Mandarin Digest #49

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Improve your Chinese with Decipher Chinese and The Chairman’s Bao

In this posting on About Mandarin, Olle Linge describes two resources for improving your Chinese — The Chairman’s Bao and Decipher Chinese:

Another review of The Chairman’s Bao

It would seem to be review season in the Chinese world, with Chinese Musings also chiming in with a (very positive) review of The Chairman’s Bao:

Winter activities in China

In the winter, where can you go and what can you do? This article from ChinesePod describes (with charactres and pinyin) some of the uniquely winter activities you can enjoy:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Winter activities vocabulary list

Once you have read the above liste of activities you can do in winter, read through this fuller list (with fewer explanations) of other winter activities and clothing:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Topic-first sentences

Topic-first sentences are a standard structure in Chinese, and one that’s worth getting used to, as described by Julie on the Yoyo Chinese blog:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Four useful measure words

You can just use 个 (ge) for everything, but try to make your measure words more accurate, for a variety of reasons. This article introduces four that are especially useful:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Do you really need measure words?

This article asks if (and why) we even need measure words, and introduces some slangy combinations for two and three:

Identifying radicals for easier reading

If there’s one topic in reading Chinese that we discuss non-stop, it’s the importance of identifying radicals. In this post from DigMandarin, we see a few characters with and without the speech 讠(yán) radical, which means a character has to do with speaking:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

The 25 most important nouns

What nouns should you learn first? This list, from, is a good starting point:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Star Wars quotes (in Chinese)

Lots of Chinese-related sites have been running Star Wars vocabulary over the last week. In this post, Learn Every Day Chinese provides us with translations of some of the most famous quotes from Star Wars:

Twitter: @learnchinese88

Using 就 (jiù)

Chris from Fluent in Mandarin provides another “character bite” — this time with 就, a character with many meanings and uses:

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Hacking Chinese: The book and course

Olle Linge, famous to many Chinese learners for his “Hacking Chinese” blog (among others), has released a book and video course aimed at people who want to improve their Chinese, but even more so want to get better tools for improving their Chinese:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Oh, my goodness!

How can you express that in Chinese? How about “Oh, my mother!” An introduction to this phrase, with many examples:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Moving between simplified and traditional characters

It’s often said that you can always move from one character set to another, but how true is that, and what limitations might there be?

Buying a computer

Get some listening practice from, with a short story and question about buying a computer:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Christmas vocabulary in Chinese

China doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, but you can see decorations and hear the songs all over. (I know this, as I’m writing from Beijing right now…) What are some vocabulary and other Christmas-related items in Chinese? FluentU provides a healthy sample:

Twitter: @FluentU

Creating a Chinese font

You think that reading and writing Chinese is hard? How about creating a font that can support all of the characters? This isn’t directly related to learning Chinese, but will probably give you some perspective on how tools to support the language are created:

Superhero names in Chinese

If Star Wars translations aren’t enough, how about this list of superhero names in Chinese, brought to you by Master of Mandarin:

Twitter: @MasterofM2015

Enough to drink?

How can you say (or ask) whether one bottle of wine is enough? A short discussion and clarification of this topic:

Act casual

Can we use 随便 (suí biàn) to mean “casual,” in the sense of dress for a party?

Struggling with tones?

You’re not alone, if you’re having problems hearing and/or remembering and/or saying tones. Some advice and suggestions from other Chinese learners:

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