higher institutions of education in China for courses in literature, history and Chinese medicine.

5.3. A person, with a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified above HSK Level 9 can attend the higher institutions of education in China to take courses for post-graduates.

5.4. A person, with a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified for HSK Basic, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Level, can be exempt from attending the corresponding Chinese courses and can apply for jobs in various organizations of the world, which need working personnel with Chinese language proficiency.

5.5. The "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified for HSK (for Young Learners) can be a proving-test to test the examinees' Chinese language level and communicative ability, can test the results of the Chinese language teaching in a school and can be the enrollment reference for the examinees who wish to study in China.

5.6. A person, with a "Chinese Proficiency Certificate" qualified for HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries) and/or HSK (for Tourism), can be exempt from attending the corresponding Chinese courses and can apply for jobs to various organizations of the world, which need working personnel with Chinese language proficiency.

The Examinees of HSK考试对象

The examinees of HSK are those whose first language is not the Chinese language.

6.1. The HSK (Basic) is appropriate for those beginners who have had 100-800 hours of formal education in modern Chinese, and have a basic vocabulary of 400-3,000 common Chinese characters (at the A and B levels), and who understand the corresponding Chinese grammar structures (at the A and B levels).

6.2. The HSK (Elementary-Intermediate) is appropriate for elementary and intermediate students of Chinese who have had 400-2,000 hours of formal education in modern Chinese, have a basic vocabulary of 2,000-5,000 common Chinese characters (at the A, B and C levels), and who understand the corresponding Chinese grammar structure (at the A, B and C levels).

6.3. The HSK (Advanced) is appropriate for Advanced students of Chinese who have had 3,000 hours of formal education in modern Chinese, have a basic vocabulary of 5,000-8,000 common Chinese characters (at the A, B, C and D levels), and who understand the corresponding Chinese grammar structure (at the A, B, C and D levels).

6.4. The HSK (for Young learners) is appropriate for young learners of Chinese under the age of 15. Level 1 is appropriate for those who have had 150 hours of learning Chinese; Level 2 is appropriate for those who have had 250 hours of learning Chinese; and level 3 is appropriate for those who have had 400 hours of learning Chinese.

6.5. The HSK (for Business), HSK (for Secretaries) and HSK (for Tourism) are appropriate for those who hold a HSK Level 3 (HSK Basic A or HSK Elementary C) or above that level.

The Contents of HSK 考试内容

7.1. HSK (Basic) Test Contents Test Items Item Numbers Test Duration
Listening Comprehension Listening 1 15 50 About 35 minutes
Listening 2 15
Listening 3 20
Grammatical Structure Grammar 1 20 40 40 minutes
Grammar 2 20
Reading Comprehension Reading 1 20 50 60 minutes
Reading 2 30
Total 140 About 135 minutes 

7.2. HSK (Elementary-Intermediate)

Test Contents Item Numbers Item Proportion Test Duration
Listening Comprehension 50 29.4% About 35 minutes
Grammatical Structure 30 17.7% 20 minutes
Reading Comprehension 50 29.4% 60 minutes
Cloze Test 40 23.5% 30 minutes
Total 170 About 145 minutes

7.3. HSK (Advanced)

Tests Test Items Item Numbers Test Duration
Objective Test Listening Comprehension 40 About 25 minutes
Reading Comprehension 40 40 minutes
Comprehensive Expression 40 40 minutes
Total 120 About 105 minutes
Subjective Test Writing 1(400-600 words) 30 minutes
Oral Test 10 minute recording 10 minutes preparation,10 minutes test,total 20 minutes
Total 50 minutes
Total About 155 minutes

7.4. HSK (Young Learners)

Level 1 Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Listening 22 About 12 minutes
Reading 30 22 minutes
Writing 18 16 minutes
Total 70 About 50 minutes
Oral 5 7 minutes

Level 2 Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Listening 21 About 15minutes
Reading 41 35 minutes
Writing 13 20 minutes
Total 75 About 70 minutes
Oral 7 8 minutes

Level 3 Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Listening 25 About 20 minutes
Reading 50 40 minutes
Writing 5 30 minutes
Total 80 About 90 minutes
Oral 7 10 minutes

Notes: HSK (Young Learners) Oral Test will be divided into stages and batches.

