Mandarin Weekly #78

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #78, links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Using 在

The word 在 (zài) can be used in a variety of ways, to describe location. Here is a description of where to use it, and where you might make common mistakes:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

The five Chinese elements

What are the traditional five elements in Chinese culture? provides us with insights:

Twitter: @LearnChineseNow

Funny character associations

If you’re trying to remember characters, it’s often a good idea to make a silly or unusual association that’ll help you remember. Here are some examples:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

I really have to go

How can you end a conversation in Chinese? Here are a few good ways to do so. Don’t get trapped in a conversation again!

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Eating restrictions

When you’re in China, you might be expected to eat all sorts of things that you wouldn’t see in your own country. And even in your own country, you might have certain eating restrictions, for a vareity of reasons. How can you say, in Chinese, that your eating options are restricted?

Twitter: @chinese4us

Paper vs. electronic dictionaries

What kind of dictionary should you use? And what brands are worth trying?

Twitter: @zhongruige

Little red card

Following the Euro 2016 soccer matches? Want to tell your Chinese friends who got a red card vs. a yellow card? Here’s a full soccer vocabulary list, to talk about the games with your friends:

Twitter: @chinese4us

Using cartoons

Have you considered using cartoons to improve your Chinese? It can help you in a number of ways:

Twitter: @HackingChinese


Know your colors in Chinese! Here is a list of popular colors, along with a few example sentences to use:

Online dating

Looking for a date in China? Here are some mobile apps, used by Chinese, to find true love (or just a fun time):

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Spicing it up

Here are some basic seasonings that you can put on your food, or in your cooking, in Chinese:

Adding the er

When must you add the “er” sound to words in Mandarin? Is it optional, or mandatory?

Origin of Russia’s name

Why do we call Russia 俄罗斯 (E luó sī) in Chinese?

Hacker slang

If you’re a computer user who wants to learn some hacker (i.e., hard-core user) slang, where can you go? And is it even necessary?

Saying “ice cream”

How do you pronounce 冰淇淋 (bīng qí lín), meaning “ice cream”?

Westerners speaking Chinese

Do Chinese people frequently encounter Westerners who speak Chinese?

Mortgage slave

What does it mean to be a “房奴” (fáng nú ), a “mortgage slave”?

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