Archive for the ‘Chinese Online Class’ Category

Learn Chinese -Let’s go skiing together!- Chinese Online Class

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
南山滑雪渡假村距北京市中心只有30分钟的车程,对于那些渴望避开市区交通拥堵的人们来说,这个地方是一个很好的选择。该渡假村占地15万公顷,有21个雪道。雪场主要依赖于人工造雪。教练员们训练有素,会讲流利的英语。
Nanshan Ski Village is only a 30-minute drive from Beijing. It is a great choice for those eager to leave behind the congestion of the capital. Nanshan covers 150,000 hectares and has 21 skiing trails. The resort mostly relies on machine-made snow. Instructors are helpful and speak good English.

Text
课文
mài kè: lì lì, tīng shuō nǐ shàng zhōu mò nǐ qù huá xuě le?
麦克:丽丽,听说你上周末你去滑雪了?
Mike: Lili. I heard you went skiing last weekend, right?

lì li: shì a, wánr le yī zhěng tiān.
丽丽:是啊,玩儿了一整天。  
Lili: Yeah, I spent the whole day there.

mài kè: yī gè rén dà yuē huā fèi duō shǎo qián?
麦克:一个人大约花费多少钱?  
Mike: How much did it cost per person?

lì li: wǒ xiǎng xiǎng. dà yuē èr bǎi kuài ba.
丽丽:我想想。大约二百块吧。  
Lili: Let me work it out…about 200 yuan.

mài kè: dōu bāo kuò shén me xiàng mù?
麦克:都包括什么项目?  
Mike: What is included in that?

lì li: zhǔ yào bāo kuò mén piào, bǎo xiǎn, zū xuě qiāo, huá xuě bǎn hé huá xuě fú, hái yǒu wǔ cān.
丽丽:主要包括门票,保险,租雪橇、滑雪板和滑雪服,还有午餐。  
Lili: It includes the lift ticket, insurance, renting of sleds, skis and outer clothing, and lunch.

mài kè: nà hái kě yǐ, tīng qǐ lái bù shì hěn guì. zhè shì nǐ dì yī cì huá xuě ma?
麦克:那还可以,听起来不是很贵。这是你第一次滑雪吗?  
Mike: That sounds okay, and not very expensive. Is this your first time to try skiing?

lì li: shì de, wǒ chū fā zhī qián jiù hěn jǐn zhāng.
丽丽:是的,我出发之前就很紧张。  
Lili: Yeah, I was nervous before leaving.

mài kè: wǒ tīng rén shuō shuāi shàng jǐ cì jiù shì yìng le. bù guò nǐ zuì hào huán shì qǐng gè jiào liàn.
麦克:我听人说摔上几次就适应了。不过你最好还是请个教练。  
Mike: I heard it will be okay after you fall a few times. But I still suggest you get an instructor.

lì li: yǒu dào lǐ, zhè yàng xué de kuài yī xiē.
丽丽:有道理,这样学得快一些。  
Lili: Sounds reasonable. It might help us learn faster.

mài kè: xià bān hòu wǒ xiǎng qù mǎi tào huá xuě fú. zhè ge zhōu mò wǒ yě xiǎng qù huá xuě.
麦克:下班后我想去买套滑雪服。这个周末我也想去滑雪。  
Mike: I want to get some skiwear after work. I’m going skiing this weekend, too.

lì li: nǐ kě yǐ zai huá xuě chǎng zū tào huá xuě fú a, jì pián yi yòu shěng shì.
丽丽:你可以在滑雪场租套滑雪服,既便宜又省事。  
Lili: You can rent clothing at the ski lodge. It’s not so expensive and can save you a lot of trouble.

mài kè: wǒ bù xí guàn chuān bié rén de yī fu.
麦克:我不习惯穿别人的衣服。  
Mike: It’s weird for me to wear other people’s clothes.

lì li: nà nǐ kě yǐ qù xiù shuǐ shì chǎng kàn kàn, nàr de yī fú kuǎn shì duō, yě pián yi hěn duō.
丽丽:那你可以去秀水市场看看,那儿的衣服款式多,也便宜很多。
Lili: Then you can go to the Silk Market. It has lots of varieties and cheaper price there.

