Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #114, 2017-March-20

大家好! (Hi, everyone!) This is Mandarin Weekly #114, a free newsletter with links and information for those of us learning Chinese.

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Learning 了 (le)

Beginner One of the most confusing and difficult topics for students of Chinese is the use of 了. In this first of three videos from ChinesePod.com, we learn how 了 describes a change, and is not a simple marker of past tense:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjAGEjr6-kY

Twitter: @ChinesePod

Math symbols

Intermediate Everyone knows that 2+2=4, but how do you say + and = in Chinese? Here’s a chart to help you out:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158407091372/allaboutchinese-%E6%95%B0%E5%AD%A6%E7%AC%A6%E5%8F%B7%E8%A1%A8-mathematical-symbols

Scanning friends and bikes

Beginner The word 扫 (sǎo) means “to scan” — and nowadays, we can scan not only documents, but also people (in WeChat) and bicycle rentals:

https://themandarincornerblog.com/2017/03/20/awesome-chinese-public-bikes/

I can, I want, I will

Intermediate Expressing the ideas that “I can” or “I want” or “I will” do something is a bit complex in Chinese; here is a complete guide to these verbs, and the ways in which they’re used:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/auxiliary-modals-time-related-expressions/

Learning by playing

Games are fun — and if they can help you to learn Chinese, then that’s even better! Here’s a list of how you can use games to improve your Chinese:

http://www.hackingchinese.com/10-ways-using-games-learn-teach-chinese/

Twitter: @HackingChinese

Street food

Beginner Everywhere you go in Chinese cities, you’ll find stands serving street food. What are they serving, and how do you ask for it in Chinese?

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/street-food-china/

Family words

Beginner Chinese families have the same people as everyone else, but the names can be a bit more complex. Here is a family tree that can help you to learn those names:

http://allaboutchinese.tumblr.com/post/158384011350/allaboutchinese-%E6%88%91%E7%9A%84%E5%AE%B6%E8%B0%B1-my-family-tree

Travel words

Beginner If you’re like me, then much of your Chinese involves needs when traveling — especially hotels and restaurants. Here is a useful list of words you can use in your travels:

https://chelseabubbly.com/2017/03/13/hotel-themed-vocab-and-sentences/

Twitter: @Chelsea_bubbly

Opposites

Beginner How well do you know your opposites in Chinese? Try this simple matching game, and see how you do!

http://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/chinese-adjectives/

Twitter: @ChineseLanguage

Learning resources

Where can you go to improve your Chinese? Here is a list of some resources you can use to improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening:

http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2017/03/15/elearning-chinese/

Twitter: @FluentU

Internet and gaming terms

Intermediate The Internet has spawned all sorts of words and phrases. Here is a list of some of the Chinese terms that people use:

https://www.writtenchinese.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-internet-culture-and-gaming-in-china/

Twitter: @WrittenChinese

Rules for a football pitch

Intermediate Maybe football isn’t your thing — but even so, you can learn a lot of good vocabulary from this description (in Chinese, of course) of the rules associated with making one:

http://mychinesereading.com/football-pitch-regulations/

A short joke

Beginner What weighs the most? A silly riddle for someone you love — assuming that they speak Chinese, of course:

http://chinesehacks.com/fun/whos-the-heaviest/

Dictionary errors

Intermediate Writing a dictionary is hard, and writing a dictionary that translates between languages is even harder. Here are some errors that Carl Gene Fordham has found in Chinese-English dictionaries, which demonstrate the complexity of language:

http://carlgene.com/blog/2017/03/another-12-common-errors-in-chinese-english-dictionaries/

Twitter: @carlfordham

Emphasis with 是 (shì)。。。的 (de)

Intermediate How do we emphasize things in Chinese? One common way is to use the 是。。。的 grammar pattern:

Keeping fit

Intermediate Are you keeping fit and healthy? Sleeping enough? Eating correctly? Check yourself (or your friends) with these sentences in Chinese:

http://www.e-putonghua.com/zone/index.php/2017/03/18/listen-60/

Twitter: @eputonghua

Traditional story

Advanced A short traditional story about 后羿 (hòu yì):

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/15-2009-12-02-23-37-29/2780-2017-03-13-02-27-51

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Don’t be so smug

Intermediate A short story that reminds us to plan ahead, rather than concentrate on what we’re doing right now:

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/podcasts/14-2009-12-02-23-37-05/2784-2017-03-17-07-27-59

Twitter: @imandarinpod

Using 让 (ràng)

Intermediate The term 让 can mean either “allow” or “ask,” which can lead to some ambiguity when translating from Chinese into English:

http://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/23077/what-is-the-meaning-of-%E8%AE%A9


Originally published at Mandarin Weekly (每周中文).