There is nothing like Christmas to show you the Chinese love of getting rènào 热闹. The potential to make a festival ‘hot’ (rè热) and ‘noisy’ (nào闹) is a key reason so many non-Chinese festivals are popular with young Chinese people today. Anglo-European festivals, like Christmas, have been very earnestly translated. Christmas, or Shèngdàn jié 圣诞节, literally means birth (dàn 诞) of the saint (shèng 圣). It can also mean birth of the ‘sacred‘ because of the Chinese language’s delightful ability to be interchangeable and ambiguous. Read More
In November, ChinesePod celebrated two very different holidays: Singles Day on November 11 in China and Thanksgiving on November 24, a family day in the United States. Even though these holidays have opposite meanings, on both holidays, huge sales and discounts are up for grabs.
During November we will explored the duality of culture and saw where things differ or overlap. We came up with a specially curated list of ‘opposite’ words in Chinese that when combined create new meaning.
You can browse all our FlashCards below.
My parents have never told me they love me…
Before you start feeling sorry for me, let me tell you something else. Most likely, if your Chinese friends, co-workers, or classmates were born before the 1990s, they too were unlikely to have heard these three simple yet profound words from their parents. Now, before you start feeling sympathetic for the whole Chinese race, let me clarify. Traditionally, Chinese parents don’t say I love you. It’s that simple. “Wǒ ài nǐ｜我爱你” just sounds awkward and strange and overly mushy.
Want to order from the Chinese menu and not the watered down English version they present to non-Chinese speakers? Perhaps some readers know how to ask for what they want in Mandarin but what if you are hankering for a new sensory experience and would like to try the specials or dish of the day? Reading the culinary characters on a Chinese menu is not so cut and dry. Learn 6 simple tricks for deciphering the Chinese menu in our Blog post today.
吃饭了吗? – Chīfàn le ma? – Have you eaten yet?
This standard Mandarin greeting illustrates the importance of food in Chinese culture at the extent to which food and the language are intertwined.
Fittingly, it is not surprising that often the first real-life test of a Mandarin learner’s language ability takes place in the Chinese restaurant. However, one quickly realizes that a single Chinese menu simply does not exist.