show episodes
 
5 Minute Chinese is a weekly podcast show that talks about all things in life in authentic yet comprehensible Mandarin. As a high school Mandarin teacher and language enthusiast, I explore fun, real-life experiences in the Mandarin language that you can relate, understand, learn and enjoy! Scripts and useful expressions can be found in the description of each Mandarin episode. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me at TheLoneMandarinTeacher@outlook.com. Best, The Lone Man ...
 
If it’s about sports and there’s a China angle, we’ll talk about it in the China Sports Insider Podcast. Mark Dreyer is the China Sports Insider. He’s worked for Sky Sports, Fox Sports, AP Sports and many others, and has covered major sporting events on five continents, including three Olympic Games 2008-12. He has been based in China since 2007. Produced and hosted by Haig Balian, a journalist and filmmaker who hosts and produces The Beijing Sessions podcast.
 
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show series
 
Hello everyone, in today's episode I talk about board games. The most recent one I played is called Machi Koro 2--an easy, fun board game where you build establishments, earn returns, and build 3 landmarks to win. In this day and age, board games may sound boring compared to our smartphones, computers and other forms of multi-media entertainment. Y…
 
The Ultra-Traditional, the “Buddy”, the Know-it-All, and the “Too Nice” are all teacher types that John and Jared are going to break down and you should consider avoiding. That being said, they have some redeeming qualities too! Interview is with Brad Johnson whose interest and friendships were the driving force in improving his Chinese skills to t…
 
Hello everyone! In today's episode I talk about the buzzword 雪糕刺客 (Ice Cream Assassin). Chinese people call an ice cream an ice cream assassin when it looks unremarkable but turns out to be very pricey, dealing a heavy blow to your wallet at checkout. Scripts and useful expressions below. Thank you for listening. Have a nice day! 大家好!欢迎收听。天气最近这么热,大…
 
Hello everyone! In today's episode I talk about China's siesta culture. Chinese people are used to taking a nap after lunch since childhood. School and company schedules usually accommodate the need of siesta with a longer lunch break than what is common in the US. The two main reasons for Chinese people's s siestas are their high-carb, heavy lunch…
 
In this special episode, John and Jared interview game-based learning expert Fred Poole who is a professor at Michigan State University, an avid gamer, and also an advanced speaker of Chinese and Spanish. Links from the episode: Fred Poole at Github Game and Activity Book by Fred Poole (PDF) Identity RPG game Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Cur…
 
Hello everyone! In this episode I explain what is "sanfu tian"—the Chinese "Dog Days of Summer", the ancient Chinese solar terms marking the beginning and end of the Sanfu Tian, and the folk traditions along with this period. Script and useful expressions below. Let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thank you. Have a great day! 1 大家好。最…
 
Hello everyone! In today's episode I talk about 5 traditional ways Chinese people used to beat the summer heat in ancient time: fans, stored ice, cooling mat, cool water house, plus special summer diets. Some of the methods are still used today in conjunction with the A/C. Full script and useful expressions below. 1. 大家好,欢迎收听新一期的《五分钟汉语》。今天想跟大家聊的是中国…
 
Have you ever had comments in Chinese about your weight, asked how much money you make, or experienced just a general lack of “please” and “thank-you”? John and Jared talk about common usages of Chinese that at times can be perceived as “rude” by non-native speakers. Plus we’ll talk about how YOU can avoid being perceived as rude to Chinese speaker…
 
In an special interview edition of the show, Mark and Haig speak to Yonina Chan, who helps run the Beijing chapter of the famed Israeli self-defense system Krav Maga. (0:55) What is Krav Maga and how did Chan get into it? (2:45) One of the hottest topics in China over the last month was about the incident in Tangshan, where a group of men assaulted…
 
Hello everyone, in today's episode I talked about my recent trip to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. In Part 1, I briefly talked about my favorite Zoo in China—the Beijing Zoo and my hometown safari-style zoo. In Part 2 and 3, I talked about my experience in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It's a family-friendly zoo with giraffe-feeding experi…
 
Hello everyone, long time no see! I was traveling in Colorado, so I wasn't able to make new episode last week. In today's episode I talk about high altitude illness as Colorado has the highest mean altitude of all the states and home to more 14,000-feet mountain peaks than any other state. Lower oxygen level at higher altitudes is the main contribu…
 
How long can you use Chinese before your “brain is full”? John and Jared talk about endurance in Chinese, how to build stamina, and what to expect as your Chinese progresses to the next level. Interview is with Tyler Christler, an American based in Dalian speaking Dongbei-flavored Mandarin who produces videos on Chinese social media. Links from the…
 
