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CSA's Great Wall Camping Trip from a Chinese perspective

Screen Shot 2016 08 17 at 10.59.42“不到长城非好汉”("bù dào chángchéng fēi hǎohàn") 

“He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man.”

Chinese people, young and old, have heard this Mao Zedong quote many times. So, climbing the Great Wall of China became a must-do for everyone (who comes to Beijing). This isn’t surprising. Who wouldn’t want to be a true man (or women)? But, most sections of the Wall that Chinese visit are restored and easy to reach. So from pictures, I had in my mind that all I would see is many many people. Is it that easy to be a true man?

Read more: CSA's Great Wall Camping Trip from a Chinese perspective

Top 5 ordinary western foods Chinese people dislike!

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Most Chinese people want to try western food to experience something new. However, the differences between Chinese and western food often leave them disappointed in western cooking. I searched the internet to see what other Chinese people hated the most. Unsurprisingly, dishes like Escargot and Haggis were commonly complained about, but many westerners themselves are disgusted by these dishes. So instead of talking about foods Chinese and Westerners agree are strange, I’ve made a list of everyday western foods that most Chinese people don’t like!

Read more: Top 5 ordinary western foods Chinese people dislike!

11 Great Literal Translations of Chinese Words

 

11_Literal_Translations_of_Chinese_Words.jpgWhile studying any foreign language, your teacher will no doubt tell you not to translate words or phrases literally back into English. Well, sometimes doing so uncovers accidental, or not-so-accidental, gems. Below are a list of eleven words in Mandarin whose characters translated word-for-word back into English reveal some insight into their naming process, or at the least, help make them easier to remember...

Read more: 11 Great Literal Translations of Chinese Words

5 Must Read Books about China!

5 Must Read Books on China

Here at CSA, we tend to talk about China a lot. While we love talking about China, we also love reading about it. We discuss everything from the political climate to the food to the people. Our students are always asking what they should read to try to understand China, and so we decided to condense the hundreds of great books about China down to a select few. Whether you are a long-time admirer of China or are just starting to learn about the Middle Kingdom, here’s the top 5 must-read books about China:  

 

 

Read more: 5 Must Read Books about China!

CSA Trip to Harbin

 
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It’s been a little while since I last wrote a blog, so I thought what better way to end ‘the blog drought’ than by writing about my recent CSA trip to Harbin in North-East China.
 
For those of you who are perhaps unfamiliar with Harbin, it’s a small city of ten million people (this is small by Chinese standards), which lies in Manchuria – North East China. This part of China is renowned for its warm summers but bitterly cold winters with temperatures plummeting to about -20ºC daytime average and approximately -30ºC nighttime average. When you couple a bitterly cold winter with hundreds of Chinese army soldiers with not a lot to do, you get the perfect recipe for one of the most spectacular festivals you can ever experience -  the Harbin Ice Festival. What started in the 1980’s as the army building a few ice and snow sculptures for the public to marvel at, has turned into a full-blown international spectacle where Harbin can celebrate its international heritage via a display of some of the worlds most majestic ice sculptures and snow exhibits.

Read more: CSA Trip to Harbin

Common Mistakes Beginner Chinese Learners Make – part 2

 
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Part one of this two-part series highlighted some of the common roadblocks individuals of any second language bump into. Now let’s dive even deeper still and turn our attention to errors often made by students of the Chinese language specifically. They may seem small and silly, but heed our warnings: without due diligence, these “tiny” mistakes will come up and bite you on the butt. Ouchie.

Read more: Common Mistakes Beginner Chinese Learners Make – part 2

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