Category: Chinese

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Chinese four character idiom 守株待兔 (Shǒu zhū dài tù)

“To guard a tree-stump waiting for rabbits” One of the nicest and most meaningful four character phrases in Mandarin Chinese is the phrase 守株待兔 (Shǒu zhū dài tù), — because it’s about the need to...

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Chinese Four Character Idiom: 忠言逆耳 (Zhōng yán nì ěr)

“Loyal advice jars on the ears” Another great four character phrase in Mandarin Chinese is 忠言逆耳 (Zhōng yán nì ěr) which could be translated to “Loyal advice jars on the ears” It’s referring to a...

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Chinese Four Character Idiom: 死灰复燃 (Sǐ huī fù rán)

“Resurgence” A very nice four character phrase in Chinese is 死灰复燃 (Sǐ huī fù rán), which is roughly translated to describe a “resurgence”, it describes a situation where something that previously “died” or “disappeared” has...

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The Chinese counterfactual (subjunctive, irrealis mood)

Updated August 2018 About five years ago I wrote this article comparing counterfactual thought and grammar in Chinese and English. In that time it’s received a good amount of traffic from Google from related...

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Chinese Learning Technique

So what’s the most effective way we can learn Chinese? The kung-fu jacket story Have you ever watched the Karate Kid movie with Jaden Smith? In the movie the kung-fu master Mr Han is...

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How Chinese Tones Work

One of the areas of oral Mandarin Chinese that truly beautifies and diversifies the language is Chinese tones. Due to the existence of Chinese tones, learning Chinese is significantly different from learning other languages...