December 2010 Blog Posts (14)


Founder
Learning: 'Poor baby' in Chinese - hǎo kě lián! - 好可怜!



Okay so that picture is most likely a Japanese Sumo and I realize that this is a Chinese Mandarin site but what the hell, I liked the picture.…







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Added by Brandon on December 29, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments


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Mandarin Language Exchange



Yesterday I did my first face-to-face language exchange, swapping English for Mandarin. My partner was fun but my Mandarin was brutal. If you have ever heard a recording of your own voice & hated it, that's how it felt.



I found an exchange partner…

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Added by Brandon on December 29, 2010 at 10:00am — 4 Comments


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How to remember 口,门,问,们 and 乒乓 ping pong (hint, they're related)

A few characters to remember for those just starting out.

 

kŏu - means mouth, for hopefully obvious reasons :) :0 :O & smaller versions of that box are often associated with…

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Added by Brandon on December 24, 2010 at 10:00am — 2 Comments


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How to remember "want / important" - 要 - yào

Unfortunately this 'how to' also involves female stereotypes but, eh, what can you do?  

 

This character - has several different meanings but this is how I remember the more dominant use as a fourth tone, yào.  Generally it means…

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Added by Brandon on December 22, 2010 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments


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Slang: Why 二百五 (èr bǎi wǔ) means idiot

I have been using italki to ask random questions about Mandarin and could not resist this one.  I heard on a chinesepod(cast) that calling someone 二百五 èr bǎi wǔ (250) means idiot.

 

They didn't explain the story but I got a few responses below.  My favorite was provided by…

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Added by Brandon on December 21, 2010 at 6:30am — 1 Comment


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How to say What's up in Chinese - 怎么样?怎么了? 有事吗?more?

I really want more variety of fun & informal greetings to say to my 中国人同事 zhōng guó rén tóng shì。(chinese colleagues).  I started saying 'What up' due to overuse on Futurama and want an equivalent.…

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Added by Brandon on December 18, 2010 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments


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Winning the Fa Piao game - 发票 fā piào

For those of you not in China 中国 zhōng guó, there's this "fun" system introduced where you can win small amounts of money by asking for official (see: tax accountable) receipts from restaurants and the like.

 

On these receipts, called 发票 fā piào, there's a scratch off area on the top.  99.9% of the time it's just…

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Added by Brandon on December 16, 2010 at 9:30pm — No Comments


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How to remember "if" - 如果 - rú guŏ

Okay so this one isn't that complicated but it has proven to be pretty memorable. It's just what I first thought when looking at the characters.



"if - in the event that" - 如果 - rú guŏ

I 'read' this starting with the left…

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Added by Brandon on December 13, 2010 at 10:00pm — No Comments


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Fun with Chinese translators

Recently I was emailing with a Chinese friend and had to cancel plans because I was sick. I said:

 

我感冒

wŏ găn mào - i caught a cold

 

Her response:

可怜的家伙,好好休息吧

kĕ lián de jiā…

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Added by Brandon on December 11, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments


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How to remember "(to) experience" - 经验 - jīng yàn

Occasionally I invent my own stories to remember Chinese characters (汉字).

经 验 - jīng yàn - (and can add a de on the end to make experienced adjective).

 

Start with second character,…

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Added by Brandon on December 10, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments


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My 汉字 (Hàn zì) all up on the white-board

...and you thought my normal handwriting was bad. Here's the sentence from yesterday, hand-written by yours truly on the board.


I took this photo, guy in red is 大同学(dà tóng xué) .
Man I really hope that means tall classmate, otherwise this could be embarrassing.…
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Added by Brandon on December 9, 2010 at 7:34am — No Comments


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No way I look like I work here

Speaking of Sabrina being called an 阿姨 - ā yí ...


I somehow got mistaken for a store clerk yesterday in a sports clothing store. A woman asked me something in Chinese but I have no idea what she said.…
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Added by Brandon on December 8, 2010 at 8:30am — 2 Comments


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New words via Twitter 很有趣

@xboxsonic: @billyeveryteen your website is interesting~! 很有趣 lol

很有趣 hên yôu qù
very interesting

thanks to
http://www.twitter.com/xboxsonic

Added by Brandon on December 7, 2010 at 1:17pm — No Comments


Founder
Starting with characters 汉字

Starting today with reading and writing some Chinese characters in class. We can barely make sentences, our pronunciation is awful (worse than Americans learning Spanish) and just remembering pinyin is a stretch. Maybe pictures will help us?


This is the book they told us to…
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Added by Brandon on December 6, 2010 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

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