Mandarin Weekly #152



Hi! This is Mandarin Weekly #152, a free newsletter read by more than 21,000 students of Chinese around the world.

Customize Mandarin Weekly, getting only the links that are useful to you! Subscribe to Mandarin Weekly Plus for less than $1/week.

Please 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!

Do you sell products or services for students of Chinese? Sponsor an issue, or insert a sponsored link into an upcoming edition. More information is here, on the “advertising” page.

Warm up with hot pot! All Food

Hot pot is a classic winter dish in China. But to say that it’s “a dish” doesn’t do it justice. Here’s an introduction to hot pot, in some of its (almost infinite) varieties:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Pronouncing 一 Beginner Pronunciation

One of the simplest characters, 一, means “one.” But its pronunciation (i.e., its tone) changes:

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Reading strategy Intermediate Characters

How do you improve your reading fluency in Chinese? Sure, you can practice lots of characters, but perhaps there’s a specific way to think about it. Here is some advice from a non-native Chinese speaker who has improved her reading, and wants to share her techniques:

How to study All Learning Video

How should you learn Chinese, and then improve on what you’ve learned? Here is an interview with someone whose Chinese is now fluent, but who knows what he did in order to get to this level:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Body gunk Intermediate Vocabulary Video

How do you describe all of your body’s … gunk? You know, like ear wax? This video is here to prepare you for conversations with your doctor or children:

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Those noisy neighbors Beginner Story

The neighbors are making quite a lot of noise! Learn why, and how to talk about it, in this story:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Chinese Christmas greetings All Culture

Most Chinese aren’t Christian, but they increasingly celebrate Christmas — or if nothing else, shop, exchange gifts, and enjoy the seasonal decorations. Here are some greetings and customs to know and use for Chinese-style Christmas:

Twitter: @FluentU

A tale about winter Intermediate Story

What happens when you mix a farmer, a snake, and thick ice? A short story:

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Where to listen All Learning

Podcasts are wonderful, and they’re especially wonderful if you’re learning Chinese: You can listen to stories, news, and all sorts of other content. But what should you listen to if you’re learning Chinese? Here are some suggestions:

Twitter: @hutongschool

Learning through .. Beating? All Characters

The origins of the character 教 (jiāo) might be more violent than you expected:

Twitter: @larbchina

How old are you? Beginner Video

How old are you? Now you can ask others that question, with this song:

Twitter: @ChineseBuddy

Saying “yes” Intermediate Vocabulary

Chinese might not have words for “yes” and “no,” but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to say “yes” altogether. Here are some ways to agree or indicate assent:

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Resources to try All Learning

Learning Chinese? There’s no shortage of resources out there. Here’s one learner’s set of recommendations for what you should try first:

Transportation words Intermediate Vocabulary

Getting around in China can be easy or hard — I’ve generally found it to be fairly easy — but the language adds another dimension. Here are some transportation-related words that can help you out:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Bowed string instruments Intermediate Culture Vocabulary

Chinese instruments come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. In this post, we learn about bowed string instruments:

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

New learner roadmap Beginner Learning

Are you just at the start of your journey learning Chinese? Then you might need a plan to get you through the next few stages. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when creating such a plan:

Twitter: @FluentU

In the future… Intermediate Vocabulary

How can we talk about the future in Chinese? There are a few terms:

Twitter: @DigMandarin

My child, the genius Intermediate Grammar Video

If someone approaches you in China and says something about your child, how do you react? This video has advice about cultural norms and useful vocabulary/grammar:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Craft beer Advanced Vocabulary Video

Do you love beer? So do people in China! Do you love craft beer? Once again, so do people in China. But can you talk about craft beer with them? Watch this video, and then you will be able to do:

Twitter: @ChinesePod

How do you pronounce 行? Intermediate Pronunciation

The character 行 can be pronounced in two completely different ways. How can you know which pronounciation (and meaning) to use?

Chinese terms in same-sex relationships Intermediate Culture Vocabulary

Chinese uses very specific terms for older and brother relatives, also making it clear whether the relative is on the mother’s side or the father’s side. What happens to these terms in same-sex relationships?

Looking up characters All Learning

If you see a word you don’t know in a language that uses Latin characters, you can easily look it up in a dictionary. But how do you search for characters you don’t know?

Calling all curators Intermediate Vocabulary

How do you say “museum curator” in Chinese, and do you need to repeat the character 馆 (guǎn) in the resulting term?

Also published on Medium.

Leave a Reply

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