here’s some random vocab from the start of a children’s story i’m reading

传来「傳來」chuan2 lai2 (of a sound) to come through, to be heard

干活「幹活」gan4 huo2 to work, manual labor

围裙「圍裙」wei2 qun2 apron

罐头「關頭」guan4 tou can, tin

对于「對於」dui4 yu2 regarding

抢「搶」qiang3 to fight over, to snatch, to grab

诸如「諸如」zhu1 ru2 such as

拣「揀」jian3 to sort out, to pick

沙子 sha1 zi grit, sand

双胞胎「雙胞胎」shuang1 bao1 tai1 twin

天生 tian1 sheng1 nature, disposition

淘气「淘氣」tao2 qi4 naughty, mischievous 

落后生「落後生」luo4 hou4 sheng1 underachiever 

出名 chu1 ming2 well known for something

惹火「惹禍」re3 huo4 to stir up trouble

挨 ai2 to suffer, to endure

训斥「訓斥」xun4 chi4 to reprimand, to rebuke

优秀生「優秀生」you1 xiu4 sheng1 excellent/outstanding student

名列前茅 ming2 lie4 qian2 mao2 to rank among the best

凳子 deng4 zi stool, small seat

插进「插進」cha1 jin4 to insert, to stick in

40 Important Mandarin Chinese Verbs!

1. 是 [shì] ~ (to) be

2. 有 [yǒu] ~ (to) have

3. 做 [zuò] ~ (to) do; (to) make

4. 可以 [kě yǐ] ~ can; (to) give permission

5. 认识 [rèn shí] ~ (to) be acquainted qith

6. 知道 [zhī dào] (怎样) (zěn yàng) ~ (to) know (be aware)

7. 理解 [lǐ jiě] ~ (to) understand

8. 讲 [jiǎng] ~ (to) speak; (to) talk

9. 听 [tīng] ~ (to) listen to

10. 听到 [tīng dào] ~ (to) hear

11. 看 [kàn] ~ (to) see

12. 觉得 [jué de] ~ (to) feel

13. 活着 [huó zhe] ~ (to) live

14. 要 [yào] ~ (to) want

15. 需要 [xū yào] ~ (to) need

16. 喜欢 [xǐ huān] ~ (to) like

17. 爱 [ài] ~ (to) love

18. 给 [gěi] ~ (to) give

19. 拿 [ná] ~ (to) take

20. 玩 [wán] ~ (to) play

21. 笑 [xiào] ~ (to) laugh

22. 来 [lái] ~ (to) come

23. 去 [qù] ~ (to) go

24. 坐 [zuò] (…) 去 [qù] ~ (to) go by (…) (e.g. by car)

25. 写 [xiě] ~ (to) write

26. 读 [dú] ~ (to) read

27. 计数 [jì shù] ~ (to) count

28. 发音 [fā yīn] ~ (to) pronounce

29. 拼 [pīn] ~ (to) spell

30. 共轭 [gòng è] ~ (to) conjugate

31. 记住 [jì zhù] ~ (to) remember

32. 忘记 [wàng jì] ~ (to) forget

33. 吃 [chī] ~ (to) eat

34. 试 [shì] ~ (to) try

35. 用 [yòng] ~ (to) use

36. 打开 [dǎ kāi] ~ (to) open

37. 关闭 [guān bì] ~ (to) close

38. 欢迎 [huān yíng] ~ (to) greet; (to) welcome

39. 开始 [kāi shǐ] ~ (to) begin

40. 结束 [jié shù] ~ (to) end

15 Common and Useful Chinese Idioms (Chengyu) ✨

🌷 脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì)
脚踏实地 literally means “to step on solid ground.” It means that you work hard, focus on the fundamentals, and proceed in a steady and stable fashion. It’s an extremely positive chengyu. Here’s an example : “现在我们要继续脚踏实地”   “xiànzài wǒmen yào jìxù jiǎotàshídì”   “Right now we need to continue staying grounded and pushing ahead”   

🌷 九牛一毛 (jiǔ niú yì máo)
九牛一毛 literally means “9 cows and 1 strand of cow hair.” It indicates something that’s so small that it’s like one strand of cow hair among 9 cows. Here’s an example: “电子商务的盈利在中国整体商业环境中简直是九牛一毛.”   “diànzǐ shāngwù de yínglì zài zhōngguó zhěngtǐ shāngyè huánjìng zhōng jiǎnzhí shì jiǔniúyìmáo.”   “In the entire Chinese commercial environment, the profits from E-commerce are simply just a drop in the bucket.”  

🌷 一无所有 (yìwúsuǒyǒu)
一无所有 means to have absolutely nothing at all. It’s basically being penniless. Here’s an example: “他无家可归,一无所有”   “tā wújiākěguī, yìwúsuǒyǒu”   “He was homeless, and didn’t have a penny to his name.”  

🌷 一见钟情(yí jiàn zhōng qíng)
一见钟情 means “love at first sight.” It’s generally used for people, but you can also use it for other physical objects. Here’s an example: “她就是我的一见钟情 “   “tā jiùshì wǒ de yíjiànzhōngqíng“   “She is my love at first sight.”  

🌷 自由自在 (zì yóu zì zài)
自由自在 means that something is free and easy. It can be used to describe someone’s personality, how someone behaves, or how a place makes people feel. For example: “这是一个自由自在的地方。”   “zhè shì yī gè zì yóu zì zai de dì fāng”   “This is a free and easy place”  

🌷 莫名其妙 (mò míng qí miào) 
莫名其妙 literally means that it’s hard to articulate the profoundness or mystery or something. It basically means that something is baffling. For example: “他说了几句莫名其妙的话。”   “tā shuì le jī gōu mò míng qí miào de huà”   “He said some mysterious words. ”  

🌷 半途而废 (bàn tú ér fèi)
半途而废 means to start doing something, only to give up halfway. Literally, it means to walk half the road and give up. Here’s an example: “我不是半途而废的人”   “wǒ búshì bàntúérfèi de rén”   “I’m not someone who gives up halfway”

🌷 抛砖引玉 (pāo zhuān yǐn yù)
抛砖引玉 (pāo zhuān yǐn yù) basically means you’re “just tossing an idea out there.” It literally means “to cast a brick to attract jade.” You’re basically saying, “this idea I’m tossing out there is garbage, but perhaps it will lead one of you to make a better contribution.” It’s a humble way to contribute to a conversation. Here’s an example: “我的建议还不够成熟,算是抛砖引玉吧 “   “wǒ de jiàn yì hái bú gòu chéng shú, suàn shì pāo zhuān yǐn yù ba “   “My suggestion is still half-baked — you could see it as just me tossing an idea out there“  

🌷 豁然开朗 (huò rán kāi lǎng)
豁然开朗 (huò rán kāi lǎng) has two meanings which are linked. The first meaning is the refreshing and liberating feeling you get when you see a beautiful, open area. Typically, immediately before this moment, the beautiful area is not visible and you might be feeling a little stuffy. Second, it’s also used for the feeling you get when you achieve an “aha” or “eureka!” moment. Here’s an example: “大学时期,乔尼开始有机会用Mac做设计,那是一种豁然开朗的体验“   “dàxué shíqí, qiáoní kāishǐ yǒujīhuì yòng Mac zuò shèjì, nàshì yīzhǒng huòránkāilǎng de tǐyàn”   “During college, Jony began to have opportunities to use a Mac to design, and that was a refreshing, eye-opening experience”  

🌷  津津有味 (jīn jīn yǒu wèi)
津津有味 means to eat something deliciously. Also, it can be used for activities beyond just eating, as long as the person doing the activity finds it engaging. It’s not something that people typically use to describe themselves, but you can liberally use it on your friends as it has a positive tone. Here’s an expressive example: “津津有味地看报”   “jīnjīnyǒuwèi de kànbào”   “to devour the newspaper”  

🌷  理所当然 (lǐ suǒ dāng rán)
理所当然 sounds like “to go without saying” or “as a matter of course,” but literally means that “according to reason, it should be the case.” Here’s an example: “Some things which are obvious or natural in the course of a marriage…”   “。。。在婚姻中的一些~的事。。。”   “。。。zài hūnyīn zhōng de yīxiē ~de shì 。。。”  

