Mandarin Weekly #127

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #127, a free newsletter read by more than 19,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

The fifth tone All Pronunciation

We normally talk about four tones in Chinese, but there are actually five. What is the fifth, or “neutral,” tone, and how are we to pronounce it?

https://www.writtenchinese.com/how-to-use-the-5th-chinese-tone/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

How long must you study? All Learning

How long do you need to learn Chinese before it is useful? This is a hard question to answer, because there’s no one way to respond. But here are some thoughts about what is necessary, and what you can expect to accomplish:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/long-study-chinese-make-useful/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Pronouncing e, ü, üe Beginner Pronunciation Video

Three vowel sounds (e, ü, and üe) are often hard for non-natives to pronounce. Here is some practice on this subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQc_RyWZ9OY

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Du Chinese review All Reviews

Looking to improve your Chinese reading skills? Du Chinese, an app that helps you to practice (and which sometimes sponsors Mandarin Weekly) is reviewed here:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/du-chinese-review/

Basic introductions Beginner Story

Here’s a short dialogue from the introductions at a business meeting:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2868-2017-06-18-05-08-44

Twitter: @imandarinpod

The evolution of 几 (jī) Beginner Characters

How did the character 几 evolve over time, how did it get its current meaning(s), and which characters include it as a component?

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/%e5%87%a0-a-long-narrow-table/

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

You want how much?!? Intermediate Travel Culture

You can often haggle over the price of things in China, at least in the markets. (Although I’ve also successfully bargained at government-owned tourist shops, much to my great surprise.) How does bargaining work, and what are some tips to make it less stressful and more successful?

http://www.digmandarin.com/bargaining-in-china.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Visiting 昆明 (kūn míng) All Travel

The city of 昆明, in China’s southwest, contains many interesting things to see, as this article describes:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/72-hours-in-kunming-part-one/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Bento boxes for lunch Intermediate Vocabulary

How 便当 (biàn dāng), known as “Bento boxes,” became popular in Taiwan:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/how-bento-became-a-taiwanese-staple/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

I’m so annoyed! Intermediate Vocabulary Video

Have you ever been annoyed? Of course. But have you ever told others that you’re annoyed in Chinese? This video show how to express your agitation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmaSt1NIfVc

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Rental bikes Beginner Vocabulary

If you have traveled to China lately, you have almost certainly seen the huge number (and variety) of brightly colored rental bikes. Here is some history and a description of such bikes, along with some vocabulary to describe them:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/the-kingdom-of-bicycles-is-back

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Going to 山西 (Shān xī) All Travel

The province of shan xi isn’t too far from Beijing, and offers many interesting things to see:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/travel-to-shanxi/

The story of King Midas Advanced Story

The ancient (Greek) story of King Midas and the golden touch, in Chinese:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/chinese-practice-intermediate-golden/

The caves of 敦煌 (Dūn huáng) Advanced Story

A story about caves containing ancient paintings:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2866-2017-06-15-12-40-34

Twitter: @imandarinpod

I used to know it Intermediate Grammar

How would you say that you used to know something, but that you’ve since forgotten it?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24168/is-the-sentence-%e6%88%91%e7%9f%a5%e9%81%93%e5%ae%83-%e4%bd%86%e6%98%af%e6%88%91%e5%bf%98%e4%ba%86-unnatural

Excuse me Beginner Expressions

How would you say “excuse me” in Chinese? The answer, of course, depends on the context:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24163/how-do-i-say-excuse-me

Families and family members Beginner Vocabulary

How would you say a “family member” in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24161/different-terms-for-family-and-family-member

欢喜 (huān xǐ) vs. 快乐 (kuài lè) Intermediate Vocabulary

Both 欢喜 and 快乐 represent happiness. When is each used?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24132/what-is-the-difference-between-%e6%ac%a2%e5%96%9c-and-%e5%bf%ab%e4%b9%90

Mandarin Weekly #126

Image

Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #126, a free newsletter read by more than 19,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Share us with your friends:

When and where Intermediate Grammar

How can you indicate hoping vs. intention vs. action, and other nuanced differences in Chinese?

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/06/05/listen-131/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Going out to dinner Intermediate Vocabulary Video

You go out to a restaurant, and want to order. What do you say? Here’s a list of useful words and phrases:

https://chelseabubbly.com/2017/06/07/conversation-in-the-restaurant-common-chinese-for-dining-out/

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Chinese movie titles All Vocabulary

Western movies are shown in China, but their names are often a bit different than you might expect. Here is a roundup of recent films being screened in China, and how the locals refer to them:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/06/chinese-translations-of-upcoming-movies/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Codenames for learning Chinese All Learning

The game “Codenames” isn’t meant for learning Chinese, but it can easily be adapted to help you learn while also having fun:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/playing-codenames-learn-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

You’re in good hands Beginner Vocabulary

The character 手 (shǒu) means “hand,” but it can be used for much more than just describing those things at the ends of our arms:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/06/05/this-word-is-super-handy/

Meaningless characters? All Characters

Those of us learning Chinese are often interested in the origin story of characters, or of their meanings. But perahps they don’t really have meanings — and perhaps this doesn’t matter?

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/06/07/brendan-on-the-meaninglessness-of-chinese-characters

It’s viral Intermediate Characters Vocabulary

The character 传 (chuán) has to do with passing along or transferring something, whether it’s a tradition or a virus:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/06/on-the-character-%e4%bc%a0/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Woo hoo! Beginner Expressions Video

How can you express excitement in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Redsh8gecr8

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Dragon Boat festival Beginner Holidays

Dragon Boat festival took place a few weeks ago, but it’s not too late to learn about this holiday, including the special 粽子 (zòng zi) that everyone eats:

https://chinesepod.com/blog/celebrating-dragon-boat-festival-china/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How to pray Beginner Culture

China has many temples, and if you go to visit one, you’re likely to encounter people praying. What are they saying and doing, and how can you participate (if you want)?

http://www.tutormandarin.net/en/pray-chinese-temple/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

How are you feeling? Beginner Vocabulary

Not feeling well? That’s too bad — but maybe you can find a way to express that in Chinese:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/en/ask-health-chinese/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Pros and cons — of Didi Intermediate Expressions Video

弟弟出行 () is the equivalent of Uber in China, allowing you to order a taxi to and from anywhere. What are the pros and cons of using it? Hear from local Chinese residents, as they demonstrate talking about pros and cons:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/06/talking-pros-cons-in-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Travel superstitions All Travel Culture

Chinese culture is full of superstitions and traditions having to do with luck, spirits, and gods. Here are some of the most common things you’ll find Chinese people doing when they are away from home:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-travel-superstitions.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Chinese kitchens Intermediate Vocabulary

What’s in your kitchen? Probably some appliances, as well as a sink and stove. Here’s a vocabulary list that will let you describe your kitchen, including Chinese-style items that you might not have:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/using-chinese-in-the-kitchen/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Listening comprehension Intermediate Listening

How well can you listen to a story, and then answer questions based on it? Here is a collection of many such stories and questions; you can listen (and watch) to check and improve your comprehension:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYNaJRefhSg

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Useful idioms Intermediate Expressions

Here are some common and useful expressions you can use to spice up your Chinese conversations:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/5-more-awesome-chinese-idioms/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Payment in China All Culture

If you haven’t visited China lately, you’ve missed a revoluation in payment: Everyone is using their phones to pay for . . . well, just about everything. Here’s more on the subject, including useful vocabulary to discuss it:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/mobile-payments-make-it-impossible-to-rob-a-store-in-china

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Get an agent Advanced Story

Renting a house? Maybe an agent can help:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2859-2017-06-07-04-13-41

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Shopping list Beginner Story

Going shopping? Here’s a story about someone prparing a list:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2863-2017-06-12-01-14-27

Twitter: @imandarinpod

When 好 (hǎo) means “very” Beginner Grammar

One of the first words you probably learned in Chinese is 好. But it means more than just “good” — it can also mean “very”:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24056/why-do-we-have-%e5%a5%bd-in-translation-of-youre-beautiful

Voltage Advanced Pronunciation

压电 (gāo yā diàn) is “voltage” in Chinese. The Pinyin shows that 压 is first tone, but how strictly is that adhered to?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24079/what-is-the-correct-tone-for-%e5%8e%8b-in-%e9%ab%98%e5%8e%8b%e7%94%b5-high-voltage-and-%e4%bd%8e%e5%8e%8b%e7%94%b5-low-voltage

When the sun is out Intermediate Grammar

If you’re fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan, then you don’t eat when the sun is out. How would you describe this in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24065/does-%e5%87%ba%e5%a4%aa%e9%98%b3%e6%97%b6%e5%80%99%e4%b8%8d%e8%83%bd%e5%90%83%e9%a5%ad-ch%c5%ab-t%c3%a0iy%c3%a1ng-sh%c3%adh%c3%b2u-b%c3%b9n%c3%a9ng-ch%c4%abf%c3%a0n-express-i-cant-eat-when-the

Walk this way Advanced Grammar

How should you use 由此 (yóu cǐ)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24044/how-is-%e7%94%b1%e6%ad%a4-y%c3%b3uc%c7%90-herefrom-used

