Apr 082012

This has been airing a lot recently on US TV. The vocabulary is actually not very advanced, although beginners may find the the dialogue hard to follow because it’s spoken rather quickly and low. Here’s a transcript: Man: 不要太过分。 Woman: 我知道;我实在太喜欢。 Man: 不要让他知道。 Woman: 可是好漂亮。 Man: 让我解决;看我办事。 Salesman: 好极了!现在我开始准备文件。 See an error? Please comment.

Jan 162012
Huntsman's Chinese jab at Romney

Zhongweb is apolitical, but earlier this month, while disagreeing over trade policy with China, Jon Huntsman claimed in Chinese that Mitt Romney  did “not quite understand the situation.” CBS has a good clip of this, but they seem to have something against embedding of their YouTube videos, so you’ll have to click: Here’s a transcription: 他不太了解这个情形。 Tā bù tài liǎojiě zhè ge qíngxing. You can hear the quote in context courtesy of The Washington Post (apologies for the Flash).

Nov 202011
Song lyrics with pinyin

There are any number of sources of Chinese pop music to integrate into your studies (for example, see the post on Chinese radio iOS apps), but unless you are quite advanced, it will probably be difficult to make out most of the lyrics 歌词. Here are some sites with a selection of lyrics in pinyin and hanzi. Each takes a different approach to the display of the lyrics and how English is incorporated, if at all. The website has a selection of songs with lyrics displayed in simplified characters with interlinear pinyin. This arrangement is like ruby annotation and let’s you easily follow both hanzi and pinyin while listening. It utilizes tool-tip type pop-ups to let you see English translations of individual words (although some words seem not to be linked). Audio files (mp3 and/or wav) are available for download (legally, I hope); YouTube videos are embedded at the … [read more]

Sep 122011
Mid-autumn Festival 中秋节

中秋节快乐 / 中秋節快樂 Zhōngqiū Jié kuàilè! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! The holiday is also known as the Moon Festival. Rather than giving you details of its history (which you can read about, of course, on Wikipedia), here are a few animated videos in Chinese for beginner to intermediate students. The first two are about the moon and mooncakes (月饼 / 月餅 yuè bĭng).  The first is the easiest in terms of language, but has no English subtitles. The next is a little harder, but has English subtitles. Finally, we have a video that tells one version of the story of the great archer 后羿 Hòu Yì, his wife 嫦娥 Cháng’é, and the Moon Rabbit (literally 月兔 yuè tù, aka 玉兔 yù tù “Jade Rabbit”). The title is 嫦娥奔月 Cháng’é bēn yuè “Chang’e Rushes/Flies to the Moon”. This video picks up after Hòu Yì has shot down the suns, which were in the form of three-legged birds and described as 三只脚的鸟 … [read more]

Jul 262011
Chinese on American Dad

 In the episode “Every Which Way But Lose” of the cartoon American Dad, Steve’s football team includes a Chinese boy (in the audio commentary to the episode, one of the show’s creators says that the look of the character was based on an old friend of his.). Normally Steve’s Japanese friend, Toshi, is the only character who doesn’t speak English, so having a Chinese speaker around causes some tension. Here’s what I believe he’s saying: 就象熊猫在竹林里,我们 就象熊貓在竹林里,我們 jiù xiàng xióngmāo zài zhúlín lǐ, wǒmen Note: this approx. 6-second clip is presented for educational purposes. If you are the copyright holder and object to this usage, please contact me. The episode “Every Which Way But Lose” is available on  and iTunes.