Mandarin Weekly #68

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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Sorry for the delay in getting this issue out, but I needed to put the finishing touches on our second giveaway! (Our first one ended yesterday; the three winners will soon receive their coupon codes for Hanping Soundbox.)

Our current giveaway is for six months of Yoyo Chinese, a $99 value! Two lucky winners will be drawn on May 15th. Enter by going to the giveaway page. You get one chance to win just by entering, and three additional chances to win for every friend you refer to the giveaway. The more friends you tell, the greater your chances for receiving six months of free online Chinese instruction!

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Using 把 (bǎ)

A frequently confused point of Chinese grammar is the use of 把 (bǎ). Here is a short explanation of how and when to use it:

Unsinkable friendship

A joke from the “Friends” sitcom has gone viral in China. How can we talk about friendship, boats, and related jokes in Chinese?

Twitter: @DuChinese

Hello hello

How do you say “hello” in Chinese? Yes, of course you can say 你好, but here are some more colloquial and interesting ways to greet people:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Bye bye

And of course, there are lots of ways to say “goodbye” in Chinese, as well. Here are some common words and phrases:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Types of homes

In what kind of house do you live? And what rooms does your house contain? Here is an introduction to the types of homesand rooms people typically have in China:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

The two 弹 s

You can pronounce 弹 as either dàn or tán. They have different meanings, though. This chart describes each meaning with some words using each pronunciation:

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Wait a moment

How can you ask someone to wait a moment? You won’t be surprised to hear that Chinese has several methods, described in this video:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Celebrity nicknames

Celebrities have names, and often have nicknames. But in Chinese, some of these nicknames can be a bit … unusual. In this post, we learn the Chinese nicknames for some global entertainment celebrities:

Breakfast in China

China has some great breakfast food. Here are some examples of what you can get for breakfast there, along with the words you’ll need to describe (and order) it:

Twitter: @TheChairmansBao

Real Chinese food

What do people eat in China? Chinese food, of course — but it doesn’t really resemble what you’ve probably seen in Chinese restaurants in the West. Here are some examples of real Chinese food:

Twitter: @HelloChineseApp

Are you kidding?

A short description of how to say “are you kidding me?” in Chinese:

Keep going!

How can we encourage someone in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases that will give someone a necessary emotional boost:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Growing grapes (a story)

A short story in Chinese (read out loud, with characters and Pinyin) about growing grapes — appropriate, now that the summer is approaching, and they’re in season!

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Yes/no questions

There are several ways to ask (and answer) yes/no questions in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Words with 包

The word 包 (bāo) means “package” or “pack,” and can be used in a wide variety of words:

All about Chengdu

I’ll probably be traveling (for work) to Chengdu in August, so I was particularly happy to find this introduction to the city, with a large list of places to go and things to do there:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Dancing rabbit

A cute children’s song about a dancing white rabbit, with characters and Pinyin:

Twitter: @ChineseToLearn

Saying “app”

How do you say “app” in Chinese? There is a Chinese answer, but there’s also a colloquial one that should be easy for English speakers to remember, as we hear from CrazyFreshChinese:

Improving your pronunciation

Pronunciation is tough for foreigners learning Chinese. Here is a collection of tips that will make you sound more natural, and even more understandable:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Learning to read characters

If you want to learn Chinese characters, it might seem like a daunting (or even impossible) task. How can you start? What are some useful hints to keep in mind?

Twitter: @DigMandarin

No need for embarrassment

The folks at ChinesePod tackle the vocabulary needed when you get tested for STDs in Chinese:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Learning with technology

How can technology help you to learn Chinese better and faster? In lots of ways, as explained here:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Horse crossing

A short story in simple Chinese about a horse and a river, with characters, translation, and high-quality grammatical hints:

Twitter: @KendraSchaefer


How can you say “abroad” or “overseas,” and are these the same thing?

What does that mean?

Want to use Chinese to ask your teacher how to say something? This discussion has some good phrases and tips:

Uncle driver!

In Chinese, we often use “Aunt” or “Uncle” to refer to certain professions. When is it appropriate (or not) to do so?

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