Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #114, 2017-March-20

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #114, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 14,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly. If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Learning 了 (le)

Beginner One of the most confusing and difficult topics for students of Chinese is the use of 了. In this first of three videos from ChinesePod.com, we learn how 了 describes a change, and is not a simple marker of past tense:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjAGEjr6-kY

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Math symbols

Intermediate Everyone knows that 2+2=4, but how do you say + and = in Chinese? Here’s a chart to help you out:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158407091372/allaboutchinese-%E6%95%B0%E5%AD%A6%E7%AC%A6%E5%8F%B7%E8%A1%A8-mathematical-symbols

Scanning friends and bikes

Beginner The word 扫 (sǎo) means “to scan” — and nowadays, we can scan not only documents, but also people (in WeChat) and bicycle rentals:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/03/20/awesome-chinese-public-bikes/

I can, I want, I will

Intermediate Expressing the ideas that “I can” or “I want” or “I will” do something is a bit complex in Chinese; here is a complete guide to these verbs, and the ways in which they’re used:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/auxiliary-modals-time-related-expressions/

Learning by playing

Games are fun — and if they can help you to learn Chinese, then that’s even better! Here’s a list of how you can use games to improve your Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/10-ways-using-games-learn-teach-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Street food

Beginner Everywhere you go in Chinese cities, you’ll find stands serving street food. What are they serving, and how do you ask for it in Chinese?

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/street-food-china/

Family words

Beginner Chinese families have the same people as everyone else, but the names can be a bit more complex. Here is a family tree that can help you to learn those names:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158384011350/allaboutchinese-%E6%88%91%E7%9A%84%E5%AE%B6%E8%B0%B1-my-family-tree

Travel words

Beginner If you’re like me, then much of your Chinese involves needs when traveling — especially hotels and restaurants. Here is a useful list of words you can use in your travels:

https://chelseabubbly.com/2017/03/13/hotel-themed-vocab-and-sentences/

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Opposites

Beginner How well do you know your opposites in Chinese? Try this simple matching game, and see how you do!

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-adjectives/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Learning resources

Where can you go to improve your Chinese? Here is a list of some resources you can use to improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/03/15/elearning-chinese/

Twitter: @FluentU

Internet and gaming terms

Intermediate The Internet has spawned all sorts of words and phrases. Here is a list of some of the Chinese terms that people use:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-internet-culture-and-gaming-in-china/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Rules for a football pitch

Intermediate Maybe football isn’t your thing — but even so, you can learn a lot of good vocabulary from this description (in Chinese, of course) of the rules associated with making one:

http://mychinesereading.com/football-pitch-regulations/

A short joke

Beginner What weighs the most? A silly riddle for someone you love — assuming that they speak Chinese, of course:

http://chinesehacks.com/fun/whos-the-heaviest/

Dictionary errors

Intermediate Writing a dictionary is hard, and writing a dictionary that translates between languages is even harder. Here are some errors that Carl Gene Fordham has found in Chinese-English dictionaries, which demonstrate the complexity of language:

http://carlgene.com/blog/2017/03/another-12-common-errors-in-chinese-english-dictionaries/

Twitter: @carlfordham

Emphasis with 是 (shì)。。。的 (de)

Intermediate How do we emphasize things in Chinese? One common way is to use the 是。。。的 grammar pattern:

Keeping fit

Intermediate Are you keeping fit and healthy? Sleeping enough? Eating correctly? Check yourself (or your friends) with these sentences in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/03/18/listen-60/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Traditional story

Advanced A short traditional story about 后羿 (hòu yì):

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2780-2017-03-13-02-27-51

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Don’t be so smug

Intermediate A short story that reminds us to plan ahead, rather than concentrate on what we’re doing right now:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2784-2017-03-17-07-27-59

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Using 让 (ràng)

Intermediate The term 让 can mean either “allow” or “ask,” which can lead to some ambiguity when translating from Chinese into English:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23077/what-is-the-meaning-of-%E8%AE%A9

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #113, 2017-March-13

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #113, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 13,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

What not to say on International Women’s Day

Intermediate March 8th was International Women’s Day, known in Chinese as 三八妇女节 (sān bā fù nǚ jié). Why is this term so bad, and what other words should you avoid using on this day?

https://chinesepod.com/blog/international-womens-day-doesnt-need-these-two-words/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

International Women’s Day

Intermediate In honor of International Women’s Day, ChinesePod.com interviews Patricia Smith from the Australian Office in Taipei, with whom they speak about the female side of Chinese characters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snHoINI8-_U

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Referring to foreigners

Beginner Foreigners in China are often referred to as 外国人 (wài guó rén), but other terms are also common. What’s the difference?

http://answers.echineselearning.com/questions/2017-03/10/115746191DPMAZEWM.html

Buying groceries

Beginner Want to go shopping for groceries in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases and sentences for you:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/buying-groceries-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Numbers, and their connotations

Intermediate You might think that numbers are simple. But in China, this isn’t true: While counting in Chinese is straightforward, many numbers have connotations beyond their numeric meanings:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/03/06/do-you-know-what-these-chinese-numbers-really-mean/

Computer talk

Intermediate Want to discuss computer-related subjects with your Chinese colleagues and friends? Here’s a rather long list of terms you can use to talk about software, hardware, and everything in between:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/stop-being-n00b-learn-computer-words-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Postpartum rest

Advanced After giving birth, Chinese women rest for a month, an ancient practice known as 坐月子 (). Here is a short story explaining what’s involved:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2777-2017-03-09-03-41-18

Twitter: @imandarinpod

And… what else?

