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G8 Summit 2008 was held on July 7-9, 2008 in Hokkaido Toyako. Can you tell about the hot words for the summit topics in mandarin Chinese fluently? If not, please contact ChineseHour Course Advisor (http://www.chinesehour.com ) online right now, they are ready to help you all the time to learn Chinese. Here are the common Chinese expressions on G8 Summit:

八国峰会 bā guó fēnghuì

   G8 Summit

G8 Summit 2008 was held on July 7-9, 2008 in Hokkaido Toyako. The Group of Eight (G8) Summit is an annual meeting attended by the leaders of the eight countries, namely, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, as well as the President of the European Commission. “Summit meeting” in its strict sense means a leaders meeting, but it usually refers to a series of meetings which include those of foreign ministers and finance ministers that are held prior to the leaders’ meeting.

金砖四国 jīnzhuān sì guó

  Brazil, Russia, India And China (BRIC)

BRIC — An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. The general consensus is that the term was first prominently used in a Goldman Sachs report from 2003, which speculated that by 2050 these four economies would be wealthier than most of the current major economic powers. 

Leaders of the so-called “Bric” countries pledged here on Wednesday at G8 Summit 2008 to enhance coordination and strive to play a positive role in international affairs. The “Bric” countries share common or similar views on many important international and regional issues, said Chinese President Hu Jintao while meeting with the three leaders here.

粮食危机 liángshi wēijī, food crisis

气候变化 qìhòu biànhuà, climate change

The global food crisis will only worsen because of climate change, the U.N. climate chief said Friday, urging leaders of the world’s richest countries meeting in Japan next week to set goals to reduce carbon emissions within the next dozen years.

Food security and soaring oil prices are likely to overtake climate change in the priorities of the G-8 meeting starting Monday, though global warming was the theme set by the host, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

温室气体排放 wēnshì qìtǐ páifàng
  greenhouse gas emission

Leaders of the G8 countries have agreed on the long-term target of at least halving their greenhouse gas emission by 2050, participants of the G8 summit said Tuesday. Japanese Prime Minsiter Yasuo Fukuda, playing host to the G8 summit, said that the leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations have agreed to push for the G8 emission cut target to become that of the world.

六方会谈 liù fāng huìtán

  six-party (nuclear) talks

The six-party talks on North Korea’s denuclearization will resume Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday as delegation heads began arriving in Beijing. Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a press conference that the talks are expected to be held for three days.

奥运开幕式 àoyùn kāimùshì

  Olympics opening ceremony

U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda have announced at a joint news conference of G8 Summit that they will attend the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has reassured Chinese President Hu Jintao that he would attend the ceremony  on the sidelines of the G8 summit of industrialized powers in Japan.

Can you tell about the hot words on G8 Summit topics in mandarin Chinese fluently? If not, please contact ChineseHour Course Advisor (http://www.chinesehour.com ) online right now, they are ready to help you all the time to learn Chinese.

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The number of US firms among the Fortune 500 2008 list of top global companies slipped to the lowest level in over a decade while Chinese, Indian and Mexican firms gained, the magazine reported Wednesday on 9 Jul 2008 .

The business publication said that US-based Wal-Mart Stores  沃尔玛 remained at the top of the list of the world’s biggest companies by revenue at some 378 billion dollars.

But the number of US firms in the top 500 fell to 153, the lowest in over a decade.

Number two on the list was US oil giant ExxonMobil  埃克森美孚 with 372 billion dollars in revenue, followed by Royal Dutch Shell  荷兰皇家壳牌 (355 billion); British-based BP 英国石油 (291 billion); Japan’s Toyota Motor  丰田汽车 (230 billion); US oil firm Chevron 雪佛龙 (210 billion); Dutch bank ING Group (201 billion); French-based oil giant Total (187 billion); US automaker General Motors 通用汽车 (182 billion); and US oil firm ConocoPhillips (178 billion).

Can you name these big companies in mandarin in Chinese fluently? If not, please contact ChineseHour Course Advisor (http://www.chinesehour.com/ ) online right now, they are ready to help you all the time to learn Chinese with diverse Chinese courses.

The US still had the most companies on the list, but a falling dollar became an advantage to non-US based companies, Fortune said. Japan had 64 firms and France had 39 to edge out Germany with 37 and Britain’s 34.

But China had an unprecedented total of 29 companies on the list — as many as Italy, Spain, and Australia combined. The top Chinese firm was Sinopec 中国石化 with 159 billion dollars in revenues.

Rankings

Companies in Chinese

Pinyin

English

1

沃尔玛

wò ěr mǎ

Wal-Mart Stores

2

埃克森美孚

āikèsēn měifú

Exxon Mobil

3

皇家壳牌

huángjiā qiàopái

Royal Dutch Shell

4

英国石油

yīngguó shíyóu

BP

5

丰田汽车

fēngtián qìchē

Toyota Motor

6

雪佛龙

xuě fó lóng

Chevron

7

ING集团

ING jítuán

ING Group

8

道达尔能源

dàodáěr néngyuán

Total

9

通用汽车

tōngyòng qìchē

General Motors

10

康菲石油

kāngfēi shíyóu

ConocoPhillips

11

戴姆勒

dài mǔ lè

Daimler

12

通用电气

tōngyòng diànqì

General Electric

13

福特汽车

fútè qìchē

Ford Motor

14

富通银行

fùtōng yínháng

Fortis

15

安盛集团

ānshèng jítuán

AXA

16

中国石化

zhōngguó shíhuà

Sinopec

17

花旗集团

huāqí jítuán

Citigroup

18

大众汽车

dàzhòng qìchē

Volkswagen

19

德克夏银行

dékèxià yínháng

Dexia Group

20

汇丰集团

huìfēng jítuán

HSBC Holdings

Can you name these big companies in mandarin in Chinese fluently? If not, please contact ChineseHour Course Advisor (http://www.chinesehour.com/ ) online right now, they are ready to help you all the time to learn Chinese with diverse Chinese courses.

