Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #118, with 21 new resources to improve your Chinese

Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly 118, a free newsletter read by more than 16,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Better learning via scaffolding

All “Scaffolding” is a common idea in education, helping learners by gradually reducing the support they receive (and need) in order to learn things more easily. This post provides a number of suggestions for scaffolding and supports when learning Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/8-great-ways-scaffold-chinese-learning/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Save the planet (in Chinese)

Intermediate What can you do to save the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, we have this video from ChineseClass101.com, with useful phrases:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwtk6nPs-50

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Choosing a translation app

Beginner Having a translation app on your phone is important for learners of all levels. What are some of the options, and how can you choose from among them?

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-translator-app-review.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Improving from Chinese movies

Intermediate A review of a new resource for improving your Chinese, Learn-Chinese-From-Movies.com, which aims to help us improve our fluency by exposing us to as many Chinese movies as possible:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/357-2/

Twitter: @LCFMofficial

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of liquor component

Intermediate The component 酉 (yǒu) refers to a bottle of liquor and is used in a large number of characters that have to do with fermentation or seasoning:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/compmonent-%e9%85%89-a-jar-for-storing-liquors/

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Airport vocabulary

Beginner Traveling to or from China by air? Knowing these airport-related terms will smooth your journey:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-air-travel-vocabulary/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Buying airplane tickets

Beginner Unless you live in China, you will likely need to buy airline tickets to and from there. Here are some words and phrases you’ll need to buy your tickets:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/how-to-buy-a-plane-ticket-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

All about pandas

Advanced Almost every loves pandas; here is a short essay about them:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2810-2017-04-13-11-38-47

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Smuggled goods

Intermediate There are lots of counterfeit goods, 行货 (hánghuò), in China. Don’t mix up that term with 水货 (shuǐhuò), which is how you refer to smuggled goods:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/which-will-you-choose-shuihuo-vs-hanghuo

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Is beer alcohol?

Beginner A funny dialogue between a driver and a policeman, pointing to the many inconsistencies in Chinese terms:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/is-beer-alcohol-chinese-story-for-beginners/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Withdrawing money

Beginner Where is the nearest ATM? A short story that is all-too-familiar to those of us who travel often:

http://mychinesereading.com/where-is-the-nearest-atm/

Let down your hair!

Intermediate The story of Rapunzel, told in Chinese (audio, characters, and pinyin):

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/rapunzel-intermediate-reader-audio/

Weather terms

Beginner What is the weather like outside? Here’s how to say it in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/16/listen-89/

Twitter: @eputonghua

We’re early; we’re late

Beginner Did you get somewhere early? Or (like me) late? Here’s how to express that in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/09/listen-92/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Chinese art forms

Beginner China has many types of traditional art forms. Here is a list of five of them, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to describe them:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Chinese-Traditional-Art-Music-Peking-Opera-Calligraphy

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Invest time, learn more efficiently

All Which is the best way for you to improve your Chinese? Take some time to figure that out, since doing so will save you time, and improve your learning in the long run:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/analysis-paralysis-choosing-method-becomes-problem/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

148 expressions

Intermediate Common sayings, known as 成语 (chéng yǔ), are a part of colloquial Chinese speech and writing. Here are 148 (!) common ones that you can either learn to understand from others, or incorporate into your own speech:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/list-chengyu/

Cross that river

Beginner How do you cross a river? By using the rocks you see. This is true metaphorically, and not just literally, as this short story explains:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2811-2017-04-14-03-11-05

Twitter: @imandarinpod

All of it

Intermediate Chinese has several ways to say “all,” such as 所有 (suǒ yǒu) and 全部 (quán bù). When is each appropriate?

