chinese language

Mako and Bolin’s Father’s Letter to his Mom

已经结婚, 有了两個兒子名…

愽林. 他们带来不少歡楽也…

許多麻烦. 相信您们是体會…

希望有一天您们會和他们相…

上我们的照片.

… already married, (we) have two sons called (Mako and) Bolin. 

They bring us no small amount of joy and… 

much trouble. I believe you (formal and plural) can understand… 

(I/We) hope that one day you (formal and plural) and them can (meet) each other … 

On top (is) our photograph.

Notes: Chinese has two ‘you’ 你 (ni) and 您(nin). 您 is formal, similar to the German “Sie”. That their father uses it with his family can have two meanings, either it is a show of respect (in the past it was normal to address one’s parents that way) or it means they are distant, which, considering that he left after a big fight, is also a possibility. These days 、您is not used with one’s family anymore, but a show of respect to your boss, elders, your Professor or customers.

CHINESE GRAMMAR

10 basic Chinese grammar points for beginners

Chinese Grammar Guide

How to use the particles 吗 (ma) and 呢 (ne) in Chinese grammar

Key Chinese grammar structure: modifier + de + noun (的)

The sentence particles 吧 (ba) and 吗 (ma) in Chinese grammar

Chinese grammar 把 structure: a basic introduction

Source

Past events in Mandarin Chinese grammar (there’s no past tense!)

Theme Vocabulary: Pronouns

(wǒ) I, me

您,你 (nín, nǐ) You (formal), you (informal)

他, 她 (tā) he, she

我们 (wǒmen) we

你们 (nǐmen) you (plural)

他们, 她们 (tāmen) they (generally), they (if only females)

(zhè) this

(nà) that

这些 (zhèxiē) these

那些 (nàxiē) those

一些 (yīxiē) some (things)

有的 (yǒude) some (people)

所有 (suǒyǒu) all (people)

大家 (dàjiā) Everyone

“Dying” to Sound More Casually Chinese

Modern Chinese have developed the habit of using the character 死 sǐ (die) to spice up their colloquial expressions. Let’s take a closer look to see what we can learn from these colorful language extremes. Often these “dying” expressions are used to express negative feelings with lighthearted charm…

饿死了è sǐ le  – extremely hungry
渴死了 kě sǐ le – extremely thirsty
吓死我了 xià sǐ wǒ le – frightened me to death
疼死了 téng sǐ le – to really hurt
热死了 rè sǐ le – unbearably hot
冷死了 lěng sǐ le – unbearably cold
累死了 lèi sǐ le – dying from overwork
堵死了 dǔ sǐ le – blocked road; plugged hole
烦死了 fán sǐ le – annoyed to death
困死了 kùn sǐ le – incredibly sleepy
气死我了 qì sǐ wǒ le – infuriating me
无聊死了 wúliáo sǐle – bored to death

