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Sinica - Damned Lies, Statistics and China

Popup Chinese Lessons - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 01:00

In a country where every single province frequently reports annual growth rates exceeding the national average, and the country's premier is applauded for publicly ignoring his own National Bureau of Statistics, it isn't hard to take Mark Twain's famous aphorism about "lies, damned lies and statistics" to heart as practical advice for navigating the complexities of life in China.

But since this raises the question of how anyone is supposed to know anything at all about this place we live, this week on Sinica Jeremy Goldkorn is delighted to be joined by Matthew Crabbe, author of the recent book Myth-Busting China's Numbers, who brings us a lot of delicious anecdotes on just how crazy Chinese statistics can get, along with practical advice on sorting out the reliable from the purely fantastical. And just when you would think the podcast can't get any better? That's when the surprise guest happens.

Final Note: the standalone mp3 download is here if you need it. If you've been listening to Sinica for a while you may also remember our recent interview with Sascha Matuszak about martial arts in China. As mentioned in that podcast as well as this one, Sascha is running a Kickstarter to fund a documentary video on the subject. If you're interested in checking it out or supporting the project, you can find details of the project online right here.

Sinica - David Walker on China in the Australian Mind

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are delighted to by joined by Professor David Walker, chair of the Australian Studies department at Peking University, and historian with a special focus on Australian immigration policies and relations with China since 1850. Starting with a look back at Australia's history of exclusion, our discussion moves forward to look at the state of relations today, as well as the state of Australia studies in China more generally.

Like Sinica? If you want to have Kaiser and Jeremy show up automatically on your computer or Android/iPhone whenever a new episode is released, fire up your favourite RSS reader and subscribe to our custom feed, available right here. Comments and suggestions for future shows are welcome in our discussion section, as well as by email at sinica@popupchinese.com. We also welcome everyone to download this show as a standalone mp3 file for listening or sharing with friends. Enjoy!

Intermediate - American Hukou

Popup Chinese Lessons - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 01:00

The admission process had already taken four months. Four months of school tours, and meetings with first the principal and then every fourth grade teacher on payroll. Four months of paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork as Jonathan sat sullenly at home wondering when he would finally be able to go back to school. It had been a long wait, but today, at least, his parents would get an answer to that question.

Qing Wen - 训练 or 培训

ChinesePod - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 13:00

Sinica - Chomping at the Bitcoin

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 01:00

After a shocking expose of Jeremy Goldkorn's criminal past, Sinica this week moves on to examine the Bitcoin phenomenon in China. Joined by Zennon Kapron, fintech expert, owner of the Shanghai consultancy Kapronasia, and recent author of the book Chomping at the Bitcoin, we delve into the driving forces behind the cryptocurrency revolution in China, as well as take a quick look at the various other kinds of innovation surfacing in China's online financial sector.

Interested in more Sinica but shy about signing up at Popup Chinese? If you'd like to get iTunes to download new episodes of Sinica automatically as they are released, don't forget you can subscribe to our free public RSS feed and have your computer download new episodes as soon as they are released. Twitter users are also welcome to join the constant stream of discussion about China news by following Kaiser at @KaiserKuo and Jeremy at @danwei. And we welcome everyone to download this show as a standalone MP3 file too.

Sinica - China Daddy Issues

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 01:00

We've all heard about the difficulty of finding good schools in China, and know first hand about the food and air safety problems. But what about the terrors of pedestrian crossings, the dilemmas of how much trust you should inculcate in your kids, or how much abject poverty should be included in family outings? For our answers to these questions and much more, join Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn and David Moser for this no-holds-barred and boys-only discussion of what it's like to be a father in China.

Enjoy Sinica? If you'd like to have Kaiser and crew show up automatically on your computer whenever a new episode of Sinica is published, you can subscribe to our RSS feed by opening iTunes, selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast" from the File menu and providing the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica when prompted. We also welcome listeners to download this show as a standalone mp3 file. Thanks for listening, and enjoy!

