Popup ChineseAuthor: Popup Chinese
24 Sep 2018

Popup Chinese

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The most convenient way to learn Chinese the way it is actually spoken and used. Start with our basic lessons, and in no time you'll be listening to music, watching films and television and engaging in the actual language. With free daily podcasts, a vibrant community, online study tools and much more, PopupChinese is the most powerful and personal way to learn mandarin.

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    Absolute Beginners - Let me do it, myself

    One of the things we're proud of at Popup Towers is our hard-fought ability to wring natural dialogues out of less-than-natural voice-actors, a skill that usually involves unleashing Grace at them in varying degrees of rage. And since recording a dialogue this way can take up a bit of time, the result is that we usually end up with a number of variants for each one, usually getting more and more natural as we go along.

    If you're totally new to Chinese we suggest coming back to this show later -- the lesson is a bit tricky for the Absolute Beginner level -- but we wanted to showcase it here for two reasons. The first is that this show features not one but two dialogues. The interesting thing is that the first dialogue sounds a bit stilted while the second sounds extremely natural. And since they basically saying the same thing, we wanted to contrast and compare them, to learn what it is that makes mandarin sound forced and what makes it more colloquial.


  • Posted on 28 Apr 2015

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    Advanced - From the Archives of the CBC

    Classical pianist Glenn Gould, the most improbable sex symbol in Canadian music history, set the world ablaze in the 1960s and 1970s with his emotional reinterpretations of Bach's keyboard repertoire. But what really distinguishes Gould from his contemporaries is the sheer volume of experimental recordings he bequeathed the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on his death, recordings made at home during his final years in recluse and only now available to the public for the first time....

    Note to Listeners: we tried to keep this show focused on classical music, but then Grace kept mentioning how much she doesn't like Taylor Swift, and David felt forced to wave his populist flag, and that is how our podcast descended into nonsense shortly after our two hosts offhandedly diagnosed the vast majority of the Chinese population with obsessive compulsive disorder.


  • Posted on 11 Mar 2015

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    Advanced - Intrigue at the National Gallery of London

    The tip-off? It had come from an old landline in the basement of the National Gallery, so the caller could have been anyone associated with the institute, and possibly even the director himself. But finding out exactly who had made that call was proving more troublesome than Inspector Zhang had anticipated, since the phone had been wiped clean of prints, and none of the staff - even when questioned privately - showed anything but bewilderment at any suggestion of impropriety.

    So who had snuck into that backroom, and was there any substance to their allegations of artistic skullduggery? Complicating matters further was the demand for extreme discretion coming down from his supervisors at Scotland Yard, who themselves were now under pressure from Downing Street and the House of Windsor, both parties well aware that with the integrity of the Royal Collection at stake, the nation itself might face a public scandal that could threaten the integrity of the monarchy itself.


  • Posted on 15 Jan 2015

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    Intermediate - Negotiation and Fortune

    As a professional negotiator with more than twenty years experience on the force, Richard had dealt with hostage cases before and knew that this would be a particularly tough one to crack. And his was an impression confirmed by the grim visages on the faces of the SWAT team. Holed up on the upper floors of the National Bank, the kidnappers had settled into a defensive position that would make storming the building a disastrous exercise in bloodshed, making a negotiated settlement the only practical option.


  • Posted on 06 Jan 2015

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    Absolute Beginners - 10 signs you may have an asshole for a husband

    As the whirlwind romance that preceded Mary's honeymoon faded, it became increasing clear that her ill-fated marriage had thrust her into a conjugal death march. Yet despite her husband's passive aggressive hostility, Mary lived in the hope that sheer enthusiasm could somehow break through his frustrated silence, and so continued to ask after him and express an interest in his affairs, and all despite the fact that -- let's face it -- the man was an unremitting asshole.


  • Posted on 11 Nov 2014

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