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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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Going to the mall Beginner Story
Going to the mall? So are the people in this story, who have multiple transportation options:
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:
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:
If time could flow backwards Advanced Story
An autobiographical story about being left behind as a child while the author’s parents worked elsewhere:
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:
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:
Tasty punishment Intermediate Story
Read (and listen to) a story about reward and punishment:
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:
All by yourself All Characters
The character 自 (zì) refers to oneself, and leads to many different useful, common words:
Honestly! All Characters
Learn about the character 正 (zhèng) which means “honest” and “upright”:
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:
Planning in advance Beginner Grammar
Can you use 以前 () to talk about things you haven’t yet done?
Multiple verbs, how many 了 ? Advanced Grammar
If you’re describing multiple actions, do you need 了 (le) once per action, or all together?