Friday, November 30, 2012

My Chinese is getting better

Wǒ de zhōngwén yuè lái yuè hǎo
My Chinese is getting better.
越来越 (yuè lái yuè ) means ‘more and more’ and is used to indicate that something is increasing or getting better. It is commonly used in the 越来越 + adjective formation. Let’s look at another example.

Xué zhōngwén de rén yuè lái yuè duō
More and more people are learning Chinese.

Below is another way of saying the same thing:
Xué zhōngwén de rén jiànjiàn duōle
More and more people are learning Chinese.
渐渐 (jiànjiàn) means gradually.

Now let’s say the first sentence using 渐渐 (jiànjiàn)
Wǒ de zhōngwén jiànjiàn hǎole
My Chinese is getting better.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to say Chinese leaders’ names

We all agree that Chinese words are difficult to pronounce. I had a blog post earlier which might help with pronounciation of Chinese words. We also have difficulties pronouncing Chinese names.  Not only are they hard to pronounce, but most of the time we are also unsure which one is the given name and which one is the family name. Please check my earlier blog post on Chinese names.
I found an article on the BBC website which I thought was worth sharing. It teaches us how to pronounce the names of the recently appointed new Chinese leaders. Below is an excerpt. Hope this is helpful.
Xi Jinping: SHEE jin PING (-sh as in ship, -j as in Jack, -i as in sit, -ng as in sing)
Li Keqiang: LEE kuh chee-AANG (-ee as in street, -aa as in father, -ch as in church, -ng as in sing)
Zhang Dejiang: JAANG duh jee-AANG (-j as in Jack, -aa as in father, -ng as in sing)
Zhang Gaoli: JAANG gow LEE (-j as in Jack, -aa as in father, -ng as in sing, -ow as in now)
Wang Qishan: WAANG chee SHAN (-aa as in father, -ng as in sing -ch as in church)
Liu Yunshan: LYOH yuen SHAN (-ly as in million, -oh as in no, -ue as in French vu)
Yu Zhengsheng: YUE jung SHUNG (-ue as in French vu, -j as in Jack, -u as in bun, -ng as in sing)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Qing Dynasty

In the previous post we talked about how Tang Dynasty is considered to be one of the most prosperous dynasties in the Chinese history. What about the least prosperous? Opinions will differ, but Qing Dynasty definitely gets a lot of votes. It is also the last imperial dynasty of China.
清朝 (qīng cháo): Qing dynasty
(cháo): dynasty
So what was wrong with the Qing dynasty? Corruption, rebellions, natural disasters and foreign invasion are commonly cited as the reasons behind Qing dynasty’s downfall. The Opium War with the British was also fought during the Qing dynasty.
鸦片战争 (yāpiàn zhànzhēng): Opium War
鸦片 (yāpiàn): Opium
People often say that China fell behind during the Qing dynasty
Zài qīngcháo zhōngguó luòhòule
落后 (luòhòu): fall behind