Well – Wishing in Chinese with Idioms!

Well-wishing is an important part of Chinese culture, and is vital to conveying respect and building and maintaining social relationships. There are also a number of occasions in China when offering someone a respectful greeting is not only recommended, but may be seen as necessary by the host or organizer. These types of situations can include weddings, birthdays, holidays,meeting the in-laws, opening a new business, and many others. There are a number of forms well-wishing can take, and one of the more common is Chinese idioms: quick four character phrases with a lot of meaning.

Usage:

When using one of the below idioms, although they can be used on their own, it is more common to first begin by addressing the person in question and saying 祝你 (zhù ), which basically means “I wish you (to have)…” This phrase can then be followed by any idiom on the list below. And while it is fine to simply use one idiom at a time, in China it is more common to use multiple idioms for a single greeting.

While this not only confers more respect from a Chinese point of view, a Westerner using multiple idioms is almost guaranteed to make an even bigger impression with Chinese friends and hosts. For example: “zhù nǐ + idiom 1, idiom 2, idiom 3.” However, its important to understand that trying to use more than three to four idioms at one time might also be seen as showing off. So, its always best to keep modesty in mind as well.

In any event, take a look at the idioms below for a sure-fire way to make an impression at a Chinese party or event!

Wishing a Happy New Year

  1. Idioms can be used to wish a family well新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè): May you have a Happy New Year.
  2. 恭贺新禧 (gōng hè xīn xǐ): May you have a Happy New Year.
  3. 年年有余 (nián nián yǒu yú): May you have excess every year.
  4. 岁岁平安 (suì suì píng ān): May you have peace year after year.
  5. 新春大吉 (xīn chūn dà jí): May you have a lucky New Year.

 

Wishing a Happy Marriage

  1. Prepare an appropriate Chinese Idiom before weddings and parties早生贵子 (zǎo shēng guì zǐ): May you soon give birth to a son.
  2. 永结同心 (yǒng jié tóng xīn): May you forever be of one mind.
  3. 百年好合 (bǎi nián hǎo hé): May you have a harmonious union that lasts one hundred years.
  4. 互敬互爱 (hù jìng hù ài): May you have mutual love and respect.
  5. 白头偕老 (bái tóu xié lǎo): May you live together until your hair turns white with old age.
  6. 举案齐眉 (jǔ àn qí méi) May you have harmonious marital relations.

 

Wishing Business Success

  1. 开业大吉 (kāi yè dà jí): May you have the best of luck with your new business.
  2. 财源广进 (cái yuan guǎng jìn): May your wealth be plentiful.
  3. 财源滚滚 (cái yuán gǔn gǔn): May profits pour in from all sides.
  4. 生意兴隆 (shēng yì xīng lóng): May you be endowed with a thriving business and prosperous trade.
  5. 和气生财 (hé qì shēng cái): May you succeed through harmony and friendship.
  6. 日进斗金 (rì jìn dòu jīn):  May you earn huge profits every day.
  7. 招财进宝 (zhāo cái jìn bǎo): May you have wealth and success (also traditionally said during the new year).

 

Wishing a Long Life

  1. Idioms are traditional greetings in China长命百岁  (cháng mìng bǎi suì): May you live for one hundred years.
  2. 福如东海 (fú rú dōng hǎi): May your luck be as immense as the Eastern Sea.
  3. 寿比南山 (shòu bǐ nán shān): May you live as long as Mount Nan.

 

Wishing a Happy Family

  1. 天伦之乐 (tiān lún zhī lè): May you have domestic bliss.
  2. 欢聚一堂 (huān jù yī táng): May you gather happily under one roof.
  3. 幸福美满 (xìng fú měi mǎn): May you be blessed and happy.
  4. 平平安安 (píng píng ān ān): May you be blessed with safety and peace.
  5. 团团圆圆 (tuán tuán yuan yuán): May you be blessed with unity and happiness.

