Tag: Essays

Essay: 《不死鸟》the immortal bird by sanmao.

  • Post author By Kendra
  • Post date March 25, 2023
  • 4 Comments on Essay: 《不死鸟》The Immortal Bird by Sanmao

In this tear-jerker essay, famous Taiwanese authoress Sanmao ponders on the value of her own life. It was written as she grieved the drowning of her beloved Spanish husband in 1979, and is all the more tragic in light of her suicide 12 years later.

  • Tags Essays

Essay:《爱》Love by Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)

  • Post date June 12, 2020
  • 5 Comments on Essay:《爱》Love by Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)

A tragic, dreamlike little essay from writer  Zhang Ailing  (张爱玲, English name Eileen Chang) about love and destiny. This is one of her more well-known works of micro-prose, written in 1944. HSK 5-6.

Essay:《打人》Hitting Someone by Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)

  • Post date June 10, 2020
  • 1 Comment on Essay:《打人》Hitting Someone by Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)

An essay from Chinese lit diva Zhang Ailing about a scene of police brutality she witnessed in Shanghai in the 1940s. HSK 6 and up.

Essay: 《感谢困难》Thanking Life’s Challenges by Lin Qingxuan

  • Post date May 19, 2020
  • 5 Comments on Essay: 《感谢困难》Thanking Life’s Challenges by Lin Qingxuan

You can skip your Instagram yoga gratitude break today, here’s another one from Taiwanese Buddhist essayist Lin Qingxuan (林清玄). HSK 4-5.

Essay: 《蝴蝶的种子》Seed of a Butterfly by Lin Qingxuan

  • Post date May 7, 2020
  • 2 Comments on Essay: 《蝴蝶的种子》Seed of a Butterfly by Lin Qingxuan

Taiwanese Buddhist essayist Lin Qingxuan marvels at the wonders of nature, time, space, and reincarnation. This piece is all about awe of the natural world, and you’ll learn some Discovery Channel vocab, like “pupa”, “mate”, “breed”, “spawn”, and lots of animal names.

  • Tags Essays , Science

Letter: Ba Jin’s Correspondence with “Young Friends Searching for Ideals” – Part II

  • Post date May 5, 2020
  • 3 Comments on Letter: Ba Jin’s Correspondence with “Young Friends Searching for Ideals” – Part II

In Part II of this two-part series, we’ll read acclaimed author Ba Jin’s reply to the 10 elementary school students who wrote him a letter asking him for moral guidance in 1987. I’m not a super weepy person, but I legit cried reading this. This is a noble, elevating piece of writing, and reading it, I’m reminded that in all societies, there are those who struggle with the materialism that engulfs us.

Essay:《帮忙》 Helping Out

  • Post date May 4, 2020
  • 3 Comments on Essay:《帮忙》 Helping Out

In this one-paragraph read (HSK 2-3), Little Brother wants to help dad get ready to leave the house, but his contribution falls flat.

Essay: 《丑石》The Ugly Rock by Jia Pingwa

  • Post date April 29, 2020
  • No Comments on Essay: 《丑石》The Ugly Rock by Jia Pingwa

Jia Pingwa (贾平凹) is one of China’s modern literary greats, and in this short story, it shows. I don’t know how this guy crammed so many insights on the human condition into a few paragraphs about a rock, but he undeniably did.

Letter: Ba Jin’s Correspondence with “Young Friends Searching for Ideals” – Part I

  • Post date April 27, 2020
  • No Comments on Letter: Ba Jin’s Correspondence with “Young Friends Searching for Ideals” – Part I

In the first of a two-part post, we’ll look at a letter sent in 1987 from a group of elementary school students to the anarchist writer Ba Jin (most famous for his 1931 novel The Family) as they struggle to cope with China’s changing social values. In Part II, I’ll translate Ba Jin’s reply.

Essay: Desk-chairs of the Future

  • Post date May 28, 2014
  • 15 Comments on Essay: Desk-chairs of the Future

This kid was asked to imagine the perfect desk-chair of the future – what it would look like, and what it would do – and boy, does he ever. The chair turns into all kinds of utopian machinery. It flies, it helps you sleep, and it carries your books to school. Sentence structure is pretty […]

Essay: Catching Frogs

  • Post date May 7, 2014
  • 52 Comments on Essay: Catching Frogs

Though this post is beginner-level, it’s also very condensed. I’d say you’ll have to stop and remind yourself what something means every few words or so.

Essay: My First Telephone Call

  • Post date June 11, 2013
  • 24 Comments on Essay: My First Telephone Call

Though the conclusion of this essay might fall a bit flat for all of us who are very used to having a telephone, this is an interesting glimpse into what a monumental rite of passage it is for children in rural areas to have one or use one for the first time.

Essay: Papa, Please Don’t Smoke!

  • Post date June 3, 2013
  • 17 Comments on Essay: Papa, Please Don’t Smoke!

In this essay, a child desperately (and very angrily) pleads their father not to smoke. Though this is classified as “Intermediate”, beginners should definitely try this read, leaning heavily on the hover word-list. The difficult parts are the mid-level turns of phrase, which are all explained below.

Guest Post: The exam of life

  • Post date May 6, 2013
  • 26 Comments on Guest Post: The exam of life

Well well well, lookie here. A guest post! Today we’ll be reading Rebecca Chua’s (Chinese name: 蔡幸彤) translation of an essay from her textbook. The post is about the rewards of honesty. I remember my own textbook being full of these types of essays, so thank you, Rebecca, for the traditional read.

My Gluttonous Elder Brother

  • Post date January 8, 2013
  • 10 Comments on My Gluttonous Elder Brother

I set out to do a beginner post since I haven’t done one in a while, but no joy, I think I have to classify this as intermediate. Beginners are welcome to try this out, as most of the words are simple and the subject matter is a bit immature (so of course it totally […]

News: Snowstorm has caused 15 deaths and 2000 flight delays or cancellations

  • Post date January 2, 2013
  • 8 Comments on News: Snowstorm has caused 15 deaths and 2000 flight delays or cancellations

In the spirit of the holiday season, which is winding to a blissfully overweight close, I give you an article about something you may or may not have just struggled through if you flew home for the holidays (which I did).

Our Family’s Jump Rope Contest

  • Post date October 2, 2012
  • 17 Comments on Our Family’s Jump Rope Contest

A single-paragraph essay about the results of a family jump rope competition.

After I Got My New Years’ Money

  • Post date September 10, 2012
  • 20 Comments on After I Got My New Years’ Money

For those of you new to Chinese culture, one thing a Chinese child most looks forward to all year is the time during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) when they get to go ask their neighbors and other adults for red envelopes containing some money – it’s a bit like trick-or-treating for cash. This essay […]

Essay: A Foolish Affair from my Childhood

  • Post date August 29, 2012
  • 20 Comments on Essay: A Foolish Affair from my Childhood

This essay is about a kid who takes his father’s advice a little too literally (with amusing results).

Dear Diary: Mama Please Believe Me

  • Post date May 3, 2012
  • 18 Comments on Dear Diary: Mama Please Believe Me

And now a break from all the intermediate and advanced exercises I’ve been posting lately. This one is a straightforward beginner Chinese diary-style essay about a student whose mother is displeased with his (or her, it’s never clarified) homework.

That's Mandarin Chinese Language School

How to Write a Chinese Essay

Dec 16, 2020 | Guest Blogs & Media

The more essays you write, the better you get at communicating with Chinese. To write a good essay, you first have to reach a high language mastery level.

Do you admire the students who write seamless Chinese essay? If you do, then you should know that you too can achieve this level of proficiency. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to pay for your essay if you cannot write it on your own. Online academic writers are a resource each student should take advantage of.

Here are tips to help you get better at writing essays in Chinese.

How to Write a Chinese Essay | That's Mandarin Blog

Learn New Chinese Words

The key to communicating in a new language is learning as many words as you can. Take it upon yourself to learn at least one Chinese word a day. Chinese words are to essay writing what bricks are to a building. The more words you have, the better you get at constructing meaningful sentences.

Case in point, if you’re going to write a Chinese sentence that constitutes ten words, but you don’t know the right way to spell three of those words, your sentence might end up not making sense.

During your Chinese learning experience, words are your arsenal and don’t forget to master the meaning of each word you learn.

Read Chinese Literature

Reading is the most effective way of learning a new language. Remember not to read for the sake of it; find out the meaning of each new word you encounter. When you are an avid reader of Chinese literature, nothing can stop you from writing fluent Chinese.

In the beginning, it might seem like you’re not making any progress, but after a while, you will notice how drastically your writing will change. Receiving information in Chinese helps your brain get accustomed to the language’s sentence patterns, and you can translate this to your essays.

Be extensive in your reading to ensure you get as much as possible out of each article. Remember that it’s not about how fast you finish an article, but rather, how much you gain from the exercise.

Translate Articles from your Native Language to Chinese

Have you ever thought about translating your favorite read to Chinese? This exercise might be tedious, but you will learn a lot from it. The art of translation allows you to seamlessly shift from one language’s sentence pattern into the other. The more you do this, the easier it will be for your brain to convert English sentences into Chinese phrases that people can comprehend.

You can always show your Chinese professor your translations for positive criticism. The more you get corrected, the better you will get at translation. Who knows, you might actually like being a translator once you graduate.

Final Thoughts

Adrian Lomezzo | Guest Author at That's Mandarin Blog

by Adrian Lomezzo

Adrian  Lomezzo is a freelance writer. Firstly, he has been developing as a content manager and working with different websites, and the main goal of his was to develop the content making it in the first place. Secondly,  Adrian  had a big desire to help students and adults in self-development in this field and teach them to improve their skills. As a lover of traveling, he did not want to be in one place, and became a writer who could be closer to everyone, and share precious information from the corners of the world.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit Comment

Other posts you might like

Congratulations That’s Mandarin Winter 2022 Graduates

Congratulations That’s Mandarin Winter 2022 Graduates

Mar 31, 2022 | Beijing , News

We’re so excited and proud to see our students achieve goals and improve their Chinese skills at That’s Mandarin. We know how hardworking and diligent you are and we are happy to go through this incredible and at times difficult process of learning Chinese together...

News: NihaoKids Website Is Live!

News: NihaoKids Website Is Live!

Mar 3, 2022 | News , Online

A modern place for your children to learn Mandarin Chinese.

Mahjong Night Recap (Feb 23)

Mahjong Night Recap (Feb 23)

Feb 24, 2022 | Beijing , News , Shanghai

The best moments of Mahjong Night!

