A Chinese Idiom for Warren Buffet

jiǎo tà shí jiao

Alan at ww.fuentflix.com/blog posted an idiom on www.socialmandarin.com.  They say it is for intermediate students, but the idea is basic to succeeding in life, especially Warren Buffet (jiǎo tà shí dì).Click to find out what it is, its background, characters and usage.

Standing on Solid Ground



Qian Ren Qing and Social Obligation

Chinese relationships can get very complicated, especially when they teeter on who owes who?  Accepting help, favors, gifts, and even compliments can mean that you qiàn rénqíng  ( 欠 人 清 ) “owe someone something (e.g. a favor).”   Asking for favors can put you in debt to someone, and sooner or later you may be expected to reciprocate.  Fulfilling your “social obligations” is important. It maintains “your face.” Doing favors, giving gifts, or even paying compliments, on the other hand, can in debt someone to you. In business, it similar to “building goodwill.”

You can avoid owing too much to others by restricting your requests for help, reciprocating with gifts of equal value, and deflecting compliments using na3 li3 “where” or other humble, self-depreciating, or compliment-passing techniques.  However, be careful.  If someone truly does owe you a big favor or wants to put on a big show, then it might cause him to “lose face” if you refuse help or refuse a gift. A gift is always pondered very carefully–”how much it is worth, what is it expressing, what are they re-paying me for, is it an appropriate gift considering my relationship with them, and even what do they want in return?”  It may sound very shallow to you, but it is, in fact, easier to handle because keeping a list is easier than trying to ascertain how deep allegiances and friendships are.

Therefore, this giving and receiving helps maintain “face” and “validates friendships.”

Mandarin Click by Click: Cages Open, Chinese Unleashed!


Six months ago, thanks to special funding, I made Mandarin Click by Click totally free. However, you had to sign up and had to follow the lessons in order. (Read pain in the .. )

And now after several months of deliberation, and with the suggestions and immense help of Dave at Chinese Hacks dot Com, I have totally opened the educational site up. Mandarin Click by Click is more immediately accessible.   Now no more signup. Now practice any lesson you like in any order you like.  Let’s just nickname it Click by Click Unleashed or Mandarin Click by Click Open House.  Maybe the Chinese Banquet Buffet!

It also has a new cleaner front page with the lessons listed right up front. Nothing between you the lessons. Window shopping without the windows!  Just reach in and grab. Have at it!

There’s a little bit more tweaking to do, a culture lesson here and a Google ad and search there, and the other languages.  But we have literally put Chinese right at your finger tips.

Now you can go directly from the index page to any of the twelve practice packed lessons without signing up: (1) Ordering Drinks (2) Chatting in Chinese, (3) Making Phone Calls, (4) Filling Out Forms, (5) Telling Time, (6) Arranging Dates, (7) Discussing Dating Schedules, (8) Discussing Dates, (9) Socializing, (10) Getting Around, (11) Daily Shopping, and (12) Shopping for special things and getting service.  If you a learn-by-doing person, you will find yourself light years beyond your first-year classmates!

I urge you to revisit the index page. Play around with it. Give me some positive suggestions in the comments.  The little balloon caption in the topic right hand corner of this post.