 

Wishing Success at Work

  1. Use Chinese Idioms to give face to Chinese friends步步高升 (bù bù gāo shēng): May you rise steadily (at work).
  2. 平步青云 (píng bù qīng yún): May you rise rapidly in the world (social status or career).
  3. 前程似锦 (qián chéng sì jǐn): May your future be as brilliant as embroidered cloth.

 

General Well-Wishing

  1. 心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng): May all your wishes come true.
  2. 出入平安 (chū rù píng ān): May you have peace wherever you go.
  3. 一帆风顺 (yī fān fēng shùn): May you have smooth sailing (i.e. figuratively).
  4. 吉祥如意 (jí xiang rú yì): May you be as lucky as you desire.
  5. 紫气东来 (zǐ qì dōng lái): May “lucky air” come to your house from the East (used when someone moves to a new house).
  6. 金玉满堂 (jīn yù mǎn táng): May treasures fill your home (can refer to children or money).

 

The above 35 idioms should provide a good start, though it is always a good idea to try and pick up additional sayings based on individual needs. For example someone who does a lot of business travel would almost certainly want to focus on knowing 10-20 business related idioms.

 

(taken from ChinaCultureCorner)

Advertisements

Job opportunity for Chinese Language in Pune

“We are looking for people who can speak Mandarin Chinese for our Market Research Project. We would require them to conduct surveys over the phone in China.
We require 16 surveys to be conducted in the next two weeks. They will be dialling from our office and will be with us on a contractual basis. If everything works well then we will have a long term contract with great opportunities for them.
We will discuss the payment terms once you show your interest.”
 
 
Please let us know if you are interested.

Chinese Ghost Month

According to Indian lunar calendar we have recently started with the Pitru Paksha (Sanskrit: पितृ पक्ष). Pitru Paksha also spelt as Pitri paksha, (literally “fortnight of the ancestors”) is a 15–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestor (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha (“sixteen shraddhas”), Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.

A very similar tradition exists in Chinese Culture. In Chinese culture, according to the lunar calendar the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月- guǐ yuè)The Ghost Festival falls on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. In Gregorian calendar, it usually falls on August or September.

This year the Ghost Month was celebrated from August 14th to September 12th. The Ghost Festival, also known as The Hungry Ghost Festival, is one of several traditional festivals in China to worship ancestors.

Just like Pitra Paksha, this month is considered to be an inauspicious month. Most will not get married and avoid having children around this time (ironically, the Qixi 七夕 festival, a traditional lover’s day in Chinese culture, occurs during the month).

There are three important days during Ghost Month.

The First Day of Ghost Month

On the first day of the month, people burn Joss paper (Simplified Chinese 金纸; traditional Chinese: 金紙; pinyin: jīnzhǐ; literally: “gold paper“), also known as ghost money; outside their homes or businesses, along the sides of roads, or in fields.
Sometimes, they go to temples to perform this ritual. Living decedents want to give the money to their deceased ancestors needed during their special month. People also light incense and make sacrifices of food to worship the hungry ancestors. People trust that the spirits won’t do something terrible to them or curse them after eating their sacrifices and while holding their money. They put up red painted paper lanterns everywhere including business and residential areas.

There are street ceremonies, market ceremonies, and temple ceremonies. During street and market ceremonies, people gather at the streets and markets to celebrate the festival. At temple ceremonies, monks in temples organize festive activities. Many believe it is important to appease the spirits to avoid spiritual attack.                              As we are getting more and more advanced in technology we do not want our ancestors to be left out. There are many other interesting offerings done by living decedents such as houses, cars, I-phone, beer, cigarettes, clothes, shoes, jewelry and many more, all made of joss paper.

The Fifteenth day of Hungry Ghost Month

This day is also known as the Ghost Festival Day. This day is apparently the most important day of Ghost Month. The Mandarin name of this festival is zhōng yuán jié (中元節 / 中元节).
This is the day when the spirits are in high gear. The living decedents perform special ceremonies to avoid the wrath of the spirits such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense, and preparing a sumptuous food three times that day.

