Saturday, December 31, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
In Mandarin 筷子 is pronounced Kuàizi.
As I ate my Panda Express this evening I thought I better make this the word of the day.
我可以有一些筷子 Wǒ kěyǐ yǒu yīxiē kuàizi - May I have some chopsticks.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Monday, December 5, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016
In Mandarin 長褲 is pronounced Cháng kù.
我只在冬天穿長褲 Wǒ zhǐ zài dōngtiān chuān cháng kù - I only wear long pants in the winter.
As was pointed out to me yesterday the more common way to say pants is 褲子 which is pronounced kùzi.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Monday, November 14, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
In Mandarin 星期二 is pronounced Xīngqí'èr.
Yes, in China Monday is the first day of the week, Tuesday the second, saturday the 6th etc. Only Sunday has a different name.
我永遠不會得到星期四的掛 Wǒ yǒngyuǎn bù huì dédào xīngqísì de guà means I'll never get the hang of Tuesdays.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Friday, November 4, 2016
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
In Mandarin 十一月 is pronounced Shíyī yuè.
Yes those are the characters for eleven, then moon. In Chinese, months are moons and which month is indicated by a number.
十一月是秋天的最後一個月 Shíyī yuè shì qiūtiān de zuìhòu yīgè yuè - November is the last month of autumn.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
In Mandarin 狼人 is pronounced Lángrén.
狼 Láng means wolf, and 人 rén means person.
我不是狼人，我只需要刮鬍子 Wǒ bùshì lángrén, wǒ zhǐ xūyào guā húzi means I'm not a werewolf, I just need to shave.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
In Mandarin 死亡 is pronounced Sǐwáng.
Because 死 Sǐ and 四 Sì sound the same (but have a different tone) The number four is unlucky in Chinese culture. Even to the point that many buildings don't have a fourth floor but skip from 3rd to 5th.
我不怕死亡 Wǒ bùpà sǐwáng means I don't fear death.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
In Mandarin 巫婆 is pronounced Wūpó.
那個女巫把我變成了一個蠑螈 Nàgè nǚwū bǎ wǒ biànchéngle yīgè róng yuán means That witch turned me into a newt.
那個 Nàgè means that (useful when pointing at what you would like to buy at a market).
變成了 biànchéngle the first character is change the second character is become, the last character makes it past tense.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Sunday, October 9, 2016
In Mandarin 餓鬼 is pronounced È guǐ.
The first character 餓 È means hungry. The second character 鬼 guǐ means ghost.
So ghoul is literally a hungry ghost.
餓死了 Èsǐle means I'm starving. The second character there means death, so it's literally I'm hungry to death.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
In Mandarin 吸血鬼 is pronounced Xīxuèguǐ.
The first character 吸 Xī means suck. The second character 血 xuè means blood. And the third 鬼 guǐ means ghost.
爱德华是一个很好的吸血鬼 Àidéhuá shì yīgè hěn hǎo de xīxuèguǐ means "Edward was a good vampire."
Friday, October 7, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
In Mandarin 魔鬼is pronounced Móguǐ.
I thought I would take a change of direction for October and focus on some words with a bit of a scary theme.
Also, does anyone remember Gremlins? Móguǐ is what the creatures are called in Chinese on the Gremlins movie.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Monday, October 3, 2016
In Mandarin 前面 is pronounced qiánmiàn.
The first character 前 qián means in front. the second character 面 miàn means surface.
我在你前面 Wǒ zài nǐ qiánmiàn means I'm in front of you. So if you're leading in the dark...
Sunday, October 2, 2016
In Mandarin 後面 is pronounced Hòumiàn.
The first character 後 Hòu means behind. the second character 面 miàn means surface.
面 miàn can be used with above/below/right/left also.
我在你後面 Wǒ zài nǐ hòumiàn means I'm behind you. So if you're in the dark...
Saturday, October 1, 2016
In Mandarin 右 is pronounced Yòu.
在右邊 Zài Yòubiān means on the right.
Now if you are on your friend's right in the dark...
我在你的右邊 Wǒ zài nǐ de Yòubiān - I'm on your right. Unless of course you aren't... in which case go read yesterday's word again.
