Monday, October 30, 2006

R.I.P. Harddrive

I'm usually reasonably good at doing backups, but of course after many years of using computers I start slacking off in that area and then I get my fist ever complete harddrive failure. I lost everything.

It's taken me a week to get most of the software I use back on the computer again. But now I'm ready to start all over.

Apart from what I had on my website, I have lost all of my Chinese study notes. I do have some notes on good old paper so I can in time rebuild them. What I really feel bad about loosing is all the actual jMemorize files I was using, because now I have to start everything from Pile 0 all over again.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Taiwan In The New Year - PART VII

Taiwan In The New Year

PART VII – Day 2 continued…

After seeing the Lin Family Park we returned to the hotel and went through our guidebook planning what we should go and see over the next few days.

There were a few things that are a must see when visiting Taipei, like the Chiang Kaishek Memorial and the National Palace Museum. So we decided that tomorrow we would spend in Taipei city itself. We could see the city as well as the Chiang Kaishek, and Sun Yatsen memorials. On our fourth day we planned to see the China Motion Picture Cultural Village where many historic Chinese television shows and movies have been filmed and then go onto the National Palace Museum which holds a larger collection of Ancient Chinese artefacts than exists anywhere in mainland China. On day five we planned to go to the historic town of Tamsui. Then we would spend day six which would be Chinese New Year Eve preparing for our journey around the island.

At dinner time we went to a restaurant we had found across the road from the local McDonalds and had a meal of fried rice. Then we went to explore the Panchiao Night Markets. The markets stretch down a long narrow street and are pretty much what you would expect a market to be. Very crowded, very noisy and full of bargains. You can buy just about anything from CD’s, DVD’s and computer games to all sorts of exotic foods. The most popular items seem to be articles of clothing of all sorts and at a very reasonable price.

I broke my own rule about not trying any street food and bought a big mug of sugar cane juice, just to see what it was like. The hot drink turned out to be so unbelievably sweet that I started gagging and almost threw up in the middle of the crowd after only the first mouth full.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I have had some more of the jMemorize flash card lessons checked for mistakes, so here is the next lesson about the family. The jMemorize file is HERE.


Who is in your family? = ni3 jia1 you3 shen2 me ren2
My family has dad, mum, older brother, younger sister and me. = wo3 jia1 you3 ba4 ba ma1 ma ge1 ge mei4 mei he2 wo3
My family has dad, mum, older sister, younger brother, two younger sisters and me. = wo3 jia1 you3 ba4 ba ma1 ma jie3 jie di4 di liang3 ge mei4 mei he2 wo3
Guess! = cai1 yi cai1
Wrong! = bu2 dui4
This is my family. = zhe4 shi4 wo3 jia1 ren2
This is my father. = zhe4 shi4 wo3 ba4 ba
This is my mother. = zhe4 shi4 wo3 ma1 ma
Do you have any younger sisters? = ni3 you3 mei4 mei ma
Do you have any younger brothers? = ni3 you3 di4 di ma
I don't have any older brothers. = wo3 mei2 you3 ge1 ge
I have an older sister. = wo3 you3 jie3 jie.
How many people in your family? = ni3 jia1 you3 ji3 ge ren2
There are five people in my family. = wo3 jia1 you3 wu3 ge ren2

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New ChinesePod Video

ChinesePod has decided to start experimenting with video lessons again. At the moment they are apparently trying to work out a good format to use. Here is their first experiment.

I actually like the format of this video. A tour of a house, office, town etc, would be great.

Here is their previous VideoHotPot series.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chinese singers

Here are some clips from a couple of good Chinese singers. The first one is “Wishing we will last forever” by Wang Faye. The second is a Taiwanese song by Wu Bai who is probably my favorite Chinese singer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lin Family Park

Here are some pictures I took of the Lin Family Park in Panchiao that I mentioned in the last “Taiwan in the New Year” post.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Here is an interesting new website called Chineseblast. The idea behind the site is that anyone can put up a piece of text, picture, video or audio file and the community works together to translate it into English and pinyin. The site is only just starting out but it has the potential to grow into a great archive of translated learning material.

Already there is some interesting stuff on there. I actually started looking at the cartoon xiaodingdang - baseball game on YouTube because it seemed reasonably easy to understand (though still a little beyond me yet), and now I found Part 1 and Part 2 on Chineseblast transcribed into Chinese, Pinyin and English.

Great stuff.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hualien City

Here is a short video I made that shows the City of Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan. We had a very good view of the mountains from our hotel room window.

You can see all my other video's on my Video Page.