Mandarin Weekly #126
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When and where Intermediate Grammar
How can you indicate hoping vs. intention vs. action, and other nuanced differences in Chinese?
Going out to dinner Intermediate Vocabulary Video
You go out to a restaurant, and want to order. What do you say? Here’s a list of useful words and phrases:
Chinese movie titles All Vocabulary
Western movies are shown in China, but their names are often a bit different than you might expect. Here is a roundup of recent films being screened in China, and how the locals refer to them:
Codenames for learning Chinese All Learning
The game “Codenames” isn’t meant for learning Chinese, but it can easily be adapted to help you learn while also having fun:
You’re in good hands Beginner Vocabulary
The character 手 (shǒu) means “hand,” but it can be used for much more than just describing those things at the ends of our arms:
Meaningless characters? All Characters
Those of us learning Chinese are often interested in the origin story of characters, or of their meanings. But perahps they don’t really have meanings — and perhaps this doesn’t matter?
It’s viral Intermediate Characters Vocabulary
The character 传 (chuán) has to do with passing along or transferring something, whether it’s a tradition or a virus:
Woo hoo! Beginner Expressions Video
How can you express excitement in Chinese? Here are some useful phrases:
Dragon Boat festival Beginner Holidays
Dragon Boat festival took place a few weeks ago, but it’s not too late to learn about this holiday, including the special 粽子 (zòng zi) that everyone eats:
How to pray Beginner Culture
China has many temples, and if you go to visit one, you’re likely to encounter people praying. What are they saying and doing, and how can you participate (if you want)?
How are you feeling? Beginner Vocabulary
Not feeling well? That’s too bad — but maybe you can find a way to express that in Chinese:
Pros and cons — of Didi Intermediate Expressions Video
弟弟出行 () is the equivalent of Uber in China, allowing you to order a taxi to and from anywhere. What are the pros and cons of using it? Hear from local Chinese residents, as they demonstrate talking about pros and cons:
Travel superstitions All Travel Culture
Chinese culture is full of superstitions and traditions having to do with luck, spirits, and gods. Here are some of the most common things you’ll find Chinese people doing when they are away from home:
Chinese kitchens Intermediate Vocabulary
What’s in your kitchen? Probably some appliances, as well as a sink and stove. Here’s a vocabulary list that will let you describe your kitchen, including Chinese-style items that you might not have:
Listening comprehension Intermediate Listening
How well can you listen to a story, and then answer questions based on it? Here is a collection of many such stories and questions; you can listen (and watch) to check and improve your comprehension:
Useful idioms Intermediate Expressions
Here are some common and useful expressions you can use to spice up your Chinese conversations:
Payment in China All Culture
If you haven’t visited China lately, you’ve missed a revoluation in payment: Everyone is using their phones to pay for . . . well, just about everything. Here’s more on the subject, including useful vocabulary to discuss it:
Get an agent Advanced Story
Renting a house? Maybe an agent can help:
Shopping list Beginner Story
Going shopping? Here’s a story about someone prparing a list:
When 好 (hǎo) means “very” Beginner Grammar
One of the first words you probably learned in Chinese is 好. But it means more than just “good” — it can also mean “very”:
Voltage Advanced Pronunciation
压电 (gāo yā diàn) is “voltage” in Chinese. The Pinyin shows that 压 is first tone, but how strictly is that adhered to?
When the sun is out Intermediate Grammar
If you’re fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan, then you don’t eat when the sun is out. How would you describe this in Chinese?
Walk this way Advanced Grammar
How should you use 由此 (yóu cǐ)?
No parking Intermediate Vocabulary
How do you say “no parking”? And how is that different from “no stopping”? The answer depends on where you are, and where you’re from:
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Originally published at Mandarin Weekly (每周中文).