The main ceremony is usually held at dusk. People put the family’s ancestral tablets and old paintings and photographs on a table and then burn incense near them. These Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. People may kowtow in front of the memorial tablets and report their behavior to their ancestors to receive a blessing or punishment. People also feast on this night, and they might leave a place open at the table for a lost ancestor. They want to feed the hungry spirits who have been wandering the land since the beginning of Hungry Ghost Month. It is thought that after two weeks of activity, they must be very hungry.

The last day of Hungry Ghost Month

The last day of the seventh lunar month is marked with a special festival too. This is the day that the gates of heaven and hell are closed up again. People celebrate and observe this day in various ways.                                                                                      Many people burn more paper money and clothing so that the deceased ancestors can use these things in their hell or heaven society. The pictures and tablets of ancestors may be put away back on the shelves or hung back on the walls where they were before.

Some people make lanterns and float them on the river to help their relatives find their way back. The lanterns are usually lotus flower-shaped with light or candles. Some people also write their ancestors’ name on the lanterns.

In order to drive the spirits away, Taoist monks chant to make them leave. The spirits are thought to hate the sound, and therefore scream and wail.

The Origin

As the Chinese culture is one of the ancient cultures in the world, the origin of the Hungry Ghost Festival and the Ghost Month (鬼月) in China is uncertain. Cultures in Asia from India to Cambodia to Japan share similar beliefs about the month.

One theory is that its origins are in Buddhism. The Buddhist theory goes like this: In (Mahayana) Buddhism, the seventh month is actually an auspicious and joyful month. Legend has it that Buddha’s disciples would meditate through the summer season in the forests and return to villages on this day and congregate. Legend has it that many would attain enlightenment during their meditation and the Buddha himself would be pleased on this day of gathering, known as Ullambana (盂兰盆 yú lán fén in Chinese Buddhism). In particular, there was one particular disciple (目連) whose mother had  committed sins throughout her life and was reborn as a Preta (餓鬼 or “Hungry Spirit”) in the underworld, and through his extraordinary meditation powers, combined with the meditation of all, they would be able to reach to the underworld and save his mother. As such, for Buddhism in its most traditional Mahayana form, it’s an auspicious and joyful month, and most of all a time to think about filial piety and compassion.

It’s possible that the entire story came from Ullambana and slowly underwent changes and became misunderstood over time and journeys, and people came to start trying to fear and appease the spirits rather than think in the same way the legends first had it.

The other theory (and if you ask me, I think more plausible for multiple reasons) is that it first originated from Chinese folk religion, predates the introduction of Buddhism and coincided with Buddhist Ullambana. Chinese folk religion goes so far back that there isn’t too much known for sure about its origins. I haven’t heard any more detail on this theory, but I find it more plausible.

It’s also entirely possible that it’s some mix of these theories. Cultural traditions melted into each other especially during the Tang Dynasty. Tang Dynasty China was at its time a real melting pot of Asian cultures. So in short, nobody has a good historically-evidenced version of the story; it’s all legend that from place to place.

As the times are changing, people are moving from superstitions to practical modes of celebrating this festival. Watch the below video: Master Cheng Yen, founder of the Taiwan-based Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation which focuses almost completely on disaster relief and community service talks a little bit about the Buddhist theory and urges everyone to put away the old traditions surrounding the “Ghost Festival” and rather focus on compassion, recycling and good deeds during this month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD1DL2eTNy0

Chinese Inventions That Changed The World

Not just “The Great Wall of China” or its silks and satin and for the scrumptious cuisine, China is also known for its contribution to the world with inventions and discoveries which continue to influence our world today as they did at their inception.

