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.

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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!

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Components and radicals

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


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?)

Twitter: @carlfordham

How do you…

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

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:

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:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage


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

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:

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:

Twitter: @FluentU


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

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:

Twitter: @DuChinese


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

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma


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

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?

Simple calculations

How can we talk about simple mathematical calculations in Chinese?

Who is a master?

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

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?

Stores and such

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

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:

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:


How do you say “broccoli” in Chinese?

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