Mandarin Weekly #39, 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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Common mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that students of Chinese? And what are some good ways to avoid making those mistakes? In this post by Sara Lynn Hua on (Twitter: @DigMandarin), we learn about some of the basic mistakes that English speakers make, and how we should think in order to avoid and correct them:

Listening challenge

Olle Linge, at Hacking Chinese (Twitter: @HackingChinese), is back with another challenge, this time having to do with listening. How much Chinese can you listen to, and how much can you improve your listening comprehension? The challenge runs through October 31st, and you can learn more about it here:

Radical lists

The word lists based on radicals continue to come from All About Chinese (Twitter: @AllAboutChinese). This time, they list words containing the following radicals:

The Great Wall

Listen to a slow description of the Great Wall from China In Mind (Twitter: @ChinaInMind), with both Chinese characters and English translation to check yourself:

Chinese foodies

Are you a foodie? Great!  But how would you say that in Chinese? Nemon Yu, writing for Touch Chinese (Twitter: @TouchChinese), offers a number of Chinese phrases that express this basic idea:

Visiting Tiananmen Square

If you’re in Beijing, you’ll want to visit one of the most famous squares in the world. Transparent (Twitter: @ChineseLanguage) provides a guide to Tiananmen Square, along with the vocabulary you’ll need when there:

Writing characters

Chris from Fluent in Mandarin (Twitter: @FluentInMandarin) is back with some more videos about Chinese characters, and how to write them. This is followed by a description of how to analyze and write any character:

How was your break?

Returning from a week spent on vacation, such as China just experienced earlier this month? SpeakUpChinese (Twitter: @SpeakUpChinese) offers vocabulary and phrases you can use for this purpose:

Improving your Chinese via TV

Want to improve your Chinese, while being entertained at the same time? Anna Hui Zhong McMillen, writing on the FluentU blog (Twitter: @FluentU), lists a number of TV shows available online that might be worth watching:

Rare Chinese characters

I’m not sure if I’ll ever encounter any of these characters, but Rita Zhang, writing in DigMandarin (Twitter: @DigMandarin), found a number of them, including one with 56 (!) strokes:

Doing and making

Two characters, 做 (zuò) and 幹 (gàn), can both be used to describe “doing” or “making” things. What’s the difference between them, and when should each be used?

Using 所哟的 (suǒ yǒu de)

The term 所哟的 is used to mean “all of” something, but how do you actually use it in writing and speech? A short discussion, including a contrast with 都 (dou):

Eating?  Or eating something?

When, in Chinese, can you use just a verb, and when must you add an object? This discussion sheds some light on the subject, using the verb 吃 (chī ) and the common form of 吃饭 (chī fàn):

Embarrassed to …

How do you say that you’re too embarrassed to do something? A translation question led to a short discussion on the use of how to express embarrassment from an action:

Where are you?

What does the phrase 我这儿 mean? Is it relative to where the person lives, or where they are currently?

Characters with multiple pronunciations

I was rather surprised when my teacher first introduced me to the fact that some characters have more than one sound. It’s clearly not hard enough to learn the characters; now I have to remember the circumstances in which they’re pronounced different ways!
The question of how many such characters exist led to this discussion:

Wake me up!

How do you describe waking up? Chinese has several phrases for this idea:

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