Get 2-week FREE Chinese Classes

Original Price:  ¥ 600

Wechat Logo

essays in chinese

Improve Chinese Essay Writing- A Complete How to Guide

  • Last updated: June 6, 2019
  • Learn Chinese

Writing can reflect a writer’s power of thought and language organization skills. It is critical to master Chinese writing  if you want to take your Chinese to the next level. How to write good Chinese essays? The following six steps will improve Chinese essay writing:

Before You Learn to Improve Chinese Essay Writing

Before you can write a good essay in Chinese, you must first be accustomed with Chinese characters. Unlike English letters, Chinese characters are hieroglyphs, and the individual strokes are different from each other. It is important to be comfortable with writing Chinese characters in order to write essays well in Chinese. Make sure to use Chinese essay writing format properly. After that, you will be ready to improve Chinese essay writing.

Increase Your Chinese Words Vocabulary

With approximately 100,000 words in the Chinese language, you will need to learn several thousand words just to know the most common words used. It is essential to learn as many Chinese words as possible if you wish to be a good writer. How can you enlarge your vocabulary? Try to accumulate words by reading daily and monthly. Memory is also very necessary for expanding vocabulary. We should form a good habit of exercising and reciting as more as we can so that to enlarge vocabulary. Remember to use what you have learned when you write in Chinese so that you will continually be progressing in your language-learning efforts.

Acquire Grammar,Sentence Patterns and Function Words

In order to hone your Chinese writing skills , you must learn the grammar and sentence patterns. Grammar involves words, phrases, and the structure of the sentences you form. There are two different categories of Chinese words: functional and lexical. Chinese phrases can be categorized as subject-predicate phrases (SP), verb-object phrases (VO), and co-ordinate phrases (CO). Regarding sentence structure, each Chinese sentence includes predicate, object, subject, and adverbial attributes. In addition, function words play an important role in Chinese semantic understanding, so try to master the Chinese conjunction, such as conjunction、Adverbs、Preposition as much as you can. If you wish to become proficient at writing in Chinese, you must study all of the aspects of grammar mentioned in this section.

Keep a Diary Regularly to Note Down Chinese Words,Chinese Letters

Another thing that will aid you in becoming a better writer is keeping a journal in Chinese. Even if you are not interested in expanding your writing skills, you will find that it is beneficial for many day-to-day tasks, such as completing work reports or composing an email. Journaling on a regular basis will help you form the habit of writing, which will make it feel less like a chore. You may enjoy expressing yourself in various ways by writing; for instance, you might write poetry in your journal. On a more practical side of things, you might prefer to simply use your journal as a way to purposely build your vocabulary .

Persistence in Reading Everyday

In addition to expanding your view of the world and yourself, reading can help you improve your writing. Reading allows you to learn by example; if you read Chinese daily, you will find that it is easier to write in Chinese because you have a greater scope of what you can do with the vocabulary that you’ve learned. Choose one favorite Chinese reading , Read it for an hour or 2,000 words or so in length each day.

Whenever you come across words or phrases in your reading that you don’t understand, take the time to check them in your dictionary and solidify your understanding of them. In your notebook, write the new word or phrase and create an example sentence using that new addition to your vocabulary. If you are unsure how to use it in a sentence, you can simply copy the sample sentence in your dictionary.

Reviewing the new vocabulary word is a good way to improve your memory of it; do this often to become familiar with these new words. The content of reading can be very broad. It can be from novels, or newspapers, and it can be about subjects like economics or psychology. Remember you should read about things you are interested in. After a certain period of accumulation by reading, you will greatly improve your Chinese writing.

Do Essay Writing Exercise on a Variety of Subjects

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” In order to improve your China Essay Writing , you should engage in a variety of writing exercises. For beginners, you should start with basic topics such as your favorite hobby, future plans, favorite vacation spot, or any other topic that you can write about without difficulty.

For example :《我的一天》( Wǒ de yì tiān, my whole day’s life  ),《我喜欢的食物》( Wǒ xǐhuan de shíwù, my favorite food  ),《一次难忘的旅行》( yí cì nánwàng de lǚxíng, an unforgettable trip  ) etc.

Generally the writing topics can be classified into these categories: a recount of an incident,a description of something/someone, a letter, formulate your own opinion on an issue based on some quote or picture etc.

Takeaway to Improve Chinese Essay Writing

Keep an excel spreadsheet of 口语(Kǒuyǔ, spoken Chinese) –书面语(Shūmiànyǔ, written Chinese) pairs and quotes of sentences that you like. You should also be marking up books and articles that you read looking for new ways of expressing ideas. Using Chinese-Chinese dictionaries is really good for learning how to describe things in Chinese.

essays in chinese

Online Chinese Tutors

  • 1:1 online tutoring
  • 100% native professional tutors
  • For all levels
  • Flexible schedule
  • More effective

QIN CHEN

Qin Chen focuses on teaching Chinese and language acquisition. She is willing to introduce more about Chinese learning ways and skills. Now, she is working as Mandarin teacher at All Mandarin .

You May Also Like

essays in chinese

This Post Has 3 Comments

When I used the service of pro essay reviews, I was expecting to have the work which is completely error free and have best quality. I asked them to show me the working samples they have and also their term and condition. They provided me the best samples and i was ready to hire them for my work then.

This is fascinating article, thank you!

Thank you so much for sharing this type of content. That’s really useful for people who want to start learning chinese language. I hope that you will continue sharing your experience.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer

StoryLearning

StoryLearning

Learn A Language Through Stories

how to write in chinese

How to Write in Chinese – A Beginner’s Guide

Olly Richards Headshot

You probably think learning how to write in Chinese is impossible.

And I get it.

I’m a native English speaker, and I know how complex Chinese characters seem.

But you’re about to learn that it's not impossible .

I’ve teamed up with Kyle Balmer from Sensible Chinese to show you how you can learn the basic building blocks of the Chinese written language, and build your Chinese vocabulary quickly.

First, you’ll learn the basics of how the Chinese written language is constructed. Then, you’ll get a step-by-step guide for how to write Chinese characters sensibly and systematically .

Wondering how it can be so easy?

Then let’s get into it.

Don't have time to read this now?  Click here to download a free PDF of the article

By the way, if you want to learn Chinese fast and have fun, my top recommendation is  Chinese Uncovered  which teaches you through StoryLearning®. 

With  Chinese Uncovered  you’ll use my unique StoryLearning® method to learn Chinese through story… not rules.

It’s as fun as it is effective.

If you’re ready to get started,  click here for a 7-day FREE trial.

How To Write In Chinese

Chinese is a complex language with many dialects and varieties.

Before we dive into learning to write Chinese characters, let’s just take a second to be clear exactly what we’ll be talking about.

First, you’ll be learning about Mandarin Chinese , the “standard” dialect. There are 5 main groups of dialects and perhaps 200 individual dialects in China & Taiwan. Mandarin Chinese is the “standard” used in Beijing and spoken or understood, by 2/3 of the population.

Second, there are two types of Chinese characters: Traditional and Simplified . In this article, we’ll be talking about Simplified Chinese characters, which are used in the majority of Mainland China.

There is an ongoing politicised debate about the two kinds of characters, and those asking themselves: “Should I learn traditional or simplified Chinese characters?” can face a difficult choice.

  • For more on difference between Simplified and Traditional characters read this article
  • To learn more about “the debate” read this excellent Wikipedia article
  • If you want to switch Simplified characters into Traditional, you might like the fantastic New Tong Wen Tang browser plugin

First Steps in Learning Chinese Characters

When learning a European language, you have certain reference points that give you a head start.

If you're learning French and see the word l'hotel , for example, you can take a pretty good guess what it means! You have a shared alphabet and shared word roots to fall back on.

In Chinese this is not the case.

When you're just starting out, every sound, character, and word seems new and unique. Learning to read Chinese characters can feel like learning a whole set of completely illogical, unconnected “squiggles”!

The most commonly-taught method for learning to read and write these “squiggles” is rote learning .

Just write them again and again and practise until they stick in your brain and your hand remembers how to write them! This is an outdated approach, much like reciting multiplication tables until they “stick”.

I learnt this way.

Most Chinese learners learnt this way.

It's painful…and sadly discourages a lot of learners.

However, there is a better way.

Even without any common reference points between Chinese and English, the secret is to use the basic building blocks of Chinese, and use those building blocks as reference points from which to grow your knowledge of written Chinese.

This article will:

  • Outline the different levels of structure inherent in Chinese characters
  • Show you how to build your own reference points from scratch
  • Demonstrate how to build up gradually without feeling overwhelmed

The Structure Of Written Chinese

The basic structure of written Chinese is as follows:

how to write in chinese

I like to think of Chinese like Lego . .. it's very “square”!

The individual bricks are the components (a.k.a  radicals ).

We start to snap these components together to get something larger – the characters.

We can then snap characters together in order to make Chinese words.

Here's the really cool part about Chinese: Each of these pieces, at every level, has meaning.

The component, the character, the word… they all have meaning.

This is different to a European language, where the “pieces” used to make up words are letters.

Letters by themselves don't normally have meaning and when we start to clip letters together we are shaping a sound rather than connecting little pieces of meaning. This is a powerful difference that comes into play later when we are learning vocabulary.

Let's look at the diagram again.

Here we start with the component 子. This has the meaning of “child/infant”.

The character 好 (“good”) is the next level. Look on the right of the character and you'll see 子. We would say that 子 is a component of 好.

Now look at the full word 你好 (“Hello”). Notice that the 子 is still there.

  • The character 好 is built of the components 女 and 子.
  • The character 你 is built from 人 + 尔.
  • The word 你好 in turn is constructed out of 你 + 好.

Here's the complete breakdown of that word in an easy-to-read diagram:

how to write in chinese

Now look at this photo of this in real life !

Don't worry if you can't understand it. Just look for some shapes that you have seen before.

how to write in chinese

The font is a little funky, so here are the typed characters: 好孩子

What components have you seen before?

Did you spot them?

how to write in chinese

This is a big deal.

Here's why…

Why Character Components Are So Important

One of the big “scare stories” around Chinese is that there are 50,000 characters to learn.

Now, this is true. But learning them isn't half as bad as you think.

Firstly, only a few thousand characters are in general everyday use so that number is a lot more manageable.

Second, and more importantly, those 50,000 characters are all made up of the same 214 components .

And you already know one of them: 子 (it's one of those 214 components).

how to write in chinese

The fact that you can now recognise the 子 in the image above is a huge step forward.

You can already recognise one of the 214 pieces all characters are made up of.

Even better is the fact that of these 214 components it's only the 50-100 most common you'll be running into again and again.

This makes Chinese characters a lot less scary.

Once you get a handle on these basic components, you'll quickly recognise all the smaller pieces and your eyes will stop glazing over!  

This doesn't mean you'll necessarily know the meaning or how to pronounce the words yet (we'll get onto this shortly) but suddenly Chinese doesn't seem quite so alien any more.

