Mandarin Weekly #133

Mandarin Weekly hand-picks 20 of the best links for students of Chinese. Learn more Chinese in less time!


Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #133, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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Chinese humor All Culture Video

Have you ever noticed that American and Chinese humor is far from the same? In particular, sarcasm isn’t as well known or recognized in China. Here are some tips about crossing the cultural humor divide:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Different types of “always” Intermediate Grammar Video

Where English has one type of “always,” Chinese as two, as described here:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Listening challenge All Listening

It’s another Hacking Chinese challenge? This month, try to listen to as much Chinese as possible, at whatever level is appropriate for you:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Summer camp Advanced Story

What is summer camp like in China? Here’s a brief glimpse into this world:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Balancing your characters Intermediate Characters

Writing characters is more than just writing the correct strokes. The strokes need to be in the right places within the character’s “box,” so that the character appears balanced. Here are some tips for ensuring your characters are balanced in this way:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Not feeling so great Beginner Vocabulary

Not feeling well? Here are a few symptoms that might lead you to see a doctor, or even go to the hospital:

Twitter: @eputonghua

Classical gardens Advanced Story

Chinese classical gardens have specific layouts and contents. In this story, we learn about them:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Not just Pinyin All Characters

If you’re learning to read Chinese, then chances ar you’re using Pinyin. But in somne places, a different system known as Zhuyin is used. What are the advantages of each?

Twitter: @hutongschool

Video resources All Video

Want to watch Chinese-language videos, to improve your fluency and listening (well, watching) ability? Here are some sources you can check out:

Twitter: @FluentU

Fractions Beginner Grammar Video

How do you say fractions, such as 2/3, or 4/5, in Chinese?

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Taiwanese fried chicken Advanced Video

I’ve never seen a review of fried chicken quite like this one; while I’m skeptical of its culinary sophistication, it’s good listening practice. (But be warned, watching someone eat fried chicken doesn’t make for super-compelling viewing!)

I’m a fan! Intermediate Vocabulary Video

How can you say that you’re a fan — of a sport, of a celebrity, or of a company’s products? Here are some useful words to express these ideas:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Cloudy, sunny, and rainy Beginner Vocabulary Video

How can you discuss the weather in basic ways, describing sunny, cloudy, and rainy days? This video will explain:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

“Still” and “yet” Intermediate Grammar Video

How much time is left? Is the car still broken? These types of sentences require the word “still”, which works differently in Chinese than in English:

More “Game of Thrones” vocabvulary. Advanced Vocabulary Video

Last week, we saw a video that describes Game of Thrones in Chinese. This week, we’ll look into weapons used, among other things:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

All about 功夫 (gōng fū), aka Kung Fu Beginner Vocabulary Culture

What is 功夫 and its history? This article will tell you everything you need, aside from doing 功夫 itself:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Intro Chinese in 30 minutes Beginner Pronunciation Characters Video

Planning a visit to China in the near future, and want a quick introduction to the language? This video provides a good background, introducing some characters, pronunciation, vocabulary, and even sample sentences and grammar:

Twitter: @chineseclass101

This week, or next week? Intermediate Grammar

How can you say (and interpret) terms like “this Sunday” and “next Wednesday” in Chinese?

Time words Beginner Grammar

There are words to describe different times of day in Chinese, such as 早上 (zǎo shang) and 中午 (zhōng wǔ). When does each of these time periods start and end?

Approximations Intermediate Vocabulary

When should you use 大概 (dà gài), and when should you use 大约 (dà yuē)? Both can mean “approximately,” but they’re used in different ways:

Also published on Medium.

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