Word of the Week

Two sentence mini-lessons, featuring useful, high frequency expressions.
  • Nǐ Guòjiǎng Le

    Nǐ Guòjiǎng Le

    As your Mandarin skills increase, you will inevitably receive compliments from Chinese friends. Chinese people appreciate modesty, so learning how to respond is a good idea. The phrase nálǐ nálǐ? literally means “Where? where?”. It implies that you feel that the praise is unwarranted. It also gives your friend an opportunity to heap mor...

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  • Wash Your Hands Often

    Wash Your Hands Often

    As I write this, we are now almost 4 months into the pandemic. Our only hope is to keep the virus from spreading. In addition to wearing a face mask, and keeping 6 feet from others, one of our most effective defenses at this point is washing our hands thoroughly and often. So this may be a good time to learn how to encourage others to do just that. S...

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  • Corona-virus


    By now everyone is aware of the Coronavirus spreading rapidly across China and several other countries. In the last few days it seems to have reached the west coast of the US. It is still too early to know the extent of the epidemic. Thankfully, at this point, it has not reached pandemic proportions. But, wearing a face mask (if you can find one) in cro...

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  • January First?

    January First?

    Chinese people have a name for the first of January, but they don’t actually celebrate it. Their historic lunar calendar starts on a different day. The first of January is called Yuán dàn (元旦), but it has no real significance. The real Chinese New Year starts on the second new moon following the Winter Solstice. So it can occur anytime betwee...

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  • Winter Solstice

    Winter Solstice

    Winter Solstice is Dōngzhì (冬至) in Chinese. Dōngzhì festival has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is a time for friends and families to get together and mark the passing of time. Chinese people often make tāngyuán (湯圓), balls of glutinous rice with a sweet treat inside. They are often brightly colored and served in a bowl of sweet bro...

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