Beginner One of the first characters Chinese learners encounter is 和 (hé), which means “and.” But it turns out that 和 means much more than that:

http://www.digmandarin.com/and-he-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Poor Haha

Intermediate A cute joke (cartoon) in Chinese:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158298550676/allaboutchinese-%E5%98%BB%E5%98%BB%E5%93%88%E5%93%88-xixi-and-haha

Hungry for dessert?

Beginner Here are some sweet things to have after (or in between) meals, in Chinese:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158219869419/allaboutchinese-%E7%94%9C%E5%93%81-sweets

Internet slang

Intermediate It’s time for yet another list of hot Internet slang in Chinese! Notice that many of the words and phrases here come from other languages, and have been absorbed into Chinese:

https://www.asianlanguageschool.com/chinese-internet-buzzwords/

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Native Chinese podcasts

Advanced Want to listen to material in Chinese that’s meant for natives, and not for learners? Here is a list of podcasts in Chinese that will challenge you, and hopefully interest you, as well:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/03/08/native-chinese-podcasts/

Twitter: @FluentU

Traditional Chinese music

YoyoChinese.com brings us this interview and introduction to traditional music with Ma Jie, a Chinese musician who plays the pipa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky_vDZfUXoI

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Comprehension-based learning

Intermediate In this third and final post about “Comprehension-based learning,” we get some suggestions for how to apply this technique in our own learning, to accelerate the process of gaining fluency:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/students-guide-comprehension-based-learning/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Long-lasting love

Beginner A simple story about celebrating 50 years of marriage:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2778-2017-03-10-02-52-02

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Exploring 大芬 (dà fēn)

Intermediate Dafen has more than 1,000 stores selling art. Listen to some conversations about this place, and learn what makes it special:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/03/describing-places-in-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Tomb-Sweeping Day

Advanced Tomb-Sweeping Day is coming up soon. Here is a short story in Chinese about it, teaching vocabulary and the holiday’s history:

http://mychinesereading.com/tomb-sweeping-day/

Little Pig’s house

Intermediate Little Pig has to fix his house. A short video for children, or adults who enjoy children’s stories:

http://nihaohello.blogspot.co.il/2017/03/chinese-story-little-pig-fixing-his.html

Learning to read, for Chinese speakers

Beginner Many people grew up speaking Chinese with their parents, but never learned to read characters. What’s a good strategy for such people to learn to read (and write) Chinese?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Chinese/comments/5xjgd5/best_way_to_learn_to_chinese_characters_for/

You did what, for how long?

Intermediate It’s common to want to say, “I did X for Y,” where Y is an amount of time. How can you express this in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23019/three-ways-to-say-i-danced-for-three-hours

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #112, 2017-March-6

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #112, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 13,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Going shopping

Beginner Going to the store? Here is a list of typical grocery items (as well as some clothing) that you might want to buy when you go to the store, in China or elsewhere:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-grocery-list/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

English in Chinese

It’s not unusual for a language to “import” terms from another language. However, it does stick out a bit when Chinese speakers do this, especially when the English word is written down. When does this happen, and where are some examples of it?

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/03/02/the-english-that-feels-weird-in-your-chinese

How to..

Beginner Planning to do something fairly common in China, such as buy airline tickets or a cup of coffee? Here are 10 common tasks, along with vocabulary and instructions for how to do them in Chinese:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/10-awesome-how-to-chinese-posts/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

What is Bitcoin?

Intermediate Bitcoin is a digital currency. Want to learn more about it? Here is a short introduction, in Chinese:

http://mychinesereading.com/what-are-bitcoins/

Emphasizing the negative

Intermediate The word 并 (bìng) doesn’t make a sentence negative, but emphasizes the negative aspect:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/03/04/emphasising-negative-with-bing%E5%B9%B6/

What a beauty!

Intermediate There are many ways to compliment females on their looks in Chinese; here is a collection of them:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/03/04/how-to-say-14/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Learn Chinese fast

Beginner Let’s face it: Learning Chinese (and any other language) takes time. But what are some good strategies for speeding up your progress, and getting it fluent as quickly as possible?

http://www.digmandarin.com/how-to-learn-chinese-fast.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Proverbs about life

Intermediate Chinese is full of proverbs and sayings. Here are some of them that have to do with life — deep thoughts about getting throug life, and its most important aspects:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-proverbs-about-life.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Visiting Hangzhou

Hangzhou has a reputation as one of China’s most beautiful cities. And indeed, I was just there last week, and enjoyed scenic views around the lake. Here is a complete guide to Hangzhou, starting with how to get there:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/travel-to-hangzhou/

Three bears

Intermediate A short story about three bears and their money:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-3-bears/

Starting somewhere

Intermediate Where do you start? At the very beginning, of course! A short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2772-2017-03-02-13-00-16

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Waking the insects

Beginner Each traditional Chinese season has a name; we’re now starting “waking the insects,” when things start to get a bit warmer:

http://teresarainsegna.blogspot.co.il/2017/03/il-risveglio-degli-insetti-waking-of.html

Numbers in Chinese

Advanced Numbers in Chinese aren’t just numbers; they also have some meaning from ancient times. Here are some insights into some of these meanings:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2768-2017-02-27-07-25-46

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Keep it down!

Beginner A short story about loud music (and being polite):

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2767-2017-02-27-07-19-24

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Setting expectations

Intermediate The word “expect” is used in many ways in English. How can you express those many ideas in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22960/what-are-a-few-alternative-ways-to-say-to-expect

Stand back!