7.5. HSK (Business) Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Objective Test Listening 50 About 40 minutes
Reading(including some Cloze Test and simple questions) 50 55 minutes
Subjective Test Oral 3 5 minutes preparation,10 minutes recording,total 15 minutes
Writing 2 40 minutes
Total 105 About 150

7.6. HSK (for Secretaries) Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Objective Test Listening 33 About 38 minutes
Reading and Language Knowledge 47 55 minutes
Subjective Test Writing 2 40 minutes
Oral 2 About 17 minutes
Total 84 About 150 minutes

7.7. HSK (for Tourism) Test Contents Item Numbers Test Duration
Objective Test Listening (Including some writing questions after listening) 50 About 40 minutes
Reading (Including some written answers to questions after reading) 45 50 minutes
Subjective Test Writing 2 45 minutes
Oral 2 15 minutes
Total 99 About 150 minutes


Introduction of "Hand-shaking" in China

Introduction of 'Hand-shaking' of Chinese



Have you realized that clothing is the first wxchange of information between you and strangers?Your clothing might leave as your first impression to others over a long time.

Clothing (2)

Top 10 Chinese Holiday Calendar for the Year of the Pig (2007)(1)

Chinese New Year may be China’s biggest excuse for a party, but it’s not the only one. There are many Chinese holidays throughout the year, and most have their own special celebration food. Because Chinese holidays are based on the lunar calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar changes from one year to the next. Here is a Chinese holiday calendar with dates and information about the major festivals and significant days in 2007, the Year of the Pig (also called the Year of the Boar).

1. Chinese New Year - February 18, 2007
For millions of Asians, Chinese New Year is more than one special day. Families spend weeks preparing for the big event – cleaning house, painting doors and windows red, and cooking special foods. Celebrations for Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, last a full fifteen days. Learn more about Chinese New Year, the symbolic significance of festive foods, and try New Years recipes. (Date of Chinese New Year Day: first day of the first Chinese lunar month).

2. Lantern Festival - March 4, 2007
Missed celebrating Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart? You get a second chance with The Lantern Festival. Falling on the last day of the Chinese New Year season, the Lantern Festival is traditionally a day for lovers. Learn more and try a recipe for Yuanxiao, the sticky rice dumplings that are served at Lantern festival celebrations. (Date: fifteenth day of the first Chinese lunar month).

to be continued...


Top 10 Chinese Holiday Calendar for the Year of the Pig (2007)(2)

3. Kuan Yin's Birthday - April 6, 2007
A few weeks after the Irish pay homage to St. Patrick, Buddhists will be celebrating the birthday of the Goddess of Mercy. Learn more about Buddhism's most universally beloved deity and celebrate the day with classic Irish and Asian recipes. (Date: nineteenth day of the second Chinese lunar month).

4. Ching Ming – the Tomb Sweeping Festival - April 5, 2007
A gravesite picnic? Why not? The Tomb Sweeping festival is a time for families to honor the memory of their ancestors. Along with “tomb sweeping” – performing standard gravesite maintenance such as removing debris from the gravestones and replacing dead flowers - family members offer gifts of food, fruit and wine to the departed. After a formal ceremony, the food is shared among family members. Another tradition is to burn incense to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking.

5. Cheung Chau Bun Festival – May 24, 2007
Every year, Hong Kong's tiny island of Cheung Chau holds a celebration honoring Pak Tai, the God of the Sea. The highlight of the three day festival involves a spectacular midnight race up steel towers that have been loaded with Chinese buns. (Date: the eighth day of the fourth lunar month).

6. Dragon Boat Festival - June 19, 2007
There are few sites more spectacular than a fleet of painted dragon boats racing toward the finish line, with a drummer in each boat hammering out the rhythm for the rowers to follow. The Dragon Boat Festival is China’s oldest festival. Find out more about this exciting event and learn how to make Zongzi, the sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves that are an essential feature of any Dragon Boat Festival celebration. (Date: fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month).

