Mandarin Weekly #131
Hi, there! This is Mandarin Weekly #131, a free newsletter read by more than 20,000 students of Chinese around the world.
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Useful sentence patterns Intermediate Grammar
Chinese sentence patterns are usually quite standard. Here are some unusual and more advanced patterns you can use:
The three de’s Intermediate Grammar
Three characters (的, 得, and 地) are all pronounced “de,” but have different meanings and uses:
Characters with multiple sounds Intermediate Characters
Every character has a sound and a meaning, right? Well, sort of — many characters have multiple meanings, and many also have multiple sounds! Here are some common examples to keep in mind:
Wild phrases Intermediate Expressions
Here are some useful, if edgy and weird, phrases you can use in Chinese:
Is it? Beginner Grammar Video
Want to ask if something XYZ or not? Here’s the grammar pattern you will need:
Podcasts for learning All Reviews
There are lots of podcasts out there, and some of them exist to help you improve your Chinese. Here is a roundup (and review) of a number of good podcasts:
Overcome your fear All Learning
Learning Chinese is hard, and can take time. How can you overcome your fears, and push ahead so as to improve?
Job interview Intermediate Expressions Video
Going for an interview? Here are words and phrases you really should know:
Directions in Chinese Beginner Grammar
How do you give (or receive) directions in Chinese? Here are some useful vocabulary words and grammar patterns for getting where you need to go:
Directions in Chinese Beginner Grammar
How do you give (or receive) directions in Chinese?
What’s the weather? Beginner Vocabulary Video
How is today’s weather? In this video, we can learn some basic weather expressions:
Bad Chinese song All Video
Do you mispronounce words, perhaps saying 睡觉 (shuì jiào) instead of 水饺 (shuǐ jiǎo)? Here’s a cute song by some English singers who have made lots of mistakes:
Taking the HSK All Learning
Want to prove that you know Chinese? You can take the HSK examinations, levels 1–6, given by the Confucius Institute. Here is some background on the tests:
Stood up? Intermediate Expressions Video
Here’s a great expression that really means, “You’ve been stood up”:
Ninchanese review All Reviews
How good is Nichanese for learning and improving your Chinese reading, speaking, and listening? Surprisingly good, it turns out:
Chinese hip-hop Intermediate Video
Enjoy hip-hop music? Perhaps, but have you ever heard it in Chinese? Here’s a song called “Purple soul,” with characters + pinyin + translation, if you don’t quite know what’s going on:
Dialects Advanced Story
Chinese has many different dialects, as described in this story:
Your kind of animal Beginner Story
What kind of animal do you resemble?
Basic travel phrases Beginner Expressions
Traveling to a Chinese-speaking country for the first time? These phrases can come in handy:
Learning strategies All Learning
You want to learn a new language. That’s great! What can you do in order to speed up your language learning?
Losing your house Intermediate Vocabulary
The word 拆迁 (chāi qiān) refers to destroying a building and forcing the residents to move elsehwere. Surprisingly, it’s not seen as a bad thing. Here’s some background on this word, and why it’s so common in today’s Chinese cities:
Interjections show excitement Beginner Grammar Video
Wow! Oops! How do you say those in Chinese? Here are some examples of interjections you can use in your conversations:
Sentence structure Beginner Grammar
Chinese sentences have a set structure, and the earlier you can learn it, the better you’ll be able to express yourself. Here are some hints and ideas regarding that structure, and some variations on it:
Vulgar expressions Intermediate Expressions
Every language has expressions that are considered rude; a simple question leads to an introduction to several of these:
Dusk, evening, nighttime Intermediate Grammar
Different terms for “night” or “evening” in Chinese refer to specific periods of time:
Referring to people Intermediate Grammar
Is there a difference between calling someone a 中国人 (zhōng guó rén) and a 华人 (huá rén)?
Originally published at Mandarin Weekly (每周中文).