Beginner How do you ask someone to stand back, or just to let you through when you want to get by?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/5wtyza/how_do_you_say_stand_back_or_step_away_in_mandarin/

You must

Intermediate There are different ways to indicate that “you must” do something. How do we decide which to use?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22009/what-is-the-difference-between-%E5%BF%85%E9%A1%BB-%E5%BE%97-and-%E9%9C%80%E8%A6%81

Preparing for HSK 5

Advanced What are some hints and tricks for those preparing to take the HSK5 exam?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/5w1wq6/how_to_prepare_for_hsk_5/

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #111, 2017-February-27

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #111, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 13,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Eating vegetarian

Beginner If you’re a vegetarian, then you’ve probably discovered the hard way that in China, even vegetarian food can contain some meat. (“It’s just a little bit…”) How can you tell people that you’re a vegetarian? Here is some background, and some suggestions:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/02/20/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-be-vegetarian-in-china/

Spring cleaning

Intermediate Spring is almost upon us, and it’s thus time to start thinking about cleaning our homes. Here are some words and phrases having to do with cleaning, to ensure that your house sparkles and that you can describe such sparkling in good Chinese:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/make-home-sparkle-chinese-spring-cleaning-list/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Don’t call your wife an old hag!

Beginner There are numerous terms for “wife” in Chinese. One of these is 老婆 (lǎo po), which you might think means you’re calling your wife old. But the truth is more complex:

http://answers.echineselearning.com/questions/2017-02/27/092606952FHYEXGWD.html

Shopping phrases

Beginner Planning to shop in China? Here are some useful, basic phrases that you can use to try out your Chinese:

http://mychinesereading.com/beginner-shopping-sentences/

Long noodes, long life?

What do people eat on their birthdays in China? One common food is long noodles, representing a (hoped-for) long life:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/what-chinese-eat-on-their-birthday-longevity-noodles

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Chinese chess

I had long heard about Chinese chess, but never really thought about how it worked as a game. Here’s a great introduction to it, including the vocabulary you’ll need to describe and play:

http://mandarin.about.com/od/chineseculture/fl/Learning-to-play-Chinese-chess.htm

Little by little

Intermediate The word 越 (yuè) can be used in two different patterns to describe things changing over time:

http://www.digmandarin.com/more-and-more-comparison-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Poet descendants

Advanced The poet 徐志摩 (Xú zhìmó) was killed in a plane crash. Here is a short story about his descendants:

http://mychinesereading.com/a-poets-descendants/

Comprehension-based learning

What is comprehension-based learning, and how can it help you to improve your Chinese? Moreover, what are the factors that make it so successful?

http://www.hackingchinese.com/benefits-comprehension-based-approach-teaching-learning-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

It’s all relative

Beginner How can you make comparisons? The expression 比较 (bǐ jiào) lets you say that A is better than B:

https://chelseabubbly.com/2017/02/19/%E6%AF%94%E8%BE%83-bi-jiao-in-comparison-to-relatively/

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

La La Land music in Chinese

Beginner In this video from YoYoChinese.com, you can learn an original, easy Chinese song set to the music from La La Land:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIimZffCI_U

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Dating advice

Intermediate Here is a short story about dating, advice, and relatives:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2762-2017-02-22-07-38-46

Twitter: @imandarinpod

The many uses of 在(zài)

Intermediate The word 在 can be used as a verb, preposition, and more. How can you separate and classify these different uses?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E5%9C%A8-%E5%81%A5%E5%9C%A8-%E4%BD%95%E5%9C%A8-%E7%8E%B0%E5%9C%A8.3285201/

Why is a week 星期 (xīng qí)?

Advanced The character 星 (xīng) means “star,” but what does that have to do with weeks?

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #110, 2017-February-20

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #110, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 12,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Giveaway: Five one-year subscriptions to Zizzle App

It’s time for another giveaway!

 

Everyone who has learned Mandarin knows that Chinese characters are a unique challenge: For reading fluency, a staggering amount of 3000 characters is required, each character with its own shape, pronunciation, meaning and tone. And to complicate things even more, it is hard to infer this information just by looking at the character.

The developers of Zizzle App have experienced this problem first-hand while living in China. They try to solve this dilemma by turning Chinese characters into engaging visualizations and memorable short stories. For every single Chinese character, Zizzle creates a mnemonic story that employs techniques like association, visualizations and linkwords. Furthermore, Zizzle breaks down complicated Chinese characters into components to help you understand the structure of the Chinese language. The effectiveness of the Zizzle method was independently verified by the University of Munich.

In Zizzle, characters are organized in decks according to the HSK levels, themes (like business, travel or food) and the most commonly used Chinese textbooks (i.e. Integrated Chinese). The learning process with Zizzle is further supported by an intelligent testing system, a spaced repetition algorithm, bite-sized lessons and a smart search function.

The app also includes a handy list of common words and phrases associated with every character and gives you audio support to practice your own pronunciation.

And of course, you get all these great features with the perks of having them in a mobile app! Learn whenever you want and wherever you are, be it in your bed, together with your learning buddy in a café or on your commute to work.

Five readers of Mandarin Weekly will receive free, one-year subscriptions to Zizzle for either iOS or Android. But it gets better — for each friend of yours who signs up for the giveaway, you get another three entries! So if three of your friends sign up, you get a total of 10 entries in the giveaway.

Enter by clicking here!

Liking some, all, or no sports:

Intermediate In this video from ChinsePod.com, we learn not only how to talk about certain sports, but also how to say that we like some, all, or none of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDJ4qdFCiNE

Time sentences

Beginner Using time in Chinese sentences can be a bit tricky, because the phrasing (and order) is set. Here are some sample sentences you can use, both to learn the vocabulary and get used to the structure:

http://mychinesereading.com/easy-chinese-sentences-using-time/

Chinese tournaments on WordSwing

Intermediate Want to improve your reading, and compete with others as well? WordSwing makes it possible, as described in the latest from Hacking Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/introducing-chinese-quiz-tournaments-wordswing/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Lantern festival legend

Intermediate Here is an intermediate-level story about the Lantern Festival, which took place earlier this month:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2754-2017-02-13-02-15-27

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Lantern festival legend

Intermediate Here is an intermediate-level story about the Lantern Festival, which took place earlier this month:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2756-2017-02-15-02-16-41

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Well wishes

Beginner How can you wish people well in Chinese? Here is a collection of 10 common phrases that you can use to wish your friends, family, and colleagues a good weekend, holiday, or just a good day:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/02/chinese-well-wishes-seasons-greetings/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Where should you learn Chinese?

Beginner There are many places to learn Chinese, in many different Chinese cities. What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of each area?

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/where-to-learn-chinese-in-china/#

Get a bad job, put on weight

Intermediate A short essay with characters, pinyin, and audio about how your job can affect your health and weight:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/unhappy-jobs-may-lead-to-weight-gain-news-in-mandarin/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

What is 风水 (fēng shuǐ)?

Even people who don’t visit China or learn Chinese have likely heard of 风水. What is it, and how much influence does it have in modern China?

https://www.writtenchinese.com/feng-shui/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

An Lushan

Advanced The An Lushan rebellion was a huge event in world history; read about it in Chinese:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-an-lushan-rebellion/

Hearing voices

Beginner When you read your native language, do you hear a voice in your head? How about when you read Chinese? That voice, known as subvocalization, is an indication of less than fluent reading. For more details, and suggestions for getting rid of it, read here:

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/02/16/subvocalization-while-reading-chinese

Ordering food

Beginner You go to a restaurant in China, want to use your Chinese, and — well, now what? This short guide to ordering in restaurants will hopefully give you some confidence:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/en/order-food-in-chinese/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Oodles of noodles

Beginner When you think of Chinese cuisine, one of the first things you think about is noodles. But there are many types of noodles, and each has a different name. Here is a summary of different noodle types and dishes:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/10-different-types-of-chinese-noodles/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

50 ways to love your lover

Beginner With Valetine’s Day increasingly celebrated in China, this is a good time to give you lots of ways to say “I love you” to the special person in your life:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/valentines-day-in-china/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

What to read?

Beginner One of the best things you can do to improve your Chinese is read, and read extensively. Here is a great summary of what to read, how to read it, and why it can help, along with suggestions for reading material for learners:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/02/15/chinese-books-for-beginners/

Twitter: @FluentU

Listening practice: Choosing a bank

Beginner Which bank is best for you? This video from ChineseClass101.com asks you to answer that question based on a short story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN7asaOBeeo

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Using 份 (fèn)

Beginner The measure word 份 is used in a variety of places to indicate a “part” or “portion” or frequency:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/02/13/listen-50/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Giving comfort (sort of)

Intermediate When something in life goes bad, you often want to hear helpful words from your friends and relatives. Here are some phrases you can use to try to make someone feel better — or at least feel somewhat less bad:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/02/cold-comfort/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Serial verb phrases

Advanced When you have three verb phrases in a row, is there an implied dependency or timeline?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22786/what-is-the-semantic-relationship-between-the-verbal-phrases-of-a-serial-verb-co

Types of republics

Intermediate A “republic” is a certain kind of country. Do both 民國 (mín guó) and 共和国 (gòng hé guó), which translate as “republic,” mean the same thing?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22752/what-is-the-difference-between-a-%E6%B0%91%E5%9C%8B-and-a-%E5%85%B1%E5%92%8C%E5%9B%BD

Far apart

Intermediate In trying to understand the character 相 (xiāng), we discover a four-character idiom:

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E7%9B%B8%E5%8E%BB%E7%94%9A%E8%BF%9C.3287637/

Using 消费 (xiāo fèi)

Advanced Why and how can you use the term 消费?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E6%B6%88%E8%B4%B9-%E6%9F%90%E4%BA%BA.3289174/

Making things stricter

Advanced A translation request leads to a discussion of 加严 (jiā yán):

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E5%8A%A0%E4%B8%A5-%E5%9B%BE%E7%BA%B8.3289075/

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #109, 2017-February-13

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #109, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 12,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Sponsor: Du Chinese

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Use grammar to improve your comprehension

Intermediate Perhaps you think that learning Chinese grammar is a waste of time, but in this article, we see the advantages of internalizing Chinese sentence structure and rules:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/02/mandarin-chinese-grammar-practice/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Chinese slang!

Intermediate Slang exists in all languages; knowing how to understand it (and use it) gives you a greater sense of comfort with the language. Here are some useful slang terms, some of which you should use more frequently than others:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/chinese-slang-liyu/

Describing appearance

Beginner How can you describe how someone looks? Here are a bunch of useful Chinese words and phrases:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/describing-people-in-chinese-appearance/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Fine, but what are they like?

Beginner Now that you know how to describe people’s physical appearance, how can you describe their personalities?

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/describing-people-in-chinese-personality/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Proverbs about love

Intermediate It’s Valentine’s Day, which means that it’s time to talk about love. Why not do so in Chinese? Here are some traditional Chinese proverbs about love:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-proverbs-about-love.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

All about Confucius

Intermediate Confucius (孔子, or Kǒngzǐ) is an extremely famous Chinese thinker from the 6th century BCE. Here is some history of him and his thinking, as well as some vocabulary you can use to discuss him:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/confucius-a-brief-summary/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Which way did he go?

