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Sinica - Shanghai and the Future Now

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 01:00

Expats in Beijing may be partial to our rugged smogtropolis, but even the most diehard northerner will admit that Shanghai is the more romantic of the two cities, with its very name conjuring up images of 19th century opium dens, jazz bars in the 1930s, and a sort of transcendent cosmopolitanism that connects the mystique of the city's international past with its almost tangible hunger for the future. Yet it was only really in the early-to-mid-1990s that Shanghai pulled away from its status as a second-tier city and began re-establishing itself as the world's future city.

Today on Sinica, we take our eyes off Beijing for a change, and direct our gaze to Pudong and Puxi, and talk about what Shanghai means to us, itself and others. Joining us for this discussion is Anna Greenspan, author of Shanghai Future. Among her other accomplishments, Anna is also a teacher of urbanism and cybernetic culture at NYU Shanghai, and is the founder of the Shanghai Studies Society and Hacked Matter. If you're living down south be sure to check them out! [standalone mp3 file]

CLO App for Android

Chinese Learn Online - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:35

Well it took some time, but it’s finally here. The new CLO App for Android has been released on the Google Play store.

Like the iOS version, the Android version comes with the first 3 lessons for free. You can then purchase lesson content for levels 1 and 2 into the app.

These include the lesson audio, transcripts, flashcards and new character animations.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Now that the Android version is released, I’ll be able to get back to making improvements to both apps, including content for later levels.

Thank you for your patience!

Sinica - Inside the Property Revolution

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Jeremy is delighted to host Luigi Tomba, expert on municipal government in China, fellow at the Australian Centre on China and the World, and author of the book The Government Next Door: neighborhood politics in urban China. Since 2005, Luigi has also been the co-editor of The China Journal, a well-known academic journal on Chinese affairs.

We're also delighted to have Luigi since it gives us an excuse to talk about the property market, without obsessing over real estate speculation and prices per square meter. Instead, after starting with a look at the emerging middle class in China, we move on to talk about Luigi's ideas on how China's property revolution and the dismantlement of the danwei system has counterintuitively ended up strengthening rather than weakening the government's ability to control its citizens on a local level. We also look at how China's shift to community-based governance structure has improved the image of the Party at the grassroots level. [standalone mp3 download]

Newbie - House Hunting

ChinesePod - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 04:00

Sinica - China and Charlie

Popup Chinese Lessons - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 21:48

First there were the terrorist attacks in Paris. And then there was the global reaction to the attacks, with its spate of frenzied free-speech cartooning. And then there was the counter-reaction to the initial reaction, which played out mostly on Facebook. And then the China Daily decided to wade into the fray, vaguely blaming Charlie Hebdo for “[persisting] in its way of doing things" and alienating most thinking people with its somewhat baffling display of not-quite-sympathic-but-not-exactly-condemnatory rhetorical showboating.

So what does all of this have to do with China, and how are the terrorist attacks getting read by the Chinese government? Joining our two hosts to talk about this story is none other than Ada Shen, renowned social-media wunderkind, and longtime friend of both Jeremy and Kaiser. Ada joins us for an interesting discussion that meanders us from Algeria and King Lear to ancient Chinese horses and their sometimes-controversial burial customs. So please grab a seat!

Advanced - Intrigue at the National Gallery of London

Popup Chinese Lessons - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 09:15

The tip-off? It had come from an old landline in the basement of the National Gallery, so the caller could have been anyone associated with the institute, and possibly even the director himself. But finding out exactly who had made that call was proving more troublesome than Inspector Zhang had anticipated, since the phone had been wiped clean of prints, and none of the staff - even when questioned privately - showed anything but bewilderment at any suggestion of impropriety.

So who had snuck into that backroom, and was there any substance to their allegations of artistic skullduggery? Complicating matters further was the demand for extreme discretion coming down from his supervisors at Scotland Yard, who themselves were now under pressure from Downing Street and the House of Windsor, both parties well aware that with the integrity of the Royal Collection at stake, the nation itself might face a public scandal that could threaten the integrity of the monarchy itself.

Newbie - New Breadmaker!

