Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #113, 2017-March-13

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #113, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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What not to say on International Women’s Day

Intermediate March 8th was International Women’s Day, known in Chinese as 三八妇女节 (sān bā fù nǚ jié). Why is this term so bad, and what other words should you avoid using on this day?

Twitter: @ChinesePod

International Women’s Day

Intermediate In honor of International Women’s Day, interviews Patricia Smith from the Australian Office in Taipei, with whom they speak about the female side of Chinese characters:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Referring to foreigners

Beginner Foreigners in China are often referred to as 外国人 (wài guó rén), but other terms are also common. What’s the difference?

Buying groceries

Beginner Want to go shopping for groceries in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases and sentences for you:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Numbers, and their connotations

Intermediate You might think that numbers are simple. But in China, this isn’t true: While counting in Chinese is straightforward, many numbers have connotations beyond their numeric meanings:

Computer talk

Intermediate Want to discuss computer-related subjects with your Chinese colleagues and friends? Here’s a rather long list of terms you can use to talk about software, hardware, and everything in between:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Postpartum rest

Advanced After giving birth, Chinese women rest for a month, an ancient practice known as 坐月子 (). Here is a short story explaining what’s involved:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

And… what else?

Beginner One of the first characters Chinese learners encounter is 和 (hé), which means “and.” But it turns out that 和 means much more than that:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Poor Haha

Intermediate A cute joke (cartoon) in Chinese:

Hungry for dessert?

Beginner Here are some sweet things to have after (or in between) meals, in Chinese:

Internet slang

Intermediate It’s time for yet another list of hot Internet slang in Chinese! Notice that many of the words and phrases here come from other languages, and have been absorbed into Chinese:

Twitter: @AlsSydney

Native Chinese podcasts

Advanced Want to listen to material in Chinese that’s meant for natives, and not for learners? Here is a list of podcasts in Chinese that will challenge you, and hopefully interest you, as well:

Twitter: @FluentU

Traditional Chinese music brings us this interview and introduction to traditional music with Ma Jie, a Chinese musician who plays the pipa:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Comprehension-based learning

Intermediate In this third and final post about “Comprehension-based learning,” we get some suggestions for how to apply this technique in our own learning, to accelerate the process of gaining fluency:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Long-lasting love

Beginner A simple story about celebrating 50 years of marriage:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Exploring 大芬 (dà fēn)

Intermediate Dafen has more than 1,000 stores selling art. Listen to some conversations about this place, and learn what makes it special:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Tomb-Sweeping Day

Advanced Tomb-Sweeping Day is coming up soon. Here is a short story in Chinese about it, teaching vocabulary and the holiday’s history:

Little Pig’s house

Intermediate Little Pig has to fix his house. A short video for children, or adults who enjoy children’s stories:

Learning to read, for Chinese speakers

Beginner Many people grew up speaking Chinese with their parents, but never learned to read characters. What’s a good strategy for such people to learn to read (and write) Chinese?

You did what, for how long?

Intermediate It’s common to want to say, “I did X for Y,” where Y is an amount of time. How can you express this in Chinese?

Also published on Medium.

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