Mandarin Weekly #162



This is Mandarin Weekly #162, a newsletter read by more than 21,000 students of Chinese around the world. Mandarin Weekly is sent to paying subscribers every Monday, and to everyone else every Thursday.

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Mind your tones! Beginner Pronunciation

We all know that tones are important in Chinese. Here are some great examples of how things can get difficult or embarrassing if you get them wrong, and why you should be careful:

Twitter: @hutongschool

Year of the Dog Beginner Story

It’s the Year of the Dog — so here is an appropriate story to start off the year:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Using 而 Intermediate Grammar Video

You can make your Chinese sound far more sophisticated and expressive if you use 而。 Here’s how to do so:

Lantern festival All Culture

The Chinese New Year has come and gone, but the Lantern Festival is coming soon. What is it, and how can you celebrate? Here’s some useful information:

Twitter: @MissPandaChines

You say it’s your brithday Intermediate Story

Birthdays are happy occasions (for most), but ancient Chinese birthdays weren’t celebrated in the same way at all, as this story relates:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Mastering a language All Learning

Want to learn a language (e.g., Chinese)? Here are some hints for how to do so effectively. It doesn’t mean you’ll have instant success, but it’ll be easier and more satisfying:

Audiobook resources Advanced Reviews

Listening comprehension is important (and hard) when learning Chinese. Here are some resources you can use to improve your understanding of the spoken language:

Twitter: @FluentU

No tenses? Intermediate Grammar

If Chinese doesn’t have tenses, then how can you express things that happen in the past, present, and future? An explanation of how Chinese express time without tenses:

Twitter: @FluentU

Chinese picture books Beginner Reviews

Are you helping your children to learn Chinese? Then you might want to look at these picture books:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Big language learning mistakes All Learning

This article describes the author’s “biggest” mistake he made during 2017, regarding language learning. Learn and avoid it, too:

Guess the Chinese word Beginner Vocabulary

Many words in Chinese are (more or less) descriptions of what they’re describing. Here are a number of such words; see if you can understand the meaning without looking it up:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Food and drink Beginner Vocabulary Video

Food and drink are central to Chinese culture — but also to everyday life! Here are some useful words to know about eating and drinking:

Twitter: @ChineseBuddy

Taxi ride Beginner Story

A simple story about riding in a taxi, and marveling at Beijing’s changes:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Spring festival Beginner Culture Video

Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) has come and gone, but if you’re still interested in learning its vocabulary, there’s still time:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

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Helper verbs Intermediate Grammar

You can express sophisticated verbs and ideas with auxiliary verbs, as described here:

只 (zhǐ) vs. 仅 (jǐn) Advanced Grammar

Both mean “only,” but that doesn’t mean you can use them interchangeably:

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