Memorising The Components Of Chinese Characters

Memorising the pieces is not as important as simply realising that ALL of Chinese is constructed from these 214 pieces.

When I realised this, Chinese became a lot more manageable and I hope I've saved you some heartache by revealing this early in your learning process!

Here are some useful online resources for learning the components of Chinese characters:

  • An extensive article about the   214 components of Chinese characters  with a free printable PDF poster.
  • Downloadable posters of all the components, characters and words.
  • If you like flashcards, there's a great Anki deck here and a Memrise course here .
  • Wikipedia also has a sweet sortable list here .

TAKEAWAY : Every single Chinese character is composed of just 214 “pieces”. Only 50-100 of these are commonly used. Learn these pieces first to learn how to write in Chinese quickly.

Moving From Components To Chinese Characters

learn chinese through story

Once you've got a grasp of the basic building blocks of Chinese it's time to start building some characters!

We used the character 好 (“good”) in the above example. 好 is a character composed of the components 女 (“woman”) and 子 (“child”).

Unlike the letters of the alphabet in English, these components have meaning .

(They also have pronunciation, but for the sake of simplicity we'll leave that aside for now!)

  • 女 means “woman” and 子 means “child”.
  • When they are put together, 女 and 子 become 好 …and the meaning is “good”.
  • Therefore “woman” + “child” = “good” in Chinese 🙂

When learning how to write in Chinese characters you can take advantage of the fact that components have their own meanings.

In this case, it is relatively easy to make a mnemonic (memory aid) that links the idea of a woman with her baby as “good”.

Because Chinese is so structured, these kind of mnemonics are an incredibly powerful tool for memorisation.

Some characters, including 好, can also be easily represented graphically. ShaoLan's book Chineasy does a fantastic job of this.

Here's the image of 好 for instance – you can see the mother and child.

how to write in chinese

Visual graphics like these can really help in learning Chinese characters.

Unfortunately, only around 5% of the characters in Chinese are directly “visual” in this way. These characters tend to get the most attention because they look great when illustrated.

However, as you move beyond the concrete in the more abstract it becomes harder and harder to visually represent ideas.

Thankfully, the ancient Chinese had an ingenious solution, a solution that actually makes the language a lot more logical and simple than merely adding endless visual pictures.

Watch Me Write Chinese Characters

In the video below, which is part of a series on learning to write in Chinese , I talk about the process of actually writing out the characters. Not thousands of times like Chinese schoolchildren. But just as a way to reinforce my learning and attack learning Chinese characters from different angles.

My Chinese handwriting leaves a lot to be desired. But it's more about a process of reinforcing my language learning via muscle memory than perfecting my handwriting.

You'll also hear me discuss some related issues such as stroke order and typing in Chinese.

The Pronunciation Of Chinese Characters

The solution was the incredibly unsexy sounding… (wait for it…) “phono-semantic compound character”.

It's an awful name, so I'm going to call them “sound-meaning characters” for now!

This concept is the key to unlocking 95% of the Chinese characters.

A sound-meaning character has a component that tells us two things:

  • the meaning
  • a clue to how the character is pronounced

So, in simple terms:

95% of Chinese characters have a clue to the meaning of the character AND its pronunciation. 

到 means “to arrive”.

This character is made of two components. On the left is 至 and on the right is 刀.

These are two of the 214 components that make up all characters. 至 means “to arrive” and 刀 means “knife”.

Any idea which one gives us the meaning? Yup – it's 至, “to arrive”! (That was an easy one 🙂 )

But how about the 刀? This is where it gets interesting.

到 is pronounced dào.

刀, “knife” is pronounced dāo.

The reason the 刀 is placed next to 至 in the character 到 is just to tell us how to pronounce the character! How cool is that?

Now, did you notice the little lines above the words: dào and dāo?

Those are the tone markers, and in this case they are both slightly different. These two characters have different tones so they are not exactly the same pronunciation.

However, the sound-meaning compound has got us 90% of the way to being able to pronounce the character, all because some awesome ancient Chinese scribe thought there should be a shortcut to help us remember the pronunciation!

how to write in chinese

Let's look at a few more examples of how 刀 is used in different words to give you an idea of the pronunciation.

how to write in chinese

Even if sometimes:

  • the sound-meaning character gives us the exact sound and meaning
  • or it gets us in the ballpark
  • or worse it is way off because the character has changed over the last 5,000 years!

Nevertheless, there's a clue about the pronunciation in 95% of all Chinese characters, which is a huge help for learning how to speak Chinese.

TAKEAWAY : Look at the component parts as  a way to unlock the meaning and pronunciations of 95% of Chinese characters. In terms of “hacking” the language, this is the key to learning how to write in Chinese quickly.

From Chinese Characters To Chinese Words

First we went from components to characters.

Next, we are going from characters to words.

Although there are a lot of one-character words in Chinese, they tend to either be classically-rooted words like “king” and “horse” or grammatical particles and pronouns.

The vast majority of Chinese words contain two characters.

The step from characters to words is where, dare I say it, Chinese script gets easy!

Come on, you didn't think it would always be hard did you? 🙂

Unlike European languages Chinese's difficulty is very front-loaded.

When you first learn to write Chinese, you'll discover a foreign pronunciation system, a foreign tonal system and a very  foreign writing system.

As an English speaker, you can normally have a good shot at pronouncing and reading words in other European languages, thanks to the shared alphabet.

Chinese, on the other hand, sucker-punches you on day one… but gets a little more gentle as you go along.

One you've realised these things:

  • there aren't that many components to deal with
  • all characters are made up of these basic components
  • words are actually characters bolted together

…then it's a matter of just memorising a whole bunch of stuff!

That's not to say there isn't a lot of work involved, only to say that it's not particularly difficult. Time-consuming, yes. Difficult, no.

This is quite different from European languages, which start off easy, but quickly escalate in difficulty as you encounter complicated grammar, tenses, case endings, technical vocabulary and so on.

Making words from Chinese characters you already know is easy and really fun . This is where you get to start snapping the lego blocks together and build that Pirate Island!

The Logic Of Chinese Writing

Here are some wonderful examples of the simplicity and logic of Chinese using the character 车 which roughly translates as “vehicle”.

  • Water + Vehicle = Waterwheel = 水 +车
  • Wind + Vehicle = Windmill = 风+车
  • Electric + Vehicle = Tram/Trolley = 电+车
  • Fire + Vehicle = Train = 火+车
  • Gas + Vehicle = Car = 汽+车
  • Horse + Vehicle = Horse and cart/Trap and Pony = 马+车
  • Up + Vehicle = Get into/onto a vehicle =上+车
  • Down + Vehicle = Get out/off a vehicle =下+车
  • Vehicle + Warehouse = Garage = 车+库
  • To Stop + Vehicle = to park = 停+车

Chinese is extremely logical and consistent.

This is a set of building blocks that has evolved over 5,000 years in a relatively linear progression. And you can't exactly say the same about the English language!

Just think of the English words for the Chinese equivalences above:

Train, windmill, millwheel/waterwheel, tram/trolley, car/automobile, horse and cart/trap and pony.

Unlike Chinese where these concepts are all linked by 车 there's very little consistency in our vehicle/wheel related vocabulary, and no way to link these sets of related concepts via the word itself.

English is a diverse and rich language, but that comes with its drawbacks – a case-by-case spelling system that drives learners mad.

Chinese, on the other hand, is precise and logical, once you get over the initial “alienness”.

Image: Rubisfirenos

Making The Complex Simple

This logical way of constructing vocabulary is not limited to everyday words like “car” and “train”. It extends throughout the language.

To take an extreme example let's look at Jurassic Park .

The other day I watched Jurassic Park with my Chinese girlfriend. (OK, re -watched. It's a classic!)

Part of the fun for me (annoyance for her) was asking her the Chinese for various dinosaur species.

Take a second to look through these examples. You'll love the simplicity!

  • T Rex 暴龙 = tyrant + dragon
  • Tricerotops 三角恐龙 three + horn + dinosaur
  • Diplodocus 梁龙 roof-beam + dragon
  • Velociraptor 伶盗龙 clever + thief + dragon (or swift stealer dragon)
  • Stegosaurus 剑龙 (double-edged) sword + dragon
  • Dilophosaurus 双脊龙 double+spined+dragon

Don't try to memorise these characters, just appreciate the underlying logic of how the complex concepts are constructed .

(Unless, of course, you are a palaeontologist…or as the Chinese would say a Ancient + Life + Animal + Scientist!).

I couldn't spell half of these dinosaur names in English for this article. But once I knew how the construction of the Chinese word, typing in the right characters was simple.

Once you know a handful of characters, you can start to put together complete words, and knowing how to write in Chinese suddenly becomes a lot easier.

In a lot of cases you can take educated guesses at concepts and get them right by combining known characters into unknown words.

For more on this, check my series of Chinese character images that I publish on this page . They focus on Chinese words constructed from common characters, and help you understand more of the “building block” logic of Chinese.

how to write in chinese

TAKEAWAY : Chinese words are constructed extremely logically from the underlying characters. This means that once you've learned a handful of characters vocabulary acquisition speeds up exponentially.

How To Learn Written Chinese Fast

Before diving into learning characters, make sure you have a decent grounding in Chinese pronunciation via the pinyin system. 

The reason for this is that taking on pronunciation, tones and characters from day one is really tough.

Don't get me wrong, you can do it. Especially if you're highly motivated. But for most people there's a better way.

Learn a bit of spoken Chinese first. 

With some spoken language under your belt, and an understanding of pronunciation and tones, starting to learn how to write in Chinese will seem a whole lot easier.

When you're ready, here's how to use all the information from this article and deal with written Chinese in a sensible way.

I've got a systematic approach to written Chinese which you can find in detail on Sensible Chinese .

Right now, I'm going to get you started with the basics.

The Sensible Character System

The four stages for learning Chinese characters are:

Sounds technical huh? Don't worry, it's not really.

Sensible Chinese learning method

This part of the process is about choosing what you put into your character learning system.

If you're working on the wrong material then you're wasting your efforts. Instead choose to learn Chinese characters that you are like to want to use in the future.

My list in order of priority contains:

  • daily life: characters/words I've encountered through daily life
  • textbooks: characters/words I've learnt from textbooks
  • frequency lists: characters/words I've found in frequency lists of the most common characters and words

2. Processing

This is the “learning” part of the system.

You take a new word or character and break it down into its component parts. You can then use these components to create memory aids.

Hanzicraft.com or Pleco's built-in character decomposition tool are fantastic for breaking down new characters. These will be helpful until you learn to recognise the character components by sight. These tools will also show you if there are sound-meaning component clues in the character.

