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  • Eye on China

    Eye on China

    Eye on China

As Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with US President Donald Trump for the first time this week, where are US-China relations headed? Tune into Eye on China as Political Scientist at University of Sydney Salvatore Balbones gives his perspectives. 

Kuo Hsueh-hu

Of all the artists Taiwan has produced, few have achieved the stature of Kuo Hsueh-hu. Over a life that spanned more than a century, this painter loomed large. While still young, he created images that have since come to define an era of Taiwan’s history, and though he’d spend his later life far away from Taiwan, memories of the place continued to inform his work. Most stunning of all is the degree to which he was self-taught, taking in the visual culture around him and, with nothing but his talent to rely on, making it his own. Here to discuss the work of Kuo Hsueh-hu is Lin Yu-chun, a former curator at the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, the home of many of his works.


Mike Bellot, inventor of "Solo Bag"

Haitian student in Taiwan, Mike Bellot invented the "Solo Bag" which is a backpack with a light for reading and power for charging mobile phones using a built-in solar panel. Hear his story on In the Spotlight.


Incense and Spirit Money

On July 23, thousands of people filled the streets of Taipei. They had come from temples around Taiwan. They’d been expecting to show up to a protest. The word was that the government was going to ban the burning of incense, a central part of religious life for many people. In the end, it came out that the ban was just an online rumor, and instead, the protesters arrived to a carnival with food vendors, performances, and a parade. There was no incense ban- Taiwan, after all guarantees freedom of religion. But incense and other burnt offerings are causes of government concern. When burnt in large amounts, they are neither good for the environment nor good for public health. What is the role of incense and burnt offerings in religion here? And what can be done to balance the need for well-being with the need for religious freedom? Here to help us tackle these questions is Lin Mao-hsien, an authority of Taiwanese folklore and professor at National Taichung University’s Department of Taiwanese Languages and Literature.


Why China can't rule the world

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Salvatore Babones, the author of American Tianxia, about his book and why he believes the US will always be the leading power in the world and how Taiwan can play up its strengths. 


Chinese characters


“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 12


Chinese characters



luck in having good food

(Wǒ hěn yǒu kǒufú, cháng chī dào hào chī de dōngxi)
I really have luck in getting delicious food, and often have good things to eat.

happiness, blessing

(Jiārén dōu zài yīqǐ, hěn xìngfú!)
When the family is all together, that is a blessing!

lucky star, good luck charm

(Fúxīng shì yīgè néng dài lái hǎoyùn de rén.)
A “lucky star” is someone who is able to bring good luck.

good luck

(Wǒmen zhè yīdài de rén hěn yǒu fúqi.)
This generation has really been lucky.


What one gains from an experience, a book, or a movie.

(Nǐ dúle zhè běnshū de xīndé shì shénme?)
What did you gain by reading that book?


(Duō chuān yī jiàn yīfú miǎndé gǎnmào.)
Wear more to avoid getting a cold.

proud, satisfied, smug, complacent

(Háizi de chéngjiù shì fùmǔ zuì déyì de shìqíng.)
Children’s successes are parents’ greatest satisfaction.

to obtain

(Zhè jiàn shì ràng wǒ dédàole yīgè hěn hǎo de jīngyàn.)
I have gained a lot of experience from this business.



(Wǒ yǐjīng zuò wán gōngkèle.)
I have already finished my homework.

to have been, formerly

(Tā céngjīng shì yī wèi chuánzhǎng.)
He used to be a ship’s captain.

to pass by

(Wǒ měitiān shàngxué dōu yào jīngguò zhèlǐ.)
I pass by here daily on my way to school.


(Nǐ jīngcháng chídào hěn bù yìng gāi.)
You really shouldn’t be late so often.

Listening practice


(Péngyǒu dōu shuō wǒ shì yīgè hěn yǒu fúqi de rén, bǎ wǒ dàng zuò shì tāmen de fúxīng, yǒu hào chī de dōngxī yīdìng zhǎo wǒ, wǒ zhēnshi yǒu kǒufú! Qíshí, nǐ zhǐyào měitiān xīn cún gǎnxiè, jiù huì juédé zìjǐ tài xìngfúle!)

My friends all say I’m a lucky person, and think of me as their “lucky star”. When they have something good to eat, they always find me to share it with them. I really have good luck with delicious food! Actually, if your heart is thankful every day, you’ll find yourself to be


(Qù lǚxíng de shíhòu, měitiān bǎ lǚyóu xīndé xiě xiàlái, miǎndé wàngjì nàxiē kāixīn, déyì de shìqíng, huò shì dédào biérén bāngzhù dì měihǎo jìyì.)
When traveling, one should record one’s impressions each day, so as to remember the happy experiences, or the pleasant memories of the kindness of strangers.


It's not too late

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the story of King Hsiang of the kingdom of Chu in the Warring States. 


Classic idiom of the week - 亡羊補牢 (wáng yáng bǔ láo) or "dead sheep mend pen" means it's not too late to salvage a situation. 


What are they up to?

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with top strategist Alexander Huang, the director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Institute of American Studies at Tamkang University about the strategy behind the bold threats that have from US President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un. 


King of Dizi-Zhang Weiliang

Zhang Weiliang was born in 1957 and began to learn dizi from a famous dizi master Zhao Songting in 1967. Zhang Weiliang entered the Central Conservatory of Music in 1977 and then transferred to the Department of Chinese Instruments at China Conservatory of Music, a prominent music conservatory in China, in 1981. Dizi is a Chinese transverse flute and Zhang Weiliang is known as King of Dizi.


Old Trains in Taiwan V

We conclude the series by exploring history of the last stop of the old train route.


About fashion

Shirley Lin talks about her change in her fashion wear as well as shares her views about Taiwanese fashion in general, on Jukebox Republic.


Photo courtesy of www.pcstore.com.tw



Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the legend of how an ancient Chinese man spoke with the weaver girl from heaven on a hot summer night. 


Classic idiom of the week - 天衣無縫 (tiān yī wú fèng) - or "heaven's clothes no seam" means seamless or flawless. 


Hsieh Wen-ta: Taiwan's first pilot

For people in Taiwan in the early years of the 20th century, the exciting new world of aviation must have felt like something distant from their lives. The early pioneers of aviation could count pilots of many nationalities among their ranks. But none of them came from Taiwan, an island that had recently been brought under the colonial rule of Japan. Then, a young man from Taichung came along and changed that. This is his story, the story of Taiwan's first pilot.


Angel Wu, flight attendant

Shirley Lin gets to ask all the questions that she had been wanting to know answers to about being a flight attendant as she interviews Angel Wu on In the Spotlight.


Auspicious and inauspicious numbers

Why is number 4 a bad omen in Chinese culture? Why do people in Taiwan prefer 6, 8, 9 and even 10? Find out more in Chinese culture as we talk to three Taipei residents about their favorite and least favorite numbers. 


Nanguan Music

Nanguan music is music to calm the spirits, to settle down the mind, and to enjoy quietly. It isn’t necessarily slow, but it’s certainly never played in a rush. Nanguan is a delicate genre of music perfected on China’s southeast coast and spread with migration to Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It has associations with refinement, but there’s nothing showy about it. It doesn’t take an expert to play and it doesn’t take an expert to appreciate either.

Wang Xin-xin is the founder of the Xin Xin Nanguan Ensemble. She is one of the best-known Nanguan artists in Taiwan today, working on international collaborations and introducing Nanguan music to audiences around the world. She joins us today to introduce Nanguan to us and to share her thoughts on what it is that makes this music so beautiful.


Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-Chun

Tune into Taiwan Today to hear RTI's interview with Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-Chun. Hsinchu is the hub of Taiwan's high-tech sector, which is a key driver of Taiwan's economy. Learn more about this important county in the interview. 


President Tsai Ing-wen is promoting a New Southbound Policy which aims to increase trade and economic ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australia and New Zealand. Chiu shares about how Hsinchu is promoting the New Southbound Policy.


One way Hsinchu is promoting the policy is through tourism. Chiu talks about how the Hakka people in Hsinchu are promoting tourism, how Hsinchu is becoming more friendly to Muslim visitors and what people like to do and eat in Hsinchu. 




Will One Belt One Road make China a global giant?

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with University of Sydney Professor Salvatore Babones, the author of American Tianxia, about his perspectives on China's ambitious One Belt One Road plan and how it will affect China's global power. 


Eating Tofu

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 11


Eating Tofu



歐福: 老師,昨天我們去吃素食,我點了跟德美一樣的菜。
(Ōu fú: Lǎoshī, zuótiān wǒmen qù chī sùshí, wǒ diǎnle gēn dé měi yí yàng de cài.)
Oufu: Teacher, yesterday we went to eat “su shi”. I ordered the same food as Demei.


德美: 可是很奇怪,那裡的服務生,對歐福說的話,好像特別有興趣。
(Dé měi: Kěshì hěn qíguài, nàlǐ de fúwù shēng, duì ōu fú shuō dehuà, hǎoxiàng tèbié yǒu xìngqù.)
Demei: But the strange thing was that the service people there seemed very interested in what Oufu said.


老師: 哦!你們去了哪裡? 吃了什麼?
(Lǎoshī: Ó! Nǐmen qùle nǎlǐ? Chīle shénme?)
Teacher: Oh? Where did you go? What did you eat?


歐福: 一家小小的素食餐廳。
(Ōu fú: Yījiā xiǎo xiǎo de sùshí cāntīng.)
Oufu: It was a tiny “su shi”restaurant.


老師: 速食? 哪個「速」?速度的速還是沒有肉的素食?
(Lǎoshī: Sùshí? Nǎge 'sù'? Sùdù de sù háishì méiyǒu ròu de sù shí?)
Teacher: Su shi? Which “su”? The “su” in “speed”, or a meatless “su shi”?


德美: 有些菜看起來,像是豬肉、雞肉、魚,可是都是豆腐做的。
(Dé měi: Yǒuxiē cài kàn qǐlái, xiàng shì zhūròu, jīròu, yú, kěshì dōu shì dòufu zuò de.)
Demei: Some of the food looked like pork, chicken, or fish, but it was all made from soybean curd.


歐福: 做的跟真的一樣,好吃,可是不是真的肉。
(Ōu fú: Zuò de gēn zhēn de yí yàng, hào chī, kěshì búshì zhēn de ròu.)
Oufu: It looked like “the real thing”, but it wasn’t really meat.


老師: 我知道!那你跟服務生說了什麼?
(Lǎoshī: Wǒ zhīdào! Nà nǐ gēn fúwù shēng shuōle shénme?)
Teacher: Oh, I know. Then, what did you say to the waitresses?


歐福: 德美先點了菜,我就說:我要吃跟她一樣的豆腐,我很喜歡吃新鮮的豆腐。
(Ōu fú: Dé měi xiān diǎnle cài, wǒ jiù shuō: Wǒ yào chī gēn tā yí yàng de dòufu, wǒ hěn xǐhuān chī xīnxiān de dòufu.)
Oufu: Demei ordered first, so I said I wanted to eat the same as her tofu. I just love eating fresh tofu.


德美: 那兩位服務生就一直笑,我們吃了十幾分鐘的飯了,她們還在偷偷地笑。
(Dé měi: Nà liǎng wèi fúwù shēng jiù yīzhí xiào, wǒmen chīle shí jǐ fēnzhōng de fànle, tāmen hái zài tōutōu de xiào.)
Demei: The two waitresses just kept laughing. ven after we’d been eating for ten minutes, they were still giggling!


歐福: 吃得很不舒服。
Ōu fú: Chī de hěn bù shūfú.
(Oufu: It made eating there very unpleasant.)


老師: 哈哈!那是佔女孩子便宜的意思!
(Lǎoshī: Hāhā! Nà shì zhàn nǚ háizi piányí de yìsi!)
Teacher: Ha ha! “To eat someone’s tofu” means “To take advantage of women.”


歐福: 我沒有我沒有!
(Ōu fú: Wǒ méiyǒu wǒ méiyǒu!)
Oufu: No way! Never!


德美: 你別緊張,看你臉紅得跟蘋果一樣。老師,您說的是真的嗎?
(Dé měi: Nǐ bié jǐnzhāng, kàn nǐ liǎnhóng dé gēn píngguǒ yí yàng. Lǎoshī, nín shuō de shì zhēn de ma?)
Demei: Don’t get nervous! Look! Your face is as red as an apple! Teacher, what you just said … are you serious?