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A foreign visitor got lost on the street, he approached a girl and spoke to her in Chinese: “Miss, wo xiang wěnwěn ni...”.

The girl was so angry and replied to him: “You are so rude! You attempt to KISS a stranger on the street?”

“No, No, No! Wo xiang wènwèn ni — zhege difang zenme zou. I want to ASK you how I can get to this place.”

See? The foreign traveler’s Chinese pronunciation made the girl confused. KISS me or ASK me is a question and trouble too! Remember: 问 wèn (ask) is the 4th tone, but 吻 wěn (kiss) is the 3rd tone.

Chinese has four pitched tones and a “toneless” tone (ā→  á↗  ǎ∨  à↘). The reason for having these tones is probably that the Chinese language has very few possible syllables — approximately 400 — while English has about 12,000. For this reason, there may be more homophonic words , words with the same sound expressing different meanings, in Chinese than in most other languages. Apparently tones help the relatively small number of syllables to multiply and thereby alleviate but not completely solve the problem. Learning Chinese in context, therefore, is very important.

Tone Mark Description
1st High and level.
2nd Starts medium in tone, then rises to the top.
3rd Starts low, dips to the bottom, then rises toward the top.
4th Starts at the top, then falls sharp and strong to the bottom.
Neutral Flat, with no emphasis.

Can you imagine that the Chinese use only three syllables when expressing the same meaning as each of the following sentences conveys?

A mother who is riding on a horse thinks that it is slow and so she curses it.

Māma qí mǎ, mǎ màn, mā mà mǎ.

妈 mā - mum
马 mǎ - horse
骂 mà - curse

Click here to listen and practise the above sentence.

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China to issue special 10-yuan  bank notes to mark Beijing Olympics

Olympic Commemorative bank notes

奥运纪念

àoyùn jìniàn chāo

Do you have the habit of collecting commemorative stamps or Olympic souvenirs? The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, is to issue a commemorative bank note with a face value of 10 yuan ($1.46) from Tuesday to mark the Beijing Olympic Games, the bank said in a statement on Sunday. So, when you visit Beijing, remember to exchange the special 10-yuan bank notes of RMB for your collections.

A total of 6 million such notes would be issued.

The PBOC said it would issue a total of 6 million such notes, which would be circulated in the currency market with the same denomination as the ordinary 10-yuan notes.

The new note, in cyan, is 148.5 millimeters long and 72 millimeters wide, according to the central bank. While the ordinary 10-yuan notes are in cobalt black, 140 millimeters long and 70 millimeters wide.

On one side is a picture of the National Stadium, or the Bird’s Nest 鸟巢 (Niao Chao), the main venue for the Games in August. Above the picture is the emblem of the Beijing Games, “Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing”. The picture of national stadium and the emblem are both set against the backdrop of the Temple of Heaven 天坛 (Tian Tan), one of the country’s best-known landmarks. Do have have any problem in speaking right mandarin for these Chinese characters? ChineseHour is your first place to learn basic Chinese online. There are native Chinese teachers to help you to learn Chinese online anytime of the day. Visit www.chinesehour.com and talk to their Courses Advisor now!

This takes the place of the portrait of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong and China’s national emblem on the ordinary 10-yuan notes.

The other side features the famous ancient Greek marble statue of a discus-thrower, Discobolus, portraits of athletes and the Arabic numeral “2008″.

These replace the drawing of the scenic Three Gorges, but the name of the PBOC in Chinese pinyin, Mongolian, Tibetan, Ugyur and Zhuang, remains in the top right corner.

The central bank also said it incorporated watermarks and other technologies to prevent counterfeiting of the notes.

A clear watermark appears on the picture of the National Stadium in the shape of the Arabic numeral “10″ and the Games of XXIX Olympiad in the Chinese characters, said the bank.

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画饼充饥

huà bǐng chōng jī

Draw a pancake to allay hunger - Feed on illusions

Lu Yu was a learned man of integrity in the period of Three Kingdoms (220-280), serving as a senior official.

Once the emperor was selecting talents for a post, officials recommended a lot of famous people. The emperor of Wei said, “I would like to let Lu Yu select the right person instead of those well-known but incapable ones. Fame is just like a pancake drawn on the wall. You cannot eat it.”

Lu Yu suggested the emperor to combine examination with selection. From then on, officials were appointed according to their real ability. Lu Yu’s method for selection was widely praised.

The idiom came from what the emperor said. At first, it indicated enjoying an empty fame”. Later, people use it to describe satisfying oneself by imagining things or consoling oneself with false hopes. 

The satirical drawing <画饼充饥> posted here discloses the problems of low-income households in China.

Housing problems of low-income households have been attached much attention by Chinese Government who formulated series of policies to solve the housing problems and adopted different kinds of measures to ensure the implement of these policies.

Chinese Government has launched many policies in succession, like Welfare Housing Project, affordable housing policy, low-rent housing policy, etc. since the Mid 1990s to try solving the housing problems of low-income households and has made great achievement.

The distinction is that in Welfare Housing Project 福利房 the houses are sold at cost price and its emphasis is put on households with housing difficulties of low-income households  经济适用房 while affordable houses are sold to a great many moderate and low-income households 中低收入家庭 at meager-profit price.

Learn the story of Chinese idiom 画饼充饥 again from a video lesson.

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