Use the individual components of a character to build a “story” around the character. Personal, sexy and violent stories tend to stick in the mind best! 🙂 I also like to add colours into my stories to represent the tones (1st tone Green, 2nd tone Blue etc.)

After the “input” and the “process”… it's time to review it all!

The simplest review system is paper flashcards which you periodically use to refresh your memory.

A more efficient method can be found in software or apps that use a Spaced Repetition System, like Anki or   Pleco .

An important point: Review is not learning .

It's tempting to rely on software like Anki to drill in the vocabulary through brute-force repetition. But don't skip the first two parts – processing the character and creating a mnemonic are key parts of the process.

It isn't enough to just learn and review your words… you also need to put them into use !

Thankfully, technology has made this easier than ever. Finding a language exchange partner or a lesson with a cost-effective teacher is super simple nowadays, so there's no excuse for not putting your new vocabulary into action!

The resources I personally use are:

  • Spoken – iTalki
  • Written – Lang-8
  • Short form written – WeChat / HelloTalk

Importantly, whilst you are using your current vocabulary in these forms of communication, you'll be picking up new content all the time, which you can add back into your system.

The four steps above are a cycle that you will continue to rotate through – all the corrections and new words you receive during usage should become material to add to the system.

To recap, the four steps of systematically learning Chinese characters are:

By building these steps into your regular study schedule you can steadily work through the thousands of Chinese characters and words you'll need to achieve literacy.

This is a long-haul process! So having a basic system in place is very important for consistency.

You can find out a lot more about The Sensible Chinese Character Learning System and how to write in Chinese here .

Top Chinese Learning Links And Resources

  • Chinese Language Learning Resource List – a curated list of tools and content available online and in print to help your Chinese learning, all categorised by usage type.
  • Sensible Character Learning System – the full system outlined in a series of blog articles for those who want more detail and tips on how to refine their character learning.
  • 111 Mandarin Chinese resources you wish you knew – Olly’s huge list of the best resources on the web for learning Chinese

I hope you enjoyed this epic guide to learning how to write in Chinese!

Please share this post with any friends who are learning Chinese, then leave us a comment below!

essays in chinese

Language Courses

  • Language Blog
  • Testimonials
  • Meet Our Team
  • Media & Press

Download this article as a FREE PDF ?

learn swedish guide

What is your current level in Swedish?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Swedish tips…

Where shall I send the tips and your PDF?

We will protect your data in accordance with our data policy.

What is your current level in Danish?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Danish tips…

storylearning kit

NOT INTERESTED?

What can we do better? If I could make something to help you right now, w hat would it be?

Which language are you learning?

What is your current level in [language] ?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] [language] tips, PLUS your free StoryLearning Kit…

Where shall I send them?

Download this article as a FREE PDF?

essays in chinese

Great! Where shall I send my best online teaching tips and your PDF?

Download this article as a FREE PDF ? 

What is your current level in Arabic?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Arabic tips…

FREE StoryLearning Kit!

Join my email newsletter and get FREE access to your StoryLearning Kit — discover how to learn languages through the power of story!

Download a FREE Story in Japanese!

spanish storylearning pack

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in Japanese and start learning Japanese quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

What is your current level in Japanese?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Japanese StoryLearning® Pack …

Where shall I send your download link?

Download Your  FREE   Natural Japanese Grammar Pack

es_naturalgrammarpack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Japanese Grammar Pack and learn to internalise Japanese grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural Japanese Grammar Pack …

What is your current level in Portuguese?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural Portuguese Grammar Pack …

What is your current level in German?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural German Grammar Pack …

Train as an Online Language Teacher and Earn from Home

essays in chinese

The next cohort of my Certificate of Online Language Teaching will open soon. Join the waiting list, and we’ll notify you as soon as enrolment is open!

waiting list button

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Portuguese tips…

portuguese_ultimateguide_preview

What is your current level in Turkish?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Turkish tips…

What is your current level in French?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the French Vocab Power Pack …

What is your current level in Italian?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Italian Vocab Power Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the German Vocab Power Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Japanese Vocab Power Pack …

Download Your  FREE Japanese Vocab Power Pack

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Japanese Vocab Power Pack and learn essential Japanese words and phrases quickly and naturally. (ALL levels!)

Download Your  FREE German Vocab Power Pack

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get free access to my German Vocab Power Pack and learn essential German words and phrases quickly and naturally. (ALL levels!)

Download Your  FREE Italian Vocab Power Pack

Italian Vocab Power Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Italian Vocab Power Pack and learn essential Italian words and phrases quickly and naturally. (ALL levels!)

Download Your  FREE French Vocab Power Pack

French Vocab Power Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my French Vocab Power Pack and learn essential French words and phrases quickly and naturally. (ALL levels!)

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Portuguese StoryLearning® Pack …

What is your current level in Russian?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural Russian Grammar Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Russian StoryLearning® Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Italian StoryLearning® Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural Italian Grammar Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the French StoryLearning® Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural French Grammar Pack …

What is your current level in Spanish?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Spanish Vocab Power Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Natural Spanish Grammar Pack …

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the Spanish StoryLearning® Pack …

Where  shall I send them?

What is your current level in Korean?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Korean tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Russian tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Japanese tips…

What is your current level in Chinese?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Chinese tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Spanish tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Italian tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] French tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] German tips…

Download Your  FREE   Natural Portuguese Grammar Pack

Natural Portuguese Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Portuguese Grammar Pack and learn to internalise Portuguese grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Download Your  FREE   Natural Russian Grammar Pack

Natural Russian Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Russian Grammar Pack and learn to internalise Russian grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Download Your  FREE   Natural German Grammar Pack

Natural German Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural German Grammar Pack and learn to internalise German grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Download Your  FREE   Natural French Grammar Pack

Natural French Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural French Grammar Pack and learn to internalise French grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Download Your  FREE   Natural Italian Grammar Pack

Natural Italian Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Italian Grammar Pack and learn to internalise Italian grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Download a FREE Story in Portuguese!

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in Brazilian Portuguese and start learning Portuguese quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

Download a FREE Story in Russian!

russian storylearning pack

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in Russian and start learning Russian quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

Download a FREE Story in German!

german storylearning pack

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in German and start learning German quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

Perfect! You’ve now got access to the German StoryLearning® Pack …

Download a FREE Story in Italian!

italian storylearning pack

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in Italian and start learning Italian quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

Download a FREE Story in French!

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in French and start learning French quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

Download a FREE Story in Spanish!

Enter your email address below to get a  FREE short story in Spanish and start learning Spanish quickly and naturally with my StoryLearning® method!

FREE Download:

The rules of language learning.

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Rules of Language Learning and discover 25 “rules” to learn a new language quickly and naturally through stories.

What can we do  better ? If I could make something to help you right now, w hat would it be?

What is your current level in [language]?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level]  [language] tips…

Download Your  FREE Spanish Vocab Power Pack

essays in chinese

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Spanish Vocab Power Pack and learn essential Spanish words and phrases quickly and naturally. (ALL levels!)

Download Your  FREE   Natural Spanish Grammar Pack

Enter your email address below to get free access to my Natural Spanish Grammar Pack and learn to internalise Spanish grammar quickly and naturally through stories.

Free Step-By-Step Guide:

How to generate a full-time income from home with your English… even with ZERO previous teaching experience.

essays in chinese

What is your current level in Thai?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Thai tips…

What is your current level in Cantonese?

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] Cantonese tips…

Steal My Method?

I’ve written some simple emails explaining the techniques I’ve used to learn 8 languages…

I want to be skipped!

I’m the lead capture, man!

Join 84,574 other language learners getting StoryLearning tips by email…

essays in chinese

“After I started to use your ideas, I learn better, for longer, with more passion. Thanks for the life-change!” – Dallas Nesbit

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level] [language] tips…

Perfect! You’ve now got access to my most effective [level]   [language] tips…

Join 122,238 other language learners getting StoryLearning tips by email…

Find the perfect language course for you.

spanish uncovered spanish course

Looking for world-class training material to help you make a breakthrough in your language learning?

Click ‘start now’ and complete this short survey to find the perfect course for you!

Do you like the idea of learning through story?

Do you want…?

  • Be a Member
  • English French Chinese
  • General Chinese learning tips

How to Write a Good Chinese Essay

Posted by Lilian Li 17816

For any kind of language, the essay is the most difficult thing to do in the exam. Generally speaking, writing articles is just to tell a story, after you make the story clear, the article also is finished. But it also different with speaking. A good article is like a art, is worth for people to appreciate, to taste. But how to accomplish such a good art? I think the most important thing is the three points: attitude, subject matter, emotional.

A good beginning is half done. For writing, material selection and design are not the start. The most important thing still is to adjust their mentality as well. When you decided to write, then dedicated yourself to write, not half-hearted, and your thinking nature won't be upset. Once the train of thought was interrupted, your speed will be slow and the point will be word count. So how can you write down a interesting article with a good quality? All in all, attitude is can decide the success or failure of the articles.

Subject is the biggest problem in our writing. It is from life, but not all people can observe life, experience life. The only point is to write the true things, maybe not so tortuous plots, but can write a really life. Moreover, when you get the subject, there are some tips for students to pay attention:

1. Make the topic request clear: The article should around the topic, pay attention to the demand of genre and number of words, some restrictive conditions and avoid distracting, digression.

2. Determine the center, choose the right material. To conform to the fact that a typical, novel, so it’s easy to attract the attention of people.

3. Make a good outline, determine the general, write enough words.

4. Sentence writing smooth, there is no wrong character, no wrong grammar in article.

Emotion, it is very important. If we compared an article to be a human. So emotion is his soul. Man is not vegetation, when they meet something, there must be personal thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it also tend to have their own original ideas. If you can put your own thoughts, feelings and insights into the article, then this article will be very individual.

Chinese essay is not just meaning some simple Chinese characters and make a simple sentences, it needs the Chinese grammar and sentence structure, if you don't familiar with Chinese grammar, you can learn our Chinese grammar course .

At last, adhere to write diary at ordinary times, it can practicing writing. Try to read some good articles, good words and good paragraphs with a good beginning and end. Learn to accumulate and draw lessons from them.

If you are interested in our Chinese grammar course, you can try our one online free trial , you will enjoy it.

About The Author

Related articles.

chat

Free Trial         

looyu 07

Self-test         

looyu 03

Concat Us         

looyu 04

Chat online         

looyu 05

Share Us         

Want to receive regular Chinese language tips & trivia?

Learn Chinese Online | TutorMandarin: Online Mandarin Tutor

How to write in Chinese – a Beginner’s Guide

a Beginner guide in Chinese writing

How to write in Chinese

  • 1.1.1.1 The following table shows the 6 most fundamental strokes in Chinese writing.
  • 1.1.1.2 Stroke Name
  • 1.1.1.3 Stroke

How to write in Chinese – A Beginner’s Guide in Chinese Writing

Learning Chinese can be a bit scary and seems impossible at the first glance . They just seem like scary blocks of words if you don’t know the idea of how they were formed.You will have no idea where to start.

