Study Chinese in China – Index
If you’re interested on studying in a specific city, click here to find the list of cities that we have already published a specific guide.
If you’re interested on studying in a specific city, click here to find the list of cities that we have already published a specific guide.
This page is dedicated to my favorite Chinese movies.
Ocean Heaven is a 2010 Chinese-Hong Kong drama directed by Xue Xiaolu.
Sam Wong has a terminal sickness and is going to die soon. Even if he has accepted it, he’s worried for his son, Dafu, who is a 21 year old autistic guy. Sam works in an aquarium and, since his wife died fourteen years before, he has to look after his son alone.
Sam’s deepest fear is that Dafu won’t be able to look after for himself after he will die. Hence he’s trying to teach to his soon how to learn the essential everyday tasks so that he will be able to survive once he will be alone.
An important part of the story is devoted to show the help that Sam and Dafu get from their community. In China there isn’t the state welfare that you can get in Europe or Japan, so people learned how to take care of each other.
This is one of the few movies in Chinese that I was able to completely understand without English subtitles. The reason is that there isn’t much dialogue going on. It’s all about body language and face expressions.
Even if it’s a sad story, Ocean Heaven does end up with an optimistic view of the future. But you have to watch the movie to discover it ; )
This article was written for foreigners that will relocate to Thailand and need to find an expat insurance. In this article, we provide information that will educate you and make it easier for you to decide whether a medical insurance policy is the right thing for you and how you can choose one.
Therefore, we will cover the below topics (you can click on the index to jump directly to the section that you are interested in and want to read about).
If you only want to read about travel insurance suitable for Thailand, please check this article instead.
The capital of Hubei Province (湖北) is Wuhan (武汉). The abbreviated name for Hubei Province is 鄂 (E), a character mostly used on car license plates. The presence of the character 北 (bei) “north” shouldn’t fool you, since Hubei is a province in central China.
The name comes from the fact that it’s located north of the large and deep Dongting Lake (洞庭), just like Hunan (湖南) because, as opposed to Hubei, it’s located south of Dongting Lake. On one shore of Dongting Lake there’s the famous Yueyang Lou (岳阳楼), “Yueuang Tower”.
Note too that the really ancient State of Chu (楚) is located in Hubei.
Some time ago, the general image of China was a place full of lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, animals, Chinese with straw hats on board little boats, and so on.
Well, Hubei is certainly one of the most fertile and lush Chinese provinces, thanks to the countless rivers and lakes to be found there. The most important river that goes through Hubei is Changjiang (长江), the “Long River”, known in the West as the Yangzi or, Yangtze depending on the old phonetic transcription from Wade-Giles.
Although the literal translation of Changjiang is “Long River”, it’s conventionally called “Blue River” because there are clay-like substances present that allows it to reflect the blue of the sky like a mirror. The Changjiang is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world, surpassed only by the Amazon and Nile Rivers.
Although nature has an important role in Hubei, modernity has not failed to reach this wonderful province, with all the pros and cons that this brings. [Read more…]
This guide contains pretty much all the info that you’ll need to prepare your trip to China: Visa requirements, travel insurance, vaccinations, guidebooks, planes and trains, hotels, internet and phone cards.
Also, you’ll find tips on where to eat, what to bring to China, when to travel to China, how to avoid the most common scams and how to bargain.
Finally, note that in this article we don’t go into detail about any tourist destination or itinerary. If you’d like to learn more about a particular destination, The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu, for example, click here to access our collection of tourist guides. If you want to learn more about a particular touristic itinerary, click here.
The Chinese Zodiac, or shengxiao (生肖), has twelve symbols, just like the western one (given to us by the ancient Greeks). And, even in this case, each sign is associated with particular character traits. The difference is that while in our Zodiac each symbol corresponds with a certain month, the Chinese Zodiac corresponds with a particular year, For example, 2015 is the year of the Goat!
