Mandarin Weekly #61

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) Welcome to the latest Mandarin Weekly, with yet more links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly in your e-mail inbox every Monday, just use the subscription box on the left side at Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly!

Help to spread the word, by sharing Mandarin Weekly on Twitter. Tweet about Mandarin Weekly! here!

We’re also on Facebook, at Please retweet and share our weekly postings, so that everyone can benefit from them!

Modal particles

Chinese is full of “particles” — characters that you add to the end of a sentence in order to change the meaning somewhat. This guide describes the particles, how to pronounce them, what they mean, and how to use them:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

And and and

There are different ways to say “and” in Chinese, and knowing how to choose from among them is a sign of your ability with the language. Here’s an explanation, along with many examples:

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Or or or

There are also many ways to say “or” in Chinese, and LearnChineseNow describes them in this video:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

A great deal

Have you found a great deal on something? You might want to express this with the chengyu (four-character expression) 价廉物美 (jià lián wù měi), as described here:

Bow radical characters

The bow radical (as in, bow-and-arrow) is used in many characters. How many do you already know?

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Idioms you already know

Some idioms in English are quite similar to their Chinese counterparts. Here are a few examples that you can sprinkle into your Chinese conversations:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Checking in

You arrive at your hotel in China, and want to check in. Can you do that in Chinese? Here are some sentences that you can use to do so. I’m going to be in Beijing in two weeks, and will definitely see how far I can get before they switch to English — and this article will definitely help!

Twitter: @DuChinese

Seasonal foods

In China, certain foods are eaten at particular times of the year. Here is a list of the foods, and when they’re traditionally eaten:

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Lots and lots

How well do you know the 多(duō) character, and how to use it? This posting will help you out:

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Vocabulary challenge

How many new vocabulary words can you learn in the next few weeks? Join the vocabulary challenge, run by Hacking Chinese, and see:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Snack foods

What are the most popular snacks eaten in China? This list will introduce them, as well as provide the Chinese words for them:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

In my dreams

A catchy song from Qu Wanting, with characters and pinyin (and translation), for learning and singing along (when no one is watching, of course):

Women of China

In honor of International Women’s Day, ChinesePod offers a list of six famous women from Chinese history:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Don’t call me 250!

Did you know that 二百五 (èr bǎi wǔ) is an insult, and means “idiot”? What’s the origin of this term?

Ping pong

The characters for ping pong in Chinese look like a set of paddles. Is this the origin of the word?

Losing someone

The character 丢 (diū) refers to losing something. But if you can’t find your child in the mall, is this the right verb to use?

Should you or shouldn’t you?

If you want to say that someone shouldn’t do something, can you use either 不该 (bù gāi) or 不应 (bù yìng)? Is there any difference?

Sweet potato

How do you say “sweet potato” in Chinese? The answer, of course, depends on where you’re living:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *