The rumbling explosion in the lower hold and increasingly acrid smoke on deck sent the captain's assistant scurrying into her master's cabin. But after closing and barring the door behind her, the young woman turned to the captain and froze in astonishment. Expecting to see him prepared for a fight in defense of command, the girl was shocked to find the man bent calmly over his desk examining the nautical charts with a pocket glass, his sword lying sheathed by the nightstand.

Avast mateys! Our Chinese lesson for today is an advanced listening test designed for near-native speakers. If you think your mandarin is pushing towards fluency, try listening to our dialogue a single time before clicking through to our quiz and finding out how much you really understood. And if you have any questions? Either leave us a comment below, or click through to the text page to examine our word-by-word annotated transcript and find out what you missed.
 said on
July 15, 2010
Lovely dialogue, although the first question threw me. I guess I'd be led by the introduction into expecting something a bit different. Thanks.