老師: 嗯!有一種傳說是賣豆腐的年輕小姐,因為常吃豆腐,所以很漂亮。有男人想看漂亮小姐,就常去跟她買豆腐吃。
(Lǎoshī: Ń! Yǒu yīzhǒng chuánshuō shì mài dòufu de niánqīng xiǎojiě, yīn wéi cháng chī dòufu, suǒyǐ hěn piàoliang.)
Teacher: Uh huh. There’s an old story about a young woman who sold soybean curd. Because she frequently ate tofu, she was very pretty, and so the guys who wanted to look at her would go to eat her tofu.


歐福: 哎呦!學了這麼久的中文了,還是常常出笑話。
(Ōu fú: Āi you! Xuéle zhème jiǔ de zhōngwénle, háishì chángcháng chū xiàohuà.)
Oufu: Oh no! After studying Chinese this long, and I’m still a laughingstock!


Stroke of Light ep. 81: Pan Hsiao-hsia and his "Drunken Trips to Monga" Pt.II

We continue our conversation with Mr. Pan Hsiao-hsia, a renowned photojournalist in Taiwan, as he recounts the stories of Monga, or Wanhua distrcit in Taipei City.


Flower Music-Chinese Orchids

The orchids growing in China are not like those growing in other countries whose blossoms appear to be dazzling and showy. Chinese orchids have clear colored flowers and finely organized foliage, possessing a charming quality.Especially in winter and spring, when it is chilly and windy, the fragrance of orchids seems to carry people into a peaceful land far from the mundane world.


Taiwanese fashion pieces

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin talk about three more very Taiwanese fashion pieces, on Status Update.


Old Trains in Taiwan IV

This week, we take a ride to the Cat Village in the Township of Houtong. 


Taiwan's fashion

Shirley Lin shares her observations on fashion in Taiwan, on Jukebox Republic.



Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the story of sinister Prime Minister Li Lin Fu of the Tang dynasty. 


Classic idiom of the week - 口蜜腹劍 (kǒu mì fù jiàn) or "mouth honey stomach sword" describes a two-faced person, someone who can act sweetly on the outside but be scheming to harm you at the same time.


Wu's Garden

It’s said that Taiwan has four famous gardens, each one a masterpiece of late imperial Chinese rule. But one of these is more than just a garden. Here the layers of Taiwan’s history collide, all within the space of a leisurely stroll. This is Wu’s Garden, a central landmark in the southern city of Tainan and the legacy left behind by one of the city’s rich inhabitants. Here to tell us more about Wu’s Garden and its history is Yeh Tse-shan, head of Tainan’s Cultural Affairs Bureau.


Interview with flight attendant

Shirley Lin gets to interview flight attendant Angel Ku of a major airline in Taiwan. She's been on the job for 22 years. Angel was an accounting and statistics major. Find out why she became a flight attendant instead, on In the Spotlight.


Relations between HK and China

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule. In this week's program, we have a special report on relation's between Hong Kong and China. Earlier, RTI's Cantonese Service talked to HK scholar Chan Wan who is also the founder of Hong Kong Resurgence. 


The Taipei Botanical Garden

For over 120 years, a parcel of land in downtown Taipei has been set aside for plants. Though the city has grown up around it- schools, luxury apartments, and all- this stretch of green has never been disturbed. Since it was first set aside, this urban garden has grown too, becoming a showcase for exotic plants from around the world, and critically, a refuge for Taiwan’s own rare and protected plant species. This is the Taipei Botanical Garden, an open-air maze of paths that stretch beneath trees, around ponds, and past flowers, no matter what the time of year. Here to tell us more about this taste of nature in the city is the botanical garden’s Mr. Wu.


American Tianxia

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Salvatore Babones, the author of American Tianxia, about why he thinks American will always be the greatest superpower. 


How long have you been studying Chinese?

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 10


(Xiǎowén:Nǐmen de zhōngwén dōu shuō dé hěn hǎo, xué duōjiǔle?)
Xiaowen: You all speak Chinese so well, how long have you been studying it?


(Déměi:Wǒ gēn dé zhōng yīyàng, xuéle yī nián duō.)
Demei: Like Dezhong, I’ve been studying for over a year.


(Ōufú: Wǒ xuéle liǎng niánle, kěshì háishì bù tài hǎo.)
Oufu:I’ve studied Chinese for two years, but I’m still not very good at it.


(Āshān: Nǐ tài kèqìle!)
Ashan: You are too modest! (Literally: You are too polite!)


