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.

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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.

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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

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