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Articles

Fashion Vocabulary - English to Korean to Chinese

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Ever wonder when shopping how to translate certain fashion words? Maybe you're traveling to China or Korea and would like to be able to request certain things, or maybe you're a Korean or Chinese native and would like to travel to each other's respective countries. Since it is a couple weeks past Thanksgiving, and it has started off the holiday shopping season, we want to teach you today about fashion words in Chinese and Korean. Don't be afraid to do international shopping, if you know ...

Chinese Phrases for Department Store Shopping - In Beijing!

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Today we follow Peter on a shopping adventure in a department store in Beijing. Peter is studying in a Masters program for Chinese at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He arrived at Beijing last November with only winter clothes. Now it is May, and he needs to get new clothes for the summer. His Chinese friends recommended Xidan Department Store, 西单商场 (xī dān shāng chǎng), which is nationally well known with more than 70 years of history and an excellent reputation. Peter likes high ...

HSK Info NYC

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 Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK, or Chinese Proficiency Test) is an international standardized exam, administered by Hanban, that assesses and rates proficiency in Mandarin. The HSK focuses on listening, reading, and writing, without an emphasis on grammar, and can be taken either as a written exam or as a computer-based test. The HSK also holds an oral exam, separate from the normal HSK test. However, if not interested in the HSK's oral proficiency test, it is ...

Christmas in China—When East Meets West

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Merry Christmas everybody! 圣诞快乐/shèng dàn kuài lè/! Thank you for your interest in learning Chinese and your support in 2014. I will do my very best to introduce you to more interesting things about China and more useful Chinese learning techniques in the coming year. The US now is filled with a festive atmosphere. Do you wonder how Chinese people, on the other side of the globe, spend Christmas day? Do they celebrate this religious and cultural western holiday? The answer is yes and ...

Learn Chinese Through Movies and Laugh - 非诚勿扰 Part 2

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Hey, everybody! Welcome back to our series on Learning Chinese through Funny Movies! Last article we started with the small talk between Mr. Fan and Qin Fen. Since then I hope you had the opportunity to watch more of the movie. Today, we will explain further what happens in the opening scene. Sentence 2 & 3: qín fèn: nín dìng ,nín shuō nǎ gè shùn kǒu shuō nǎ gè ,wǒ dōu xíng 。 秦  奋:您   定,      您    说    哪 个   顺      口      说   哪 个, 我   都    行。 fàn xiān shēng: nà hái shì shuō mǔ yǔ ba 。 范 ...

Learn Chinese through Movies and Laugh! - 非诚勿扰

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Watching movies is one of the best ways to learn a native language. Today we look at the comedy titled: “If You Are the One 非诚勿扰(fēi chéng wù rǎo).” If You Are the One is a 2008 highly successful Chinese romantic comedy film directed by Feng Xiaogang and starring Ge You and Shu Qi. It earned over ¥364 million (US$53.7 million) at the box office. The movie is about Mr. Qin Fen秦奋 (qín fèn,homophone of the word diligence勤奋 ) who is now in his late 4os. He returns to China after years of ...

Visiting the Intensive Beginner Mandarin Class

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Visiting the Intensive Beginner Chinese Mandarin Course                       Dajiahao! Ever want to start learning Mandarin? I was fortunate enough to be able to hop into an Intensive Mandarin class at Hills Learning that is typically offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Today’s class I observed was Intensive Beginner Mandarin taught by Yutong Chen. The class was very small – only two students! Because of the tiny class size, the atmosphere of the classroom is very quiet. Not ...

Mandarin Chinese Synonyms - Five Common Examples

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One of the difficulties of learning Chinese (as well as other languages) comes from word pairs that have similar meanings (synonyms). For Chinese learners, it is always hard to figure out which word to use under the situation that both words from the pair appear to be applicable. Here, we would like to give out five typical examples.   二 v.s. 两 - two 时间 v.s. 时候 - time 马上 v.s 立刻 - right away 吗 v.s. 吧 v.s. 啊 - question particles that add to the end of a declarative statement 和 ...

Learning Chinese with Songs - 小酒窝(Cute Dimples)

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There are many good reasons to listen to Chinese popular songs. You can improve pronunciation, learn Chinese vocabulary, develop grammar structure and beautiful expressions in Chinese, and learn more about Chinese culture, which is fun! In this article, we are going to listen to a sweet love song 小酒窝(xiǎo jiǔ wō) by 林俊杰(lín2 jùn jié) and 蔡卓妍(cài zhuó yán). This song is chosen for its simple lyrics. Step 1: Check out their music video.  No matter how much you can understand the ...