🌷  全力以赴 (quán lì yǐ fù)
全力以赴 basically means to give it your all (literally “exert all your strength”) for a goal. It has a positive tone, and is somewhat formal but can still be used in everyday speech. It’s important to note that 全力以赴 is typically used for actions that haven’t finished yet, rather than actions that have already been completed. Here’s an example: “无论考生的笔试成绩如何,都要全力以赴准备面试”   “wúlùn kǎoshēng de bǐshì chéngjì rúhé ,dōuyào quánlìyǐfù zhǔnbèi miànshì”   “No matter how the student’s written test score is, he/she needs to give 100% to prepare for the interview”  

🌷  心血来潮 (xīn xuè lái cháo)
心血来潮 basically means “spur of the moment” or “on a whim.” Literally, it evokes the image of blood rushing to your heart (of course in English we’d say head). It’s a perfect chengyu for when you’re telling a story a friend. For example: “某日他们心血来潮,决定比拼一下各自的脚法“   “mǒu rì tāmen xīnxuèláicháo,juédìng bǐpīn yíxià gèzì de jiǎofǎ”   “One day, on a spur of the moment, they decided to compare and compete to see whose footwork was best”  

🌷  乱七八糟 (luàn qī bā zāo)
乱七八糟 means that something is a total mess. You can use it to describe tangible things like messy rooms, or more abstract things, like a messed up life. For example: 是谁弄得乱七八糟的?   “shì shéi nòng de luàn qī bā zāo de?”   “who made this mess?”  

🌷  不可思议 (bù kě sī yì)
不可思议 means that something is noteworthy or amazing in an unexpected way. It can be used for things which are really amazing (eg. magic or larger phenomena) but also for unexpected, everyday occurrences. For example: “真是不可思议,我的名字跟你一样!”   “zhēn shi bù kĕ sī yì wŏ de míng zi gēn nĭ yī yàng”   “It’s incredible, I have the same name as you!”  

Study organization- notebooks

I love stationery of all kinds, especially notebooks. And when you’re planning on studying, of course you need notebooks for taking notes and practicing! In this post, I’ll talk a little about my notebooks.


What kind(s) of notebook(s) do you use?

My personal preference is for spiral notebooks. I used to use notebooks that just opened like normal books, but they never liked to stay flat and they took up too much space on my desk. It’s funny because I used to hate spirals back when I was younger and way into drawing because the pages were more free to move against each other which led to more smudging, but I love spirals so much for note taking. They lay flat with no problem, which is the biggest thing for me. The spiral does get in the way of my hand sometimes, but it’s a minor annoyance.

I also consider the quality of the paper when buying my notebooks. It doesn’t have to be super high quality, but I just can’t deal with paper the quality of standard US looseleaf. It’s too thin and, more importantly, the surface is too rough. Paper with too rough a surface has led to the early death of too many of my pens—if you use fine-tip pens, size 0.5 or lower, and find they stop writing before the ink runs out—little bits from poor-quality paper probably got into the tip and ruined it. The paper I like the most feels a little bit weighty and nice and smooth!

Hardcover or softcover is also a choice to make! I use both, types:

Left to right- hardcover lined notebook, softcover lined notebook, softcover 원고지 squared paper notebook


How many notebooks do you use?

I have three main types of notebooks! I’ll go over each type:

Grammar notebooks

My grammar notebooks are all hardcover. I use them to collect grammar explanations and other important notes. I write them as cleanly as possible and even use my many colorful highlighters to make them look a little nicer. If I need to know about a grammar point that I have already learned, I open my grammar notebook for the right language and find it. This way, I don’t have to remember which textbook or source I saw a certain grammar point or explanation in—if it’s important, I write it down in my grammar notebook! So, my grammar notebooks are mashups of multiple texts and sources. These are for reference only; I don’t do any practice or extra writing in them. Nothing but the facts!


Practice notebooks

My practice notebook is where I write down definitions of new words I learned, practice sentences for my vocab flashcard words, breakdowns of articles I’ve studied on my Chinese reader apps… I guess calling it a “practice notebook” makes its purpose pretty self-explanatory. It’s nothing special; I write quickly and messily in it, and when it gets full, I can just throw it in the recycling bin and start a fresh one. My practice notebook is a softcover spiral.