Friday, September 30, 2016
In Mandarin 左is pronounced Zuǒ.
在左邊 Zài zuǒbiān means on the left.
Next time you're in a dark place and your Chinese friend can't see you but can hear you you can answer:
我在你的左邊 Wǒ zài nǐ de zuǒbiān - I'm on your left. Unless of course you aren't... in which case fix that then say it.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Today's Chinese word of the day is 看得懂嗎 which means Can you read this?
In Mandarin it is pronounced Kàn de dòng ma.
The first character is to see or read. The second character is a verbal compliment which changes the degree of the read character. The third character means understanding and the last character makes it a question.
Today I thought I'd share a new idea with you all. I came up with a T-Shirt design back in 2001 when I got home from Taiwan. I wrote it on a white t-shirt and used to wear it around campus while I was in college. I got a few chuckles from the chinese speakers I walked by.
If you would like to grab one of these to wear around, I put the design up on zazzle here. EDIT: Updated the de character since I had the wrong de there...
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Monday, September 26, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
In Mandarin 加油 is pronounced Jiāyóu.
This not being something commonly heard in english I thought I better explain. It literally means add oil, but by oil they mean gasoline. The phrase means keep going, keep up the good work, step on it, etc. It is commonly heard when friends part ways as an encouragement.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
In Mandarin 女兒 is pronounced Nǚ'ér.
Yes, in pinyin there is an umlaut. It is pronounced the same way it is pronounced in German from what I understand.
The first character 女 Nǚ means female, while the second character 兒 ér means child or son. So daughter is a female child/son.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
In Mandarin 學校 is pronounced xuéxiào.
Note for those not familiar with pinyin pronunciation the letter x in pinyin sounds similar to the sh sound except with the teeth apart.
我在學校 Wǒ zài xuéxiào - I'm at school.
我的學校是大 Wǒ de xuéxiào shì dà - My school is big.
By the way feel free to leave me comments or e-mail me topics or words you would like me to cover in the future. Otherwise I'll just keep picking random topics at my own whim :)
Monday, September 19, 2016
In Mandarin 在家 is pronounced zàijiā.
I couldn't think of whether to have 在 or 家 come first today, so I decided to just put them together. It's hard to say at without saying a place and it's hard to say a place without saying at.
我在家 Wǒ zàijiā means I'm at home.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
In Mandarin 了 is pronounced le.
This character is special in that it isn't a verb in itself but marks other verbs as being past tense.
Though Chinese doesn't have conjugation it is sometimes useful to say something happened rather than is happening. To do this you use the 了 character. Usually this is used at the end of a sentence such as 我吃了 wǒ chīle meaning I ate. Compare that to 我吃 wǒ chī which means I am eating.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
In Mandarin 吃飽 is pronounced chī bǎo.
It doesn't sound very useful in English but is a common question in Chinese.
吃饱了嗎 Chī bǎo le ma means Have you eaten yet.
我吃饱了 Wǒ chī bǎole means I'm full.
The first character means eat, the second means full.
Monday, September 12, 2016
In mandarin 美國 is pronounced měiguó. The first character means beautiful, while the second character means country.
As with 中国人 美國 means American (as in a person from America). Note the second character is slightly different. Those are actually the same character but yesterday I got lazy and put the simplified character instead of the traditional one. I'll try to remember to always use traditional characters from now on.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
In Mandarin 中国 is pronounced zhōngguó. Note for anyone not familiar with pinyin the zh is pronounced similarly to a J but with your tongue further back in your mouth.
The first character 中 zhōng means middle and the second character 国 guó means country. China's name for itself is middle country.
中国 can be used with 人 to make 中国人 zhōngguó rén meaning Chinese man or Chinese person.
我是中国人 Wǒ shì zhōngguó rén - I am a Chinese person.
我不是一個中國人 Wǒ bùshì yīgè zhōngguó rén - I am not a Chinese man.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
In mandarin 七八九十 are pronounced qī bā jiǔ shí.
To wrap up numbers I thought we should finish with the last four numbers. With these all numbers from 1 to 99 can be formed.