ChinesePod - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 00:00

Sinica - From the Interpreter's Booth

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 01/09/2015 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Lynette Shi and William White, two globe-trotting adventurers who've found unconventional careers navigating the shoals of the professional interpretation circuit in China. So whether you're considering a career in interpretation and want the inside story on how to do it, or are just curious what two of the working greats consider the most unexpected and hilarious moments of their careers, join us for this show.

On a side note, the audio quality is a bit soft during this recording. We've tried to fix it as we can, but there are a few moments that might -- we'll be fixing this moving forward. In the meantime, if you have your own thoughts on Chinese-English interpretation or just want to nitpick our translators, please feel welcome to comment in the discussion space below, or write Kaiser and Jeremy directly at sinica@popupchinese.com. We're also pleased to release this show as a standalone mp3 file if you don't want to stream directly from Popup Chinese. Enjoy!

Intermediate - Negotiation and Fortune

Popup Chinese Lessons - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 18:17

As a professional negotiator with more than twenty years experience on the force, Richard had dealt with hostage cases before and knew that this would be a particularly tough one to crack. And his was an impression confirmed by the grim visages on the faces of the SWAT team. Holed up on the upper floors of the National Bank, the kidnappers had settled into a defensive position that would make storming the building a disastrous exercise in bloodshed, making a negotiated settlement the only practical option.

Newbie - Want To Lose Weight?

ChinesePod - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 14:00

Sinica - Second Call-In New Years Show

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 01:00

Sorry for the delay in getting this show released, folks (all hail Internet issues), but we're delighted to finally publish Sinica's second annual New Years call-in-show. If you've been following all of the news and gossip involving China for the last year, join Kaiser and Jeremy as we take your questions and talk insider politics on everything from the ongoing anti-corruption campaign to the question of coming media controls and what on earth we are all doing with our lives in China anyway.

As we pull into 2015, let us remind you that in addition to listening to Sinica here on Popup Chinese, you are warmly invited to download our show as a standalone mp3 file. Questions or suggestions about the show are welcome by email at sinica@popupchinese.com, while we also encourage everyone to check out our dedicated RSS feed right here.

Sinica - Regulating the Fourth Estate in China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 01:00

The explosion of the commercial media sphere in China over the last decade hasn't been particularly subtle, especially if you're anything like us and walk past multiple Chinese newsstands in the morning. But let's look beyond the way kiosks have traded promoting the Beijing Evening News for hawking glossy cosmetics adverts and celebrity gossip rags, and ask how the rise of a for-profit motive in the press has affected the way the Chinese government regulates the industry, and what the consequences of this are for the rise of what we traditionally think of as the role of the fourth estate in Western democracies.

As we turn our focus to these questions this week, Kaiser Kuo is delighted to be joined by Daniela Stockmann, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Leiden and the woman who quite literally wrote the book on this subject with the publication of Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China, a fact-heavy tome that goes into detail about how China has managed to maintain its apparatus of media control despite its ostensible shift towards a commercially-oriented media sector.

On a final note, we should point out that we've just put together a new version of Popup Chinese platform, and one of the features of the new site is a fancy new javascript-powered audio player that will let you listen to all of our shows directly using your iPhone or Android or flash-free tablet. That said, if you still want to download today's show as a standalone mp3 file, please consider yourself welcome to do so. And if you have any feedback on the show or suggestions about guests you'd like to see us host in the future.

Sinica - Cooperation or Exploitation: Howard French on China in Africa

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:00

Exactly how exploitative are Chinese development activities on the African continent? What exactly is motivating the various resources-for-development deals inked by African governments over the last decade, and what strategies are these governments now adopting in the face of power imbalances with China? What is driving the mass migration of Chinese workers to the African continent, and why does everyone from Senegal seem to come from Henan?

This week on Sinica, we ask these questions and many more as Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are joined in conversation with Howard French. If you've spent a while in China, you may have head of Howard as the author of a well-known book on Shanghai's architectural legacy, and lecturer on the subject. What you may not know is that he is also an expert on African development, and the new author of China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.

Want more Sinica, but frustrated at your biological limitations that force you to have to download each episode one-by-one (hint: standalone mp3 link)? Why not join the 21st century and set your computer to the task by subscribing to our Sinica RSS feed. If you have ideas on topics you'd like to hear covered or suggestions on guests we should feature on the show, please feel welcome to write the team at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Qing Wen - Towards 向 朝 往

ChinesePod - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 14:00
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