Learn Chinese -The Origin and Evolution of Beijing- Chinese Online Class

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Basing on the written historical records available now, Beijing city was founded about 3040years ago, when it was called Ji, the capital of a feoff in Zhou Dynasty. In Sui Dynasty, the local government of Zhuo Shire was seated in Ji, which was renamed to Youzhou in Tang Dynasty. In Liao Dynasty, Ji became a secondary capital and was renamed to Yanjing. Afterwards, Jin Dynasty officially moved its capital here and named it as Zhongdu – the central capital of the kingdom. When the Mongolians came, they built a new city outside of Zhongdu with the name of Dadu, When Ming Dynasty was founded, and the Chinese rebuilt Dadu again and first named itBeijing. When Qing Dynasty was founded, the Manchurians continued to take Beijing as the national capital for the last feudal kingdom in Chinese history.

The evolution of Ji

The term of Ji first appeared in Record of Music, an article of Book of Rites, which reads, “After defeated Yin, King Wu ordered to return back to Shang. Before his carriage moved away, he feoffed Ji to the descendants of Yellow Emperor”. This record indicates that after King Wu of the West Zhou Dynasty had wiped out the old forces of Shang Dynasty, he immediately set his hands on feoffing Ji to the descendants of Yellow Emperor. Ji is the name of a north vassal state affiliated to West Zhou Dynasty, and is also the site of the capital for the vassal state. Therefore, at least as early as in the beginning of West Zhou Dynasty, there was a city called Ji near the present Beijing city.

Yan and Ji

In the early years of West Zhou Dynasty, when King Wu rewarded out Ji, there was another vassal state in the north – Yan. The records of Annals of Yan Zhaogong, one section of Shiji, says, “After King Wu overthrew King Zhou of Shang Dynasty, he conferred north Yan on Duke Zhao”. North Yan mentioned here is the Yan State that we often talk about in Chinese history. Thus, at the beginning of West Zhou Dynasty, there were actually two vassal states in and around Beijing city – one is Ji state, the other one next to it is Yan.

Then comes a question – where was the original feoff of Yan state bestowed by King Wu of the West Zhou Dynasty? For many years, historians restlessly argued about it, but in vain to come to a final conclusion. Later on, one ancient city site and graves in large scale of the West Zhou Dynasty were found in Liuli River Fangshan District in southwest of Beijing, and enough burial items were unearthed to suggest a happy answer to the pending issue on where the original Yan feoff was really located. When time walked to East Zhou Dynasty, the political situation around Beijingwitnessed drastic changes, as the Yan state to the south of Ji rose in power and gradually merged Ji. Afterwards, Yan moved its capital to the city of Ji, and henceforth the term City of Ji – Capital of Yan came into being. Thousands of years later, Beijing was also called Yanjing which could trace its very source from this story.

The chariot and horse pit of a Yan state tomb unearthed in Liuli River, Fangshan District.

To us, the most interesting would be the exact location of Ji city, namely where was it actually in the present Beijing city? Are there any remains from ancient Ji city buried somewhere in Beijing? Li Daoyuan, the great geographer of North Wei Dynasty (386- AD543) provided some trustworthy notes on the origin of Ji city in his famous book Shuijing Zhu, a commentary on waterways classic. He also elaborated on the relationship between Ji city and Ji mound. Li Daoyuan says, “In the ancient times, King Wu of Zhou Dynasty granted Ji to the descendants of Yao the great, and now in the northwest inside the city there is a place called Ji mound, after which the city is named, just as the cases for Qufu in Lu state and Yingqiu in Qi state, both of which got their names because the cities are next to a distinct local landscape – an earth mound rising on the ground”.

Learn Chinese -Eat Story- Chinese Online Class

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Chao Gan (Fried Liver) is a featured local snack in Beijing. Its soup is in bright red color, the liver and intestine are rather delicious, tasty but not greasy, the soup is thin but no clear separation of water.

Chao Gan is evolved from Ao Gan (stewed liver) and Chao Fei (stir-fried lung), folk foods in the Song Dynasty. Its main ingredients are pork liver and intestine, while the auxiliary ingredient is garlic, etc., which are thickened during cooking by starch. Initially, when eating Chaogan, people would sip along the ring of the bowl, and ate small dumplings at the same time. But now the procedure is not so rigid and complicated.

During Tongzhi reign in Qing dynasty, Huixianju restaurant in Xianyukou Alley of Qianmen invented a new recipe to cook Chaogan without starch thickening. Now, many people would think Huixianju is the inventor for Chaogan.

In typical recipe of Chaogan, pork intestine is the main ingredient, while pork liver only accounts for one-third. The process of making Chaogan is: Soak up pork intestine in solution with soda and salt, then wash it with vinegar-added clear water, and boil. When the water boils, continue stewing with soft fire, and make sure the pot lid is well covered so that the intestine would be well done. When the stewing finishes, cut the intestine into segments about half an inch in length, which are popularly called “thumbstall segments”. Next, wash up the fresh pork liver and cut it into strips like willow leaves.

The production of seasoning is to put anise into hot cooking oil, when it is well fried, put in garlic. After the garlic turns yellow, immediately put in some yellow soya paste. When the seasoning is ready, put it in a pot for later application. In addition, some soup made of top mushroom should also be stewed for future use. When all the ingredients and seasoning are ready, we can start to cook Chaogan. First, put the well boiled intestine into hot water, and then add garlic, paste, chopped onion, starch, chopped ginger, and mushroom soup. Next, put raw liver strips into the pot, thicken it with starch. Last, spread some smashed garlic, ready to serve.

When the Chaogan from Huixianju restaurant got popular, more and more small restaurants and snack bars added Chaogan into their food list. Accordingly, there appeared some slang expressions centering on Chaogan, such as “you guy is like Chaogan – short of heart and lungs” to scold a person, or “Zhu Bajie eats Chaogan – an internecine struggle” to satirize those people or actions fighting internally.

Chaogan in Beijing has a long history, evolving from folk foods of Aogan and Chaofei in Song dynasty. During Tongzhi reign in Qing dynasty, the restaurant called Huixianju made it without using starch, which got quite popular. In those years, there was a popular allegorical saying developed from Chaogan, “Chaogan without starch thickening – torturing heart and lung”. When eating Chaogan, the person should take a small dumpling in hand, and sip along the bowl ring.

In Qing dynasty, sales of Chaogan had two ways – from restaurants or peddlers carrying his outfits with a shoulder pole. Among the first kind, the most famous should be Huixianju outside of Qianmen.

The Chaogan made by Tianxingju in Beijing was awarded the title of Chinese famous snack by the National Cooking Association in December, 1997.

Chaogan was first invented by brothers of a Liu family, who ran a restaurant in Beijing called Huixianju. The three brother of Liu first sold boiled entrails, but the business was not much satisfied. Therefore, the three brothers often studied the ways to improve their products. Coincidentally, a famous reporter called Yang Manqing liked to visit snack bars in Beijing at that time, so he knew the Liu brothers well. When he knew their concerns, he suggested they take out the heart and lung from their product, then add soya paste and starch, but the name should not be stewed intestine but fried liver – Chaogan. He continued to tell the brothers that if people asked why it was called fried liver, the brothers should reply they the liver had actually been fried. Finally, he added that he would publish some articles to promote it for them. Hearing this, the brothers were very happy and followed what Yang had said. They soaked pork intestine in solution of soda and salt, then wash it with water and vinegar, and stew it with soft fire. When the intestine is well cooked, they took it out and cut into small segments. Then they sliced the fresh pork liver into strips like willow leaves. Next, they prepared seasoning. They put cooking oil into frying pan to fry anise, then put in raw garlic. After the garlic got yellow, put in soya paste. At the same time, they cooked soup with fine mushroom. When all these were ready, they began to make their Chaogan. First, they put the well cooked intestine segments into hot water, then garlic, soya paste, chopped onion, chopped ginger, mushroom soup. Next, they put in the slices of raw pork liver, and immediately thickened it with starch. Finally, they scattered some mashed garlic to finish their product. The soup of it is clear and bright, the pork intestine is soft and delicious, the liver is tender and fresh, so that the whole snack is tasty but not greasy, small wonder that it is one of the top snacks in Beijing.