(Lǎoshī: Tāmen yǐjīng rènshi hěnduō jiǎntǐzìle, xiànzài lái táiwān xué zhèngtǐ zì.)
Teacher: They already know many simplified Chinese characters, and now that they’ve come to Taiwan they can learn traditional characters.


(Āshān: Wa! Xiǎo wén, nǐ kàn dé zhōng xiě de zhōngguó zì, bǐ wǒ xiě dé hái piàoliang.)
Ashan:Wow! Look, Xiaowen! Dezhong’s written Chinese is more beautiful than mine!


(Dézhōng:Xièxiè nǐ, āshān, kěshì bù kěnéng ba!)
Dezhong: Thank you, Ashan, but that’s impossible!


小文: 有可能,得中,你看看阿山的作業,就知道了!
(Xiǎowén:Yǒu kěnéng, dé zhōng, nǐ kàn kàn āshān de zuòyè, jiù zhīdàole!)
Xiaowen: It’s possible, Dezhong. Just look at Ashan’s homework, and you’ll know!


(Lǎoshī: Ń, āshān de zì gēn dé zhōng de zì, zhēn de hěn bù yīyàng.)
Teacher: Ummm. Ashan’s characters are really different from Dezhong’s.


(Dé měi: Wǒ yào duō rèn shí yīxiē zhèngtǐ zì. Wǒ juédé zhèngtǐ zì yǒu gùshì, hǎowán.)
Demei: I want to know more traditional characters. I feel they have more of a story and are more fun.


(Ōufú: Duì! Wǒ gēn dé měi yì yàng, xiǎng duō rènshi zhèngtǐ zì, dàn xiě jiǎntǐzì háishì fāngbiàn yīxiē.)
Oufu: Right! I’m like Demei in wanting to know more about traditional characters, but WRITING simplified characters IS a bit more convenient.


(Lǎoshī: Kěyǐ shi zhèng xiě jiǎn. Zhèngtǐ zì yěyǒu rén shuō 'fántǐ zì', dōu yīyàng.)
Teacher: You can know the traditional and write the simplified. Traditional characters are also known as “complex characters”. It’s all the same.



( A ) …跟…一樣
(wèn: Nǐ yào chī shénme dōngxī?)
Q: What do you want to eat?


(Dá: Wǒ yào chī gēn tā yīyàng de dōngxī.)
A: I want to eat what she’s having.


(Wǒ yàodiǎn gēn tā yīyàng de cài.)
I want to order the same food he has.

(Háizi yào gēn bàba kāi bù yīyàng de)
The children want to drive a car different from their father’s.


(Mèimei gēn jiě jie chuān yīyàng de yīfú)
Younger sister is wearing the same clothes as big sister.


( B )…了…了,可是還是不(太)…


(wèn: Nǐ xué zhōngwén duōjiǔle?)
Q: How long have you studied Chinese?


(Dá: Xuéle yī nián duōle, kěshì háishì bù (tài) huì shuō.)
A: I’ve been studying for more than a year, but I still can’t speak it very well.


1. 這部電腦我用了兩個月了,可是還是不太熟
(Zhè bù diànnǎo wǒ yòngle liǎng gè yuèle, kěshì háishì bù tài shoú)
I’ve been using this computer for two months, but I’m still not very familiar with it.


2. 這條路走了半年了,可是還是不知道路名。
(Zhè tiáo lù zǒule bànniánle, kěshì háishì bùzhī dàolù míng.)
I’ve been walking along this road for half a year, but I still don’t know what it’s called.


3. 我看了半天了,可是還是不太懂。
(Wǒ kànle bàntiānle, kěshì háishì bù tài dǒng.)
I’ve been looking at this half the day, but I still can’t figure it out.


US-China trade

Was there any progress in recnet US-China trade talks? Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Ross Feingold. 


Stroke of Light ep. 80: Pan Hsiao-hsia and his "Drunken Trips to Monga" Pt.I

We sit down with Mr. Pan Hsiao-hsia, one of the most prolific press photographer in Taiwan. He tells us about the stories behind his shocking portrayal of the many personalities in "Monga", or the Wanhua district. These portrayals also serve as a perspective of Taiwan's transition at the end of the 1980's. 


Cha Dao-The Way of Tea

Cha Dao or “The Way of Tea” is about teaching people how to improve their spiritual lives through tea drinking. Mastering the art of tea drinking leads one a refinement of personal character. The philosophy of Cha Dao aims to encourage people to return to nature.


