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The most convenient way to learn Chinese the way it is actually spoken and used. Start with our basic lessons, and in no time you'll be listening to music, watching films and television and engaging in the actual language. With free daily podcasts, a vibrant community, online study tools and much more, PopupChinese is the most powerful and personal way to learn mandarin.
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Sinica - Ghost Cities to Luxury Malls

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 01:00

Remember the good old days when people did not talk obsessively about real estate and housing prices, and dinner parties would feature conversations about art? Well so do we, but with those days long gone, we're delighted to host two experts on the real estate market in China, who join us for a show that looks into the current state of China's most famous ghost towns from the last decade as well as the retail space with mall development and more.

Joining host Jeremy Goldkorn for this discussion are Rob Schmitz, China correspondent for the American Public Media's Marketplace show, who shares his personal experience visiting famous ghost cities like Ordos and who will tell us what they are like these days. Also in the studio is Timothy Coghlan, a long-time China hand who is an expert in the luxury and fashion industries and currently works as an expert on the real estate market for Savills real estate consulting company.

Please note: all listeners are warmly invited to download this show as a standalone mp3 file. We also encourage anyone who wants to be notified when new episodes are released to subscribe to our custom iTunes feed. Questions and comments are also always welcome at sinice@popupchinese.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sinica - Finding the Essence of China

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 01:00

This week, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are delighted to host Jeremiah Jenne, Director at The Hutong, Beijing’s premier cultural exchange center, for a conversation that picks apart this country's obsession with "Chinese characteristics" and asks whether this is empty rhetoric, or something that actually matters. In the process, we wade back to Imperial efforts to reconcile the "essence" of China with "practical" Western technologies and ideas (中体西用).

Have your own thoughts? Share them in the comments section below, or write to us at sinica@popupchinese.com. And remember, to subscribe to the Sinica show through RSS, just open up iTunes, click on the "Advanced" menu and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast". When prompted, copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box. If you'd like to download this mp3 directly from our site you can also grab it as a standalone mp3 file. Enjoy!

Sinica - The Formulation of Chinese Essence

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 01:00

This week, Kaiser and David host Jeremiah Jenne, the Hutong, Beijing’s premier culture exchange center, for light conversation about modernity and the formulation of Chinese Essence “中体西用”. Particularly, we will consider the meaning of those all-too common additions “with Chinese characteristics” and if it is reconcilable.

Have your own thoughts? Share them in the comments section below, or write to us at sinica@popupchinese.com. And remember, to subscribe to the Sinica show through RSS, just open up iTunes, click on the "Advanced" menu and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast". When prompted, copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box. If you'd like to download this mp3 directly from our site you can also grab it as a standalone mp3 file. Enjoy!

Advanced - Zhu Jing and Her Music

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:18

“梦想是很单纯的”、“当你无法左右这个世界的时候,就去创作吧”、“妈妈,我希望下辈子你可以做我的女儿,这样我就可以像你爱我一样来爱你”……今天,让我们一起走近朱婧——一位才华横溢的创作歌手,去了解她与音乐的不解之缘,去聆听她歌声背后的一个个平凡、真实又感动人心的故事。那时,那人,那天籁般的歌喉……

Sinica - In Memory of Jenkai Kuo

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Jeremy and David welcome back Kaiser to remember the life and lessons of his father, Jenkai Kuo (Guo Jingkai) (郭倞闓). He was an upstanding man who spent much of his life dedicated to his passions, none more important than his family. From the beginning, he formed a strong self-identity as Chinese and, after raising his family in America, dedicated himself to building bridges to China. Trained as a Mechanical Engineer at National Taiwan University, Ohio State University and the University of California, Berkeley, Jenkai was known for his intellectual prowess and steadfastly worked on his inventions until his passing.

Coming to see himself as living in two worlds, Jenkai reconciled this with integrity and ferocious logic, two traits which stood out to those who met him. His profound love for his family and country(ies) can be seen through his evolving views on justice as well as his lasting legacy of Sino-US identity. The spirit and quality of a man of Jenkai’s ilk is rare, and on what would have been his 82nd birthday, we are proud to hear some of his life as chronicled by his son, Kaiser.

Enjoy Sinica? If you'd like to download the show without playing it through our on-site player, please feel free to grab the standalone mp3 file. You can also use any RSS feed reader to subscribe to this podcast and get updates automatically: just use our dedicated feed which can be found on http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica here at Popup Chinese.