It is said that Buddha, when he was near to dying, gathered all animals of the earth. However, only twelve bothered to come say goodbye. So he – being magnanimous as few others could – decided to reward them by baptizing each lunar phase with the name of one of the animals that came. The first to show up was the mouse (never trust the rats). After that, arriving in order were the buffalo, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig (the usual latecomer). [Read more…]
A virtual number is a phone number that isn’t associated with any physical phone line: all the incoming calls are redirected to another number (for instance your mobile number)
Have you ever used a roaming service while you were abroad? I did it when I just arrived in China and I ended up paying a huge amount of money (at the time my family needed to contact me quite frequently and I was often offline). After the first crazy expensive bill I decided to find a solution to this problem. This is how I stumbled upon virtual numbers.
Using a virtual number to redirect calls from a local number in your country to your Chinese mobile number is probably the best option to receive calls in China or wherever you are. It’s cheap and you won’t have to teach your grandma to use Skype!
Quite a broad and varied range of dog breeds have come to us from China, some of which are very well-known and others not so much. If you have one or are interested in these marvelous Chinese dog breeds, below, I’m going to explain their origins and most common features.
We have grouped them by size, as that is one of the features that people keep in mind the most when choosing which breed to take home:
Large (weighing more than 18 kg, and which can even reach 100):
Medium (weighing more than 8 kg and up to 30):
Small (maximum weight of between 8 and 9 kg):
This article is a collection of all the articles on Chinese grammar that we’ve published here on this site.
In this article we’ll explain what counts as so-called “Mandarin Chinese”, how many dialects are spoken in modern China, what the Chinese writing is and the word in Chinese; how Chinese phrases are usually structured will also be explained.
In the final analysis, we’ll jump into the language, starting with personal pronouns, the numbers 1 to 10. To conclude we’ll explain how to ask questions and make simple negations.
In this article, we explain a class of grammar that we don’t have in the Italian language: so-called classifiers (as sinologists call them) or numerators (as Japanese linguists call them) that are there, even with differences, much more so in Chinese than Japanese.
In brief, classifiers (in Chinese) are inserted between the number and noun so as to formulate the numeral or quantitative constructions (10 pens, 5 books, etc). For each class of nouns, there’s an appropriate classifier that unfortunately you need to know and study.
Do you plan to travel to Taiwan and need to get a local SIM card? Navigating the jungle of SIM cards can be a daunting and time-consuming task as there are many options available.
You see, you don’t necessarily need to buy a SIM card once you’ve arrived in a local shop in Taiwan. You can also buy SIM cards in advance online and receive it directly to your home. You can also pre-order a SIM card and pick it up at the international airport once you’ve arrived.
That said, many different companies are operating in Taiwan and it’s not that easy to find the best option within a short time. Therefore, we have written this article where we explain what kinds of SIM cards that exist, about operators offering the SIM cards, how you can order them, about the data plans, costs, and more.
Let’s start and check what types of SIM cards that are available.
Welcome to SDC’s Chinese level test. Before you start, it’s important that you read the instructions closely so that the test is as accurate as possible.
Update: We’re republishing an updated version of this article, which was originally published in 2012.
This article introduces my plan to learn Chinese fast, where “fast” doesn’t mean that I hope to learn how to speak Mandarin within two months. Conversely, I intend to optimizing my time and efforts to learn Chinese by only studying an hour per day.
My goal is to be able to read Chinese newspapers, understand a talk show and have a “normal speed” conversation with any Chinese person. I want to achieve this purpose within one year.
Chinese is the sixth language that I’m learning so this plan is based on my past experience.
Also, I’m a big fan of SRS (spaced repetition software). If you are just starting to study Mandarin or you never heard the word “SRS” before, you should definitely keep reading!
If you plan to travel to China, it can be worth to do some reading about how to get around by taxi. Not only is the culture different, but it’s also important that you know how much it costs and what options to use.
How do you get a taxi and can you communicate with the driver in English? Do you need to tip or not? These are just a couple of questions that you should know before you depart for China.
In this article, we reply to some of the most common questions related to taking taxis in China.
Below I’ve listed the three different ways of how you can hail a taxi in China. [Read more…]
Do you plan to visit Singapore and wonder how you can get a hold of a good SIM card?
Singapore is a tech-savvy nation with plenty of operators and products in the market. As such, we have written this article to give you a helping hand and to present some of the best options possible.
