Category Archives: Learning Mandarin

Update: LearnMandarin poster with 50 most common radicals coming out soon!

Dear students, As you already know we’ve recently announced that we are working on creating a set of physical flashcards that are going to be extremely beneficial to those in the beginning stages of their language learning journey. The entire set of 300 cards which we have named Core Vocabulary, will be available for purchase soon Read More…

Top 10! Resources for writing Mandarin Chinese

1. Lang-8 Established back in 2006, Lang-8 today boasts more than 750,000 users from 190 different countries around the world. The concept of Lang-8 is simple: new users register on the website and provide the information on which language they want to learn or are currently learning (target language) and which is their native language. Once their Read More…

You ask; we answer!

Dear LearnMandarin, I need help with grammar. When speaking 的, 得 and 地 all sound the same (de). They are all used for grammar purposes and seem to be used all the time. What’s the best way to learn the differences between the three and how can I use them correctly? This in an excellent question and something Read More…

Online Chinese dictionary: finding the right one

For the past couple of months Chinese learners throughout the world have been mourning the death of one of the most used and loved online Chinese dictionaries (did I mention it was free?) by the name of Nciku. Yes, for a couple of months before being shut down the site has been acting up,  yes, it Read More…

You ask; we answer!

A student recently asked us: A question about a small word in lesson 7…..qu It appears to mean area/neighbourhood/suburb in “Wo zhu zai Sydney qu”  (apologies, I don’t know how to add the accents to define the tones). But this doesn’t seem to fit in “Ni qu guo Australia?”  Can you please supply a literal Read More…

What’s your HSK test taking strategy?

For some students of Chinese, HSK tests are obligatory and are seen as an objective indicator of your level of Chinese. In my experience, this especially tends to be the case with Korean students. I remember during my days of intensive Chinese study while living in Dalian, my Korean classmates would all locked up in Read More…

Question about Mandarin Lesson 4

A student asks: I am going over lesson 4 and a little confused about when to use ‘le’ or “mei” for past tense. Could I say either ” Ni chi le ne?” or “Ni chi mei chi?” – both meaning “Did you eat?” I’m also not sure about the use of “you” – Ni qu Read More…

Learning Chinese – The Daily Struggle, the Life-long Challenge

Every endeavour has its ups and downs, and the same is true for learning Chinese. Initially, one is fuelled by the sheer enthusiasm of something new, fresh and having potential bragging-rights – come on, who hasn’t done the Mā (妈) means ‘mum’ but Mǎ (马) means ‘horse’ routine? – but eventually your motivation will dwindle and Read More…

How to: Start Speaking Chinese and Get Going

No matter what your starting point is, a university student 大学生 (DàXuéShēng), self-learner 自学 (ZìXué), or a devoted spouse of a Chinese native, get ready for some awkwardness 尴尬 (GānGà). Your first Chinese syllables uttered for the audience of at least “you + 1” (the mirror doesn’t count), will most probably turn out to be a Read More…

Onomatopoeia

Such a funny word, onomatopoeia – all those vowels huddled together make it rather tricky to pronounce it (I don’t know about you, but I always end pronouncing it as if I was giving dictation to a six-year old). Going back to the subject, no surprise, today there’s going to be talk about words or Read More…

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