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Forums > Study > Where can I learn Chinese online?
Owned by Praxxis I think. A lot of stuff is free, but the pay for packages offer a lot more. Not too expensive if I remember.

Forums > Study > Best Chinese school to study Business language out of office hours ?

Here are some suggestions for self study, but you will need to become your own teacher. Some of this you will know, and so forgive me if I am trying to teach my granny how to suck eggs.

For a quick start, don't even try to write. Remember that there are many people around the world who can function in business who are illiterate.
Social Chinese will help you a lot, and business Chinese is for advanced learners.

Most books will start you reading using Pin-yin (Romanized notation) but move you up to reading Hanzi (Simplified Chinese Characters) before you get through beginner level. This I found to be a major barrier. The same is true for many online courses.

You can learn to read, without having to learn to write. You can be semi-literate.

I can recommend Pimsleur Mandarin I-III audio. It is expensive, but lots of very naughty people download it free from the internet. This is very naughty and should never be done (snigger). Pimsleur has a good mix of social and professional Mandarin. Level III will take you to intermediate level, without the need to learn to read Chinese characters.

Getting a Chinese teacher also helps with the audio courses, as they can help you practice your pronunciation. Pronunciation is critical in Mandarin, change the way you say a word and change its meaning. For example, to the untrained ear the words for 'buy' and 'sell' sound identical.
Another advantage of a teacher is that they know the vocabulary that you will know, for your level. For example a beginer will have a vocab of about 600 words at the end of the course. Most people you meet will use a full vocabulary, this is frustrating and demotivating.

Find yourself a friend, not a language partner. Ideally someone who speaks almost no English, but likes the idea of a western pal. Make sure it is someone you have something in common with. I talk my wife's driver about cars and sport. If you get a language partner you may spend most of the time speaking English.

You can go with a Chinese speaking person to the market to buy stuff. There is more than this to haggling. Once people know you are not a spy and want to practice Chinese you can speak about buying, selling, trading, transport, lead times, import and export (in the fruit market), supply chains; its not all about prices and haggling. It might also help to become boozing buddies of local traders (trading company).

BUT you will need to pre-learn essential vocab first. You will need to be your own teacher.

In short. My recomendation. Pimsleur audio, with occasional input from a teacher to correct pronunciation, don't try to read, and find a buddy who speaks poor English. Then find a buddy who speaks better English to trawl the markets and befriend some local businessmen.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Chinese family wants do adopt my son

ALARM BELLS are now RINGING for me.
You have given a number of facts that can be re-ordered and create red flags.
Let me just pick on two.

- Your wife wants a divorce.

- Your wife's family wants adoption (custody) of the baby.

I guess these could happen in reverse order.
I am not saying this is the case, but keep it in mind.

I have a Canadian friend in Shanghai. His wife's family openly said (their bigoted opinion not mine) that a Chinese only marries a foreigner for two things. Big money job or green card, and he had provided neither (he teaches). As such the daughter needed to choose between him and her family.


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I am not sure that dragon boat events were ever held in the Minorities Village. This could be a hang over from erroneous remark in an article on dragon boat festivals a year or two ago.
The only dragon boat events I know of, in the last 10 years, were held on the northern half of Haigeng Dam (Daba). These now fall on the calendar of the international dragon boat racing events.



A reasonable choice of lumber that has improved over time. Fancy hardwoods like walnut, and mahogany are in abundance. There are some plywood and rubber-wood boards available. There are also some kiln dried imported softwoods and merbao available. Some of the lumber is very green, so look for the kiln dried if you need stable timbers.


Echo everything said by others.
Breakfast great and the serve from 8am. Most other places say 9am and they still are not ready.
Sandwiches are cheap 22-32, and really packed full of filling. We got some sandwiches for a day out, the only mistake I made was ordering two, as this was too much. These are seriously good sangars, and they are wrapped in alu foil.


In fairness to Metro, they are a wholesalers, and not really a supermarket. Hence the need for a card, which can be got around.

They have improved in the year I have been away. They now carry a more consistent range of imported foodstuffs and they also seem to have sorted out the mported milk supply.

They have a wider range of electrical appliances now, there is a coice of more than one toast. There is also a better range of seasonal non foods, like clothes, shoes, garden furniture and camping gear.