User Comments - susana9

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Posted on: We Need to Discuss My Allowance
November 20, 2016, 02:51 PM

I was planning to put 打工 on a list of flashcards to memorize but the app that I use didn't have that term as meaning part-time. I live in China, so I called a fellow teacher, a Chinese, and asked her and she said that 打工 has no meaning of part time, it just means work, but if a student is saying it, it is assumed that it would be part time.  It would be helpful to be more exact when listing words and thier definitions.

Posted on: Does This Come with a Warranty?
September 16, 2016, 01:17 PM

I appologize, after getting into a few more lessons, I see now the comment above, about a cool feeling I sensed between the hosts, was a bit out of line and spoken too hastily.  I should have listened to at least a couple more before slinging around comments and realize now that the comments made here about the lesson, were actually for another lesson (Two child policy).  I watched a video tonight and there seemed to be such a warm and good working relationship, I felt abashed.  I will say after listening to some, that good actors and actresses are really important--it's really lame listening to bad acting.

Posted on: Does This Come with a Warranty?
September 13, 2016, 07:18 AM

Wow, I live in China and I've been subscribing to Chinesepod for several years, but have basically ignored it for a couple of years and just came back online to start getting back into it.  I noticed some things switched around and was confused about how to access something that had changed and was also confused about how my payment plan had somehow changed, and wrote to the office.  The money question was answered in a slightly snotty manner, and my other question was totally ignored.  I wrote again, but in the meantime figured out what I was looking for, but to my surprise when they answered, they got it wrong--apparently the person answering questions was not familiar with their own webpages, they had almost lost a customer (because they told me that with $124 a year, I didn't have access to seeing the dialogues).  So, I wrote back mentioning their mistake and the response was that they would pass my advice on to the production team--leaving me non-plussed--for the third time they hadn't understood what I was talking about.  Apparently they just scan emails, without reading them--just assuming what is said, and fire off responses?  Or maybe their staff doesn't speak English well?

But I was also less than inspired with the lesson--or rather the relationship between the two people.  The Chinese lady seemed occassionally cooly to blow off what the native English speaker was saying--from his first statement where he makes an observation and she tells him not to worry about it--they'll listen to the dialogue first and further in she seems to pick at and correct his understanding of this and that.  Really not professional--if you're not going to take a few moments to re-record it, then at least you can find more diplomatic ways to correct someone and with more cheer and grace.  Actually, to be really professional, you should do a complete run through first, BEFORE recording, so there are no mistakes at all.  Really makes me wonder if these two are at each other's throats when not recording. 

Just don't feel these two are working together to really make us understand better.  I'll listen to more, but getting disappointed and might just opt out after giving these people money for years.

Posted on: Custom-Made Furniture
January 08, 2014, 08:44 AM

When he says he's a furniture designer, it's really not as high class or elaborate as it sounds--he's actually a contractor--the kind that everyone hires when they move into a new apartment or are renovating, and basically, you come up with your own design because he can have anything you like done.  He might show you some examples on his computer or Ipad and you make your own decisions (and are responsible for them).  If it's something big like her yigui, they'll actually assemble it when they bring it and they will seal the furniture to the walls. The thing is, ordering furniture this way is not a lot more expensive than buying it in stores or on the street if you are thinking about wood quality.  If you want trash wood quality, they can do that for you too at a very low price.  And this way, if it's a reputable company (find it through someone's relative) you know what kind of wood you are getting.

Posted on: Custom-Made Furniture
January 08, 2014, 08:13 AM

This lesson is really practical for home owners who need to get stuff done. I would have preferred to dispense with the introductions and get into more useful detail like quality of wood, door knobs, hangers and drawer styles.  It would be nice to see one soon about expanding a kitchen out to their balcony: tile, cabinets, counter stone, windows, etc

Posted on: Noisy Renovations
September 15, 2013, 09:05 AM

I recently bought a Biguiyuan apartment in a mid-sized city in Guangdong Province which offers apartment blocks with zhuangxiu already done (bad quality materials and poor workmanship) and we were told that not only was construction work not allowed on the weekend, you weren't even supposed to move in on the weekend--and that during the week, there were hours in which it couldn't be done, though can't remember what the hours were. Just this weekend though, I had this same problem starting at 8:00 am right above me. Even with the major zhuangxiu done, there's still a lot of other noisy work to be done, such as the building of wardrobes, installation of air-conditioners--and a lot of people change thier shoddy "wooden" bedroom floors and do lighting fixture work, etc. I moved in immediately when the apartments were released, but then went to the States for 2 1/2 months and have, luckily, managed to escape a lot of it, but know there is still suffering ahead. Btw, for those in the market, Country Garden has come way, way, way down in quality and much of their "free" zhuangxiu you'll eventually want to replace entirely.

Posted on: Calling a Moving Company
April 28, 2013, 01:30 PM

Very useful lesson!  A couple lessons on zhuangxiu and refurbishments would also be very useful, including vocab on the taking of measurements, asking whether diagrams are to scale, choices of stone, to name a few.  

And another on getting furniture made would probably interest quite a few people--different choices of plywood, drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, cabinet handles, etc.  Took me forever to find the word for cabinet handle, until I figured out to use "knob", even if they aren't knobs!  Crazy how difficult it sometimes is to find words in English Chinese dictionaries that require two words.

As to moving, if you tell enough friends you're moving, someone will eventually offer you their company truck. And if you work for a university or college, all you have to do is mention to a few students that you're moving, and more ready hands than you could possibly use will kindly be available. When you're done you treat them all to a friendly dinner and everyone's happy.

Posted on: Talking about Mistakes (Part 1)
February 18, 2013, 01:58 PM

Yes, the first one is what was suggested. It was a good lesson, I'm not likely to forget that now!

Posted on: Talking about Mistakes (Part 1)
January 28, 2013, 09:11 AM

In one of my English classes recently I managed to provide some comic relief when I was trying to say that a student wasn't present the week before with "Ta buzaile". It cracked them all up as it apparently means he died. 

Posted on: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
May 07, 2012, 02:50 PM

I'm a real fan of Red Cliff--artistically, think it's the greatest movie of all time in every respect.  But make sure to watch the full Asian version (with English subtitles if you like)--two full movies in two parts.  Very easy to find in China, but perhaps not as easy in the States.  There are three versions of the exact same movie--one cut almost in half, one a little longer and then the full length.  There are several departures from the book and also from history, but I didn't watch it to bone up on either, so didn't bother me.  And I also liked the departures more than the real thing.