Qing Wen - 省得 vs 以免

ChinesePod - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 15:00

Sinica - The Sounds of Old Beijing

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy are joined by Colin Chinnery from the Beijing Sound History Project, a recording project that aims to preserve the distinctive clangs, songs and shouts of traditional Beijing life. In addition to sampling some recordings from the archives, we also talk about Chinnery's work with the Shijia Hutong Museum, which recreates life in the narrow hutongs of Old Beijing.

Have thoughts? Once you've done listening, please share your thoughts in our comments section, or write us at sinica@popupchinese.com. We encourage everyone to subscribe to the Sinica show through RSS as well. You can do this by opening up iTunes, clicking on the "Advanced" menu and selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast". When prompted, copy the URL http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica into the box. Or download this show as a standalone mp3 file.

Qing Wen - 推行 vs 实施

ChinesePod - Sat, 10/04/2014 - 13:00

Sinica - Chinese Martial Arts

Popup Chinese Lessons - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 01:00

This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn and David Moser are pleased to be joined by Sascha Matuszak, a Chengdu-based expert on Chinese martial arts and the producer of a new documentary on Chinese MMA, a competitive tournament series where competitors combine different styles from varying schools of combat in a frenzied quest to pummel their opponents into submission.

Enjoy Sinica? If you'd prefer to have new episodes of Sinica stream to your computer automatically as they're released, subscribe to our special RSS feed using iTunes. Alternately, you can get into the spirit of Daoism and download our shows week-by-week as we release them: this podcast is available for download right here as a standalone mp3 file. We also welcome feedback on our shows as well as suggestions for future guests or topics by email directly to Kaiser and Jeremy at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Elementary - Shattered Dreams

Popup Chinese Lessons - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 01:00

Rather than a regular podcast, today we are pleased to publish a longer Elementary dialogue designed to test your listening comprehension. The language used here is not terribly difficult, but it is spoken at native pace and with the sort of emotional inflection you'll find living and working in China. So take a listen and click through to our quiz to see how much you understand. Our annotated transcript is there as always in case you have difficulty.

Qing Wen - 吧 and 要不

ChinesePod - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 13:00

Sinica - In Conversation with Mara Hvistendahl

Popup Chinese Lessons - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 01:00

Kaiser and Jeremy are joined this week by Mara Hvistendahl, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and long-standing resident of Shanghai, to discuss her two main works. Along with discussing the twists and turns of her murder novel, And the City Swallowed Them, we also touch upon on law enforcement in China, the global modeling industry, the parallel lives of ex-pats and migrant workers in big Chinese cities, and the different philosophical approaches to punishment. Also, we look into sex-ratio imbalances around the world and its diverse adverse social repercussions, the topic Mara explores in Unnatural Selection.

You like listening to Kaiser and Jeremy as much as we do? Subscribe to Sinica through our private RSS feed, or download this show as a standalone mp3 file to share with your friends. If you have questions or suggested topics, feel free to reach out to us anytime by email at sinica@popupchinese.com.

Quiz Night - The Mysteries of Taobao

Popup Chinese Lessons - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 01:00

With the Alibaba IPO throwing daytraders worldwide into a frenzed adulation of all things China, and the press going wild over Jack Ma and his Chinese e-commerce engine, this week's show takes a closer look at Taobao - the jewel in the Alibaba crown - with a hard-hitting quiz covering the most important things no-one seems to be able to remember about our favourite shopping site. Also on the show: questions about Beijing and the secrets of Uighur time....

Quiz Night is a regular feature here at Popup Chinese that we've put together for intermediate to upper-intermediate students. And our goal is not so much teaching anything in particular so much as producing a half-mandarin, half-english show that features higher-level vocabulary you won't run into in other learning materials. Today, join us and learn everything from the name of Goldman Sachs in Chinese, to the essential catchphrases needed to outsource your thesis to somewhere south of Wuhan.

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