Chronicles of Nanyang - Back in China

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This article series is from a Hills Learning student, Loraine, who took our intensive course over the summer of 2012. She writes about living in China and her experiences learning about the Chinese language and culture. Dear Friends, After spending the summer in the U.S. visiting family and friends, I’ve returned to China to work for a second year at Nanyang Normal University.  It’s been wonderful to get back to all of the things that made my first year here so special—the students, my ...

Speak Chinese Like a Native! Five Popular Chinese Idioms/Slangs

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Popular Chinese Idioms Everyone realizes that learning idioms of a foreign language is an interesting way to sound “native-like”. For English as second language learners, UrbanDictionary is an awesome place to check out interesting popular English idioms. However, it is a pity that there is no such a counterpart the Chinese language as of yet. This article picks out five of the Top 10 popular Chinese idioms of 2012, selected by an authoritative Chinese language magazine, “Yao Wen Jue ...

Top 10 Applications for Learning Chinese

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When searching the Apple store, you will be amazed by the amount and variety of Chinese learning apps. This article will give a brief introduction to 10 categories of them and recommend handy apps for all Chinese learners. 1. Flash Card l  Fun Chinese (Listening practice)  Recommend: Yes ★★★            ( Fun Chinese provides several different games in every topic for learning Chinese. Memory game: matching the color in a different box. Bubble game: eliminating color bubbles ...

Mandarin Vowels Guide - Tips from a Mandarin Teacher

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Vowels are the most indispensible component of a syllable. Mandarin has three types of finals composed by three types of vowel: simple vowels, nasal vowels and compound vowels. This article will focus on finals, to examine English speakers’ difficulties and give tips to improve pronunciation. There are 35 finals in Mandarin: 6 simple vowels, 13 compound vowels and 16 nasal vowels. 1. Single vowels: o, e, ü Simple finals are composed by a single vowel. There are three particular ...

Mandarin Consonants

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Pronunciation is of vital importance especially in mandarin. Initials, finals, and tones are combined in fixed ways to produce a total of 1,600 possible distinct syllable sounds in Chinese (compare to 16,000 for English and 100 for Japanese). As long as you pronounce one syllable sound wrong, you can get a completely different word. This article will focus on initials, to examine English speakers’ difficulties and give tips to improve pronunciation. Mandarin initial sounds are composed by ...

Writing Chinese Characters - Stroke Order and Types

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Many Chinese learners complain about the difficulty in writing Chinese characters.  People have no clue about how and where to put the first stroke, or what order should be followed when writing the Chinese characters. Actually all characters are composed by simple strokes,  and there are only a few rules when writing them. Once you know the rules, writing them is fun and easy! In this article I will discuss two simple concepts when writing characters: 1 - the types of strokes when ...

Business Chinese Phrases and Explanations - Part 2

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BUSINESS CHINESE 经贸汉语 Part VII Hills Learning is very happy to introduce you its multi-part series on business Chinese.  A piece of advice for those who are still hesitating whether they should start learning one of the world’s most difficult languages: it is always a good idea to start the learning process as early as possible. Try to focus on both spoken and written parts from the very beginning. For the writing system, English-speaking learners need to be a little patient, knowing that ...

Business Chinese Phrases and Explanations

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经贸汉语 Part VI Hills Learning is happy to help our readers to develop their competence in Chinese in a business context. Do not forget to focus on both oral and written skills. Every time you learn a new word or expression, practice writing characters as well. You will not be able to master Chinese if you neglect the written part. Try to memorize not only the characters but also the tones. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. The meaning of the word is completely different if you change the ...

Chinese Grammar - Part 3

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CHINESE GRAMMAR PART III Chinese grammar is an important part of Chinese learning. As you begin to learn Chinese, you should learn Chinese grammar in a systematic way. In this section, you can learn different Chinese grammar patterns that will help you to build the sentences and express your mind in Chinese. 1)      即使…也  ( ji2shi3...ye2) Meaning: even if; even though, granted that Example:  即使你们给我再多的钱,我也不接受这个工作。 Meaning: Even if you offer me a higher salary, I will still ...

Learning Business Chinese - Corporate Terms

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BUSINESS CHINESE 经贸汉语 Part V At the office Hills Learning continues its periodic series on business Chinese. The following vocabulary is relatively simple, and it is a good thing, because we want you to learn everything by heart, as these expressions are most frequently used in the corporate environment.   1)      安排会议 (an1pai2 hui4yi4) – to set up a meeting, to arrange a meeting Definition: To prepare a plan for a gathering of people, as for a business or social ...

When to Teach Your Kids Mandarin Chinese

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With Mandarin being such a popular language these days throughout New York City and increasing throughout America and globally, the question is for parents is not if their kids should be learning Mandarin but when. Just in case you feel you're in the former, keep in mind that foreign language is an important pursuit of all children in their studies. And we're not talking just academics-wise learning the basic grammatical and vocabulary structures, we're more discussing the actual pursuit of ...

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