Chinese characters are built on radicals which are similar to alphabets in English. However, unlike English alphabets, each radical has its own meaning.The radicals are combined into characters and the characters combined into words. If you think the radicals are the most basic part of the Chinese writing, you are wrong.

Before you start learning Chinese writing, you need to know how to write them first. Strokes are the classified set of line patterns that are arranged and combined to form Chinese characters.Once you’ve mastered the strokes and learned the logic behind the radicals, learning Chinese writing will become a lot easier.

In this blog, I’m going to teach you the most basic of Chinese writing – strokes, and explain some of the logic behind the common radicals.

How many characters are there in Chinese Writing?

Before we start, let me give you an overview of the amount Chinese characters in Chinese writing. There are over 50,000 Chinese characters . Don’t worry you don’t need to know them all. Even an educated Chinese person know around 8000 characters.   The highest level of HSK requires you to know 2600 characters only. You will be able to read about 98% of everyday written Chinese with this amount. And it will even be more comforting if you know the fact that you will be able to read 70% of the Chinese writing once you learn the 250 most used Chinese Characters.

As if how you should motivate yourself to learn Chinese, you can read in our previous blog: I want to learn Chinese .

Understanding strokes and strokes orders in Chinese writing

By now you probably know the importance of radicals in Chinese writing. But Chinese writing is not as simple as typing on the keyboard “ How to type Chinese Characters on the keyboard “. You will be able to type if you know the pinyin and the characters. 

But for writing on the paper is another thing.  Just knowing the pinyin is not enough . You need to know the strokes to know how these radicals are constructed. That’s not all, you also need to know the correct stroke order and the direction to be able to write each character correctly.

Besides, many educated Chinese people take pride in their ability to write the Chinese characters in the right order. If they see you can write in the right order, they will be impressed and  treat you as a real educated person.

Among a lot of strokes, there are only 13 basic strokes that you need to know. Once you get a hold on these 13 strokes, the rest are just the combinations of these 13. After you have learned the strokes and the strokes orders, you will know how to write a character in correct stroke order no matter how complex the character is .

The following table shows the 6 most fundamental strokes in Chinese writing.

The second table shows the 5 strokes with the hook

These 11 strokes are the most basic strokes in Chinese writing. The rest of the strokes are just the combinations of the above ones.Now that you have learned all the basic strokes, let’s move on to which stroke and in which order you need to write. The picture below shows you the 8 rules that you need to follow in Chinese writing.

You can read more about the stroke: Chinese Stroke

essays in chinese

After you’ve learned all of the strokes and stroke order rules, you will now be able to write any character even if you don’t know what they mean!

Understanding Chinese radicals

Let’s move on to the Chinese radicals! The radicals can be considered as the pillar of the Chinese language learning . Each radical has its own meaning.

  • “心” is a  Character which represents the  “heart”.
  • When it acts as a radical,  “心 ” can usually be seen together with the “heart-related” characters .
  • Some of the examples are  “想 – xiǎng (think),怒 – nù (angry),感 – gǎn (feel, sense)” which are all somewhat related to emotion, feeling, mind, thinking or thought.
  • If 心 radical is written below the character ,it is called 心字底 (xīn zi dǐ, meaning 心 at the bottom)。
  • If it is written on the left side , it is usually written as “忄” and we call it 竖心旁 (shù xīn páng). e.g.: 快-kuài (quick),慢- màn (slow),情- qíng (feelings, emotions).
  • Some radicals are also used for their phonetic sounds.
  • 青 qīng radical can be seen in a lot of Chinese characters which sound ” qīng “ . They are called phonetical radical because the words with 青 radical are pronounced in similar phonetic sound with only tonal difference . 
  • 请 – qǐng (to ask, to request ), 情 – qíng (feelings, emotions), 清  – qīng (clear, distinct ). 

Chinese writing showing radicals

Chinese characters with similar radicals

Another interesting fact about Chinese writing is that the Chinese characters are written as pictures in the past like the Egyptians! Those characters derived from images are called “pictogram”. Many of the easy Chinese characters are pictograms! Then they slowly transformed into the systematic words we are using today.

character transformation in Chinese writing

Transformation of Chinese characters

If you want to explore more simple characters, check out: 40 easy Chinese Characters

Connection between the strokes and the radicals

After you’ve learned about the strokes and the radicals, some of you might still be confused about ” how are these 2 related” ? So I’m going to explain it to you by using the example of “火 – huǒ” (fire) radical .

Chinese radical "火” in Chinesewriting

the connection between the stroke and the radical 

As you can see in the picture above, “火 – huǒ” (fire) radical has 4 strokes . “火 – huǒ” ( fire ) radical is usually found together with the characters related to ‘fire’. E.g., ” 灯 – dēng” (lamp), “炒 – ” (fry ), “烟 – yān” (smoke), ” 炎 – yàn” (flame), ” 炉 – lú” (stove) and “烤 – kǎo” (roast), all of which have something to do with fire. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, sometimes radical represents the phonetic sound of the character instead of the meaning.

So in short, “the strokes let us know how to write” whereas ” the radicals give us the meaning behind each character for us to memorize more easily” .

Summary of Chinese writing

In conclusion, I would like to summarize what we have learned earlier.

  • In Chinese writing, you need to learn the strokes and strokes orders first .
  • Only then, you will know how to write Chinese characters in the correct way.
  • After that, you also need to study the radicals and the logic behind them.
  • You can also make good use of pictograms image to help you remember the characters easily.

That way, you won’t need to do rote learning ( writing the characters again and again until you remember them) for Chinese characters. I hope this blog motivates you to start Chinese writing right now!

Knowledge is good but the act of presentation is better. Why not start a free trial and start to learn mandarin today! For more learn Chinese materials, please stay tuned with us!

Related posts:

7 tips on how to choose Chinese tutor

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

The Guide to Writing Your First Mandarin Essay

When you want to be able to make writing your first Mandarin essay nice and easy, it pays to put plenty of thought and effort into the preparation. As the old saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’ To give you plenty of food for thought we’ve put together everything you need to know to get things moving. All you need to do is work through the following steps, and you’ll be submitting your essay in no time at all.

Check you understand the basics

There are so many things you have to think about when writing an essay, particularly when it’s not in your native language. But as with any cognitively demanding task, the process for getting started is always the same. Check you understand the following basics and you’ll be heading in the right direction:

  • Do you know what the question means?
  • Have you made a note of the final submission date?
  • Make sure you read some past examples to get a feel for what’s expected of you
  • Do you understand the question that has been set?
  • Do you know who you can talk to if you need advice along the way?
  • Are there any restrictions on the dialect you should be aware of?

Once you can write the answers to the above down on a single side of the paper, you are ready to tackle the main part of the problem: putting pen to paper.

Set aside time to write

The chances are that you’re not going to be able to pen the entire essay in a single sitting, and that’s okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to worry about, and it’s natural that you need to work across multiple days when writing your first essay.

If you want to be able to make great progress, the most important thing is sticking to a routine. You need to have consistency in your application, and you need to be able to know when you are at your most productive. It’s no good staying up late one night and then carrying on early the next morning. You’d be far better off writing for the same amount of time but on two successive afternoons. Think about how your studies fit in with the rest of your daily life, and then choose the time that seems most appropriate. If you box it off and decide it’s only for writing, you’ll be in a great routine before you even know it.

Clear space so you can focus

As well as having time to write each day, you need a place to write too. The world is full of distractions (most of them are digital and social) so that means you’re going to want to keep yourself to yourself, and your phone in a different room. It might seem a little boring or uncomfortable at first, but you need to practice the habit of deep work. It’s what will allow you to create the most in the shortest time — ideal if you want to have plenty of time leftover to spend doing the other things that matter to you.

Have a daily word count in mind

Telling yourself that you want to write an essay today is one thing, but if you’re really going to push yourself to stick to your goal then you need to get quantitative. If you have a word count in mind that you need to hit, then it will prevent you from giving up and throwing in the towel the minute you start having to think and concentrate more than feels normal. Just like working out in the gym, it’s the temporary moments of extra effort that really drive the big differences. It’s when you’ll see the biggest improvement in your writing ability, and the lessons you teach yourself will stay with you for years to come. Ideal if you want to become a fluent Mandarin writer, as well as an engaging face-to-face speaker.

Read widely to provide context

When you’re immersed in an essay it can be all too easy to become blinkered and fail to pay attention to everything else that’s going on around you. Of course, you want to be focused on the task at hand, but you don’t want to be single-minded to the point of ignoring other great learning resources that are just a click away.

Reading widely is one of the best ways to improve your essay writing because it exposes you to techniques and approaches used by the best of the best. You’re not expected to be able to instantly write like a native speaker after an hour of reading. But what you will be able to do with consistent application is build up confidence and familiarity with written Mandarin. Over time this will reflect on the quality and depth of your writing as you gradually improve and take onboard lessons you’ve learned.

Take a break before you proofread

Last but not least, you need to remember that essay writing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s all about taking the time to get things written before you hand them in, not racing through to try and finish on time. If you want to get the most out of your writing you need to take a day off between finishing your draft and proofing it. That way your brain will have had plenty of time to reflect on the work you’ve produced, and you’ll be able to spot many more little mistakes and places for improvement than you would if you proofed right away.

Final Thoughts

Writing Mandarin is a challenging task that will test your language skills and make you think hard about how to apply what you’ve learned so far. It might be slow going to begin with, but that’s great as it means you’re pushing your limits and building on your existing skills. If you want to be able to master Mandarin, you need to persevere and stay the course. Once you do, you’ll start to improve a lot faster than you expect.

' src=

By Diana Adjadj | A Super Chineasian

You may also like

essays in chinese

A Cultural Journey: Exploring 5 Chinese Words Related To Qingming Festival

essays in chinese

Celebrate Easter with Your Chinese Friends: 5 Must-Know Vocabulary Words

essays in chinese

Top 10 Reasons Why People Are Learning Chinese

Tell your chineasy stories.

essays in chinese

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Copyright © 2024 Chineasy. All rights reserved.

essays in chinese

Grammar , Vocabulary

Useful Chinese Essay Phrases  

  July 8, 2020

By   Ellen

Useful Chinese Essay Phrases

Nowadays, many international students have decided to study abroad, and China has become a highly popular destination. In universities, essay writing is a basic skill and the “Academic Writing” lectures are always attracting many students to attend.

Here we have summarized some “all-purpose” phrases and sentences which hopefully you would find useful.

Chinese Essay Phrases Used in Abstracts

The abstract should explain the purpose, method, results, and conclusion of your research, also highlighting the new ideas that you proposed; and do remember to keep your language concise while writing. The purpose of the abstract is to conclude and summarize the main contents of your essay so that the reader could have a brief understanding without having to read the entire paper. Chinese abstracts are usually around 200 characters.

Research Background, Significance, and Current Situation

Extremely useful/badly needed/affecting people’s lives (1-2 sentences)

Proposing the Object of Study 

Played a very important role (1-2 sentences)

Purpose of the Study or Study Aim

The role of A in B, perhaps remains to be seen (1 sentence)

Research Methods and Results

Through what means/technique/experiment we achieved what result (several sentences)

Research Results

The phenomenon of A in B, shows what the function of B is, theoretical and applied value (1-2 sentences)

essays in chinese

via Pixabay

Chinese Essay Phrases: Main Body

The main body includes the introduction and the main text. The introduction section could use similar phrases that we have just listed, focusing on research objects and purposes. The main text should include research methods, research results, and discussion. Writers should keep their sentences to the point and avoid rambling, also avoid using too much subjective perspective discourses, which shouldn’t be used as arguments as well.

Theoretical Basis, Approaches, and Methods

To express opinions, to emphasis, transitional expressions, chinese essay phrases: conclusion.

At the ending section of the paper, the writer should provide an objective summary, list out the future research objectives and directions, and perhaps look into the future. Keep optimistic even if your experiment results were negative.

Research Impact and Value

There you go. We hope this article helps you write amazing essays. Best of luck!

Author Image

Ellen is a language specialist from China. She grew up in the US and received a master’s degree from the St Andrews University of UK. The multicultural experiences attributes to her understanding of the differences and similarities between the English and Chinese language. She currently works as an editor specialized in Language learning books.

related posts:

Must-Try Authentic Chinese Dishes

15 must-watch chinese movies for language learners, best chinese music playlists on spotify, get in touch.

Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning mandarin, 20 tips and tricks to improve your chinese writing ability.

essays in chinese

Image from The Simpsons S13E4: A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love.

Writing is an important part of learning Chinese. The written word allows us to communicate online, record our thoughts and opinions and share them with others.

Writing is also an important part of many professional applications of learning Chinese, such as communication with colleagues, partners or clients. Finally, writing is also a part of many proficiency tests.

Writing in Chinese is different compared with most other languages in that there is a dual challenge learning both to write characters and to compose text. These are two completely different skills.

In this article, I will focus on composing text. For more about learning to write characters, please read this article: My best advice on how to learn Chinese characters .

My best advice on how to learn Chinese characters

Writing as a process rather than a product

Many students and teachers treat writing as a product, putting emphasis on the text itself. This effect is often enhanced by setting a grade on a writing assignment and then moving on to the next unit.

Writing is better viewed as a process, where what you write is just a milestone on your journey towards better writing ability. This usually means that you write fewer texts, but that you work more with each one. The goal is learning, after all, not writing a certain number of characters.

It should come as no surprise that I like writing; I have spent many thousands of hours writing in a foreign language (a lot of English, much Chinese and almost no French). Naturally, this website is in English, but isn’t called “Hacking English”, so I will focus on Chinese here. I have actually published a few articles in Chinese here as well, this one about using adventure text games being the most recent one . The advice in this article is based on my own experience with writing in foreign languages, as well as reading and research into second language writing.

I have divided the writing process into three phases:

  • Before writing
  • During writing
  • After writing

How to improve your Chinese writing ability: Before writing

essays in chinese

  • Familiarise yourself with text type and genre  – When reading, pay attention to the genre and how it works, A formal email, a shopping list and a doctoral dissertation are very different types of texts. A few questions to ask yourself are: What function does the text serve? Are there any formal characteristics of this type of text in Chinese? How is information organised in this type of text?  The answers can be different in Chinese compared with your native language. For example, writing emails is very different in different languages when it comes to how to start, end and so on. Sometimes you can find information about this online as well, so it can be worth studying a bit. I actually asked a question about this on Stack Exchange back in 2012.
  • Write about topics you care about – When choosing what to write, the most important consideration is what you want to communicate to others. Writing requires concentration and effort, which is harder to muster if you feel the task is boring or meaningless. We all like different things, so it’s hard to give general advice, but topics related to your own life, your experiences and opinions are good places to start. A journal or diary is great because it provides a never-ending sequence of events to write about! If you find it hard to come up with topics, here are some suggestions: 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind , 49 ESL Writing Topics , the Book of Questions .
  • Keep it on the write level –  While you should write about things you care about, keep it realistic. As a rule of thumb, do not try to write about things you are not already reading about with some confidence and fluency. Don’t write about spaceflight if you’re not already comfortable reading about it in Chinese; stay away from writing fiction heavy on descriptions of places and events if you’re not reading such stories a already. I’ve done my fair share of writing beyond my level and it’s not worth it. You will spend many times longer on each text, but you don’t learn more. As I said before, writing is the result of learning, not the cause of it.

How to improve your Chinese writing ability: During writing

  • Organise your thoughts by writing a simple outline – When it comes to writing clearly, much of the thought-process is the same no matter what language you’re writing in. It’s hard to write coherent and easy-to-read text even in your native language if you yourself only figure out what you want to say as you go along. Needless to say, it’s even harder in a foreign language! Write a simple outline before you start. This can be a handful of bullet points.
  • Write a full draft, then polish – Inexperienced writers often get stuck in details immediately. What should the title be? How should it be worded? Does A make a better title than B? These things will emerge later. Instead of focusing on details from the start, write a draft first. This version is probably quite bad, relatively speaking, but fortunately, you don’t need to show this to anyone! Once you have a draft, you can go through the text again and take care of those details you skipped earlier. Choosing a title is easier after you have a draft, for example. Now that you know what the whole text is like in general, it will be much easier to work with and you also don’t feel stupid after spending one hour and having only written two sentences.

essays in chinese

  • Don’t make your text more complicated than you have to –  Some students (including my past self) try to write more advanced Chinese than they can handle, thinking that throwing in more advanced words will impress people ( chengyu is a good example of this ). This almost never works and is generally a bad idea. Your goal should be to use to write as clearly as possible, using language you already know. This is also what the receiver will care about. Even on a proficiency exam, using difficult words just for the sake of it will not raise your score, especially if you use them incorrectly.  Advanced readers are also very sensitive to uneven writing, so if your level is at the lower-intermediate, occasionally throwing in very hard words will just show that you used a dictionary and don’t really know what you’re doing. Teachers of all languages can testify to how easy it is to see through this, even if students (especially kids) are baffled by how easy the teacher can tell.

essays in chinese

  • Use double translation if you want to be sure you’ve found the right word – This is when you look up a word in Chinese, then feed the result back to the dictionary and translate back to your native language. If the result seems reasonable, it’s probably the word you’re looking for. Let’s say you want to translate “beam”, as in “beam of light”. You look it up and get 横梁. You put it in your text and causes great confusion, some amusement and a bit of frustration for your Chinese teacher. If you had translated it back to English, you would have seen that 横梁 means “beam; transom; crossgirder; girder” .

essays in chinese

How to improve your Chinese writing ability: After writing

essays in chinese

Towards better writing ability in Chinese

This article contains tips and tricks I have collected over my 20+ years of writing in a foreign language. These are insights I wish I would have come to earlier, but that I hope will help you on your quest for better writing ability in Chinese.

This is also the advice that I give to students in the university courses I teach that focus on writing, all collected in one place with easy references to further reading. I realise that there’s more here than most of you probably bargained for, but as should be clear by now, I not only love to write, I also love writing about writing!

What’s your best tips for writing in a foreign language? Do you have any other tips beyond what I mention here? What advice would you offer other people who have just started writing in Chinese? Leave a comment below!

Editor’s note:  This article was written in February 2021 and replaces several old articles with partially overlapping content. Comments from these other articles have been moved here.

essays in chinese

12 comments

' src=

I can have great joy writing in whatever language. The issue is normally to sit down and do it.

I agree that it’s best to write about what you care about, but have once fallen in the trap of writing about something that I cared about too much for an English exam. The structure of my story came apart from wanting to but too much into the article.

If you want to say a lot about a certain topic but can’t due your level of the language, it can be frustrating.

' src=

I’m currently on a roll with my Lang-8 entries about San Francisco/California botany. It’s very easy to get specific (I can talk about one species of plant per entry), and some people seem to be interested in the topic, especially since it’s very easy for me to add personal touches (for example, when I talked about lupines, I uploaded some photos my father took of the lupines growing in my family’s backyard). I could make many, many entries about this topic (for example, I might make a follow-up entry about the lupines explaining WHY they are in the backyard).

' src=

Sounds great! Seems like an inexhaustible source of topics. I was on a roll with more than one entry per day for a while, but then… I stopped. I’ve been doing other things, but writing sentences now and then should be possible.

  • Pingback: Whizz Learning | Start reading and writing Chinese as quickly and painlessly as possible!

' src=

If you asked me what is one of the tedious and frustrating things about Chinese, I would say it’s how some words (but not all) can act as verbs, adjectives AND nouns, and how any given dictionary would fail to mention this or give examples of its different uses.

Take the word 轰动 for example.

My ABC dictionary says it’s an adjective (stative verb) but then goes on to define it as: “cause a sensation; make a stir”.

My PlC dictionary gives these two examples: 轰动全国 — cause a sensation throughout the country 全场轰动 — make a stir in the audience (or in the hall) Hmm…I wonder why the position of 轰动 is switched in both of these very similar constructions?

CC dictionary says it means “to cause a sensation”.

Finally, my ADS dictionary, says it’s a Noun and means “sensation”.

Now, accepting for a moment that 轰动 can be all three (verb, adjective, and noun), why doesn’t each dictionary state this simple fact?

–Daniel

' src=

Chinese, like English, often allows the grammatical identify to be defined by context. And in other cases, we add a suffix to mark a change in grammatical function.

In English, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs do use suffices to migrate a root word and in some cases to clarify role (which seems to originate from Latin).

A noun such as ‘work’ is also the verb ‘work’, whereas ‘working’ or ‘worked’ can be adjectives. And a verb such as ‘do’ can become a noun infinite ‘to do’ or noun gerund ‘doing’

All those suffix shifts are extremely difficult to the Chinese learner of English. Being able to not bother with them may actually be an eventual blessing.

There are words in Chinese that tend to be strictly one function — mostly conjunctions and prepositions.

I heartily agree with all of these tips (even as I admit that I sometimes stray from them myself out of frustration or because I’m pressed for time).

