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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! 

[Guest Post] 4 Reasons to Study in China

TutorMandarin blog - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:00

Four Reasons to Study in China The rapid economic development of China in recent years has led to a nation buzzing with hope and opportunity. It’s no wonder that so many people have started learning Chinese and are interested in acquiring an education in Asia. Anyone looking at the future will tell you that it’s[...]

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Tutormandarin partners with top Korean app “Good Morning Chinese Dictionary”

TutorMandarin blog - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:43

Tutormandarin and Good Morning Chinese Dictionary have completed a new partnership linking their apps together — bringing together a full dictionary app and live online tutoring in one place.  Users in the Good Morning Chinese Dictionary App will now find a convenient link in the left-hand menu that offers them one free Tutormandarin class with[...]

The post Tutormandarin partners with top Korean app “Good Morning Chinese Dictionary” appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

Google commemorates Zhou Youguang

Pīnyīn News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 08:13

Yesterday (January 13, 2018), Google marked the 112th birthday of Zhou Youguang, the father of Hanyu Pinyin, with one of its doodles. (Click the image to see the animated version.)

Google’s description didn’t note Zhou’s remarkable longevity. He lived to see his 111th birthday!

One bit of the description is misleading: “[Hanyu Pinyin] bridged multiple Chinese dialects with its shared designations of sound.” First, what are commonly referred to as “dialects” are actually separate languages (e.g., Cantonese, Hakka, Hoklo). Second, Hanyu Pinyin is designed for modern standard Mandarin, not for other languages, though it could be used as the basis for writing systems for Sinitic languages other than Mandarin; this did not happen on a wide scale, however, because the government of the People’s Republic of China has worked to suppress Sinitic languages other than Mandarin — to say nothing of the languages of Tibetans and other minorities.

A few points are noteworthy about the sketches, specifically the inclusion of Gǔgē, the Mandarin name for Google, written in zhuyin fuhao (a.k.a. bopomofo) (ㄍㄨˇㄍㄜ) and Gwoyeu Romatzyh (guuge) — the doubled vowel indicates third tone.

It’s also interesting that the doodle was shown on Google in Japan, China, and Singapore, but not in Taiwan, where Hanyu Pinyin is official but generally used on street signs rather than in personal names.

Thanks to Alex for the tip.

Pinyin-friendly display faces at Google Fonts

Pīnyīn News - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 08:19

As of January 9, 2018, Google Fonts had 848 font families, 183 of which are display faces. Of those, the following 20 can handle Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks.

Pinyin-friendly handwriting faces at Google Fonts

Pīnyīn News - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:51

As of January 9, 2018, Google Fonts had 848 font families, 80 of which are handwriting faces. Of those, just 3 can handle Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks.

  • Dekko (Caveat: Although Dekko handles some seldom-seen diacritics, it doesn’t deal well with curved apostrophes or quotation marks, so use it with caution.)
  • Itim
  • Sriracha

HSK 4 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download

TutorMandarin blog - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 04:43

Here’s the full list of HSK4 words (plus some!) 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 and are not[...]

The post HSK 4 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

Pinyin-friendly monospace faces at Google Fonts

Pīnyīn News - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:17

As of January 9, 2018, Google Fonts had 848 font families, 7 of which are monospace faces. Of those, 4 can handle Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks.

Pinyin-friendly sans serif faces at Google Fonts

Pīnyīn News - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:03

As of January 9, 2018, Google Fonts had 848 font families, 134 of which are sans serif faces. Of those, 22 can handle Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks.

Pinyin-friendly serif faces at Google Fonts

Pīnyīn News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:14

As of January 9, 2018, Google Fonts had 848 font families, 114 of which are serif faces. Of those, the following 22 can handle Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks.

More Americans studying in Japan

Pīnyīn News - Sat, 01/06/2018 - 09:13

The number of U.S. students studying abroad in Japan is continuing to increase, having recovered from a sharp decline in the 2010–20111 school year.

This is in contrast to the situation in China, which has been seeing fewer and fewer U.S. students.

I’m not sure what accounts for the sharp drop in 2010–2011. It occurred before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

source: IEE Open Doors Study Abroad Destinations

HSK 3 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download

TutorMandarin blog - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 03:52

Here’s the full list of HSK3 words (plus some!) 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 and are not[...]

The post HSK 3 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

China attracting fewer and fewer U.S. study-abroad students

Pīnyīn News - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:16

China is continuing to decline as a destination for U.S. study-abroad students, slipping from fifth place to sixth (behind Britain, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany; with Ireland, Australia, Costa Rica, and Japan completing the top ten).

This likely indicates that the craze for learning Mandarin has already peaked. Greater awareness of the unhealthy levels of pollution in China may also be a factor.


Note: The dip in the 2002–2003 school year was a result of worries about the outbreak of SARS.

Meanwhile, almost all other parts of East Asia saw increases in 2015–2016 over 2014–2015:

Destination Students in 2014-15 Students in 2015-16 % Change China 12,790 11,688 -8.6 Hong Kong 1,508 1,612 6.9 Japan 6,053 7,145 18.0 Macau 3 4 33.3 Mongolia 71 71 0.0 South Korea 3,520 3,622 2.9 Taiwan 880 980 11.4

sources:

Additional reading:

HSK 2 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download

TutorMandarin blog - Wed, 12/27/2017 - 04:14

Here’s the full list of HSK2 words (plus some!) 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 and are not[...]

The post HSK 2 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

Best Apps to Learn Chinese Free | List from TutorMandarin

TutorMandarin blog - Tue, 12/26/2017 - 06:15

It’s so convenient learning Chinese with apps these days…and what’s more convenient than free apps? Today, TutorMandarin will explore the best apps to learn Chinese for free. These free apps will not just teach you a few phrases but will really start you down your language learning journey — taking you step by step up[...]

The post Best Apps to Learn Chinese Free | List from TutorMandarin appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

HSK 1 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download

TutorMandarin blog - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 07:56

Here’s the full list of HSK1 words (plus some!) 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 and are not[...]

The post HSK 1 Full Word List | Excel Sheet and PDF Download appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

Where does the word “Chow” come from?

TutorMandarin blog - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 06:07

Where does the word “chow” come from? The word chow refer to food or rather anything edible that you’re going to make a meal out of. It is commonly used in the military in reference to meals. Colloquially, the phrase “chow down” means just to eat quickly and heartily. So what are the origins of the word?[...]

The post Where does the word “Chow” come from? appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

A guide to Chinese calligraphy: handwriting tips for beginners

TutorMandarin blog - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:53

Learning the Chinese language can be a tough order for any Western speaker. The two main Chinese languages, Mandarin and Cantonese, come from the Sino-Tibetan branch of languages. Meanwhile, most Western speakers speak a language from the Indo-European branch of languages. This means that there are very few similarities that Western speakers can familiarize themselves[...]

The post A guide to Chinese calligraphy: handwriting tips for beginners appeared first on Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor.

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