Mandarin Weekly #38, a curated digest of online resources for students of Mandarin Chinese

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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Making comparisons
You can use either 比 (bǐ) or 没有 (méi yǒu) to make comparisons between two things. When do you use each of these, and in which circumstances? Hollie, writing at Written Chinese (Twitter: @WrittenChinese), provides some examples:
Tones without tone marks
Learning Chinese means learning the tones. These are generally represented inline with diacritical marks or numbers. In this post, Jamie Rufe, writing at DigMandarin (Twitter: @DigMandarin), describes an alternative method that he believes makes the tones easier to learn and understand:
Right and wrong when learning Chinese
In this article, Olle Linge (Twitter: @HackingChinese) describes something that has happened to me several times already: Different native speakers use different terms, and speak differently. There are multiple “correct” ways to say things, and they depend on a lot of factors. An interesting article, and one to keep in mind when making new mistakes:
How do you express fractions in Chinese? NihaoHello (Twitter: @nihaohello) describes the pattern, which is surprisingly straightforward:
Character bites
Chris from Fluent In Mandarin (Twitter: @FluentInMandarin) has started a new series of videos, starting with how to look up characters in a dictionary (a question that many people ask about Chinese), as well as five common characters and their usage:
Emphasis without tones
How do you emphasize things in Chinese, if tones change meaning? A good introduction to this subject from ChinesePod (Twitter: @ChinesePod):
25 useful phrases
Yuting, from (Twitter: @ChineseClass101), introduces 25 basic phrases (often with good humor) that are good to know when you’re learning Chinese:
Hard characters
Some characters are harder than others. But what characters are hardest? Olle Linge (Twitter: @HackingChinese), writing on the Skritter (Twitter: @SkritterHQ) blog, describes some of them:
All languages and cultures have words that we try to avoid, and for which we have alternative, softer words. Chinese is no exception, and in this article from FluentU (Twitter: @FluentU), we get a large number of such terms:
An Arabian folktale in Chinese
A short, intermediate-level story about two friends in the desert, from Chinese at Ease (Twitter: @ChineseAtEase):


是 vs. 是的
You can say either 是 (shì) or 是的 (shì de) to answer a question in the affirmative. What’s the difference between them?
My place
The phrase 在我这儿 (zài wǒ zhè er) commonly means “my house.” Or does it mean, “Where I am now?” A discussion reveals that the answer depends on context:
How can we say “with” in Chinese? This discussion describes a few words with this meaning:
Too old?
When it comes to learning Chinese are you over the hill if you start after the age of 30? The consensus seems to be “no,” and many people chimed in on this discussion:

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