Mandarin Weekly #127

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #127, a free newsletter read by more than 19,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

The fifth tone All Pronunciation

We normally talk about four tones in Chinese, but there are actually five. What is the fifth, or “neutral,” tone, and how are we to pronounce it?

https://www.writtenchinese.com/how-to-use-the-5th-chinese-tone/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

How long must you study? All Learning

How long do you need to learn Chinese before it is useful? This is a hard question to answer, because there’s no one way to respond. But here are some thoughts about what is necessary, and what you can expect to accomplish:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/long-study-chinese-make-useful/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Pronouncing e, ü, üe Beginner Pronunciation Video

Three vowel sounds (e, ü, and üe) are often hard for non-natives to pronounce. Here is some practice on this subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQc_RyWZ9OY

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Du Chinese review All Reviews

Looking to improve your Chinese reading skills? Du Chinese, an app that helps you to practice (and which sometimes sponsors Mandarin Weekly) is reviewed here:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/du-chinese-review/

Basic introductions Beginner Story

Here’s a short dialogue from the introductions at a business meeting:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2868-2017-06-18-05-08-44

Twitter: @imandarinpod

The evolution of 几 (jī) Beginner Characters

How did the character 几 evolve over time, how did it get its current meaning(s), and which characters include it as a component?

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/%e5%87%a0-a-long-narrow-table/

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

You want how much?!? Intermediate Travel Culture

You can often haggle over the price of things in China, at least in the markets. (Although I’ve also successfully bargained at government-owned tourist shops, much to my great surprise.) How does bargaining work, and what are some tips to make it less stressful and more successful?

http://www.digmandarin.com/bargaining-in-china.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Visiting 昆明 (kūn míng) All Travel

The city of 昆明, in China’s southwest, contains many interesting things to see, as this article describes:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/72-hours-in-kunming-part-one/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Bento boxes for lunch Intermediate Vocabulary

How 便当 (biàn dāng), known as “Bento boxes,” became popular in Taiwan:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/how-bento-became-a-taiwanese-staple/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

I’m so annoyed! Intermediate Vocabulary Video

Have you ever been annoyed? Of course. But have you ever told others that you’re annoyed in Chinese? This video show how to express your agitation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmaSt1NIfVc

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Rental bikes Beginner Vocabulary

If you have traveled to China lately, you have almost certainly seen the huge number (and variety) of brightly colored rental bikes. Here is some history and a description of such bikes, along with some vocabulary to describe them:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/the-kingdom-of-bicycles-is-back

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Going to 山西 (Shān xī) All Travel

The province of shan xi isn’t too far from Beijing, and offers many interesting things to see:

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

The story of King Midas Advanced Story

The ancient (Greek) story of King Midas and the golden touch, in Chinese:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/chinese-practice-intermediate-golden/

The caves of 敦煌 (Dūn huáng) Advanced Story

A story about caves containing ancient paintings:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2866-2017-06-15-12-40-34

Twitter: @imandarinpod

I used to know it Intermediate Grammar

How would you say that you used to know something, but that you’ve since forgotten it?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24168/is-the-sentence-%e6%88%91%e7%9f%a5%e9%81%93%e5%ae%83-%e4%bd%86%e6%98%af%e6%88%91%e5%bf%98%e4%ba%86-unnatural

Excuse me Beginner Expressions

How would you say “excuse me” in Chinese? The answer, of course, depends on the context:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24163/how-do-i-say-excuse-me

Families and family members Beginner Vocabulary

How would you say a “family member” in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24161/different-terms-for-family-and-family-member

欢喜 (huān xǐ) vs. 快乐 (kuài lè) Intermediate Vocabulary

Both 欢喜 and 快乐 represent happiness. When is each used?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24132/what-is-the-difference-between-%e6%ac%a2%e5%96%9c-and-%e5%bf%ab%e4%b9%90

Mandarin Weekly #126

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #126, a free newsletter read by more than 19,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Share us with your friends:

When and where Intermediate Grammar

How can you indicate hoping vs. intention vs. action, and other nuanced differences in Chinese?

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/06/05/listen-131/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Going out to dinner Intermediate Vocabulary Video

You go out to a restaurant, and want to order. What do you say? Here’s a list of useful words and phrases:

https://chelseabubbly.com/2017/06/07/conversation-in-the-restaurant-common-chinese-for-dining-out/

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Chinese movie titles All Vocabulary

Western movies are shown in China, but their names are often a bit different than you might expect. Here is a roundup of recent films being screened in China, and how the locals refer to them:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/06/chinese-translations-of-upcoming-movies/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Codenames for learning Chinese All Learning

The game “Codenames” isn’t meant for learning Chinese, but it can easily be adapted to help you learn while also having fun:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/playing-codenames-learn-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

You’re in good hands Beginner Vocabulary

The character 手 (shǒu) means “hand,” but it can be used for much more than just describing those things at the ends of our arms:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/06/05/this-word-is-super-handy/

Meaningless characters? All Characters

Those of us learning Chinese are often interested in the origin story of characters, or of their meanings. But perahps they don’t really have meanings — and perhaps this doesn’t matter?

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/06/07/brendan-on-the-meaninglessness-of-chinese-characters

It’s viral Intermediate Characters Vocabulary

The character 传 (chuán) has to do with passing along or transferring something, whether it’s a tradition or a virus:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/06/on-the-character-%e4%bc%a0/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Woo hoo! Beginner Expressions Video

How can you express excitement in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Redsh8gecr8

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Dragon Boat festival Beginner Holidays

Dragon Boat festival took place a few weeks ago, but it’s not too late to learn about this holiday, including the special 粽子 (zòng zi) that everyone eats:

https://chinesepod.com/blog/celebrating-dragon-boat-festival-china/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How to pray Beginner Culture

China has many temples, and if you go to visit one, you’re likely to encounter people praying. What are they saying and doing, and how can you participate (if you want)?

http://www.tutormandarin.net/en/pray-chinese-temple/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

How are you feeling? Beginner Vocabulary

Not feeling well? That’s too bad — but maybe you can find a way to express that in Chinese:

http://www.tutormandarin.net/en/ask-health-chinese/

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Pros and cons — of Didi Intermediate Expressions Video

弟弟出行 () is the equivalent of Uber in China, allowing you to order a taxi to and from anywhere. What are the pros and cons of using it? Hear from local Chinese residents, as they demonstrate talking about pros and cons:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/06/talking-pros-cons-in-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Travel superstitions All Travel Culture

Chinese culture is full of superstitions and traditions having to do with luck, spirits, and gods. Here are some of the most common things you’ll find Chinese people doing when they are away from home:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-travel-superstitions.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Chinese kitchens Intermediate Vocabulary

What’s in your kitchen? Probably some appliances, as well as a sink and stove. Here’s a vocabulary list that will let you describe your kitchen, including Chinese-style items that you might not have:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/using-chinese-in-the-kitchen/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Listening comprehension Intermediate Listening

How well can you listen to a story, and then answer questions based on it? Here is a collection of many such stories and questions; you can listen (and watch) to check and improve your comprehension:

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

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Useful idioms Intermediate Expressions

Here are some common and useful expressions you can use to spice up your Chinese conversations:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/5-more-awesome-chinese-idioms/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Payment in China All Culture

If you haven’t visited China lately, you’ve missed a revoluation in payment: Everyone is using their phones to pay for . . . well, just about everything. Here’s more on the subject, including useful vocabulary to discuss it:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/mobile-payments-make-it-impossible-to-rob-a-store-in-china

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Get an agent Advanced Story

Renting a house? Maybe an agent can help:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2859-2017-06-07-04-13-41

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Shopping list Beginner Story

Going shopping? Here’s a story about someone prparing a list:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2863-2017-06-12-01-14-27

Twitter: @imandarinpod

When 好 (hǎo) means “very” Beginner Grammar

One of the first words you probably learned in Chinese is 好. But it means more than just “good” — it can also mean “very”:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24056/why-do-we-have-%e5%a5%bd-in-translation-of-youre-beautiful

Voltage Advanced Pronunciation

压电 (gāo yā diàn) is “voltage” in Chinese. The Pinyin shows that 压 is first tone, but how strictly is that adhered to?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24079/what-is-the-correct-tone-for-%e5%8e%8b-in-%e9%ab%98%e5%8e%8b%e7%94%b5-high-voltage-and-%e4%bd%8e%e5%8e%8b%e7%94%b5-low-voltage

When the sun is out Intermediate Grammar

If you’re fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan, then you don’t eat when the sun is out. How would you describe this in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24065/does-%e5%87%ba%e5%a4%aa%e9%98%b3%e6%97%b6%e5%80%99%e4%b8%8d%e8%83%bd%e5%90%83%e9%a5%ad-ch%c5%ab-t%c3%a0iy%c3%a1ng-sh%c3%adh%c3%b2u-b%c3%b9n%c3%a9ng-ch%c4%abf%c3%a0n-express-i-cant-eat-when-the

Walk this way Advanced Grammar

How should you use 由此 (yóu cǐ)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24044/how-is-%e7%94%b1%e6%ad%a4-y%c3%b3uc%c7%90-herefrom-used

No parking Intermediate Vocabulary

How do you say “no parking”? And how is that different from “no stopping”? The answer depends on where you are, and where you’re from:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23995/whats-the-difference-between-%e5%81%9c%e8%bd%a6-t%c3%adngch%c4%93-and-%e6%b3%8a%e8%bd%a6-b%c3%b3ch%c4%93-which-both-seem-to-me

Mandarin Weekly #125

 

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #125, a free newsletter read by more than 18,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

了 (le) for changing state Intermediate Grammar Video

The 了 particle gives many people trouble. In this video, we learn how to use 了 to indicate a change of state — meaning, that something has changed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uE_eh8uph0

Twitter: @ChinesePod

le (le) for emphasis Intermediate Grammar Video

Another use of the 了 particle is to indicate emphasis, as described in this video tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWoYhO4NewM

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Just a bit Intermediate Grammar

How do you indicate a small amount of something, or a little bit? This post explains the difference between 有点儿 (yǒu yī diǎn r) and 一点儿 (yī diǎn r):

http://www.digmandarin.com/yi-dian-er-you-dian-er-in-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Remembering characters All Characters Learning

How can you learn characters more easily? After all, there are so many of them. Here are some strategies for improving your recognition and memory for characters, based on creating stories from each character’s components:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/secrets-to-remembering-exactly-how-to-write-a-chinese-characters/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Really? Beginner Expressions Video

Your friend just told you something amazing. Or unbelievable. Or amazing. Here’s how you can say “Really?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8r54LSI4gk

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Writing challenge All Learning Characters

Hacking Chinese has a new challenge: Write as much Chinese as you can this month:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/chinese-writing-challenge-june-2017/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Ensuring you’ll speak Chinese All Learning

If everyone in China wants to speak English with you, then when and how can you practice your Chinese?

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/06/01/language-battle-english-vs-mandarin/

Fisherman and goldfish Intermediate Story Video

In this video, you can hear (and read) the story of a fisherman and a goldfish:

http://nihaohello.blogspot.com/2017/05/chinese-story-fisherman-and-goldfish.html

Twitter: @NihaoHello

Don’t forget Beginner Expressions Video

Don’t forget to eat. Don’t forget your passport. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mandarin Weekly. How can you tell people not to forget things?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv8oXMWZ-1Q

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Dragon Boat vocabulary Beginner Holidays Video

Last week was Dragon Boat Festival in China. Here are some words to describe what took place:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCptuRX787o

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Talking about sports Beginner Vocabulary

How can you discuss sports in Chinese? Here are some useful words and phrases, as well as some short stories about sports and China to practice your reading:

http://learnmandarinonline.net/talk-sports-mandarin-chinese/

Good advice Intermediate Story

A young lawyer teachers his neighbor a lesson, in this short and humorous story:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/31/listen-how-to-say-what-can-i-do-if-something-happens-in-chinese/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Awesome! Intermediate Vocabulary

Are you awesome? (Of course you are, dear reader!) Then learn about 厉害 (lì hai), which lets you say that things are awesomely good — or, sometimes, awesomely bad:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/05/15/is-this-the-most-awesome-word-in-mandarin/

Street talk Beginner Vocabulary

Every language has slang, and here are some words you might well hear on the streets of a Chinese-speaking country:

https://blog.hutong-school.com/chinese-slang/

Twitter: @hutongschool

Children Beginner Story

Children, and raising them, isn’t easy, as we learn from this short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2855-2017-06-02-13-55-07

Twitter: @imandarinpod

People on the move Advanced Story

In China, people don’t always live where they’re officially supposed to. This story describes the situation:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2853-2017-06-01-05-06-21

Twitter: @imandarinpod

I’m back! Beginner Vocabulary

How do you talk about coming back? What’s the difference between 回来了 (huí le) and 回了 (huí le)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23937/are-both-%e5%9b%9e%e4%ba%86-and-%e5%9b%9e%e6%9d%a5%e4%ba%86-correct-responses-to-%e4%bd%a0%e5%9b%9e%e5%a4%a9%e6%b4%a5%e4%ba%86%e5%90%97-have-you-returned-to-tianjin

Are they really similar? Intermediate Characters

Are 田 (tián), 由 (yóu), 甲 (jiǎ), and 申 (shēn) related? (Answer: No.)

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23952/is-there-any-relationship-between-%e7%94%b0-ti%c3%a1n-%e7%94%b1-y%c3%b3u-%e7%94%b2-ji%c7%8e-and-%e7%94%b3-sh%c4%93n

Overtime Beginner Vocabulary

How do you talk about overtime?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/did-do-will-you-have-to-work-overtime.3329764/

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #124, 2017-May-29

 

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #124, a free newsletter read by more than 18,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Punctuation Intermediate Grammar Characters

What do you call punctuation marks in Chinese, and how do you enter them on a keyboard? This article will describe it all:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/how-to-use-chinese-punctuation-and-keyboard-input/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Pinyin videos Beginner Pronunciation Video

Pinyin is, for many of us, the key to learning and pronouncing Chinese correctly. And yet, many of us aren’t always sure how to pronounce things correctly, or how to map pinyin to Western sounds. Here is a video series that goes over pronounciation and pinyin in great detail:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLioS_-8erSI1B8dEErLr28sdgsHMui1d-

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Particles in Chinese Beginner Grammar

Chinese is full of “particles,” characters that change the meaning of a sentence. Knowing these particles and how to use them can make your Chinese sound much more fluent. Here’s a guide to some of the more common particles:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/grammatical-particle-chinese/

Decimals and fractions Intermediate Grammar

How can you talk about decimals, fractions, and percents in Chinese? This video should give you some good ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw6tdzTbTcQ

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Now hear this! Beginner Vocabulary

Trying to say something important to people in China? Here’s how you can get their attention:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/05/get-people-take-seriously-mandarin-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Good jokes Intermediate Story

Heard a good joke lately? Here are some jokes in Chinese for you to use to improve your comprehension:

http://learnmandarinonline.net/best-jokes-2017-learn-mandarin-chinese/

Unspoken “if” Intermediate Grammar

We know that you can say 如果 (rú guǒ) to mean “if.” But this “if” is often left out, making the meaning of some sentences ambiguous:

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/05/24/the-challenge-of-implied-grammar-structures

Cartoons for children Beginner Learning Story

Are your children learning Chinese? If so, then they might enjoy watching some of these animated adventures in simple Chinese:

https://www.misspandachinese.com/chinese-cartoons-for-kids/

Twitter: @MissPandaChines

Summer vacation spots All Travel

Where should you go for a summer vacation in China? Here are some suggestions, including not only city names, but things to do in each one:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/5-Amazing-Places-China-visit-Summer-Vacation

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Getting a taxi All Travel

Trying to get a taxi in Shanghai (even without an app)? Here are some tips for how to succeed:

http://www.digmandarin.com/how-to-hail-a-shanghai-cab.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Warriors Beginner Travel

Near the city of 西安 (Xī’ān), you can see 兵马俑 (bīng mǎ yǒng), an amazing collection of sculptures. Here is a full description of what is there, as well as some vocabulary to tell others what you’ve seen:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/terracotta-warriors/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Basic pronunciation Beginner Pronunciation

Pronouncing Chinese accurately is key to using the language. Here is an introduction to pronunciation issues you might encounter, and how to practice/improve them:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/05/24/chinese-pronunciation-guide/

