Posted in Mandarin on Feb 24th, 2012
Hello all! 大家好！ Our first class was on Thursday February 23 at 1pm in A200. Do you want to learn more about Chinese cuisine? Then swing by next week – same place, same time!
In our lesson, we covered how to ask questions regarding food. For example, can you answer the questions below? If you don’t know what they’re saying, hover over them to read a translation. Post your answers in the comments!
Then, we discovered the properties of regional cuisine and why they are like that! For example, in Hong Kong, they love to drink milk tea. But did you ever consider that the reason for that is because Hong Kong used to be an English colony? After all, dairy is not a popular product in China – in fact, many Chinese are lactose intolerant. However, because the English brought their tea traditions (adding milk and sugar) with them to Hong Kong, the natives now love milk tea! They have expanded on the idea by making milk tea in different flavors and by adding boba. In class, we manually sorted strips of paper into categories, but here is a simple table instead.
Méiyǒu hěnduō shù
Sùcài bǐjiào shǎo
Tǔdì bù féiwò (fertile)
dōngtiān hěn cháng
Zhòngtián shíjiān bǐjiào duǎn
yǒu qúdào (irrigation)
Nóngyè hěn fēngfù
Hěnduō bùtóng de wèidào
Dōngtiān méiyǒu nàme yánzhòng
Má là huǒguō
jǐ gè xiǎo dǎo
Xiǎo dǎo shàng dìfāng yǒuxiàn
Zhū ròu, jī ròu
Yǐqián shì Yīngguó de zhímíndì (colony)
I hope you found this blog post interesting! If you want to learn more about Chinese cuisine, feel free to stop by class on Thursday in A200 at 1pm.
Posted in Mandarin on Nov 10th, 2011
This week, we learned about restaurants! We went to a 餐馆, looked at a 菜单, and ordered 两盘素菜, 一盘荤菜, 和一盘炒饭。 We also had 一壶茶 and 四碗酸辣汤.
||fried rice (or… remember the slang definition?)
||yī hú chá
||a pot of tea
||suān là tāng
||hot and sour soup
We also learned about tableware! Do you remember what these are? Try to remember what they’re called, then hover over the images to see the Chinese characters and pinyin!
Here are some sentence patterns that we learned. Your homefun is to use these sentences to tell about your restaurant experience!
我点了 (一盘豆腐、 一碗饭)。
Wǒ diǎn le (yī pán dòufu, yī wǎn fàn).
(菜)很好吃！ / (菜)有很好的味道！
(Cài) hěn hào chī! / (cài) yǒu hěn hǎo de wèidào!
Posted in Mandarin on Nov 3rd, 2011
This week, we went over classifiers in Chinese! In English, we have measure words, e.g. a cup of water, a flock of sheep, a school of fish. Chinese has measure words too, but the usage is often required when it wouldn’t be in English. The ones we learned in class are below, with example vocabulary next to each measure word.
|describes long, flexible or winding things
|describes flat, rectangular, usually stiff things
|describes things attached in a series
|describes items of clothing except for pants
Don’t forget, the measure word can sometimes change depending on context! Just like how people don’t usually drink a keg of beer in one go, but rather a bottle, you don’t usually eat a bunch of bananas 一串香蕉 but just one banana 一根香蕉.
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 26th, 2011
This week, we learned a song called “老鼠爱大米.” It is a touching song about a person’s professions of love to his partner! From the lyrics, we learned some new vocabulary as well as grammar structures. The handout we gave out has all the lyrics, vocabulary, and grammar, but here’s a quick review!
||Kǎ lā OK
||regardless of; no matter what
- Doubling an adjective turns it into an adverb. For example:
Wǒ huì jiābèi nǔlì hǎohǎo duì nǐ
Wǒ huì qīng qīng zài nǐ ěr biān duì nǐ shuō…
- The progressive (-ing) is formed by adding 着 zhe to a verb. For example:
Àizhe nǐ ~
Xiǎngzhe nǐ ~
- Similes are formed using the word 像 xiàng between the two clauses being compared. For example:
Wǒ ài nǐ jiù xiàng lǎoshǔ ài dàmǐ
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 20th, 2011
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 20th, 2011
This week, we had a lot of fun learning about the history and formation of Chinese characters!
