Mandarin Weekly #84

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #84, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.  My apologies for getting this out late tonight, but I just arrived in Shanghai on business, and didn’t get a chance to put out the newsletter before my flight.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

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Sponsor: The Chairman’s Bao

The Chairman's Bao "back to class" discount

Word order

Word order is crucial in Chinese. And yet, many of us (myself included) get it wrong. Here’s a game from ChinesePod designed to help you improve:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d-bTpqa8Ok

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Using 又

In yet another amusing video, chelseabubbly.wordpress.com teaches us how to use 又 to describe things:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jyi4NwCtfw

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Telling time in Chinese

What time is it? And can you ask that in Chinese? You’ll be able to, after reading this article:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/08/17/how-to-tell-time-in-chinese/

Twitter: @FluentU

Which two to use?

Chinese has two versions of the number “two.” The character 二 (èr) is the number two, whereas the character 两 (liǎng) is for counting things. When you use each is usually easy to understand, with some exceptions:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/er-or-liang

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Making phone calls

How do you make a phone call in Chinese? Here is a primer in how to make such calls, and conduct basic conversations:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/how-to-make-a-phone-call-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Stirring up a hornet’s nest

This common phrase in English has a Chinese equivalent, which can be used similarly:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/08/19/slang-ma-feng-wo/

The tree radical

The tree radical shows up in many things made of wood, or associated with wood, as in these examples:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/149019040871/allaboutchinese-%E6%9C%A8-tree

Lucky dog … umm…

One way to say that something is lucky in Chinese is to say it’s like dog excrement. Don’t believe me? Read this interesting (and somewhat disturbing, to my eyes/ears) take on it:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/the-hilarious-chinese-word-you-must-know-for-luck

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Learn by transcribing

One of the hardest tasks in learning a language is to understand native-speed speakers, and Chinese is no exception. Transcribing Chinese that you hear can thus help you to improve your listening, and to turn those sounds into characters you can read, as described here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/transcribing-chinese-audio-active-form-listening/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Chinese Olympics events

How do you say the names of Olympic events in Chinese? Here is a surprisingly long list:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-summer-olympics/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Back and forth

Want to describe a back-and-forth dispute in Chinese? Here’s an explanation of the phrase 拉锯战 lā jù zhàn():

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/08/21/slang-2/

Cooking dumplings

I absolutely love dumplings; when I am in China, I have them very often — and perhaps too often! If you buy pre-made dumplings, how can you cook them? Here are instructions, along with lots of useful Chinese vocabulary, from LearnChineseNow.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTWi6-qtmxk

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Learning via scenarios

Trying to memorize oodles of vocabulary is always difficult, as well as less effective than learning words in context. Consider working on your vocabulary in the context of scenarios, as described here:

http://www.digmandarin.com/using-topics-scenarios-make-chinese-learning-efficient.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

How do you use 了?

One of the most common questions asked by students of Chinese is how to use 了(le) to indicate tense, or something similar to tense. This discussion breaks it apart with some understandable examples:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20861/example-cases-with-%e4%ba%86

When do you not use 了?

And of course, there are some verbs that cannot be used with 了(le). What does that mean, and how is 了 different from 过 (guò):

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20856/which-verbs-do-not-go-with-%e4%ba%86-and-or-%e8%bf%87

Reading a book

There are two verbs that you can use to describe “reading,” 看 (看) and 读 (读). What is the difference between them?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4ybz3d/when_you_say_youre_reading_a_book_do_you_use_%E7%9C%8B_or/

完 vs 到

Both 完 (wán) and 到 (dào) can be used to indicate that an action is complete, but they aren’t the same. What is the difference?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4xpujs/difference_between_%E5%AE%8C_and_%E5%88%B0/

Using 也 (yě)

We often learn that 也 (yě) means “also,” but it can have slightly different meanings, as we see here:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20906/what-does-%e4%b9%9f-mean-in-this-sentence

Sometimes, another “always”

How do we say “always” in Chinese? It depends on the precise version of “always” we’re trying to say:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20897/what-is-the-difference-between-%e5%90%91%e6%9d%a5-%e4%b8%80%e7%9b%b4-and-%e6%80%bb%e6%98%af

Republic years

If you see the date 民國74 年, what does it mean? Hint: It most certainly does not mean 1974. An interesting view of time and years in Chinese:

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E6%B0%91%E5%9C%8B-%E5%B9%B4.3218015/

Types of expressions

You might have heard of “chengyu,” four-character expressions that are common in Chinese. There are other types of expressions; how are they different?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20887/%e6%88%90%e8%af%ad-versus-%e4%bf%97%e8%af%ad-versus-%e8%b0%9a%e8%af%ad-what-is-the-difference

Non-native accents

I have a strong American accent in every language I speak, including those in which I’m fluent. And I’m sure that I’m not alone; it’s normal to have at least some traces of your native language. This discussion addresses the question of whether native Chinese make fun of foreign accents:

https://www.quora.com/As-a-Westerner-who-speaks-Chinese-do-people-ever-make-fun-of-your-accent-in-China

Nobody’s perfect

What’s a good Chinese expression (cheng yu) to describe the idea that nobody is perfect?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4xydk8/is_there_a_chinese_sayingproverbchengyu_for_the/

Mandarin Weekly #83

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #83, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

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

A new Chinese-reading game

Want to improve your Chinese reading? Of course you do! Olle Linge of Hacking Mandarin fame has produced a new game that is designed to improve and reinforce your reading skills:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/escape-text-adventure-game-chinese-learners/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Short stories

When you get beyond introductory grammar and vocabulary, you want to start reading stories. Where can you find good short stories in Chinese?

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/08/08/chinese-short-stories/

Twitter: @FluentU

Money, money, money

Money is a central part of our lives. Here are some great Chinese words and phrases having to do with making and receiving payments:

http://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/article/daily-chinese-learning-tips/chinese-vocabulary-about-money/

Getting around

It’s nice to travel to China, but even better to travel inside of China. How can you communicate about transportation in Chinese? This blog post should make it all clearer, with many useful words and phrases:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/basic-words-phrases-transportation-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Taipei or Taibei?

If you have ever wondered why the capital of Taiwan is sometimes written “Taipei” and sometimes “Taibei,” this article explains it, with great linguistic detail:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/08/10/is-the-capital-of-taiwan-pronounced-taibei-or-taipei/

One character, multiple pronunciations

When I started to learn Chinese, I took some comfort in thinking that perhaps characters are hard, but at least they’re distinct, right? I remember getting worried when I discovered that many characters have the same sound. And then, my surprise turned into worry when I found out that many characters have mulitple sounds. But hey, that’s just part of the game. Here’s a fuller explanation of those characters with more than one pronunciation:

http://www.digmandarin.com/duo-yin-zi-polyphones-chinese-characters.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Favorite Chinese apps

What mobile apps are most popular among Chinese phone users? Here’s a list of some of the things your Chinese friends have undoubtedly installed:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/38-ten-popular-apps-the-chinese-use-part-2

Twitter: @DuChinese

Buying a cellphone

Planning to buy a cellphone in China? Make sure you know the vocabulary beforehand — brands, features, payments, and the like:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/buying-a-cell-phone-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Buying electronics

And if you’re going to buy non-cellphone electronics, you’ll have other words to learn:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-electronics/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Driving in Chinese

Driving in China seems terrifying to me. (Just being a passenger is difficult enough!) But if you just want to discuss driving in Chinese, LearnChineseNow.com has a video that provides the basic vocabulary you’ll need:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs3FpBWz99Y

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Tree parts

Can you name the parts of a tree in Chinese? Here’s a quick vocabulary builder to help you out:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/parts-of-a-tree

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Work too hard?

Are you a workaolic? Of course not; you can stop whenever you want to, right? (I’ve been telling my family that for years…) How can you describe such a “problem” in Chinese?

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/if-youre-stressed-and-overworked

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Hotel vocabulary

If you visit China and stay in a hotel, then these words will probably come in handy:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/mandarin-chinese-words-list-hotels.html

Supermarket

One of my favorite activites when traveling, including to China, is going to the supermarket. (OK, I’m weird.) Here is a list of useful supermarket terms for your next trip:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/mandarin-chinese-words-list-supermarkets.html

Chinese sports

Many Chinese hobbies and activities are a bit surprising for Westerners visiting for the first time. Here is a list of such activities (not quite “sports,” I’d say), which you can especially expect to see if you walk through public parks and areas:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/5-Uniquely-Chinese-Sports-Activities

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Fruit

Want to enjoy some fruit? Of course you do, especially now that so many good summer fruits are in season. Here are some popular fruits, and their Chinese names:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/148797279628/allaboutchinese-%E6%B0%B4%E6%9E%9C-fruit

The eyes have it

What are the different parts of the eye in Chinese? A short, graphic primer:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/parts-of-the-eye

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Odd sentence ordering

One of the key rules in Chinese is that the words should go in a certain order. But that order isn’t always obvious, as this discussion shows:

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E5%AD%A6%E6%A0%A1-%E4%BD%A0-%E6%80%8E%E4%B9%88%E8%B5%B0.3214857/

Chinese schools

How do you say “high school” in Chinese, and can its definition sometimes vary?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E4%B8%AD%E5%AD%B8.3214315/

Beer — one character, or two?

If you can use 啤 (pí) for beer, why do people say 啤酒 (pí jiǔ)?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4x2mje/sorry_for_the_basic_question_but_what_is_the/

Vocabulary building

What strategies have people used for building (and retaining) vocabulary?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4xflz6/whats_an_effective_way_to_build_vocabulary_quickly/

Amusing to outsiders

When you’re learning Chinese, do things sometimes seem odd to you, but normal to native speakers? This thread has a few such examples:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4xbi15/what_parts_of_the_chinese_language_do_you_find/

Location

When do we need to use 在 (zài) to indicate a location, and when don’t we?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4wthmc/the_presence_or_lack_of_z%C3%A0i_when_describing_a/

Older girlfriend

In English, we will still use the term “girlfriend” for older people. But can you say 女朋友 to describe an older couple’s female part?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20831/does-%e5%a5%b3%e6%9c%8b%e5%8f%8b-work-for-older-couples

Multiple adjectives

If something is both A and B, how can we express that in Chinese? There are a number of options, with subtle differences between them:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20834/how-do-i-join-more-than-one-adjective-together

Focus

There area few different ways to indicate that you’re focused, or focusing on something, in Chinese. Here is an explanation of the differences:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20846/whats-the-difference-between-%e9%9b%86%e4%b8%ad-and-%e4%b8%93%e5%bf%83

Mandarin Weekly #82

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #82, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

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

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Being funny in Chinese

Like to tell jokes? Maybe, but can you tell jokes in Chinese? Not sure? Here is a video from ChinesePod.com, in which they give you the ins and outs of being humorous in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRK7xaKQIvA

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Conjunctions

Conjunctions work differently in Chinese than in other languages I’ve learned. Here is a list of conjunctions, along with tips and examples for when (and how) to use each of them:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/chinese-conjunctions-part-1/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Little tigers

