Mandarin Weekly #158



This is Mandarin Weekly #158, a free newsletter read by more than 21,000 students of Chinese around the world.

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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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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?

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.)

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:

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:

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Chinese movies Advanced Story

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

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:

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!

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Making plans Intermediate Vocabulary

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

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?

兆 (zhào) and numbers Advanced Vocabulary

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

Also published on Medium.

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