Twitter: @FluentU

Idioms for writing Intermediate Expressions

Here are some lovely idioms about spring that can help to make your language more colorful and expressive:

https://teachmechinese.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/using-chinese-idioms-in-writing/

Seven years of Hacking Chinese All Learning

Hacking Chinese is one of the best known resources for Chinese learners. Olle, the author, gives some retrospective and consideration:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/whats-name-hacking-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Starbucks and Chinese holidays Intermediate Holidays

It’s traditional to eat 粽子 (zòng zi) on Dragon Boat. Starbucks is trying something new; here is their promotional material, which is interesting both culturally and for those of us improving our reading:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/05/27/starbucks-bring-traditional-chinese-holidays/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Relationship trouble Beginner Story

A short story about a couple having issues, and whether their differences are the end of the relationship:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2851-2017-05-29-03-28-04

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Learning characters Intermediate Story

Learning characters is hard; here is a story about someone trying to improve their knowledge:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2845-2017-05-22-02-32-04

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Don’t be rude! Beginner Culture

If you have ever traveled to China, you know that some things which are accepted in the West are considered rude in China — and vice versa. Here is some information about such differences, as well as an important word, 倒胃口 (dǎo wèi kǒu), to describe such behavior:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/see-misbehavior-describe-it-with-daoweikou

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Expressing love Beginner Vocabulary

When you say “I really like you” in Chinese, does that mean you love them? What’s the difference between liking and loving?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23888/%e6%88%91%e5%be%88%e5%96%9c%e6%ad%a1%e4%bd%a0%e5%91%80-in-a-specific-context

He should be here by now Intermediate Grammar

If you want to say “they should have been here by now,” do you need 了? How does this sentence work?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23852/why-is-%e4%ba%86-used-in-this-context

When does evening start? Beginner Vocabulary

You can indicate evening in Chinese with 晚上 (wǎn shàng). When does this start, though, and how is it distinguished from afternoon and night?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23869/when-does-evening-%e6%99%9a%e4%b8%8a-begin-in-china

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #123, 2017-May-22

 

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #123, a free newsletter read by more than 18,000 students of Chinese around the world.

This week, we have a new feature: Topic tags!  Not only is each link ranked by level (beginner/intermediate/advanced), but also with several tags that should make it easier to identify things that are of interest to you.  Do you have other suggestions for how Mandarin Weekly can be more effective?  Just

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Look better, feel better Intermediate Culture

Getting a massage? Or perhaps cosmetic surgery? Or maybe just a new hairstyle? People in China are doing all sorts of things to improve the way they look. Here are some words to help you look your best, or just describe those who have done so:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/beauty-in-the-east-salons-spas-and-cosmetic-surgery-in-china/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Chinese TV Intermediate Reviews Learning

How can you use Chinese-language TV to improve your comprehension? Here are some possible shows, as well as suggestions for using TV to improve your learning:

https://chinahopelive.net/2017/05/16/watching-chinese-tv-for-language-learning

Twitter: @ChinaHopeLive

Angry words Intermediate Vocabulary Video

Angry with other drivers? Or perhaps with other people in general? Here are some useful words and phrases for expressing anger:

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

Twitter: @ChinesePod

I love you, in numbers Beginner Culture

Why would the number 520 represent love? Because of word games that Chinese love to play. Which means that May 20th is another day on which to express your feelings:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/05/19/520-chinese-number-expresses-love/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Multi-sound characters Intermediate Characters

Some characters have more than one sound. How can you figure out which is the right one? This guide will give you some ideas:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Using-Context-Clues-Read-Chinese-Characters-Multiple-Pronunciations

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Asking someone’s age Beginner Story

How do you ask someone how old they are in Chinese? It depends on how old they are, ironically. Here’s a story about someone learning this the hard way:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2843-2017-05-20-07-59-24

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Food treasures to try Beginner Food

In the West, “Chinese food” is seen as one type of cuisine. But there are so many styles and tastes, it can be overwhelming. Here are five things to try when you’re in China:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/05/18/eating-ones-way-china-favorite-five/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

25 famous landmarks Beginner Travel

China is full of famous, interesting, and beautiful locations. Here are 25 of them, along with their Chinese names and some useful sentences when discussing your travel plans:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/25-famous-chinese-landmarks/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

What’s for dinner? Beginner Food

What are you having for dinner tonight? In China, people eat differently than in the West. Here are some example dishes that people are probably eating tonight, all over the country:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-dinner-%e4%b8%ad%e5%bc%8f%e6%99%9a%e9%a4%90/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Scapegoat Intermediate Vocabulary

In English, someone who is unfairly blamed is known as a “scapegoat.” In Chinese, we can say 背黑锅 (bēi hēi guō), as described here:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/learn-bei-heiguo-and-its-fascinating-origin-story

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Listen better Intermediate Listening

Want to practice your listening? Here are a bunch of stories and quizzes that will help you to fine-tune your ability to listen to (and understand) Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZeLL3_Doz0

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Chinese names All Culture

When you learn Chinese, you get (and use) a Chinese name. What techniques are used to learn new names? And what about people who don’t have Chinese names — how are they referred to within China?

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/05/fantastic-chinese-names-and-how-to-pick-them/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Body parts Beginner Vocabulary Video

This video introduces several body parts, and is followed by a quiz:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BTvn8DyjK0

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Cool slang Beginner Vocabulary

It’s always fun to learn some new Chinese slang; here are 10 of the latest words and phrases that you can use to blend in with the natives (or so we’d like to think):

https://medium.com/@TutorMing/10-chinese-slang-words-to-make-you-sound-like-a-native-cff249737e52

If Beginner Grammar

If these examples don’t show you how to use “if” effectively, then I’ll be surprised:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/20/listen-124/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Big dreams Advanced Story

Castles in the air? Other unrealistic plans? Here’s a story for you about this idea in Chinese:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2841-2017-05-18-12-40-57

Twitter: @imandarinpod

People don’t change Intermediate Expressions

People don’t change, and the world doesn’t change, as this expression reveals:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/18/listen-123/

Twitter: @eputonghua

I’ll drink to that Beginner Vocabulary

Here are some alcoholic drinks you might want to mention (or enjoy) when you’re in China:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/16/listen-120/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Don’t worry Intermediate Grammar

How do you say “not to worry” in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23796/do-you-say-%e5%88%ab%e6%8b%85%e5%bf%83-or-%e4%b8%8d%e6%8b%85%e5%bf%83-for-dont-worry

Locked door Intermediate Grammar

How can you speak of a door as being locked?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23820/how-to-describe-the-state-of-a-locked-door

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #122, 2017-May-15

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This is Mandarin Weekly #122, a free newsletter read by more than 17,000 students of Chinese around the world.  (Sorry for the delay in publishing this issue, but I arrived in Beijing just a few hours ago…)

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Completed actions Intermediate

How can you indicate that an action is complete in Chinese? There are, of course, several ways to do so, as described here:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/how-to-express-a-finished-action-in-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Mother’s Day song Intermediate

This Sunday was Mother’s Day in many countries. Here is a Chinese song (and video) in honor of this day, with some useful vocabulary for talking about mothers:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/learn-the-perfect-chinese-song-for-mother-day

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Mother’s Day wishes Beginner

What can (should) you wish your mother on Mother’s Day? Here are some suggestions… in Chinese, of course:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/05/12/5-heartfelt-simple-mothers-day-wishes/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

The structure of characters All

When you first start to learn Chinese, all characters look the same. Then you start to distinguish among them. Then you notice the components, and separate them out. But have you ever thought about the placement of those components? In this blog post, we see how the characters are built from smaller pieces:

www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/05/10/learn-the-structural-patterns-of-chinese-characters

Sooner or later Intermediate

How can you say “sooner or later” in Chinese? This is a very practical word, with some great explanations:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/05/08/sooner-or-later-you-will-need-this-word/

After your flight Intermediate

So, you’ve arrived in a Chinese-speaking country. What now? This article will tell you how to find transportation, or deal with unpleasant things such as lost luggage:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-lesson-after-the-flight/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Time Beginner

How can you express time in Chinese — this morning, next week, and the like? Here is a guide to the most common time-related expressions:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/13/listen-117/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Mistakes to make in China All

New language? New country? You’re bound to make mistakes. Here are some that this author describes, along with the Chinese words you might need to avoid making the same mistakes. (Note: I use ExpressVPN quite a bit, and rarely have issues.)

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/05/12/5-mistakes-you-will-make-in-china/

Learning languages All

Not specifically about Chinese, but about how to approach learning a language. Useful advice to keep in mind as we move toward fluency:

https://medium.com/@alex_rawlings/10-things-about-learning-languages-i-wish-id-known-10-years-ago-3c1728a28130

Review of Du Chinese All

Du Chinese is an app that you can use to improve your reading and listening fluency. Here is a review of this app, which has also advertised in Mandarin Weekly — and which offers a discount to our readers:

http://www.digmandarin.com/duchinese-review.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Different types of books Beginner

A short list of books, and types of books, you’re likely to encounter in Chinese:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/160507433901/allaboutchinese-%E4%B9%A6-books

Vegetarian in China Beginner

Are you a vegetarian? Don’t worry, there is still plenty for you to eat in China, as this guide shows:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/being-a-vegetarian-in-china/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

All the best Beginner

How can you wish someone well in Chinese? The answer depends on the person with whom you’re speaking, and what you’re wishing them:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/How-Wish-Someone-Well-Chinese

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Dragon Boat Beginner

Duān Wǔ Jié (端午節), aka “Dragon Boat Festival,” is coming on May 30th. Here are some traditional activities and words associated with this holiday:

https://www.misspandachinese.com/learning-about-dragon-boat-festival-duan-wu-jie-%e7%ab%af%e5%8d%88%e7%af%80/

Twitter: @MissPandaChines

What to do in Shanghai All

Going to Shanghai? The good news is that it’s a huge city, with lots to do. So, what should you do there? Here are some suggestions:

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

Spicy hotpot Intermediate

Here’s a short conversation with someone selling spicy hotpot in China. Watch the video to improve your listening — and to understand why many in China eat such spicy food:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/05/spicy-sichuan-hotpot/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Measure words 套 (tào) and 副 (fù) Intermediate

Both of these measure words refer to sets of things. But they are used differently. Here is a video lesson, followed by exercises to improve your understanding:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkZHvDQNWS0

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Learning via language exchange All

How can you use language exchange to improve your Chinese? Here are some hints for getting the most out of it:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-language-exchange.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

A game to improve Chinese Intermediate

Want to improve your vocabulary and fluency? Here is a new text game that aims to do just that:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/haze-new-text-adventure-game-chinese-learners/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Tigers are fierce, but they must sleep Intermediate

A short story about tigers, and their day-to-day habits:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2837-2017-03-30-12-18-30

Twitter: @imandarinpod

The Comac C919 Beginner

The Chinese company Comac has unveiled their C919 jet. Here is a short story about it:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/china-comac-c919-completes-maiden-flight-chinese-news/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Silver linings Advanced

When a US president is robbed, he sees the positive side of things:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/05/07/listen-112/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Expressing fractions Beginner

How can you say 1/3 in Chinese? Is there a short way, just as we have “one half”?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23736/is-there-a-word-for-1-3

Crazy like a fox Intermediate

“Crazy” in English can mean “strange,” not just mentally ill. Is the same true in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23692/%E7%96%AF%E7%8B%82%E7%9A%84-crazy-meaning-unconventional

Talking about clothing Advanced

There are multiple words for “clothing” in Chinese. When can (should) we use 衣衫 (yī shān), vs. 衣服 (yī fu)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23752/how-does-%e8%a1%a3%e8%a1%ab-compare-to-%e8%a1%a3%e6%9c%8d-in-terms-of-meaning-and-flavour

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #121, 2017-May-8

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This is Mandarin Weekly #121, a free newsletter read by more than 17,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

What to eat and drink Intermediate

Traditional Chinese medicine strongly influences the food and drink that people in China have. Here are some basic ideas to consider and keep in mind:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/the-mysterious-impact-food-can-have-on-the-body-according-to-tcm/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

More or less Intermediate

How long will it take? How hot will it be today? How quickly do you type? These and other questions are often answered not with a specific number, but with an approximate one. How can you indicate that the value is approximate in Chinese?

http://www.digmandarin.com/expressing-approximate-number-mandarin.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Starting a conversation Beginner

Maybe you can have a conversation in Chinse, but how do you start the conversation? Here are some tips and ways to do so:

https://mandarinhq.com/2017/05/start-a-conversation-in-chinese/

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Body parts Beginner

How do you say different body parts in Chinese? This video provides numerous examples of the most common body parts, as well as some expressions you can use with them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f98EJHin0to

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Restaurant phrases Intermediate

Planning to eat in a restaurant soon, and want to practice your Chinese? Here are 60 words and phrases you can use, along with an explanation of when they would be appropriate:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/05/03/chinese-restaurant-phrases/

Twitter: @FluentU

About Einstein Advanced

Albert Einstein was one of the most prominent scientists of the 20th century. This story, in Chinese, describes his life and accomplishments:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/albert-einstein-advanced-reading-practice-audio/

A mouse? Or a monster? Intermediate

A short story (well, the first part of one) describing an emperor who couldn’t’ tell the difference between a mouse and a monster:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2833-2017-05-06-07-00-31

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Reading narrowly All

How can you improve your Chinese reading? “Narrow reading” is one technique, which helps you to improve your fluency by focusing on a single subject or author. Here’s how to use it:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/narrow-listening-reading-can-help-learn-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Custom fonts All

Here is a collection of book covers in that use custom Chinese characters, adding to the design:

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/05/03/cool-custom-fonts-for-chinese-book-covers

Popular foods Beginner

What are some of the most famous foods in China? This video introduces them, so that you can know what to order when you next go out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R8MOddWr4E

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Ancient Chinese money Advanced

What was Chinese money like in ancient times? Here is a story that describes it:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2830-2017-05-04-08-29-32

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Wedding words Intermediate

How do you talk about engagement, marriage, and everything else having to do with getting married? Here are some useful words, and an explanation of how the words are related:

http://blog.hellochinese.cc/2017/05/05/woman-will-get-married-character-%e5%a9%9a-will-tell/

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Watch more TV! (In Chinese) Advanced

Watching TV in Chinese might be challenging, but it’ll improve your comprehension and expose you to current cultural and linguistic thinking. Here are some Chinese shows to watch out for:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/5-Popular-Chinese-TV-Shows-Immerse-You-Chinese-Culture

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Chinese calligraphy All

Chinese calligraphy is a famous form of art that you’re likely to see on any trip to China. Here is some background on calligraphy, along with vocabulary to describe it:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/art-calligraphy-china/

Checking a report Beginner

A student asks his mother to check his report for school, in this short dialogue:

http://mychinesereading.com/can-check-paper/

Only Beginner

How do you say “only” in Chinese? You can use the character 只 (zhǐ),but how do you include it in your sentences, and is it always appropriate?

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/05/06/its-only/

I’ll take care of it Beginner

A short story exhibiting the use of a common idiom:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2831-2017-05-05-06-23-36

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Counting days Beginner

Why do we use 天 (tiān) for counting days in Chinese, rather than 日 (rì)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23627/why-%E5%A4%A9-is-chosen-for-counting-days-instead-of-%E6%97%A5-in-mandarin

Look out! Advanced

What does the expression 好自为之 (hǎo zì wéi zhī) mean? And is it to be take positively or negatively?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23686/translating-the-two-meanings-of-%e5%a5%bd%e8%87%aa%e4%b8%ba%e4%b9%8b

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #120, 2017-May-1

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Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #120, a free newsletter read by more than 17,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

So sorry! Beginner

How do you say “I’m sorry” in Chinese, to apologize for a mistake you’ve made, or for bothering someone? This short video demonstrates it nicely:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yRiNu7b4T0

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Labor Day Beginner

Today (May 1st) is Labor Day, in China and in many other countries around the world. This video introduces the Chinese terms associated with Labor Day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqd9-4Hpkus

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Coming soon Intermediate

You’re going to do something soon, or something is happening soon. How can you express that in Chinese? An in-depth look at a common need (and common patterns):

http://www.digmandarin.com/say-something-will-happen-soon-mandarin-chinese.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Mispronounced writing Intermediate

When native Chinese write, they sometimes get the characters wrong. But they can also modify the characters used in a word for comic effect. Some examples are here:

http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2017/04/25/the-cute-mispronounced-chinese-words-confounding-your-reading

What do you think? Beginner

How do you ask someone for their opinion? And how do you express your opinion in an answer? This short video introduces and demonstrates this grammar pattern with numerous examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4rAx5dsxho

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Flag origins All

The Chinese flag, with its red background and yellow stars, is easy to recognize. What do the different parts mean, and what alternatives were considered?