If you’ve read a book or newspaper, flown a kite, regained your sense of direction by using a compass, enjoyed a fireworks display, worn a soft silk shirt or eaten spaghetti, you’ve encountered just a few amazing Chinese inventions. Below are a few inventions worth mentioning;

  • Abacus (算盘 – Suànpán)

Although it is unknown precisely who invented the abacus, the device was developed in China around 3000 B.C. Each bead has a specific value. Reading from right to left, the beads in the first column are worth 1, in the second column the beads are worth 10, in the third column the beads are worth 100, and so on. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are performed by moving the appropriate beads to the middle of the abacus. It is highly compact and easy to use and forms the basis for modern calculators and computers.

Abacus_2

  • Compass (指南针 – Zhǐnánzhēn)

Before the compass was invented, travel by ships over long distances was not possible, because sailors had to navigate using the stars, a feat which was impossible during the day (and even on cloudy nights). Some exceptionally skilled navigators, such as the Polynesians, were able to get around these difficulties. Chinese solved these navigation problems by inventing the first compass sometime between the 9th and 11th centuries.

This early version of today’s compass came in the form of a two-part instrument, the first one a metal spoon made of magnetic loadstone, the second one a square bronze plate, which featured, in Chinese characters, the main directions of North, South, East, West.

Beijing, China --- Ancient Chinese Compass --- Image by © Yi Lu/Viewstock/Corbis

Beijing, China — Ancient Chinese Compass — Image by © Yi Lu/Viewstock/Corbis

  • Gunpowder and fireworks (火药和烟花 – Huǒyào hé yānhuā)

Alchemists of ancient China created the first gunpowder after discovering the quick ignition of sulfur and niter. By the end of the Tang Dynasty, this gunpowder was put to use for military applications with “flying fire” — packs of launched powder lit on fire. The Chinese military went on to develop more and more sophisticated weapons using the gunpowder. Gunpowder was also used for non-military uses, especially by acrobats and magicians to create special effects during shows. This eventually developed into the complex fireworks displays that China is still known for today, and that have spread around the world.

gunpowder - Copy

  • Paper (纸 – Zhǐ)

The traditional story of origin of paper is that Cai Lun, an Imperial Court official during the Han Dynasty, created the first sheets of paper around 105 BC using mulberry fibers, broken fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste. In reality, paper from China has been dated as far back as 8 BC and could even be older than that. What cannot be questioned though, is that the invention of paper greatly spread the written word across China and the world.

digitalstory_buddhasliberationscroll - Copy

  • Printing (印花 – Yìnhuā)

Six hundred years after paper was invented, the Chinese invented printing and the first printed books were Buddhist scripture during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD). The most basic printing techniques are older. Engraving came later and the carving, printing technique originated during the Tang Dynasty.

When we talk about paper and printing, we are talking about collecting knowledge, preserving and sharing it.

In fact, Ancient Chinese culture was preserved due to the invention of paper and these printing methods, which wouldn’t reach Europe until after 1300 AD, centuries later.

201141033436174 - Copy song-china-woodblock-printing-small - Copy

  • Kite and movable sails (风筝和移动帆 – Fēngzhēng hé yídòng fān)

Two thousand years before the European discovery of flying sails, the first Chinese kites were already in flight. Emulating the shapes of butterflies and birds, Chinese kites went further in their natural simulation by designing their kites to fly for over three days.

These kites did not represent simply an entertaining and childish pastime. Rather, they were used for such highly sophisticated purposes as military communication, referred to as magic afoot, and in some instances considered a threat.

Historians believe that the complex moving technology behind these kites allowed the Chinese to develop the first moving sails (in comparison with the mounted sails used by the Europeans and Arabs at the time) around 200 AD. These moving sails allowed ships to sail into the wind for the first time. Mariners around the world emulated the Chinese technology and eventually moving sails became standard on ships, putting journeys more under the control of the sailors themselves and less at the mercy of fickle weather.

kite-1 - Copy

  • Porcelain (瓷器 – Cíqì)

The invention of porcelain was China’s great contribution to the world civilization. The word “china” when capitalized is recognized as the name of the country. Around 16th century BC in the middle of the Shang Dynasty, the early-stage porcelain appeared in China.

