When 白(bái) Doesn’t Mean “white”!

When 白(bái) doesn’t mean “white”!

In Chinese the colour white is always expressed as “白色” (bái sè). But白(bái) is also a common word for “doing something in vain”. Colloquially in English we would say “doing something for nothing”. E.g. I stood in the cold for…

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The Rich Meaning Of 意思 (yìsi) In Chinese

The rich meaning of 意思 (yìsi) in Chinese

  • February 21, 2016

Last week, my British student Mark came to China for a business trip. He told me that his Chinese colleague gave him some Shanghai local specialties. “My colleague said ’zhè shì yì diǎnr xiǎo yìsi’. But I didn’t understand and…

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Best Wishes For Chinese New Year!

Best Wishes for Chinese New Year!

To start off, let me wish you “新年快乐(xīn nián kuài lè)!” This is a common greeting between Chinese people around both the time of the Gregorian calendar New Year and the Chinese traditional New Year. “新年快乐!” is a good place…

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Four Fun New Ways To Use 玩 (wán)

Four fun new ways to use 玩 (wán)

We all love to play! The Chinese word for play is “玩” (wán) and we use it for all sorts of situations that involve having fun. This was probably one of the first characters you learned, but it has rich…

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