Chinese article notebook

Korean squared paper—or I guess any squared paper—is wonderful for writing Chinese characters. Once I’ve encountered an article in a Chinese reader app and broken it down in my practice notebook, I rewrite it cleanly in my article notebook so I can easily find and read it again later.


I don’t always have all of my notebook types with me. If I plan on studying grammar, I will bring the correct grammar notebook along, and if I plan on studying Chinese articles, I might have my article notebook with me, but not always. However, my practice notebook is always in my bag!

How do you organize your notes and all? For those of you who might be struggling to get your notes together, I hope this helped!

Happy studying~

In Chinese we don’t say “pet” we say “宠物 (chǒngwù)” which translates to “spoiled thing” and it’s just so accurate.

Submitted by @angry-potato

Similar words in Korean & Chinese

Even though Korean and Chinese aren’t related, there was a lot of influence on Korean vocabulary by Chinese. So here are some words that I found which are similar on both of these languages

运动 (yùndòng) 운동 - to exercise
皮肤 (pífū) 피부 - skin
市场 (shìchǎng) 시장 - market
时间 (shíjiān) 시간 - time
银行 (yínháng) 은행 - bank
车 (chē)  - vehicle (car)
图书馆 (túshūguǎn) 도서관 - library
韩国 (hánguó) 한국 - South Korea
中国 (zhōngguó) 중국 - China
日本 (rìběn) 일본 - Japan
外国 (wàiguó) 외국 - foreign country
王 (wáng)  - king
年(nián)  - year
油画 (yóuhuà) 유화 - oil painting
北 (běi)  - north
南 (nán)  - south
东 (dōng) - east
西 (xī)  - west
文化 (wénhuà) 문화 - culture
茶 (chá)  - tea

These are obviously not all, just the words I stumbled upon while learning, so feel free to add more! I didn’t include Sino-Korean numbers here since the fact that they sound similar is kind of obvious.

Reading in other languages

Spanish: there are a few words you didn’t know but they’re cognates or you can figure them out from the context. Fairly understandable & grammar makes sense.

Mandarin: literally only one character you didn’t know before but it messes up the whole sentence. No easy way to find out what it means either so barely half understanding of this one.

German: I UNDERSTAND ALL THESE WORDS SEPARATELY BUT THEY MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE IN THIS ORDER WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN WHERE DID THE VERB GO? WHY IS THAT ‘DAS’ THERE, SHOULDN’T THAT BE IN THE DATIVE? I HAVE GONE THROUGH EVERY GRAMMAR RULE I KNOW AND THIS STILL DOESN’T MAKE SENSE HELP

school words in mandarin

general school words

  • 学校 (xuéxiào) - school
  • 小学 (xiǎoxué) - elementary school
  • 中学 (zhōngxué) - secondary school
  • 高中 (gāozhōng) - high school
  • 大学 (dàxué) - university
  • 学生 (xuéshēng) - student
  • 老师 (lǎoshī) - teacher
  • 同学 (tóngxué) - classmate
  • 考 (kǎo) - test
  • 小考 (xiǎokǎo) - quiz 

school subjects

  • 学科 (xuékē) - subject/discipline 
  • 科学 (kēxué) - science
    • 生物学 (shēngwùxué) - biology
    • 化学 (huàxué) - chemistry
    • 物理学 (wùlǐxué) - physics
  • 数学 (shùxué) - math
  • 计算机科学 (jìsuànjīkēxué) - computer science
  • 工程学 (gōngchéngxué) - engineering
  • 经济学 (jīngjìxué) - economics
  • 历史学 (lìshǐxué) - history
  • 地理学 (dìlǐxué) - geography
  • 政治学 (zhèngzhìxué) - political science
  • 新闻学 (xīnwénxué) - journalism
  • 心理学 (xīnlǐxué) - psychology
  • 中文 (zhōngwén) - chinese language
  • 英文 (yīngwén) - english language
  • 韩文 (hánwén) - korean language
  • 日文 - ríwén - japanese language