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/the-chinese-flag/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

If only I knew… Intermediate

If only! Here are some phrases (some of them very loving and romantic!) that are all about “if only” something being true:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/25/listen-99/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Nose and eyes Intermediate

How realistic is a picture? In Chinese, you can talk about their noses and eyes, as described in this short story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2825-2017-04-28-03-18-39

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Useful sites All

What Web sites will provide you with the most and best Chinese practice? Here’s a roundup of some of the most useful ones:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/04/26/best-website-to-learn-chinese/

Twitter: @FluentU

Old friends Beginner

In China, people often refer to their home town. If you meet someone from there, or have a friend from there, they are your 老乡 (lǎo xiāng):

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/share-the-same-hometown

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Getting paid Intermediate

A short dialogue about getting paid, and working in a high-tech company:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/30/listen-104/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Ordering food Beginner

How do you order food in Chinese? And how can you ask the waiter for a recommendation? This short video answers these and other simple questions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJPR06wjHw

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Searching for Pinyin All

The search engine “Duck Duck Go” has always offered a number of special searches with its “bang syntax,” meaning an exclamation point (!) before a special word. They now include translation via Arch Chinese, as explained here:

http://duckgobang.com/english-chinese-dictionary-bang/

The Ordinary Road Advanced

A beautiful song, 平凡之路 (píng fán zhī lù), with characters, pinyin, and translation:

http://mychinesereading.com/the-ordinary-road/

Shopping bags Advanced

Do you bring your own bags to the supermarket? Do you have to pay for plastic bags in your country? You do if you’re in China, as this story explains:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/2823-2017-04-26-14-02-38

Twitter: @imandarinpod

All nighters Intermediate

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter for school or work? Here’s how you can talk about it in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/26/listen-100/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Pandas in Holland Intermediate

A short story about pandas arriving in Holland:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/panda-xingya-wuwen-arrived-in-the-netherlands-news-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Lecturing Intermediate

How can you say “give a lecture” in Chinese?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23605/what-is-the-difference-between-%e8%ae%b2%e8%af%be-and-%e6%bc%94%e8%ae%b2

Weekdays Beginner

How do you describe weekdays (as opposed to “working days”)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23585/is-there-a-generic-way-to-say-weekday-without-the-concept-of-work-business-sc

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #119, with 20 resources to improve your Chinese

Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #119, a free newsletter read by more than 16,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to 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!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at reuven@lerner.co.il.

Traditional characters

All There is a long-standing debate over simplified vs. traditional Chinese characters, one which has political as well as linguistic dimensions. This post assumes that you’re learning simplified characters (as are used in mainland China), and wonder why anyone would learn traditional ones. There are numerous reasons, it turns out:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/4-reasons-why-shouldnt-ignore-traditional-chinese-characters/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Two ways to learn

All What sort of listening should you do, in order to improve your fluency? There are two different approaches, “comprehension-based listening” and “deep-end immersion.” Which is right for you, and how should you go about using them?

http://www.hackingchinese.com/comprehension-based-listening-vs-deep-end-immersion/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Don’t play garlic

Intermediate Are you playing dumb, pretending not to understand? In Chinese, that would be 装蒜 (zhuāng suàn), as described here with examples and (of course) an origin story:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/pretending-garlic-useful-chinese-saying

Twitter: @ECLSchool

It’s off to work we go

Intermediate Do you work hard? Do you value hard work? If so (and even if not), then here are 12 traditional Chinese sayings about hard work:

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-proverbs-about-work.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Improving your tones

Beginner Tones are one of those aspects of Chinese that everyone knows they need to get right, but which are tricky for many non-native speakers. Here are some tone basics, as well as suggestions for how to learn and remember them:

https://chinesepod.com/blog/learn-chinese-tones-properly/

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Two words for “thing”

Beginner Why does Chinese have two words for “thing”? You can say 东西 (dōng xi) to mean “a tangible thing,” or 事 (shì) to mean “an intangible thing.” Here’s an introduction to the two, and the issues it can cause:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/04/17/why-does-mandarin-have-two-words-for-thing/

Online translation bakeoff

All Which online translation service can handle some Internet slang the best? An amusing look at the difficulties online translations can give:

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/04/who-translates-it-best/

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Chinese immersion, from anywhere

All One of the best ways (if not the best) to get better at a language is to immerse yourself in it. How can you do that with Chinese? What resources are available to see, read, and hear Chinese all around you, even if you’re not in China?

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/04/19/learn-chinese-immersion/

Twitter: @FluentU

Steve Jobs, the Chinese biography

Advances The story of Steve Jobs, in Chinese:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/steve-jobs-advanced-simplified-summary/

On the airplane

Beginner So, you’re flying to (or from) China! How can you communicate with the crew, as well as understand their announcements? Here’s a short guide to some common expressions:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-lesson-on-the-plane/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

At the airport

Beginner You’ve arrived at the airport in China. You can expect to be asked many questions — and you might have questions of your own, too! Here are some useful phrases to know, both to hear and speak, before you head off:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-lesson-at-the-airport/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Learning Chinese

Beginner A short, graphical guide to learning Chinese in China — what to expect, how much you’ll pay, and what cities (and countries) you can/should visit:

http://www.chinahush.com/2017/04/20/frequently-asked-questions-about-studying-mandarin-chinese-in-china/

Getting a Chinese cellphone

Beginner If you are planning to spend a long time in China, you’ll want a local cellphone plan. Here are some tips and vocabulary for doing so:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/buying-a-sim-card-in-china-the-chinese-you-need

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Should you take the HSK?

