Wang Ziqian contemplated the ceiling from within his cocoon of self-imposed isolation. For the past week our voice actor had remained in his room, substituting regular work for sleep, sleep and more sleep. And the more he withdrew from the world, the stronger his urge to continue doing so. In fact, why not simply spend the rest of his life in bed? Even a week in this seemed by far preferable to leaving the comfort of his room.

Learning Chinese? We'll admit that this is probably the wrong week to have a podcast about inclement weather, given that either nature or the cloud-seeding arm of the Beijing municipal government has given us fantastic weather for the National Day holidays. But no matter! And in addition to complaints about the weather, we're also going to cover a critical grammar point about how to talk about the duration of events in both positive and negative sentences. This is essential knowledge for anyone learning Chinese, so if you're working towards fluency be sure to listen.
 said on
October 5, 2011
@Trevelyan,

Maybe the lesson itself is suffering from depression, I've been trying to listen to it since it was posted and it won't go past 2%.

Ah...I understand! This is one of the hidden Popup Chinese Easter eggs that Aric so proudly proclaims exists in random lessons, except, I don't know if it's incorrect or offensive. Just curious. And it makes me really curious to know 这节课的内容到底是什么呀?

BTW: many lessons have been loading painfully slowly as of late, is it just related to my internet connection?
 said on
October 6, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

Not having any problems here in Beijing, at least not now. We'll sometimes have issues when our network provider decides to throttle its international bandwidth, but that usually hits almost all sites, not just us. Seems to happen most often in the late afternoon early evening when people come home and get online.

FWIW, I know that the network at Beijing University has also been giving people trouble lately, so if you're on some sort of academic network maybe you're having the same issues. Again though, that seems to be an issue of the network dropping connections in the middle of a file download to save bandwidth.

 said on
October 6, 2011
Killer grammar point, just like you said, I understood the dialog, but missed it completely.

Thanks guys!
 said on
October 10, 2011
@Trevelyan,

Actually, I'm still having a myriad of connection difficulties, some lessons load and others go to 2 or 3 percent and freeze. Still don't know what the problem is.
 said on
October 10, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

We've had reports from people at Beijing University that they're getting the same thing, but we're not having any trouble on our local network either directly, or through a VPN, so it isn't an issue with the national firewall at least. Any chance you're on an academic network?

In the cases we've heard of, the issues seem to be caused by a local network provider dropping connections in the case of long downloads from overseas . Probably as a way to conserve bandwidth. I don't think there is anything we can do in the short term, although we're looking at setting up a Chinese mirror in the next few months if the problems persist.

Best,

--dave

 said on
October 11, 2011
Hi, I have been having the same problem. It seems to be very temperamental. Sometimes it downloads as quick as anything and other times it takes forever. I had the problem just now and ran a speed test on my connection and the connection speed with the rest of Beijing was fine 596kbps but my download speed immediately prior to the test was between 4-8kbps with nothing else running in the background. (I used the speed test at http://data.linkwan.com/gb/broadmeter/SpeedAuto/Show.asp using Beijing 1 as my region) (I am also in BJ)

P.S. Trevelyan - many thanks for your responses to all my technical queries lately, I have just started using the site and I am really enjoying it. I think the tools and materials you have on here are great. J.
 said on
October 11, 2011
I've been getting wildly varying internet speeds (especially for international sites) over the past few days. Today might be a new low -- even with a VPN (which usually speeds up overseas connections), I'm not getting more than a few dozen Kbps. Not sure whether it's related to the centennial of the Xinhai Rebellion, or to the weather, or to Chinese operators terminating long overseas connections to cut down on bandwidth costs, as David suggets. Either way, it's definitely made of fail.
 said on
June 9, 2012
Great grammar point. Like Brendan said, I long recognized this pattern without being aware of it.

I like that your dialogues make fun of employees who don't show up for work. Is that an effective motivator in the office?

( DAVID: Either you do a good job, or you'll be the subject of our next podcast... )

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