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Tones are not optional
You know, tones are those things that you kinda sorta remember to tack on when you’re speaking Chinese, right? Well, they shouldn’t be; they are as important to the correct pronunciation, and thus to people understanding you, as vowels, Olle Linge argues in this posting:
Now that you’ve learned (or been reminded) that tones aren’t optional, enjoy this video from LearnChineseNow, which not only introduces the tones, but how they interact with one another:
The mouth radical
Noticing the mouth radical in many characters can help to provide its meaning. Oksana from DigMandarin provides some examples and explanations:
English phrases in Chinese
Chinese isn’t known for bringing in many words and phrases from English, but there are some. In this article, we learn about some such phrases and their possible origins:
Improve your Chinese, with Netflix!
Want to improve your Chinese? This article provides instructions for how to use Netflix to improve your Chinese, along with some suggested Chinese movees:
SpeakUpChinese describes how you can say “no wonder!” in Chinese, in two different forms:
Set your goals for 2016
Planning to improve your Chinese in 2016? (If not, then why are you reading this?!?) You should try to set some goals for the year, and then for each month, as described by Hollie from Written Chinese:
Happy New Year!
Happy 2016! It might be a smidgen late, but here are phrases having to do with the new year, both in general and how it’s celebrated in China:
New Year blessings
Here are some more phrases for the start of 2016, emphasizing the blessings and best wishes you can give to people in Chinese:
The Little Mermaid
The classic children’s story, in Chinese (spoken, with characters and pinyin) to help you improve your listening:
Here are some basic body parts that you should probably know in Chinese, along with the characters and some basic explanations for why they (might) look like they do:
When should you use 另外 (lìng wài), and when should you use 另 (lìng)? The distinction is made clear in this article from DigMandarin:
Are new characters created?
If Chinese needs a new word, is a new character created for it? Or are existing characters combined to form that new word? Or both? A short, but interesting, discussion:
Correct tone for 为 (wei)
Is it 2nd tone, or 4th? The answer is that it’s both, with different meanings:
Who decides on the sounds of characters?
Who decides on such things? The answers here are complex, but interesting:
The school bus is coming
What verb ending is appropriate to translate this idea into Chinese? The discussion here is good for anyone who is confused between 过 (guò) and 着 (zhe).