supplies

  • 纸 (zhǐ) - paper
    • 一张纸 (yīzhāngzhǐ) - a piece of paper
  • 笔 (bǐ) - pen
  • 铅笔 (qiānbǐ) - pencil
  • 书包 (shūbāo) - backpack
  • 书 (shū) - book
  • 记事本 (jìshìběn) - notebook/notepad


other

  • 学 (xué) - to study (for a specific subject ex. 今天我学中文 -  today i studied chinese)
  • 学习 (xuéxì) - to study (general term)
  • 练习 (liànxì) - to practice
  • 考试 (kǎoshì) - to take/give a test
甜蜜蜜
鹿晗
甜蜜蜜

Luhan – Tian Mi Mi (Hanzi/Pinyin/English)

Note: This song is very sweet, and the lyrics are slow and repetitive which makes the song easy to memorize. 

甜蜜蜜你笑得甜蜜蜜
tiánmì mì nǐ xiào dé tiánmì mì
as sweet as honey, your smile is as sweet as honey

好像花儿开在春风里
hǎoxiàng huā er kāi zài chūnfēng lǐ
just like the way flowers bloom in the spring breeze

开在春风里
kāi zài chūnfēng lǐ
in the spring breeze

在哪里在哪里见过你
zài nǎlǐ zài nǎlǐ jiànguò nǐ
i wonder where on earth, where on earth have i seen you

你的笑容这样熟悉
nǐ de xiàoróng zhèyàng shúxī
your smile is so familiar to me

我一时想不起
wǒ yīshí xiǎng bù qǐ
but i still cannot remember where

啊~ 在梦里
a ~ zài mèng lǐ
ah… in my dreams 

梦里梦里见过你
mèng lǐ mèng lǐ jiànguò nǐ
in my dreams, in my dreams i’ve met you

甜蜜笑得多甜蜜
tiánmì xiào dé duō tiánmì
with your smile that is so sweet, as sweet as honey

是你 是你 梦见的就是你
shì nǐ shì nǐ mèng jiàn de jiùshì nǐ
it is you, it is you, the one i saw in my dreams

在哪里在哪里见过你
zài nǎlǐ zài nǎlǐ jiànguò nǐ
i wonder where on earth, where on earth have i seen you

你的笑容这样熟悉
nǐ de xiàoróng zhèyàng shúxī
your smile is so familiar to me

我一时想不起
wǒ yīshí xiǎng bù qǐ
but i still cannot remember where 

啊~ 在梦里
a ~ zài mèng lǐ
ah… in my dreams 

梦里梦里见过你
mèng lǐ mèng lǐ jiànguò nǐ
in my dreams, in my dreams i’ve met you

甜蜜笑得多甜蜜
tiánmì xiào dé duō tiánmì
with your smile that is so sweet, as sweet as honey

是你 是你 梦见的就是你
shì nǐ shì nǐ mèng jiàn de jiùshì nǐ
it is you, it is you, the one i saw in my dreams 

在哪里在哪里见过你
zài nǎlǐ zài nǎlǐ jiànguò nǐ
i wonder where on earth, where on earth have i seen you

你的笑容这样熟悉
nǐ de xiàoróng zhèyàng shúxī
your smile is so familiar to me

我一时想不起
wǒ yīshí xiǎng bù qǐ
but i still cannot remember where

啊~ 在梦里
a ~ zài mèng lǐ
ah… in my dreams 

啊~ 在梦里
a ~ zài mèng lǐ
ah… in my dreams

啊~ 在梦里
a ~ zài mèng lǐ
ah… in my dreams

In Chinese, fireworks are known as “烟花 (yān huā)” which literally translates to “smoke flower” which is kind of what they actually are, as fireworks are flowers in the sky that are made of smok.

Submitted by anonymous

LGBT Chinese vocabulary

同性恋- homosexuality

同性恋者- homosexual person

同性婚姻- same sex marriage

双性恋- bisexuality

双性恋者- bisexual person

变性人- transgender person

我支持同性婚姻- I support same sex marriage

Literary phrases referring to mlm:

分桃- left over peach - comes from a story where a guy offered his noble lover a peach he had already eaten from, which would normally be seen as super out of line for a commoner to do, but since the noble loved him he was cool with it.

