Reversible Chinese Words
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Reversible Chinese Words

Sometimes, you can create two different words by putting two of the same Chinese characters into a different order.  In this article, we are going to take a look at 5 examples of reversible Chinese words.   Same Characters, Different Meaning It’s believed that a Chinese learner should master around 3500 frequently-used Chinese characters to be able to...

December 14, 2018December 14, 2018by
Chinese Names of Popular Western Chains
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Chinese Names of Popular Western Chains

This week, we are going to look at the Chinese names of popular Western chains, famous among locals and foreigners alike. But first, let’s see what names you already know – or perhaps can guess. Look at the first picture and try to put a name and a label of the chain together:   Exercise | Chinese Names...

Chinese Exclamative Particles: 啊 a, 啦 la, 吧 ba
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Chinese Exclamative Particles: 啊 a, 啦 la, 吧 ba

A modal or exclamative particle is an important grammatical concept in Chinese. Adding different exclamative particles at the end of your sentences can help you make your speech more vivid – and consequently, make conversations more effective. Using appropriate Chinese exclamative particles, combined with correct intonation, is an essential way to share your feelings with other people. In...

December 4, 2018December 6, 2018by
Mandarin Chinese in the South and North
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Mandarin Chinese in the South and North

If you had a chance to talk to many Chinese locals, you might have noticed that people from different regions speak Chinese with different accents. On one hand, it’s a relief – you don’t have to worry too much if don’t understand some words, as the person you are talking to might also “share the blame”....

November 22, 2018December 7, 2018by
3 Ways to Use Chinese ‘Hao’ in Speech
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3 Ways to Use Chinese ‘Hao’ in Speech

Even if you started to learn Chinese yesterday, you must have already picked up the famous Chinese greeting which means “hello”: 你好 nǐ hǎo. Well, if we take a look at these two characters separately, it turns out that 你 nǐ means “you”, and 好 hǎo means “good”. As the literal meaning of 你好 nǐ hǎo is “you good”, it can...

November 15, 2018November 16, 2018by
NetEase Music: A Guide to ‘Chinese Spotify’
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NetEase Music: A Guide to ‘Chinese Spotify’

In this post, we look at NetEase Music – the most popular music app in China, and very similar to Spotify. The name of the app in Chinese is 网易云音乐.   NetEase Music: The Name First, let’s look at the Chinese name. It will give us a hint about the app: 网 wǎng – net (from 网络 wǎngluò, the Internet)...

4 Most Common Chinese Radicals
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4 Most Common Chinese Radicals

In this article, we will take a look at some of the typical and most common Chinese radicals. Importance of Learning Chinese Radicals Unlike in European languages, in Chinese, words are represented by characters. Statistically, there are around 3500 commonly-used Chinese characters. And from time to time, Chinese learners get “awe-struck” when facing some of...

November 8, 2018November 8, 2018by
Western TV Shows: Chinese Names
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Western TV Shows: Chinese Names

Western TV shows are popular all over the world, and China is no exception. People love to spend time watching their favorite TV shows, and we do, too. Once we got curious about what Western TV shows in China are popular, and what their Chinese names are, we discovered that some of them are very different...

How to Prepare for HSK Level 6 Within Limited Time
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How to Prepare for HSK Level 6 Within Limited Time

If you’re learning Chinese, it’s very likely that at some point, you are going to take an HSK test (汉语水平考试 Hànyǔ shuǐpíng kǎoshì). And you’ll need to prepare for it well. In this post, I share my experience passing HSK Level 6, and give you some tips, applicable to all levels✌   Time Frame First, let’s take a look...

Words You Can Blurt Out When You’re Feeling Surprised
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Words You Can Blurt Out When You’re Feeling Surprised

Our life is full of uncertainties and surprises, therefore it’s always good to learn how to express your own feelings in words when you feel surprised about something. Today we will teach you for simple words that may come in handy when you feel “shocked”.   1. 天啊(tiān a): Oh god! “天(tiān)” means “sky” or...

