Mandarin Weekly #72

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 MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly, or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly. Please retweet and share our weekly postings, so that everyone can benefit from them!

Giveaway update

The most recent giveaway (for a year of ChinesePod premium) is over, and the winner will be contacted later today. Thanks to all of you who participated! We have several other giveaways in the works; if you know of a good product, service, or school that can help with learning Chinese that you think will benefit students, let us know; we can include them in future giveaways.

How many characters?

When you first start to learn Chinese, you assume that you need to know a certain number of characters to be able to read. But it’s not quite that simple, as described here:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/05/24/how-many-chinese-characters-do-i-need-to-learn/

Aha!

Want to spice up your speaking a bit? Here are some useful interjections and phrases you can use to make your speech more natural:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/05/24/chinese-interjections/

Twitter: @FluentU

Reading practice

Where can you go for good reading practice in Chinese — with good material at an appropriate level? Here are some excellent suggestions, both online and in print:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/beginner-chinese-reading/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Free dictionaries

You’ll undoubtedly want (need) a dictionary to help with studying Chinese. Which free dictionaries are best, and how do you use them?

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/05/26/best-free-chinese-dictionaries/

Verb tenses in Chinese

It’s true that you don’t conjugate verbs in Chinese, but that doesn’t mean there are no verb tenses. Here is how to express yourself in terms of past, present, and future actions:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/past-present-future-tenses-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Are characters a nuisance?

Learning characters is hard, but is it so difficult that we should give up on them? How hard are characters, anyway? And how do they compare with alphabetic systems?

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=25776

Telling secrets

How do you tell secrets in Chinese? Here’s a video from ChinesePod to explain the chengyu (four-character phrase) to talk about keeping things quiet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLcqWa87oz8

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Saying “yes”

How can you say “yes” in Chinese? The language doesn’t have a direct equivalent to “yes,” but there are a few options for answering positively:

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/05/say-yes-in-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Attending a wedding

If you attend a wedding in China, what should you do? How should you act? And how do you describe the wedding in Chinese?

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Chinese-Wedding-Great-Guest-etiquette

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Types of music

What kind of music do you like? If you want to describe it to your friends in Chinese, here is a handy list of genres and their Chinese names:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/music-genres-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Visiting Beijing

Have you been to Beijing? If so, what places did you see? Here is a list, along with their Chinese names, to whet your appetite if you haven’t been there yet:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/top-beijing-attractions/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

I want it!

How strongly do you want something? In Chinese, you use different words to express it, as seen here in BedroomChinese.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sEZK2O3L4

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Shanghai Disneyland

What can you do at Shanghai Disneyland? Here are some useful terms to describe the attractions, as well as to get around when you’re there:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/30-speak-chinese-at-shanghai-disneyland

Twitter: @DuChinese

Powerful friends

LearnChineseNow introduces the phrase 狐假虎威 (hú jiǎ hǔ wēi), which describes using powerful connections to get what you need:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocOU2kCnSc4

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Know your particles

Chinese uses many particles at the end of a sentence. When do you use them?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/18088/how-to-distinguish-between-%e5%90%a7-and-%e5%98%9b-%e7%bd%a2-and-%e5%98%9b

Writing ǚ

It’s hard enough for many of us to pronounce the ǚ sound; how do we write it — with both the umlaut and the tone mark — in Pinyin?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/18083/how-to-write-characters-containing-the-%c7%9a-pinyin-symbol-in-most-common-chinese-in

Good job!

What words can (and should) you use to compliment someone in Chinese?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4kzw6n/%E5%A4%B8%E5%A5%96%E8%A1%A8%E6%89%AC%E7%A7%B0%E8%B5%9E_all_are_defined_as_to_praise_to_compliment/

Mandarin Weekly #71

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 MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly

Sorry that this week’s issue is a bit late; I just arrived for a four-day trip in Beijing, and didn’t have a chance to prepare Mandarin Weekly before leaving home. The good news is that, as on every trip, I’m finding it easier to speak, read, and understand others. It’s a great feeling, and keeps me motivated to learn more! I definitely encourage you all to try your Chinese whenever possible; even if it’s at a very rudimentary level, the feedback, along with the feelings of accomplishment, are very much worthwhile.

Current giveaway: One free year of ChinesePod

Want to improve your vocabulary? Your grammar? Your pronunciation? And want to do it while you’re commuting to work, at lunch, or on the treadmill? ChinesePod is a great place to start; they’ve been producing Chinese lessons for many years, and continue to produce high-quality introductions to Chinese for all levels.

Our latest giveaway is for one full year of ChinesePod premium, valued at $249! One winner will get a full year’s subscription to ChinesePod’s audio and video tools, appropriate for everyone learning Chinese — whether you’re a complete newbie, or an advanced learner looking to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Enter here: http://mandarinweekly.com/giveaways/win-one-free-year-of-chinesepod-premium-a-249-value/

As with all of our giveaways, entering is completely free of charge — and for every friend you get to sign up, you gain another three chances to win! So if five of your friends enter the giveaway, you have a total of 16 chances to win. So don’t delay; enter the giveaway, and tell your friends about it, too!

Using 把

One of the trickiest parts of Chinese grammar for many Westerners is the use of 把 (ba). This article should make the usage clearer to you:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/hows-whys-chinese-ba-particle/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Learning to use 了

How to use 了(le) is one of the biggest questions people have in Chinese. In this video, BedroomChinese.com offers an explanation (or two):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=EEBcCN10RT4

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Reduplicated verbs

It’s common to repeat a verb in Chinese (known as “reduplicated verbs”) to soften its meaning a bit. Here are some common mistakes that people make make when using using the same verb twice:

http://howtospeakonline.com/chinese/chinese-grammar-11-patterns-of-reduplication-of-verbs-and-common-mistakes.html

Chinese blogs to read

You can learn a lot by reading (and making mistakes when reading) Chinese-language blogs. Here are some good ones to look at, often having to do with a topic that’s not “Chinese language” — so you can learn about a topic that’s of interest to you, and practice your Chinese at the same time:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/05/18/blogs-in-chinese/

Twitter: @FluentU

Color chart

Sure, we can memorize lists of colors in Chinese — but here’s a handy chart with the colors themselves, plus characters and pinyin:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/144569165803/allaboutchinese-%E9%A2%9C%E8%89%B2-color

Choosing a seat

Flying in China, and want to choose a seat? This short video dialog from ChineseClass101.com will help you to understand how to converse about this common (for travelers, at least) topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnEGqsklArw

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Vegetarian eating

If you’re a vegetarian, or just want to eat vegetarian food, then this short guide should help you?

http://nihaohello.blogspot.com/2016/05/vegan-and-vegetarian-phrases-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @NihaoHello

What’s your job?

One of the first things many people learn to say in a language class is what they do for a living. This chart contains a very large (nearly 300!) list of occupations. Find yours, and tell people what you do, in Chinese:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/292-types-of-occupations-in-english-and-chinese

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Chinese astronomy

Can you describe the planets using Chinese? This list will help you to do just that. (Of course, if you’re in a Chinese city, just try to see them at night…)

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-astronomy-lesson/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

One (successful) student’s story

How did Olle (of Hacking Chinese fame) learn Chinese? It was a long process, and he presents the fourth part here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/i-learnt-chinese-part-4%ef%bc%9a-second-year-taiwan/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Buying a dress

If you want to buy a dress in Chinese, here’s an exchange (with some good vocabulary) to help you through that experience:

http://www.chinesehskblog.com/2016/05/conversation-shopping-advance.html

What should non-beginners study? And how?

If you’re new to Chinese, then it’s obvious what you should be studying — vocabulary, grammar, patterns, and characters, among other things. But once you’re past those, what should you study? An interesting discussion:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4jptg9/what_is_your_approach_to_studying_chinese_after/

Making comparisons

Making comparisons in Chinese can be difficult or surprising for many newcomers. Here is a discussion about the different meanings of various patterns:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/18013/question-about-use-of-%e4%b8%8d%e6%af%94

Double-edged swords

If you want to use the phrase “double-edged sword,” how would you say it in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/18008/%e5%8f%8c%e5%88%83%e5%89%91-vs-%e4%b8%a4%e9%9d%a2%e5%88%80-which-is-used-more-often

Do you carry this?

If you’re in a shop in China, and want to ask if the shop carries a certain product, how do you say it?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/excuse-me-do-you-carry-__-in-store.3180614/

有 + verb

A grammar pattern that’s common in Taiwan is making some inroads into mainland China. What does it mean, and how acceptable is it?

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E6%9C%89-verb.3182819/

把 and 给

When using 把 and 给 in Chinese, how much flexibiility do you have in the word order?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4jy30o/i_cant_seem_to_understand_how_to_use_%E6%8A%8A_and_%E7%BB%99/

Tickle, tickle!

The word 痒 (yǎng) means both itch and tickle in Chinese. How can this be, and how can we distinguish among them in our speech?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4kfjky/why_does_one_word_%E7%99%A2y%C7%8Eng_mean_both_itch_and_tickle/

No, you may not!

The word 不能 () means “you cannot,” or “you aren’t allowed to do that,” but under what circumstances can it be used?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4jhpa3/%E8%83%BD_when_it_doesnt_mean_able_to/

Learning traditional characters

How easy or hard is it to learn traditional characters, if you’ve been learning simplified?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4kjfrs/tips_for_picking_up_traditional_characters_when/

Sharing

How can you ask someone to share somethinng with you?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/18014/how-do-i-say-share-with-me-in-chinese

Mandarin Weekly #70

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 MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly, or on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly.

New giveaway: One year of ChinesePod

Want to improve your vocabulary?  Your grammar?  Your pronunciation?  And want to do it while you’re commuting to work, at lunch, or on the treadmill?  ChinesePod is a  great place to start; they’ve been producing Chinese lessons for many years, and continue to produce high-quality introductions to Chinese for all levels.

Our latest giveaway is for one full year of ChinesePod premium, valued at $249! One winner will get a full year’s subscription to ChinesePod’s audio and video tools, appropriate for everyone learning Chinese — whether you’re a complete newbie, or an advanced learner looking to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Enter here: http://mandarinweekly.com/giveaways/win-one-free-year-of-chinesepod-premium-a-249-value/

As with all of our giveaways, entering is completely free of charge — and for every friend you get to sign up, you gain another three chances to win! So if five of your friends enter the giveaway, you have a total of 16 chances to win. So don’t delay; enter the giveaway, and tell your friends about it, too!

Winners of our most recent giveaway, for six months of Yoyo Chinese, will be selected and notified later today. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who participated!

Listening and speaking

Do you find that understanding spoken Chinese at native speed can be difficult? Here are some tips for improving your listening comprehension — and along the way, your other abilities in Chinese:

http://mandarin.about.com/od/How-to-learn-Mandarin-Chinese/fl/How-to-learn-to-understand-spoken-Chinese.htm

The different “can”s

There are three different ways to say “can” (or “may”) in Chinese; this video from BedroomChinese.com introduces them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beCC2m2hZtI

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly

Pinyin vs. characters

How many characters do you need to learn? And why is Pinyin not sufficient? In this video, ChineseFor.us addresses this common question, and introduces the basic patterns behind characters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7lx-TRYO4g

Twitter: @chinese4us

Asking questions

How can you ask questions in Chinese? This video introduces some of the basic question words, and how to use them:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/asking-questions-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Chengyu (phrases)

Here are two collections of four-character phrases that can help to make your Chinese more natural:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Chinese-Chengyu-Chinese-Idioms

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

More Chengyu (phrases)

Here are some more chengyu, in this video from ChinesePod:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-efir0aI1Sk

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Feeling the elephant

Have you ever heard the story of the blind men and the elephant? It’s well known in English, but is also the basis for a chengyu (four-character phrase) in Chinese, as demonstrated here by LearnChineseNow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b1Rasu8BUE

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Wanna dance?

A fun Chinese song, with characters, Pinyin, and translation, to which you can can dance and learn new words at the same time:

http://chinesefor.us/new-pants-want-dance-english-translation/

Twitter: @chinese4us

Flattery will get you everywhere

A short introduction to flattering other people in Chinese

http://www.digmandarin.com/flattering-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Go away!