Top 10 Chinese Holiday Calendar for the Year of the Pig (2007)(3)

7. Chinese Valentine’s Day - August 19, 2007
They may not celebrate with chocolate and flowers, but the Chinese have a day devoted to love. Learn more about the legend of star-crossed lovers Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, and try several romantic menus to celebrate the holiday. (Date: seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month).

8. Hungry Ghost Festival - August 26, 2007
Even ghosts deserve time off. According to Chinese legend, every year ghosts are allowed to leave hell and return to earth for one month. Learn more in this feature by Greg Cruey, About's Guide to Asia for Visitors. (Date: fifteen day of the seventh Chinese lunar month).

9. Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival - September 25, 2007
When the autumn harvest moon is at its fullest, the Chinese celebrate by lighting colorful lanterns and enjoying delicious mooncakes. Learn more about the legends behind the festival and try some mooncake recipes. (Date: fifteenth day of the eighth Chinese lunar month).

10. Double Ninth Day (Chung Yeung), Elder's Day - October 19, 2007
The Chinese believe nine is a lucky number, which makes Double Ninth Day particularly auspicious. In addition, because the words “nine” and “long” are homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings), the government has designated this as a day for youth to honor their ancestors and the elderly. Traditions associated with Double Ninth Day include visiting gravesites, hill or mountain climbing, and drinking chrysanthemum wine. (Date: ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month).

Zong Zi - the Traditional Chinese Food(2)

In addition, there is also a festival called the Duan Wu or Dragon Boat Festival. If you ever visit China during the Dragon Boat Festival, you can't miss the nationwide custom of enjoying Zong Zi. You are sure to be impressed with the delicacy of this snack, and with the faint scent of the leaves imprinted on the skin of the dumplings.

I still remember making and enjoying Zong Zi as a child. Along with my brothers and sisters I hovered around the stove, begging to have a taste, unable to wait until they were cooked. We were very eager since the food was made only once a year on May 5th. But now it is quite different. The Chinese Zong Zi is not only made for the Duan Wu Festival. It is available at any time of the year. And local areas have developed their own styles and varieties of dumpling.

The main ingredient of Zong Zi is the glutinous rice. The next most important ingredient is the bamboo or reed leaves which form the wrapping and make Zong Zi distinct from other types of Chinese dumplings. The filling often contains either dates or sweetened red bean paste. These are the ones I once had in my family. I like them much more than the ones with meat but my brother doesn't. He says the meat ones are terrific.

The leading place for the food is Jia Xing, an ancient town in Zhejiang province. Many different types of Zong Zi are made here. At Wu Fang Zhai, a monopolistic food processor, you'll find all the ingredients you need: the dumplings with meat, sweetened bean paste and chestnuts, lotus seeds, dates, and yolk of egg.

If the materials are available to you, it is quite possible for you to make Chinese Zong Zi at home; both for pleasure and maybe also to honor the great poet, Qu Yuan. By the way, in the year 2006 the Dragon Boat Festival happens to fall on May 31st, according to the solar calendar. You'd better prepare a net for the fish.

Zong Zi - the Traditional Chinese Food(3)

Here is a recipe for Zong Zi:
(makes ten dumplings)
1. 50 sheets of bamboo or reed leaves
2. Glutinous rice (1 kilogram)
3. Chinese dates (250 grams)


1.Soak the rice and the dates 12 hours or more till they are soaked thoroughly.
2.Wash the leaves.
3.A chopping board is necessary for laying out the leaves.
4.Fold the leaves flat at the leafstalk to make a sheet.
5.Hold the sheet, fold it round in the middle and make a funnel till both ends are laid over each other in one direction.
6.Use about 1/10 kg. of rice and 6 dates for each dumpling. The dates must be covered by the rice so that they won't lose too much syrup in cooking.
7.Fold the leaves up to seal the open side of the funnel and tie the bundle with a band made of twisted leaves. Make sure that the bundle is tied neither too tight nor too loose. This helps make sure that the ingredients are well cooked.
8.Put the dumplings in a pot, cover with water and make sure they are pressed and kept still while being boiled.
9.Cooking time: 40 minutes in a pressure cooker; 2 hours in an ordinary pot.


Top 5 CD-ROMs for Learning Chinese(2)

3. Rosetta Stone: Chinese Explorer
The program features native speakers and more than 800 real-life color pictures. You may choose simplified characters or traditional characters with Pinyin.

4. Instant Immersion Mandarin Chinese 2 CD-ROM Set
Learn to speak Mandarin Chinese through complete immersion. The Euro Method is an easy and simple way to learn to speak a second language. Based on the same techniques that allow a 4-year-old child to speak a language long before that same child can read or write, the Instant Immersion Mandarin Chinese CDs teach users to speak Mandarin Chinese quickly.

5. Talk Now! Cantonese
This unconventional language-learning series offers games and quizzes that make the learning process fun, relaxing, and, as such, more successful. Ideal for beginners, Talk Now!

copyright: chineseculture.about.com

Four-character Phrases

Here're some four-character phrases for you.
If you have questions about them,just tell me,please.

一心一意 yī xīn yī yì put one's whole heart into

三心二意 sān xīn èr yì with half a heart

举世闻名 jŭ shì wén míng be world-famous

臭名远扬 chòu míng yuăn yáng notorious

大功告成 dà gōng gào chéng be brought to successful completion

一败涂地 yī bài tú dì be a dead failure

心平气和 xīn píng qì hé in a calm state of mind

怒气冲天 nù qì chōng tiān be in a towering rage

一见钟情 yī jiàn zhōng qíng fall in love or become captivated at first sight

一举两得 yī jŭ liăng dé serve two purposes at once; kill two birds with one stone

大海捞针 dà hăi lāo zhēn fish for a needle in the ocean; be next to impossible

大开眼界 dà kāi yăn jiè be an eye-opener; broaden one’s horizon

心心相印 xīn xīn xiāng yìn have heart-to-heart communion with each other; share the same feeling

心满意足 xīn măi yì zú be perfectly content; be completely satisfied

dialog about mood (3)


Lǐ: Zuì jìn wǒ duì zì jǐ yǒu diǎn shī wàng, xiàng mù bù tài shùn lì.
Wáng: Bù yào zhè yang. nǐ yī zhí zuò de hěn hǎo, wǒ yī zhí dōu wèi nǐ jiāo ào ne!
Lǐ: Xiè xiè nǐ! nǐ zhēn shì wǒ zuì hǎo de péng you. Zài wǒ bēi āi de shí hòu, nǐ ān wèi wǒ. Zài wǒ dé yì de shí hòu. nǐ tí xǐng wǒ. Zài wǒ kǒng jù de shí hòu, nǐ gǔ lìwǒ.
Wáng: Duì, wǒ men shì zuì hǎo de péng you, yǒng yuǎn.

Li: I was disappointed in myself recently when my project did not go well.
Wang: Why? You've been doing well. I was proud of you!
Li: Thank you! You are really my best friend. You comfort me when I am sad, remind me that I was proud, and encourage me when I am disappointed.
Wang: Yes, we are best friends.

Origin of Chinese Characters

As we know, written Chinese is not an alphabetic language. We call Chinese characters as 'squared characters' and they are. They seems very complicated and hard to learn. But Chinese is the most used language in the world and certainly one of the most beautiful languages. It will be interesting to know its origin.
The development of Chinese characters can be dated back to about 4,500 years as discovered at Yanghe, Shandong Province in recent years. There are about a dozen pottery wine vessels unearthed, which have a character each. Those characters are quite close to the oracle inscriptions carved by the ancients of the Shang Dynasty (16th to 11th century B. C.).

Top 5 CDs of Traditional Chinese Music

Chinese music has a long history. Here are a few CDs for you to learn a little about the ancient music.
1. Masterpieces Of Chinese Traditional MusicInclues some of the well-known pieces of traditional music, such as Melodies from the Night Fishermen.
2. Traditional Chinese MusicThe moon is special in Chinese culture, so is the music. Hope you enjoy them.
3. Traditional Chinese MusicA good collection including Flowing Water from the High Mountain, Purple Bamboo Melody, etc.
4. Chinese Bamboo Flute MusicExperience some new and fresh music.
5. The Great Yellow RiverThis is one of the best modern Chinese music.