Feed of posts from useful sites

100 Most Common Chinese words

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 06:39

Here’s the full list of the top 100 most common Chinese words with all the info you need: Chinese, Pinyin, English and 2 example sentences for each. This is great if you want to make your own flashcard deck (Anki) or just check them off through a spreadsheet. All sentences are originally created by Tutormandarin[...]

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How is Mandarin spoken in Singapore?

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 03:00

Learning a new language, may it be in spoken or written form, should be one of the things you should add to your bucket list. Only after you learn a new language will you realize just how many opportunities it opens for you. This is especially true for Mandarin Chinese. The Chinese language is the[...]

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Best Chinese Translator Apps

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 02:47

Best Chinese Translator Apps Chinese is hard to read! There are so many Chinese words to learn that you can often find yourself in a situation where you can’t read the Chinese. Luckily, there are translator apps that can help with all types of situation. Finding the meaning of the word, looking up the character[...]

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5 Fun Ways for Kids to Learn Chinese

TutorMandarin blog - Sat, 03/31/2018 - 08:03

  5 Fun Ways for Kids to Learn Chinese Chinese has been referred to as the language of opportunity and it definitely holds true in 2018. Teaching your children Chinese is an amazing way to prepare them for the world of tomorrow while gaining all the benefits of knowing a second language. But if you’re already[...]

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5 Ways to Avoid Air Pollution in Beijing, China

TutorMandarin blog - Sat, 03/31/2018 - 04:58

5 Ways to Avoid Air Pollution in Beijing, China A lot of people ask how to avoid the infamous air pollution in Beijing. It’s a good question and I used to live in Beijing for a long time so I have some insights. But essentially what you’re asking is ‘how to avoid air’ because there’s[...]

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5 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Learn Chinese

TutorMandarin blog - Thu, 03/29/2018 - 11:25

5 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Be Learning Chinese In today’s world, Chinese is one of the hottest languages to learn. However, most people incorrectly assume that it’s a hard language to learn. It just isn’t true! If done right, Chinese can be one of the easiest languages to learn. And once they do learn[...]

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Live Music Taiwan: Directory of Bars, Practice Spaces, Festivals, and More!

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 08:36

Live Music Taiwan Directory This is a custom compiled list of all venues that have live music. The directory is most useful for musicians looking for places to play and where to check out the best live music in Taipei, Taizhong, KaoHsiung, and more! Click on the other sheet to see a list of music[...]

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Best Apps for Kids to Learn Chinese | TutorMandarin

TutorMandarin blog - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 04:01

Best Apps for Kids to Learn Chinese Every parent wants their child to be able to thrive and survive in the world of tomorrow. It increasingly looks like China and the Chinese language will be a major part of the next global shift. Luckily, children are adept at learning new languages and if their parents[...]

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Top 10 iOS Apps to Learn Chinese

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 07:40

Top 10 iOS Apps to Learn Chinese Chinese is one of the most widely spoken languages on earth. It’s also one of the most popular languages on the internet. If you’re one of the Chinese learners and using iPhone, you can study Chinese easily on your phone. Now we’ve selected the top 10 apps to[...]

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18 Things You Didn’t Know About Chinese Culture

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 06:55

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Chinese Culture   China. The most populated country on the planet. With around 1.4 billion people, or 20% of the world’s population, you would think there are no secrets left regarding China’s rich heritage and culture. But I’ve got news for you. This vast country has a unique cultural[...]

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US postsecondary enrollments in Mandarin fall

Pīnyīn News - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 15:20

The last time I presented the figures for people studying Mandarin in U.S. colleges and universities, the strong but over-hyped growth of the first decade of the century had stalled.

In the newest figures, recently released by the Modern Language Association of America, the number of people in Chinese classes has fallen. Although the total enrollments in languages other than English fell 9.2% between fall 2013 and fall 2016 (the second-largest decline in the history of the MLA’s census), the decline in enrollments in Mandarin classes was significantly greater than that.

The MLA says the decline between 2013 and 2016 was 13.1 percent. The true amount is greater.

MLA’s table

As I mentioned above, the drop is even greater than given in the table, because, unless one looks carefully and beyond the MLA’s summaries, the MLA gives misleading figures for enrollments in ‘Chinese’ classes. (See the previous link to understand why my figures are different than those in the MLA table above. I’ve also excluded classes in literary Sinitic from this year’s compilation, so the figures are slightly different for some years than in my previous posts.)