Elementary - Travelling Light

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 01:00

Xiao Wang strained to tighten the security strap around her luggage, pressing her knee against the bulging fabric to muscle the suitcase closed. She was not sure when or how packing had become this problematic. For while she had long ago become accustomed to the need for travelling light, it nonetheless seemed that there was somehow more and more to pack for each trip.

Sinica - The Rule of Law in China

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Jeremy and David are joined by Donald Clarke, professor at George Washington University where he specializes in Chinese law, for a discussion of what is happening with the Zhou Yongkang corruption scandal, as well as ongoing events in the 4th Plenary Session. Although you may not have heard of his name, we are fairly sure you'll have run into his work, seeing as Professor Clarke founded and maintains ChinaLaw, the leading English-language Internet resource for discussing legal issues in China.

As always, before we go let us remind you that - in addition to listening through our site and RSS feed - you are warmly invited to download this show as a standalone mp3 file. And if you have questions or suggestions about the show or want to contact us by email, please feel free to write us at sinica@popupchinese.com and we'll do our best to get back to you in a timely fashion.

New HSK Level 4 - Reading exercise #993

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 01:00

Lesson content (click to edit)

Sinica - Hong Kong Protests and Suicide in China

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, we’re delighted to welcome back the stalwart Mr. Gady Epstein, Beijing correspondent for The Economist, to discuss the recent protests in Hong Kong, as well as the flux in China's suicide rates. And specifically, we’ll be looking at the similarities and differences in the stories told by officials and rural women on this front.

Enjoy Sinica? Just remember that if you have trouble listening to the show through our on-site player, you are always welcome to download this show as a standalone mp3 file. All listeners are also welcome to subscribe to this and future shows using iTunes, which can be hooked up to our decidated RSS feed. Inquiries and suggestions for future show topics or guests are also welcome by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Quiz Night - Einstein on the Beidaihe

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 01:00

Did you ever thumb through a fresh copy of City Weekend and wonder why the Readers' Choice Award for Creepiest Park in Beijing has been awarded to Jingshan Park every year since the mid-1660s? In this episode, Megan squares off with returning champion Zhiqiang to answer this as well as questions on rehab and earth's diminishing dolphin population. Normally, Megan and Joakeem are trapped in a discussion on how to define their relationship but during Quiz Night this week they stay off that topic for 16 uninterrupted minutes of bliss.

Learning Chinese? The Popup Chinese Quiz Night is easy-to-digest mixed-language edutainment for intermediate learners. Our goal is offering up stimulating high-level vocabulary that can help you hone your listening comprehension and vocab while havng fun, or at least enjoying the warm feeling of knowing that your Chinese is better than that of the Swedish guy who is hosting the show.

Sinica - Debating Societies in China

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, we're happy to welcome back Jeremy Goldkorn in conversation with David Weeks, founder and president of the National High School Debate League of China, a debating society currently established in twenty-seven cities throughout China. Join us as we discuss the history and current state of debate activities here in China and look into the role that these kind of groups play in promoting critical thinking in the Chinese education system.

Enjoy Sinica? If you'd like Kaiser and crew to show up automatically in iTunes or on your phone whenever we publish a new episode of Sinica, you can subscribe to Sinica manually by selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast" from the File menu in iTunes and providing the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica when prompted. Or you can download this show directly from our server as a standalone mp3 file for listening yourself or sharing with friends. Enjoy!

Advanced - Beijing Fun Life

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 01:00

是不是生活中总能遇到一些让你困惑不解、茫然无措的人和事?总有那么一些不可思议的人和事让你无语、无奈、甚至抓狂、崩溃,但也哭笑不得?很多时候我们选择了一笑而过。毕竟,林子大了,什么鸟儿都有。在这个多元化的社会里,那些奇闻趣事也不失为我们茶余饭后的谈资。也毕竟,怪圈里怎能没有奇葩?

Sinica -

Sat, 07/12/2014 - 05:59

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Jiang Xueqin, deputy principal of Tsinghua Fuzhong Affiliated High School and author of Creative China, to discuss education in China. Specifically, we’re curious to find out how China’s education system ranks internationally, development of the proletariat, and all the unscrupulous top-down planning that goes into modernizing Confucian education while maintaining political orthodoxy.

Have thoughts? Once you're done listening, please feel welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section, or by writing us at sinica@popupchinese.com. Also remember, you can subscribe to the Sinica show through RSS by opening up iTunes, clicking on the "Advanced" menu and selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast". Copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box when prompted.

