July 13, 2013

The 80's Generation

The generation of Chinese born in the 1980s have a distinct background and outlook. This adaptation of a blog post by Kai Feng explains their reputation for unconventionality and rebelliousness, as well as the distinct challenges they've faced moving into middle age.

Audiotext Reader | Source Webpage

Posted by dporter at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2013

China's Bittersweet Romance with Tennis Pro Li Na

Chinese tennis champion Li Na is known for her quick temper. A recent outburst has caused a stir on the Chinese blogosphere about the debt a major athlete owes to the nation that has supported her, leaving fans and detractors debating whether China needs Li Na or Li Na needs China.

Audiotext Reader | Source Webpage

Posted by dporter at 07:54 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2013

The Allure of the Older Man

According to recent surveys, large percentage of young Chinese women favor men at least ten years older than themselves. Is this the result of simple pragmatism or a reversion to traditional norms? This blog entry by Li Yinhe grapples with the implications of the "uncle complex" in today's China.

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Posted by dporter at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2013

The "Extra Points" Policy on Chinese Exams

A lot is at stake in the year-end exams in China each June. That's why government policy allocates extra points on the exam to certain groups, and why some critics, like blogger Xin Li, consider such a policy, at least in its current implementation, deeply unjust.

Audiotext Reader | Source Webpage

Posted by dporter at 07:23 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2013

The Internet and Social Change

The internet is huge in China and, according to this thoughtful post by blogger Ding Dong, it's having major transformative effects on every aspect of Chinese society. In US newspapers, we read frequently of internet censorship and the clever use of web satire as a form of political protest. According to this essay, these stories mask the deeper role online forums are playing in the development of a robust democratic political culture on the mainland.

Audiotext Reader | Source Webpage

Posted by dporter at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2013

Comedy in Exile

What makes Chinese immigrants laugh? Ask stand-up comedian Cui Baoyin (stage name “Beimei Cuige”), a Beijing native living in Seattle whose comedy routines have proven popular both with Chinese communities in the US and web video audiences back in China. In this short act for a women's gathering, he offers a modern Chinese take on the battle of the sexes and has some fun at the expense of inexperienced translators as well.

Audiotext Reader | Source Webpage

Posted by dporter at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2013

Chinese Dream, American Dream

The fabled American Dream is no longer the only great nationalist story of personal aspiration in town. This blog post by Gong Fang Bin reflects on the future of the Chinese Dream in the wake of a discussion about national ideals between China and US leaders.

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Posted by dporter at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2013

China, on the Tip of the Tongue

The popular seven-part Chinese television documentary “China on the Tip of the Tongue” presents an enticing panorama of China's culinary traditions. This commentary on the series is adapted from a blog post by Peking University Professor Zhang Yiwu.

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Posted by dporter at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2013

Welcome to Bo Tan!

The best way to get to know today's China, short of spending time there oneself, is to listen in on the conversations that are catching the attention of Chinese internet users. Some of these get reported in the international media, but the coverage is limited and often tells us more about journalists' views than those of Chinese netizens.

The language, needless to say, can pose a bit of a barrier. Web-based translation and dictionary tools, while certainly useful, can only go so far in making a text come alive for the non-native reader. In order to get the extensive reading practice needed to improve language skills and get to know another culture, students need tools to help make authentic materials more accessible and fun to read.

This blog is intended to provide students of Chinese language and cultures with an opportunity to develop their reading and listening comprehension skills while getting to know modern China by sampling a wide variety of brief and accessible news items, blog posts, videos, and opinion pieces that have generated interest and debate on the Chinese blogosphere.

Clicking on the Audiotext Reader link provided below each blog entry will open a Java applet that allows you to both read and listen to Chinese texts one word, phrase, or sentence at a time. You can click on unfamiliar characters to see their meanings and pronunciations, and you can drill down further to access lists of related words and characters. And you can listen to an audio recording of any portion of the text as many times as needed to become comfortable with it through your ears as well as your eyes.

Once you've made your way through a piece, feel free to join the conversation yourself using the comment option provided. Enjoy!

Posted by dporter at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)