Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #133, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.
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Chinese humor All Culture Video
Have you ever noticed that American and Chinese humor is far from the same? In particular, sarcasm isn’t as well known or recognized in China. Here are some tips about crossing the cultural humor divide:
Different types of “always” Intermediate Grammar Video
Where English has one type of “always,” Chinese as two, as described here:
Listening challenge All Listening
It’s another Hacking Chinese challenge? This month, try to listen to as much Chinese as possible, at whatever level is appropriate for you:
Summer camp Advanced Story
What is summer camp like in China? Here’s a brief glimpse into this world:
Balancing your characters Intermediate Characters
Writing characters is more than just writing the correct strokes. The strokes need to be in the right places within the character’s “box,” so that the character appears balanced. Here are some tips for ensuring your characters are balanced in this way:
Not feeling so great Beginner Vocabulary
Not feeling well? Here are a few symptoms that might lead you to see a doctor, or even go to the hospital:
Classical gardens Advanced Story
Chinese classical gardens have specific layouts and contents. In this story, we learn about them:
Not just Pinyin All Characters
If you’re learning to read Chinese, then chances ar you’re using Pinyin. But in somne places, a different system known as Zhuyin is used. What are the advantages of each?
Video resources All Video
Want to watch Chinese-language videos, to improve your fluency and listening (well, watching) ability? Here are some sources you can check out:
Fractions Beginner Grammar Video
How do you say fractions, such as 2/3, or 4/5, in Chinese?
Taiwanese fried chicken Advanced Video
I’ve never seen a review of fried chicken quite like this one; while I’m skeptical of its culinary sophistication, it’s good listening practice. (But be warned, watching someone eat fried chicken doesn’t make for super-compelling viewing!)
I’m a fan! Intermediate Vocabulary Video
How can you say that you’re a fan — of a sport, of a celebrity, or of a company’s products? Here are some useful words to express these ideas:
Cloudy, sunny, and rainy Beginner Vocabulary Video
How can you discuss the weather in basic ways, describing sunny, cloudy, and rainy days? This video will explain:
“Still” and “yet” Intermediate Grammar Video
How much time is left? Is the car still broken? These types of sentences require the word “still”, which works differently in Chinese than in English:
More “Game of Thrones” vocabvulary. Advanced Vocabulary Video
Last week, we saw a video that describes Game of Thrones in Chinese. This week, we’ll look into weapons used, among other things:
All about 功夫 (gōng fū), aka Kung Fu Beginner Vocabulary Culture
What is 功夫 and its history? This article will tell you everything you need, aside from doing 功夫 itself:
Intro Chinese in 30 minutes Beginner Pronunciation Characters Video
Planning a visit to China in the near future, and want a quick introduction to the language? This video provides a good background, introducing some characters, pronunciation, vocabulary, and even sample sentences and grammar:
This week, or next week? Intermediate Grammar
How can you say (and interpret) terms like “this Sunday” and “next Wednesday” in Chinese?
Time words Beginner Grammar
There are words to describe different times of day in Chinese, such as 早上 (zǎo shang) and 中午 (zhōng wǔ). When does each of these time periods start and end?
Approximations Intermediate Vocabulary
When should you use 大概 (dà gài), and when should you use 大约 (dà yuē)? Both can mean “approximately,” but they’re used in different ways: