Monday, February 27, 2006

The View from Santosa

Here is a picture I took on a trip to Singapore. It is a beach on Santosa Island. You can see that Singapore is a busy shipping port by all the container ships ruining the otherwise relaxing view of a tropical sunset.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Free online courses

HERE is an interesting web site I have found for anyone who wants to learn Chinese. They are offering free online course in Chinese, including online teachers and a chat room. I haven’t tried it but from the outside it looks pretty good.

I may register for it in the future, but not at the moment. The system I have going at the moment is working good, so I don’t want to complicate things and confuse myself just now.

It does look like at some time they may start charging for the online courses though. Hopefully not before I get around to trying them out.

I’ve also added a link on the website.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Next lesson on the weekend

I have updated the flash card file with a new lesson on things to do on the weekend.

The file is HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Singapore Chinese Gardens Video

HERE is another short video I made of the Chinese Gardens in Singapore. They are not the most authentic Chinese gardens I’ve ever seen. More like an open Chinese park land.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Something to make Elton John Happy

Remember that insident between Elton John and the Taiwan press last year at the CKS Airport, where Elton called the press "Rude, Vile Pigs!".

Well it seems this wasn't an isolated incident. It seems to have happened on a regular basis, with one singer actually hiding from the press in the toilets and then canceling her tour and returning to France.

Now the government of Taiwan feels this is bad for the counties image and so has banned the press from the airport.

HERE is the full story on the Taipei Times web site.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pictures of Singapore

I finally got around to scanning in some pictures.

This first picture is of the Singapore skyline, which I took on my first trip there. The picture was actually taken from the Singapore cable car.

The second picture here is of the cable cars heading toward Santosa Island, which is a large theme park/ holiday island. You could spend at least a couple of days or more exploring Santosa before you saw it all

In future I might put some more pictures or movies of Santosa on here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Some more links added

I have added a link in the study centre to a site called BabelPod. It looks like it could grow into a great resource for finding a language study partner.

Earlier I added a couple of links on the Study Centre without mentioning them here. One to the “ChinaWest Exchange” web site. It seems like a good place to find a Chinese pen pal. Also has some Chinese lessons and information on culture and tradition as well as a forum for anyone learning Chinese to exchange ideas.

And the second link I added was to a Brooklyn Collage page titled “The Chinese Language and Writing”. It’s basically an explanation of the various Chinese dialects and their distribution.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A new Singapore Video

I’m still experimenting with making video’s. HERE is a new one of the cable car in Singapore.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Computer Virus

Damn their eyes! I got a computer virus.

It was in the Java files that I need to run the jMemorize flash card software. AVG found it but was unable to repair the files so I had to delete them. Then uninstall the Java Virtual Machine and reinstall it.

This is the second time this has happened. This cross platform thing is great and I’m all for it. But I wish they would put a bit more effort into making the stuff secure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

First Video online

I've finished my first experiment in streaming video. I've created a very short video of Orchard Road in Singapore. It shows the centre of Singapore all done up for the Chinese New Year a few years ago when I was there.

I have added a new video page to the study centre and have placed the video there. I will add some more,but unfortunatly due to limited space I'll probably only be able to have two or three very short video's on active links at any time.

The video can also been seen by clicking HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Two more lessons added

I’ve added another 2 lessons to the Flash cards,
10] The Chinese zodiac
11] Party food

The next lesson I'm working on at the moment is about what to do on the weekend. I'm not sure how many lessons I should have in the most basic set of flash cards. So far I'm not realy having any trouble doing any of it. It's mostly revision at this stage, with a few new words added in.

I haven't got around to going through my Singapore and Taiwan photo's yet, but I have been playing with the idea of streaming video. Unfortunatly I don't have a lot of space to put video's so any I do put on here will have to be very short.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chinese Lantern Festival

Today is the Chinese Lantern Festival which marks the end of the Chinese New Year period. From what I have seen on the net it looks like Snoopy has been adopted as the symbol for the year of the dog.

I wish I could see the lantern display in the Chiang Kaishek Memorial in Taipei this year. It is always a good evening out. I haven't even been able to see any pictures of it on the net, though I guess it's a bit early I should try looking tomorrow. The official symbol this year is a little boy and his dog "wang wang". Wang meaning future prosperity in chinese. Also dogs in Taiwan don't go Woof Woof, they go Wang Wang.

It is also traditional to eat rice balls filled with sweet sauces like, mung bean sauce, peanut sauce and red bean sauce. This I will do tonight. Yummmm

In fact I think I will go and do that now.....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Year of the dog, day twelve

It's now day twelve of the Chinese new year period, a time to invite friends and relatives for dinner.

I have been thinking that I might add some pictures on here from my trips to Taiwan and Singapore. It's still on subject, and it might be interesting to have a reason to go through my photo albums. Have to see look what pictures I have.

I also found a very good "Advice for beginner Chinese language students" post on the which I might lift and add on a new page on the Study centre.
Anyway thats maybe a job for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chinese censorship

I’ve just been reading on that access to Blogspot has been blocked from China. Oh well at least it can still be accessed from Taiwan.

I have a fast growing collection of Chinese language web links to go through when I get time Eventually I’ll sort them out and add them to the study center.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Added more lessons

I've added another four lessons to the flash cards.
6] Pets.
7] Parts of the face.
8] Long and short.
9] Birthday presents.

Other than that haven't been doing much, just sitting here learning chinese and listening to Bernard Fanning's "Wish You Well".

Friday, February 03, 2006

Start from the beginning

I've descided to just create my own list of words to memorize. I've created a new flash card file starting from the beginning Ni hao. So far I have 5 lessons,
1] Greetings
2] Where do you live?
3] Happy birthday
4] Who is that?
5] Family

I got through these rather easily so I will be adding more as soon as possible.

I have also added a link in the Study Center to I had a look through the forums today and found them very interesting and possibly a great resource.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Problems with BBC Real Chinese

I have descided to stop the BBC Real Chinese course because some of the translations are somewhat misleading. For example calling cakes dian3 xin1 (snacks), or calling orange juice ju2 zi zhi1 (mandarin juice).
I have updated the flash cards to include the first five lessons, which is half the course. I don't have any plans to add any more lessons though.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Adding a few things

I have added a couple of links here. One to my study center and one to the jMemorise software site. I had a quick look around for some free flash card software and this is the best I could find. It's not realy designed for learning chinese, but it is the best I found for learning pinyin. When I get to learning chinese characters I will find something else to use. I've also added a link to the jMemorise site in the study center.
As for my studies, I am still working my way through the BBC Real Chinese online lessons. I have completed the first three lessons without any problems so far. I have also created a jMemorize flash card file for use with the first 3 lessons. I put the file on a new flash cards page I have added to the study center so anyone can use it if they find their way here.