September 18, 2017October 11, 2018by
Essential Chinese Slangs
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Essential Chinese Slangs

1. Loser 屌丝 Diǎo sī Loser Let’s break it down: 屌 (diǎo): male genital organ 丝 (sī): silk (in this case it means “fur”) 屌丝 (diǎo sī) is the opposite of the famous phrase “高富帅(gāo fù shuài)”, which means “tall, rich, handsome”. It’s commonly used to describe a man as “short, poor, ugly”. In general,...

July 21, 2017March 6, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : hé shì (合适) or shì hé (适合)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : hé shì (合适) or shì hé (适合)

“hé shì(合适)”  and  “shì hé(适合)” sometimes also cause trouble to Chinese learners as both words consist of exactly the same characters, the only difference is the word order. In addition, their meanings are very similar, what you need to remember is that “hé shì(合适)” is an adjective, meaning “suitable”, whereas “shì hé(适合)” is a verb, which...

April 20, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : To meet, jiàn (见) or jiàn miàn (见面)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : To meet, jiàn (见) or jiàn miàn (见面)

“jiàn (见)” and “jiàn miàn (见面)” both mean “to meet, to see”. However, in order to express “A meets B”, the structures used are A + jiàn (见) + B and A + hé(和) + B + jiàn miàn (见面) respectively. Let’s have a look at some examples: English I want to see you. Chinese...

April 20, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : Using ‘de (的)’ with Adjectives
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That’s Mandarin Tips : Using ‘de (的)’ with Adjectives

 In English, it’s common to see phrases like “a beautiful park”, “an interesting person”, “a big room”, etc. You don’t need to put anything between an adjective and a noun in these cases. In Chinese, things get a bit more complicated. You might need to insert a “de(的)” between an adjective and a noun, depending...

April 20, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : Should you use hái shì (还是) or huò zhě (或者)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : Should you use hái shì (还是) or huò zhě (或者)

Some Chinese learners also mix up “hái shì(还是)” with “huò zhě(或者)” as they both mean “or”. However, there is a big difference between “hái shì(还是)” and “huò zhě(或者)” when it comes to the usage of these two words. “hái shì(还是)” is usually used to ask questions such as “Do you want to drink tea or...

April 19, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : How to use negatives bù (不) and méi (没)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : How to use negatives bù (不) and méi (没)

In Chinese, both “bù(不)” and “méi(没)” can be used to negate a verb. However, when it comes to the verb “to have”, which is “yǒu(有)”, you can only say “méi yǒu(没有)” to express the negatives “not have”. NEVER EVER say “bù yǒu(不有)”, because there is no such word. Here are some simple examples for you...

April 18, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : Simple sentence structure
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That’s Mandarin Tips : Simple sentence structure

When Chinese learners are making sentences, they sometimes have problems with the unfamiliar sentence structure. As a beginner, learning these four structures by heart will help you avoid committing grammatical mistakes when creating simple Chinese sentences: Structure No.1: subject + verb + object English I am going to school. Chinese (Pinyin) wǒ  qù  xué xiào。...

April 17, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : How to ask a basic questions
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That’s Mandarin Tips : How to ask a basic questions

Many Chinese learners are told that “ma(吗)” is used at the end to form a question. However, this statement is not always correct even when creating basic questions. “Ma(吗)” needs to be added at the end of a yes-no question only. For questions like “Where are you?”, “What time is it?”, there is no need...

April 13, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : When to use hé (和)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : When to use hé (和)

The Chinese word “hé(和)” is another basic, but important word which is often misused by Chinese learners. Although its equivalent meaning in English is indeed “and”, when it comes to the usage of this word, we need to get rid of our “English way of thinking”. In English, the word “and” can connect nouns, adjectives,...

April 12, 2017March 14, 2018by
That’s Mandarin Tips : To be or not shì (是)
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That’s Mandarin Tips : To be or not shì (是)

One of the first verbs that beginners encounter on their Chinese-learning journey is the verb “to be”, which is pronounced as “shì(是)”. It is equivalent to “am, is, are” in the present tense and “was, were” in the future tense. However, you should not use “shì 是” in the same way you use it in...

April 10, 2017March 14, 2018by