Mandarin Weekly #160

 

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This is Mandarin Weekly #160, a free newsletter read by more than 21,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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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 MandarinWeekly.com “advertising” page.

Sponsor: ExpressVPN

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Adverbs with 然 (rán) Intermediate Grammar

The character 然, when connected to another character, provides with a number of adverbs whose meanings are easy to understand, but hard to translate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nhgIjFirIk

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Click here to sign up for ChinesePod

Not again! Intermediate Grammar Video

Are you doing something again? Then you can use this useful and common grammar pattern:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2EN5E_fT04

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Sign up for ECL, and get one free week by mentioning “Reuven Lerner”

Why should kids learn Chinese? All Learning

Lots of adults are learning Chinese, but so are many children. Why? And why is that a great thing for them? Here are some reasons:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/6-reason-why-your-kids-should-be-learning-chinese/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Language or dialect? All Culture

There are many forms of Chinese, such as Cantonese. But should we consider Cantonese to be an independent (but related) language to Mandarin? Or is it a dialect of Chinese? This article describes some of the considerations, and the ongoing debate:

https://chinachannel.org/2018/02/06/language-or-dialect/

Twitter: @larbchina

Spring Festival vocabulary Intermediate Culture Vocabulary

It’s Chinese New Year, aka the Spring Festival! That means it’s time to dust off your festival vocabulary and use it with your Chinese friends. Here are some terms and customs to get you started:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-for-spring-festival/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Improve your vocabulary All Learning

What are some good techniques for improving your Chinese vocabulary?

http://www.chinese-breeze.com/my-personal-method-for-learning-chinese/

Tallying with Chinese Beginner Culture Characters

How do people in China tally things? They use the character 正 (zhèng), which has five strokes, as described here:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-tally-mark.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Chinese documentaries Advanced Reviews Video

Want to improve your Chinese and your knowledge of China? Here are some documentaries you can watch four double learning:

https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/2018/02/05/chinese-language-documentary/

Twitter: @FluentU

Unicycle or anatomy? All Learning

Is learning Chinese closer to learning anatomy, or to riding a unicycle? This post analyzes the different types of learning involved, and compares them with learning Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/learning-to-unicycle-learning-anatomy-and-learning-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

What do you know? Intermediate Vocabulary

There are three types of “knowing” in Chinese, and you should, well, know the difference between them:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2018/02/04/so-you-think-you-know-this-chinese-word/

Don’t plastic me! Advanced Expressions

Young people in Taiwan have recently been using a new expression: Don’t plastic me can mean, “Don’t ignore me,” among other things:

https://medium.com/@twannotation/%E4%B9%9D%E5%B9%B4%E7%B4%9A%E7%94%9F%E7%9A%84%E5%90%B6%E5%96%8A-%E5%88%A5%E5%A1%91%E8%86%A0%E6%88%91-42eed0d9554c

Old phones Beginner Story

Have an old cellphone? Then you’ll sympathize with this story:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/3066-2018-02-06-02-42-02

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Migrant workers Advanced Story

What do you think about migrant workers? Here is a short story and discussion of the topic:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/3068-2018-02-08-10-41-51

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Something familiar Beginner Grammar

Do you know something well, then you should really learn this verb:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/get-familiar-with-the-chinese-verb-%e7%86%9f%e6%82%89/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Planning ahead Intermediate Vocabulary

Do you plan ahead? If so, then you might want to know the differences between several words that have to with planning and arranging:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28740/difference-between-%e6%89%93%e7%ae%97-%e5%ae%89%e6%8e%92-and-%e8%ae%a1%e5%88%92

Changes Intermediate Vocabulary

How can you talk about change in Chinese? The words 变化 (biàn huà) and 改变 (gǎi biàn) aren’t quite the same, are they?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28739/as-nouns-is-there-any-difference-between-%e5%8f%98%e5%8c%96-and-%e6%94%b9%e5%8f%98

Parentheses Advanced Grammar

How do you say “parentheses” in Chinese, and why are there multiple terms for them?

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%E6%8B%AC%E5%BC%A7-%E6%8B%AC%E5%8F%B7.3422821/

Mandarin Weekly #159

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This is Mandarin Weekly #159, 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 a one-time fee of $15.

Please take advantage of our list of discounts for students of Chinese.

To receive Mandarin Weekly every Monday, sign up MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

Old links from previous issues of Mandarin Weekly are sent regularly to our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow, share, and like these links that’ll boost your Chinese learning even further.

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 MandarinWeekly.com “advertising” page.

Sponsor: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPNAs part of my work, I travel all over the world — including many regular trips to China. For several years, I’ve relied on ExpressVPN to ensure my privacy, and my ability to access the sites and applications I need.  I’ve used ExpressVPN to run Waze in Shanghai (relaying the instructions to my taxi driver), to use Google Maps to navigate in Nanjing, and to watch YouTube videos from my hotel in Beijing. I’ve found that ExpressVPN works, and works well. Click here to try ExpressVPN for yourself, and find out why I’m delighted to have them sponsoring Mandarin Weekly.

About Mandarin Weekly All Learning

Ever wonder about Reuven, the publisher of Mandarin Weekly? Here’s an interview that can help to shed some light on the person typing what you’re reading right now:

https://www.saporedicina.com/english/mandarin-weekly-interview/

Special constructs Intermediate Grammar

Like all languages, Chinese has some special constructs that you can and should use. Here are a few of them:

https://www.saporedicina.com/english/special-constructions-chinese/

All about Spring Festival All Culture

Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) is approaching! With it, there are lots of greetings, foods, and (if you’re in China) travel to enjoy. (Or not, in the case of travel.) Here are some primers on Chinese New Year:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/10-posts-for-spring-festival/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

How’s the weather? Beginner Vocabulary

What is the weather like today? (And how about tomorrow?) Here are some phrases and words you can use to discuss the weather:

https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/2018/01/31/chinese-weather-words/

Twitter: @FluentU

A moment Intermediate Grammar

Are you going to look at something quickly? Wait for someone for just a bit? Then you probably want to use the 一下 (yí xià) grammar pattern:

https://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/2017/6/14/chinese-briefly-yixia-for-a-moment

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Untranslateable words Intermediate Vocabulary Video

Some words are hard or impossible to translate directly from Chinese into English. Here are some examples, and how you can use them in your Chinese:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4hUe1ep7yo

Twitter: @YoYoChinese

Get 10% off for Yoyo Chinese with coupon code “mweekly”

Making dumplings All Food

Dumplings are always a popular Chinese staple, but they’re particularly popular around Chinese New Year. Here are some things to know about dumplings, as well as a recipe to make them on your own:

https://www.misspandachinese.com/chinese-lucky-dumplings-symbolic-meaning-names-recipe/

Twitter: @MissPandaChines

Saying “or,” with some help from Hamlet Beginner Grammar Video

How do you say “To be or not to be” in Chinese? More specifically, how can you say “or” in a question context?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLt9cNn5rYs

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Sign up for ECL, and get one free week by mentioning “Reuven Lerner”

Taking the metro Beginner Travel

The Beijing subway (metro) is a popular, quick, and relatively cheap way to get around town. Here are some useful tips and vocabulary words for using it:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/taking-the-beijing-subway/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Get it over with! Intermediate Story

Sometimes, it’s worth getting through a short pain now, than to prolong it. Here’s a story that teaches this lesson (and a Chinese idiom):

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/3064-2018-02-02-02-33-11

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Not feeling well? Intermediate Vocabulary

If you’re not feeling well in China, you’ll need to describe body parts, as as well as your feelings. Here is a (listening) lesson that can tell you what to say:

https://radiolingua.com/2018/01/cbc-1-22-parts-of-the-body-and-dealing-with-illnesses-in-chinese/

Duolingo review All Reviews

Duolingo is a famous app for learning languages on your phone or tablet. How does its Chinese-learning app stack up? It’s not too bad, according to this review:

https://www.livethelanguage.cn/duolingo-review/

Twitter: @Ltlmandarin

Learning resources All Learning Reviews

What apps and sites can you use to learn Chinese better? There are a lot of them out there; here are some mentions and reviews of the most popular and effective:

https://blog.hutong-school.com/chinese-words-vocabulary/

Twitter: @hutongschool

Buying online Beginner Story

Want to buy online? Of course! Everyone’s doing it, especially in China. Here’s a short story about e-commerce:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/3058-2018-01-28-03-58-46

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Singalong children’s song Beginner Video

Learn some new vocabulary in this cute children’s song that has become a hit among Chinese children. (And don’t be embarrassed if you’re an adult; we won’t tell):

https://www.echineselearning.com/blog/boost-your-vocab-with-this-catchy-childrens-song

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Sign up for ECL, and get one free week by mentioning “Reuven Lerner”

Making plans Intermediate Vocabulary

Making plans? Then you can talk about it formally (as you’ve probably learned in class), or casually with slang, as we learn here:

https://www.chineseclass101.com/lesson/mustknow-chinese-slang-words-phrases-16-chinese-slang-expressions-for-making-plans/

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Click here to sign up for ChineseClass101

Character changes Advanced Characters Story

Chinese characters have evolved over time, as this story describes:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/13-2009-12-02-23-35-40/3062-2018-01-31-14-09-34

Twitter: @imandarinpod

A bit too late… Intermediate Expressions Story

You’re too late — you’ve closing the barn door after the horses have left the stable! Here’s a story demonstrating this in Chinese:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/3060-2018-01-30-02-58-27

Twitter: @imandarinpod

See you! Beginner Grammar Video

How do you say “goodbye” in Chinese? Here are a few options:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCLe5HJ9Wi8

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Click here to sign up for ChineseClass101

When *that* happened Beginner Grammar Video

How do you say, “when” something happened, or at a particular time? Here’s a full explanation of the phrase 的时候 (de shí hòu):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFrTcs54E3c

Twitter: @Mandarin_Monkey

The “metal” radical Intermediate Characters

One of the most important parts of learning to read Chinese characters is the identification of “radicals,” the small part on the side of a character that helps with its classification. Here’s an introduction to the “metal” radical, used in such things as gold and silver, but also in money:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/jin-zi-pang-the-metal-radical/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Fork in the road Advanced Vocabulary

What Chinese character should be used to describe a “fork” in the road, 叉 (chā) or 岔 (chà)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28650/when-should-%e5%8f%89-or-%e5%b2%94-be-used-when-talking-about-a-forked-road

Give it a try Advanced Grammar

There are a number of ways to say that you want to “try” to do something, but what are the differences between them:

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28625/what-is-the-difference-between-%e5%98%97%e8%a9%a6-%e8%a9%a6%e5%9c%96-and-%e4%bc%81%e5%9c%96

Mandarin Weekly #158

 

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This is Mandarin Weekly #158, 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 MandarinWeekly.com. Every Tuesday, we go up on Facebook, at http://facebook.com/MandarinWeekly, Medium, at http://medium.com/@mandarinweekly, and Twitter, at @MandarinWeekly.  Please like, share, and retweet us!

Old links from previous issues of Mandarin Weekly are sent regularly to our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow, share, and like these links that’ll boost your Chinese learning even further.

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 MandarinWeekly.com “advertising” page.

No meat? No problem! All Food Culture

Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Then China might seem like a hard place to eat. But it turns out (as I can attest from personal experience) that it’s not too hard to find excellent food that fits your diet:

https://www.livethelanguage.cn/vegetarian-vegan-china/

Twitter: @Ltlmandarin

Snacking on…chicken feet? All Food Culture

A popular Chinese snack is, believe it or not, chicken feet. Here is some vocabulary and background about this snack that sounds less than appetizing to many Western ears:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/chinese-snacks-101-let-them-eat-chicken-feet/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Forums for Chinese learners All Learning Reviews

Interactions are one of the keys to learning, and interacting with other students of Chinese is a great way to improve your learning — as well as answer questions and find teachers. Here is a list of some online forums for Chinese learners, and comments about them:

https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/2018/01/24/chinese-language-forum/

Twitter: @FluentU

Bonus time! All Culture

Between January 1st and Chinese New Year, Chinese companies often give bonuses. Here’s some backgroung on this practice, and vocabulary to help you ask and answer bonus-related questions:

https://www.echineselearning.com/blog/wanna-know-about-chinas-year-end-bonus

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Sign up for ECL, and get one free week by mentioning “Reuven Lerner”