This video and translation of “Two tigers,” the Chinese equivalent to Frère Jacques, is both amusing and educational, with a (surprisingly!) long description of the grammar and vocabulary in this simple, four-line song:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/%e4%b8%a4%e5%8f%aa%e8%80%81%e8%99%8e-the-chinese-frere-jacques/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Talking about love

Chinese valentine’s day (中国情人节, or zhōng gúo qíng rén jié) falls on August 9th. Just in time are these phrases to help you talk about love:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/08/02/chinese-valentines-day/

Twitter: @FluentU

Olympic sports

It’s the Olympics! What sports do you like? You can probably find its Chinese name on this extensive vocabulary list:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/list-of-summer-olympic-sports-i

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Olympic sports

It’s the Olympics! What sports do you like? You can probably find its Chinese name on this extensive vocabulary list:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/list-of-summer-olympic-sports-ii

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Basic phrases

If you’re on a first visit to China, or just want to make sure you know the most basic words and sentences, here’s a useful quick-reference guide:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/basic-chinese-phrases-beginners-part-1/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

All about 种

What does the 种 (zhǒng) character mean? It actually has several different meanings, and pronunciations:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2016/07/on-the-character-%e7%a7%8d/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

For beautiful skin

Want to have beautiful skin, the Chinese way? Here are some recipes (with the appropriate characters and pinyin) for traditional skin-enhancing products:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/08/05/culture/

School supplies

In this video from ChineseWithEmma.com, we learn how to speak about such purchases in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX57AENYOso

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma

HSK5 and HSK6 vocabulary

Planning to take the two top levels of the HSK exam? Here are some handy PDF charts listing the words and phrases you’ll be expected to know:

http://www.digmandarin.com/hsk-5-vocabulary-list.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

HSK5 and HSK6 vocabulary

Planning to take the two top levels of the HSK exam? Here are some handy PDF charts listing the words and phrases you’ll be expected to know. You’ll need to provide your e-mail address in order to receive these lists:

http://www.digmandarin.com/hsk-6-vocabulary-list.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Escape the Beijing heat

I’ve been to Beijing in the summer, and it can be quite hot! To cool off, many people go to the water, at 北戴河 (běi dài hé) and 南戴河 (nán dài hé). Learn about these locations and related vocabulary in this post:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/summer-escape-to-beidaihe-and-nandaihe/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Being sneaky

How can you talk about doing something sneakily in Chinese? Here are some hints:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/07/31/are-chinese-people-all-thieves/

Narrating? Talking? Something else?

The characters 会说 can mean “can speak,” but can also mean “narrator” in some contexts. How can we determine the context, and understand the appropriate meaning?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/20749/what-is-the-best-translation-for-%e4%bc%9a%e8%af%b4

Fourth vs. neutral tone

In the word 告诉 (gào sù, or “tell”), is the second character pronounced with a neutral tone, or witih a fourth tone?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E5%91%8A%E8%A8%B4.3213207/

Pronouncing 谁

Is 谁 (“who”) supposed to be pronounced shéi or shuí? Why are both acceptable, and which pronounciation is more appropriate for Chinese learners?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19743/are-the-two-pronunciations-of-%e8%b0%81-sh%c3%a9i-shu%c3%ad-the-result-of-regional-differences

Getting more

What is the difference between 增加 (zēng jiā) and 增长 (zēng zhǎng), both of which seem to mean, “add more?”

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19739/differences-between-%e5%a2%9e%e5%8a%a0-and-%e5%a2%9e%e9%95%bf

Mandarin Weekly #81

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #81, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

Get the bonus content:

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

Chinese colors

Maybe you can say basic colors like “red” and “blue.” But what about more complex color names, or (better yet) the cultural meanings that these colors often have in Chinese society? Here is an extensive list of such colors, and their meanings:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/07/25/chinese-colors/

Twitter: @FluentU

Business Chinese

Many of us are studying Chinese so that we can use it in our work. But did you know that a number of words in spoken Chinese are not used as much in business settings? Here is a table of spoken vs. business Chinese terms, and how to improve your business-style speech and writing:

http://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/article/business-chinese-learning-tips/the-best-way-to-learn-business-chinese/

Free intro-Chinese book

Just starting to learn Chinese? Wondering what these “measure words” are that everyone is talking about? Here is a free downloadable e-book that introduces some basic vocabulary and sentence patterns, which undoubtedly would have helped me when I first started:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/beginners-guide-to-chinese-ebook/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

US elections

Much of the world is looking at the upcoming US presidential elections. In this video, LearnChineseNow.com teaches us how to discuss them using Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UARxkWsi5l8

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Pokemon in Chinese

It’s hard to avoid hearing people talk about (or even playing “Pokemon Go”), a new game for mobile devices that is making a large number of people look like they out of their minds. How can you discuss Pokemon Go with your friends and colleagues in Chinese? Here is some “essential” Pokemon vocabulary in Chinese:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/07/26/learn-pokemon-names-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ninchanese

Using 好 with verbs

The word 好 (hǎo) is one of the first we all learn, but 好 can be used in a few other ways, including that something was well done, or pleasantly done:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/07/30/grammar-verb-3/

Conjunctions

Chinese, like all languages, has conjunctions (e.g., “and,” “or,” and “so”). But conjunctions in Chinese work differently from the other languages I’ve learned, and thus are likely to trip you up. Here is an introduction to the subject (in two parts), with some examples:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-conjunctions-part-one/

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-conjunctions-part-two/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Days of the week

If you’re just starting to learn Chinese, then the days of the week might be a bit confusing for you. Here is a simple video lesson from ChineseWithEmma.com:

