Mandarin Weekly #54

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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Tone myths

You’ve heard that tones are important. But not everything you hear about tones is true:

Living-room vocabulary

This posting shows a living room full of objects… and they’re all labeled In Chinese, along witih sample sentences that can give you a better idea of how to use each term:

Picking up

The term “pick up” means different things in English. In this article, we learn about the differnet ways to use “pick up” in Chinese:

Twitter: @DigMandarin


Can’t do something? ChinesePod will tell you how to describe that in Chinese, asking for permission to do it:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

The winner is…

Want to improve your Chinese? Want to watch more television? You can do both at the same time, by watching the Chinese game shows:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Farm vocabulary

Even if you only spend time in Chinese cities, you’ll likely need or want to use some agricultural terms. In this article from DigMandarin, we get a list of useful farm-related vocabulary:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Speaking with grandparents

Want to improve your Chinese, and appreciation of Chinese culture? Consider speaking with, watching, or participating with Chinese grandparents, who take part in a variety of activities. This article introduces some useful vocabulary, and describes some of the activities you can expect to see:

Twitter: @SpeakUpChinese

More character bites

Chris is back with “Chinese character bites” — this time, with 之 (zhī) and 过 (guò):

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Poetry lesson

LearnChineseNow teaches a classical Chinese poem, Ascending Stork Tower:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Breakfast food

What sorts of foods do people eat in China? This blog post describes some of them, with appropriate vocabulary (and even a quiz):

Twitter: @ECLSchool


Want to order food in a Chinese restaurant? Here are some sentences and vocabulary you’ll need in order to succeed, ensuring that your food will contain the appropriate level of spiciciness:

Twitter: @DuChinese

Yes, yes

One of the first things you learn when studying Chinese is that there isn’t a single word for “yes.” Why is this the case? And when do you use each version of “yes”?


Listen to this song, presented along with the words, Pinyin, and English translation:


What are some common animals in Chinese? DigMandarin has provided us with a list:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Making a long-term plan

You can’t learn Chinese quickly; you’ll need a long-term plan. In this posting from FluentU,we learn what you can and should do to create such a plan, and what aspects are less likely to be useful:

Twitter: @FluentU

It’s late out

What’s the difference between the characters 夜(yè) and 晚 (wǎn)? Both mean “night,” more or less, but can they be used interchangeably?

Using and pronouncing 着

What does the 着 character sound like, and what is its function?

Measure word for a pizza

Does pizza use 个 or 张? An interesting debate and discussion about measure words:

I’m so sorry

How do you indicate you’re sorry in Chinese?

Chinese continents

How do you say the names of the continents in Chinese? And are they classified the same in Chinese and in English?


If you make a mistake in Chinese, what do you say? “Oops” is a good term in English, but does it translate?


How can you describe being online, or watching an online video?

The strangest character

What’s the strangest Chinese character? It’s not a competition, but there are a lot of options to choose from:

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