Mandarin Weekly #47

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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It’s cold outside!

Is it getting cold where you live? If so, then warm up with this list of cold-weather vocabulary in Chinese:

Twitter: @FluentU

Table for how many?

If you go to a restaurant in China, the waiter might well ask you, “几位” (jǐ wèi). How do you respond? A short, but crucial, question to know how to answer:

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Using 点

The word 点 has a huge number of uses, from “dot” to lighting. In this post at DigMandarin, we can learn 10 different uses for this character:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Tone training course

Want to improve your tone listening skills? Olle from Hacking Chinese has announced a “tone training course”:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Songs to learn Mandarin

It seems that everyone is now finding songs in Chinese that’ll help students improve their reading, vocabulary, and listening. This list from the Chairman’s Bao newspaper provides a good starting point if you haven’t yet listened to Chinese music:

Twitter: @TheChairmansBao

Another song to learn Mandarin

Chris from Fluent in Mandarin recommends this song, The Ordinary Road(平凡之路 píng fán zhī lù):

Twitter: @FluentInMandarin

Yet another song

This song, by Jackie Cheung, is also a famous and favorite one, recommended here by Chinese at Ease:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Isaac Newton, in Chinese

Isaac Newton was a world-famous scientist, as you probably know. This simple story in Chinese, read out loud and with both Chinese characters and pinyin, will tell you more, as well as improve your listening ability and vocabulary.

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Words with 心 (xīn)

The 心 character means “heart,” and is used in many words having to do with emotion or thought. In this post, Decode Mandarin Chinese lists several such words:

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Chinese character bites

Chris from Fluent in Mandarin has a few more of his “character bites” segments this week, talking about 也, 道, 出, and 地:

Twitter: @FluentInMandarin

Reading menus

Going to China soon? You should learn the basic vocabulary that you’ll see on a menu, so that you have a chance of understanding what you’re ordering:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Third wheel

Is someone interrupting your date, acting as a “third wheel”? This amusing video clip from Learn Chinese Now introduces the Chinese equivalent of a third wheel, namely a “light bulb,” or 电灯泡(diàn dēng pào):

Just a moment

How do you say “Wait a moment” in Chinese?

Traditional or simplified characters?

Learning Chinese? Then you’re likely learning one of the two character sets, simplified or traditional. What are the relative advantages of each?

Where does one word end, and another begin?

In English and many other languages, It’s obvious where one word ends, and another begins. But in Chinese, each character can stand on its own or be part of a larger word. How can you figure out where these breaks occur, using a computer program or other automated system?

Different kinds of “style”

A question about how to translate the English word “style” into Chinese turned into a description of not only different meanings for the word “style,” but also a reminder that where one language uses a single word, another language might have two or three:

Hard grammar

What parts of Chinese grammar do you find difficult to remember?

Preschool characters

How many Chinese characters can native Chinese children read before they start school?

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