Continue Reading

8 CHINESE MANDARIN

Level 1 Vocabulary: Part 3

人 rén: person

人民币 rén mín bì: yuan, “money of the people”
认识 rènshi: to meet
日rì: sun
日本 rìběn: Japan
容易 róng yì: easy
肉 ròu: meat
三 sān: three
散步 sànbù: to take a walk
嫂子 săozi: sister-in-law, the wife of a friend
商 shāng: trade
商场 shāng chăng: shopping centre
商店 shāng diàn: store
商人 shāng rén: trader, merchant
上 shàng: up, to go up
上班 shàng bān: to go to work
上次 shàng cì: on the last time
上课 shàng kè: having classes
上网 shàng wăng: surf the web
上午 shàng wŭ: morning
上星期shàng xīng qī: last week
勺 sháo: spoon
生 shēng: to be born
生日 shēng rì: birthday
生意人shēng yì rén: business man
圣诞节 shèngdàn jié: Christmas
圣诞老人 shèngdàn lăorén: Santa Claus
声音shēng yīn: voice
什么shénme: what?, how?
什么时候 shénme shíhou: when?, what time?
身体 shēntĭ: health, body
设计师 shè ji shī: designer
师 shī: master
诗 shī: poem
失业人员shī yè rén yuán: unemployed
十 shí: ten
是 shì: to be
时候 shíhou: time, specific moment
事儿shìr: business, matter
手 shŏu: hand
手机shŏu jī: cell phone
瘦 shòu: thin
帅 shuài: handsome, good looking (used for males)
双胞胎 shuāngbāotāi: twins
谁 shuí, sheí : who?
水 shŭi: water
睡觉 shuì jiào: to sleep
说 shuō: to speak
书 shū: book
书店 shūdiàn: bookstore
四 sì: four
送 sòng: to accompany
岁suì: classifier for ages
所 suŏ: classifier for school, university
宿舍 sùshè: bedroom, dorm
素食者 sùshízhě: vegetarian
他 tā: he, him
她 tā: she, her
他们 tāmen: they, them
太 tài: very, a lot
太了tài le: to much
天 tiān: day, sky
天天tiān tiān: everyday
听tīng: to listen to, to hear
体重 tĭzhòng: weight
体育 tĭyù: sports
同学 tōngxué: class buddy, class colleague
同事 tōngshì: co-worker, work colleague
头发 tóufà: hair
头 tóu: head
兔 tù: rabbit
图书馆 tú shū guăn: library
西 xī: west                                                                                                 

下 xià: bellow, underneath, next
下班 xiā bān: to finish work, leave work
下次 xià cì: next time
下课 xià kè: to finish class
下星期xià xīngqī: next week
下午xià wŭ: afternoon
下雨 xià yŭ: to rain
下一个 xià yi ge: the next one, next
香港 xiāng găng: Hong Kong
想xiăng: to want                                                                                       

向东拐 xiàng dōng guăi: to turn east
现在 xiànzài: now, in this moment, currently
先生xiānsheng: sir, mister, husband (formal)
小姐xiăojie: miss, young lady
小区 xiăo qū: neighborhood, district, block                                               

小说 xiăo shuō: novel
小学xiăo xué: school, elementary school
西班牙 xī bān yá: Spain
谢谢xiè xie: thank you
喜欢 xĭhuan: to like
心 xīn: heart
新年 xīn nián: New Year
行 xíng: ok, alright
姓 xìng: last name
姓名xìng míng: full name
幸福 xìngfú: hapiness
星期 xīngqī: week
星期一xīngqī yī: monday
星期二xīngqī èr: tuesday
星期三xīngqī sān: wednesday
星期四xīngqī sì: thursday
星期五xīngqī wŭ: friday
星期六xīngqī liù: saturday
星期天 / 星期日xīngqī tiān/ rí: sunday
兄弟兄弟姐妹 xiōngdì jiěmèi: brothers and sisters
洗 xĭ: to wash
洗手间 xĭshŏujiān: bathroom
休息xīuxi: to rest
希望 xīwàng: to want, to wish
学xué: to study, to learn
学习xuéxi: to study, to learn
学生xuésheng: student
学校xuéxiào: school
学院xuéyuàn: college
雪鱼 xuě yú: codfish
训练 xùnliàn: to train
外wài: out of, foreign
外公 wàigōng: grandfather (mother’s side)
外婆 wàipó: grandmother (mother’s side)
外国 wàiguó: foreign country
外国人 wàiguórén: foreigner
晚会 wănhuì: a feast
晚 wăn: late
晚上 wăn shàng: night
晚饭 wăn fàn: dinner
玩游戏 wán yóu xì: to play  

喂  wèi: expression used when answering the phone     

 为什么wèi shénme: why?                      

