Mandarin Weekly #148

 

Image This is Mandarin Weekly #148, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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Of characters and horses All Characters

Are Chinese characters pictorial representations of ideas? Yes, sort of — but they’re also much more than that:

https://chinachannel.org/2017/11/14/horse-horse-course/

Twitter: @larbchina

Using 淘宝 (táo bǎo) Advanced Culture

If you’ve ever been to China, you have probably heard of 淘宝. What’s it like to use, and how does it compare with other marketplaces? Here’s an advanced (native) description that is both good practice and useful to know:

https://medium.com/@charlieliang_18039/%E5%89%81%E6%89%8B%E5%A5%BD%E6%9C%8B%E5%8F%8B-%E6%B7%98%E5%AF%B6-1bac467fc24c

Bon voyage! Intermediate Vocabulary Video

How can you wish someone a pleasant journey? Here’s a useful phrase, and many examples of how to use it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBugfA8sWs

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Eating exotic Chinese snacks Intermediate Vocabulary Video

When I visit China, I’m always amazed (intrigued? shocked?) by the types of snacks sold and eaten. Here are some examples of Chinese snacks and foods that you might find a bit unusual:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvhVbtoj5lU

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Six Chinese movies Advanced Culture

Want to improve your listening skills, or just be up on some good culture? Here are some movies that you can watch to do both at the same time:

https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/2017/11/15/learn-chinese-watching-movies/

Twitter: @FluentU

Hot pot Intermediate Food Story

One of my favorite types of Chinese meals is hot pot; here’s a story that describes an interaction at a hot pot restaurant. Just reading the story makes my mouth water:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2998-2017-11-18-06-55-33

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Going to the mall Beginner Story

Going to the mall? So are the people in this story, who have multiple transportation options:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2996-2017-11-17-07-28-05

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Intro to writing Beginner Characters Video

Chinese characters seem impossible to learn, and they’re certainly challenging — but you can learn them, if you learn the patterns. This video introduces some of them, such as important components to notice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OctDk8ga-qM

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Chinese superfoods Beginner Food

Gujiberries? Green tea? China is the source of many of today’s popular health food trends. Read about their origins, and how to talk about them in Chinese:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/10-chinese-superfoods-that-will-help-balance-your-qi/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

If time could flow backwards Advanced Story

An autobiographical story about being left behind as a child while the author’s parents worked elsewhere:

http://mychinesereading.com/time-flow-backwards/

Measuring time Intermediate Grammar

And now, measure words having to do with time! If you’re interested in counting seconds, generations, or anything in between, this will be useful:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-measure-words-time-units-measure.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Complements of degree Intermediate Grammar

In English, we modify verbs using adverbs. Chinese often uses “complements of degree,” in which we modify a verb after the verb itself. It’s often easier to understand than to explain, as you can see here:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/complements-degree-chinese/

Tasty punishment Intermediate Story

Read (and listen to) a story about reward and punishment:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/lulaoshichinese/episodes/2017-11-13T19_47_28-08_00

Chinese songs All Culture

Here are some popular Chinese songs, in characters and with Pinyin — not for the music, but to improve your understanding and vocabulary:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/songs-in-chinese/

All by yourself All Characters

The character 自 (zì) refers to oneself, and leads to many different useful, common words:

http://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/chinese-characters-zi

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Honestly! All Characters

Learn about the character 正 (zhèng) which means “honest” and “upright”:

http://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/chinese-characters-zheng

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Thickness vs. capacity Intermediate Grammar

The characters 度 and 量 are both used to describe measurements, but in different ways. Here are some insights of what to use when:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27642/when-should-%e5%ba%a6-be-used-when-should-%e9%87%8f-be-used

Planning in advance Beginner Grammar

Can you use 以前 () to talk about things you haven’t yet done?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27601/is-it-correct-ot-use-%e4%bb%a5%e5%89%8d-in-sentence-with-meaning-of-future-plans-%e6%88%91%e4%bb%a5%e5%89%8d%e6%89%93%e7%ae%97%e5%8e%bb%e5%8c%97%e4%ba%ac

Multiple verbs, how many 了 ? Advanced Grammar

If you’re describing multiple actions, do you need 了 (le) once per action, or all together?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27564/omitted-%e4%ba%86-for-multiple-verbs-in-sequence

Mandarin Weekly #147

 

Image

This is Mandarin Weekly #147, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

Want to personalize Mandarin Weekly for your own level and interests? Subscribe to Mandarin Weekly Plus: For less than $1/week, or 50¢/week for students.  Subscribe today!

Please 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!

Do you sell products or services for students of Chinese? Sponsor an issue, or insert a sponsored link into an upcoming edition. More information is here, on the MandarinWeekly.com “advertising” page.

Ideograms Beginner Characters

Some Chinese characters are hard to learn, remember, and make sense of. But others do try to mimic the idea they represent. Here are a number of these, along with the bigrams (i.e., two-character words) that we can form from them:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/lets-get-abstract-with-chinese-ideograms/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Directional complements Intermediate Grammar

In many cases, you can take a Chinese verb and add a directional component to it, altering its meaning. (Think of “throw up” vs. “throw out” vs. “throw at,” and you’ll get the basic idea, although it’s much more extensive and standard in Chinese.) Here is an introduction to this important idea, and some good examples:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/directional-complements-chinese/

Famous Chinese myths All Culture Story

You’re likely familiar with biblical and Greek myths, and perhaps some from other cultures in the world. But what are Chinese myths, and how do they express themselves in modern Chinese culture?

https://www.tutormandarin.net/en/famous-chinese-myth/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Using 就 (jiù) Beginner Grammar Video

You can use 就 in a few different ways; this video describes a number of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rRxupXIY-Q

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Winter is coming Intermediate Culture Vocabulary

Winter is now arriving, and China marks it in various ways. Here are some terms and cultural ideas that have to do with the weather as it gets colder:

http://teresarainsegna.blogspot.co.il/2017/11/inizio-dellinverno-beginning-of-winter.html

Text games for learning Chinese Intermediate Learning

Want to improve your learning through some fun games? Introducing text games for learning Chinese, a new way to improve your fluency and understanding:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/five-text-games-for-chinese-learners/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

The blind men and the elephant Intermediate Story

This classic story is retold here in slow Chinese:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/lulaoshichinese/episodes/2017-11-05T14_01_14-08_00

How not to learn Chinese All Learning

Some people try to learn Chinese on their own, and they generally fail. Why? Because they don’t take certain ideas into account:

http://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/qqz7uhfuj1ncyuoqhulci3mbxiv24q

Twitter: @MandarinBP

League of Legends Intermediate Vocabulary

League of Legends is a multiplayer video game — and when you play it on Chinese servers, everything is in Chinese! This is great for improving your vocabulary and comprehension, but you might need a boost to get started, which this post provides:

http://mychinesereading.com/league-legends-chinese-vocabulary/

Chinese dialects All Culture

You might have heard that Chinese is a family of languages, with a number of dialects, varieties, or other such terms. What does this mean, and how close are the various languages to one another?

https://medium.com/@LingQ_Central/just-how-many-chinese-dialects-are-there-93f236cba6e0

Singles’ day All Culture

November 11th (11.11) is “Singles’ Day,” which is described as a “holiday,” but which is actually an excuse to do lots of shopping, and especially online shopping. What is it, and how did it start?

https://www.tutormandarin.net/en/singles-day-china/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Traditional vs. simplified characters All Characters

What are the differences between traditional and simplified characters, and what are the trade-offs?

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/11/character-assassination/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Quick tone practice Beginner Pronunciation Video

Want to improve your tones? Keep track of them with this four-character sentence, explained in a short video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rZv8Masr9Q

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Visiting 平乐古镇 (píng lè gǔ zhèn) All Travel

The ancient town of Pingle can be an interesting view of ancient Chinese life, and it’s not too far from Chengdu:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/pingle-ancient-town/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Survival phrases Beginner Vocabulary

Planning to visit China, but you haven’t yet learned much Chinese? Here are some basic phrases you can and should learn before visiting:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-survival-phrases/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Buying eyeglasses Beginner Vocabulary Culture

Buying eyeglasses is a standard sort of actiivty, but have you ever done it in Chinese, or even in China? Learn some vocabulary and the way in which an exam is done:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/getting-glasses-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Promotion Beginner Story

A short story about getting promoted at work:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2992-2017-11-12-04-43-06

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Yes! Beginner Vocabulary

There isn’t any one word for “yes” in Chinese, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to say “yes.” Instead, there are many ways, as shown here:

https://chinesepod.com/blog/2017/11/10/how-to-say-yes-in-chinese-18-ways-to-express-agreement-in-mandarin/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

