Wednesday, August 31, 2016

你好 - Hello

Today's chinese word of the day is 你好 which means hello.

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

下载 - Download

Today's chinese word of the day is 下载 which means download.

In mandarin chinese 下载 is pronounced xiàzài.
Do be careful if you are clicking on any links that say this though :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

人 - Person

Today's chinese word of the day is 人 which means person.

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

朋友 - Friend

Today's Chinese word of the day is 朋友 which means Friend.

In Mandarin 朋友 is pronounced péngyǒu.
我是你的朋友 Wǒ shì nǐ de péngyǒu - I am your friend.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

的 - Of

Today's chinese word of the day is 的 which means of.
In mandarin 的 is pronounced de. It is used to indicate ownership in addition to being the word of similar to 's in English
我的父親 (Wǒ de fùqīn) is My Father.
他們的東西 (Tāmen de Dōngxī) Their stuff.

Friday, August 26, 2016

母親 - Mother

Today's chinese word of the day is 母親 which means mother.

In mandarin 母親is pronounced Mǔqīn.
As with father there is an informal word for mother also, which is 媽媽 (māmā).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

父親 - Father

Today's chinese word of the day is 父親 which means father.

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

他 她 - He and She

Today's chinese words of the day are 他 and 她 which mean he and she.

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

東西 - Stuff (east,west)

Today's chinese word of the day is 東西 which means stuff. The characters to make up stuff are the characters for east then west.

In mandarin 東西 is pronounced dōngxī.
我没有東西 (Wǒ méiyǒu dōngxī) I have no stuff.

Monday, August 22, 2016

有 - To have

Today's word of the day is 有 which means to have.

In mandarin 有 is pronounced yǒu.
As opposed to most other verbs in chinese, to negate 有 you use 沒 (méi) rather than 不. So méiyǒu not bùyǒu.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

你 - You

Today's chinese word of the day is 你 which means you.

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

不 - not

Todays word of the day is 不 which means not or no.
In mandarin it is pronounced bù.
不是 (búshì) - is not - can be heard by children arguing.
Its also often used to ask yes/no questions.
是不是白色的? (Shìbúshì báisède) Is it white?

Friday, August 19, 2016

我 - I/Me

Todays word of the day is one everyone should know (if not you do now) 我 which means I or me.

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

愛 - Love

Today's word of the day is 愛 - Love

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 - To be

Today let's take a break from colors and look at a very common word. 是 - To be.
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

紅色 - Red

Today's word of the day is 紅色 - Red.
In mandarin 紅色 is pronounced hóng sè

Monday, August 15, 2016

黄色 - Yellow

The weekend was busy, but back on track. Today's word of the day is 黄色 which means yellow.
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

藍色 - Blue

Today's word of the day is 藍色 - Blue. My favorite color.
Blue in mandarin is pronounced lán sè.
As with the other colors lán means blue, while sè just means color.
I wonder if there are chinese words for all the colors women differentiate...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

黑色 - Black

Today's word of the day is 黑色 - Black.
In mandarin it is pronounced hēisè.
Just like yesterday the first character is for the color black. The second is for the word color.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

白色 - White

Today's word of the day is 白色 - White.
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

自動 - Automatic

Today's word of the day is 自動 which means automatic.
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.