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你是哪国人? (nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?) Where are you from?

Ahh, one of the basics. Where are you from? You’ll get asked it a lot in China, if you’re a foreigner, because people will be ever so curious about your non-black coloured hair, and non-brown coloured eyes 😛 So what are some of the options? 🇨🇳 中国 (Zhōngguó) China [Ed: of course we have to…

饮料 (yǐnliào) Drinks

It’s been a very long week, but it’s nearly the weekend! I know I deserve a drink. Hmm, what’s that? What are the names of different drinks in China? Well, I’m glad you asked! 水 (shuǐ) water 茶 (chá) tea 咖啡 (kāfēi) coffee 可乐 (kělè) cola That’s nice and all, but my personal favourite is:…

颜色 (yánsè) Colours!

Did you know that before modern Chinese, there was no distinct word for the colour blue? And further to that, scientific study shows that when a language doesn’t have that distinction, it means people tend not to even see that colour, simply seeing “another version of green”? … Time to learn our colours! 红色 (hóngsè)…

写汉字 (xiě hànzì) Write Chinese

A Chinese character with a lot of different strokes, 永 (yǒng) meaning forever, always
Writing Chinese seems like a big mystery and something you cannot learn, but that’s not true! Yes, there are plenty of rules when it comes to writing Chinese, the fundamental one being stroke order, but once you understand the why, it becomes much easier 🙂 In Chinese, one or more strokes make up a character,…

绕口令 (ràokǒulìng) Tongue twisters!

One good way to pay attention to your tones, and those sounds in Chinese that are so similar, is to spend some time breaking your mouth. I mean 绕口令 (ràokǒulìng) tongue twisters, of course! I know it may seem like they just exist to annoy people and bite their tongues, but this one really does…

时间 (shíjiān) Time

Today, we’re going to talk about 时间 (shíjiān) time. General time, to be specific! It’s confusing sometimes, because it doesn’t match up in your head with how, logically, it probably should. Ahh, but the Chinese language has evolved that way, so that’s how it is. Let’s take a look at the confusion: 去年 (qùnián) is…

繁體 (fántǐ) Traditional, 简体 (jiǎntǐ) Simplified, and 拼音 (pīnyīn.) What’s the deal?

So you may have heard some of these words bandied about, and you’re wondering to yourself, what’s going on here? Why is it so complicated? Is Chinese that complicated? Languages are not unchanging, they’re a fluid body of knowledge, and that is never more clear than with the Chinese language. Once upon a time, in…

爱好 (àihào) Hobbies

If we can muster up the energy after a long day of work, we probably should do something good for our health, like one of the exercises we mentioned in our exercise post a couple of weeks ago. So, you know how to say what your hobby might be (like how I love to 跳舞…

世界上最大的望远镜 (shìjiè shang zuì dà de wàngyuǎnjìng) The world’s largest telescope

The construction of Tiānyán, the world’s largest telescope
Above: photos between 2009 and 2016, when the telescope was completed. Last week, the world’s largest telescope was completed. Where is it, you ask? China! Where else 😛 It was built in a valley in 平塘 (Píngtáng) County, 贵州 (Guìzhōu) Province. 五百米口径球面射电望远镜 (wǔbǎi mǐ kǒujìng qiúmiàn shèdiàn wàngyuǎnjìng) is its name, abbreviated to FAST (Five-hundred-metre…

运动 (yùndòng) Exercise

Cong Yan doing 40kg stone exercises
Just three years ago, 1.63m tall Cong Yan weighed in at 115kg. The fear of obesity prompted him to make the decision to lose weight by exercising. Starting off with a 30kg stone on his head, Cong began taking three kilometre walks. Now, Cong can easily walk three kilometres, perform two martial arts sets, and…