文 wén: writing, culture                                                                             

问  wèn: to ask                                                                                          

我  wŏ: I, me                                                                                              

我们 women: We, us                       

五 wŭ: five                                                                                                  

 午饭 wŭ fàn: lunch                                                                      

宴会  yànhuì: feast                                                                                   

要  yào: to really want                                                                               

 也  yě: also, too, as well                                                                         

爷爷 yéye: grandfather (father’s side)                                          

一 yī: one                                         

一定 yídìng: to be sure                                                                            

一共 yígòng: altogether                                                                           

一会儿见yíhuìr jiàn: see you really soon                              

一起 yìqĭ: together     

一下儿 yīxiàr: a little                                                                         

衣服 yīfu: clothes                            

以后 yĭhòu: after                                                                       

以前 yĭqián: before     

医院  yīyuàn: hospital           

医生  yīsheng: doctor             

英国  yīngguó: Englang                                                                       

英语  yīngyŭ: english         

银行  yínháng: bank                                                                               

音乐  yīnyuè: music          

音乐家  yīnyuè jiā: musician                                                            

有yŏu: to have    

 有名 yŏu míng: famous                                                                             

有时候 yŏushíhou: sometimes    

有空yŏu kòng: to have free time  

有意思 yŏu yì sī: interesting     

邮局 yóu jú: post office            

邮箱yóu xiāng: e-mail        

鱼 yú: fish                                                                                   

雨yŭ: rain 

圆  yuán: round             

远  yuăn: far     

语言  yŭyán: language              

愿意 yuànyì: to agree                                                                            

月  yuè: moon    

一月 yi yuè: january          

二月èr yuè: february        

三月sān yuè: march   

 四月sì yuè: april                                                                                        

 五月wŭ yuè: may                                                                              

六月liù yuè: june   

七月qī yuè: july 

八月bā yuè: august            

九月jiŭ yuè: september

十月shí yuè: october

十一月shí yi yuè: november          

十二月shí èr yuè: december                                                                   

在  zài: to be, stay at 

再  zài: again, one more time                  

再见 zàijiàn: goodbye           

早上 zăo shàng: dawn                   

早饭zăo fàn: breakfast   

找zhăo: to look for           

 照片 zhàopiàn: photo         

这次zhè cì: this time    

这个zhè ge: this       

这人 zhèr: here                 

这么 zhème: so               

这样  zhèyàng: this way, this kind, similar      

 怎么样  zěnmeyàng: how?, in what way?     

怎么走 zěnmezŏu: how to get to?         

真zhēn: really, truly                  

政客zhēng kè: politician        

只 zhī: just, only           

只有 zhī yŏu: the only one     

 知道 zhīdào: to know            

职员zhíyuán: worker      

中国 Zhōngguó: China              

中国人 zhōngguórén: chinese            

中文  zhōng wèn: Chinese culture           

中间  zhōng jiān: in the middle of            

中学  zhōng xué: highschool        

中午  zhōng wŭ: noon          

重要  zhòng yào: important        

周 zhōu: cicle, week   

周末zhōu mò: weekend     

住zhù : to live in   

祝 zhù: to wish                                                                                             

 走 zŏu: to walk                                                                                          

最 zuì: the most (comparison)                                                                     

 最近 zuìjìn: recently, lately                                                                           

坐  zuò: to sit                                                                                              

做  zuò : to do, to make                                                                             

做饭zuò fàn: to cook                                                                                 

做生意 zuò shēng yì: to do business                                                     

作家 zuò jiā: writer

昨天 zuótiān: yesterday  

作业 zuò yè: homework            

左右 zuŏyòu: roughly, approximately

足  zú: feet, foot

足球 zú qiu: football

END OF PART 3
This vocabulary list is the result from my Level 1 Chinese Mandarin Classes at the University.
The books used are: New Practical Chinese Reader Volume 1 Textbook/ Workbook; Great Wall Chinese Essentials in Communication Volume 1 Textbook/ Workbook.

The audio for (most of) this vocabulary is available at the New Practical Chinese Reader Volume 1 Video Lessons.
[Lessons 1-14 Playlist:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB1B262B05A6992FD]
[Lesson 2 not available on the playlist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2BEgmTa-BE]

Three uses of 了 (le)

1. Something is about to happen or just started happening
These are usually very brief statements ending with

  • 下雨了 (Xiàyǔ le) It’s raining

    Meaning the rain just started or someone just noticed it’s raining. The change in the situation is that before it didn’t rain but now it does.
  • 上课了 (Shàngkè le) Class is beginning, let’s start the class
  • 快放假了 (Kuài fàngjià le) Vacation starts soon

2. Something has happened - 了after whole sentence

  • 你吃了吗? (Nǐ chī le ma?) Have you eaten?
  • 吃了 (Chī le) Yes I have.