So here are better figures, which combine those for classes labeled “Chinese” with those for classes labeled “Mandarin.” Not included in my figures are numbers for “Chinese, Classical” or “Chinese, Pre-modern” — or for Cantonese, Taiwanese, or additional Sinitic languages other than Mandarin.

The real decline from 2013 to 2016 is 14.3 percent, not 13.1 percent.

The highest growth between 2013 and 2016 was in Korean, which is now in eleventh place, having surpassed Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and Portuguese. Note, too, that enrollments in Japanese increased in the most recent survey.

Sources:

MLA undercounts enrollments in ‘Chinese’ classes

Pīnyīn News - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:54

The Modern Language Association recently released its figures for enrollments in languages other than English in U.S. institutions of higher education.

The information that usually receives the most attention is summarized in the report’s Table 1:

Note that the figures for “Chinese” list 61,084 enrollments in the fall of 2013 and 53,069 in the fall of 2016, a decline of 13.1 percent. Those amounts, however, undercount enrollments in a usually small but important way.

As can be seen in the notes to the table above, “Arabic,” “Greek, Ancient,” and “Hebrew, Biblical” represent aggregate numbers — a sensible approach. In the case of “Chinese,” however, only what individual schools label as “Chinese” is summed under that category. The problem is that figures for what is labeled “Mandarin” are excluded. This makes no sense. The language usually labeled “Chinese” is Mandarin. Failure to include Mandarin under “Chinese” is simply wrong.

In Britain, “Chinese” sometimes is used to indicate Cantonese rather than Mandarin. But the figures from the MLA are for the United States.

Seven of the MLA’s reports on language enrollments give figures for Mandarin as separate from “Chinese”:

Separate figures for ‘Mandarin’ and ‘Chinese’ in MLA reports YEAR MANDARIN CHINESE PERCENT MISSING FROM ‘CHINESE’ TOTAL 2016 1,179 53,069 2.17 2016 (summer) 112 5,033 2.18 2013 913 61,084 1.47 2009 1,736 59,876 2.82 1974 40 10,576 0.38 1970 88 6,115 1.42 1960 1,126 679 62.38

As can be seen from the figures above, in most years when figures for both “Mandarin” and “Chinese” are given, the MLA’s figure for “Chinese” is missing least 2 percent of the total. That might not seem like much, but it’s enough to matter, especially to those who wish to compare enrollments across languages accurately. The problem will only grow larger if the word “Mandarin” comes to be used increasingly.

Thus, total enrollments for “Chinese” classes in 2016 were not 53,069 but no less than 54,248; and enrollments in 2013 were not 61,084 but no less than 61,997. That indicates a decline of 14.3 percent, not the 13.1 percent the MLA gives in its table.

The problem is ultimately rooted not in the MLA but in the sloppy use of terms related to Sinitic languages. In part because of this, I believe that schools — indeed everyone — would be better off calling Mandarin “Mandarin” and not “Chinese.” But until that admittedly unlikely adjustment comes to pass, the MLA should be careful to aggregate “Mandarin” and “Chinese” in its tables and figures comparing enrollments across the most popular languages.

How will Edtech meet the needs of e-learning in 2018

TutorMandarin blog - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 03:00

How will Edtech meet the needs of e-learning in 2018 E-learning in 2018 is about taking the incredible advances in technology and having them augment the personal human aspects of education that can’t be replaced. In language learning, we see “gamification” of apps becoming extremely popular with apps like Duolingo, ChineseSkill, and HelloChinese. This helps[...]

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How to distinguish between Chinese characters and words

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 07:56

How to distinguish between characters and words when reading Chinese? If you are a beginning Chinese learner sometimes you have trouble differentiating between Chinese characters and Chinese words. The problem is that in Chinese writing there are no spaces in between words like English. This means that any two characters next to each other could[...]

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How Many Chinese Words Are There? How many Chinese Characters?

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 07:29

How many words are there in the Chinese language? Or how many Chinese characters are there? Is it the same or does it make a difference? Chinese is not English. Chinese is a comprised of pictograms that are referred to as characters. Characters are used alone or combined together to make Chinese words. One character[...]

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How to memorize Chinese pinyin tone marks | TutorMandarin

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 04:35

 How to memorize Chinese pinyin tone marks? Chinese is a tonal language with 4 tones and 1 non-tone! For someone that’s never learned a tonal language before, this can be quite difficult to get used. It means you have to add pitch to every word you say and be able to do it smoothly and[...]

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5 Ways to Practice Conversational Chinese

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 04:03

5 ways to practice your conversational Chinese Polyglots will almost universally recommend that, when learning a new language, you should start speaking it out loud as soon as possible. For some this co, es easy. For some, this is nerve-wracking. For some, they want to do it but just don’t know how to get spoken[...]

