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Ideograms Beginner Characters
Some Chinese characters are hard to learn, remember, and make sense of. But others do try to mimic the idea they represent. Here are a number of these, along with the bigrams (i.e., two-character words) that we can form from them:
Directional complements Intermediate Grammar
In many cases, you can take a Chinese verb and add a directional component to it, altering its meaning. (Think of “throw up” vs. “throw out” vs. “throw at,” and you’ll get the basic idea, although it’s much more extensive and standard in Chinese.) Here is an introduction to this important idea, and some good examples:
Famous Chinese myths All Culture Story
You’re likely familiar with biblical and Greek myths, and perhaps some from other cultures in the world. But what are Chinese myths, and how do they express themselves in modern Chinese culture?
Using 就 (jiù) Beginner Grammar Video
You can use 就 in a few different ways; this video describes a number of them:
Winter is coming Intermediate Culture Vocabulary
Winter is now arriving, and China marks it in various ways. Here are some terms and cultural ideas that have to do with the weather as it gets colder:
Text games for learning Chinese Intermediate Learning
Want to improve your learning through some fun games? Introducing text games for learning Chinese, a new way to improve your fluency and understanding:
The blind men and the elephant Intermediate Story
This classic story is retold here in slow Chinese:
How not to learn Chinese All Learning
Some people try to learn Chinese on their own, and they generally fail. Why? Because they don’t take certain ideas into account:
League of Legends Intermediate Vocabulary
League of Legends is a multiplayer video game — and when you play it on Chinese servers, everything is in Chinese! This is great for improving your vocabulary and comprehension, but you might need a boost to get started, which this post provides:
Chinese dialects All Culture
You might have heard that Chinese is a family of languages, with a number of dialects, varieties, or other such terms. What does this mean, and how close are the various languages to one another?
Singles’ day All Culture
November 11th (11.11) is “Singles’ Day,” which is described as a “holiday,” but which is actually an excuse to do lots of shopping, and especially online shopping. What is it, and how did it start?
Traditional vs. simplified characters All Characters
What are the differences between traditional and simplified characters, and what are the trade-offs?
Quick tone practice Beginner Pronunciation Video
Want to improve your tones? Keep track of them with this four-character sentence, explained in a short video:
Visiting 平乐古镇 (píng lè gǔ zhèn) All Travel
The ancient town of Pingle can be an interesting view of ancient Chinese life, and it’s not too far from Chengdu:
Survival phrases Beginner Vocabulary
Planning to visit China, but you haven’t yet learned much Chinese? Here are some basic phrases you can and should learn before visiting:
Buying eyeglasses Beginner Vocabulary Culture
Buying eyeglasses is a standard sort of actiivty, but have you ever done it in Chinese, or even in China? Learn some vocabulary and the way in which an exam is done:
Promotion Beginner Story
A short story about getting promoted at work:
Yes! Beginner Vocabulary
There isn’t any one word for “yes” in Chinese, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to say “yes.” Instead, there are many ways, as shown here:
More measure words Intermediate Grammar
Here’s another list of mirror words you can use when discussing speech, writing, and machines:
Listing examples Intermediate Grammar
Where can you use 比如 (bǐ rú) in a list of examples — only at the beginning, or at the end, as well?
Character simplification Advanced Characters
A mixed simplified-traditional character results in a long and fascinating discussion about the simplification of Chinese characters: