We have had many dark moments at Popup Towers, but perhaps none darker than the summer of 2009 when Echo bought a cricket from a street peddler on Nanluoguxiang, and proudly placed "The Great General" by the window in his wicker cage. For the first few days as our guest settled into his new quarters, his timid nature made him an amiable office companion. This period of quietude was not to last, and while his death three months later was sad, it was not without its upside considering we run a recording facility.

Learning Chinese? We've decided that this is a lesson perfect for Absolute Beginners to the Chinese language... or really Advanced students looking to brush up on their pronunciation of what we've decided is basically the hardest word in the entire Chinese language. If this is your first lesson you might be better off picking another one from our lesson archives, but if you're up for a challenge, take a listen and let us know what you think.
 said on
June 21, 2012
Here's a link to the Xue Cun song featured in our show today. It seems to load for me on VPN, so it should be available for you regardless of whether you're in China:


 said on
June 22, 2012
That's... that's mean...

It's ok. 蛐蛐 likes fighting.
 said on
June 25, 2012
Do you think 蛐蛐 minus the 儿话音 is easier to say or more widely understood my Chinese native speakers straining to understand 老外? Or does it just depend on your 儿话音 发音 and where you are in China?

Great dialogue. Almost Kafkaesque. 我是蛐蛐。
 said on
June 19, 2013
why is it 一个蛐蛐 instead of 一只?
 said on
June 19, 2013

Both ok. Here using 一个 because it's more colloquial.


 said on
July 28, 2016

Please include more songs--this one made the lesson come alive. Also, I tried to go to link of the song but got the message that this material is not available in my country (United States). Too bad!

And Brendan, I think I can say "chu chuhr" but I am a natural mimic since I was very small and had to learn how to trill my r's in french class. Sorry, sorry.
 said on
October 2, 2017
Not a difficult word for polish native speaker. Google for 'the most difficult polish poem'. It is about similar insect chrząszcz.