Live: Above China's Li River

Just after sunrise in southern China, staff photographer Josh Haner is flying a drone over the Li River and the dramatic karst landscape of the Guilin National Park.

Posted by The New York Times on Thursday, June 23, 2016

The New York Times Goes to Guilin

At CLI we’ve always known that Guilin is beautiful and we’ve been on a mission to share the beauty since our founding in 2009. So it was a welcomed surprise when we learned that The New York Times sent staff photographer, Josh Haner, to capture some of Guilin, China’s beauty. Enjoy the view. We hope it inspires you to study Mandarin with CLI in Guilin!

 

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CLI Online Student Wins USA Memory Championship

In addition to winning the USA Memory Championship, CLI Online student, Alex Mullen just set a new World Record in Speed Cards (memorizing the order of one shuffled deck of 52 playing cards as fast as possible). He completed this feat in a mere 18.65 seconds!! What’s more? Alex also won the 2015 World Memory Championship.

Alex has a passion for teaching other the techniques he uses in memory sport competition. Dive into his website and start applying the methods of a World Champion to your language learning journey. As a sample, below we’ve included Alex’s 20 Words Challenge.

 

 

Watch Alex move through a shuffled deck of cards while setting a World Record speed that would intimidate Johnny 5:

 



 

And here’s the moment Alex Mullen was announced USA Memory Champion:

 

Be sure to subscribe to Alex’s YouTube channel. You can also like him on Facebook at Mullen Memory and follow him on Twitter.

 

We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

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Ben Hedges Interview: Part 1

We had the privilege of sitting down with Ben Hedges, founder of Learn Chinese Now, and discussing a variety of topics including his personal journey into the Mandarin language. Ben shared such incredible language learning insights and wisdom during our chat that we’ve decided to release the entire interview in three installments. While watching this first installment, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.

 

 

Jump to the vocabulary list.

 

Ben Hedges Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:04 – 00:07)

请做一个简短的自我介绍。

Qǐng zuò yīgè jiǎnduǎn de zìwǒ jièshào.

Can you please briefly introduce yourself?

Ben (00:07 – 01:32)

大家好,我是 Ben Hedges,中文名字叫郝义博。我是英国伦敦大学亚非学院的毕业生。我也在台湾留学了一年,在那边学了一年的中文。毕业之后,我就开始拍网络视频,主要是讨论一些中国的时事、电视剧、新闻、什么电影啊。后来这些视频就在台湾爆红了。所以我们就现在是每一周拍一个新的网络节目,后来我有很多机会跟一些公司合作拍一些影片,比如说我们跟Seven Eleven合作过拍台湾的环岛影片。2013年我也开始拍一个教中文的节目叫 “Learn Chinese Now”。我们每个星期出一个新的视频。这是针对外国人,正在学中文的外国人。帮他们学一点简单的中文,或 是把比较复杂的中文给他们解释一下。这个节目也是用一个幽默的方式,用一个幽默的方式来教中文。观众的反馈是很好的。

Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Ben Hedges, zhōngwén míngzì jiào hǎoyìbó. Wǒ shì yīngguó lúndūn dàxué yà fēi xuéyuàn de bìyè shēng. Wǒ yě zài táiwān liúxuéle yī nián, zài nà biān xuéle yī nián de zhōngwén. Bìyè zhīhòu, wǒ jiù kāishǐ pāi wǎngluò shìpín, zhǔyào shì tǎolùn yīxiē zhōngguó de shíshì, diànshìjù, xīnwén, shénme diànyǐng a. Hòulái zhèxiē shìpín jiù zài táiwān bào hóngle. Suǒyǐ wǒmen jiù xiànzài shì měi yīzhōu pāi yīgè xīn de wǎngluò jiémù, hòulái wǒ yǒu hěnduō jīhuì gēn yīxiē gōngsī hézuò pāi yīxiē yǐngpiān, bǐrú shuō wǒmen gēn 711 hézuòguò pāi táiwān de huándǎo yǐngpiān. Wǒyě 2013 nián wǒ yě kāishǐ pāi yīgè jiāo zhōngwén de jiémù jiào “Learn Chinese Now”. Wǒmen měi gè xīngqī chū yīgè xīn de shìpín. Zhè shì zhēnduì wàiguó rén, zhèngzài xué zhōngwén de wàiguó rén. Bāng tāmen xué yīdiǎn jiǎndān de zhōngwén, huò shì bǎ bǐjiào fùzá de zhōngwén gěi tāmen jiěshì yīxià. Zhègè jiémù yěshì yòng yīgè yōumò de fāngshì,yòng yīgè yōumò de fāngshì lái jiāo zhōngwén. Guānzhòng de fǎnkuì shì hěn hǎo de.

Hello everyone, my name is Ben Hedges and my Chinese name is Hao Yibo. I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London. I also studied Chinese in Taiwan for one year. After I graduated, I started making online videos, discussing current affairs, TV dramas, news and movies in China. The videos became a hit in Taiwan, so now we release a new video online every week. We started to get a lot of opportunities to collaborate with companies and create more videos. For example, we worked with 7-Eleven to film a video about traveling around Taiwan. In 2013, I started a new program called “Learn Chinese Now”. It is a program developed for foreigners learning Chinese, and we release weekly videos. The program’s goal is to teach foreigners some simple Chinese, or explain the use of complicated Chinese words, and we try to do it in a humorous way. The program is well received by its audience.

Dayong (01:33 – 01:40)

通过制作Learn Chinese Now对您更好的理解文化差异有什么影响吗?

