Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #118, with 21 new resources to improve your Chinese

Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly 118, a free newsletter read by more than 16,000 students of Chinese around the world.

If you enjoy Mandarin Weekly, please share it with others. And don’t forget to take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at, Medium, at, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

If you offer products or services aimed at students of Chinese, and want to sponsor one or more issues, then please contact Reuven at

Better learning via scaffolding

All “Scaffolding” is a common idea in education, helping learners by gradually reducing the support they receive (and need) in order to learn things more easily. This post provides a number of suggestions for scaffolding and supports when learning Chinese:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Save the planet (in Chinese)

Intermediate What can you do to save the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, we have this video from, with useful phrases:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Choosing a translation app

Beginner Having a translation app on your phone is important for learners of all levels. What are some of the options, and how can you choose from among them?

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Improving from Chinese movies

Intermediate A review of a new resource for improving your Chinese,, which aims to help us improve our fluency by exposing us to as many Chinese movies as possible:

Twitter: @LCFMofficial

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of liquor component

Intermediate The component 酉 (yǒu) refers to a bottle of liquor and is used in a large number of characters that have to do with fermentation or seasoning:

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Airport vocabulary

Beginner Traveling to or from China by air? Knowing these airport-related terms will smooth your journey:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Buying airplane tickets

Beginner Unless you live in China, you will likely need to buy airline tickets to and from there. Here are some words and phrases you’ll need to buy your tickets:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

All about pandas

Advanced Almost every loves pandas; here is a short essay about them:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Smuggled goods

Intermediate There are lots of counterfeit goods, 行货 (hánghuò), in China. Don’t mix up that term with 水货 (shuǐhuò), which is how you refer to smuggled goods:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Is beer alcohol?

Beginner A funny dialogue between a driver and a policeman, pointing to the many inconsistencies in Chinese terms:

Twitter: @ChineseAtEase

Withdrawing money

Beginner Where is the nearest ATM? A short story that is all-too-familiar to those of us who travel often:

Let down your hair!

Intermediate The story of Rapunzel, told in Chinese (audio, characters, and pinyin):

Weather terms

Beginner What is the weather like outside? Here’s how to say it in Chinese:

Twitter: @eputonghua

We’re early; we’re late

Beginner Did you get somewhere early? Or (like me) late? Here’s how to express that in Chinese:

Twitter: @eputonghua

Chinese art forms

Beginner China has many types of traditional art forms. Here is a list of five of them, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to describe them:

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Invest time, learn more efficiently

All Which is the best way for you to improve your Chinese? Take some time to figure that out, since doing so will save you time, and improve your learning in the long run:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

148 expressions

Intermediate Common sayings, known as 成语 (chéng yǔ), are a part of colloquial Chinese speech and writing. Here are 148 (!) common ones that you can either learn to understand from others, or incorporate into your own speech:

Cross that river

Beginner How do you cross a river? By using the rocks you see. This is true metaphorically, and not just literally, as this short story explains:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

All of it

Intermediate Chinese has several ways to say “all,” such as 所有 (suǒ yǒu) and 全部 (quán bù). When is each appropriate?

Describing shapes

Intermediate How can you say that something is heart-shaped, star-shaped, or anything-else-shaped?

Difference between 吃 and 食

Intermediate The characters 吃 (chī) and 食 (shí) both have to do with eating and food. When is each used?

Also published on Medium.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *