A crucial trait for any pilot is constant situational awareness, or keeping watch for small problems which might signify larger ones to come. And while James Washburn was an excellent pilot in this regard, nothing in his career could have prepared the seasoned captain for the events which were to unfold this particular evening, on what was otherwise a perfectly routine flight from New York to Boston....

Learning Chinese? We haven't been treating you with kiddie gloves at our Absolute Beginner and Elementary levels, but where we really shine is the Intermediate level, which will put you on the fast track to fluency with complex dialogues that feature advanced speaking patterns and lots of emotional nuance. So if you're learning Chinese with the goal of professional fluency, be sure to listen in: you won't regret it.
 said on
June 23, 2011
@Echo,

这节课太逼真啊!就像自己坐一架要坠毁了的飞机一样!一听对话就恐慌了而在校园疯跑了!醒悟了以后我意识到了我爬在地上保持坠毁姿势。我张开眼睛而看到了我周围的一群学员都在鼓掌,叫好儿。他们好像以为我在演戏吧。突然一下我感到超级冷然后恍然大悟我是赤裸裸的!我好像刚才裸奔啦!咦!好丢人的事儿啊!

我再也不听关于飞机坠毁的播客呀!太恐怖了!

;)
 said on
June 23, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

哈哈哈哈哈,笑得我肚子都疼了!

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 24, 2011
@Echo,

谢天谢地这里的人比较开放,否则的话当我裸奔的时候会有人报警。对了,其实校长的助理是给当地派出所打电话的不过公安说裸奔这个问题不在他的管辖范围下然后建议她联系专门处理裸奔这个问题的警察,刚好他不在岗位工作。

至于学生呢?他们不停地要我的签字和照片,我没想到我会这样红了。

 said on
June 24, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

哈哈哈,红了是必然的。估计这是世界上唯一一个裸奔会红的国家~~

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 24, 2011
How about 一架钢琴,一架照相机, 一架直升飞机?
 said on
June 24, 2011
That makes it drummerboy 1, Echo 0. :)

 said on
June 25, 2011
@Drummerboy,

May I contribute my 二毛钱? 一架火车,一架货车,一架飞碟,一架收音机,一架快坠落的客机.

天啊!一架快坠毁的客机呀!疯跑啦!
 said on
June 25, 2011
@Echo,

在本地红了没意义,我想在全国的舞台上出名儿啊!那我可以做什么事情而红了呢?好像在非诚勿扰出现说一些“宁在宝马哭不坐单车笑”这种的煽动性的言辞不够鼓动观众的吧。

那,你有什么建议吗?
 said on
June 25, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

你的“两毛钱”有点儿问题啊:一列火车,一辆货车,一部/台收音机。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 25, 2011
@Echo,

It looks like Echo -1, Xiaohu - 0

:)
 said on
June 26, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

也许你可以去参加星光大道......

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 27, 2011
I just love the very last line in the dialogue! She must have slept through the auto-pilot part of her training :-)
 said on
June 30, 2011
@Echo,

不行!你难道不知道我时不时会失去自制吗?我很害怕上《星光大道》的场一见老毕就会说,“老毕我能够亲自上这个舞台我觉得跟睡觉是一样一样的!你知道生活中最痛苦的是什么吗?就是我一开口一唱一首老歌过去了,好!观众一听一用手捂住耳朵,一辈子的出名机会就过去了,好!”
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

哈哈哈,说实话,小沈阳第一次上春晚火起来的时候我没看,后来别人一说他的什么事,我就很迷惑。前年春晚,我终于看了小沈阳和赵本山的小品,有点儿无语。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Echo,

我第一次看到小沈阳是2009年的六月,就是我第二次来中国的时候。我帮我的朋友主持她姐姐的婚礼,那时她恨不得和我一起分享许多有意思的视频。她告诉我那个小沈阳非常火因为他每句话都很搞笑。我一听他说话就觉得他很搞笑。

现在住在中国我们课本里面说到冯巩,牛群,赵本山,小沈阳和范伟。大部分的男学生说不喜欢小沈阳因为他说话的娘娘腔非常大!“很恶心!”

其实我最喜欢老范还有他经典的段落,“你好!这里是见你见你一眼回一眼防忽悠热线,我是自身上当着老范,凭借你多年上当的经验,为你是否被忽悠了帮你做出明确判断。有人卖乖请按一,有人买车请按二,有人出脑筋急转弯请按三,有人卖担架直接拨,一一零!”

太经典哦!

对了,“三枪拍案惊奇”这不电影你看过没?
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Drummerboy,

I enjoyed every line of this dialogue, from top to bottom enjoyed it.

I wonder who the actress is? She's a riot!
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

We'll let her know! :)

--dave

 said on
July 1, 2011
She's great! They all are. The pilot (same voice as the president from the previous lesson I believe) sounds very authoritative. It's the creativity, humor and usefulness of these lessons that was never present in the traditional textbooks from China. Although, I don't think my fellow passengers would appreciate me practicing these new sentences....机长, 飞机很快要坠毁了!

David and Echo, keep this stuff coming (and advanced content too)

I like it, I love it, I can't get enough of it!!! :-)
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

没看过《三枪拍案惊奇》,海报看起来就太惊悚了......

我最喜欢的小品之一,赵丽蓉巩汉林的《打工奇遇》:http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzc4OTk3NDg=.html

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Drummerboy,

I actually enjoy the lessons in my textbooks from China, because they can give a glimpse into Chinese culture, traditions, literary and governmental references that you can't get on Popup Chinese, or any other Chinese podcast site for that matter.

That being said, I have to 重复你刚才说的经典降落 I like it, I love it, I can't get enough of it!!!

BTW: Do you have any favorite textbooks? My favorites are 实用汉语 and 今日汉语, both of which are pretty good.
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Trevelyan,

Cool. She's my favorite of the newer Popup performers. 秦 is my overall favorite, his turn as 周杰伦 was classic!

Was that really done completely on improv?
 said on
July 1, 2011
@ Xiao Hu

Textbooks? Gosh, I been through so many over the years, starting with the old green 使用汉语, and an even older orange book called elementary chinese reader I think, to the new 新使用汉语, which is not too bad. At BLCU in 96 we used a small set of brown, blue, and purple texts (the name escapes me) for reading, general text and listening. I'm currently using book 6 of 新使用汉语, which interestingly enough lesson 61 is about 大山 and 丁广泉。I have 博雅高级 and have been through maybe 1 or 2 lessons of the first book, but then reverted back to 新使用汉语。 I've been with that system for so many years that it's like an old shoe :-)

I do agree with you that the texts from China do provide rich information about culture, history, etc. but after solely using such materials for many years it's refreshing to have a new and humorous alternative. :-)

I will say that I was so happy when I no longer had to use cassette tapes and the texts came with CD's then MP3, and now with popup you can download the lessons. How cool is that?! Pleceo has been a godsend as well. That and Popup have completely changed my life for the better! Studying Chinese is so much easier these days... let me rephrase that... less painful may be more appropriate, as its has NEVER been easy :->
 said on
July 1, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

The longer one? I don't think it was totally improvised, but it wasn't scripted in advance. They took a few minutes to put their ideas together before heading into the studio, and if you listen carefully you can hear once or twice where it sounds like they're turning over a piece of paper.

I'm guessing 秦 had a rough outline of what he wanted to say, but nothing more specific than that.

Cheers,

--david
 said on
July 2, 2011
@Trevelyan,

Another reason to like the guy, he put in so many 周杰伦 references and incorporated them so cleverly into the "infomercial", it was so well integrated that I thought it was scripted!

厉害,太厉害!
 said on
July 2, 2011
@Drummerboy,

Learning Chinese is not easy, that's for sure. I love Pleco as well. Memeo is a great dictionary for any Adroid phone. Things like Popup Chinese make it so easy to study Chinese, using everything from your phone. It's beyond awesome!

Of course I think that the humor and level of literacy are the greatest points of Popup Chinese, that and the fact that subscribers can get corrections from native speakers, Echo is another godsend as far as I'm concerned.

Do you think that Pleco is the best dictionary, or are there others (free or paid) that surpass it?

I've always thought that reading native level texts (out loud as well as silently) and writing Chinese is by far the best help for any language student.

Is there anything else that you use to help you learn?

 said on
July 2, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

I definitely echo your sentiments about Echo, she is great!

I have not heard of Memeo, but I also don't use the Android platform.

One thing that helps, but I absolutely hate, is recording myself. Its quite painful but it does allow me to listen to how I actually sound, it's actually quite scary at times.

Writing Chinese is definitely my weak point, especially now with computers, its just so much easier to get the characters with pinyin. However, the true Chinese scholar has to be able to write, it's just so darn time consuming. Over the years I've focused more on speaking and listening and I have poor writing skills as a result. I think the other reason is that in a business setting, speaking, listening and reading are usually much more important than being able to write a handwritten memo in Chinese. Having said that I still desire to improve my writing skills, and I know that the HSK still demands that.

Pleco, as far as I've seen, is hands down the best dictionary/web reader/ flashcard tool available. I do love the popup one, but you have to be online to access it. I travel a lot, a new city every couple of days (when I'm on my business trips). I spend a lot time in airports, and I can't always access the Internet, and definitely can't on the plane. Pleco has all the tools at my fingertips without having to be online. I download the popup lessons in a PDF, then put them on my iPad and can review on the plane. The web reader and pastboard function in pleco is awesome! I can download a Chinese article and when I come across a new word I can tap on it, get the definition, and add it to my flashcards within seconds. I should note that I purchased the full blown version with all the bells and whistles.

I'd also be curious to hear about any pearls of wisdom you have.

 said on
July 2, 2011
@Drummerboy,

Even though it's scary and painful to listen to, I do think that it's very important to record oneself speaking Chinese, it's the most important tool to correcting one's own pronunciation, even though through recording myself I've discovered my pronunciation is scary, at least I have aclear blueprint with which to correct it. Yes, writing is the only way to be truly literate in Chinese, so I'm moving with all deliberate speed to correct this. 亡羊补牢!
 said on
July 3, 2011
@Xiao Hu & drummerboy,

哈哈哈,谢谢你们,现在我觉得我像苏格拉底一样骄傲自满啦:http://www.popupchinese.com/lessons/short-stories/the-apology-part-i

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 3, 2011
@Drummerboy,

I've just consulted with an expert in pronunciation and she said that my biggest problem is that my tones are still not distinct enough. I suppose in my quest for that "natural" sound, IE: casual minimizing of tonal strength, I've lost the ability to make my tones perfect and distinct. The old 老外 problem has reared it's ugly head once again. This is something I thought I was past many years ago, apparently I've backslidden.

Again, regarding writing, I think that us 外国人 absolutely need to put emphasis on it, regardless of how appealingly simple writing Chinese characters through 拼音 is. Learning how to write will also help us to read more quickly and fluently.

What problems have you encountered in learning to read and write?
 said on
July 3, 2011
@Echo,

哈哈,看你这么得意!我说的都是事实。有你的详细的帮助我的中文有了突飞猛进的进步,更何况有你我可以随随便便的用中文交流,这是泡泡中文的长处之一。别忘了,我犯任何错误的话,我希望你会来纠正我的错误哦!

我进去看了关于苏格拉底的录音可是好像录音还没上传好了吧。我恨不得听中文版本的,是你录的还是别的配音演员录的?
 said on
July 3, 2011
@ Xiao Hu,

Who is your pronunciation expert? Echo by any chance? :-) I think we all suffer from the same problems in that regard. My tones are not always clear and distinct, especially 2nd and 3rd. Other challenges include getting through a newspaper article without Pleco (probably never gonna happen), and of course writing. That is the main reason that I force myself to prepare and take the HSK each year (at least for the last 2 anyway). This year I'll be taking 6 and the writing part has really got me shaking in my boots!

My biggest challenge, and probably the reason my Chinese is not where it it should/could be today considering all the years of exposure are the following: Lack of formal training, besides 6 months at BLCU many years ago, everything has been self-study. Second, I've been relying too much on the traditional Chinese materials, I should have forced myself out of that comfort zone years ago and started to read what Chinese people read. Thanks to Echo, that is happening! Lastly, I got way too comfortable/complacent with my speaking ability after living in China for about 6 years. As a result I have a lot of gaps in my skills with regards to grammar,writing, and being able to express myself in a more professional manner.

