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Watch out!

Walking around in Chinese cities presents many dangers, motorists, bicyclists, and even other pedestrians. It is a good idea know how to warn people, and know when you are being warned.   Dialog   Vocabulary   Why does "small heart"…


Hot to death

People love to complain about the weather, and Chinese are no exception. Here is a useful phrase for this time of year that is sure to get a smile. It’s humorous because of exaggeration, and endearing because it is slang,…


Jiā yóu

"jiā yóu" (加油) is an encouraging thing to say. Unlike English, these words can be used in any situation where encouragement is needed. Whenever a friend is experiencing a challenge (math test, a race, extra busy day, etc) you can…


Zhēnde ma?

If a Chinese friend says something surprising, or perhaps unbelievable, you can respond with "Zhēnde ma?". Even if you are not exactly clear about what they said, they are likely to clarify or at least repeat.   In the scenario…


Méi wèntí

One of the most common expressions in Mandarin, 没问题 (méi wèntí, "no problem"), is seldom found in textbooks.  When asked to do a favor, Chinese people often indicate their willingness by saying "méi wèntí".   Here is a typical exchange:…

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