Chinese Crosstalk xiàngsheng 相声

Today I was discussing Chinese Crosstalk( xiàngsheng 相声 , literally, “face and voice” )  with my EFL class. It’s something you might see on CCTV during Spring Festival or holiday and very popular. It’s a kind of satire that comes from two or more people talking down to each other, usually one takes the upper hand but not always. Imagine Abbott and Costello doing “Who’s on First” in Chinese and you get a rough idea. However, it’s not strictly satire, but one speaker may point out the other’s shortcomings, or they may talk about social issues, political issues or just something the audience might consider funny. Usually performed and watched by older audiences, I was informed by my university students that a younger generation has taken up the torch and that they, the students, watch it also. I have two students who can do this but only in Chinese. I am trying to coax them into doing Crosstalk  in English so I can enjoy. And also so they can get practice with English. 

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