Mandarin Weekly #64

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!


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

Tomb-Sweeping Day

Some background on Tomb Sweeping Day, which takes place today in China:


Particles are characters that change the meaning of a sentence. This week, we learn about a few simple particles that can affect the timing of actions described:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Dictionary errors

Chinese-English dictionaries often contain mistakes that can point to interesting facets of both Chinese and English:

Twitter: @carlfordham

Bad wedding gifts

Are your friends getting married? Terrific! But if they’re Chinese, then some gifts are probably bad ideas?

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Saying “thank you”

How do you say “thank you” in Chinese? Here are a number of expressions you can use, which mean “thank you” in different ways:

Saying “goodbye”

What are some ways to say “goodbye” in Mandarin?

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

New wedding terms

How do you describe modern Chinese marriage arrangements in Chinese? This list should give you some linguistic and cultural insights:

Twitter: @DigMandarin


China is famous for its depiction of dragons. But for mythical creatures, dragons have a fairly complex set of names, behaviors, and relationships! In this article, we learn about those dragons, and the ways in which we can discuss them in Chinese:

Blind date

How do you prepare for a blind date in Chinese? Here are some good questions (and answers) to think about in advance:


Now that spring has arrived, here is a list of spring-related vocabulary to spice up your conversations:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Tricky words

Having trouble pronouncing some words? Here is a guide, with some example words that are tough even for natives:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Discussing allergies

A short dialog (with characters, pinyin, and translation) about allergies in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChineseToLearn

Sick of it

How can you use 讨厌 (tǎo yàn) in conversation to indicate you’re sick and tired of something?

Fortune cookies

Why are fortune cookies not to be found in China? Watch this video from LearnChineseNow, and find out why (or at least put a smile on your face):

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Things to burn

On Tomb Sweeping Day, it’s traditional to burn all sorts of things. What can you burn? Here’s a list, along with prices, for those who really want to give their deceased ancestors the best possible afterlife:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Working in a Chinese office

What’s it like to work in a Chinese office? What sorts of Chinese terms must you learn to say? Here is an amusing article describing some of the pressures, expectations, and vocabulary for someone working there:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

WeChat vocabulary

How do you use WeChat (微信)? And how do you talk about it with your friends,using Chinese? This article will teach you both:

Twitter: @DuChinese


Do you have allergies?

Twitter: @ChineseToLearn

How long does it take?

How long does it really take to learn Mandarin? The answser, of course, depends on how you define “learn”:

Pronouncing radicals

Should you learn to pronounce the radicals? Should you be learning radicals? Here is a long description of what you can and can’t expect from learning such things?

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Visiting the dentist

Can you reschedule a dentist appointment in Chinese? This video, from, can help you to find out:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Transliteration rules

How can (should) you transliterate foreign names into Chinese?

Introducing yourself

How do you introduce yourself in Chinese? BedroomChinese provides an introduction, using a stuffed animal:

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Spoken vs. written

What are the differences between spoken and written Mandarin?

可 vs. 可以

可 (kě) and 可以 (kě yǐ) can mean the similar things. When should you use the one-character version, and when should you use the two-character word?

Uninvited guests

What does the term 不请自来 (bù qǐng zì lái) mean, and how is it used?

Leave a Reply

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