Is someone bothering you? Here are some words and phrases you can use to be left alone:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/when-you-hear-one-of-these-expressions-you-are-really-bothering-or-harassing-others

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Very simple story

Just beginning to learn Chinese, and you want a very simple story? Here’s one to practice with:

http://justlearnchinese.com/chinese-story-for-beginner-hsk-1-2-%e7%94%b5%e8%84%91%e9%87%8c%e7%9a%84%e5%a6%88%e5%a6%88-mom-in-the-computer-1/

Twitter: @graceJLC

Chinese keyboards

While not related to learning Chinese per se, this very interesting article talks about Chinese vs. English on computers, typewriters, and other communication equipment:

http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/chinablog/time-get-qwerty-qa-tom-mullaney-alphabets-chinese-characters-computing/

厉害 and 利害

Both of these words are pronunced the same (lì hài), and have similar meanings — so which should you use, and when?

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/lihai-vs-lihai

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Tree hair

A short story about trees and beautiful hair:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/learn-chinese-online-trees-hair/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Lots of conjunctions

There are so many ways to connect nouns and phrases in Chinese; what’s the difference between them?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17953/%e5%92%8c-%e5%b9%b6-%e4%b8%8e-%e5%8f%8a-%e8%b7%9f-%e8%80%8c-%e5%90%8c-difference

Difference between 还 and 又

What is the difference between 还 (hái) and 又 (yòu)? They both mean a form of “also,” but not the same kind:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17945/difference-between-%e8%bf%98-and-%e5%8f%88

Percent

How can you express a percentage in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17985/translate-percent-in-chinese-%e7%99%be%e5%88%86%e4%b9%8b-or-%e7%99%be%e5%88%86%e6%af%94

Chinese and Cyrillic?

Is there any connection between the Cyrillic character Ш (sha) and the Chinese character 山 (shān)?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17979/is-there-any-relation-between-the-cyrillic-%d0%a8-sha-and-the-chinese-%e5%b1%b1-sh%c4%81n

Sorry to trouble you, but…

The word 麻烦 (má fan) can be used to indicate trouble or a problem. But how can you use it in a sentence?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4itidl/can_someone_show_me_how_to_use_%E9%BA%BB%E7%83%A6_in_a_sentence/

Sleepless

There are several ways to express being unable to sleep. What is the difference between them?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17951/whats-the-difference-between-%e7%9d%a1%e4%b8%8d%e7%9d%80-and-%e6%b2%a1%e7%9d%a1%e7%9d%80

Useful chengyu

What are some useful four-character phrases (chengyu) to learn and incorporate into your speech?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4jb46i/whats_a_useful_%E6%88%90%E8%AF%AD_to_know/

Mandarin Weekly #69

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 MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly, or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly.

Mandarin Weekly Giveaway

You have until Sunday to enter our drawing for six months of free Yoyo Chinese. To enter, go to our giveaway page, and confirm your participation via e-mail. Entering is 100% free of charge, and two winners will be selected on Sunday, May 15th. For each friend you bring to the giveaway, you’ll get 3 more entries — so share this giveaway with your friends!

Again, you can enter by going to the giveaway page, on our Mandarin Weekly Web site.

Components and radicals

We often talk about “components” and “radicals” in Chinese characters. What’s the difference, and how are they used?

http://mandarin.about.com/od/characters/fl/Quiz-The-building-blocks-of-Chinese-characters.htm

Dynasties

Chinese history is always described in terms of dynasties. Which dynasty ruled when, and what did each contribute (positive and negative) to China’s history? (And of course, how would you express these ideas in Chinese?)

http://carlgene.com/blog/2016/05/beginners-guide-to-chinese-history-1-the-periodization-of-ancient-chinese-history/

Twitter: @carlfordham

How do you…

The Chinese phrase for “how do you” do something (怎么) is generic and quite useful:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/05/03/when-you-just-dont-know-the-word/

Want fries with that?

When you’re ordering food (or drinks) at a restaurant using Chinese, you’ll often want to add (or remove) something from your order. Here are some useful phrases for doing so:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/05/03/chinese-expressions-order-add-%e5%92%8c-%e8%bf%98%e6%9c%89/

Chinese desserts

What should you have after a Chinese meal? A Chinese dessert, of course! This posting lists some of the best-known Chinese desserts:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/real-chinese-food-dessert/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Tired?

