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.

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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/

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