Winter had arrived with unexpected vigor, and from his window overlooking People's Square, Roald could still see the scattered husks of several unfortunate souls who had failed to find shelter. This was the survival of the fittest at work - in Shanghai as in Antarctica - and yet the Norwegian explorer's narrow escape from a similar fate still haunted the man. For despite the high price of rental properties in Shanghai, his current accommodations were still inadequate for the coming chill, and his nerves persisted despite his landlord's repeated pledges to weatherize the compound.

Learning Chinese? This is an advanced mandarin lesson featuring a lengthy Chinese diary from one of the lesser known Amundsen expeditions to Southern China, and capped-off by a discussion of something you won't hear about anywhere else: the traditional Chinese solar calendar, knowledge of which will allow you to come across as suffocatingly knowledgeable about Chinese culture at your next cocktail party.
 said on
March 7, 2012
Just a quick note to call attention to this new advanced lesson in our comments section, since it's been pushed off the front page quite quickly by our latest Sinica show, which is coming out on Wednesday this week for various reasons.
 said on
March 7, 2012
Just for the record, Roald Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer, and not at all Swedish.
 said on
March 7, 2012
@magnar.nedland - I'm just going to go ahead and blame that one on trevelyan.
 said on
March 7, 2012
@magnar.nedland,

Egg meets face... thanks for the correction.
 said on
March 8, 2012
Great lesson, love the actor's voice. But for an advanced lesson for my taste there was way too much English in the discussion. It all felt more like an intermediate level, plus no grammar point. Still the 农历 info was useful and fun.
 said on
March 8, 2012
这儿有一个维基百科关于二十四节气的链接:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_term,大家可以参考。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 8, 2012
Or read it in Chinese :-)

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/节气
 said on
March 8, 2012
@huyilin,

Yes -- definitely at the easier end of the spectrum. We figured that the longer dialogue plus the obscurity of the subject matter pushed it over the Intermediate threshold. We have more native-native stuff coming up soon.

Best,

--david
 said on
March 8, 2012
This guy is by far my favorite male voice actor. Really love listening to him and hope he'll be around for a while.

On another note, I'd love to hear a lesson with a Chinese version of Gordon Ramsay, sort of a Popup Nightmare, or Hell's Popup :-) Something like Chinese Gordon exploding all over the voice actors for not following instructions....

"You bloody twit! If you can't read the script correctly, get the hell out of my recording studio! Oh, are you going to cry now? C'mon you little moron, how many times do I have to show you how to do this? You ignorant sack of s*&^!"

Of course you'd have to do it in a British-Chinese accent :-)

I certainly am not advocating abusing the wonderful popup voice actors, just thought this would be an entertaining script idea.
 said on
March 8, 2012
Have you guys done a lesson on the Sexagenary cycle?(辛卯、壬辰、癸巳等等)Measuring time in China sure is complicated...
 said on
March 9, 2012
@murrayjames,

I think we had one lesson talked about it very briefly, but can't remember which one exactly.

It is certainly complicated!

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 13, 2012
Nice one. Thanks
 said on
March 14, 2012
Popup team,

Do you think it could be possible to have some lessons that are purley in Chinese but have 'reams' of new vocabulary and some grammar points? I'm sure there are lots of us who on a vocabulary frenzy, and just want to tie it in with the listening.

Thanks,

Callum
 said on
March 14, 2012
@Callum,

Yes. We've been trying to get more variety at the upper level over the last few months and will continue to do so. In the meantime, if you or anyone else has suggestions on particular topics or fields that would be useful, please send those in to us.

Best,

--david

 said on
March 14, 2012
@David,

One thing I love about 泡泡中文 is that you don't use artificial dialogues crammed with low-frequency words. Many Chinese textbooks/podcasts do this at the higher levels. I don't like that--It taxes the learner and results in unnatural Chinese...

A way to join natural Chinese with advanced vocabulary is to talk about topics Chinese learners have little experience with. Just off the top of my head: renovating a house, space travel, geometry, hanging out with abstract expressionist painter friends, baking a chocolate cake, getting a nose job, etc. I speak decent conversational Chinese, but any of these topics would have me struggling for want of vocabulary.

How do you say cosine in Chinese? or Pollock-style drip paintings? or even baking powder? This is where I notice my Chinese is really lacking.
 said on
March 14, 2012
Incidentally, how do you say those things in Chinese? :-D
 said on
March 15, 2012
@murrayjames,

Cosine is 余弦,and maybe you also want to know sine is 正弦. Baking powder is 发酵粉, but more Chinese people call it 起子 in oral language,literately means something make the dough rise.

Speaking for the Pollock-style drip paintings, hmm...I don't know who is Pollock to be honest, but drip painting is 滴画.

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com

 said on
March 15, 2012
@amber,

谢谢!:-)  抽象表现主义画家Jackson Pollock:

http://baike.baidu.com/view/89454.htm?fromenter=jackson%20pollock
 said on
March 16, 2012
@murrayjames,

Thank you for sharing this. 终于知道了,原来抽象表现主义是指这种风格。

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 16, 2012
@David

A few topics in mind are music classes, VPNetworking, configuring broadband connections, using an iPad/Phone, describing objects such as buildings, the Chinese health service & education. Other topics would be similar to those discussed in Sinica. Doesn't have to be too high-brow, but I'm sure there'd be plenty of useful vocab. that would support a good conversation. Low frequency words may be problematic for those focusing more on spoken language. But they are good for reading.

Callum

 said on
March 19, 2012
Some other topics: using a karaoke machine and Alipay.. Maybe because I've lots of time to study but I just feel the lessons at the upper level are too short.

Callum
 said on
May 25, 2012
I almost spit out my coffee when Brendan quipped about cold temperatures being all John's fault. Hilarious!
 said on
December 12, 2014
笑死我了

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