Mandarin Weekly #129


Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #129, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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Compliments Beginner Vocabulary Video

Do you know someone smart? Handsome? Beautiful? Here are some compliments you can give other people in Chinese:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Picky eaters Beginner Story

Where do you want to eat? An easy question to ask, but a hard one to answer if you don’t like different cuisines and are on a strict budget:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Celebrity quotes Intermediate Expressions Video

Chinese celebrities have contributed some interesting phrases and expressions to the language. Here are a number of them that you can learn to recognize, or perhaps even use parts of, in your conversations:

Twitter: @MandarinHQ

Journaling your progress All Learning

Do you keep a journal of what you are learning in Chinese? If so, then the techniques described here for using your journal to improve your learning even further might be useful:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Talk like a communist Intermediate Vocabulary Video

Regardless of what you think of the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no doubting their influence in China and the Chinese-speaking world. Take advantage of the “Chinese Communist Party Founding Day” celebrations to learn some relevant vocabulary:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Chinese puns Intermediate Culture

Do you like to make puns, and other jokes based on wordplay? (My family and students know all too well, that I do.) Chinese is full of possibilities for such humor, because of the language’s flexibility and many similar-sounding words:

Twitter: @MyTutorMandarin

Apps to know Beginner Vocabulary

Does your phone have apps on it? If so, then can you describe those apps in Chinese? Here is your chance, with the following vocabulary:

Twitter: @eputonghua

How well do you know Chinese? All Learning

No matter what your Chinese level, you’ll be told by natives that your Chinese is “excellent.” But sometimes,

It wasn’t on purpose! Beginner Vocabulary Video

How can you apologize in Chinese? That’s a subject for another time. But how can you emphasize that you did something wrong unintentionally?

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Improving your listening All Listening

It’s hard to learn to understand spoken Chinese, because of many different reasons. Here, we learn what all of those reasons are, as well as some ways to improve our listening comprehension:

Hot pot, or not? All Vocabulary Food

Do you eat 火锅 (huǒ guō) when in China? If so, then it cannot be spicy, since there’s now a separate term, 麻辣烫 (má là tàng), to describe it. A linguistic and culinary dispute has ensued:

Twitter: @WorldOfChinese

Chinese soccer, a history Intermediate Culture

How long have people been playing soccer (“football” to those outside of the US)? Depending on how you count, it could be 2500 years, as described here:

Twitter: @classicchina

Learning better with tasks All Learning

How can you learn Chinese best? Task-based learning has a great deal to offer:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Childhood songs Intermediate Listening Culture

Want to better understand Chinese culture, as well as the language? One good way is to listen to Chinese songs. Here are some useful ones fo ryou to hear and learn:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

A thrilling novel Advanced Reviews

Read a good (Chinese) book lately? This review of a new detective novel, 《死亡通知单:暗黑者》, should interest those looking for good fiction and to practice their Chinese:

Review: Chinese Zero to Hero Beginner Reviews

How well does the “Chinese Zero to Hero” course stack up? Pretty well, especially given the price:

Asking “when” questions Beginner Video Grammar

How do you ask when something happened? Use 什么时候 (shén me shí hou):

Twitter: @ECLSchool

All about Chinese characters Advanced Characters

Chinese characters have been around for a long time, and have distinct characteristics. Here are some facts you might not know about them:

Twitter: @DecodeChinese

Lending money Intermediate Story

When a mother is sick with heart disease, and an expensive operation is necessary, how will a family pay for it?

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Surname pronunciation Intermediate Pronunciation Characters

Some characters have more than one pronunciation. Is this also true for those characters that represent surnames?

Different types of opening Intermediate Grammar

What is the difference between two words that mean “open,” 开放 (kāi fàng) and 开门 (kāi mén)?

Not bad, or pretty good? Beginner Expressions

Does 不错 (bù cuò) mean “not bad,” “very good,” or somewhere in between?

Everywhere Intermediate Expressions

How can you express the idea of “everywhere,” or “all over”?

Also published on Medium.

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