To say eleven you simply say 十一 shíyī "ten one". Twelve is 十二 shí'èr. And so on.
Fourty two is 四十二 sìshí'èr "four ten two".
With that you should be able to make all combinations to count from 1 to 99.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
In mandarin 兩 is pronounced liǎng.
Two is a bit different in chinese, there is 二 (Èr) which is used when counting as in 一二三 one, two three, yī èr sān and 兩 liǎng which is used when saying there are two of something.
兩個人 liǎng gè rén which means "two people".
兩個朋友 liǎng gè péngyǒu which means "two friends".
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Discontinuing the pattern started yesterday with one, two, three. The rest of the numbers are not simply horizontal strokes in the amount of the number.
In mandarin 四五六 are pronounced sì wǔ liù.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Monday, September 5, 2016
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Friday, September 2, 2016
In mandarin chinese 很多 is pronounced hěnduō.
我有很多東西 Wǒ yǒu hěnduō dōngxī - I have a lot of stuff.
The first character 很 hěn means very. The second character 多 duō means many.
很 hěn can be used with 好 hǎo to mean very good 很好 Hěn hǎo.
我很好 Wǒ hěn hǎo - I'm very good.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
In mandarin 你好 is pronounced nǐ hǎo.
It literally means "you good?" and is used as a very common greeting.
As with "how are you doing?" in english, nobody really cares if you are good or not, but uses it only as a greeting. So don't take it as a chance to explain your woes or problems to someone.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
In mandarin 人 is pronounced rén.
As with 我 你 他 and 她 (Wo, Ni, Ta, and Ta) 人 (ren) is combined with 們 (men) to make it plural meaning people 人們 (Rénmen).
人 is also a very common radical meaning it is how to find a character in a dictionary
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
In mandarin 父親 is pronounced fùqīn. Note in pinyin (using english letters to represent chinese pronunciation) the letter q is pronounced as a strong ch sound.
Another name for father is 爸爸 which is pronounced bàba and is a bit more informal. This form is more commonly used when speaking to young children. Similar to the english word daddy.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
In mandarin both of these words are pronounced the same way tā.
As with 我 (wo) and 你 (ni) the plural of 他 (ta) and 她 (ta) are 他們 (tamen) and 她們 (tamen) respectively both meaning they.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
In mandarin 你 is pronounced ní.
Though chinese doesn't have conjugation of verbs it does have a plural form for 你 which is 你們 nǐmen which means you all. If you are speaking to one person you use 你 but if speaking to a group of people always use 你們.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016
我 in mandarin is pronounced wǒ
When you hear someone speaking in mandarin you will hear this a few times. After all who talks without talking about themself every now and then?
Thursday, August 18, 2016
In mandarin 愛 is pronounced Ài. Sounds very similar to how american's pronounce the word eye.
If you see a chinese tattoo on someone it's pretty likely that this is one of the characters.
The phrase 我愛你們 (Wǒ ài nǐmen) - 'I love you all' sounds very similar to 'whiney men'.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
是 is pronounced shì in mandarin. It sounds very similar to the english word 'sure'
Since mandarin has no conjugation of verbs, you'll use this word directly whenever you want to say something is, was, will be.
For example: 我是快了 - (Wo shi kuaile) - I am happy.
那是我只狗 - (Na shi wo zhi gou) - That is my dog.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
黄 is also a very common surname. Incidentally so is 白.
黄色 in mandarin is pronounced huáng sè. As with the other colors the first character means yellow, the second character means color.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
In mandarin you pronounce this as báisè.
Breaking it down, the first character 白 (bái) means white, the second character 色 (sè) means color.
白 (bái) is different than yesterday's 自 (zì) character because it has one less horizontal stroke.
One of the reason's I chose 白 (bái) today is to start a week of colors.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
In mandarin it is pronounced zìdòng.
The reason I chose this today is that it is a useful phrase to recognize visually if you happen to play Super Mario Maker. Many japanese levels that are automatic have this in their name somewhere, so when playing you will know they are (most likely) automatic levels.
I plan to update this blog with a new chinese word every day, probably with some kind of theme each week. We'll see how it goes.