Chinese vocabulary notes (March 2022)

Gaming crackdown, war in Ukraine, badminton, Xi dada, freelance life in China and more. The good news: spring has finally arrived!

What the Chinese Think of the Gaming Crackdown in China | Street Interview

When I went to school (back in say 2007) I had a few friends who were heavily addicted to online gaming. It was beyond doubt that their school results and social life suffered from it. How their parents dealt with this behavior or how effective their countermeasures were, I can’t remember, but the thought that the government would step in to limit gaming time or prohibit certain online games would not only have been inconceivable to us, but also outrageous.

This is exactly what the Chinese government did however, to combat online gaming addiction among minors. Asian Boss writes in its video introduction: “China is the largest video game market in the world and its ongoing freeze on video game licenses is said to have shut down over 14,000 gaming-related companies.” In other words, a surprising step for China to take against its own booming gaming industry. The video reveals what Chinese people in Shanghai think about this government policy.

玩游戏 / 打游戏 Wán yóuxì / dǎ yóuxì play games
自控能力 zìkòng nénglì self-control ability
培养下一代 péiyǎng xià yīdài raise the next generation
上瘾 shàngyǐn addicted
网瘾 wǎngyǐn internet addiction
国家政策 guójiā zhèngcè national policy
限制游戏时间 xiànzhì yóuxì limit game time
刷抖音 shuā dǒuyīn to “swipe” Douyin
负面的效果 fùmiàn de xiàoguǒ negative effect

My thoughts: Especially the elder generation seems to approve government interference in this matter. The children’s parents might suffer from smartphone addiction themselves and might not be in the position to credibly correct their children’s behavior. They do perceive the problem though and might even welcome the support of the government, because they can’t do it themselves. China might be the first to drastically address this phenomenon, but they won’t be the last country to do so (if the measures prove effective).

What Do the Chinese Think of Russia? | Street Interview

Another great and important video about what Chinese people in Shanghai have to say about the war in Ukraine. Some commenters note a number of more serious translation issues that blur the meaning of the actual statements. Irony: The old man doesn’t like the USA and expresses sympathy for Putin, but wears an American cap. As to be expected lots of relevant political vocabulary here:

入侵 rùqīn Invasion
主权国家 zhǔquán guójiā Sovereign state
乌克兰 wūkèlán Ukraine
官方媒体 guānfāng méitǐ official media
干涉 gānshè to interfere
没有权利干涉 méiyǒu quánlì gānshè no right to interfere
表示痛心 biǎoshì tòngxīn express sadness
加入北约 jiārù běiyuē join NATO
盟友 méngyǒu ally
谈判 tánpàn to negotiate
中立的立场 zhōnglì de lìchǎng neutral position
共同体 gòngtóngtǐ community
国家的领导人 Guójiā de lǐngdǎo rén the leader(s) of a country
保护领土安全 bǎohù lǐngtǔ ānquán protect territorial security
捍卫国家和民族 hànwèi guójiā hé mínzú defend country and people
独裁 dúcái autocratic
世界大战 shìjiè dàzhàn world war
核弹 hédàn nuclear weapons

YoYo Chinese: 杨哥 The Badminton Master

This is a short clip from the YoYo Chinese YouTube channel about badminton, high quality content for Chinese learners as usual. The video contains authentic Beijing dialect from a amateur badminton player and includes explanations.

融洽 róngqià harmony, harmonious
团体 tuántǐ group
团体活动 tuántǐ huódòng group activity
羽毛球 yǔmáoqiú badminton
不分年龄的运动 bù fēn niánlíng de yùndòng a sport for all ages
一个关系融洽的地方 yīgè guānxì róngqià dì dìfāng a place where relations are harmonious / on good terms

【The New Taiwanese】Ep.3 Being Mixed Race and Dark Skinned in Taiwan 台灣混血兒皮膚黑的優缺點

In this episode of “The New Taiwanese”, Justin shares his experience as a person of mixed race in Taiwan. He has Philippine roots and speaks Mandarin fluently. The host asks about his experience of having a darker skin color in Taiwanese society. Highly interesting conversation and lots of new insights.

混血儿 hùnxiě’er “person of mixed race”
搭讪 dāshàn strike up a conversation
小鲜肉 xiǎo xiān ròu “young fresh meat”
结结巴巴 jié jiē bābā to stutter
困扰 kùnrǎo troubled
代沟 dàigōu generation gap
肤色 fūsè skin color
面孔 miànkǒng face

What do the Chinese Think of Xi Jinping?

Disclaimer: Teacher Li Can doesn’t answer the question, instead he shares his personal views about the Chairman. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that his opinions do reflect what “the majority” or a large portion of Chinese citizens think about their current leader – except for the historical comparisons he draws. On the other hand, we simply don’t know “what the Chinese think”. To me that is a reassuring thought.

政治体制 zhèngzhì tǐzhì political system
个人魅力 gèrén mèilì personal charisma
口才 kǒucái eloquence
内敛含蓄 nèiliǎn hánxù introverted and reserved
主席 zhǔxí chairman
指手画脚 zhǐshǒuhuàjiǎo finger pointing
敢说敢为的人 gǎn shuō gǎn wéi de rén somebody who dares to speak
隐没 yǐnmò disappear

Teacher Li uses plenty of difficult words, but I managed to filter out most of the key vocabulary. The occasional chengyu he throws in don’t make for easy listening.

执政能力 zhízhèng nénglì governing ability
仁者见仁智者见智 rénzhějiànrén zhìzhě jiàn zhì the benevolent see benevolence, the wise see wisdom
修养生息 xiūyǎng shēngxī recuperate
恢复元气 huīfù yuánqì rejuvenate
尖锐 jiānruì sharp
反腐堕落 fǎnfǔ duòluò anti-corruption
官员的力量 guānyuán de lìliàng power of officials
繁荣兴盛 fánróng xīngshèng prosperous
脱贫 tuōpín get rid of poverty

Daily Chinese Expression #168「摆设 | 摆设很好看,但却没什么用。」 Speak Chinese with Da Peng 大鹏说中文

A short podcast by Da Peng, one of the most productive and original content creators for Chinese learners. I don’t know much about him, but I reckon he’s a good teacher, judging from how smoothly he introduces vocabulary in his videos. The element of repetition also is useful. And I learned a new word to call people who aren’t of much value in a team situation.

摆设 bǎishè decorations
装饰品 zhuāngshì pǐn decoration
雕塑 diāosù sculpture
存在感 cúnzài gǎn presence
贡献 gòngxiàn contribute, contribution
比喻意义 bǐyù yìyì figurative meaning
用来比喻人 yòng lái bǐyù rén use a metaphor to describe a person
轻视 qīngshì to contempt
真正的实力 zhēnzhèng de shílì true strength
点缀的作用 diǎnzhuì de zuòyòng decorative function

Intermediate Chinese Listening Practice|freelance, work in café, Chinese vlog

I only recently discovered Shenglan’s YouTube channel. She is – among other things – a freelance Chinese teacher with her own podcast and video content for Chinese learners. In this vlog, she gives an impression of a normal working day, blogging at the local Starbucks. Big plus: she speaks slowly and clearly and highlights key vocabulary in her video.

充电线 Chōngdiàn xiàn charging cable
充电头 chōngdiàn tóu charger
自由职业者 zìyóu zhíyè zhě freelancer
博客 bókè blog
干扰 gānrǎo interference
传到YouTube上 chuán dào YouTube shàng upload to youtube
一份工作 yī fèn gōngzuò a job
维持开支 wéichí kāizhī to make ends meet
星巴克 xīngbākè Starbucks
自律 zìlǜ self-discipline
排斥 páichì to reject (here: not wanting to do sth.)
有意义的事 yǒu yìyì de shì a thing that means something
克服自己的懒惰 kèfú zìjǐ de lǎnduò overcome your laziness

That’s it for this month, folks. See you in the next!

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