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Tutormandarin partners with new startup app “HaoLa Chinese”

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 09:09

Tutormandarin and HaoLa Chinese have completed a new partnership linking their apps together — bringing together an automated Chinese learning app and a live Chinese tutoring app. Hao La users will now find a convenient link that offers them one free Tutormandarin class with a professional Chinese tutor. Users are directed to either an android[...]

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[Guest Post] Top Apps for China

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 07:43

Author Bio:   Will Perrins is Opportunity China’s Partnerships Manager, and taught in Shenyang for 3 years as part of the Teach China Graduate Program. Opportunity China are the experts for education recruitment across China, supporting graduates through to experienced education professionals to secure their dream teaching role.   The Top Apps For China The[...]

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Top 10 Most Feared Questions for Chinese New Year

Laowai Chinese - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 08:44

Testing… 1, 2, 3… does this still work? Great! I still have a blog. Let me see if I can remember how to work this thing…

Walking through the Guangzhou subway the other day I saw this advertisement for real estate. it’s one of those priceless looks into Chinese culture that is so valuable because it’s Chinese people critiquing themselves.

Here’s a direct translation (with pinyin) and my commentary.

Billboard Title

xīn chūn shí lián wèn 新春十连问 = New Year’s 10 Connected Questions

My Commentary
  • Interesting they used the words “xīn chūn” for “New Year’s.” The other ways to say it are “xīn nián” 新年 and “chūn jié” 春节. I’m not entirely sure what the difference is besides combing both of them.
  • The “connected” bit means sort of “non-stop.” This is the cultural commentary. Young people heading home for the holidays are dreading the barrage and wèn huà 问话 from their family members about their economic, marital, and child-bearing progress. So this real estate company is trying to establish credibility with struggling, young workers by showing they sympathize with how NOT-fun it is to face these questions. “So why not let our real estate company help you answer at least one of them?” (the 2nd one in my list).
The (Dreaded) Questions
  1. nǐ jīn nián shōu rù duōshao a? 你今年收入多少啊?= What’s your yearly income this year?
  2. shénme shíhòu mǎi fáng a? 什么时候买房啊?= When will you by a house?
  3. mǎi chē le ma? 买车了吗?= Have you bought a car?
  4. shénme shíhòu jiéhūn a? 什么时候结婚啊? = When will you getting married?
  5. shénme shíhòu yào háizi a? 什么时候要孩子啊?= When do you want to have kids?
  6. shénme shíhòu shēng èr tāi a? 什么时候生二胎啊 = When will you have your 2nd child?
  7. shénme shíhòu jiǎn féi a? 什么时候减肥啊? = When will you lose weight?
  8. xīn nián méi qù guó wài wán ma? 新年没去国外玩吗?= You didn’t go travelling abroad for New Year’s?
My Commentary

I’m going to talk mostly about culture here.

Questions 1-3

  • You can see these are mostly about money. I’ve been asked all three of these by taxi drivers, so I can imagine that family members would be even more interested. It’s very common in China to talk openly about personal finances. But, as this billboard implies: just because it’s common doesn’t mean Chinese people enjoy it.
  • It’s commonly thought that men have to have their own house and car before getting married, so I put these questions at the top of the list.
  • The BIGGEST question on the billboard is question number one. Does that mean it’s the most feared of them all, or that it’s the most important for the remaining questions?

Questions 4-6

  • This is the order the questions will get asked. This billboard is implying that no matter what your current situation is (single, married, have one kid already) there is still one more dreaded question waiting for you.
  • Question 6: starting in 2016, the famous “One Child Policy” was officially updated to be the “Two Child Policy.” Hence, the chance to get asked about a second child. By just observing the Chinese mom’s around me, it seems like a whole bunch of families are making use of the new law!

Question 7

  • This is a hilarious and awkwardly realistic question to be asked by family members and friends. But again, just because talking openly about weight problems is common in China doesn’t mean they all enjoy it. Otherwise, why would it be on the “10 Dreaded Questions” list?

Question 8

  • There is an interesting tension in China: come home for the holidays vs. go travel for the holidays. With the growing popularity and status associated with “international” experience, I can imagine young people going home for the holidays and getting mixed messages about “nice to have you home but why aren’t you out traveling?”

Ummm…

  • I could only find 8 questions. Can anyone look at the picture and find the other 2…?

Gǒu Nián Kuài Lè! 狗年快乐! Happy Year of the Dog! 

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