I try to cultivate curiosity about connotations and Chinese vocabulary, and let myself get sucked into Wikipedia, so that I can get myself into good habits. I find Wikipedia an excellent source both for the types of words which are often not in dictionaries, examples of words being used in context, and more detailed explainations of a word than most dictionaries provide.

It’s also exciting on the rare occasion I find a Chinese word/phrase/chengyu which describes exactly what the original writer expresses in English, but more concisely and elegantly.

Regarding #4, I tend to do a lot of double translation to verify both meaning and usage. Relying solely on translation from Chinese to English without verification by going from English to Chinese can lead to technically correct translation that is still a bit odd.

In any event, the need to spend so much time with dictionaries can be a bit tedious and daunting, and a struggle at first. But it is well worth it.

Feels a bit weird to respond to your comment six years later, but I have now updated the article and included double translation as well! It’s something I often recommend students doing and I should of course have mentioned it in the old article as well. Thanks for reminding me about it, even if it took me many years to actually do something about it! 🙂

  • Pingback: 12 topics to kickstart your Vietnamese writing - More Vietnamese

' src=

Olle, how do you feel about intermediate/advanced learners writing their outlines or drafts in their native language and then moving to Chinese? Is there research that suggests when this is/isn’t helpful, or when it might be time to move on from this habit, and how?

I doubt there is direct research that can conclusively answer this question, but I see no problem with writing an outline in one’s native language. We’re talking about few words that aren’t going to influence sentence structure or word choice once you get down to actually writing the text. If it’s easier to arrive at a clear structure by doing so in your native language, then do that!

Leave a comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Privacy Overview

That's Mandarin Chinese Language School

How to Write a Chinese Essay

by That's Mandarin | Dec 16, 2020

How to Write a Chinese Essay | That's Mandarin Blog

As a Chinese student, learning how to write an essay in this language is very important. After all, how else are you going to express yourself? Writing is one of the ways professors use to teach this language because writing helps with the retention of information.

The more essays you write, the better you get at communicating with Chinese. To write a good essay, you first have to reach a high language mastery level.

Do you admire the students who write seamless Chinese essay? If you do, then you should know that you too can achieve this level of proficiency. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to pay for your essay if you cannot write it on your own. Online academic writers are a resource each student should take advantage of.

Here are tips to help you get better at writing essays in Chinese.

How to Write a Chinese Essay | That's Mandarin Blog

Learn New Chinese Words

The key to communicating in a new language is learning as many words as you can. Take it upon yourself to learn at least one Chinese word a day. Chinese words are to essay writing what bricks are to a building. The more words you have, the better you get at constructing meaningful sentences.

Case in point, if you’re going to write a Chinese sentence that constitutes ten words, but you don’t know the right way to spell three of those words, your sentence might end up not making sense.

During your Chinese learning experience, words are your arsenal and don’t forget to master the meaning of each word you learn.

Read Chinese Literature

Reading is the most effective way of learning a new language. Remember not to read for the sake of it; find out the meaning of each new word you encounter. When you are an avid reader of Chinese literature, nothing can stop you from writing fluent Chinese.

In the beginning, it might seem like you’re not making any progress, but after a while, you will notice how drastically your writing will change. Receiving information in Chinese helps your brain get accustomed to the language’s sentence patterns, and you can translate this to your essays.

Be extensive in your reading to ensure you get as much as possible out of each article. Remember that it’s not about how fast you finish an article, but rather, how much you gain from the exercise.

Translate Articles from your Native Language to Chinese

Have you ever thought about translating your favorite read to Chinese? This exercise might be tedious, but you will learn a lot from it. The art of translation allows you to seamlessly shift from one language’s sentence pattern into the other. The more you do this, the easier it will be for your brain to convert English sentences into Chinese phrases that people can comprehend.

You can always show your Chinese professor your translations for positive criticism. The more you get corrected, the better you will get at translation. Who knows, you might actually like being a translator once you graduate.

Final Thoughts

Writing in Chinese is as foreign as writing in any other language you’re not familiar with. Despite the unfamiliarity, however, it is possible to get better at it with practice. Read as many Chinese articles as you can and make sure you learn at least one new Chinese word each day. In no time, you’ll be at pro at writing Chinese essays.

Adrian Lomezzo | Guest Author at That's Mandarin Blog

by Adrian Lomezzo

Adrian  Lomezzo is a freelance writer. Firstly, he has been developing as a content manager and working with different websites, and the main goal of his was to develop the content making it in the first place. Secondly,  Adrian  had a big desire to help students and adults in self-development in this field and teach them to improve their skills. As a lover of traveling, he did not want to be in one place, and became a writer who could be closer to everyone, and share precious information from the corners of the world.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit Comment

Other posts you might like

Breaking Down Barriers: Movies and TV Shows in Chinese Language Learning

Breaking Down Barriers: Movies and TV Shows in Chinese Language Learning

May 26, 2023

China Tourist Visa is Back! Great News for Short-Term Chinese Students

China Tourist Visa is Back! Great News for Short-Term Chinese Students

Mar 15, 2023

Traditional and Simplified Chinese Characters

Traditional and Simplified Chinese Characters

Feb 20, 2023

Get 2-week FREE Chinese Classes

Original Price:  ¥ 600

Wechat Logo

Use this tool to add tone marks to pinyin or to convert tone number (e.g. hao3) to tone marks.

Although you can use the red buttons to add tone marks, we highly recommend you use the number method (e.g. hao3) for speed and placement of the accent above the correct vowel. [Hint: Type "v" for "ü"] Note: You do not need to use this tool to enter pinyin in this dictionary.

Welcome to our Chinese-learning community!

We’re dedicated to finding you the best tools out there for learning Chinese, so you can focus more on your studying & have more fun doing it!

ios

CHINESE LEARNING LIBRARIES

Latest posts see all, mid-autumn festival: a guide to chinese traditions.

On September 4, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

150 Common Chinese Character List [Free PDF]

August 2, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

Eggbun: Chat to Learn Chinese app review

On July 19, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

13 Perfect Gift Options for Your Chinese Friends, Colleagues & Family

On July 13, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

20 Chinese Greetings That Will Make You Sound Like a Native

On June 26, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

A List of Silly Mistakes We Made When Trying to Learn Chinese

On January 10, 2022 | By Hollie |  Blog

Meet Our Team

essays in chinese

Chamcen Liu, WCC Project Manager

I hope to create a wonderful learning experience for every Chinese learner.

essays in chinese

Nora Joy Wilson, WCC Creative Director and Chief Architect

I help make simple tools that get you from beginner to expert painlessly.

essays in chinese

Hollie Sowden, WCC Social Media Whiz

Want an adventure? Learn Chinese.

Ohio State nav bar

The Ohio State University

  • BuckeyeLink
  • Find People
  • Search Ohio State

The Chinese Essay

Edited and translated by David E. Pollard

Reviewed by Charles A. Laughlin MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January 2004)

David E. Pollard, editor and translator. The            Chinese Essay. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. 372            pp. US $65.00, ISBN: 0-231-12118-0 (cloth); US $24.50, ISBN: 0-231-12119-9.

David E. Pollard, editor and translator. The Chinese Essay . New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. 372 pp. US $65.00, ISBN: 0-231-12118-0 (cloth); US $24.50, ISBN: 0-231-12119-9.

The Chinese Essay is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive introduction to Chinese literary non-fiction prose from earliest times to the present. Comparable collections in print, such as Richard Strassberg’s Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China and Sang Ye’s Vignettes from the Late Ming, are restricted to the premodern period, and until now modern essay translations (often Pollard’s) have only appeared scattered in journals like Renditions and Chinese Literature and in more general anthologies like The Literature of the Hundred Flowers , The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature , and monographs devoted to individual authors such as Zhou Zuoren and Yu Pingbo. The selections in The Chinese Essay represent most of the best-known Chinese essayists, through some of their most anthologized and well-known works. Never have premodern and modern essays been placed next to each other, and never has the considerable tradition of the modern Chinese essay been presented so richly. Pollard’s effort is commendable, and should be interesting not only to the general reader but a great boon as well to instructors of courses devoted to Chinese literature or to the essay across cultures.

Pollard has translated all of the essays himself. As a much-published translator, and author of A Chinese Look at Literature: The Literary Values of Chou Tso-jen (Zhou Zuoren, the pioneer of the modern Chinese literary essay), there could hardly be a better choice for this task. Not only are the translations faithful to the semantic meaning of the original texts (as far as I can tell), but Pollard’s clipped, dry, and often humorous style is also often perfectly suited to the spirit of the essays presented here. The anthology also includes portraits or photographs of many of the authors as well as their calligraphy or handwriting. Though not numerous, these illustrations very effectively convey the love of writing and the emphasis on personal style that tie together the many phases of the Chinese literary essay’s long tradition.

Because of the infancy of the study of the Chinese essay in English, an anthology like this and its introduction are potentially seminal statements, situating this genre in the field of Chinese cultural studies in general, justifying our interest in it, and pointing the way to avenues of further inquiry. But if The Chinese Essay answers the question, Why publish or read such an anthology?, it does so only meekly. Pollard observes that there has not been a general anthology of Chinese essays published since Herbert Giles’ 1884 Gems of Chinese Literature , so his argument begins from a gap or lack in the representation of a genre. Rather than engage with this lack critically, Pollard goes on to assert two reasons for it, almost as if to justify it, namely, the inherent difficulty of representing and discussing linguistic style in a foreign language (but why should this not have been a hindrance to the translation and circulation of other Chinese literary genres?), and the decline in prestige of the essay in the English-speaking world. Thus, in effect, rather than answering the question of why he is offering this anthology now, Pollard is simply providing convincing reasons why it had not been done before. What is missing from this explanation is why the prestige of the essay in modern and contemporary China, unlike the English speaking world, has not declined. If this book could bring the English reader around to understand the power and agency of the essay in contemporary China, despite all that has been said in our field about the overwhelming importance of fiction, it would create more than enough motivation and capacity to appreciate the importance of the contents of this anthology on its own terms, even for a general reader.

The general reader, moreover, seems to be the main target of this anthology. Yet this general-audience orientation is belied by the inclusion of Chinese characters for authors’ names and titles to works. Indeed those who would benefit from the Chinese characters (most of the likely audience of this collection) will generally want more bibliographical information, as well as some engagement with scholarship in the field such as Yu-shih Chen’s Images and Ideas in Chinese Classical Prose: Studies of Four Masters , Chih-p’ing Chou’s Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an School . In addition to a more in-depth and informative introduction, I think the book as a whole could have included more scholarly apparatus, including a less sketchy, multi-lingual bibliography, without harming its appeal to a general audience.

