Chinese Culture -A Courtyard as Crowded as a Marketplace- Study Chinese

December 30th, 2011
A Courtyard as Crowded as a Marketplace

In the Warring States Period, Zou Ji who was the prime minister of the Qi State was possesed of a great heightand a pleasant appearance. In order to persuade the King Qiwei to provide wide opportunities for the airing of views and to encourage the officials to criticize faults frankly, he told this story:

One morning, after he wore his court dress and hat, he looked himself in the mirror over for a while then asked his wife: “compared to Mr. Xu in the northern city, who is better-looking, him or I?” “Of course you are, how can Mr. Xu compare with you?” his wife asked.

Mr. Xu was a famous handsome man in the Qi State. Having heard what his wife said, Zou Ji didn’t dare to believe that he was really more handsome than Mr. Xu, so he went to ask his beloved concubine, who answered: “how can Mr. Xu compare with you?”

On the second day, a guest came to Zou Ji’s house, so he asked the guest for the same question and the guest answered: “how could Mr. Xu be better-looking than you?” A few days later, Mr. Xu came to visit Zou Ji; Zou Ji seized the opportunity to look Mr. Xu up and down and compared with himself, reaching the conclusion that honestly he was not the better-looking of the two.

So, he said to the King Qiwei: “I am originally not better-looking than Mr. Xu, but my wife, my concubine, and my guest all told me that I was better-looking than him. The reason why they told lies is because my wife protects me, my concubine fears me, and my guest needs my help so they all flattered me by saying no truths. In Qi States, everybody in the court protects you, all the officials fear you, people all over the state want to get your help, so your flatterers must have be more numerous than mine and you must have been more seriously fooled!” Zou Ji also gave the advice; “nowadays the Qi State has a vast territory and numerous cities, the people you met with are more than me, so you must have been more fooled. If you can be perfectly honest and ask for advice, it must be good for our state.” The King agreed to this advice, and immediately issued a pronouncement stating that anyone who points out his faults to his face will get the first prize; anyone who criticizes him in memorial will get the second prize; anyone who criticizes him in public will get the third prize. As expected, people flocked to the king’s palace to present their opinions. The area in front of the palace gate was as busy as a market.

“A courtyard as crowded as a marketplace” is used to indicate at a gate or a courtyard that is as crowded as a marketplace. It indicates that there are a lot of people.

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

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.

Chinese Charactor -Chinese History- Learn Chinese online

December 21st, 2011

Bao the Upright Judge

Introduction:

There was a official in history during the Song Dynasty named Bao Zheng.He was known as“Clear Sky Bao” or “Clear Sky Bao Milord”, meaning that nowrongdoing could be hidden from his impartial eye and that he gave justice to the common people. Bao was well respected by people because of his righteousness, and his legend was spread among the regions. Since people were used to calling him Lord Bao, his real name was rarely mentioned.