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

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma

Funny Chinese signs

Anyone who has traveled to China has seen signs whose English is… well, a bit off. In this video from eChineseLearning.com, we learn a bit about these signs, and not only get to laugh at them, but also understand how the translation might have made sense to a native Chinese speaker:

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

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Chinese learning techniques

Olle Linge, of Hacking Chinese fame, has written before about how he became fluent in Chinese. In this installment, he describes graduate school and beyond, and provides tips for us to improve our knowledge of the language:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/i-learnt-chinese-part-6-graduate-program-taiwan/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Don’t ask these questions

Westerners traveling in China are often asked the same questions, or told the same things. Guess what? It turns out that they often ask the same questions of Chinese people. Here are some such questions, and the reasons to avoid asking them:

http://www.digmandarin.com/things-chinese-people-tired-hearing.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Characters vs. words

Are all characters considered words?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19669/does-a-chinese-character-almost-always-represent-a-word

Comparing

What is the difference between 很 (hěn) and 是 (shì)。。。的 (de)? Are they the same?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19684/sentence-using-%e6%98%af-%e7%9a%84-vs-sentence-using-%e5%be%88

Pronouncing 这个

One of the first things people learn in Chinese is to say 这个, or “this.” But how do you pronounce it; there seem to be a few different options, and is one more right than the other?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E8%BF%99%E4%B8%AA.3211000/

I’m busy right now

What does the word 有事 (yǒu shì) mean? And if it means “occupied,” how would you use it?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E6%9C%89%E4%BA%8B.3210997/

Mandarin Weekly #80

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #80, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

Download the bonus content: Mandarin Weekly #80 links

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

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Tour words

Want to learn some basic words for touring around China? Here is a short video with some of the basics:

https://www.chineseclass101.com/2016/07/21/chinese-words-of-the-week-with-yinru-for-intermediate-learners-17-tourism/

Twitter: @chineseclass101

A day in the park

One of my favorite activities when traveling in China is to go to a public park: Not only are older people often dancing or singing, but it’s generally a quiet, green space with relatively few people. Here are some great words to describe public parks, and what people do there:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/a-day-in-the-park/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

5 ways to say “cannot”

How do you say “I cannot”? Chinese have five ways, as we see here in the latest video from chelseabubbly.wordpress.com:

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

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Using 多 as “multi-“

The word 多 can be used in a few ways, but one of them is analogous to the “multi-” prefix in English, as these examples show:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/formula-of-duo

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Getting help from strangers

Lost in China? You might need to ask someone for help. How can you do that in Chinese?

http://www.digmandarin.com/get-help-from-strangers-in-china.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Chinese math

How do you express different mathematical ideas in Chinese? This vocabulary list is particularly useful for those of us in the sciences and engineering:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/147881359940/allaboutchinese-%E6%95%B0%E5%AD%A6%E7%AC%A6%E5%8F%B7%E8%A1%A8-mathematical-symbols

How many?

How do you use 几 (jǐ) to ask number-related questions? This video from EChineseLearning.com offers many examples, and then a quiz:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A07fitHavI

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Big bike crash

What can we learn from a huge pedestrian-bicycle accident in China? Some vocabulary, as well as some street-crossing skills, as we hear from LearnChineseNow.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3dLOKiNOFs

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Classic novels

There are four classic Chinese-language novels, whose content and language permeate the language to the present day. LearnChineseNow.com provides us with some background and vocabulary from these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGe0wtjgak0

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Wedding etiquette

Invited to a Chinese wedding? Great! What should you do when you’re there, and what can you expect? This article will tell you:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/the-6-etiquettes-of-a-traditional-chinese-wedding-ceremony/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

How do you practice?

All of us (presumably) practice our Chinese, even when not in class. But are you practicing the right way? This post not only suggests how to practice, but also how to identify where you’re weakest, and thus get the biggest bang for the buck:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/are-you-practising-chinese-the-right-way/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Short story

Read (or listen to) this short story in Chinese, with characters and pinyin:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/learn-chinese-story-online-a-story-about-a-little-village/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

One ringy dingy

Want to use the phone in Chinese? Here are some phrases you can use to make and receive calls:

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/07/8-common-phrases-phone-calls-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Books

Want to describe different types of reading materials in Chinese? Here is a short, helpful vocabulary list:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/147558332168/allaboutchinese-%E4%B9%A6-books

Beijing summer must-haves

In Beijing for the summer? You’re probably hot. Here are some must-have items for a Beijing summer — in Chinese, of course:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2016/07/19/5-things-must-summer-beijing/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Popular Chinese apps

Want to use your phone like people in China do? Here are some apps that are super-popular there, which you might want to install on your phone:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/36-ten-popular-apps-the-chinese-use-part-1

Twitter: @DuChinese

Using 把

The 把 (bǎ) character is used in a grammar pattern that many Westerners find hard to understand and use. Here are some tips for internalizing its use:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4uchq8/when_to_use_%E6%8A%8A/

Simplified 只 is lots of traditional characters

If you’re learning simplified characters, then you’ll find that 只 is used in place of several different traditional ones. Here is a description of how that happened, and when to use them:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19611/why-so-many-variations-for-traditional-%e5%8f%aa-zh%c7%90-%e8%a1%b9-%e7%a5%87-%e7%a7%96-%e9%9a%bb

Radical rooms

The radical for 屋 (wū) is a bit surprising, as described here:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19607/should-%e5%b1%8b-and-%e5%b1%85-use-radical-%e6%88%b7-instead-of-%e5%b0%b8

Radical animals

Why do some animals’ characters lack the animal radical (犭)?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19588/why-do-some-chinese-characters-for-animals-not-use-the-radical-%e7%8a%ad

Mandarin Weekly #79

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #79, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

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

Download all of the links from Mandarin Weekly #79

Chinese pronouns

Pronouns are such a part of our everyday conversation, it’s easy to forget how important they are. In this post, we learn about pronouns in Chinese, including in questions:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/you-me-this-that-pronouns-in-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Spit it out!