    This is a very common and casual way for the Chinese to greet each other instead of 你好 (nǐhǎo).
  • 我回来了 (Wǒ huílai le) I’m back, I have returned
  • 我买新的裤子了 (Wǒ mǎi xīn de kùzi le) I have bought new pants


3. After something has happened - after verb

  • 下了课 (Xià le kè) After class is over
  • 回了来 (huí le lái) After returning
  • 买了新的裤子 (Mǎi le xīn de kùzi) After buying new pants
    This indicates you are telling something more about what happened. You could also replace with 以后 (yǐhòu) which means after
  • 下课以后 (Xiàke yǐhòu) After class is over
  • 回来以后 (Huílai yǐhòu) After returning
  • 买新的裤子以后 (Mǎi xīn de kùzi yǐhòu) After buying new pants

has more uses than this although generally it marks a change in a situation. Chinese doesn’t have tenses the same way english has (e.g. do - did - done), instead the tense is often understood from little words like or 以后 and of course context. I will tell more about this in the future.

Introductions
  • 你好 (nǐ hǎo)-Hello
  • 你叫什么名字?(nǐ jiào shénme mingzi)- What is your name?
  • 我叫… (wǒ jiào…)- I’m called…
  • 我是…(wǒ shì…)- I’m…
  • 我来介绍一下 (wǒ lái jièshào yīxià)-Let me introduce you
  • 这是…(zhè shì…)-This is…
  • 欢迎(huān yíng)-Welcome
  • 认识你们很高兴(rènshi nǐmen hěn gāo xìng)-Very nice to meet you
  • 你早(nǐ zǎo)-Good morning
  • 介绍(jièshào)-Introduce
  • 认识(rènshi)-To get to know; to know
Theme Vocabulary: School

学生 (xuésheng) student

同学 (tóng​xué) classmate

老师 (lǎo​shī) teacher

学校 (xué​xiào) school

学院 (xué​yuàn) college

小学 (xiǎo​xué) elementary / primary school

中学 (zhōng​xué) middle school

大学 (dà​xué) university

学习 (xué​xí) to study

(xì) faculty

学科 (xué​kē) subject

(kè) class

功课 (gōng​kè) homework

学士 (xué​shì) bachelor’s degree

硕士 (shuò​shì) master’s degree

上学 (shàng ​xué) to go to school

上课 (shàng kè) start class

学年 (xué​nián) academic year

10

COLOUR VOCAB CONTRIBUTIONS MASTERPOST - part II

I wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this, reblogging my first colour vocab masterpost and adding other languages to it!! Part I already posted, here’s the last part :)

*I hope it’s okay for me to have used the flag of the League of Arabic States, because I couldn’t use any flag of any country given that Arabic isn’t really spoken/written in only one country

> Colour vocab MASTERPOST |el, es, ru, it, fr, de, hu|

> Colour vocab CONTRIBUTIONS 1 |is, nl, lv, pt, ro, pl, sl, cs, ber|

> Colour vocab CONTRIBUTIONS 2 |ja, zh, ko, tr, uz, tk, os, ar, fa, ps|

> Colour vocab CONTRIBUTIONS 3 |ca, hr, sr, hy, no, da, sv|

Business Card Translation

郭大夫 Doctor Guo

针灸师 Master of Acupuncture and Moxibustion*

皂阜市大街23号 Zao Fu Shi Avenue Number 23

Notes:

皂阜市 is a bit of a mystery to me. I am assuming it’s some kind of joke, but I am not getting it. 

皂 ‘zao’ can mean 'black’ or 'soap’

阜'fu’ means 'mound’ or 'abundant’

市 'shi’ means market

The problem is that you can’t just put these words together to make a compound noun like you can in English. 皂阜市 does not mean 'Soap Mound Market’.

If you have any idea what the joke is, let me know!

We have a winner! Thank you Ariaes for pointing the obvious that I missed: Zaofu is the name of the city!

*Moxibustion is when you put tiny balls moxa (dried mugwort) on the acupuncture needles and light them.