More measure words Intermediate Grammar

Here’s another list of mirror words you can use when discussing speech, writing, and machines:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-measure-words-speech-writing-machines-vehicles.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Listing examples Intermediate Grammar

Where can you use 比如 (bǐ rú) in a list of examples — only at the beginning, or at the end, as well?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27491/is-it-possible-to-use-%e6%af%94%e5%a6%82-at-the-end-of-a-list-of-examples

Character simplification Advanced Characters

A mixed simplified-traditional character results in a long and fascinating discussion about the simplification of Chinese characters:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27485/why-is-%e5%bc%80-written-within-a-%e9%97%a8-in-this-sign-without-being-written-%e9%96%8b

Mandarin Weekly #146

 

Image

This is Mandarin Weekly #146, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

Want to personalize Mandarin Weekly for your own level and interests? Subscribe to Mandarin Weekly Plus: For less than $1/week, or 50¢/week for students.  Subscribe today!

Please 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!

,b>Do you sell products or services for students of Chinese? Sponsor an issue, or insert a sponsored link into an upcoming edition. More information is here, on the MandarinWeekly.com “advertising” page.

Practicing tones Beginner Pronunciation

How can you recognize and practice tones? Here are some ways to think about them and get yourself to hear and say them:

https://chinese.lingobus.com/2017/11/03/chinese-tones-their-importance-and-creative-ways-to-practice-them/

Twitter: @Lingo_Bus

More measure words Intermediate Grammar

Measure words are an essential part of Chinese grammar. Here are measure words for a variety of categories, including speech, machines, and collections:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-measure-words-speech-writing-machines-vehicles.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

More measure words Intermediate Grammar

Measure words are an essential part of Chinese grammar. Here are measure words for a variety of categories, including speech, machines, and collections:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-measure-words-pairs-groups-collections.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Steamed buns All Food Culture

Do you like steamed buns, known as 包子 (bāo zi)? If so, then you’ll love this description of the many varities of 包子, from China’s regions as well as newly concocted tastes:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/11/steam-of-rivals/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Taoist parables Intermediate Story Culture

Taoism has many parables meant to teach us moral lessons. Here is one you can read and learn from, both to improve your Chinese and to (perhaps) have some extra-deep thoughts:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/taoist-parables-chinese-farmer-story/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

The character 提 (tí) Intermediate Characters

The character 提 is all about rising up, or bringing up. Here is a rundown of the character, along with some words and phrases in which it is used:

http://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/chinese-characters-ti-1

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Online resource summary All Learning

Where can you go to learn Chinese online? Here is a roundup of some well known apps, resources, and companies that can help you to improve your Chinese fluency:

https://medium.com/@manblue/the-ultimate-guide-to-chinese-online-learning-f6009a5371de

Whatever! Who cares? Intermediate Grammar Video

How can you say, “Whatever! I don’t care!” It might not be polite, but it’s a useful phrase to know how to say:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNMvBT2F6Nc

Twitter: @ECLSchool

What do you think about… Beginner Grammar Video

What do you think about someone? This video introduces this phrase in Chinese, and demonstrates it in a number of situations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8DNK46mGRU

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Getting angry, getting in shape Intermediate Story

The story of a man who would run every time he got angry:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2986-2017-11-02-17-38-25

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Weekend activity Beginner Story

What did you do over the weekend?

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2984-2017-11-02-17-38-24

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Visiting Dailian All Travel

Dailian is a city in northern China with Russian influence and a lot of sea-related food and things to do. Here’s a guide to getting there, and what you should do once you arrive:

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

Halloween party Beginner Story

Halloween is increasingly celebrated around the world; here is a short story about a party in China:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2981-2017-11-01-07-37-35

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Fancy clothes Advanced Story

You think you have some fancy clothes? Read about some very expensive, nice ones that people in China wore long ago:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2982-2017-11-01-09-16-33

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Different types of Chinese Intermediate Grammar

How do we refer to Chinese citizens living abroad? Or foreigners living in China? Or Chinese citizens living in China?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27378/words-that-have-confusing-meanings-in-a-diplomatic-notice

Using 弄 (nòng) Intermediate Grammar

The word 弄 can mean “to make,” but how is that different from other verbs, such as 做 (zuò)? Here are some insights into their respective uses:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27403/how-to-use-%e5%bc%84-in-a-sentence