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Welcome to this week’s issue of the Giant Mandarin newsletter. This week’s newsletter is on the topic of learning a foreign language.
In this week’s Elementary–Intermediate Words we focus on words for talking about foreign language study at a high level, including explaining what language or languages you’re studying, what level of language proficiency you have and whether a language you’re learning is your first or second language.
In Advanced Words, we focus on words for talking about the nitty-gritty of language learning. This includes the different parts of learning a language such as vocabulary and grammar, as well as the different contexts in which a language might be used such as a working language.
Finally, in Supplementary Reading we suggest a language learning tool and a magazine article reflecting on the author’s personal experience with losing and then regaining their first language.
- 学习 xuéxí - to study; study 📖
- 外语 wàiyǔ - foreign language 🌏
汉语 Hànyǔ - Chinese language (literally, the language of the Han Chinese people) 🇨🇳
英语 Yīngyǔ - English language
韩语 Hányǔ - Korean language 🇰🇷
日语 Rìyǔ - Japanese language 🇯🇵
菲律宾语 Fēilǜbīnyǔ - Filipino language 🇵🇭
法语 Fǎyǔ - French language 🇫🇷
西班牙语 Xībānyáyǔ - Spanish language
德语 Déyǔ - German language 🇩🇪
阿拉伯语 Ālābóyǔ - Arabic language
中文 Zhōngwén - Chinese language (literally, the language of China, emphasizing the written language) 🇨🇳
Generally speaking, 语 (yǔ) can be substituted for 文 (wén) in the above words too.
- 水平 shuǐpíng - level of proficiency
初级 chūjí - elementary 👍
中级 zhōngjí - intermediate 🙌
高级 gāojí - advanced 👏
- 流利 liúlì - fluent 🤸
- 母语 mǔyǔ - mother tongue; native language
第二语言 dìèr yǔyán - second language ✌️
第一语言 dìyī yǔyán - first language ☝️
- 语言 yǔyán - language
- 生词 shēngcí - vocabulary item or items
- 口音 kǒuyīn - accent
- 词汇 cíhuì - vocabulary
- 语法 yǔfǎ - grammar
- 口语 kǒuyǔ - spoken language 🗣
- 听力 tīnglì - listening 👂
- 阅读 yuèdú - reading 📚
- 写作 xiězuò - writing ✍️
官方语言 guānfāng yǔyán - official language (of a country)
正式语言 zhèngshì yǔyán - official language (of an organisation or event such as the United Nations)
工作语言 gōngzuò yǔyán - working language 👩💻
- 通用语 tōngyòngyǔ - lingua franca; common language 🌏
- Language Reactor: A powerful toolbox for learning languages, which is widely known for the Language Learning with Netflix browser extension for Chrome
- Forgetting My First Language, Jenny Liao, The New Yorker
And that’s a wrap. What did you think of this week’s newsletter?
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Thanks for reading and see you next Thursday!