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Learning to hear tones
Speaking the tones in Chinese is hard for those of us learning the language, but hearing them can often be even harder. In this post, Olle from Hacking Chinese describes how we can improve our sensitivity to tones, for better comprehension and speaking:
Everything and nothing
A great video from ChinesePod telling us how to say the words “everything,” “nothing,” and so forth:
Another video from ChinesePod, describing different types of personalities (and how to say them in Chinese):
Breaking up is hard to do
This post, from the World of Chinese, contains many expressions that we can use in Chinese to describe relationships (and their ends):
Grace from Just Learn Chinese has another story in simple Chinese, with characters and then (when moused over) pinyin and translation:
A great video from Helpful Chinese Resources, demonstrating the different places that things can go, and how to describe them relative to one another:
Chinese has a huge number of homophones (i.e., words that sound the same, but mean different things). Hollie at Written Chinese has collected a number, and provides us with some of the more amusing ones:
Slang, slang, and slang
Three collections of Chinese slang for DigMandarin:
Learning the characters for numbers in Chinese is both easy and useful. In this post, Oksana introduces a number of them, and shows how they can be combined in various ways:
Waiting for a Person
Chinese to Learn provides a nice love song in Chinese, with Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. Improve your listening and your reading at the same time:
Do you love me?
Chris from Fluent in Mandarin offers a love song, with characters and pinyin, for a popular (if old) song:
Can you really become fluent?
Chris from Fluent in Mandarin asks whether it’s possible to become truly fluent in Chinese. His answer: Definitely, but it will take time.
FluentU provides us with a list of books (some for children, or for the young at heart) that are good for beginning Chinese readers:
“Magic wand” sentences
What are some good all-purpose conversational phrases and sentences you can use in Chinese? Here are a number of useful ones to keep in mind:
You’ll often find Chinese books and lessons talking about “voiced initials.” What are they, and what can/should we do to learn and understand them?
China’s one-child policy, recently changed, is the subject of much international discussion. How would you describe someone as being an only child?
How do you say “sticker”?
Some people asked whether “sticker” is transliterated into Chinese, but it turns out that you can say 贴纸 (Tiē zhǐ), or “sticky paper”:
Dedicating a book
How would you dedicate a book (or other work) to someone? There are both traditional and modern (colloquial) ways to do so:
Taping up a package
If you have to tape up a package, what words should you use?
“Percent” should be 百分之 (bǎi fēn zhī), but not everyone says it that way. Why not?
Dealing with frustration
What should you do when your Chinese isn’t improving as quickly as you would like? And when you don’t have anyone with whom you can practice?