Word of the Week

Two sentence mini-lessons, featuring useful, high frequency expressions.
  • Thanksgiving


    Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The Chinese don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but they do have a word for it: 感恩节 (gǎn ēn jié). You can impress your Chinese friends with your mastery of their language. You can watch the video here, and be sure to come back and use the audio-infused tables below to practice the sentences and vocabulary. ...

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  • Xīgua Tián bù Tián?

    Xīgua Tián bù Tián?

    If you want to take a photo of a Chinese friend, first ask this question: “Xīgua tián bù tián?” (Is watermelon sweet?). They will always answer with a smile. Why? Three reasons. First: in order to pronounce “tián” you need to smile, just like saying “yī” (one). Second: everyone loves watermelon. Third: if ...

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  • Wǒ xiān zǒu le

    Wǒ xiān zǒu le

    A common expression used by Chinese people is 我先走了 (Wǒ xiān zǒu le). Literally translated it means “I am leaving first”. This typical way of saying good-bye is used when leaving a group earlier than others. It is kind of like “I gotta get going”. Listen to the exchange below by clicking on first column. To check out the vo...

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  • Wine Tasting

    Wine Tasting

    This lesson has something for almost everyone: beginner, secondary, and intermediate. Even Kermit can learn something from this post. Beginner Level Gānbēi is the Chinese equivalent of “Cheers”. Literally it means “dry cup”. But you don’t have to feel obligated. Unless you are the guest of honor, in which case you pretty...

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  • Lost a Sock

    Lost a Sock

    Have you ever lost something in the laundromat? Most people have, but we seldom notice until we get home. Here is a quick Mandarin lesson, just in case it happens to you. Interesting Grammar Pattern “Zhǎo bù dào” means “to search without success” In English we have two words: “search” means to look for something...

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