Mandarin Weekly #126


Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #126, a free newsletter read by more than 19,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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When and where Intermediate Grammar

How can you indicate hoping vs. intention vs. action, and other nuanced differences in Chinese?

Twitter: @eputonghua

Going out to dinner Intermediate Vocabulary Video

You go out to a restaurant, and want to order. What do you say? Here’s a list of useful words and phrases:

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Chinese movie titles All Vocabulary

Western movies are shown in China, but their names are often a bit different than you might expect. Here is a roundup of recent films being screened in China, and how the locals refer to them:

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Codenames for learning Chinese All Learning

The game “Codenames” isn’t meant for learning Chinese, but it can easily be adapted to help you learn while also having fun:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

You’re in good hands Beginner Vocabulary

The character 手 (shǒu) means “hand,” but it can be used for much more than just describing those things at the ends of our arms:

Meaningless characters? All Characters

Those of us learning Chinese are often interested in the origin story of characters, or of their meanings. But perahps they don’t really have meanings — and perhaps this doesn’t matter?

It’s viral Intermediate Characters Vocabulary

The character 传 (chuán) has to do with passing along or transferring something, whether it’s a tradition or a virus:

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Woo hoo! Beginner Expressions Video

How can you express excitement in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Dragon Boat festival Beginner Holidays

Dragon Boat festival took place a few weeks ago, but it’s not too late to learn about this holiday, including the special 粽子 (zòng zi) that everyone eats:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How to pray Beginner Culture

China has many temples, and if you go to visit one, you’re likely to encounter people praying. What are they saying and doing, and how can you participate (if you want)?

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

How are you feeling? Beginner Vocabulary

Not feeling well? That’s too bad — but maybe you can find a way to express that in Chinese:

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Pros and cons — of Didi Intermediate Expressions Video

弟弟出行 () is the equivalent of Uber in China, allowing you to order a taxi to and from anywhere. What are the pros and cons of using it? Hear from local Chinese residents, as they demonstrate talking about pros and cons:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Travel superstitions All Travel Culture

Chinese culture is full of superstitions and traditions having to do with luck, spirits, and gods. Here are some of the most common things you’ll find Chinese people doing when they are away from home:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Chinese kitchens Intermediate Vocabulary

What’s in your kitchen? Probably some appliances, as well as a sink and stove. Here’s a vocabulary list that will let you describe your kitchen, including Chinese-style items that you might not have:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Listening comprehension Intermediate Listening

How well can you listen to a story, and then answer questions based on it? Here is a collection of many such stories and questions; you can listen (and watch) to check and improve your comprehension:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Useful idioms Intermediate Expressions

Here are some common and useful expressions you can use to spice up your Chinese conversations:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Payment in China All Culture

If you haven’t visited China lately, you’ve missed a revoluation in payment: Everyone is using their phones to pay for . . . well, just about everything. Here’s more on the subject, including useful vocabulary to discuss it:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Get an agent Advanced Story

Renting a house? Maybe an agent can help:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Shopping list Beginner Story

Going shopping? Here’s a story about someone prparing a list:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

When 好 (hǎo) means “very” Beginner Grammar

One of the first words you probably learned in Chinese is 好. But it means more than just “good” — it can also mean “very”:

Voltage Advanced Pronunciation

压电 (gāo yā diàn) is “voltage” in Chinese. The Pinyin shows that 压 is first tone, but how strictly is that adhered to?

When the sun is out Intermediate Grammar

If you’re fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan, then you don’t eat when the sun is out. How would you describe this in Chinese?

Walk this way Advanced Grammar

How should you use 由此 (yóu cǐ)?

No parking Intermediate Vocabulary

How do you say “no parking”? And how is that different from “no stopping”? The answer depends on where you are, and where you’re from:

Also published on Medium.

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