Chinese vocabulary notes (December 2022)

The final edition from 2022: the death of Jiang Zemin, job hunting in Taiwan and the white paper revolution in China. Happy new year to all serious Chinese learners! Keep studying, keep growing!

Reviewing the Jiang Zemin era

Jiang Zemin died November 30th at the age of 96. Chinese journalist Wang Zhi’an evaluates his 13 years in power and contributions to reform and opening up. Everybody in the west is familiar with “old Mao” and Deng Xiaoping, but much less so with Jiang Zemin. So what about this Chinese leader? How will he be remembered? Reviewing Jiang Zemin with Japan-based, Chinese journalist 王志安. Level indication: HSK 5 / 6, with Chinese transcript that can be translated.

完全不敢接受西方的媒体采访了 wánquán bù gǎn jiēshòu xīfāng de méitǐ cǎifǎngle dare not accept interviews from Western media at all
问尖锐的问题 wèn jiānruì de wèntí ask tough questions
知识分子 zhīshì fēnzǐ intellectuals
意识形态 yìshí xíngtài ideology
阶级斗争 jiējí dòuzhēng class struggle
实用主义者 shíyòng zhǔyì zhě pragmatist
三个代表 sān gè dàibiǎo three representatives
把共产党由革命党变成了执政党 bǎ gòngchǎndǎng yóu gémìng dǎng biàn chéngle zhízhèng dǎng Transform the Communist Party from a revolutionary party to a ruling party
核心讲的是 héxīn jiǎng de shì… The core is / the bottom line is / essentially it means…

Job Hunting in Taiwan – Mandarin Chinese Podcast

What’s it like job hunting in Taiwan? How hard is it to land your first job? This is a rather subjective take on the Taiwanese job market, mostly reflecting personal experience and feelings. 小伊 explains to Abby why he has a difficult time finding a job that suited his personal standards. It features the popular slang word 摆乱, it refers to a certain mentality among young people to be indifferent about pursuing a career and go into energy-saving mode.

Level indication: HSK 4

工作环境 gōngzuò huánjìng working environment
职场环境 zhíchǎng huánjìng workplace environment
理想的工作 lǐxiǎng de gōngzuò ideal job
实际上工作 shíjì shang gōngzuò actual job
换工作 huàn gōngzuò change jobs
难搞的人 nán gǎo de rén difficult person
稳定的工作 wěndìng de gōngzuò Stable job
商业化 shāngyè huà commercialize
摆乱 bǎi luàn “Let it rot”, slang for performing one’s job with minimal effort
与同事之间的相处 yǔ tóngshì zhī jiān de xiāngchǔ Get along with colleagues
面试完,我就再也不去面试了 miànshì wán, wǒ jiù zài yě bù qù miànshìle After the interview, I will never go to the interview again

Chinese Girl Talks About Marrying a Foreigner in China – Intermediate Chinese – Chinese Conversation

Yes, a new interview from Mandarin Corner! Jane tells us about her international marriage in Mainland China. 40 Minutes of free-flowing Chinese conversation.

Level indication: HSK 4 / 5, pinyin, Chinese and English subtitles

文化差异 wénhuà chāyì cultural difference
户外 hùwài outdoor
叛逆 pànnì rebellious
外国人放得开 wàiguó rén fàng dé kāi foreigners “are more liberal”
顾虑 gùlǜ concern
追求女孩子 zhuīqiú nǚ háizi “chasing” / dating girls
获得他们的认可 huòdé tāmen de rènkě get their approval
求婚 qiúhūn proposal
办婚礼 bàn hūnlǐ wedding

What do the Chinese think of Protests against Zero-Covid Policy in China?

Chinese teacher Li Can shares his thoughts on the recent protests in China against the zero-covid lockdown policy. The demonstrations in at least eight major cities and on dozens of university campuses were the most widespread display of public dissent for as long as I can remember. I’ve been following the events closely on Twitter and it’s good to hear Li Can speak so freely about it. Listening to his podcast, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointing that he doesn’t state clearly whom he supports, instead he attempts to explain the complexity of the whole situation, based on his news consumption on Weibo. I somehow fail to perceive any clear thought or opinion. At least one thing we can agree on: this isn’t the start of a democratic revolution that will overthrow the system any time soon (but it was a hell of a start!).

Level indication: HSK 5, with Chinese transcript.

抗议行动 kàngyì xíngdòng protest action
爆发 bàofā to break out
下台 xiàtái to step down
表达自己的诉求 biǎodá zìjǐ de sùqiú to express their demands
民主运动 mínzhǔ yùndòng democratic movement
慢慢地放开 màn man de fàng kāi to open up slowly
清零政策 qīng líng zhèngcè China’s zero-covid policy
保护民众 bǎohù mínzhòng to protect the people
保护经济 bǎohù jīngjì protect the economy

How Taiwanese see China’s “white paper revolution”

And what do Taiwanese people think about all this? LeLe Farley conducted these street interviews during the protests. I love the kindhearted and thoughtful answers he gets from them.

Level indication: HSK 5, with Chinese transcript.

表达自己的心声 biǎodá zìjǐ de xīnshēng express oneself
富士康 fùshìkāng Foxconn
保护自己优先 bǎohù zìjǐ yōuxiān protect yourself first
体制改变 tǐzhì gǎibiàn system change
自救能力太弱 zìjiù nénglì tài ruò Self-rescue ability is too weak
开放自由的状态 kāifàng zìyóu de zhuàngtài state of openness & freedom

That’s it for 2022, folks. I hope you had a brilliant and productive learning year. As always thanks for dropping by and hope to see you back next month with more Chinese content!

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