Chinese characters first appeared in oracle bone script. In the early days, words closely resembled the concepts they were supposed to represent. For instance, the character for “sun” was a circle with a dot inside, and the character for “water” was three rows of flowing lines. As time went on, the characters became more standardized and square in shape. However, Chinese characters are still beautiful and evoke a sense of aestheticism, as seen in this video:
十二生肖 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals
Then, we learned about the principles of Chinese calligraphy 书画! There is a specific way to write each character, but you don’t have to memorize each one individually! Just remember: top to bottom, left to right, and outside to inside. Traditionally, when Chinese people do calligraphy, they should have the Four Treasures of the Study: brush, ink, paper, and seal. We managed to get by with just the first three. When writing calligraphy, sit with an upright posture, the paper square in front of you, and hold the brush upright too. Breathe deeply and steadily. Use varying pressure to change the width of your strokes. We practiced writing 永 (permanence) and our names. Why 永? Because it has eight of the basic strokes in Chinese calligraphy!
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 12th, 2011
你好 （Nǐ hǎo）
Today’s Presentation: Mandarin 1A: Week 3
Hand in your character worksheets next week if you want them looked at for correction and/or advice.
Have you found any other online resources you’d like to share with the class? If so, please post as a comment!
刘老师 （Liu Laoshi）
P.s. As always, e-mail me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 11th, 2011
Today in class, we went over how to describe a person’s appearance. We focused especially on the facial features. Here is the presentation we used. To review, why don’t you go through it and describe each person’s face? For the last slide, compare the two people. Remember the sentence structures we went over!
他的 (noun) 很 (adjective) / 他有 (adjective) 的 (noun).
(person 1) 的 (noun) 比 (person 2) 的 (adjective).
他们都 (adjective) / 他们都有 (adjective) 的 (noun).
If you need a review of the nouns and adjectives we learned, visit our vocabulary list!
And now, our homefun for the week! Match the pictures with the descriptions below.
Post your answers in the comments below!
Posted in Mandarin on Oct 4th, 2011
漢語學生好! Hello Mandarin learners!
Today in class, we reviewed classroom vocabulary. To give you a taste, here are some examples:
||gēn wǒ shuō
||say it with me
||qǐng zàishuō yīcì
||please repeat that
||yī qǐ dú
||let’s read this together
After that, we watched the music video for “對不起我的中文不好.” We used the lyrics to learn some new words and expressions, and also to discuss homophones in Chinese!
Here is the song:
Transition 前進樂團 Dui Bu Qi 對不起我的中文不好
What are some ways to say “Sorry” in Mandarin?
||duì bu qǐ
||I’m sorry; excuse me; pardon me
||bù hǎo yì si
||to feel embarrassed; to be sorry (for inconveniencing sb)
||to be sorry; to feel apologetic (formal)
Now, do you remember how the man in the video mixed up 睡覺 and 水餃? How can you mix up sleep and dumplings?! Please comment with why they can be confused, and tell us about any homophonic pairs that you have come across!
I’ll lead by example: 四 sounds like 死 but with a different tone, which is why many buildings in Asia do not have a fourth or fourteenth floor!
Thanks for reading, we hope you come attend our class next week. It is every Tuesday at 6pm in B208!
Posted in Mandarin on Sep 27th, 2011
Today’s Presentation: Mandarin 1A: Week 1 – Click me!
- Listen to the following video (as many times as you like!) and practice. Take note of what these letters sound like to you and bring to class next week–we will discuss. Also, pay attention to the shape of her mouth while she is speaking!
Chinese Pronunciation (Click me!)
- Download and review the ChinesePod Pinyin Chart:
ChinesePod Pinyin Chart (Click me!)
- Begin to review the material before Chapter 1 in Integrated Chinese!
Here’s the pinyin in next weeks lesson. If you want, you can make flashcards with the pinyin and English so we can begin our first conversation starter next week, but we will also go over character writing basics next week, too!
nǐ – pronoun – you
hǎo -adj – fine, good
qǐng – verb- please (polite form of request); to treat or to invite
wèn – verb – to ask (a question)
guì – adj – honorable or expensive
wǒ – pronoun – I; me
ne – question particle – makes a statement into a question (no tone)
xiǎojiě – noun – Miis; young lady
jiào – verb – to be called; to call
shénme – question particle – “what”
míngzi – noun – name
xiānsheng – noun – Mister
As we talked about in class, try not to concern yourself too much with the strange grammar points like “question particle”. We’ll cover all of that in due time.
Thanks for a great class tonight!
Liu Laoshi (Sara)