断袖- cut sleeve - comes from a story where a guy’s lover was asleep on his sleeve so he cut it because he didn’t want to wake his lover up

hobbies! 爱好

sorry I didn’t post recently, school has been really hectic at the moment :(

as always the third tone will be replaced by â because I don’t have it on here x

跳舞 // tiào wû // dance

唱歌 // chàng gē // sing

看书 // kàn shū // read

看电视 // kàn diàn shì // watch tv

看电影 // kàn diàn yîng // watch films

做运动 // zuò yùn dòng // play sports

打球 // da qiu // play ball games

打篮球 // dâ lán qiú // play basketball

打网球 // dâ wang qiú // play tennis

弾钢琴 // tán gāng qín // play piano

弹吉他 // tán jí tā // play guitar

画画 // huà huà // draw

聊天 // liâo tiān // to chat

打曲棍球 // dâ qū qùn qiú // play hockey

打乒乓球 // dâ píng pāng qiú // play table tennis (ping pong)

打板球 // dâ bân qiú // play cricket

遛狗 // liu gôu // to walk a dog

上网 // shàng wâng // surf the Internet

听音乐 // tīng yīn yuè // listen to music

跑步 // pao bu // running

sentence structure & vocab:

我的 // wô de // my

爱好 // aì hâo // hobby

是 // shì // is

我的爱好是听音乐 // wô de aì hâo shì tīng yīn yuè // my hobby is listening to music

will do a part 2 for thus as I have learnt a lot more hobbies in my school mandarin class, and I will add more advanced sentences to it 💗💗

hope this was helpful!

One of the best feelings is watching a show in your target language and being able to understand what’s happening even without subtitles. I love to watch Chinese and Taiwanese dramas with subtitles off, only turning them on when the conversation gets too complicated.
In the process of studying Chinese by watching dramas, I’ve amassed quite a collection of dramas I’ve watched and loved. Here’s my ever-expanding list, so that you all can share the experience with me!

Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城): hot actors, video game universe, a sweet and happy romance. 9/10

Miss in Kiss (恶作剧之吻): this is one of the billion Itazura na Kiss remakes. cringey but addictive. 7/10

Because of Meeting You (因为遇见你): so much drama!! adorable child!! and like 50 episodes. 10/10

Fall in Love With Me (爱上两个我): the first episode(s) are cheesy, but it builds up to so much drama equal to that of the previous one. 9.5/10

Addicted (上瘾): two boys fall in love. so gay, so beautiful!! cut short (incomplete) for political reasons. 10/10

Our Times (我的少女时代): a movie, about two unlikely high school lovers, i cry every time. 10/10

Cafe. Waiting. Love (等一個人咖啡): a movie, has some iconic moments, i cried during this also. 8.5/10

You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年,我们一起追的女孩): another movie, heartachey, anticlimactic?? 7/10

Across the Ocean to See You (票洋过海来看你): haven’t finished it yet,, feminist! good chemistry. kinda cheesy. 8.5/10

The Starry Night, The Starry Sea (那片星空,那片海): about a girl who falls in love with with an immortal mermaid, good concept, kinda cheesy acting. 8/10

Nirvana in Fire (琅琊榜): historical, based on an online novel!! haven’t seen it yet myself, but comes highly recommended. ?/10

You can find each of these dramas on Netflix, Viki, or Dramafever.
If a title is in traditional Chinese, it’s because I just copied it off the wiki page instead of figuring out what the simplified version was. If you know the simplified version, lmk and I’ll edit it!
Feel free to add to this list and/or tell me what you thought of these dramas!! I love some good fangirling/discourse.

space vocab in mandarin

Originally posted by remystic

so i’ve had this in my drafts for ages and i just never got around to completing it, but then i saw @malteseboy ‘s post and was reminded that, instead of sitting around doing nothing during my summer break, i could actually finish this list i started almost seven months ago so here it is


