March 2011 Blog Posts (11)

A Mnemonic for tones of buy and sell

Remembering which tone was which for the words "buy" & "sell" has always driven me nuts until I started using this mnemonic.


Buy -  - mǎi - third tone, which goes down then up.  To buy something, you have to pick it…


Added by Brandon on March 31, 2011 at 9:30pm — 3 Comments

Useless Chinese learning - Chun Li from Street Fighter

I call this post useless but that's only true for those readers that weren't fortunate enough to be playing video games in the early 90s.  In 1992, Capcom released Street Fighter 2, which had the first female character in a fighting game (thanks…


Added by Brandon on March 29, 2011 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

Chinese Idiom: 揠苗助长 (yàmiáozhùzhǎng) “Impatience Spoils The Results”

So I was out with my Chinese tutor last week. We were having a great time learning about comparisons and weather patterns, etc. But then in the middle of the lesson, she said something that I didn’t understand at all. Not. A. Word. I kept asking her to repeat it more slowly, again, and again. But I just couldn’t get it… twas seemingly hopeless! And very frustrating.

It’s easy…


Added by DK 大牛 on March 27, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The difference between 或者 huòzhě and 还是 háishì - either / or

1, 或者huòzhě (either... or ...) and 还是háishì means ‘or’ in English, They usually used by linking up two words or phrases that indicate different alternatives.  或者huòzhě is usually used in statements and 还是háishì in questions.  For example:


(1) A:你  想   喝茶,      咖啡    还是  水?

            nǐxiǎng héchá,   kāfēi háishì shuǐ…


Added by The Mandarin Review on March 27, 2011 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

Chinese Cartoon - Kuang Kuang's Diary

Kuang Kuang's Diary is a Chinese cartoon series of a young average student kuangkuang's school life  in eighties. It created by base on a true and exaggerated story and widely circulated in the eighties songs composed for children. The series has much content reflect on Chinese primary school life.  The language is funny, although with much comic and strong…


Added by The Mandarin Review on March 23, 2011 at 12:00pm — 6 Comments

Don't be a Chinese Third Wheel

Ah... I really love the way the idea of 'being a third wheel' is expressed in Chinese (and some of the photos I got to put in this blog post as a result).



The term that they use for this situation is 'being a light bulb' which translates to…


Added by Brandon on March 21, 2011 at 8:30pm — 5 Comments

Interesting discussion on Laowai Chinese - does dating a native really help?

Interesting article that I couldn't help but comment on.  From Laowai Chinese: 

Does Dating a Native REALLY Help Your Chinese?

(opens in new…


Added by Brandon on March 20, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Secrets, secrets and more secrets

Just a few quick words that are frequently used and related to one another, both in English and in Mandarin.


The first is secret秘密 mì mì.  It can be hard to see but at least on my iphone, it looks like both of the characters contain the character /…


Added by Brandon on March 14, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Chinese Idiom: “天无绝人之路” tiān​ wú​ jué ​rén​ zhī ​lù

I read this idiom on tumblr blog of codylanguages, who posts about learning quite a few different languages.



tiān wú jué rén zhī lù



Added by Brandon on March 10, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

A Chinese student's rant about learning French goes viral

I just wanted to share this link because it's pretty hilarious and may make you feel better about the occassional 'challenges' inherent in learning Chinese.  


Chinese student’s rant over the French language becomes viral



Added by Brandon on March 9, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Pinkest store in Shanghai -粉红 - fěn hóng

The word 'pinkest' sounds really strange for some reason. I don't know if I have ever said something was the 'pinkest'. This store, Candie's, is in a mall in Shanghai and the photo does not do it justice for just how pink it is. Everything in the store is covered in pink, even the shop girls' outfits.…


Added by Brandon on March 5, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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