Tags: mandarin


(no subject)

I was told today by a native speaker of Mandarin that the particle "de" (的) was not used to form possessives until after China came into contact with the West, and that this usage is actually a borrowing from the French "de".

I can't find anything to confirm this, and find it somewhat difficult to believe (or at least surprising). He promises he's not having me on... so is it really true? And if it's not, is it an idea anyone else has heard?
nobuta, pig

french translation

hi everyone, i'm trying to improve my french by doing more writing. since i find it hard to come up with things to write about, i'm trying to translate newspaper articles into french instead. but i've run into a problem: i have no idea if what i've translated is grammatically correct or if i've used appropriate structures/vocabulary!

does anyone have any suggestions for where i can go to (on the internet) for people willing to help? alternatively, if any native french speaker is learning chinese/english and wants to do something similar, i wouldn't mind doing this in exchange =)
Walrus > Vampire
  • rinyula

(no subject)

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone could explain where to use 作 and where to use 做 in Mandarin? Do you just have to learn which zuo an individual action takes, or are there certain general rules for each one? Thanks in advance!

Mandarin Question

I currently work on a college campus coffee shop. We have a lot of Chinese students on our campus. I love to talk to them in Mandarin. But what I would really like to do is help them place orders in their native tongue.
How do you say the following:
  1. Caramel
  2. Macchiato
  3. Frappuccino (Blended Coffee Drink)
  4. Mocha (do you just say 巧克力 (qiao ke li)?)
  5. Macchiato
  6. Pastry
Then how do you properly translate:
  1. What size?
  2. Excuse me  or Next! ( do you say 不好意思? (bu hao yi si))
  3. Do you want your receipt?
  4. You order will be picked up over there.
  5. Hope to see you soon. (do you say 希望不久能见到你 (xi wang bu jiu neng jian dao ni))


Hello to all 你好大家!


My name is James. I am half-filipino and half-American. I grew up in a family of multi-lingual speakers. My dad has lived in Asia for 10 years and is conversational in many languages. My mom grew up in the Philippines and speaks at least 7 different dialects of Filipino plus Tagalog and English. In our family, we mix out languages. Unfortunately, I only speak English fluently.

I have no real Linguist training but I love to learn languages. Grammar, sounds, and cultural difference are my love. I love to just listen to people speak and guess where people are from.

I am currently trying learn Mandarin.  I have been studying it for a couple years. My vocabulary is good, but my grammar and listening is horrible. Where online can I find great resources to practice my lacking skills in especially grammar? Also what resource books are great to learn Mandarin?

Plus what are good books to read about languages, dying languages, and tracing history of languages?

God kväll!

Hi! I'm Beth, super-bouncy and more than a little bit silly, and I have to confess that I'm crazy when it comes to languages. I have a list of, at the last count, thirteen (Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Irish Gaelic, Welsh, Greek, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic) on top of the three (English, French and German) which I already speak to a passable standard. I'm a native English speaker (and can also speak Yorkshire dialect, if a little haltingly), and studying both French and German at A2-Level next school year, and then thinking to go on to study a BA Modern Languages in German, Dutch and Russian at Sheffield University if I get the required grades (ABB, if anyone's interested).

However, German grammar is something of a weak point of mine - the cases make me want to shoot myself in the head, and after six months of studying them I STILL cannot get my head around them further than the fact that my German teacher hates us using the Dative where we could use the Genitive instead (das Auto von meinem Vater / meines Vaters Auto etc.) - so any helpful pointers or tips with that would be most appreciated. c:
My Swedish is, thanks to a friend, passable introductory; my Dutch is poor, and my Mandarin doesn't even bear thinking about. I hope to improve all three of those as best I can, and a headstart in Dutch would obviously be good for university plans and also because I'm hoping, if possible, to become an English teacher in a school abroad (preferably the Netherlands). I do have an intense interest in Dutch but I find pronunciation difficult (probably because I'm English and born to monoglot parents, thus brought up to believe that the comprehensible world stops at Dover). I have been to Amsterdam (and was the only one in the family brave enough to greet people with 'Goede dag!' and say 'Dank u', if with a somewhat Germanic accent) but other than that I'm relatively unschooled when it comes to the Netherlands and their culture, so it'd be great if anyone could help with that too.
Either way, that's my introduction. Nice to meet you all. Sorry for all the 'HALP ME ;_;' in this post.
P.S. Yes, that's Eddie and Alex Van Halen in my icon. Blame them for an obsession with all things Dutch. :D

Mandarin question

The textbook I'm using as a resource to learn Hanzi at the moment occasionally gives me words with 儿 at the end, like 会儿 for example, and the pronunciation is given as "hui4r." This makes sense, but I'm also running across examples like 点儿, given as "dian3r". How is "dianr" pronounced? I'm sure it's simpler than it looks but I'm drawing a blank.
Gentle Rose

Best Books for Self-Teaching Chinese

I'm going to teach myself Mandarin Chinese, but am rather unsure of where to start. I've been poking around Barnes & Noble and Borders (yes, there's still one open) for good Chinese coursebooks, and I've been looking through previous entries tagged with "chinese" and "mandarin" here on linguaphiles, but I'm still unsure which ones I should get (especially as my budget is basically non-existent).

I've been looking at Chinese for Dummies, Teach Yourself, Instant Immersions, Berlitz ect. for both speaking and reading Chinese. I prefer books that involve lots of writing, because the more I write things the more I remember them. I make rainforests sad. That said, if you think some books are just really, really good with audio/teaching you how to speak, Tuttle books seem pretty good for learning characters.

So, any tips/recs? What books/self-teaching courses have you found most helpful? Which ones did you think were utter crap?