Mandarin Weekly #76

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #76, with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Location and direction in Chinese

How can you describe the relative location of things, or in which direction you should move? The answers are related, and are answered in this excellent guide to directional words:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Simplified vs. traditional

Ever wonder what the difference is between simplified and traditional characters? This video, from, should make it more obvious, and help you decide which version to use:

Twitter: @chinese4us

It just happened

Want to say that something just happened? You can say either 刚刚 (gāng gāng) or 刚才(gāng cái). But are they really the same? Once again, it’s a video from to the rescue:

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly


Is your friend (or colleague) saying something that’s complete nonsense? ChinesePod has just the chengyu (four-character saying) to put them in their place:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Beating the AP test

If you’re an American high school student, then you might be taking the Chinese Advanced Placement (AP) test. Here are some useful tips for doing well on the test:

Twitter: @FluentU

Buying fruit

Want to buy some fruit in China? How would you weigh it? How would you ask how much it costs? In this video, teaches us these words?

Twitter: @Chelseabubbly


If you’re following the current football (soccer) games, then you are probably interested in knowing how to talk about them in Chinese. Have no fear; this article will give you everything you need to know:

Twitter: @DuChinese

Funny words

Some words are totally normal in Chinese, but weird in English. Here are a few such words that you can (and should) incorporate into your Chinese vocabulary:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Graduation words

How do the Chinese celebrate graduating from university? What words come in handy at this time of year?

Twitter: @ninchanese


Everyone is talking about the Brexit vote, and so why not LearnChineseNow as well? In this episode, we learn some Brexit-related vocabulary:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

The 贝 (Bèi) radical

This radical is used in many different characters, often having to do with money or wealth:

Read more books!

A short Chinese story, with characters, Pinyin, and audio, about reading books

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

What’s the deal?

Want to ask your friends why something is so special? Here’s a phrase that can come in handy:

How hot is it?

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, which means that it’s getting to be quite hot for some of us. How do you discuss temperature in Chinese? LearnChineseNow has a short video on the subject:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

It doesn’t matter

A beautiful song (with video, characters, and pinyin) that you can use to improve your comprehension:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Body parts

In the latest video from, you can learn some basic body parts — head, shoulders, knees, and toes:

Twitter: @ChineseWithEmma

When 把 is forbidden

Using the 把 (bǎ) particle can be confusing. In which sentences is it OK, and (more importantly) where can we not use it?

13 o’clock

Want to call someone stupid? Here’s a great term for it: 十三点 (shí sān diǎn), or a “13 o’clock”:

Almost got it!

Playing a game, and almost made the shot? How can you say that you almost got it in Chinese?

My Chinese is worse than yours

Comparisons can be tricky in Chinese; how can you compare your Chinese with someone else’s?

Is pork the default meat?

If you use the word 肉 (ròu) for meat, does it imply pork?

You said it right

Should you use 的 or 得? A discussion of an important and confusing topic when trying to modify verbs:

Describing your job

What word do you use for “work” or “occupation” in Chinese, and when should you choose each one?

Six-packs of water

How would you describe a package of water bottles, or two such packages?


How do you describe different ages in Chinese? It’s a bit more subtle and varied than you might think:

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