Describing shapes

Intermediate How can you say that something is heart-shaped, star-shaped, or anything-else-shaped?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23349/what-is-the-correct-way-to-say-shaped

Difference between 吃 and 食

Intermediate The characters 吃 (chī) and 食 (shí) both have to do with eating and food. When is each used?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23346/%E5%90%83-and-%E9%A3%9F-difference

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #117, 2017-April-10

Hi! This is Mandarin Weekly 117, a free newsletter read by more than 15,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

I’m doing it now

Intermediate How can you express that you are currently performing an action? Use one or more of the words 在 (zài), 正 (zhènɡ), and 正在 (zhènɡ zài):

http://www.digmandarin.com/ongoing-state-continuity-action-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Basic sentence patterns

Beginner A few sentence patterns are all you need to start saying a remarkably large number of things in Chinese. Here is a list of such basic sentence patterns, along with many examples:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/10-essential-chinese-sentence-patterns-every-beginner-should-know/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Teach children Chinese

Beginner Do you want your children to learn Chinese, but aren’t sure what resources would be appropriate for them? Here is a list of what you can use to help your little ones learn this fascinating language:

http://www.misspandachinese.com/teach-your-kids-chinese/

Twitter: @MissPandaChines

Grammar books

Intermediate If you’re like me, then understanding grammar is a great way to improve your Chinese. But where can you turn, other than textbooks, for summaries of Chinese grammar? Here is a summary and review of several well-known books that you might want to check out:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/best-chinese-grammar-book-beginner-intermediate-students/

Tomb Sweeping Day

Beginner Last week was 清明节 (qīng míng jié), Tomb Sweeeping Day, a holiday on which many Chinese go to remember their ancestors. Here is some information about this holiday, its practices, and origins:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/history-and-customs-of-tomb-sweeping-day/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Learning Chinese fast

Beginner Everyone wants to learn Chinese quickly, but some people really need to get as fluent as possible, as soon as possible. Here are some strategies you can use to maximize your learning in a short period of time:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/04/05/learn-chinese-in-three-months/

Twitter: @FluentU

Characters with 月 (yuè) in them

Beginner Many characters contain the 月 component. Here is a list of such characters, along with their pronunciations and meanings:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/159182027497/allaboutchinese-all-about-chineses-%E6%9C%88-%E8%AE%B0%E5%BF%86%E5%9B%BE

C is for cookie

Beginner Want a cookie? Then which word should you use? This question is surprisingly difficult to answer, as this post describes:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/04/08/try-find-cookies-chinese-word-use/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Spring has sprung

Beginner Spring has arrived, and two friends discuss the weather and make plans, in this short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2803-2017-04-07-08-08-12

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Going to the gym

Beginner If you’re living in China and plan to join a gym to keep fit, this posting has a great deal of useful information, as well as some phrases and words, to help you out:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/04/09/is-it-easy-to-join-a-gym-in-china/

Nothing to be done

Beginner If you are a bit frustrated and/or exasperated by a situation, you can always say 没办法 (méi bàn fǎ):

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/04/04/this-phrase-will-make-your-chinese-sound-naturally-hopeless/

Little Red Riding Hood

Intermediate You might know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but have you ever read it in Chinese?

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/little-red-riding-hood-intermediate-reader/

Travel words and phrases

Beginner Planning to travel in China? This video from ChineseClass101.com includes all sorts of travel-related words, from cities to transportation to passport control:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2LctdJD1zo

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Pulling the carrot

Beginner Many countries and cultures have a story about a huge carrot that requires everyone’s help to be pulled from the ground. Here is a Chinese song and video with 拔萝卜 (bá luó bo), the Chinese version:

http://nihaohello.blogspot.co.il/2017/04/pull-carrot-song-lyrics.html

Making mistakes

Intermediate Why do so many Chinese speakers make mistakes when writing, using the wrong characters? An interesting discussion for us non-natives who often make such mistakes:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23273/why-chinese-use-too-many-%E9%94%99%E5%88%AB%E5%AD%97

Non-Internet networks

Advanced We often think of 网 (wǎng) as a computer network, but how would you describe a non-computer network, such as a mathematical network diagram or just networking with colleagues? The answer is both simpler and more complex than you might think:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23324/how-to-say-network-but-not-internet

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #116, 2017-April-3

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #116, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

More than 15,000 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.