宇宙空间 yǔzhòu kōngjiān space

宇宙 yǔzhòu universe

星星 xīngxīng star

星座 xīngzuò constellation

星系 xīngxì galaxy

星云 xīngyún nebula

小行星 xiǎo xíngxīng asteroid

彗星 huìxīng comet

黑洞 hēidòng black hole

流星 liúxīng meteor

日食 rì shí solar eclipse

月食 yuè shí lunar eclipse


行星 xíngxīng planet

太阳系 tàiyángxì solar system

太阳 tàiyáng sun

水星 shuǐxīng mercury

金星 jīnxīng venus

地球 dìqiú earth

月球 yuèqiú moon

火星 huǒxīng mars

木星 mùxīng jupiter

土星 tǔxīng saturn

天王星 tiānwángxīng uranus

海王星 hǎiwángxīng neptune

冥王星 míngwángxīng pluto

轨道 guǐdào orbit

绕地 ràodì to orbit the earth 

送上轨道 sòng shàngguǐdào to send into orbit

盘旋 pánxuán to circle, to go around, to orbit


重力 zhònglì gravity

满月 mǎnyuè full moon

新月 xīn yuè new moon

弦月 xián yuè crescent moon


太空探索 tàikōng tànsuǒ space exploration

宇航员 yǔháng yuán astronaut

太空服 tàikōng fú space suit

航天飞机 hángtiān fēijī space shuttle

人造卫星 rénzào wèixīng satellite

发射 fāshè to launch/fire (a rocket)

发射架 fāshè jià launch pad

空间站 kōngjiānzhàn space station


天文学 tiānwénxué astronomy

天文学家 tiānwénxué jiā astronomet

望远镜 wàngyuǎnjìng telescope/binoculars

天文望远镜 tiānwén wàngyuǎnjìng telescope

三脚架 sānjiǎojià tripod

Explaining the four tones used in Mandarin Chinese

To explain the four tones and how they affect the language, I’ll use the Chinese pinyin syllable “ma”

The four tones used in Chinese are typically shown through pinyin above the affected letter, like mā, or occasionally represented after the affected letter with the number that corresponds with the tone (ma1). 

Tones dictate the way in which words are pronounced, similar to accents. The difference between tones and accents would be that in actual written Chinese, the tone marks do not appear, while accents in languages especially noted for them like French and Spanish, the accent marks do appear (résumé). Tone marks were created to explain in pinyin the difference in pronunciation.

As you’re about to discover, pronouncing pinyin syllables wrong, and not following the tonal rules, will result in the wrong word being said (that being said, most native speakers won’t be angry that you got it wrong, they’ll probably just find it funny and cute).


1st tone mā (妈) – mother

With the 1st tonal mark on ma, you pronounce it with a purposeful flat pitch, like m-ah.

Saying it this way, you are reciting the Chinese character 妈 aka mother

2nd tone má (麻)– numb/hemp

With the 2nd tonal mark on ma, you pronounce it with a purposeful low to high pitch, like ma-AH.

Saying it this way, you are reciting the Chinese character 麻 aka numb/hemp

3rd tone mǎ (马) – horse

With the 3rd tonal mark on ma, you pronounce it with a purposeful dip in pitch, from high to low to high, like Ma-aH.

Saying it this way, you are reciting the Chinese character 马 aka horse

4th tone mà (骂) – curse/name call

With the 4th tonal mark on ma, you pronounce it with a purposeful high to low pitch, like MA-ah.

Saying it this way, you are reciting the Chinese character 骂 aka to curse/name call

Neutral/no deliberate tone ma (吗) – indicates a yes/no question

Just saying “ma” without intent of pitch, at the end of a sentence, turns it into a yes/no question!


A/N: Let me know if you have any confusion or I got something wrong! Also I am the new admin covering the mandarin chinese learning content. I plan on doing “learning chinese through cpop” posts along with normal structure and vocab posts. 

In Mandarin Chinese we don’t say “raisin” or “beef jerky”. Instead we say “葡萄干 (pútao gān)” and “牛肉干 (niúroù gān)”, which literally means “grape dry” and “beef dry”. The character “干 (gān)” applies to all dried food made from fruits and meat. I think this simplistic and cool, since raisins are nothing but grape jerky.

Submitted by @vincenttianblr