Very Taiwanese

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin begin the new month's Taiwan Top Ten topic about uniquely Taiwanese clothing or accessories, on Status Update.


Old Trains in Taiwan III

We continue our train ride to the northen township of Pingxi. 


Taiwan's internet sensations

Shirley Lin gives her take on Taiwan's top internet sensations, from a truly funny and acting group called This Group of People to an 18-year old who's trying to start a fire (huh?), with songs on what it's like to be famous, on Jukebox Republic. You're welcome to watch a couple of videos below (in Chinese though) to get an idea of the world of Taiwan's internet sensations or top YouTubers. Special thanks to http://bit.ly/2vdGTux


Wishful thinking

Tune into hear the story of a poor farmer who was determined to marry the king's daughter.


Classic idiom of the week : 一廂情願 (yī xiāng qíng yuàn)or "one side is willing" . It describes a situation where only one side is willing or where it's only wishful thinking on one person's part. 



Taiwan's transition to democracy (Part Two)

In mid-July 30 years ago, a new era in Taiwan’s history began. A movement for democracy won out and decades of martial law came to an end. Autocracy and single-party rule were done away with, and in their place came a flowering of openness and civil rights. It was a big transformation, but not one that happened abruptly. Last week, we heard from Professor Chen Fang-ming, University Chair Professor at National Chengchi University’s Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature. He told us about the rise of Taiwan’s democracy movement in the 1970’s and about its supporters’ early struggles. Today, he joins us again to take us through to the end of the story, through the 1980’s and up to the final milestone in 2000.


Peter Sutton of Woodpecker Learning

Peter Sutton is from New Zealand. His work brought him to Taiwan originally for three years but that has turned into 15. Now Peter is co-founder and CEO of Woodpecker Learning, an app that makes things a lot easier for language learners. Hear him go into depth of how that works on In the Spotlight.


Photo courtesy of Peter Sutton


Pray for peace and success at temples

The majority of Taiwanese people are either Buddhists, Taoists or practitioners of folk religion. In today's program, find out more about why people who are not necessarily Buddhists go to temples to pray for peace, success or even job promotion. 


Exquisite Stones of Formosa

At around 36,000 km2, Taiwan is a small place by global standards. It could fit into Scotland twice, the US state of Pennsylvania three times, and the Indian state of Gujarat five times. Underneath this small area, though, is a big variety of rocks, minerals, and even precious stones. “Exquisite Stones of Formosa”, a new exhibit at the National Taiwan Museum, seeks to introduce this geological wealth to the public. It also looks at one way in particular all of these stones have enriched Taiwan- by giving Taiwanese artists some fantastic materials to work with. Here to tell us more about the exhibit is museum curator Chen Hsin-chun.


President Tsai and China

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Ross Feingold about President Tsai Ing-wen's reaction to Liu Xiaobo's death and her China policies. 


Introducing oneself

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 9


Introducing oneself





(Lǎoshī: Láilái lái, wǒ gěi nǐmen jièshào yīxià, zhè sān wèi shì cóng déguó lái de tóngxué.)

Teacher:   Come here and let me introduce you. These three students come from Germany.



(Ōufú: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì ōu fú, ōuzhōu de ōu, fúqi de fú.)

Oufu:       Hello, my name is Oufu – the “Ou” in “Europe” (Ou Zhou) and the “Fu” in “Happy & Lucky” (fuqi).



(Déměi: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì dé měi, déguó de dé, měiguó dì měi.)

Demei: Hello, my name is Demei – the “De” in “Germany” (De Guo) and the “Mei” in “America” (Mei Guo).



(Dézhōng: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ jiào dé zhōng, dédào de dé, zhōngwén de zhōng.)

Dezhong: Hello, my name is Dezhong – the “De” in “Succeed in attaining” (dedao) and the “Zhong” in “Chinese” (Zhongwen).



(Xiǎowén: Nǐmen hǎo, wǒ shì wángyùwén, nǐmen kěyǐ jiào wǒ xiǎo wén.)

Xiaowen: Hello, my name is Wang Yuwen, but you can call me “Xiaowen”.



(Āshān: Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì jīn bèishān, nǐmen kěyǐ jiào wǒ āshān.)