It’s no coincidence that porcelain dishware is called “china.” Chinese artisans took the simple process of creating pottery and reinvented it into the artwork of today.

h2_37.191.1 - Copy

  • The Spinning wheel (纺车 – Fǎngchē)

Silk had long been a coveted import from China across the Western world. However, it was difficult for Chinese traders to keep up with the demand due to the time-consuming nature of spinning the fine silk threads into usable yarns for sewing fine clothing and tapestries. To meet the increasing demand for silk fabric, the Chinese developed the spinning wheel in 1035. This simple machine could be easily operated by just one person and made high-quality thread for export.

Italians brought the invention to Europe in the 14th century, where the spinning wheel was put to use to create threads out of all sorts of other materials. This changed the production process for textiles all around the world.

Wang Juzheng, The Spinning Wheel, in Fu Sinian, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji, huihua pian 3: Liang Song huihua, shang.  Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1988.  pl. 19, p. 34.  Collection of the National Palace Museum, Beijing. handscroll, ink and colors on silk, 26.1 x 69.2 cm

Wang Juzheng, The Spinning Wheel, in Fu Sinian, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji, huihua pian 3: Liang Song huihua, shang. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1988. pl. 19, p. 34. Collection of the National Palace Museum, Beijing.
handscroll, ink and colors on silk, 26.1 x 69.2 cm

From the list above Chinese people consider Compass, Gunpowder, Papermaking, Printing  “ The Four Great Inventions” (simplified Chinese: 四大发明; traditional Chinese: 四大發明) are inventions from ancient China that are celebrated in Chinese culture for their historical significance and as symbols of ancient China’s advanced science and technology.

Study in China!! – A guide to Scholarships for Indian Students

Anyone who studies the 30-year development of China’s education is likely to be surprised by its stunning scale and remarkable pace. An open, inclusive, and vigorous society is the prerequisite that ensures the accelerated growth of an education system. During the last three decades education has transformed the nation and Chinese society.

More and more students from all over the world are applying for scholarships in China for their further studies. The biggest reason being – better career prospects. Most Multi-National Companies all over the world have their biggest offices in China, and they believe in recruiting students who already have had a “China – Experience”.

bike group

Universities in China for Business, Economics, Architecture, Medicine, Finance, Engineering and the Sciences are among the top few universities in the world, and they offer courses which we Indians can only dream of!!

They range from International Finance, Securities Investment, Human Capital & Labour Economics and Cameralistics to Chemistry, Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, Paleontology, Machine Engineering & Design, Rock & Soil Engineering, Disaster Management, Drilling Engineering to Food Science and even Preschool Education! There are around 2000 more such courses you can choose from!

Of course, courses in Business Management and Administration, Architecture, Landscape Designing, Medicine and Engineering can also be chosen.

The universities have state-of-the-art infrastructure, and very comfortable living and eating facilities.

Unfortunately, many of us from India / Pune are unaware that the Chinese Government has very lucrative scholarships on such programmes. Not only will it take care of your Course fees, but also lodging, medical care and other expenses will be taken care of.

In addition to this, the Government of India will be giving you a supplementary grant of RMB 1170/- (Yuan) per month plus your international passage cost of going to China AND coming back will also be paid!

Many courses in China are in Chinese Medium. If you choose those courses, you will be spending a year extra in China for learning the language. However, if you have qualified the Chinese Language Proficiency Exam (HSK) exam, you will be exempt from this extra year.

The Oriental Dialogue Pune, can provide you more guidance on Chinese Language and Scholarship opportunities in China. Do let us know if you are interested!!

Pune talks Business, in Mandarin Chinese!

As one of the largest cities in India, Pune is fast emerging as a prominent location for the IT and Manufacturing Sectors.

A large number of engineering, electronic and electrical industries have set up their base here. It has become an investment destination for countries like Germany, Japan, Korea and France. Likewise, many Chinese firms have also opted to carry the “Made in India” tag, and are setting up huge facilities here, in Pune.