Intermediate Wondering why there are several ways to indicate direction in Chinese? This video from ChinesePod.com will teach you the difference between 向 (xiàng), 朝 (cháo), and 往 (wǎng):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itimQe71Jvg

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Cosmetic surgery

Intermediate Many Chinese are unhappy with the shape of their eyes, and get cosmetic surgery to “fix” things. Here is a description of this phenomenon, along with the vocabulary to understand it:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/02/06/why-do-chinese-people-want-to-look-like-aliens/

Chinese zodiac

Beginner It’s now the Year of the Rooster, part of the 12-year cycle of Chinese years. Here is an introduction to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, and what each year traditionally represents:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/know-chinese-zodiac-animal-part-1/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Practice makes perfect

Intermediate Practice makes perfect, we day in English. In Chinese, we can say 熟能生巧 (Shú néng shēng qiǎo), as introduced in this story:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/02/12/listen-49/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Loving songs

Beginner What do you want to say to the people you love? Here, to the tune of “Happy Birthday,” are some new (and somewhat sappy) Chinese songs:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Happy-Valentines-Day-Song-Learn-Chinese-Love

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

More loving words

Intermediate Want to express love and affection for someone else? Here are some useful words and phrases to make your feelings clear, assuming the person listening knows Chinese:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/romantic-mandarin-words-affectionate-phrases-your-beloved/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Dealing with people

Beginner Do you have to deal with people in your work? In your family? Here’s a useful word to use when dealing with people, 打交道 (dǎ jiāo dào):

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/deal-with-chinese-business-clients

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Intro to Chinese languages

Beginner Even if you’re learning Chinese, you might not know about the family of Chinese languages, and where each is spoken. This video from LangFocus.com might fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge, with an interesting comparison of the grammatical differences:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY0AMmLuiqk

Twitter: @langfocus

Ancient walls

Intermediate A short story about the Forbidden City and Chinese city walls:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2748-2017-02-07-05-19-53

Twitter: @imandarinpod

It’s beautiful here

Beginner A short story in simple characters, talking about a beautiful location:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2752-2017-02-09-12-16-27

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Chinese writing, Western punctuation

Why does Chinese use Western-style punctuation?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22674/why-is-western-punctuation-used-in-chinese-writing

Understanding 了

Beginner The particle 了 is confusing for many of us. Here is (another!) description of how it works, and how it can be used to describe the state of an action:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22689/%E4%BA%86-usage-conflict-now-vs-completion

Talking about things

Intermediate It’s often helpful to be able to say, “I want to talk about ___,” referring to a subject. How do you do that in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22672/expressing-about-in-chinese

Lantern festival

The Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the lunar month, just took place in China. But how should you call it?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22738/difference-between-%E5%85%83%E5%AE%B5%E8%8A%82-and-%E7%81%AF%E8%8A%82

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #108, 2017-February-6

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #108, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 11,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Sponsor: Du Chinese

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Chicken words

Intermediate It’s the Year of the Rooster, and thus rooster- and chicken-related sayings are all the rage. Here are some phrases and idioms you might want to use, all of which include the use of chickens:

https://www.asianlanguageschool.com/20-chinese-idioms-contain-word-chicken/

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Creating your own intermediate course

Intermediate Do you already have the basics of Chinese down, and want to get even better? Here are some tips for improving your speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/02/01/chinese-intermediate-course/

Twitter: @FluentU

Why is Chinese hard?

A humorous (and encouraging) essay about what makes Chinese hard to learn for native English speakers (and for many other foreigners):

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/why-learning-chinese-is-so-hard/

About family

Intermediate Here are some traditional Chinese proverbs about the family, along with English translations — including the equivalent English proverb, if one exists:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-proverbs-about-family.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

China’s lunar calendar

Why is Chinese New Year always on a different day? It’s actually on the same (first) day of each year — but only if you’re using the Chinese lunar calendar. Here’s an explanation of that calendar (which is, FYI, quite similar to the Jewish calendar in its calculations):

https://medium.com/@mengjiama/know-about-china-tradition-chinese-new-year-1-31b13ecf47c1#.w756uq52u

It’s bustling here!

Beginner If a place is noisy — in the bustling, full-of-life sense — then it’s called 热闹 (rè nao):

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/30/why-is-china-so-noisy/

Buying and selling

Beginner The character for “buy” is 买 (mǎi). What are its origins, and how is it related to the character for “sell,” 卖 (mài)?

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/01/on-the-character-%E4%B9%B0/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Trump’s two names

How do you say “Trump” in Chinese? There are actually two different ways, which can lead to some confusion:

http://www.whatsonweibo.com/trump-two-different-names-chinese/

What employees think

Beginner Employees returning from the Spring Festival don’t want to return to work, and dream of having their own company — because after all, the boss doesn’t have to work, right? A short, simple story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2746-2017-02-04-07-40-31

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Spring is in the air

Beginner Now that the Spring Festival (i.e., Chinese New Year) has passed, we can learn some simple sayings about this time of year:

http://teresarainsegna.blogspot.com/2017/02/inizio-della-primavera-beginning-of.html

Listening challenge

Intermediate If you’re studying Chinese, and you aren’t yet able to comprehend people at native speeds, then you should be practicing your listening. This month, Hacking Chinese has a listening challenge. Go and listen to as much as you can:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/chinese-listening-challenge-february-1st-28th/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

The egg and the rock

Intermediate What happens when a rock and an egg meet? A short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2745-2017-02-02-16-34-28

Twitter: @imandarinpod

The hedgehog family

Intermediate A short story about a family of hedgehogs:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-family-of-hedgehogs/