No parking Intermediate Vocabulary

How do you say “no parking”? And how is that different from “no stopping”? The answer depends on where you are, and where you’re from:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23995/whats-the-difference-between-%e5%81%9c%e8%bd%a6-t%c3%adngch%c4%93-and-%e6%b3%8a%e8%bd%a6-b%c3%b3ch%c4%93-which-both-seem-to-me

Mandarin Weekly #125

 

Image

Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #125, a free newsletter read by more than 18,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

了 (le) for changing state Intermediate Grammar Video

The 了 particle gives many people trouble. In this video, we learn how to use 了 to indicate a change of state — meaning, that something has changed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uE_eh8uph0

Twitter: @ChinesePod

le (le) for emphasis Intermediate Grammar Video

Another use of the 了 particle is to indicate emphasis, as described in this video tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWoYhO4NewM

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Just a bit Intermediate Grammar

How do you indicate a small amount of something, or a little bit? This post explains the difference between 有点儿 (yǒu yī diǎn r) and 一点儿 (yī diǎn r):

http://www.digmandarin.com/yi-dian-er-you-dian-er-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Remembering characters All Characters Learning

How can you learn characters more easily? After all, there are so many of them. Here are some strategies for improving your recognition and memory for characters, based on creating stories from each character’s components:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/secrets-to-remembering-exactly-how-to-write-a-chinese-characters/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Really? Beginner Expressions Video

Your friend just told you something amazing. Or unbelievable. Or amazing. Here’s how you can say “Really?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8r54LSI4gk

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Writing challenge All Learning Characters

Hacking Chinese has a new challenge: Write as much Chinese as you can this month:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/chinese-writing-challenge-june-2017/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Ensuring you’ll speak Chinese All Learning

If everyone in China wants to speak English with you, then when and how can you practice your Chinese?

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/06/01/language-battle-english-vs-mandarin/

Fisherman and goldfish Intermediate Story Video

In this video, you can hear (and read) the story of a fisherman and a goldfish:

http://nihaohello.blogspot.com/2017/05/chinese-story-fisherman-and-goldfish.html

Twitter: @NihaoHello

Don’t forget Beginner Expressions Video

Don’t forget to eat. Don’t forget your passport. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mandarin Weekly. How can you tell people not to forget things?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv8oXMWZ-1Q

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Dragon Boat vocabulary Beginner Holidays Video

Last week was Dragon Boat Festival in China. Here are some words to describe what took place:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCptuRX787o

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Talking about sports Beginner Vocabulary

How can you discuss sports in Chinese? Here are some useful words and phrases, as well as some short stories about sports and China to practice your reading:

http://learnmandarinonline.net/talk-sports-mandarin-chinese/

Good advice Intermediate Story

A young lawyer teachers his neighbor a lesson, in this short and humorous story:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/31/listen-how-to-say-what-can-i-do-if-something-happens-in-chinese/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Awesome! Intermediate Vocabulary

Are you awesome? (Of course you are, dear reader!) Then learn about 厉害 (lì hai), which lets you say that things are awesomely good — or, sometimes, awesomely bad:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/05/15/is-this-the-most-awesome-word-in-mandarin/

Street talk Beginner Vocabulary

Every language has slang, and here are some words you might well hear on the streets of a Chinese-speaking country:

https://blog.hutong-school.com/chinese-slang/

Twitter: @hutongschool

Children Beginner Story

Children, and raising them, isn’t easy, as we learn from this short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2855-2017-06-02-13-55-07

Twitter: @imandarinpod

People on the move Advanced Story

In China, people don’t always live where they’re officially supposed to. This story describes the situation:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2853-2017-06-01-05-06-21

Twitter: @imandarinpod

I’m back! Beginner Vocabulary

How do you talk about coming back? What’s the difference between 回来了 (huí le) and 回了 (huí le)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23937/are-both-%e5%9b%9e%e4%ba%86-and-%e5%9b%9e%e6%9d%a5%e4%ba%86-correct-responses-to-%e4%bd%a0%e5%9b%9e%e5%a4%a9%e6%b4%a5%e4%ba%86%e5%90%97-have-you-returned-to-tianjin

Are they really similar? Intermediate Characters

Are 田 (tián), 由 (yóu), 甲 (jiǎ), and 申 (shēn) related? (Answer: No.)

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23952/is-there-any-relationship-between-%e7%94%b0-ti%c3%a1n-%e7%94%b1-y%c3%b3u-%e7%94%b2-ji%c7%8e-and-%e7%94%b3-sh%c4%93n

Overtime Beginner Vocabulary

How do you talk about overtime?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/did-do-will-you-have-to-work-overtime.3329764/