Mandarin Weekly #42

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) Welcome to the latest Mandarin Weekly, with yet more links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Learning characters vs. words

Should you learn Chinese characters, or words (which often contain more than one character?) Chris from FluentInMandarin provides us with some interesting insights into how and when to focus on each one.

Twitter: @FluentInMandarin

How to read Chinese

Before learning to read Chinese characters, they look like a random jumble of scribbles. But after a while, you can see the patterns. This article by Michael Cruickshank describes how radicals and components fit together, and the different types of characters that you will encounter.

Latest and greatest

How can you say “the latest” in Chinese? In this article by Sarah Soulie in DigMandarin, we learn a few of the phrases that we can use to describe the most recent things we’ve done and seen.

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Listening resources

What online resources exist to help you with your comprehension of spoken Chinese? Sensible Chinese lists a number of sources for Chinese audio that can help to improve your understanding

Discussing hobbies

Want to talk about your hobbies in Chinese? This article, from Speak Up Chinese, will show you how to ask about someone else’s hobbies, and also how to talk about your own.

Shopping in Chinese

In this video from Emma Xue, she narrates her experience shopping in the supermarket before Halloween. There isn’t any English or Pinyin — so if you’re at more than a beginner level, this might provide you with great listening comprehension review.

Pronunciation via the IPA

Most of us learn to pronounce Chinese using Pinyin. But in this article from Hacking Chinese, Olle Linge suggests that it’s worth learning the IPA pronunciation, which is more precise and standardized.

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Short stories

These short stories from Miss Panda Chinese, meant for children (but we won’t tell if you listen, too), are good for listening practice.

Double objects

What are double objects, and how do we use them in Chinese grammar?

Asking for things

When you’re in China, how can you ask for something from (for example) a restaurant?

Regional accents

What accents do you like (and dislike) in Chinese? Which are easier and harder to understand?

Listening to too-hard podcasts?

Is it worth listening to podcasts that are at a more difficult level of Chinese than you currently know?

One or two?

When can you use a single character, and when do you need the entire two-character word? This question on Reddit asked about 或者 vs. 或, and resulted in an interesting discussion

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