Mandarin Weekly #105

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #105, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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More about comparisons

Beginner is back with another video about how to comparisons, this time aimed at beginners:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Different types of “later”

Beginner How do you say “later”? We have words such as 后来 (hòu lái), 以后 (yǐ hòu), and 之后 (zhī hòu), but when should each be used?

Understanding 了 (le)

Intermediate A video series from continues, describing new ways to use 了 to describe complex ideas — in this case, doing different permutations of “doing X and then doing Y”:

Twitter: @Mandarin_Monkey

Existential sentences

Intermediate No, “existential sentences” have nothing to do with philosophy. Rather, they describe a situation in which something exists, appears, or disappears, and have a slightly unusual syntax:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

HSK3 grammar videos

Intermediate Interested in preparing for the HSK3 exam? These videos (part of a larger, paid product) can help you out. I viewed several, and enjoyed them; you might, too:

I did it!

Beginner If you want to indicate that you have done something in the past, you can use 过 (guò) after the verb. Here are some examples of how to use 过:

Chinese New Year song

Intermediate Here are the music and lyrics (in characters, with Pinyin if you hover your mouse cursor) for a popular (ad catchy!) Chinese New Year song:

Tough for you

Beginner Did someone do something for you that was particularly tough? You can use the phrase 难为你了 (nánwéi nǐ le), which means “tough for you”:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Describing your online habits

Intermediate Do you go online a lot? Do you use social media? Here are some Chinese words and phrases you can use to describe what you’re doing:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Numerical idioms

Intermediate Numbers can be used in Chinese phrases to represent ideas, not just the numbers themselves:

Twitter: @eputonghua

What food to order in China

Beginner When you get to a restaurant in China, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options. Here are some suggestions for what to get:

It’s a mess

Intermediate The word 乱 (luàn) means “messy,” but not just in the physical sense. You can have a messy room, but you can also speak or think in a messy way, as described here:

Movie review

Advanced A recent Chinese blockbuster, 湄公河事件 (méi gong hé shì jiàn), makes for a good movie, as well as good practice:

Chinese tongue twisters

Intermediate Can you say these tongue twisters quickly? Whether you can or not, they are still fun to say:

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Using spaced reptition

Spaced repetition is a common technique used in learning languages, including Chinese. How can you use it, and how can you use it beyond traditional flashcards?

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Slang to try

Beginner Know any hipsters? Want to know how to describe them in Chinese? Here are explanations for this and other slang terms:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Superstitious numbers

Beginner Numbers in China have significance, and knowing the good ones vs. the bad ones can be important in conversation and gift giving, as this article states:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Phrase: 五十步笑百步

Advanced What does the phrase 五十步笑百步 (Wǔ shí bù xiào bǎi bù) mean? Here is an explanation:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Chinese book club

Advanced This month, the book club is reading and discussing “1988:我想和这个世界谈谈” by 韩寒. Want to join the group, read the book, and discuss it with others? Go here to learn more:

Radicals and components

Intermediate What are the names for radicals and components in Chinese characters?

Addressing letters

Beginner How do you address and send a letter in China? I know, I know; who sends letters when we have e-mail and WeChat? But assuming that you do want to send a letter (or package), here are some guidelines:

Time in Chinese

Intermediate For many foreigners learning Chinese, the lack of a past tense is odd and difficult. The answers to this question try to put time usage into context in Chinese:

Also published on Medium.

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