Thus, a host of opportunities, from transcription to interpretation, await Punekars who can speak the Chinese Language.

Today, learning the Chinese Language (Mandarin) not only provides career opportunities, but also opens one’s door to travel opportunities. People across Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Laos speak Chinese. No wonder, it is the most spoken language in the world.

Business firms all across the globe, trade with the Chinese. This means, such businessmen either have to make frequent trips to China or host their Chinese partners in India. In both these cases, it is important for the businessmen to know the Chinese language and their culture.

And yes, the Chinese are learning English. But not all Chinese. China is a very big country and is the biggest market in the world. To tap this market, most countries are learning Chinese.

We, as Indians are used to learning new languages. Every Indian on an average can speak 2 – 3 languages. Our brain is comfortable to the concept of learning a new language. Picking up a language like Chinese makes you an asset to industries which need to communicate with the East Asian Countries on a frequent basis.

Scope of Mandarin Chinese

The need for Indians to learn Chinese couldn’t have been greater than it is today. China is well emerging as India’s largest trading partner, surpassing the other countries. The Chinese Economy is also growing strong by the day, and is very promising.

It is not only trade, but also travel – that is encouraging enthusiasts to learn Chinese. China as a country is three times the size of India, and displays a collage of Architecture, Culture and History. The “Far-East” is soon becoming a major destination for Travel.

Medical Education in China, is a sought-after option for many students. Medical Technology & Facilities are among the best known, and hence the choice.

Even career-wise, learning Mandarin Chinese has a wide scope. Mastering Mandarin will enhance your CV/resume for future employers. Being able to speak Chinese in a working environment will certainly give you a competitive edge.

A lot of Indian Businessmen travel to China. However for them, communication is a barrier. The ways of the Chinese and their etiquette have a great impact on the negotiation. It is important for such Businessmen to learn their language along with their culture and then venture in to China.

Maths in Chinese~!!

Doing Math in Chinese
加减乘除(+ – × ÷)

1. 三加二等于五(3+2=5)

2. 七减三等于四(7-3=4)

3. 八乘二等于十六(8×2=16)

4. 九除以三等于三(9÷3=3)

Text with Pinyin:

加(Jiā)减(jiǎn)乘(chéng)除(chú)

1. 三(Sān)加(jiā)二(èr)等于(děngyú)五(wǔ)

2. 七()减(jiǎn)三(sān)等于(děngyú)四(sì)

3. 八()乘(chéng)二(èr)等于(děngyú)十六(shíliù)

4. 九(Jiǔ)除以(chú yǐ)三(sān)等于(děngyú)三(sān)

Chinese Reading Practice – Short Story for a Beginner

森林里住着一只小兔子,它叫“丑丑”。它的眼睛红红的,像一对红宝石。可是它的毛灰灰的,像是从灰炉里钻出来似的,它觉得自己太了,常常一个人躲在家里。

虽然它长得不好看,但是它有一颗无比善良的心。小猴子乐乐的家被大水冲垮了,无家可归。丑丑就让乐乐住在自己的家,还把自己最喜欢吃的巧克力分给乐乐吃。不仅如此,谁头痛、生病了,没钱买药,它都会尽其所能进行帮助。

日子一天天过去了,丑丑还是很孤单。一次,森林里最好看的小兔子美美来找它玩,可丑丑觉得自己太丑了,没脸见它。美美告诉丑丑:“人的外表并不重要,重要的是内在美。”丑丑恍然大悟,它跑了出去,和伙伴们一起尽情地玩耍。

English Translation:

In the forest there lived a little rabbit whose name was “Chouchou”. His eyes were red, like a pair of rubies. But his fur was grey, like he’d wiggled out of a furnace, and he felt himself to be very ugly, often hiding in his house alone.

Although he wasn’t nice to look at, he had an incomparably kind heart. When Little Monkey Lele’s home was burst apart by a flood, he had no house to return to. Chouchou let Lele live with him, and he divided up his favorite chocolate to give some to Lele to eat. Not only that, whoever had a headach, or got sick, with no money to buy medicine, he did everything he was able to do to help.

