Mandarin Weekly (每周中文) #118, with 21 new resources to improve your Chinese

Mandarin Weekly
Apr 18, 2017 · 4 min read

Better learning via scaffolding

All “Scaffolding” is a common idea in education, helping learners by gradually reducing the support they receive (and need) in order to learn things more easily. This post provides a number of suggestions for scaffolding and supports when learning Chinese:

Save the planet (in Chinese)

Intermediate What can you do to save the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, we have this video from, with useful phrases:

Choosing a translation app

Beginner Having a translation app on your phone is important for learners of all levels. What are some of the options, and how can you choose from among them?

Improving from Chinese movies

Intermediate A review of a new resource for improving your Chinese,, which aims to help us improve our fluency by exposing us to as many Chinese movies as possible:

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of liquor component

Intermediate The component 酉 (yǒu) refers to a bottle of liquor and is used in a large number of characters that have to do with fermentation or seasoning:

Airport vocabulary

Beginner Traveling to or from China by air? Knowing these airport-related terms will smooth your journey:

Buying airplane tickets

Beginner Unless you live in China, you will likely need to buy airline tickets to and from there. Here are some words and phrases you’ll need to buy your tickets:

All about pandas

Advanced Almost every loves pandas; here is a short essay about them:

Smuggled goods

Intermediate There are lots of counterfeit goods, 行货 (hánghuò), in China. Don’t mix up that term with 水货 (shuǐhuò), which is how you refer to smuggled goods:

Is beer alcohol?

Beginner A funny dialogue between a driver and a policeman, pointing to the many inconsistencies in Chinese terms:

Withdrawing money

Beginner Where is the nearest ATM? A short story that is all-too-familiar to those of us who travel often:

Let down your hair!

Intermediate The story of Rapunzel, told in Chinese (audio, characters, and pinyin):

Weather terms

Beginner What is the weather like outside? Here’s how to say it in Chinese:

We’re early; we’re late

Beginner Did you get somewhere early? Or (like me) late? Here’s how to express that in Chinese:

Chinese art forms

Beginner China has many types of traditional art forms. Here is a list of five of them, along with the words and phrases you’ll need to describe them:

Invest time, learn more efficiently

All Which is the best way for you to improve your Chinese? Take some time to figure that out, since doing so will save you time, and improve your learning in the long run:

148 expressions

Intermediate Common sayings, known as 成语 (chéng yǔ), are a part of colloquial Chinese speech and writing. Here are 148 (!) common ones that you can either learn to understand from others, or incorporate into your own speech:

Cross that river

Beginner How do you cross a river? By using the rocks you see. This is true metaphorically, and not just literally, as this short story explains:

All of it

Intermediate Chinese has several ways to say “all,” such as 所有 (suǒ yǒu) and 全部 (quán bù). When is each appropriate?

Describing shapes

Intermediate How can you say that something is heart-shaped, star-shaped, or anything-else-shaped?

Difference between 吃 and 食

Intermediate The characters 吃 (chī) and 食 (shí) both have to do with eating and food. When is each used?

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