Blackbeard the Pirate

Intermediate All about Blackbeard, the famous pirate — in Chinese:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/blackbeard-pirate-intermediate-reader/

Robin Hood

Advanced Have you ever heard of Robin Hood? Of course you have. But have you ever read about him in Chinese? Here’s your chance to be introduced to the legendary figure:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/advanced-chinese-reading-practice-robin-hood/

Chinese weapons

Beginner China has a long history of warfare. Here is an introduction to many of the weapons that were invented over the years, along with their Chinese names:

http://viewofchina.com/ancient-chinese-military-weapons/

LINE-based scam

Advanced If you use LINE (a smartphone app), then you might be targeted in a scam that’s making the rounds in Taiwan. That’s useful to know, but a linguistic analysis of what the scammers are writing is great for students of Chinese:

http://chinesehacks.com/usage/a-common-line-scam-in-taiwan/

Visiting 天津 (tiān jīn)

Beginner The city of 天津 has a great deal of history of sights to see. Here is a short introduction to the city and what it has to offer:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/better-know-a-municipality-tianjin/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Left box radical words

Intermediate The radical 匚 (fāng), known as 左方框 (zuǒ fāng kuāng), is used in many different characters. Here is a list:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/component-%E5%8C%9A-left-box/

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Friendship

Intermediate Do you have friends? I sure hope so! Here are some traditional Chinese expressions having to do with friends:

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

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Animated Chinese movies

Intermediate Cartoons are fun to watch — and when you can improve your Chinese when watching, all the better! Here are some recommended animated movies from China:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/03/29/chinese-animated-movies/

Twitter: @FluentU

Reading challenge

Hacking Chinese has another challenge, and this time it’s all about reading. Read as much Chinese as you can this month, regardless of your level, and watch your fluency improv:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/chinese-reading-challenge-april-1st-30th/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Apps for kids

Beginner Many children are learning Chinese, so it’s no surprise that there are many apps to help them to learn. Here are some of the most useful apps for children to improve their Chinese reading, writing, and listening:

https://www.asianlanguageschool.com/chinese-learning-apps-for-kids/

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Fish and seafood

Beginner Chinese cuisine is full of fish and seafood. Here’s a list of the common dishes you’re likely to encounter when visiting China:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-for-seafood/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

The White House

Intermediate The White House is one of the most famous buildings in the world. Here is an introduction to it in Chinese:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-white-house/

Baby swallows

Beginner Here’s a short story about helping some baby swallows:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-baby-swallows/

Telling jokes in Chinese

Intermediate I love to tell jokes and funny stories (and my family sometimes even thinks they’re funny). How can you tell jokes in Chinese, or describe the sorts of humor that I enjoy?

https://www.writtenchinese.com/are-you-being-funny-how-tell-jokes-in-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Workplace conversation

Beginner Two people at work discuss how they spend their time, with one of them getting a bit aggressive, in this video from ChinesePod.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90T63VzD4zI

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Food and restaurants

Beginner Here is a collection of videos from ChineseClass101.com, describing a variety of words having to do with food and restaurants in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAssVOc11Tg

Twitter: @chineseclass101

April fools!

Beginner The world just celebrated April Fool’s Day, or 愚人节 (yú rén jié) in Chinese. Here is some vocabulary that might come in handy if your Chinese-speaking friends tried to prank you:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/04/01/april-fools-day-say-prank/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Intro Chinese for travelers

Beginner If you’re totally new to Chinese, and want to learn a bit of the language before traveling, here is a quick introduction that you can use to get up to speed with the basics:

https://medium.com/a-better-guide-to-beijing/elementary-mandarin-for-travellers-to-china-6524f838a6a

No fooling!

Beginner A short story about going to see a movie on April Fool’s Day:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2798-2017-04-01-14-07-36

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Separating 朋友 (péng yǒu)

Beginner The word 朋友 is very common, but can we use the characters ouside of that word?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23261/do-%E6%9C%8B-and-%E5%8F%8B-differ-in-meaning

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #115, 2017-March-27

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #115, 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.