Are you tired? LearnChineseNow gives us an introduction to two ways to say this in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1yvLljFQ7Y

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Technology and learning Chinese

Last week, we saw how technology can help you to learn Chinese. But it can also hinder your learning, as described here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/technology-can-stop-learning-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Facebook in Chinese

Facebook might not be available in China, but you can still use it to improve your Chinese reading and comprehension:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2016/05/03/learn-chinese-facebook/

Twitter: @FluentU

Compliments

In the West, it’s customary to say “thank you” when you receive a compliment. In China, there are some other ways to respond:

www.fluentinmandarin.com/content/responding-compliments-survival-chinese-bites/

Ordering coffee

When you’re in China, and want a cup of coffee, you might want to go beyond the simple 咖啡. Here is an introduction to ordering coffee, including a large number of ways to prepare it:

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/28-the-complete-guide-to-ordering-coffee-in-chinese

Twitter: @DuChinese

Colors

Here’s a quick video guide to colors in Chinese, from ChineseWithEmma:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt3ukTCs9i8

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma

Finally!

There are two different meanings for “finally” in Chinese. How are they different?

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/zuihou-vs-zhongyu

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Using 有 in adjectives

Many adjectives in Chinese use the two-character form of 有-something. When is this appropriate, and what such words exist?

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/51517-%E6%9C%89-as-a-modifier/

Simple calculations

How can we talk about simple mathematical calculations in Chinese?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17861/how-to-ask-a-simple-maths-arithmetic-question

Who is a master?

The term 师傅 (shī fu) can be used when addressing many types of people. But which types?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17853/what-professions-can-be-called-%e5%b8%88%e5%82%85

Making decisions

Two words (决定 and 决策, jué dìng and jué cè), have to do with decision making. But are they the same?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17859/difference-between-%e5%86%b3%e7%ad%96-and-%e5%86%b3%e5%ae%9a

Stores and such

The characters 店 (diàn) and 馆 (guǎn) are used in similar ways:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4hutx2/whats_the_difference_between_%E5%BA%97_and_%E9%A6%86/

Chinese book club

Want to read Chinese books, and discuss them with others learning the language? Here is a new group that should help you with this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/chinesebookclub/comments/4i244r/the_may_book_is_%E8%A7%A3%E5%AF%86_by_%E9%BA%A6%E5%AE%B6/

Similar or not?

Are there any similarities between 就 (jiù) and 而 (ér), in how they are used? It would seem not, and understanding the differences can be important:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17922/similarities-between-connectives-%e5%b0%b1-and-%e8%80%8c

Broccoli

How do you say “broccoli” in Chinese?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4htc0a/how_do_you_say_broccoli/

Mandarin Weekly #68

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 MandarinWeekly.com. Or follow us on Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly!

Sorry for the delay in getting this issue out, but I needed to put the finishing touches on our second giveaway! (Our first one ended yesterday; the three winners will soon receive their coupon codes for Hanping Soundbox.)

Our current giveaway is for six months of Yoyo Chinese, a $99 value! Two lucky winners will be drawn on May 15th. Enter by going to the giveaway page. You get one chance to win just by entering, and three additional chances to win for every friend you refer to the giveaway. The more friends you tell, the greater your chances for receiving six months of free online Chinese instruction!

We’re also on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly. Please retweet and share our weekly postings, so that everyone can benefit from them!

Using 把 (bǎ)

A frequently confused point of Chinese grammar is the use of 把 (bǎ). Here is a short explanation of how and when to use it:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/04/27/chinese-particles-ba/

Unsinkable friendship

A joke from the “Friends” sitcom has gone viral in China. How can we talk about friendship, boats, and related jokes in Chinese?

http://www.duchinese.net/blog/27-the-boat-of-friendship

Twitter: @DuChinese

Hello hello

How do you say “hello” in Chinese? Yes, of course you can say 你好, but here are some more colloquial and interesting ways to greet people:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/04/26/say-hello-in-chinese/

https://chinesepod.com/blog/how-to-say-hello-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Bye bye

And of course, there are lots of ways to say “goodbye” in Chinese, as well. Here are some common words and phrases:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/say-goodbye-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Types of homes

In what kind of house do you live? And what rooms does your house contain? Here is an introduction to the types of homesand rooms people typically have in China:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-house-and-home-vocabulary/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