A beautiful day

Beginner Is it a clear and sunny day where you live? If so, you can say it’s 晴朗 (qíng lǎng):

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/01/29/listen-35/

Twitter: @eputonghua

It’s not allowed

Intermediate If you’re ever in China, you’ll see all sorts of signs (and sometimes hear announcements) telling you what is and isn’t allowed. But there are several phrases for such warnings; what’s the difference between them?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22592/is-there-a-distinction-between-%E7%A6%81%E6%AD%A2-j%C3%ACnzh%C7%90-and-%E4%B8%A5%E7%A6%81-y%C3%A1nj%C3%ACn-which-both-mean-for

The Art of War

Advanced The classic “The Art of War” is written in Chinese as 兵法 (bīng fǎ). Why isn’t it called 武術 (wǔ shù)?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22618/difference-between-%E5%85%B5%E6%B3%95-vs-%E6%AD%A6%E8%A1%93

Your Chinese is so good!

Intermediate Even if your Chinese is terrible, if you try to speak in China, you’ll be told that it is excellent. (Take it from my personal experience!) How should you respond to someone giving you an undeserved compliment?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22597/what-is-the-appropriate-response-to-your-chinese-is-so-good

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #107, 2017-January-30

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #107, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 10,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly.  Thanks so much for subscribing; and for your feedback. If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.  The best way you can say “thank you” for Mandarin Weekly is by encouraging others to subscribe.
Get the bonus content: Links from Mandarin Weekly #107

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Congratulations!

Beginner Around this time of year, you’ll hear lots of Chinese New Year greetings. But there are lots of greetings in Chinese, and lots of ways to wish people well. Here is a long list of what to say, and how to say it, for numerous occasions:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/many-ways-express-congratulations-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

About the 鸡 (jī)

Intermediate This is the Year of the Rooster. Why a rooster? Here is a story that describes its origins and usage:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2743-2017-01-18-02-46-3

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Year of the Cock?

Beginner Some say “chicken,” some say “rooster,” and still others might say “cock.” Are you giggling? Well, you won’t be alone, since there are similar connotations in Chinese:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/28/2017-the-year-of-the-cock/

Chinese New Year traditions

How can you celebrate Chinese New Year? Here is a list of traditional ways to celebrate, including the appropriate characters and pronunciation:

https://chinesepod.com/blog/6-simple-ways-anyone-can-celebrate-chinese-new-year/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Gods of the Chinese New Year

Beginner Around Chinese New Year, you’ll hear about traditional gods. What are these gods, and how do Chinese factor them into their celebrations?

http://www.chinasimplified.com/2017/01/26/meet-gods-chinese-new-year/

Holiday foods

Beginner China has many holidays, and every holiday has its own traditional foods. Here is a whirlwind tour of the edible Chinese calendar:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/traditional-dishes-chinese-holiday/

Happy New Year Teeth

A short, funny, pun in a Chinese advertisement for a dental clinic:

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/01/26/happy-new-year-teeth

How to bargain

Intermediate Buying something in China? It’s always worth bargaining with the shopkeeper. It’s a popular (non-Olympic) sport in China, and is a great way to practice your vocabulary. Here is a video from ChinesePod.com, describing how to bargain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG-kjm52byY

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How to use 了 (le)

Intermediate One of the hardest things for Chinese learners to understand is the use of 了. Part of the issue is that it’s unlike anything in other languages, and part of the issue is that it’s used in a number of ways. Here is an explanation, with many examples, that can help you:

http://www.digmandarin.com/use-le-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Learning from everyone

Intermediate An expression from the Analects of Confucius, indicating that we have something to learn from everyone, in a short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2742-2017-01-13-06-38-21

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Must-eats in 广州(Guǎngzhōu)

Beginner Traveling to 广州? Here are some local foods you should know about, and maybe even eat:

http://www.spoonhunt.com/blog/top-10-must-eat-foods-while-visiting-guangzhou

Twitter: @spoonhunt

哈尔滨 (Hāěr bīn) in winter

Beginner The northern (and cold) city of Harbin can be an interesting place to visit, particularly during the winter. Here are some things to do there, as well as vocabulary to describe the most common sites:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/48-hours-in-harbin-part-one/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

In short

Intermediate How do you say, “in short,” or “to make a long story short” in Chinese? There’s a phrase for that, of course:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/01/25/listen-27/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Using 连 (lián)

Intermediate The word 连 can be used in a few ways, one of which is “even,” and another is “connect.” These examples make it clearer:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/01/23/listen-29/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Chinese TV

Advanced Looking for Chinese TV shows to watch, and improve your language skills, cultural understanding, or ability to chat with friends about shared favorites? Here is a list of interesting Chinese TV dramas:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/chinese-drama-recommendation/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Serial verb phrases

Intermediate I did THIS to do THAT is a pretty common type of sentence. In Chinese, we can use “serial verb phrases” for this kind of sentence, as described here:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/constructions-in-series-chinese/

Chinese in 50 minutes

Beginner Can you really learn Chinese in 50 minutes? Of course not — but perhaps this 50-minute video, incorporating many previous ones from ChineseClass101.com, will help to improve your vocabulary and grammar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHMy0ogtnw8

Twitter: @chineseclass101

What do you do?

Beginner What sort of work do you do? Here’s a list of common occupations in Chinese, useful when you introduce yourself to others and also when applying for jobs:

http://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/article/business-chinese-learning-tips/job-title-and-occupation-in-chinese/

Twitter: @HanbridgeOnline

I’ll do X, then I’ll do Y

Intermediate If you want to express that you’ll do X, and then immediately continue to do Y, you can use the 一X就Y (yī X jiù Y) construct, as described here:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22540/position-and-meaning-of-%E4%BA%86-in-%E4%B8%80-%E5%B0%B1-construction

Why no measure words?

Intermediate Most words in Chinese require a “measure word” when you’re quantifying them. But some, like 天 (tiān) don’t. Why not?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/5p9m3u/%E5%90%8D%E9%87%8F%E8%AF%8D/

Two ways to smoke

Intermediate There are two words that mean “to smoke,” 抽烟 (chōu yān) and 吸烟 (xī yān). How are they different?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22529/what-is-the-difference-between-%E6%8A%BD%E7%83%9F-ch%C5%8Du-y%C4%81n-and-%E5%90%B8%E7%83%9F-x%C4%AB-y%C4%81n-which-both-pertain

Mandarin Weekly #106

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #106, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

As of this week, more than 10,000 people from around the world now subscribe to Mandarin Weekly. Thanks so much for subscribing; and for your feedback. If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your teacher and/or fellow students.  The best way you can say “thank you” for Mandarin Weekly is by encouraging others to subscribe.

We have a bunch of new features planned for the coming months, including letting you subscribe to specified levels of links (beginner/intermediate/advanced), to ensure that you get only the links that are most appropriate for you.  We have a number of giveaways planned, giving you  a chance to win high-quality Chinese learning and practice materials and products.

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, consider sponsoring Mandarin Weekly; contact Reuven (the publisher) for more details, at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Full archives are at http://MandarinWeekly.com, as is our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the box on our Web site, at MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly! We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, and Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly.

Why celebrate Spring Festival?

Intermediate Why do people in China celebrate the Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year)? Here is a story, in characters (with pinyin and translation), which describes the legend:

http://mychinesereading.com/why-do-we-celebrate-spring-festival/

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Beginner How do Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year, which starts later this week? Here are some celebratory traditions to get you in the mood:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/10-things-to-do-for-chinese-new-year/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

One, two, three, travel!

Intermediate Enormous numbers of people travel for Chinese New Year, which means that just about every form of transportation is clogged at this time of year. Here is a description of the mad rush that ensues, and what different people can do about it:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/the-spring-festival-rush/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Chicken phrases

Intermediate It’s the year of the rooster! Here are some sayings and expressions that use the term “rooster” or “chicken” in them:

https://teachmechinese.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/chinese-idioms-involving-the-chicken/

A song for spring

Intermediate A music video for 春天 (Chūn tiān), from famous singer 汪峰(Wāng Fēng):

http://mychinesereading.com/in-the-spring/

WeChat (微信, wēi xìn) vocabulary

Beginner You might use e-mail, Web browers, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, but most Chinese people use a single app, known as 微信. Here are some basic vocabulary words for using this super-app:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/wechat-a-gateway-into-chinese-language-and-culture

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Intro to Chinese characters

Beginner Chinese characters often seem daunting to learn: There are so many, and they all look so similar! But with a bit of practice, you can identify the differences between them, and start to read them, as well. Here is a video intro from ChineseClass101.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OctDk8ga-qM

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Mainland vs. Taiwanese Chinese

Intermediate How is mainland Chinese different from Taiwanese Chinese? They both speak “Mandarin,” but there are differences, as described in this video from YoYoChinese.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYxPFCFaIV8

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Children’s cartoons

Advanced Looking for some television shows to help your children (or you; we won’t tell) to improve your Chinese? Here are 10 series watched by native Mandarin speakers, which might well help:

https://www.asianlanguageschool.com/top-10-chinese-animation-series-children-learning-mandarin/

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Serial verb phrases

Intermediate You can combine verb phrases to communicate complex meanings, as described here:

http://www.digmandarin.com/understanding-sentences-serial-verb-phrases-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

What’s for lunch?

Beginner What do people have for lunch in China? Here are some examples, with characters and pinyin (as well as some photos):

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-lunch-%E4%B8%AD%E5%BC%8F%E5%8D%88%E9%A4%90/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Suggestions and recommendations

Intermediate How can you suggest something, or make a recommendation? Here are some suggestions and recommendations for doing so, in a video from ChinesePod.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCdsd5BLCDA

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How to flirt

Beginner How do you flirt with someone in Chinese? Here are some words and phrases that you can use:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/flirt-chinese-girl-boy/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

What to eat in Shanghai

Beginner Heading to Shanghai? Don’t forget to have some of the local delicacies:

http://www.spoonhunt.com/blog/top-10-must-eat-foods-while-visiting-shanghai

Twitter: @spoonhunt

Doubling classifiers

Intermediate You can often double words in Chinese to change the meaning somewhat. What does it mean to double a classifier (i.e., measure word)?

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/doubling-classifiers-nouns-verbs-adjectives-chinese/

The sounds of old Chinese

Chinese is an ancient language; we have many written texts that are thousands of years old. However, what did ancient Chinese sound like? After all, we don’t have ancient recordings! However, as this posting describes, there are some old pronunciation guides that can be of help:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/19/how-is-it-possible-to-know-what-old-chinese-sounded-like/

Knowing nothing

Intermediate The phrase 无所知 (yī wú suǒ zhī) means “to know nothing,” and allows you to describe your ignorance with elegant Chinese:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/16/do-you-know-anything-about-this-chinese-word/

Trolling in Chinese

Beginner If you have ever let your temper rage on the Internet, then we might say you’re “trolling” in English. In Chinese, the word is 怼 (duì):

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/01/the-finer-points-of-chinese-trolling/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

About the Analects

Advanced Confucius (孔子, kǒng zǐ) is China’s best-known ancient scholar, and his book 论语 (lún yǔ), known as the “Analects,” is still studied. Here is a short dialogue about these books and their place in society:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2734-2017-01-18-02-46-02

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Poetry time

Advanced Learn a poem by 李白(Li Bai), a poet from the Tang dynasty; if classical Chinese is new to y ou, then this might be a good place to start:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/chinese-literature-tang-poems/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Cats and dogs

Intermediate Why do both 狗 (gǒu) and 猫 (māo) use the “dog” radical?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22464/why-a-cat-and-dog-share-the-same-dog-radical

Sick?

