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5 Chinese New Year Greetings to Try Out on Your Friends

By Guo Wen Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year of the Sheep 2015. First of all, a very happy Chinese New Year to all the readers of fluentinmandarin.com! How about sending new year wishes in Mandarin to your Chinese friends or coworkers for the Spring Festival? These are some common idiomatic new year greetings […]

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Chinese Poem: Gold-threaded Attire

金縷衣 杜秋娘 勸君莫惜金縷衣 勸君惜取少年時 花開堪折直須折 莫待無花空折枝 Gold-threaded Attire Du Qiuniang Cherish not your robes of gold threads cherish your fleeting youth instead Pick the flowers while they are in bloom or it’ll be just bare branches left (poem translated by Wei Jia and edited by Chris Parker) 金缕衣 杜秋娘 劝君莫惜金缕衣 劝君惜取少年时 花开堪折直须折 莫待无花空折枝 (simplified Chinese) […]

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Chinese Poems: Cicadas

1. 蟬 李商隱 本以高難飽  徒勞恨費聲 五更疏欲斷  壹樹碧無情 薄宦梗猶泛  故園蕪已平 煩君最相警  我亦舉家清 1. To a Cicada1 Li Shangyin Since you live high above the ground the lack of food you shouldn’t bemoan Deep in the night you vent your woes uselessly to your heartless host2 A petty official I drift away from my deserted home Your tireless […]

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Chinese Poem: Sending off emissary Wu on his journey to the capital

白雪歌送武判官歸京 岑參 北風卷地白草折  胡天八月即飛雪 忽如壹夜春風來  千樹萬樹梨花開 散入珠簾濕羅幕  狐裘不暖錦衾薄 將軍角弓不得控  都護鐵衣冷猶著 瀚海闌幹百丈冰  愁雲黲淡萬裏凝 中軍置酒飲歸客  胡琴琵琶與羌笛 紛紛暮雪下轅門  風掣紅旗凍不翻 輪臺東門送君去  去時雪滿天山路 山回路轉不見君  雪上空留馬行處 Sending off emissary Wu on his journey to the capital Cen Sen The north winds blew across nomadic land covered with snow as early as August It gathered on the trees as if they’d bloomed […]

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Chinese Poem: Crossing the Frontier

出塞 王昌齡 秦時明月漢時關 萬裏長征人未還 但使龍城飛將在 不教胡馬度陰山 Crossing the Frontier Wang Changling The timeless moon shines on the fort long marches saw full armies lost Were the Winged General still here the Yin mountains his foes would not cross (poem translated by Wei Jia and edited by Chris Parker) Notes: Li Guang was a famous Chinese general during the […]

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Chinese Poem: The Frontier Song

塞下曲 盧綸 月黑雁飛高  單于夜遁逃 欲將輕騎逐  大雪滿弓刀   The Frontier Song Lu Lun Wild geese fly high in the moonless dark sky the leader of the Hun tries to escape The light cavalry carry bows and swords covered with snow even before the chase (poem translated by Wei Jia and edited by Chris Parker) 塞下曲 卢纶 月黑雁飞高  单于夜遁逃 欲将轻骑逐  大雪满弓刀 (simplified Chinese) Sāi xià qǔ lú lún yuè hēi yàn fēi gāo, chán yú yè dùn táo. yù jiāng qīng qí zhú, dà xuě […]

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How I learnt Mandarin Chinese

This post is about how I learnt Mandarin Chinese and my own experience. Before I had even left school I had decided that I wanted to study Chinese and I was lucky enough to be accepted by the University of Cambridge to study Chinese full time. I had a few hours of Chinese classes every week, on top […]

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How to read a Chinese menu (Part 2)

In this post, I’m going to introduce you to a few characters that you will see a lot that tell you how the dish is cooked. They all have the same part on the left 火 which means fire. You will see that in most of the characters for cooking methods. 炒 means stir-fried and is […]

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How to read a Chinese menu (Part 1)

One thing that a lot of people learning Chinese want to know is how to order food and how to read a menu, but I’ve found that a lot of Chinese textbooks barely talk about food at all. If you’ve ever seen a menu that’s all in Chinese with no pictures and freaked out, then […]

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Learn a language as if you had all the time in the world

You may be wondering what I’m talking about with this title, because after all, nobody has all the time in the world. Most of us have full time jobs and a whole host of other commitments. We feel that if we are going to learn to speak a language, we need to get there in […]

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