The days passed one by one, and Chouchou was still alone. One time, the forest’s most beautiful rabbit Meimei came looking for Chouchou to play, but Chouchou thought of himself as just too ugly, he couldn’t face seeing her. Meimei told Chouchou: “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, the important thing is what’s on the inside.” Chouchou suddenly saw the light, he ran outside, and played with his friends to his heart’s content.

To view more of such posts, visit http://chinesereadingpractice.com/

Celebrating the Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year 2015: Year of the Sheep

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese Year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar (like us, Indians!), with each month beginning on the darkest day (Amavasya). New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

A Charming New Year

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in sheep years are often artistic, charming, sensitive, and sweet. It is known as the most creative sign in the Chinese zodiac. Jane Austen, Boris Becker, Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Walters, Bruce Willis, and Orville Wright were born in the year of the sheep.
Chinese New Year is the most important and popular festival for Chinese people.

Have you wondered how do modern Chinese people prepare for the New Year? Let’s take a look at a few things that Chinese do in preparation of the New Year.

1. 回家(huí jiā )Go home.
For most of young adults in China, they mainly work in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and so on. So every person who wants to go back home will face the ” spring rush”, which is call “chūn yùn ” in Chinese. This is the largest annual movement of people in the world. So the parents who live in the hometown will worry about their kids’ journey to go home because of the limited amount of tickets and holiday traffic. But after the kids reach home, parents will relax and begin to enjoy the festival.

1

2. 办年货(bàn nián huò)To buy things for Spring Festival.
Before the New Year, Chinese families will go to the market to buy a few celebratory items such as:
A. Chinese New Year crafts like upside down “Fu”, which means good fortune, happiness, and luck. When the “Fu” is upside down, it means that luck and happiness is coming. So you will see many households have this in order to bring luck and happiness to their lives.

2

B. 对联(duì lián)antithetical couplet.
There are two lines of poetry with a horizontal scroll bearing an inscription (usually hung over a door and flanked by two vertical scrolls forming a couplet). This item is used to bring in the fortune and luck that the New Year will bring.

3

C. 灯笼(dēnɡ lonɡ)Lantern.
Chinese will bring in the holiday with this commonly used Chinese New Year decoration. Families always hang the lanterns on the door front or inside the house.

4

D.食材(shí cái) food ingredients
Also, Chinese families will prepare ingredients for New Year’s food. Some kinds of meat and vegetables are used to cook dumplings, hotpot and Tangyuan. Chinese families will use specific ingredients to symbolize different hopes and blessing for the upcoming holiday.

5

E.鞭炮和烟花(biān pào hé yān huā) Firecracker and Fireworks
Firecrackers and fireworks will be launched right after 12:00PM on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming of the New Year. It is the most common celebration as it brings in the new year while keeping demons and evil spirits away.

6

3. 红包(hónɡ bāo)red packet
The Red packets are red envelopes with money inside. The adults, especially married couple will give the red packets to the young children in the New Year days. The money in the red packet will keep children healthy, and bless them a long life.

7

4. 打扫房子(dá sǎo fánɡ zi )Cleaning
A week before the Chinese New Year, people will clean their house as clean as possible. This cleaning purpose is to remove the old and welcome the new. They believe it to help them bring in fortune and luck for the New Year.

8

Taken from http://www.touchchinese.com

Chinese HSK 1: Tips & Suggestions

The new HSK is a globally recognized test for students learning Mandarin Chinese as a second language. The Centers for HSK in India are available at Vellore (Tamilnadu) at VIT, at Calcutta, in Mumbai, and now in Pune!

There are six levels of difficulty in the HSK, and four language components are tested. Level 1 of the HSK tests students on reading and listening skills only, and the written portion of the exam includes Pinyin along with the Chinese characters. Students may take the internet-based exam or the handwritten exam, depending on their preference. The suggestions below will prepare you for when you take the Level 1 HSK exam.