Some readers faulty believes that one has to buy a SIM card once arriving in Singapore. That’s not necessarily the case as you can even pre-order SIM cards online. Or get them sent to your home before you even depart for Singapore!
We will start and review the different types of SIM cards available. We then present a handful of suitable options if you stay short term (7-12 days) or for a longer period (up to 180 days).
You will also learn about some other interesting options, like how it works when renting a phone for your trip to Singapore. Let’s start and review which kinds of SIM cards that are available.
Just across the border from Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, lies the first tier city of Shenzhen, where around 15 million people live, work and entertain themselves.
Whether visiting or living in Shenzhen, this article will introduce some of the better scenic spots, historic sites and themed attractions. Shenzhen is a sprawling city covering ten districts, so you’ll need to plan carefully to make the most of your time – places to see are listed by district to make this easier.
Depending on your expectations, you may find some attractions quite touristy and possibly even tacky – but that’s the nature of Chinese entertainment. Take time to look beyond this, and you are likely to have some great experiences and get to sample the unique and wonderful culture that China offers.
The matter of visas takes the most time and research for those planning a mid to long term stay in Thailand.
First of all, if you want to vacation in Thailand for less than 30 days, have a passport valid for at least six months issued by one of the countries on this list (US and UK are on it) and a ticket to leave the country (within 30 days from the date of arrival), then you won’t need a visa.
If instead, you want to stay longer, you first need to understand why you need a Thai visa and what type of visa you need to apply for.
If you’re thinking about moving to Thailand, even for a short time, this article will be very useful for managing your money and creating a personal “living cost plan”.
As you can imagine the main monthly expenses are similar to those in the West with a few small exceptions.
In this article, we’ll cover both the obligatory expenses that you can’t avoid and the extra ones for everything you need to know when you step foot on Thai soil.
While the average income in China and India remains low, their impressive economic growth and enormous populations have made them two world powers of extraordinary importance, whose economies are surpassed only by that of the United States. Therefore, even if a large slice of their population remains in poverty, the economies of China and India are completely integrated into the world markets and financial exchanges, making the development of these two key countries important to maintaining a peaceful international scene during the 21st Century.
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and the difficulty faced by the main world powers in maintaining sustainable economic growth, China and India are among the few economies to record a positive rate of growth. Many hope that a closer collaboration among these two colossi may lead the rest of the world to break the negative trend of the worldwide economy.
Nevertheless, when China and India are more closely and meticulously compared, the profound difference in development between the dragon and the elephant is immediately noticeable, with the former having a decisive advantage over the latter. [Read more…]
I wrote this short story in 2011. It was firstly published in another website, but the website closed down last year, so we decided to republish the story here on SDC, as we think it’s still interesting, and relevant!
Muse Club, Shanghai, almost one a.m.
I’m more bored than ever and I decide to contact a girl from Anhui province that I met two days ago on the pedestrian bridge at the intersection between Yan An Road and Xi Zang Road. I send her a text message:
“我在Muse, 你干什么?” (I’m at Muse, what are you doing?)
“我在KTV工作.你们几个人?” (I’m working at the karaoke. How many of you?)
“我一个人，你要来吗?” (I’m alone, wanna come?)
“和你聊天跳舞，你给我钱吗?” (If I talk and dance with you, will you pay me?)
“Oh shit, another prostitute!” I think while I give up and order a Carlsberg. [Read more…]
Do you plan to visit China and want to get some better bargaining skills?
The Chinese are way more used to bargaining than many foreigners. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to learn some standard phrases and common pitfalls beforehand.
This can save you a decent amount of money as it’s not rare that shopkeepers add markups in the multiples.
In this article, you’ll learn more about bargaining in China and what you should do to get the lowest price possible.
In short, yes it is. Why? First of all, this is not only prevalent when walking to local markets to buy clothes, for example. The Chinese are well-known for being persistent and skilled in negotiations, this also applies to the corporate world.
If you join a Chinese to a local market, you’ll notice that the haggling-process and atmosphere can become a bit tense. Many westerners aren’t used to haggling in this way, a reason why many don’t get the upper and pay a higher price. [Read more…]