All The HSK (levels 1-6) is the standard test of Chinese given by the Chinese government. Many people work to pass the HSK, but is it worthwhile? Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t worry about it too much:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/04/19/why-you-shouldnt-study-for-the-hsk/

Nonstop chatter

Intermediate How can you say that someone is talking nonstop? How about 喋喋不休 (dié dié bù xiū):

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/22/listen-96/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Dinner party

Beginner A short story about a dinner party and making conversation:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2821-2017-04-22-05-49-03

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Classic literature

Advanced A short conversation about some of China’s most famous literary works:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2817-2017-04-19-02-30-00

Twitter: @imandarinpod

What could have been

Intermediate How can you construct a sentence in Chinese that talks about what could have been, or would have been?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23455/how-do-you-translate-could-have-been-sentences

Anyone? Someone?

Intermediate How can you ask questions in Chinese using the equivalents of “somebody” and “anybody”?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23491/how-to-ask-anybody-anyone-somebody-someone-questions-in-chinese

Refrigerator vs. freezer

Intermediate If both “refrigerator” and “freezer” are translated into Chinese as 冰箱 (bīng xiāng), then how can you distinguish between them?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23462/fridge-and-freezer-beyond-%e5%86%b0%e7%ae%b1

Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #118, with 21 new resources to improve your Chinese

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Better learning via scaffolding

All “Scaffolding” is a common idea in education, helping learners by gradually reducing the support they receive (and need) in order to learn things more easily. This post provides a number of suggestions for scaffolding and supports when learning Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/8-great-ways-scaffold-chinese-learning/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Save the planet (in Chinese)

Intermediate What can you do to save the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, we have this video from ChineseClass101.com, with useful phrases:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwtk6nPs-50

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Choosing a translation app

Beginner Having a translation app on your phone is important for learners of all levels. What are some of the options, and how can you choose from among them?

http://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-translator-app-review.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Improving from Chinese movies

Intermediate A review of a new resource for improving your Chinese, Learn-Chinese-From-Movies.com, which aims to help us improve our fluency by exposing us to as many Chinese movies as possible:

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/357-2/

Twitter: @LCFMofficial

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of liquor component

Intermediate The component 酉 (yǒu) refers to a bottle of liquor and is used in a large number of characters that have to do with fermentation or seasoning:

http://www.decodemandarinchinese.com/compmonent-%e9%85%89-a-jar-for-storing-liquors/

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Airport vocabulary

Beginner Traveling to or from China by air? Knowing these airport-related terms will smooth your journey:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-air-travel-vocabulary/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Buying airplane tickets

Beginner Unless you live in China, you will likely need to buy airline tickets to and from there. Here are some words and phrases you’ll need to buy your tickets:

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/how-to-buy-a-plane-ticket-in-chinese/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

All about pandas

Advanced Almost every loves pandas; here is a short essay about them:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/2810-2017-04-13-11-38-47

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Smuggled goods

Intermediate There are lots of counterfeit goods, 行货 (hánghuò), in China. Don’t mix up that term with 水货 (shuǐhuò), which is how you refer to smuggled goods:

http://www.echineselearning.com/blog/which-will-you-choose-shuihuo-vs-hanghuo

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Is beer alcohol?

Beginner A funny dialogue between a driver and a policeman, pointing to the many inconsistencies in Chinese terms:

http://chinese-at-ease.com/is-beer-alcohol-chinese-story-for-beginners/

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Withdrawing money

Beginner Where is the nearest ATM? A short story that is all-too-familiar to those of us who travel often:

http://mychinesereading.com/where-is-the-nearest-atm/

Let down your hair!

Intermediate The story of Rapunzel, told in Chinese (audio, characters, and pinyin):

http://www.alllanguageresources.com/rapunzel-intermediate-reader-audio/

Weather terms

Beginner What is the weather like outside? Here’s how to say it in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/16/listen-89/

Twitter: @eputonghua

We’re early; we’re late

Beginner Did you get somewhere early? Or (like me) late? Here’s how to express that in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/04/09/listen-92/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Chinese art forms

Beginner China has many types of traditional art forms. Here is a list of five of them, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to describe them:

https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Chinese-Traditional-Art-Music-Peking-Opera-Calligraphy

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Invest time, learn more efficiently

All Which is the best way for you to improve your Chinese? Take some time to figure that out, since doing so will save you time, and improve your learning in the long run:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/analysis-paralysis-choosing-method-becomes-problem/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

148 expressions

Intermediate Common sayings, known as 成语 (chéng yǔ), are a part of colloquial Chinese speech and writing. Here are 148 (!) common ones that you can either learn to understand from others, or incorporate into your own speech:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/list-chengyu/

Cross that river

Beginner How do you cross a river? By using the rocks you see. This is true metaphorically, and not just literally, as this short story explains:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2811-2017-04-14-03-11-05

Twitter: @imandarinpod

All of it

Intermediate Chinese has several ways to say “all,” such as 所有 (suǒ yǒu) and 全部 (quán bù). When is each appropriate?

Describing shapes

Intermediate How can you say that something is heart-shaped, star-shaped, or anything-else-shaped?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23349/what-is-the-correct-way-to-say-shaped

Difference between 吃 and 食

Intermediate The characters 吃 (chī) and 食 (shí) both have to do with eating and food. When is each used?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23346/%E5%90%83-and-%E9%A3%9F-difference