Is someone hesitating, or unable to tell you what they really think? Here’s a great video from ChinesePod.com, teaching you a useful phrase (吞吞吐吐, or tūn tūn tǔ tǔ):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXQT8FF32V0

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Using 那个 like a native

那个 (nà ge) means “that,” but it can be used in a variety of other ways to make your Chinese sound more fluent. Here are some examples:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/35-usages-of-not-found-in-textbooks

Twitter: @DuChinese

Bad friends

Don’t like the company someone is keeping? You can describe the friends as 狐朋狗友 (hú péng gǒu yǒu):

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/07/11/slang-hu-peng-gou-you/

Two kinds of “we”

The word 咱们 (zá men) is a way of saying “we,” including the person with whom you’re speaking. It’s only used in northern China, but can help you to understand what a northerner is saying:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2014/08/11/i-and-we-in-china/

Just passing through

The character 过 (guò) means to “pass,” but can be used along with other characters to create a variety of words:

http://www.digmandarin.com/passing-through-in-mandarin.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Days

How do we talk about days in Chinese? (That is, today vs. tomorrow, vs. many other options.) LearnChineseNow.com has a short video on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akFeB0cWiuM

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Avoiding an answer

Don’t want to answer a question? Here are some ways to hedge your response, providing you with some ambiguous cover:

http://chinesefor.us/how-to-say-no-comment-in-chinese-politely/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Using native textbooks

It might seem like a great idea to improve your Chinese by reading textbooks for Chinese children. There are good and bad sides to this, as described here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/benefits-using-%e8%af%ad%e6%96%87%e5%9c%8b%e6%96%87-textbooks-learn-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Apps for learning

Most Chinese learners seem to use a few apps to improve their vocabulary, reading, and general comprehension. Here is a roundup of such apps:

https://www.asianlanguageschool.com/8-best-apps-chinese-language-courses-2016/

Using 也 (yě) and 还 (hái)

These two characters have similar meanings, but are used in different contexts. Here is a (fairly exhaustive!) list of examples of when you might use each one:

http://answers.echineselearning.com/questions/2016-07/15/112234884LDXSAHLJ.html

Ordering street BBQ

When you’re in China, you can’t get away from the many stands selling food of various sorts. Here’s a dialogue that demonstrates how to order from such a stand:

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/07/ordering-street-barbecue-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Fruit

A nice list of Chinese fruit, with pictures:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/about-fruits-in-chinese.html

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/about-fruits-in-chinese-2.html

AP Chinese

Are you a US high school students planning to take the AP Chinese exam? Here is what to expect, as well as some hints on how to practice:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/07/13/ap-chinese-practice/

Twitter: @FluentU

Animals

Here is a short list (with rather cute drawings) of animals, with their Chinese names:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/147306292207/allaboutchinese-%E5%8A%A8%E7%89%A9-animal

Sing your vegetables

Here’s a short video, aimed at children, to learn the words for some vegetables in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMt17QzA1Fo

Reading vs. seeing

There are several different ways to say “read” in Chinese; what’s the difference between them?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19579/what-is-the-difference-among-%e9%98%85%e8%af%bb-%e8%af%bb-and-%e7%9c%8b

Lending vs. borrowing

When do you use 借 (jiè) and when do you use 贷 (dài)? Don’t they both mean “borrow” or “lend”?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19544/difference-between-%e5%80%9f-and-%e8%b4%b7

Money money money

What’s the difference between saying 钱 (qián) and 金钱 (jīn qián)?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19556/what-is-the-difference-between-%e9%92%b1-and-%e9%87%91%e9%92%b1-and-%e6%ac%be

Life

The English word “life” has several meanings, which translate into different words in Chinese:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19541/difference-between-%e7%94%9f%e6%b4%bb-and-%e7%94%9f%e5%91%bd

Learning without studying

Many Chinese words for “learn” would seem to imply studying or practicing. What about learning just through life, over time?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19492/how-to-say-learn-without-involving-studying

Frequently confused characters

What characters are frequently confused? How do you distinguish between them?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4sqay1/which_characters_do_you_often_confuse_with_each/

Download all of the links from Mandarin Weekly #79

Mandarin Weekly #78

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #78, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with your fellow students of Chinese, and with your teacher! This newsletter will always be completely free of charge.

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

Using 在

The word 在 (zài) can be used in a variety of ways, to describe location. Here is a description of where to use it, and where you might make common mistakes:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/the-different-uses-of-zai-in-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

The five Chinese elements

What are the traditional five elements in Chinese culture? LearnChineseNow.com provides us with insights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQN_H1LmI34

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Funny character associations

If you’re trying to remember characters, it’s often a good idea to make a silly or unusual association that’ll help you remember. Here are some examples:

http://www.digmandarin.com/block-headed-hula-girl-useful-silliness.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

I really have to go

How can you end a conversation in Chinese? Here are a few good ways to do so. Don’t get trapped in a conversation again!

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/07/5-ways-end-conversation-politely-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Eating restrictions

When you’re in China, you might be expected to eat all sorts of things that you wouldn’t see in your own country. And even in your own country, you might have certain eating restrictions, for a vareity of reasons. How can you say, in Chinese, that your eating options are restricted?

http://chinesefor.us/eating-habits-in-chinese/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Paper vs. electronic dictionaries

What kind of dictionary should you use? And what brands are worth trying?

https://zhongruige.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/in-paper-versus-electric-dictionaries-electric-wins/

Twitter: @zhongruige

Little red card

Following the Euro 2016 soccer matches? Want to tell your Chinese friends who got a red card vs. a yellow card? Here’s a full soccer vocabulary list, to talk about the games with your friends:

http://chinesefor.us/soccer-words-in-chinese/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Using cartoons

Have you considered using cartoons to improve your Chinese? It can help you in a number of ways:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/accessing-chinese-culture-cartoons/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Colors

Know your colors in Chinese! Here is a list of popular colors, along with a few example sentences to use:

http://nihaohello.blogspot.co.il/2016/07/learn-chinese-vocabulary-for-colours.html

Online dating

Looking for a date in China? Here are some mobile apps, used by Chinese, to find true love (or just a fun time):

https://chinesepod.com/blog/7-great-chinese-dating-apps/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Spicing it up

Here are some basic seasonings that you can put on your food, or in your cooking, in Chinese:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/about-seasonings.html

Adding the er

When must you add the “er” sound to words in Mandarin? Is it optional, or mandatory?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E5%B0%8F%E5%AD%A9.3200208/

Origin of Russia’s name

Why do we call Russia 俄罗斯 (E luó sī) in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19468/why-is-russia-translated-to-%e4%bf%84%e7%bd%97%e6%96%afe-luo-si

Hacker slang

If you’re a computer user who wants to learn some hacker (i.e., hard-core user) slang, where can you go? And is it even necessary?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Chinese/comments/4rlkyy/computerhacker_slang/

Saying “ice cream”

How do you pronounce 冰淇淋 (bīng qí lín), meaning “ice cream”?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4r14m9/ice_cream/

Westerners speaking Chinese

Do Chinese people frequently encounter Westerners who speak Chinese?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4r2ldj/is_it_still_rareunusualnovel_for_chinese_people/

Mortgage slave

What does it mean to be a “房奴” (fáng nú ), a “mortgage slave”?

http://answers.echineselearning.com/questions/2016-07/08/144506938DOPKZLGD.html

Mandarin Weekly #77

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #77, with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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

Talking about characters

How can you describe Chinese characters in Chinese? This might seem like a trivial problem, but it’s not; given the large number of homophones, you often need to be able to distinguish between characters. This excellent article tells you how native Chinese do it, and how you can use these techniques in your own learning:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/talk-chinese-characters-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Forming new words

Many newcomers to Chinese are surprised to find that characters can be words, but that many words require multiple characters. How are these characters combined to form new words? Here are some general rules and explanations, with many examples:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/how-is-a-word-formed-in-modern-chinese-ii

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Confused characters

I’m at the point in my Chinese reading in which I know enough characters to mix them up. This useful (and long!) list brings together characters that many beginners confuse, putting them next to each other so that we can see and remember the differences:

http://carlgene.com/blog/2016/06/top-258-most-commonly-confused-chinese-characters/

Twitter: @carlfordham

Phonetic components

If you’re like me, you’re constantly encountering characters you’ve never seen before. Alphabetic languages tell you how to pronounce new words, but how can you do that with characters? These secret is the phonetic component, as described here:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/06/29/chinese-character-phonetic-components/

Twitter: @ninchanese

Multiple subjects

If you want to talk about more than one subject, you should be using 都 (dōu). Here is a video from EChineseLearning demonstrating how to do it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIW-WjK6vm4

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Location words

Where are you now? Where are you going? Where are things located? Location words are needed to express many ideas. In this two-part series, you can learn all about how to express location in Chinese:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/location-words-chinese-one/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Location words

Where are you now? Where are you going? Where are things located? Location words are needed to express many ideas. In this two-part series, you can learn all about how to express location in Chinese:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/location-words-in-chinese-part-two/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Using 不但。。。而且

Want to express “not only X, but also Y”? You can do that in Chinese with 不但。。。而且, as demonstrated in this short video with a large number of examples:

http://chinesefor.us/chinese-sentence-structure-1601/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Using the phone

Have you ever made a phone call in Chinese? If not, here are some hints for how to start:

http://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/article/daily-chinese-learning-tips/how-to-make-and-answer-phone-calls-in-chinese/

Ordering takeout

Now that you can use the phone for basic Chinese conversations, how about making a takeout restaurant order?

http://www.learnchinesechina.com/site-content/40-blog/1740-how-to-order-food-delivery-in-china

Myths about characters

For many people studying Chinese, learning the characters is a challenge. There are so many! Maybe you should just use Pinyin (the Romanized script)? Here are some myths about characters that you might want to consider:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/07/02/3-myths-about-chinese-characters/

Restaurant interview

Ever wonder what it’s like to work in a Chinese restaurant? Here’s a short interview, in Mandarin Chinese, with the Cantonese manager of a restaurant:

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/06/chat-with-a-cantonese-restaurant-manager/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Graduating?

This is the end of the academic year in much of the world, including in China. Here are some useful graduation-related words and phrases for you to use:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2016/06/29/new-words-collecting-graduation/

Tone colors

Pleco and many other Chinese dictionaries use colors to identify different tones. How and why should you do this, and how useful is it?

https://zhongruige.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/on-tone-colors/

Twitter: @zhongruige

Chinese tongue twisters

Every language has tongue twisters, but Chinese has some really great ones — in part, I’m sure, because so many of the sounds are similar. Here are some good ones to practice, or to get your (soon-to-be-former) friends to try:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/06/30/chinese-tongue-twisters/

Twitter: @FluentU

Popular Chinese dishes

Anyone who visits China quickly discovers that Western “Chinese food” is quite different from actual Chinese cuisine. Here are some popular Chinese dishes you might want to try when visiting:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/whats-your-dish-try-the-10-most-popular-in-china

Twitter: @ECLSchool

I need your opinion

Want to get someone’s opinion? How can you say that in Chinese? CrazyFreshChinese provides the answer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQL-X5fIOVI

Asking for forgiveness

How do you say “I’m sorry” in Chinese? There are actually many ways; this video contains 10 of them:

http://chinesefor.us/hts1601-say-sorry-chinese/

Twitter: @chinese4us

You’re so cow! (Huh?)

Want to tell someone how great they are in Chinese? A common phrase is to say they’re 太牛了 (tài niú le). Why are cows so great?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19364/where-did-the-phrase-%e5%a4%aa%e7%89%9b%e4%ba%86-come-from

It’s it true…

The phrase 难道 (nán dào) can be used to express surprise that something isn’t true:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19355/how-to-use-%e9%9a%be%e9%81%93-in-chinese-sentences

Beginnings and endings

How can you talk about the beginning of something, or the end of something? Some great examples that will come in handy:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19337/how-to-refer-to-beginning-middle-end-in-mandarin

Please correct me!

Speaking Chinese with a native, and want to ask them to correct your non-native language skills? Here’s how you can ask to be corrected:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4qlosf/how_do_you_say_please_correct_me/

Mandarin Weekly #76

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #76, with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please tweet about it by clicking here!

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

Location and direction in Chinese

How can you describe the relative location of things, or in which direction you should move? The answers are related, and are answered in this excellent guide to directional words:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/expressing-location-directions-in-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Simplified vs. traditional

Ever wonder what the difference is between simplified and traditional characters? This video, from chinesefor.us, should make it more obvious, and help you decide which version to use:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXnIiP4xajA

Twitter: @chinese4us

It just happened

Want to say that something just happened? You can say either 刚刚 (gāng gāng) or 刚才(gāng cái). But are they really the same? Once again, it’s a video from chelseabubbly.wordpress.com to the rescue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPcTBEn2sgg

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Rubbish!

Is your friend (or colleague) saying something that’s complete nonsense? ChinesePod has just the chengyu (four-character saying) to put them in their place:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVe8zYoS_-E

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Beating the AP test

If you’re an American high school student, then you might be taking the Chinese Advanced Placement (AP) test. Here are some useful tips for doing well on the test:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/06/22/ap-chinese-practice-test/

Twitter: @FluentU

Buying fruit

Want to buy some fruit in China? How would you weigh it? How would you ask how much it costs? In this video, chelseabubbly.wordpress.com teaches us these words?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Vk0sPK6kI

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Gooooooooooooal!

If you’re following the current football (soccer) games, then you are probably interested in knowing how to talk about them in Chinese. Have no fear; this article will give you everything you need to know:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/34-talking-about-football-in-chinese

Twitter: @DuChinese

Funny words

Some words are totally normal in Chinese, but weird in English. Here are a few such words that you can (and should) incorporate into your Chinese vocabulary:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/5-essential-chinese-words-weird-in-english

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Graduation words

How do the Chinese celebrate graduating from university? What words come in handy at this time of year?

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/06/22/chinese-graduation/

Twitter: @ninchanese

Brexit!

Everyone is talking about the Brexit vote, and so why not LearnChineseNow as well? In this episode, we learn some Brexit-related vocabulary:

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

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

The 贝 (Bèi) radical

This radical is used in many different characters, often having to do with money or wealth:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/146518203821/allaboutchinese-all-about-chineses-%E9%83%A8%E9%A6%96%E7%B3%BB%E5%88%97

Read more books!

A short Chinese story, with characters, Pinyin, and audio, about reading books

http://chinese-at-ease.com/learn-chinese-online-read-one-more-book/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

What’s the deal?

Want to ask your friends why something is so special? Here’s a phrase that can come in handy:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/06/20/whats-so-good-about-china/

How hot is it?

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, which means that it’s getting to be quite hot for some of us. How do you discuss temperature in Chinese? LearnChineseNow has a short video on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epKCAeP91r4

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

It doesn’t matter

A beautiful song (with video, characters, and pinyin) that you can use to improve your comprehension:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/learn-chinese-online-indifferent/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Body parts

In the latest video from chinesewithemma.com, you can learn some basic body parts — head, shoulders, knees, and toes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVhMde28aGU

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma

When 把 is forbidden

Using the 把 (bǎ) particle can be confusing. In which sentences is it OK, and (more importantly) where can we not use it?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19325/when-is-the-%e6%8a%8a-construction-forbidden

13 o’clock

Want to call someone stupid? Here’s a great term for it: 十三点 (shí sān diǎn), or a “13 o’clock”:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Chinese/comments/4pg9d3/what_does_%E5%8D%81%E4%B8%89%E7%82%B9_mean/

Almost got it!

Playing a game, and almost made the shot? How can you say that you almost got it in Chinese?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/almost-in.3195252/

My Chinese is worse than yours

Comparisons can be tricky in Chinese; how can you compare your Chinese with someone else’s?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/your-chinese-is-much-better-worse-than-mine.3195698/

Is pork the default meat?

