Mandarin Weekly #134

More than 20 links to help you with your Chinese studies!



Hi, [subscriber.full_name]! This is Mandarin Weekly #134, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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[Sorry for the delay in producing this week’s issue — it’s summer, which has scrambled my schedule a bit.]

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Stinky tofu song Beginner Grammar Video

Do you like stinky tofu? (Yes, that’s really what it’s called.) Regardless, you can enjoy this song about the dish that so many in China like to eat, but don’t like to be next to:

Idea characters All Characters

Sometimes, characters aren’t a picture of a thing so much as of an idea. Here are several such characters, and the thinking that you should use to understand them:

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Bureaucracy Intermediate Vocabulary Culture

Understanding China also means understanding the Chinese government, bureaucracy, and the terms associated with them. Here is an extensive list of words and phrases, including slogans, that you’re likely to see or hear in China:

Early or late? Intermediate Grammar Video

The words 才 (cái) and 就 (jiù) are used to indicate that something has happened before or after you expected. Here’s how to use them:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Words using 老 (lǎo) Intermediate Vocabulary

The character 老 means “old,” and is part of many different words — some involving age, and others involving respect:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Choosing a Chinese name All Culture

Do you have a Chinese name? If not, then you should choose one. Here is some background about Chinese names, along with some suggestions for how to choose one:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Using 即使 (jí shǐ) Intermediate Grammar

The conjunction 即使 is sort of like “if” in English, but emphasizes the contrast between things. You can learn more about it here:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

When? Always! (Or Never!) Intermediate Grammar Video

If you want to say that something is “always” or “never” true, then you need to have those words. This video gives lots of examples you can use in your day-to-day conversations:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Useful apps All Reviews

Want to use your phone to improve your Chinese? Here are some apps you should try:

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Translation woes Intermediate Reviews Books

Yang Wen’s “Lost in Translation” describes common mistakes when translating between Chinese and English, and some suggestions for how not to make those errors:

Twitter: @carlfordham

Dumb scammers Beginner Vocabulary

Have you been scammed in China? You can hope that the person who scammed you is as foolish as the one in this story. Along the way, learn some good vocabulary for handling scams:

New Year traditions All Holidays

Chinese New Year is not exactly around the corner, but this article describes the holiday and its traditions with enough detail to last you until then:

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Double 9 Festival Beginner Holidays

What, you haven’t heard of 重阳节 (chóng yáng jié)? You’re not alone, but here’s an explanation that will set you straight:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Simple pronunciation Beginner Pronunciation

Not sure where to start, in order to ensure that your pronunciation is as accurate as possible? Here’s a primer:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Intro to Pinyin Beginner Pronunciation

What is Pinyin, and how (how) can you use it to learn faster and better? Here’s a short introduction that will help you to remember how to pronounce Chinese, and how Pinyin reminds you of those pronunciations:

Twitter: @TheChineseSun

Memrise review All Reviews

Many people use Memrise to practice their Chinese (and other languages). Here is a review describing Memrise, and why you should (or shouldn’t) use it:

Traffic terms Beginner Vocabulary

Planning to drive in China? Or perhaps just walk? (It’s not clear what’s more challenging!) Here are some terms you should know:

Twitter: @eputonghua

Language learning wisdom Intermediate Expressions Learning

Learning a language isn’t easy or straightforward. Here are some sayings, in Chinese, that can help to encourage you along this path:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Visiting Taipei All Travel

Visiting Taipei (the capital of Taiwan)? Here are some hints about what to see and do while there:

Transportation Beginner Vocabulary

How can you get around in China? Here are some common (and uncommon) vehicle types:

Hey, good looking! Intermediate Vocabulary

Want to flirt in Chinese? In this video, you’ll see how to tell someone you find them attractive, or even if you want to move onto more direct phrases and actions:

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Back to school! Beginner Vocabulary Video

Looking forward to the new school year? Maybe not, but at least you can learn the necessary terms in Chinese with this video:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Pickup lines in Chinese Intermediate Expressions

Want to pick up someone in Chinese? Here are some phrases that (supposedly) really work. Did they? Let us know!

Twitter: @FluentU

At the beach Beginner Vocabulary

Enjoying the beach this summer? If so, then you might want to add to your enjoyment by describing it in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Hip hop in Chinese Intermediate Video

Enjoy hip hop music? Well, you can enjoy it in Chinese, as well, with videos from these famous Chinese artists:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

About 大连 (Dalian) Advanced Story

Have you ever visited Dalian, a well known tourist spot? If not, this story can introduce you to the city:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

All about me Beginner Story

In this story, we’re introduced to a young Chinese:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Everybody dance! Advanced Story

Dancing in the square? Absolutely, everyone does it in China:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

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