Advanced The word 感冒 (gǎn mào) means to have a cold , but what does 冒 mean in that word?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22505/what-is-the-meaning-of-%E5%86%92-in-%E6%84%9F%E5%86%92

Spouse

Beginner How do you say “spouse” as a general term? And which of the (many) terms for “husband” and “wife” are most often used in Chinese?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E7%88%B1%E4%BA%BA.2034576/

Mandarin Weekly #105

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #105, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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More about comparisons

Beginner ChinesePod.com is back with another video about how to comparisons, this time aimed at beginners:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a6p_fqNKyU

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Different types of “later”

Beginner How do you say “later”? We have words such as 后来 (hòu lái), 以后 (yǐ hòu), and 之后 (zhī hòu), but when should each be used?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEXy5O04Plc

Understanding 了 (le)

Intermediate A video series from MandarinMonkey.com continues, describing new ways to use 了 to describe complex ideas — in this case, doing different permutations of “doing X and then doing Y”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTTTI3WXe2Q

Twitter: @Mandarin_Monkey

Existential sentences

Intermediate No, “existential sentences” have nothing to do with philosophy. Rather, they describe a situation in which something exists, appears, or disappears, and have a slightly unusual syntax:

http://www.digmandarin.com/existential-sentences-mandarin.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

HSK3 grammar videos

Intermediate Interested in preparing for the HSK3 exam? These videos (part of a larger, paid product) can help you out. I viewed several, and enjoyed them; you might, too:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ3IlLg5VGeydxtswBoyt6A/videos

I did it!

Beginner If you want to indicate that you have done something in the past, you can use 过 (guò) after the verb. Here are some examples of how to use 过:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/the-aspect-markers-verb-chinese/

Chinese New Year song

Intermediate Here are the music and lyrics (in characters, with Pinyin if you hover your mouse cursor) for a popular (ad catchy!) Chinese New Year song:

http://mychinesereading.com/happy-new-year/

Tough for you

Beginner Did someone do something for you that was particularly tough? You can use the phrase 难为你了 (nánwéi nǐ le), which means “tough for you”:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/chinese-way-of-giving-a-compliment-and-apology

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Describing your online habits

Intermediate Do you go online a lot? Do you use social media? Here are some Chinese words and phrases you can use to describe what you’re doing:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/01/talking-social-media-internet-habits-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Numerical idioms

Intermediate Numbers can be used in Chinese phrases to represent ideas, not just the numbers themselves:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/01/13/listen-19/

Twitter: @eputonghua

What food to order in China

Beginner When you get to a restaurant in China, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options. Here are some suggestions for what to get:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/what-order-restaurant-china/

It’s a mess

Intermediate The word 乱 (luàn) means “messy,” but not just in the physical sense. You can have a messy room, but you can also speak or think in a messy way, as described here:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/09/is-china-a-messy-country/

Movie review

Advanced A recent Chinese blockbuster, 湄公河事件 (méi gong hé shì jiàn), makes for a good movie, as well as good practice:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/01/12/movie-of-the-month-operation-mekong/

Chinese tongue twisters

Intermediate Can you say these tongue twisters quickly? Whether you can or not, they are still fun to say:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/chinese-tongue-twister-challenge-2/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Using spaced reptition

Spaced repetition is a common technique used in learning languages, including Chinese. How can you use it, and how can you use it beyond traditional flashcards?

http://www.hackingchinese.com/spaced-repetition-not-limited-flashcards/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Slang to try

Beginner Know any hipsters? Want to know how to describe them in Chinese? Here are explanations for this and other slang terms:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Chinese-Slang-Modern-Chinese-Useful-Words

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Superstitious numbers

Beginner Numbers in China have significance, and knowing the good ones vs. the bad ones can be important in conversation and gift giving, as this article states:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/chinese-superstitions-numbers-cultural-no-nos/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Phrase: 五十步笑百步

Advanced What does the phrase 五十步笑百步 (Wǔ shí bù xiào bǎi bù) mean? Here is an explanation:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2730-2017-01-13-06-38-20

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Chinese book club

Advanced This month, the book club is reading and discussing “1988:我想和这个世界谈谈” by 韩寒. Want to join the group, read the book, and discuss it with others? Go here to learn more:

https://np.reddit.com/r/chinesebookclub/comments/5nbqky/the_january_book_is_1988%E6%88%91%E6%83%B3%E5%92%8C%E8%BF%99%E4%B8%AA%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E8%B0%88%E8%B0%88_by_%E9%9F%A9%E5%AF%92/

Radicals and components

Intermediate What are the names for radicals and components in Chinese characters?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22438/chinese-names-for-different-types-of-radicals

Addressing letters

Beginner How do you address and send a letter in China? I know, I know; who sends letters when we have e-mail and WeChat? But assuming that you do want to send a letter (or package), here are some guidelines:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22402/how-do-the-chinese-address-letters

Time in Chinese

Intermediate For many foreigners learning Chinese, the lack of a past tense is odd and difficult. The answers to this question try to put time usage into context in Chinese:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/22398/how-exactly-does-time-and-tense-work-in-mandarin-really