Understanding and using 就 (jiù) and 才 (cái) Intermediate Grammar Video

The characters 就 and 才 are used frequently in Chinese, and can help to make your speech more natural sounding. However, they are often confused. Here is an introduction to their use:

http://www.fluentinmandarin.com/content/difficult-chinese-characters-explained-simply-jiu-and-cai/

Twitter: @Fluent_Mandarin

Year of the Dog All Culture

Chinese New Year is soon upon us, and with it will be the Year of the Dog. What are the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and why are these animals in this order? A full explanation is here:

https://www.digmandarin.com/chinese-year-of-dog.html

Twitter: @DigMandarin

Winter Olympics vocabulary Intermediate Vocabulary

Planning to watch the Winter Olympics? Now you can discuss the various events in Chinese, thanks to this handy guide:

https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-vocabulary-for-the-winter-olympics/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Tips for beginners Beginner Learning

If you’re just starting to learn Chinese, where do you go? What should you concentrate on doing?

http://www.chinese-breeze.com/absolute-beginners-guide-to-learning-chinese/

Sentence connectors Intermediate Grammar

In the middle of speaking, and need to pause for a bit? Or just need to connect one sentence to the other? Here are some useful phrases you can throw into your conversation:

https://www.mandarinblueprint.com/blog/2017/6/15/chinese-transition-phrases

Twitter: @MandarinBP

Registering with Taobao All Culture

Taobao is the be-all and end-all of e-commerce in China. You can, it is known, get just about anything for a good price, and also get it delivered quickly. But if your Chinese is weak, then how can you use it? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

https://www.saporedicina.com/english/shopping-taobao-app/

China visa rules All Culture Travel

Want to visit China? Then you should know how to apply for and get a visa. It’s a bit complex, but with this guide, it’ll be far easier:

https://www.saporedicina.com/english/chinese-visa-application/

Answering wh- questions Intermediate Grammar

If you’re trying to answer a question that someone has asked, you can usually use a standard grammar pattern. Here are some useful ones that you can probably start to use right away:

https://www.saporedicina.com/english/interrogative-substitutions-structure-yi-wei/

Ten phrases for dating Intermediate Culture Video

Going on a date? Want to impress the other party with your Chinese? Here are 10 useful phrases to know before going out. (Note: Free registration required.)

https://www.chineseclass101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-chinese-for-every-day-29-top-10-phrases-youll-need-for-a-date/

Twitter: @chineseclass101

Click here to sign up for ChineseClass101

Selling cuteness Beginner Vocabulary

If someone thinks that you’re cute, they might say you’re “selling cuteness,” or 卖萌 (mài méng), a phrase that’s described here:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2018/01/26/can-you-sell-cute/

Listening challenge All Learning

It’s time for another Hacking Chinese challenge, this time for listening. Can you listen to lots of Chinese, and thus improve your comprehension? More information is here:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/chinese-learning-challenges-february-2018-listening-open/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Chinese movies Advanced Story

An introduction to and review of a well known Chinese movie that you might want to watch, also:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/16-2009-12-02-23-37-52/3056-2018-01-24-07-59-16

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Laba Festival All Culture Video

What is 腊八节 (làbā jié)? A traditional Chinese festival that comes before Chinese New Year. Learn about this festival, its traditional foods, and how to celebrate it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw75zJl_pQk

Twitter: @ECLSchool

Sign up for ECL, and get one free week by mentioning “Reuven Lerner”

How are sales? Beginner Story

How are sales of our new products? The boss wants to know; don’t disappoint him!

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/3054-2018-01-23-03-55-37

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Making plans Intermediate Vocabulary

Is there a difference between 打算 (dǎ suàn) and 计划 (jì huà)?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28516/what-is-the-difference-between-%e6%89%93%e7%ae%97-d%c7%8e-su%c3%a0n-and-%e8%ae%a1%e5%88%92-j%c3%ac-hu%c3%a0

Hey dude(s) Intermediate Vocabulary

The term 哥们 (gē men) means “dude” or “bro,” and is used in colloquial speech. Why is it plural?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28558/plural-marker-%e4%bb%ac-in-%e5%93%a5%e4%bb%ac-%e5%84%bf

兆 (zhào) and numbers Advanced Vocabulary

How do you use 兆 as part of a number? Or is it merely used on its own?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/28569/%e5%85%86-as-part-of-a-number