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Archive | Vocabulary by Theme

The Many Faces of Chinese Names

Why do Chinese people choose English names? Every Chinese person I have met has had an English name. Whether they were living in Taiwan, living in the United States, or on a cruise ship, each one of them has introduced themselves by their English name. They would only tell me their Chinese name when I […]

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What Color is Your Crayon 你的蠟筆是什麼顏色 in Chinese

你的蠟筆是什麼顏色 (你的)(蠟筆)(是)(什麼)(顏色) (ㄋㄧˇ ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄌㄚˋ ㄅㄧˇ) (ㄕˋ) (ㄕㄣˊ ㄇㄜ˙) (ㄧㄢˊ ㄙㄜˋ) (nǐ de.)(là bǐ)(shì)(shén me.)(yán sè) (your)(wax + pen, pencil, or brush = crayon)(to be/is)(what)(color) What color is your crayon?   The basic colors in Chinese are fairly straight forward. There is a character for the color which is followed by the character 色 ㄙㄜˋ […]

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What Are You Not Used To 你對什麼不習慣 in Chinese

If you are asking generally what sorts of things that someone is not used to, you ask:   你對什麼不習慣? (你) (對) (什麼) (不) (習慣 (ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄉㄨㄟˋ) (ㄕㄣˊ ㄇㄜ˙) (ㄅㄨˋ) (ㄒㄧˊ ㄍㄨㄢˋ) (ni3) (dui4) (shen2 me.) (bu4) (xi2 guan4) (you) (toward, with regard to) (what) (not) (used to, habit) What are you not used to?   […]

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Chinese Breakfast Vocabulary

This is vocabulary that came up while we were discussing breakfast recently, which I used to write the blog about Deciding What to Eat for Breakfast. To help me practice listening and repeating, my tutor recorded it.   吃過早餐了嗎?(chi1 guo4) (zao3 can1) (le.) (ma.) Have you eaten breakfast? 吃過早飯了嗎?(chi1 gou4) (zao3 fan4) (le.) (ma.) Have […]

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Chinese Shopping Vocabulary

Shopping vocabulary is something that helped me practice speaking Chinese because when we lived in Taiwan for a few months, most people I came across while shopping did not speak any intelligible English. I recall being told by another American business man’s wife that the most useful shopping words I would learn would be: 不要 […]

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