Tōngguò zhìzuò Learn Chinese Now duì nín gèng hǎo de lǐjiě wénhuà chāyì yǒu shén me yǐngxiǎng ma?

How has building Learn Chinese Now impacted your own journey toward greater fluency and cultural understanding?

Ben (01:40 – 02:36)

制作这些影片的时候我有一个机会在复习我已经在上大学的时候学过的一些成语啊,但是教,作为一个影片,比如说教一个成语的影片,真的会帮我更深的理解那个成语的意义。比如说我们拍了一个介绍“塞翁失马 焉知非福”的这个成语,所以我看了那个,那个故事,看了原文,文言文的那个古代汉语的故事。真的很有趣,真的更深,更深入了解这个故事,然后把它教给学生。这个过程,当一个老师,真的可以让你更深的理解一些中文词的,中文成语的意义、内涵,很深的内涵。

Zhìzuò zhèxiē yǐngpiān de shíhòu wǒ yǒu yīgè jīhuì zài fùxí wǒ yǐjīng zài shàng dàxué de shíhòu xuéguò de yīxiē chéngyǔ a, dànshì jiāo, zuòwéi yīgè yǐngpiān, bǐrú shuōjiāo yīgè chéngyǔ de yǐngpiān, zhēn de huì bāng wǒ gèngshēn de lǐjiě nàgè chéngyǔ de yìyì. Bǐrú shuō wǒmen pāile yīgè jièshào “sàiwēngshīmǎ yān zhī fēi fú” de zhègè chéngyǔ, suǒyǐ wǒ kànle nàgè, nàgè gùshì, kànle yuánwén, wényánwén de nàgè gǔdài hànyǔ de gùshì. Zhēn de hěn yǒuqù, zhēn de gèngshēn, gèngshēnrù liǎojiě zhègè gùshì, ránhòu bǎ tā jiāo gěi xuéshēng. Zhègè guòchéng, dāng yīgè lǎoshī, zhēn de kěyǐ ràng nǐ gèng shēn de lǐ jiè yīxiē zhōngwén cí de, zhōngwén chéngyǔ de yìyì, nèihán, hěn shēn de nèihán.

Making these videos gave me a chance to review what I have learned, for example, idioms in college. Teaching people what I have learned really allows me to have a deeper understanding of the idioms. For instance, we made a video introducing the idiom “Misfortune may actually be a blessing”, and I read the original story in classical Chinese. The story was really interesting and meaningful, and teaching it to the students allows me to discover more meaning behind the idioms.

Dayong (02:37 – 02:40)

您希望Learn Chinese Now对观众有什么影响?

Nín xīwàng Learn Chinese Now duì guānzhòng yǒu shén me yǐngxiǎng?

What impact do you hope Learn Chinese Now has on your audience?

Ben (02:41 – 03:30)

现在很多学生,他们只要学现代汉语可能是因为他们要去中国做生意。但是我觉得学一点古代汉语,学一点文言文,真的会让你更了解现代汉语,因为这个现代汉语就是来自古代的语言。它的每一个中文词,每一个成语背后有一个故事,不像英文那么简单,中文是真的有比较深的内涵。所以我希望现在的学生可以了解这一点。我希望我的节目可以帮他们了解,让他们去探索古代汉语、古代汉语跟现代中文的关系。

Xiànzài hěnduō xuéshēng, tāmen zhǐyào xué xiàndài hànyǔ kěnéng shì yīnwèi tāmen yào qù zhōngguó zuò shēngyì. Dànshì wǒ juédé xué yīdiǎn gǔdài hànyǔ, xué yīdiǎn wényánwén, zhēn de huì ràng nǐ gèng liǎojiě xiàndài hànyǔ, yīnwèi zhègè xiàndài hànyǔ jiùshì láizì gǔdài de yǔyán. Tā de měi yīgè zhōngwén cí, měi yīgè chéngyǔ bèihòu yǒu yīgè gùshì, bú xiàng yīngwén nàme jiǎndān, zhōngwén shì zhēn de yǒu bǐjiào shēn de nèihán. Suǒyǐ wǒ xīwàng xiànzài de xuéshēng kěyǐ liǎojiě zhè yīdiǎn. Wǒ xīwàng wǒ de jiémù kěyǐ bāng tāmen liǎojiě, ràng tāmen qù tànsuǒ gǔdài hànyǔ, gǔdài hànyǔ gēn xiàndài zhōngwén de guānxì.

Nowadays, a lot of students are learning modern Chinese, so they can go to China for business. However, I feel that learning a bit of ancient Chinese and classical Chinese allows you to understand modern Chinese better, as modern Chinese evolved from ancient Chinese. There is a story behind most of the Chinese phrases and idioms, and it is not as simple as English.

 

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Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 网络视频 wǎngluò shìpín online video n.
2. 环岛影片 huándǎo yǐngpiān around the island videos n.
3. 幽默 yōumò humorous adj.
4. 简短 jiǎnduǎn brief adj.
5. 讨论 tǎolùn discuss v.
6. 观众 guānzhòng audience n.
7. 文化差异 wénhuà chàyì cultural difference n.
8. 古代汉语 gǔdài hànyǔ ancient Chinese (language) n.
9. 内涵 nèihán connotation n.
10. 探索 tànsuǒ explore / probe v.

 

Follow Ben by subscribing to Learn Chinese Now on YouTube, liking him on Facebook and following them on Twitter. You can also check out new content his original channel 老外看中國、老外看台灣

 

We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Share the knowledge:

Follow CLI for Chinese learning resources:

 

下次见!