“Yes” and “no”

Beginner People learning Chinese are often surprised to find out that there are no exact equivalents to “yes” and “no.” How do people express these ideas in Chinese? With a variety of different answers:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-Different-Ways-Chinese-People-Say-Yes-or-No

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Chinese TV

Advanced If you’re looking to improve your Chinese listening ability, as well as gain insights into Chinese culture while enjoying a guilty pleasure, consider watching Chinese TV shows. Here is a list of shows you can watch, along with some information about each one:

http://www.digmandarin.com/learn-chinese-tv-series.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Types of eggs

Beginner Eggs are a common food all over the world, and China is no exception. Here is a list of the different ways that you can cook eggs, including some uniquely Chinese ways, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to identify and order them:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/03/24/ordering-food-say-fried-eggs/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Life as a translator

What is it like to learn Chinese, and then work in China as a translator? This post from Hacking Chinese is an interview with Carl Gene Fordham:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/become-chinese-english-translator-like-one/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Peking opera

You might have heard of “Peking opera,” a form of classic Chinese entertainment that comes from Beijing — but what is it? Here is an introduction to Peking Opera, including a number of relevant words and phrases:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/peking-opera/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Meat meat meat

Beginner Chinese food includes a lot of meat. And many kids of meat. From many different sources. Here is a list of the various sources, configurations, and types of meat you’re likely to encounter in China:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-for-meat/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Ordering steak

Beginner If you’re ordering steak, then you’ll need to indicate how you want it cooked, as well as what side dishes you would like to order. Here’s a complete guide to ordering meat and potatoes (and perhaps even a green salad) while in China:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/03/21/ordering-steaks-china/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Dating ≠ learning

Beginner Want to improve your Chinese? Maybe you can/should date someone for whom Chinese is their native language. Or maybe not, as this post explains:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/03/24/why-a-chinese-girlfriend-or-boyfriend-will-not-improve-your-mandarin-level/

Peacocks and princesses

Intermediate A short story about a princess:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2792-2017-03-26-05-19-07

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Terracotta army

Advanced One of the most famous things to see in Xi’an in the “terracotta army,” an enormous set of soldier-shaped statues. Here is a story about them:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2788-2017-03-22-05-26-40

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Unprecedented

Intermediate You’ve never seen anything like it before? Fine; how can you express that in Chinese?

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/03/24/listen-66/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Spring equinox

Beginner Spring has arrived, and with it the equinox. Here are some Chinese words and phrases for this period, and activities we can do now:

http://teresarainsegna.blogspot.co.il/2017/03/equinozio-di-primavera-spring-equinox.html

Variant spellings

Advanced Some words can be written with different “spellings” — meaning, they can use different characters. How do we describe this, and what are some examples of this phenomenon?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23153/how-to-express-words-variants-in-chinese

After Chinese Breeze

Intermediate Chinese Breeze is a well-known series of reaeders for people learning Chinese. What should you read when you’re done with that series, or when it no longer suits you?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/60jt5d/reading_material_after_chinese_breeze/

Measure words

Advanced Which mirror word (classifier) should be used with small things?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E9%87%8F%E8%AF%8D%EF%BC%9A%E9%A2%97-%E7%B2%92.1633789/

The trailing 吃的

Advanced A question about a trailing 的 leads to a discussion about adjectives, nouns, and when you can leave out words:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23193/meaning-of-%E7%9A%84-in-%E6%88%91%E4%B9%B0%E4%BA%86%E4%B8%80%E4%BA%9B%E5%90%83%E7%9A%84

了 (le) and future actions

Advanced Can we use 了 to indicate a change of status for future actions? Sometimes; this discussion makes the point clearer:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23175/why-cant-%E4%BA%86-be-used-to-indicate-a-completed-action-that-has-yet-to-come

Different types of registering

Intermediate The word “register” in English has several translations into Chinese, depending on the context:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23138/what-are-the-differences-between-%E6%8A%A5%E5%90%8D-%E7%99%BB%E8%AE%B0-%E6%8C%82%E5%8F%B7

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

Image

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