Henry was certain the locals didn't like him. There wasn't anything specific that gave him this impression, just the lingering feeling he had been under constant and malevolent surveillance since arriving in China. At his hotel, the desk clerk was always a bit too effusive in greeting, as if calling attention to his arrival, while the hotel porter would always be fumbling around in the hallway whenever he entered or left his room. The maid service ran with military efficiency. And then there were the taxi drivers....

Even walking down streets alone, Henry would feel himself being watched. The merchants would be polite enough to his face, but he'd turn around occasionally to find several them staring at him with expressions of curious distaste. Whatever the cause of this, Henry promised himself this was the last time he would ever vacation in Sanya.
 said on
November 9, 2010
Quick note that we're having some connectivity issues at the office. We wanted to get this podcast out quickly, but will have the premium features up in a few hours when the network comes back on. Thanks for the patience. :)

 said on
January 6, 2015
I liked this podcast, as it was simple, but still made me laugh.

Question: I always learned "then" as 然后 (ránhòu). Or maybe you can say 在那以后 (zài nà yǐhòu)?

Can you replace 再 with either of the above? Are they equally as common?

Either way, I'm glad to know the 先A 再B structure. Thanks a lot!
 said on
January 6, 2015

先 ... 再 ... is more common in spoken Chinese, while 首先 ... 然后 ... are more common in formal texts. You can mix-and-match, but people might find it confusing even if they understand you perfectly.

在那以后 is confusing. If you want to start a sentence the same way you'd say "afterwards" in English, the easiest way is using 后来. For instance, 我们一起出去了 (we went out together)。后来,我一个人回家了 (afterwards, I came back alone).

 said on
January 7, 2015
@gmsalpha, @marco64,

This question is actually right on-topic given the show we've just released today:


Lots of 先 ... 再 sentences in it along with a 先 ... 然后 tucked away somewhere in there as well. If you're up to an intermediate-level dialogue and want to hear this again, and again, and again, and again, and again you might find it interesting....


 said on
June 20, 2015
It really sounds like the guy in the dialogue is saying 'xïn' (1st tone) as oppose to 'xian' but ecko pronounces clearly enough for me not to confuse it.