The two 弹 s

You can pronounce 弹 as either dàn or tán. They have different meanings, though. This chart describes each meaning with some words using each pronunciation:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/learn-better/dan-or-tan

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Wait a moment

How can you ask someone to wait a moment? You won’t be surprised to hear that Chinese has several methods, described in this video:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/video-lesson-wait-a-moment

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Celebrity nicknames

Celebrities have names, and often have nicknames. But in Chinese, some of these nicknames can be a bit … unusual. In this post, we learn the Chinese nicknames for some global entertainment celebrities:

https://ninchanese.com/blog/2016/04/29/chinese-nicknames/

Breakfast in China

China has some great breakfast food. Here are some examples of what you can get for breakfast there, along with the words you’ll need to describe (and order) it:

http://www.thechairmansbao.com/5-of-the-best-chinese-breakfasts/

Twitter: @TheChairmansBao

Real Chinese food

What do people eat in China? Chinese food, of course — but it doesn’t really resemble what you’ve probably seen in Chinese restaurants in the West. Here are some examples of real Chinese food:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2016/04/27/mean-real-chinese-food/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Are you kidding?

A short description of how to say “are you kidding me?” in Chinese:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2016/04/25/you-speak-chinese-no-way/

Keep going!

How can we encourage someone in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases that will give someone a necessary emotional boost:

http://mandarinhq.com/2016/04/7-ways-to-encourage-someone-in-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Growing grapes (a story)

A short story in Chinese (read out loud, with characters and Pinyin) about growing grapes — appropriate, now that the summer is approaching, and they’re in season!

http://chinese-at-ease.com/learn-chinese-online-growing-grapes/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Yes/no questions

There are several ways to ask (and answer) yes/no questions in Chinese:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/yes-no-questions-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Words with 包

The word 包 (bāo) means “package” or “pack,” and can be used in a wide variety of words:

http://www.touchchinese.com/chinese-words/about-bao.html

All about Chengdu

I’ll probably be traveling (for work) to Chengdu in August, so I was particularly happy to find this introduction to the city, with a large list of places to go and things to do there:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/backpacking-in-sichuan-province/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Dancing rabbit

A cute children’s song about a dancing white rabbit, with characters and Pinyin:

http://www.chinesetolearn.com/chinese-childrens-song-%e5%b0%8f%e7%99%bd%e5%85%94%e6%84%9b%e8%b7%b3%e8%88%9e-xiao-bai-tu-ai-tiaowu-little-white-rabbit-loves-dancing-lyrics-pinyin-english-translation/

Twitter: @ChineseToLearn

Saying “app”

How do you say “app” in Chinese? There is a Chinese answer, but there’s also a colloquial one that should be easy for English speakers to remember, as we hear from CrazyFreshChinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvWJQLV8ack

Improving your pronunciation

Pronunciation is tough for foreigners learning Chinese. Here is a collection of tips that will make you sound more natural, and even more understandable:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-pronunciation-guide.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Learning to read characters

If you want to learn Chinese characters, it might seem like a daunting (or even impossible) task. How can you start? What are some useful hints to keep in mind?

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-characters-how-get-started.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

No need for embarrassment

The folks at ChinesePod tackle the vocabulary needed when you get tested for STDs in Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UFxBmicBc4

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Learning with technology

How can technology help you to learn Chinese better and faster? In lots of ways, as explained here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/technology-makes-learning-chinese-easier/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Horse crossing

A short story in simple Chinese about a horse and a river, with characters, translation, and high-quality grammatical hints:

http://chinesereadingpractice.com/2016/05/01/little-horse-crosses-the-river/

Twitter: @KendraSchaefer

Overseas

How can you say “abroad” or “overseas,” and are these the same thing?

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4gfsbj/difference_between_%E5%9B%BD%E5%A4%96_and_%E6%B5%B7%E5%A4%96/

What does that mean?

Want to use Chinese to ask your teacher how to say something? This discussion has some good phrases and tips:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChineseLanguage/comments/4g9he8/how_to_ask_for_the_meaning_of_a_word_in_chinese/

Uncle driver!

In Chinese, we often use “Aunt” or “Uncle” to refer to certain professions. When is it appropriate (or not) to do so?

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17836/what-professions-can-be-uncle-aunty-ized

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