The international press has yet to pick up on this story, but the hottest commodity at the Shanghai Expo is apparently not the Little Mermaid. In fact, it isn't even close. Join us in our Chinese podcast for today and learn what is really grabbing the crowd's attention at Shanghai 2010.

Our lesson today moves quickly, but consists of fairly simple sentences. If you have trouble picking them up by ear, click through to our text section and listen to them in isolation until you can tell the words apart. And then? As a special bonus, we're enabling our Speaking Practice hotline for this lesson. So all you premium subscribers out there are heartily invited to give us a call and share your own thoughts on Shanghai 2010 and its bizarre crimes of passion. We'll get back to you soon with one-on-one feedback and commiseration.
 said on
May 12, 2010
We finally got the podcast properly uploaded for this one. Thanks to Nathan for the catch.
 said on
May 13, 2010
It's a shame that in English "burgled" is a rarely if ever used verb. It is phonetically one of the funniest words in the language. On a related note, do any of the McDonalds in China sport the promotional children's characters of Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Mayor McCheese and such? I ask because the Ham-burglar would be a nice tie-in.
 said on
May 14, 2010
@Rizzo

There is no place in a "Harmonious" McDonald's for a Ham-burglar. Although my burgled mountain bike is a testament to the gaps in security. If our bikes are not safe, then what's next? Our hamburgers?
 said on
May 15, 2010
Did anyone else think he said his finger (手指) had been stolen? Is 手纸 often used for toilet paper? I've always said 卫生纸. Which is more commonly used?
 said on
May 16, 2010
I think 卫生纸 sounds pretty formal. Everyone I know says 手纸. I think the word used to be used more narrowly for kleenex and those small packets of tissues you can buy for a few kuai at newspaper stands. 卫生纸 sounds more like the word for tampon (卫生巾), which may be another reason for the switch in usage.
 said on
May 17, 2010
@Hot&Fragrant Marxism,

手纸 is more common. In 90s, people use 卫生纸 very often, but this word is a bit old-fashioned now.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 20, 2011
In Japanese, 手紙 is read "tegami", and means a handwritten note or letter. :)
 said on
January 8, 2012
“没有, 我刚到家。”

Maybe my beginner's intuition is leading me astray, but wouldn't a 了 be appropriate here? Does 刚 render it unnecessary or something?
 said on
January 9, 2012
@benjameno.irwin,

That's a really good question. Chinese people don't use 了 with 刚. The exception is in sentences like 我刚吃了饭,他就来了. We like to use both 刚 and 了 in this case because the first clause is setting up the second one. X had just happened WHEN y happened.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com

 said on
October 18, 2013
Its true, actually. Although Im probably more of an advanced learner, in the sense that I can understand advanced podcasts and read stories, I am so glad I was modest, and returned to the grass-roots of language. That contruction has improved my Chinese so much.