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Pronouns in Chinese characters

Personal pronouns are the most basic words in a language. They are essential for daily conversations, so of course it is important to learn how to write them. In Chinese language, the written forms of personal pronouns are surprisingly tricky. Unlike…

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Tiger Stories and Idioms in Chinese

Once you have grasped the basics of Mandarin, you will discover that one of the most interesting, if complex areas to study is chengyu.   Chengyu are four character idioms which are derived from a powerful story. Studying chengyu can…

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Chinese Characters about Farming and Nature

Agriculture developed very early on in ancient China. Since that time and until very recently, the majority of the population was made up by farmers. Agriculture is still central to national policy and makes up the basis of ordinary life…

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A how to for “picking up” in Chinese

Stop sniggering at the back! When you saw the title, did you think we were learning about how to pick up a man or woman in Chinese class today? We are strictly talking about the Chinese translations of the English…

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Chinese Characters for Animals

In the fifth post of this series we looked at some Chinese words for body parts. This time we’re going to continue our thematic learning with another set of twelve characters about animals! Origin These characters are probably among some…

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Tackling the two opposite meanings of 让(ràng)

This article covers the character 让(ràng), a word with two virtually opposite meanings in Mandarin: to permit; to yield to make someone do/feel something; to have someone do something. Tackling these different definitions “in the wild” can be more than…

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How to tell 另外(lìng wài) and 另(lìng) apart!

Once your Chinese learning reaches an intermediate level, you may find that you have some difficulty with synonyms. Most Chinese learners wonder if these synonyms are interchangeable, or wonder which particular word(s) to use in a situation where a couple…

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