Sinica - Education in China

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Jiang Xueqin, deputy principal of Tsinghua Fuzhong Affiliated High School and author of Creative China, for a discussion of the education system in China. Specifically, we’re curious to find out how China’s education system ranks internationally, how the politics of education play out here, and all the unscrupulous top-down planning that goes into modernizing Confucian education while maintaining political orthodoxy.

Have ideas? Once you're done listening, please feel welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section, or by writing us at sinica@popupchinese.com. Also remember, you can subscribe to the Sinica show through RSS by opening up iTunes, clicking on the "Advanced" menu and selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast". Copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box when prompted. Or download this show as a standalone mp3 file.

Absolute Beginners - A Loosely Hammer-Related Lesson

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 01:00

Xiao Zhang loved his job. Even that time he fractured his arm at the water cooler, it wasn't until the pain began to trigger hallucinations that he even thought of going to the hospital. And then there was the day he had a spinal fracture and laughed it off until the company owner personally strapped him to a spinal board and ferried him to the emergency room. So a bruise? This was nothing. Hardly even visible.

Learning Chinese? And confused by our lesson photo this week? While we're willing to admit that this lesson doesn't have much to do with a hammer, all of the photos of bruises that we could find were offputting. And this lesson is going to live in our archives for a long time. So everyone gets a hammer instead. Consider it one degree of separation from our topic this week, and considerably better looking.

Sinica - Sin and Vice

Sat, 07/05/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn and David Moser turn their attention to vice, in conversation with Robert Foyle Hunwick, a media consultant and editor for BeijingCream.com. We talk about everything naughty that happens here, with special attention to the nightlife scene. Jumping around Southeast Asia, Robert gives a bit of dirt on the many vices of the night elsewhere in Asia.

Enjoy listening to Sinica? If you find listening to our show through the online flash player discomfiting, remember that you are always welcome to download it as a standalone mp3 file. Suggestions for and feedback on the show are always welcome in our comments section, or by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Intermediate - The Anarchists and the Printing Press

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 01:00

After years in the metaphorical wilderness, the Society of Anarchists had finally gathered enough funds to purchase their printing press. Tucked away covertly below the buildings of parliament, the machine stood as a symbol of intellectual resistance within the very halls of a power. Its presence would spark a revolution in dissent and art both, and draw the ire of the very political establishment whose ideology it mocked.

Sinica - Narendra Modi and Sino-Indian Relations

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy grab Ananth Krishnanin, correspondent for India's national newspaper The Hindu, and drag him into our studio for a discussion of the state of Sino-Indian relations. In particular, we're curious why Sino-Indian relations seem to have warmed up after the election of Narendra Modi despite the new Prime Minister's seemingly nationalist agenda.

Enjoy Sinica? Even if you can't find India or China on the map, we'd still love to hear your suggestions on important topics you'd like to hear covered. So if there's a topic you'd like to hear us cover, send us an email at sinica@popupchinese.com and let us know. And please also feel welcome to download this show as a standalone mp3 file, or subscribe to our list of shows using our custom RSS feed.

Elementary - A Trip to the Hospital

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 01:00

Having spent the weekend puttering around Chaoyang hospital listening to the groans of the infected, certain members of our staff would like to suggest that a priority for the next Fifth Year Plan be fixing the vending machines in all major health centers, so that at least some of this world's inevitable pain and suffering can be partially offset by the ready availability of fresh caffeine mixed with high-fructose corn syrup.

Learning Chinese? In previous lessons we've taught you the difference between 才 and 就. Most textbooks stop there, but we've decided to plow on with this lesson that is going to confuse things even more, by showcasing a specific case in which the two characters are actually used to mean exactly the same thing. Just think of this as one of those times when Chinese decides to kick you in the teeth... for fun.

Sinica - Isolda Morillo: una vida en China

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are delighted to be joined by Isolda Morillo, a Peruvian journalist for the Associated Press whose life story is as interesting as they come. Growing up in Beijing in the 1980s, where she attended local schools, Isolda went on to attend university in South America before launching a career in journalism which has taken her to Cuba, France and the United States as well as back to China.

Enjoy listening to Sinica? If you find listening to our show through the online flash player discomfiting, remember that you are always welcome to download it as a standalone mp3 file. Alternately, if you want to let iTunes do all of the work, feel free to subscribe to our dedicated RSS feed. Suggestions for and feedback on the show are always welcome in our comments section, or by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.