Hi all, Mandy here. I’m the new design and marketing intern at the Zhuhai office and the project manager for Teach by the Beach. A local of the lovely Cape Town (actually the wine-lands just outside the city), I graduated with a Fine Arts degree majoring in sculpture – meaning, after four years in studio my only employable skill was speaking English. Luckily South Koreas’ English teaching market wasn’t yet saturated and I managed to live and work there for two years.
Today living and working abroad is made immeasurably easier with advances in information exposure. Primarily thanks to the instantaneous access afforded by the Internet. Sure, nothing really prepares you for the staring you may garner by being “other”, the enticing and insulting scents of daily life or any of the other possibly different ways of navigating concepts of time (what constitutes “being on time” anyway?) and physical spaces (product placement in shop aisles, cycling in traffic, occasionally dodging dollops of baby excrement on pavements and dish-water from several storeys above) – but these few sources could prove useful for your day-to-day life:
Pop-up Chinese (podcast)
One of the more entertaining ways of learning Chinese, Pop-up Chinese provides short dialogues with transcripts in Pinyin and characters As well as a guide through the finer details of pronunciation, meaning and often hilarious explanations of contexts by the two hosts – the native Chinese speaker and the second language speaker.
Their podcasts are arranged from absolute beginners to advanced levels – with a few fun categories (such as KTV Wednesdays and Film Fridays) included.
As a regular subscriber (no fee) you get quite a good range of the source material and access to forums for discussion as well as responses to your personal language questions if you email one of the hosts. Paying for a subscription allows more access and quite a bit more in terms of downloadable material.
Also available on site, is the sister-podcast, Pop-up Cantonese. Which could prove somewhat useful for our Zhuhai interns looking for a bit of a language edge or simply to surprize and impress their office staff.
Sinica is a weekly discussion podcast available on the Pop-up Chinese website. Hosted by Kaiser Guo and Jeremy Goldkorn, the show manages to provide highly insightful topics, guests and recommendations without getting stuffy or boring. Everything from political situations to contemporary pop culture is dissected in a fresh and easy manner that allows even complete outsiders easy engagement in the discussions. Highly recommended for staying on top of current events.
Another favourite for current events, ChinaSmack, not only keeps one up to date on the latest Chinese news, but if you are at all interested in the thinking and behaviour of Chinese netizens, this is a quite gem. Netizen reaction to Chinese news stories, behavior and language in discussion forums and the general comment-banter thrown around in such forums, are translated into English. Impress and offend your Chinese friends and co-workers! Amazing!
Raouls’ China Saloon (forum)
This forum site is a quite an effort to apply to as they have some measures in place to make sure only really keen and/or persistent parties join. Once past that wall, it’s really quite a useful go-to source for times you need a quick answer to everything from adjust your TV setting/water heater to accessing inconvenient sites.
The more frequently you post in the forums the higher up you can move (more exclusive forums and posts are made accessible).
Hope this has been useful guys!
Putonghua (also called Mandarin) is the official language of People’s Republic of China. Therefore, if you are or ever will be learning Chinese, the most likely it will be Putonghua. However, Cantonese is also quite widely spoken in certain areas of China. Especially in Guangdong province, where Zhuhai is located. If you are wondering how different these two languages are than I will tell you that they are probably more different than English and German.
So, when I was applying for an internship one of my major concerns was whether I will be able to speak Mandarin in Zhuhai. Wikipedia stated that it was a Cantonese speaking area. However, Zhuhai, its beautiful landscapes, sub-tropical weather and the internships tempted me so much that I couldn’t resist. Thought to myself: I am sure there are plenty of ways of practicing Mandarin as long as you’re in China. It will be all up to me, whether I will look for opportunities or not.
So, here I am in Zhuhai. How’s my Cantonese? I think I’ve heard it in the bus once. Haha. If somebody would ask me, I would say that this is Mandarin speaking area. Wouldn’t even occur to me that I am in Canton. I hear Mandarin everywhere: in the busses, shops, on the radios. Everybody speaks to me in Mandarin. Of course if I would be more attentive maybe I would hear more Cantonese speakers. But only Mandarin catches my attention. And believe me, it’s everywhere. I am not sure how it is in other Guangdong cities, but Zhuhai is very, very Mandarin! So if any of you have concerns about practicing your Putonghua in Zhuhai I can guarantee you that you shouldn’t even think about that. Just enjoy the weather!
Thanks to this update, you will have nice love handles matching your beer belly!
地三鲜: (di san xian) potatoes, green peppers and eggplant
青椒土豆片: (qing jiao tu dou pian) green peppers and potatoes stir-fried
烧芸豆 : (shao yun dou) fried green beans
木须柿子: (mu xu shi zi) egg and tomato wedges stir-fried
木须瓜片: (mu xu gua pian) egg and cucumber slices stir-fried
烧荷兰豆: (shao he lan dou) stir-fried snow peas (usu. with garlic)
炸茄盒 : (zha qie he) breaded eggplant boxesw/ meat filling
鱼香茄条: (yu xiang qie tiao) fish smelling eggplant strips
茄排: (qie pai) breaded, deep-fried eggplant strips
烧茄子: (shao qie zi) stir-fried eggplant
蚝油生菜: (hao you sheng cai) lettuce stir-fried in oyster sauce
烧白菜: (shao bai cai) fried Chinese cabbage
六合菜 : (liu he cai) six veggies; bean sprouts,mushrooms, cellophane noodles, etc.
肉磨菠菜: (rou mo bo cai) ground pork with spinach
蒜苗炒肉: (suan miao chao rou) garlic shoots and pork stir-fried
麻婆豆腐: (ma po dou fu) tofu chunks in spicy sauce (little meat)
家常豆腐: (jia chang dou fu) tofu chunks in savory sauce
麻辣豆腐: (ma la dou fu) tofu chunks in spicy and numbing sauce
青椒豆腐干: (qing jiao dou fu gan) dry tofu strips stir-fried w/ green peppers
STAPLES 面 BASES
米饭: (mi fan) white rice
蛋炒饭 : (dan chao fan) egg-fried rice (usu. w/ a little veggies)
水饺: (shui jiao) boiled Chinese ravioli
锅贴: (guo tie) pot stickers; fried Chinese ravioli
馒头: (man tou) Chinese steamed bread
炸将: (zha jiang mian) noodles with a savory, spicy sauce
担担面 : (dan dan mian) noodles with a very spicy hot sauce
牛肉面 : (niu rou mian) noodles with beef pieces and broth
蛋炒面 : (dan chao mian) egg-fried noodles
肉炒面 : (rou chao mian) pork-fried noodles
混沌: (hun dun) wontons
SOUP 汤 POTAGES
西红柿鸡蛋: (xihongshijidantang) tomato and egg soup
菠菜粉丝汤: (bo cai fen si tang) spinach and vermicelli soup
青菜豆腐汤: (qing cai dou fu tang) tofu and vegetable soup
Sometimes, you have to order food and there are not always images on the menu or your Chinese is not that great (or lame in my case). If you are feeling lucky you can choose randomly but you can also use this short list of Chinese dishes with their translation and description.
炸花生 : (zha hua sheng) deep-fried peanut
五彩拉皮: (wu cai la pi) cold dish with glass noodles and veggies
拌花菜 : (ban hua cai) cold dish; carrots, cucumbers, peanuts, etc in vinegar and hot sauce
锅包肉: (guo bao rou) sweet and sour pork
糖醋里脊: (tang cu li ji) sweet and sour lean pork pieces
鱼香肉丝: (yu xiang rou si) fish smelling pork, a little spicy with some veggies
宫包肉丁: (gong bao rou ding) spicy pork usu. w/ peanuts & carrots
京酱肉丝: (jing jiang rou si) saucy meat on a bed of Chinese onions
排骨: (pai gu) ribs
水煮肉片: (shui zhu rou pian) Sichuan specialty; pork in a spicy soup base with some greens
宫包鸡丁: (gong bao ji ding) spicy chicken w/ peanuts & carrots
鱼香鸡条: (yu xiang ji tiao) fish smelling chicken
软炸鸡条: (ruan zha ji tiao) breaded, deep-fried chicken strips
辣子鸡丁: (la zi ji ding) very spicy chicken dish
铁板鸡片: (tie ban ji pian) chicken and onions on a sizzling skillet
咖哩鸡: (ga li ji) curry chicken (usually mild curry)
腰果鸡丁: (yao guo ji ding) chicken and cashews
铁板牛肉: (tie ban niu rou) beef and onions on a sizzling skillet
干煸牛肉丝: (gan bian niu rou si) fried, crispy beef strips; spicy
咖哩牛肉: (ga li niu rou) curry beef
孜然牛肉: (zi ran niu rou) deep fried beef with cumin
黑胡椒牛肉: (hei hu jiao niu rou) black pepper beef
红烧牛肉: (hong shao niu rou) beef braised in brown sauce
Enjoy your meal!
I’ve started taking Mandarin classes every morning and have really enjoyed it. The first few days were difficult, especially getting used to the tones!! I have, however, seen alot of improvement and want to continue working on my Mandarin.
My teacher is a bubbly, eccentric 22 year-old girl named Liudi…she’s quite the teacher!
Yesterday myself and my two other classmates who’re also interns went out to lunch with all of the teachers and had a blast! See the attached photo