It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I decided to really get back into some type of formal study plan, which or course began with what I knew... traditional texts, repeating the lessons with the CDs, trying to memorize patterns, etc. Now with Popup (and Echo), I finally have a more structured approach. I can honestly say that I am also much more passionate about making improvements than I ever have been.

Of course native level fluency is the goal, including tone perfect pronunciation, which will no doubt take many more years and add more grey hair! :-).
 said on
July 4, 2011
我跟 Xiao Hu 一样,非常想听中文版的苏格拉底的短文。 我还想问是谁翻译的? 是不是Brendan?
 said on
July 4, 2011
@drummerboy,

Will see if we can add the audio -- and no on the second question. We wouldn't put up something that hasn't been translated by a native speaker, especially since the idea is seeing how native speakers try to translate the emotions and expressions naturally.

--dave
 said on
July 4, 2011
I know that Brendan does a lot of translation work, so I thought this might have been his doing:-)
 said on
July 6, 2011
@Drummerboy,

哈哈,我提出的所谓的发音专家偏偏不是Echo老师。:(

我的发音专家就是一个学院的妈妈,她说自己是一个发音专家。她听了我的录音说,二声(35)有时候我读的都是21调,尾巴是往下落并不是向上升的。应该是提起来而且应该提到5度。

其实我很希望我的发音专家可以是Echo老师,只不过我现在是穷光蛋,没有钱,所以买不起泡泡中文的“大学计划”。如果像Echo老师一样的专家可以认真的听我的发音而纠正我的错误,多好啊!

说实在的我现在很好奇,你说你住在中国已经6年多了是吧?我觉得你到目前为止还没有让给我们看看你汉语的真正的水平吧。我估计你的普通话应该比我好。

我也觉得有中文环境虽然对语言能力有好处不过,因为跟你说话的人不一定会耐心的纠正你的错误,更不一定主动教你很多新单词,因此用中文去跟中国人说话也有极限,所以为了实现我的目标我仍然来泡泡中文学习啊.
 said on
July 8, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

哎呀,你夸得我又要得意了~~ ^.^

其实你也可以作自己的纠音专家,讲话的时候可以刻意慢一点儿,有意识地把音发清楚,同时注意听普通话讲得标准的人怎么发音,和自己的发音比较,模仿纠正自己的发音。总的来说就是听别人讲话和自己说话的时候都敏感一点儿。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
July 15, 2011
@ Xiao Hu,

Been absent for a while. The latter half of my business trip got quite hectic in Hong Kong and Vietnam and now that I'm back home I've got my hands full with two infant boys. I don't live in china anymore, I've been away for about 9 years now, my writing skills are quite weak indeed and I have been able to learn quite a bit from your posts as your writing skills are much stronger than mine. Writing has never been my forte (even in English).

Now I'm faced with the challenge of trying to squeeze in precious time to study with a full time job and a family :-0. I've come to realize that I'll be struggling with Chinese the rest of my life but enjoying the journey! :-)

Cheers!
 said on
July 18, 2011
@Drummerboy,

Yes, Chinese is a seemingly never ending process. Immersion and environment count for so much, it's sometimes impossible to get over the hump without the benefit of an environment.

Writing is something that anyone can do to create a mini environment for themselves. Writing helps us to assemble our thoughts, workout sentence order and proper sentence structure and to create longer, more complete sentences. Even if you write completely incoherent sentences, I still recommend writing as a primary study and practice tool.

It doesn't take a lot of time, just 15 or 20 minutes to write ashort Chinese post,which could suffice as all the practice you would need for the whole day.

Maybe your wife might be willing to watch the boys for you while you go on the computer?
 said on
July 3, 2012
shouldn't 把 be ba3?
 said on
July 3, 2012
@etbaccata,

Yes, it should be. I've fixed it, thank you etbaccata.

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 6, 2013
How about this sentence:

"在单向街,对面的车冲向老外坐的车,只有他被恐慌,其他乘客都不怀疑"

 said on
June 8, 2013
@julias,

This is better:

在单行线上,对面的车冲向老外坐的车,只有老外一个人被吓坏了,其他乘客都很镇定。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com

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