If you use the word 肉 (ròu) for meat, does it imply pork?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Chinese/comments/4p0qcm/is_it_true_that_the_chinese_word_for_meat_is_the/

You said it right

Should you use 的 or 得? A discussion of an important and confusing topic when trying to modify verbs:

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E8%AF%B4-%E7%9A%84%EF%BC%8C%E5%BE%97-%E5%AF%B9.3197190/

Describing your job

What word do you use for “work” or “occupation” in Chinese, and when should you choose each one?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E8%81%8C%E4%B8%9A-%E5%B7%A5%E4%BD%9C.3194596/

Six-packs of water

How would you describe a package of water bottles, or two such packages?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/pack-of-bottled-water.3194408/

Aging

How do you describe different ages in Chinese? It’s a bit more subtle and varied than you might think:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19322/%e5%a9%b4%e5%84%bf-%e5%84%bf%e7%ab%a5-%e5%b0%91%e5%b9%b4-%e6%88%90%e5%b9%b4-and-other-words-related-to-age

Mandarin Weekly #75

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) Welcome to the latest Mandarin Weekly, with yet more links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Giveaway

Our latest giveaway, for a free premium year’s subscription to The Chairman’s Bao, has ended, and the winner will soon be notified by e-mail. Thanks to all of you who entered! More giveaways will be coming in the near future. If you know of an app, Chinese school, book, or other resource that might be useful, please contact us! We’ll contact the author/publisher, and see if it’s possible to have a giveaway.

Characters that look alike

Do you sometimes find it hard to distinguish between characters? Do you fail to notice the extra dots and lines that can change the meaning of a character? This guide to frequently confused characters is for you:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/how-to-learn-chinese-characters-that-look-alike/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Dumplings

One of my favorite parts of visiting China is having a chance to eat dumplings . A lot of dumplings. Many different styles of dumplings. Want to discuss dumpling styles, fillings, and cooking methods? This post contains everything you’ll want to know:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/all-about-dumplings/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Levels of emphasis

Is it good? Great? Super-amazingly terrific? In this video, chelseabubbly.wordpress.com shows us how to emphasize things in Chinese using different levels:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=x0didGH_h3I

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Buddhism in China

Buddhism is one of China’s main religions. In this video from LearnChineseNow, you can learn some Buddism-related terms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QQnX6PPV48

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Mirror words

Mirror words are an important part of learning Chinese, and can frustrate many non-native speakers. This video from MandarinMonkey introduces these words:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b35iGQMZQDo

Twitter: @Mandarin_Monkey

Phrases you want to hear

Do you enjoy being praised? Of course you do! Here are 10 phrases, from ChineseClass101, that are nice to hear — or, if you’re in a good mood, nice to say to others:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEtCX35Z9EE

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Keep up your Chinese this summer

So, it’s time for summer vacation! If you’re taking classes at a school, then you might find yourself wondering how to move ahead even without your teacher’s help. Here are some ideas for improving your Chinese even when school’s out:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/06/16/learning-chinese-summer-holidays/

Twitter: @ninchanese

Discounts

Everyone loves a discount, right? But in China, discounts are described differently than in the West:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/how-to-find-a-deal-in-chinese

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Want fries with that?

How can you order a hamburger in China? Here is a complete guide, starting from the hamburger itself and continuing with the side dishes:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/33-ordering-a-hamburger-in-chinese

Twitter: @DuChinese

Learning via apps

Is it a good idea to learn Chinese via apps? As with everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. Here is a discussion of the trade-offs:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/pros-cons-apps-learning-chinese/

化 (huā) as a suffix

Did you know that 化is often used as a suffix, meaning something like “ize” in English? Here are some examples:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/formula-of-hua

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

About 约

What does the 约 character mean? This article introduces it, including the history and current usage:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2016/06/on-the-character-%e7%ba%a6/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Nouns with 着

The character 着 normally indicates that an action is continuing. But it can also be used in nouns, as indicated here:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/about-zhe.html

Correcting John Cena’s grammar

John Cena of WWE fame gives a speech in Chinese; LearnChineseNow not only shows the speech, but points out some grammatical issues that many Westerners have:

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

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Euro 2016 countries

Are you excited about the Euro 2016 tournament? If so, then perhaps you want to describe the teams in Chinese:

http://chinesefor.us/blog-euro2016/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Consolidating your Chinese

Part of studying Chinese is to constantly be improving — your vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading, and other skills. But don’t forget to work on the skills and knowledge you already have:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/dont-forget-to-consolidate-the-chinese-you-have-already-learnt/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Hard work

Chinese culture has long valued hard work, as evidenced in these chengyu (phrases):

http://www.digmandarin.com/working-hard-like-ancient-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Wrong!

How can you say “I misspoke?” There are a few ways in Chinese, and this discussion mentions a few of them:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19271/when-can-i-say-%e8%af%b4%e5%b7%ae%e4%ba%86

Pronouncing 这

How do you pronounce the 这 character? Is it always zhè, or are there other options?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/19260/pronunciation-of-%e8%bf%99-ze4-or-zen4-in-%e5%a4%a9%e6%b0%94%e8%bf%99%e4%b9%88%e5%a5%bd

Preparing for HSK6

What materials can (should) you use to take the HSK6 exam?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4o5lga/people_who_took_hsk_level_6_what_materials_did/

Distinguishing x, ch, and sh

These three sounds (x, ch, and sh) look different in Pinyin, but sound somewhat similar in Chinese. What are the differences, and how can you improve your listening and speaking skills with these sounds?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4o9i2p/hearing_difference_between_x_ch_and_sh/

下vs. 下边

Which is the appropriate word to use when indicating “downward”?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4ooava/difference_between_%E4%B8%8B_and_%E4%B8%8B%E8%BE%B9/