Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #116, 2017-April-3

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #116, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Blackbeard the Pirate

Intermediate All about Blackbeard, the famous pirate — in Chinese:

Robin Hood

Advanced Have you ever heard of Robin Hood? Of course you have. But have you ever read about him in Chinese? Here’s your chance to be introduced to the legendary figure:

Chinese weapons

Beginner China has a long history of warfare. Here is an introduction to many of the weapons that were invented over the years, along with their Chinese names:

LINE-based scam

Advanced If you use LINE (a smartphone app), then you might be targeted in a scam that’s making the rounds in Taiwan. That’s useful to know, but a linguistic analysis of what the scammers are writing is great for students of Chinese:

Visiting 天津 (tiān jīn)

Beginner The city of 天津 has a great deal of history of sights to see. Here is a short introduction to the city and what it has to offer:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Left box radical words

Intermediate The radical 匚 (fāng), known as 左方框 (zuǒ fāng kuāng), is used in many different characters. Here is a list:

Twitter: @DecodeChinese


Intermediate Do you have friends? I sure hope so! Here are some traditional Chinese expressions having to do with friends:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Animated Chinese movies

Intermediate Cartoons are fun to watch — and when you can improve your Chinese when watching, all the better! Here are some recommended animated movies from China:

Twitter: @FluentU

Reading challenge

Hacking Chinese has another challenge, and this time it’s all about reading. Read as much Chinese as you can this month, regardless of your level, and watch your fluency improv:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Apps for kids

Beginner Many children are learning Chinese, so it’s no surprise that there are many apps to help them to learn. Here are some of the most useful apps for children to improve their Chinese reading, writing, and listening:

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Fish and seafood

Beginner Chinese cuisine is full of fish and seafood. Here’s a list of the common dishes you’re likely to encounter when visiting China:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

The White House

Intermediate The White House is one of the most famous buildings in the world. Here is an introduction to it in Chinese:

Baby swallows

Beginner Here’s a short story about helping some baby swallows:

Telling jokes in Chinese

Intermediate I love to tell jokes and funny stories (and my family sometimes even thinks they’re funny). How can you tell jokes in Chinese, or describe the sorts of humor that I enjoy?

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Workplace conversation

Beginner Two people at work discuss how they spend their time, with one of them getting a bit aggressive, in this video from

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Food and restaurants

Beginner Here is a collection of videos from, describing a variety of words having to do with food and restaurants in Chinese:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

April fools!

Beginner The world just celebrated April Fool’s Day, or 愚人节 (yú rén jié) in Chinese. Here is some vocabulary that might come in handy if your Chinese-speaking friends tried to prank you:

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Intro Chinese for travelers

Beginner If you’re totally new to Chinese, and want to learn a bit of the language before traveling, here is a quick introduction that you can use to get up to speed with the basics:

No fooling!

Beginner A short story about going to see a movie on April Fool’s Day:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Separating 朋友 (péng yǒu)

Beginner The word 朋友 is very common, but can we use the characters ouside of that word?

Also published on Medium.

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