Mandarin Weekly #55

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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New Year traditions

Chinese New Year is about to begin, and it’s thus time for us to learn (or re-learn) the words and phrases that have to do with that festival. In this post, we learn about popular traditions among people celebrating Chinese New Year:

Twitter: @SpeakUpChinese

Chinese New Year vocabulary

Written Chinese also chimes in with a vocabulary list for the Chinese New Year:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Boom! Crash! Ouch!

How do you express certain real-world sounds in Chinese? This article introduces onomatopoeia, Chinese style, with many useful words and phrases:

Twitter: @FluentU

Two ways of saying “two”

Why does Chinese have two ways to say “two,” and when is each used?

Useful grammar patterns

Certain grammar patterns repeat themselves all of the time in Chinese. In this posting, we learn about two of them, “VERB 一VERB” and VERB + 来/去:

Twitter: @DuChinese

Creative ways to express love

How can you say “I love you” in Chinese? This video provides us with 13 different ways to express your affection:

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Beginner Chinese videos

Just starting to learn Chinese? Here are some videos that you can use to get a jump-start on your learning of the language:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Saying “yes” and “no”

LearnChineseNow answers one of the most common questions asked by newcomers to Chinese: How do you say “yes” and “no”?

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

A Spanish couple

Learn about an elderly Spanish couple in this story, read aloud, with characters and Pinyin:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Chinese pronouns

How well do you know your pronouns in Chinese? This chart and introduction from Dig Mandarin should help you to get started and/or serve as a useful reminder:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

The “knife” radical

Another list of characters containing the “knife” radical:

Top Chinese adjectives

YuTing from ChineseClass101 provides us with a video, demonstrating and pronouncing 25 common adjectives in Chinese:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Where are you from?

What country are you from? That is a common question you’ll get when in China; with this list, you’ll (probably) be able to answer them:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Long-distance relationships

Seeing someone special? But they live far away? In this video, ChinesePod offers us the chance to learn how to talk about such relationships in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Tiger-related idioms

Chengyu, Chinese idoms, are an important part of learning to speak and understand Chinese. Many include tigers. In this posting, we learn about several of the more common tiger-related Chengyu:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Numbers, from 11 – 100

Want to count from 11 to 100 in Chinese? It’s surprisingly easy, as indicated in this video from ChineseClass101:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Translating nouns

Translating from Chinese to English isn’t always so straightforward; in this posting, we get some practice trying to perform such translations:

Twitter: @MandarinWManu

Famous Chinese dishes

Traveling to China? Or just want to eat authentic Chinese food? This list of famous dishes, including their characters, will help to set you straight:

Did learning Chinese change your life?

A discussion among people who are relatively fluent in Chinese, who tell us how knowing the language has affected their lives and careers:

Do Chinese children learn Pinyin?

Do Chinese children learn Pinyin, either before or while learning characters?

Do native speakers know their tones?

If you ask a native speaker to identify the tones, can they do it? Does this matter for non-native speakers who are learning Chinese?

How’s it going?

How can you ask someone how something is going? And when you do so, how which 的/得 is appropriate?

Li Li Li

What is the difference between the characters 裡, 裏 and 里? All are pronounced lǐ, but are the meanings or uses different?

Your opinion, please

What is the difference between 看法 and 想法? Both seem to mean “opinion,” but are they used in different ways?

I thought so

What is the difference between 认为 (rèn wéi) and 以为 (yǐ wéi)? Both seem to mean “I thought so,” but they aren’t quite the same:

Beautiful and ugly behavior?

You can use 美 and 丑 to indicate that something is beautiful or ugly. But does this work for behavior, or is it limited to appearances?


There are two ways to receive something in Chinese, and the distinction between 受 (shòu) and 收 (shōu) isn’t always obvious:

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