Ashan: Hello everybody, my name is Jin Beishan, and you can call me Ashan.


老師:歐福, 你的中文說得很好,是在哪裡學的?

(Lǎoshī: Ōu fú, nǐ de zhōngwén shuō dé hěn hǎo, shì zài nǎlǐ xué de?)

Teacher: Oufu, you speak Chinese very well. Where did you learn it?


歐福:謝謝老師,您太客氣了! 我的中文馬馬虎虎。

(Ōufú: Xièxie lǎoshī, nǐ tài kèqìle! Wǒ de zhōngwén mǎmǎhūhū)

Oufu: Thank you teacher, you are too kind! My Chinese is just so-so.



(Déměi: Lǎoshī wèn nǐ shì nǎlǐ xué de?)

Demei: The teacher asked you where you’d studied it.


歐福: 噢,我是在德國大學學的,我也常聽台灣的「中央廣播電台」學中文。

(Ōufú: Ō, wǒ shì zài déguó dàxué xué de, wǒ yě cháng tīng táiwān de “zhōngyāng guǎngbò diàntái” xué zhōngwén.)

Oufu: Oh. I studied it in university in Germany.  I also listened to Radio Taiwan International quite often to learn Chinese.



(Lǎoshī: Dé měi, nǐ de hànzì yě xiě dé hěn piàoliang, shì zěnme xué de ne?)

Teacher: Demei, you also write Chinese characters quite beautifully. How did you learn to do that?


德美:謝謝老師的誇獎! 我就是一個字、一個字地慢慢學習。

(Déměi: Xièxie lǎoshī de kuājiǎng! Wǒ jiùshì yīgè zì, yīgè zì de màn man xuéxí.)

Demei: Thank you teacher for such excessive praise!  I just learned by slowly writing one character after another





(A)     …的…, …的…  …de…, …de…



(Wǒ shì ōu fú, ōuzhōu de ōu, fúqì de fú.)

I am Oufu. The “ou”in “Ouzhou”and the “fu” in “fuqi”.



(Wǒ shì dé měi, déguó de dé, měiguó de měi.)

I’m Demei. The “de” in “Deguo” and the “mei” in “Meiguo”.



(Wǒ jiào dé zhōng, dédào de dé, zhōngwén de zhōng)

I am called Dezhong, with the “de” from “dedao” and the “zhong” from “Zhongwen”.



(B)   …得…, 是…的… …de…, shì…de…



(Nǐ de hànzì xiě dé hěn piàoliang, shì zài nǎlǐ xué de?)

You write Chinese characters very beautifully.  Where did you learn to do that?


你的中文歌,唱得真好! 是怎麼學的?

(Nǐ de zhōngwén gē, chàng de zhēn hǎo! Shì zěnme xué de?)

You sing Chinese songs very well!  How did you learn to do that?



(Tā de zhōngguó cài zuò de hào chī jíle, shì shuí jiào tā de?)

His Chinese cooking is extremely delicious! Who taught him how to do that?


Cultural Insights



 (`Mǎhū',`mǎmǎhūhū', mǎ hé hǔ shì liǎng zhòng wánquán bùtóng de dòngwù. Yǒurén zuòshì bù rènzhēn, wǒmen shuō nà rén zuòshì mǎhū, tài suíbiànle.)

“Ma hu”, (“horse tiger”), and “Ma ma hu hu” (Horse horse tiger tiger”): horses and tigers are two completely incompatible types of animals.  When somebody does a VERY so-so job, we can say that person does things “ma hu”, or too lackadaisically.



(`Mǎmǎhūhū'kě zì qiān shuō zìjǐ de gōngfu bù hǎo, yǒudài jiāqiáng.)

 “Ma ma hu hu” can be used in a self-deprecating way to describe one’s own efforts as having room for improvement.


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Erhu by Yu Hongmei

Yu Hongmei was born in 1971 in Shandong, China. She learned to play erhu from master Su Anguo when she was eight. She first made her name prominent in the concert held in 1983 playing A Single Flower. Yu Hongmei is a constant performer in various concerts and has often been invited to perform overseas in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She is a widely acclaimed erhu performer. Erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument.



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Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2tMVyHI


The east wind

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Classic idiom of the week - 萬事俱備只欠東風 (wàn  shì  jù bèi   zhǐ qiàn  dōng fēng) or


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