Mandarin Weekly #51

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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Tones are not optional

You know, tones are those things that you kinda sorta remember to tack on when you’re speaking Chinese, right? Well, they shouldn’t be; they are as important to the correct pronunciation, and thus to people understanding you, as vowels, Olle Linge argues in this posting:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Tone changes

Now that you’ve learned (or been reminded) that tones aren’t optional, enjoy this video from LearnChineseNow, which not only introduces the tones, but how they interact with one another:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

The mouth radical

Noticing the mouth radical in many characters can help to provide its meaning. Oksana from DigMandarin provides some examples and explanations:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

English phrases in Chinese

Chinese isn’t known for bringing in many words and phrases from English, but there are some. In this article, we learn about some such phrases and their possible origins:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Improve your Chinese, with Netflix!

Want to improve your Chinese? This article provides instructions for how to use Netflix to improve your Chinese, along with some suggested Chinese movees:

Twitter: @FluentU

No wonder!

SpeakUpChinese describes how you can say “no wonder!” in Chinese, in two different forms:

Twitter: @SpeakUpChinese

Set your goals for 2016

Planning to improve your Chinese in 2016? (If not, then why are you reading this?!?) You should try to set some goals for the year, and then for each month, as described by Hollie from Written Chinese:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Happy New Year!

Happy 2016! It might be a smidgen late, but here are phrases having to do with the new year, both in general and how it’s celebrated in China:

Twitter: @learnchinese88

New Year blessings

Here are some more phrases for the start of 2016, emphasizing the blessings and best wishes you can give to people in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

The Little Mermaid

The classic children’s story, in Chinese (spoken, with characters and pinyin) to help you improve your listening:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Body parts

Here are some basic body parts that you should probably know in Chinese, along with the characters and some basic explanations for why they (might) look like they do:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Another one

When should you use 另外 (lìng wài), and when should you use 另 (lìng)? The distinction is made clear in this article from DigMandarin:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Are new characters created?

If Chinese needs a new word, is a new character created for it? Or are existing characters combined to form that new word? Or both? A short, but interesting, discussion:

Correct tone for 为 (wei)

Is it 2nd tone, or 4th? The answer is that it’s both, with different meanings:

Who decides on the sounds of characters?

Who decides on such things? The answers here are complex, but interesting:

The school bus is coming

What verb ending is appropriate to translate this idea into Chinese? The discussion here is good for anyone who is confused between 过 (guò) and 着 (zhe).

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