|大家好！ (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #115, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.
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“Yes” and “no”
Beginner People learning Chinese are often surprised to find out that there are no exact equivalents to “yes” and “no.” How do people express these ideas in Chinese? With a variety of different answers:
Advanced If you’re looking to improve your Chinese listening ability, as well as gain insights into Chinese culture while enjoying a guilty pleasure, consider watching Chinese TV shows. Here is a list of shows you can watch, along with some information about each one:
Types of eggs
Beginner Eggs are a common food all over the world, and China is no exception. Here is a list of the different ways that you can cook eggs, including some uniquely Chinese ways, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to identify and order them:
Life as a translator
What is it like to learn Chinese, and then work in China as a translator? This post from Hacking Chinese is an interview with Carl Gene Fordham:
You might have heard of “Peking opera,” a form of classic Chinese entertainment that comes from Beijing — but what is it? Here is an introduction to Peking Opera, including a number of relevant words and phrases:
Meat meat meat
Beginner Chinese food includes a lot of meat. And many kids of meat. From many different sources. Here is a list of the various sources, configurations, and types of meat you’re likely to encounter in China:
Beginner If you’re ordering steak, then you’ll need to indicate how you want it cooked, as well as what side dishes you would like to order. Here’s a complete guide to ordering meat and potatoes (and perhaps even a green salad) while in China:
Dating ≠ learning
Beginner Want to improve your Chinese? Maybe you can/should date someone for whom Chinese is their native language. Or maybe not, as this post explains:
Peacocks and princesses
Intermediate A short story about a princess:
Advanced One of the most famous things to see in Xi’an in the “terracotta army,” an enormous set of soldier-shaped statues. Here is a story about them:
Intermediate You’ve never seen anything like it before? Fine; how can you express that in Chinese?
Beginner Spring has arrived, and with it the equinox. Here are some Chinese words and phrases for this period, and activities we can do now:
Advanced Some words can be written with different “spellings” — meaning, they can use different characters. How do we describe this, and what are some examples of this phenomenon?
After Chinese Breeze
Intermediate Chinese Breeze is a well-known series of reaeders for people learning Chinese. What should you read when you’re done with that series, or when it no longer suits you?
Advanced Which mirror word (classifier) should be used with small things?
The trailing 吃的
Advanced A question about a trailing 的 leads to a discussion about adjectives, nouns, and when you can leave out words:
了 (le) and future actions
Advanced Can we use 了 to indicate a change of status for future actions? Sometimes; this discussion makes the point clearer:
Different types of registering
Intermediate The word “register” in English has several translations into Chinese, depending on the context: