Chinese Resources

Monday, June 18, 2012

The "社會" section

I've got three days left here in Taiwan before I head back to the states, and I'm up to my ears in 報告s and the general laundry list of crap one needs to do before they leave somewhere for months on end.

Rather than regale you all with the various ways I've thought about pulling my hair out, or smashing my head on the desk as I try and analyze Case Grammar structures, I'll just say that I've discovered a new love at my breakfast shop... the "society" section of the 自由日報 (Freedom Daily). Everyone talks about needing to understand 3000 characters or so to read a news paper, but what is the fascination with reading newspapers anyway? I would much rather know how to tell my friend that their fashion sense in that one photo from 4 years ago, which I only found cause I was Facebook stalking them, makes them look kinda like a serial killer. Seriously, that (to me) would be much more useful, and, let's face it, way more fun to teach.

That being said, the 社會 section of this newspaper is sort of a blend of both. You get the "street cred" of reading a newspaper (this is why we try in the first place right?) plus a Facebook feel. It's full of pictures, it covers a broad variety of topics, polarizing opinions, and most of all, language that I can use right away! Here are two articles I found particularly funny yesterday. I can't really remember what useful stuff I learned in the process, and I didn't look up things I didn't understand, but after reading them I had a smile on my face. I'm sure I'll be back for more, which more than I can say of the collected works of Laozi or some textbook about Cross Straight Relations... seriously who writes that crap?

Without further ado, enjoy! I'd tell you the parts that I thought were interesting, but they you might not read the articles yourselves.

辣媽, what is that like the Chinese version of MILF?
Three parts to this discussion about yelling at kids.


  1. I agree, newspapers, especially the politics, economy, cross-straight sections are so boring, but that's where you see a good chunk of TOCFL vocab list pop-up so can't totally ignore them, well at least until it bores you out, haha.
    Thanks for sharing some articles. I read the last one without looking up the few unknown characters, and it feels great to still be able to comprehend the article overall. I guess my Chinese has improved after all! 哈哈

    Are you going back to the states for good? Good luck with your 報告s

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ashley. I'll agree that those topics like to appear on TOCFL lists, but in the real world, especially for those people who have spent time in China and Taiwan, it seems like knowing how to talk about cultural differences, food, transportation etc. is much more relevant (and way less boring).

      Reading for overall comprehension is the most important thing to do, looking up characters is fine, but if we do it too much it just becomes a crutch. When a word you don't know starts to appear lots it is time to look it up, however, if you see it once and can guess at the meaning then don't bother with it, at least until it shows up in another article and hits you in the face!

      Back to the states for good? Nope, not yet at least. I'm just about to finish up my first year of graduate school and I need a break from life. Some I'm heading home to be with family and friends for two months. Lots of weddings, traveling and Chinese to study. I'm sure that I'll miss Taiwan after a few weeks, but right now going home is sounding great.

      Be on the lookout for more little articles... when I find something fun I'll be sure to share it!


  2. reading for enjoyment = effortless vocab.

    I make a lot of hay about real communication, but I learned truckloads of vocab by reading Latin American short stories. The secret to my success: I found them fascinating.

    (ps: I just stole a AA battery from your desk drawer)


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