Suggestion one: Understand the HSK1 test format and rules

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level I) can understand and use very simple Chinese words and phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies. You will acquire 150 basic Chinese characters and master the most basic HSK grammar.

Content and Duration of the Level 1 HSK Exam

The Level 1 HSK exam includes sections on reading and listening comprehension. There are 40 questions in the exam, which are shown in the chart below.
hsk 1

The exam lasts for a total of 40 minutes, which includes the 5 minutes it should take for students taking the exam to fill in their personal information.

Test Structure for HSK (Level I)

1. Listening

Part I contains 5 items. Test takers will listen to each item twice. Each item is a phrase. There is a picture about it on the test paper, and test takers should judge if the content of the picture is right or wrong based on what he/she has heard.

Part II contains 5 items. Test takers will listen to each item twice. Each item is a sentence. Three pictures are given on the test paper and test takers should select the one corresponding with what he/she has heard.

Part III contains 5 items. Test takers will listen to each item twice. Each item is a dialogue. Several pictures are given on the test paper and test takers should select the one corresponding with what he/she has heard.

Part IV contains 5 items. Test takers will listen to each item twice. For each item, one person will say a sentence and the other person will ask a question based on the sentence and offer 3 options. Test takers should select an answer based on what he/she has heard.

2. Reading

Part I contains 5 items. For each item, a picture and a phrase are given and test takers should judge if they correspond with each other.

Part II contains 5 items. Several pictures are given on the test paper; one sentence is given for each item and test takers should select the picture corresponding with the content of the sentence.

Part III contains 5 items. 5 questions and 5 answers are given and test takers should find out the matchup relationship.

Part IV contains 5 items. For each item, one sentence is given with one blank, and test takers should select the best answer from the options given to make the sentence complete.

Pinyin is given for all the items on the test paper.

Test Score Reports

The test score report includes listening, reading, and total scores. A score of 120 or more represents a pass.
hsk 1 score

HSK scores used for applications to Chinese Institutions of higher learning are valid for 2 years from the test date. Longer periods of validity may be recognized in other contexts.

Be aware certain requirements of this levels above.

Suggestion two: Build up HSK1 vocabulary and review the grammar

As you are aware, there are 150 basic Chinese characters that you need to be comfortable with. (You can download the vocabulary list online.) Once you have the vocabulary list, look for words that you are not familiar with and create Post-It notes with the definitions of the words you need to learn (one Post-It note for each word). Flashcards are another option for this; create them and then study your vocabulary list along with any other aspects of the language that you are studying.

Since all of the textbooks correspond with the material you will see on the exam, you should review the grammar you learned from these textbooks. Writing a paper in Chinese will help you see what areas you need to improve, as far as grammar and other aspects go.

Suggestion three: Do official mock papers

Download and practice taking HSK1 official mock paper. As HSK is timed, it is critical that you practice as many sample exam questions as possible and work to build up your speed.

Get your listening comprehension and reading speed to the required level by doing mock exams. Try to finish your mock exams inside the official time limit.

Here I strongly recommend you should do mock paper online at least once before real exam, which will give you a feel of the real exam and when you take the real exam you won’t feel you are doing something new or different, you will be confident.

Suggestion four: About the real HSK1 test

Get plenty of rest the night before your test. Take the time to refresh your memory of the test rules, test format and location so that you feel as relaxed as possible.
When it’s time to take the listening portion of the exam, be sure that you can hear the audio properly. If you cannot, then raise your hand immediately and notify the proctor that the audio is not working.
During the test, stay calm and focus on doing your best. Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself if you’re feeling anxious. Don’t rush through the exam; only go to the next question after you’ve taken adequate time to answer the previous one.

Remember, you will have three minutes after listening to the audio in which you can answer the questions in the exam. This is not true of the reading portion of the exam, in which you are expected to fill in the answers as you go through each section.

Good Luck on your Road to HSK!