(0:55) Recent podcast guest and F1 driver Zhou Guanyu finally has some good luck, finishing eighth at the Montreal Grand Prix. (1:36) He’s a fun follow on social media, sharing insider clips and not afraid to laugh at himself, (2:15) and the race itself was worth staying up into the small hours for — at least for Mark. (3:16) Haig attempts to steer…
 
Hello everyone, in today's unscripted Mandarin chat, I talked about my flight cancellation by American Airline today due to weather. My only hope now is that I will be able to fly out successfully on the rebooked flight early Sunday morning so that my trip is not cut any shorter. If you travel this summer, beware of the weather factor and the staff…
 
We round up the news this week with Zhang Weili’s stunning knockout win in the UFC. How long until she fights for another title (2:26)? Meanwhile, F1 driver Zhou Guanyu — a recent guest on the podcast — continues to have a run of bad luck, plagued by technical issues when driving well (3:45). Meanwhile, China’s breakout tennis star Zhang Qinwen bac…
 
What do you do when your dictionary says one thing but native speakers say it differently? John and Jared will talk about how to handle this and put it to use in your own studies. Interview is with Ryan Alexander Holmes, an actor, popular TikTocker, and black Afro Asian American, or Blasian. Links from the episode: Prescriptivism vs. Descriptivism …
 
Eileen Gu, the top-rated story from the 2022 Olympics, is back in the headlines once again (1:00). She just announced she will be an ambassador for Salt Lake City’s Olympic bid. Is she trying to have her cake and eat it too (2:15)? Mark says she’s overcompensating for her switch from the U.S. to China, but what will the Chinese reaction be (4:15)? …
 
Hello everyone! Welcome to a new episode of 5 Minute Chinese. In today's episode, I talk about summer (school)work in the US and China—which subjects typically have summer work and what type as well as my first summer reading for my AP class. Later in the episode I talk about Gaokao—generally deemed to be the most important and fairest exam in Main…
 
China’s Zheng Qinwen makes a run at the French Open — beating Simona Halep and Alize Cornet, then becoming the first player in more than a month to take a set off Iga Swiatek. (2:20) Zheng has been getting lots of attention in China, with people posting about her online and bringing tennis back into the spotlight (6:00). Elsewhere, there’s a new yo…
 
Hello everyone! Summer is here! In today's episode, I compare China's summer vacation with America's summer vacation: When and how long is the summer vacation in China and the US? What do students do during summer? Many Chinese students used to go to tutoring classes over the summer, but is this changing? How about students in the US? Scripts and v…
 
Jared and John discuss a research paper on learner engagement with vocabulary apps. Whether you’re an independent learner or a teacher, there are plenty of surprises and takeaways! Interview is with Jonathan Coveny, whose obsession with Chinese took him on a winding path of learning the language. Especially for all you study nerds out there, don’t …
 
On the show this week, Mark shares his experience on Patrick McEnroe’s podcast (1:02), plus watching live soccer for a change at a Taiwan Mulan Football League game — women’s pro soccer in Taiwan (1:41). Meanwhile, Tencent Sports has laid off 100 people given that there’s no original sporting content to produce these days (3:15), and Tencent’s big …
 
Hello everyone, today I explore the topic of exam during our exam week: When do US and Chinese students start to have exams? How important are exams and grades in different levels of schools in China and the US? What's Gaokao? What's behind China's exam culture that attaches ultimate importance to exam scores? (script and useful words below) Thank …
 
With a special guest on the show this week, we rank where F1 rookie Zhou Guanyu sits in China’s sporting landscape today (0:52). The biggest sports story in China is still COVID, with China now stripped of its hosting rights for the 2023 Asian Cup. Given the news, what are chances of China ever hosting a World Cup (2:17)? A discussion on who takes …
 
Learning a language is much more than learning vocabulary. This includes understanding and anticipating interactions within a cultural context. John and Jared discuss exactly what this means and what you should know to maximize your gains. Interview is with Elisa Ferrero, a native of Italy who learned English to learn Chinese and today is a Chinese…
 
Hello everyone, in today's episode, I talk about our academic awards on Friday. It was so great to see students walk on stage to receive the awards. But awards or not, I feel happy and proud for all the students for their many accomplishments in and out of my class. 大家好,欢迎收听!这个星期五放学以后举行了高中学术奖的颁奖典礼。首先,高中学生会主席带着大家在国旗下宣誓。然后,校长致欢迎词。随后,新一届的学生会(Student g…
 
Mark escapes Beijing, leaving the ghost town that PEK airport has become (0:18), while the city of Beijing slips into a lockdown in all but name (2:03). China’s COVID policy has devastated the growth of sports at a time when it should be booming (3:00). The Asian Games are postponed – they simply don’t have the same political significance of the Ol…
 
Hello everyone, in today's episode, I talk about how COVID ran its course in my body this week. 大家好,欢迎收听。今天想跟大家聊一下我刚经历的新冠。 (0:10) 上个星期六我一早起来就觉得不舒服,尤其是嗓子特别疼。我测了一下体温,发现有点儿发烧。我就预约了CVS药店的诊所去检查一下是不是新冠。检查很方便。就是医生用一个棉签在鼻子里转几次,然后放进检验机器。这种快的检测,等十分钟就可以知道结果。十分钟后,新冠检测的机器显示我是新冠阳性。医生说我是诊所那一天的第一个阳性。 新冠 | Xīnguān | new crown 测 | cè | measure, test 体温 | tǐwēn | bod…
 
With Mark and Haig recording their last face-to-face show before some summer travel (0:36), news is coming through that the World University Games in Chengdu will be postponed for a second time (2:03) [UPDATE: Mark’s sources were right, as both those Games and the Asian Games in Hangzhou have now both been postponed]. The decision was mostly becaus…
 
In 2021, Jared and John at Mandarin Companion surveyed over a thousand Chinese learners worldwide. Based on a statistical analysis, they found six main types of Chinese learners. Which one are you? Interview is with Dillon Jaghory who achieved a high level of Chinese proficiency while living in the U.S. Links from the episode: Country of the Blind …
 
Hello everyone, in today’s episode I talk about the hot pot party we held in school this week. 大家好,最近期末真的很忙。所以周中都没有时间更新,只能在周末更新一次。不好意思。今天想跟大家聊聊这周我举办了火锅聚会。我在去年十月份的第15期和第16期的节目里也聊过火锅。有中文和英文的两个版本,大家如果有兴趣可以找来听一下。 更新 | gēngxīn | renew 聚会 | jùhuì | gathering, party 期 | qī | episode 版本 | bǎnběn | Version 这周我高中班的火锅聚会是在户外举行的。我跟朋友借了丁烷炉(butane stove)和鸳鸯火锅。当然有…
 
It’s a strange time in Beijing right now, with mandatory testing and food flying off the shelves at supermarkets. Sports take a back seat, as Mark and Haig brace for a possible lockdown (0:52). Will the Asian Games in Hangzhou — scheduled for September this year — be postponed (6:02)? What kind of spectacle could we expect – bubble or not (8:21)? H…
 
Hello everyone! In this episode, I talk about May 1 Labor Day—China’s upcoming “5-day” holiday, which in fact is only 3 days because during the two weeks before and after the holiday, people need to work for 6 days (one weekend day each week) to make up for the “lost” 2 days that make the holiday 5 days. 大家好,大家这周过得怎么样?我们学校刚过了春假,在暑假以前基本没有假期了。不过在中国,马…
 
On this episode, feedback from last week’s interview with Rudi Ying (0:50), ESPN’s detailed look at Nets owner Joe Tsai (1:34), the NBA’s (very) rocky road back to televised games in China (2:53), why — perhaps — the Clippers were shown on China’s national broadcaster first (4:38), why the Sixers and Celtics drew longer bans than the rest (6:00), a…
 
Hello everyone, in today's episode I compare Easter and Qing Ming Festival. Both are "spring festivals" in late March/early April and include outdoor activities in the beautiful spring weather. The difference between the two festivals lies in the cultural origin and tradition: though both are related to death, Qing Ming is about remembering dead an…
 
Slang words in Chinese are always evolving, but is it worth it to learn? As always, it depends. Guest interview is with language enthusiast, author, academic, and polyglot Kyle Anderson. Links from the episode: Kyle Anderson | New Books Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Curly Haired Company | Mandarin Companion Graded Reader Slow Chinese 每周漫闻 | W…
 
In a round-up of the week’s news, F1’s Chinese rookie Zhou Guanyu narrowly missed out on the points — again — while there was a naming clarification from his team (3:03). The Chinese women’s ice hockey team has been lighting it up at the World Championships in Poland (4:48), with former Kunlun standout Melanie Jue — who features prominently in Mark…
 
Hello everyone, in this episode I recount our crazy Thursday at school. The power went out overnight and wasn't restored until right before class. Then 10 minutes into the first period, we were told to evacuate due to an electric fire. After 20 minutes in the rain and another 30 minutes of waiting in the gym, we were finally back in the classrooms …
 
Hello everyone! In this episode I talk about my dentist's appointment today and my journey with Invisalign, which started in late 2019 and is still going. Today they took new pictures and impressions to send back to Invisalign for new sets. I also learned that braces is a life-long commitment since I need to continue to wear retainers at night even…
 
Learning from native speakers is essential. In this episode, Jared and John will make you aware of ways they can also lead you astray. Guest interview is with Nicholas Hung who went the extra mile to reconnect with his roots. Links from the episode: Never Trust a Native Speaker – Sinosplice Pronunciation Variants – Chinese Pronunciation Wiki The Se…
 
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