If Pollard assumes anything about his audience, it is that they are familiar with the European prose essay, which I think leaves some room for doubt especially with respect to the younger generations. The European essay was of course an important context for the modern Chinese essay, but Pollard is probably putting unnecessary emphasis on features peculiar to the European tradition (“absence of dignity,” “refining and directing sensibilities to create a polity that was new and particular,” “entertainment value,” [p. xii-xiii] “independence of thought,” [p. 7] etc.) in the effort to define the Chinese essay for the general English reader. It might have been more effective and engaging to discuss what prose essays in China are like and what they are used for, rather than comparing them (often unfavorably) to the European tradition that the reader may not be very familiar with anyway.

After detailing in the Preface negative aspects of traditional Chinese culture and literary conventions that explain why premodern Chinese essays do not resemble those of Montaigne and Bacon, Pollard does go on to list what he feels are some of the positive aspects of the Chinese essay in general: “The qualities are on the one hand common to mankind, on the other particular to Chinese literary arts. The first kind includes the expression of character in the writer, either impressively strong or appealingly weak; the expression of sentiment, usually to commemorate friends and relatives; nostalgia for past times; appeals for justice and compassion; pleasure in diversions. The second kind concerns the musicality of the language, a prime and often, regrettably, the prime requirement for approval.” Then he goes on to explain why musicality cannot be translated. Thus, all of the positive aspects of the premodern Chinese essay that are particular to Chinese literary arts are here lost in translation, and what is left is a variety of expressions of ideas and sentiments. I am not certain, but a general English readership (which has already proven itself lukewarm to Chinese fiction and poetry in translation) may not be inclined to delve into this anthology thus described. Why not say more about the extraordinary personalities and intellectual genius evinced in included works by Tao Qian, Han Yu and Su Shi, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren, Feng Zikai and Zhang Ailing? Why not talk about some of the larger cultural themes for which the Chinese essay served as the principal vessel, and which through the essay traditional and modern writing are linked—the cultivation of the art of living, the struggle between transcendent and worldly values, or the contrarian resistance to “political correctness” of every imaginable kind?

In an anthology with such broad coverage but short length, the editor is obliged to explain his principles for selection, and Pollard very honestly acknowledges that it would have been impossible to adhere to a single principle. I applaud his insistence that personal taste—an important theme in ancient and modern essays—was his principal guide. This accounts for his enthusiastic inclusion of essays by Gui Youguang (1506-1571) despite their criticism by the modern essayist Lin Yutang, his exclusion of Lin Yutang’s own essays, and no doubt as well the inclusion of contemporary writer Yu Qiuyu, well-known for his popular, fictionalized imaginings of significant historical moments, over those with strong links to the Republican period essay tradition like Wang Zengqi, Zhang Zhongxing and Ji Xianlin. On the other hand, in his note on sources Pollard states that “the classical prose section consists almost entirely of anthology pieces; they had to be so in order to represent the classical heritage” (369). He also states that he felt he had to include certain perennial classics (both traditional and modern) that may not have been among his favorites, even when they were available in other collections. In saying this Pollard makes it clear that he intends this collection to represent the Chinese essay with some authority and self-sufficiency, which seems out of step with his claim of using personal taste as his guide. Nevertheless, I think the resulting balance between personal taste and the need to reflect the received canon makes for a selection that both makes good reading and a good textbook.

Though Pollard alludes to wide reading in anthologies, the only one he cites is a 1987 publication, implying that anthologies tend to select the same works for each author. I am currently in the midst of a survey of anthologies of premodern essays that so far suggests to me that selections vary significantly across eras (Qing, Republican, Taiwan, Early PRC, recent PRC) for various different reasons. For example, premodern anthologies such as the seventeenth-century Guwen guanzhi generally favor formal essays of serious import that cleave to Confucian values, while more modern collections increasingly favor heterodox views, and include more “individualistic” essays on small, private matters. This is in part due to the gradual acceptance in the late imperial period that informal or casual writing possesses its own aesthetic value that can be appreciated by posterity. Moreover certain Republican period publications such as Shen Qiwu’s 1932 Jindai sanwen chao (A selection of early modern essays), Zhang Dai’s Tao’an mengyi (Dreamlike remembrance) edited with prefaces by Yu Pingbo and Zhou Zuoren, and Shi Zhecun’s 1935 Wanming ershi jia xiaopin (The Late Ming xiaopin: twenty masters) exerted an influence on the modern Chinese essay, and these could at least have been mentioned. The reader who wants to explore the Chinese essay in more detail would have benefited greatly from some guidance as to which anthologies are best, and which exerted the greatest influence.

It is interesting that The Chinese Essay , covering both premodern and modern periods, devotes the lion’s share of its space to the modern period. There are about forty pages devoted to ancient-medieval times (through the Song Dynasty), forty to late imperial times (Ming and Qing dynasties), about 170 to the first half of the twentieth century, when the modern essay came into its own, and ninety to the post-war period; thus over seventy percent of this collection is from the past 100 years. The slant in favor of modern essay has the effect of showing the reader the pre-modern essay through modern eyes, which I applaud, but the editor could have been more forthcoming about this in the introduction. If, for example, the reader took The Chinese Essay to be a general survey of the Chinese essay from antiquity to the present, it would give the impression that the essays of the twentieth century are much more important than those in the more than two millennia before. Modern Chinese essays can often be understood better through their relationships (sometimes conspicuous) with premodern literary or philosophical trends, and these relationships do not in themselves lessen the modern texts’ “modernity,” but help constitute it. In this respect, if it was in fact Pollard’s intention to present premodern essays primarily as precursors to modern ones, he could have done more in the introduction, commentary and translator’s notes to emphasize which kinds of premodern texts have particularly exerted agency in modern times, which modern texts manifest their influence, and how.

Turning to the modern period, the cavalier dismissal of prose literature under leftism and socialism is unfortunate; the development of the genre of reportage is misrepresented in the introduction as originating as anti-Japanese propaganda in the War Against Japan and developing in Communist China only to extol the Party (p. 20), and no mention is made at all of prominent lyrical essayists within the socialist camp like Qin Mu, Yang Shuo and Liu Baiyu, leading to the mistaken impression that all socialist prose is reportage. The exclusion of all of this material detracts from the anthology’s authority as a survey of the genre. As I have argued elsewhere, reportage may be looked upon as the leftist answer to the essay, but it originates as a form of revolutionary social critique in the 1930s, and its use in the War Against Japan is much broader than just propaganda. Moreover, though it would not be appropriate to include examples in the anthology, it should have been pointed out in the introduction that reportage made an important revival in the 1980s and beyond in the hands of Liu Binyan, Su Xiaokang and others; the concern for the environment that Pollard so admiringly observes in the contemporary Taiwanese essay has been one of the major themes of mainland Chinese reportage literature for at least ten years.

Another ramification of the editor’s inattention to the condition of modernity is Pollard’s explanation of the Chinese term sanwen . Pollard presents the Chinese concept as stable and unchanging, and explains its meaning entirely in terms of contrasts with European concepts. But the term sanwen was not used to denote a literary genre until modern times and even now critics and literary historians struggle with the equivocal nature of the term (“literary genre” vs. “all kinds of writing not in verse form”). It would have been helpful to put more emphasis on the particular modes or genres that the premodern works belong to (memorials to the emperor, philosophical treatises, formal and informal correspondence, prefaces and colophons, travelogues, epitaphs, biographies, etc.). This is not to say that this variety of forms ought not to be placed in a more general category under the term “sanwen,” but it is regrettable that the modern cultural process by which this was achieved receives no emphasis or attention.

Pollard’s concern here with limiting the scope of the collection to a describable form (“a free-standing, self-contained, relatively short composition” that “surfaced in the stable empire of the Han dynasty”) is, I think, unnecessarily limiting, and in fact might hamper the uninformed reader’s understanding of the broader context of the Chinese essay’s evolution. On page 2 of the introduction, Pollard makes a convincing, if somewhat defensive, argument for excluding the writings of the ancient Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zi. However, informed readers reading through the selections throughout both premodern and modern periods will easily discern the pervasiveness of Zhuang Zi’s influence in this genre. Indeed, Zhuang Zi’s playful spirit and philosophical critique of Confucianism may be described as one of the principal characteristics that distinguish the Chinese informal essay, which was the principal model for the modern literary essay, from formal prose. Similarly, though he devotes a page or so to the tremendous significance of Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian as a model for the spirit and the letter of prose writing, Pollard excludes it because, “[being] a work of objective history, however, or at least attempting to be such, the author’s own comments are minimal” (4), implying that self-expression is working as a criterion for selection (see also his comments on page 5 about Cao Pi’s use of the term qi to denote “the physical underpinning of the distinctive character, or personal stamp, that an author’s writing is imprinted with”), but that self-expression can only be manifested in the form of direct “comments.” How many readers of even a few biographies from the Shi ji , though, come away from it without feeling that Sima Qian has very forcefully expressed his own views through them? A similar example is the exclusion of the Six Dynasties collection of anecdotes, Shishuo xinyu (New account of tales of the world), of which a translation by Richard Mather was published a generation ago. Like Zhuang Zi and the wealth of apocryphal writings of the Daoist tradition, Liu Yiqing’s New Account , which describes remarkable events, actions and utterances of the medieval aristocracy, though perhaps not fitting. Pollard’s criterion, was an important and frequently imitated foundation of the Chinese essay tradition.

The introductions to the sections on each author, though at times impressionistic, often include insightful analytical meditations or epigrammatic summaries of the author’s style that strike me as most apt and useful. However, I am not sure it is necessary for Pollard to separately include “commentary” and “translator’s notes” (sometimes both) before or after certain works in addition to the introductory sections on each author. Often the translator’s note will emphasize interpretation in a cross-cultural context, as in the case of Zhu Ziqing’s “View from the Rear” (Bei ying), but I feet that such considerations would have been much more effectively delivered in a critical essay that treats a variety of issues of style or interpretation, or this could have been integrated with the historical overview given in the introduction. The second of the three paragraphs of commentary on Zhuge Liang, for example, is almost identical in content to the last page of Zhuge Liang’s own text; the first paragraph of the “Translator’s Note” to Han Yu’s “Address to the Crocodiles of Chaozhou” simply reiterates the corresponding section of the biography of Han Yu given in the “Commentary” two pages before. Together with the functional overlap of the preface and introduction, the commentary and translators notes make The Chinese Essay overly complex in its multilayered contextualization of the translations and thus unnecessarily confusing.

Apart from stealing thunder from the essays themselves, the volume of notes and commentary raises an important question that plagues the translation of Chinese literature into English in general: can these texts not speak for themselves? If this collection really is intended for a general readership, I think it is safe to assume that such readers would be more interested in texts that speak directly to them without a great deal of explanation from the translator. And it is not only a question of “how much” explanation would be needed to supplement a “raw” translation; the act of translation itself imparts meaning. If scholarly semantic fidelity were relaxed to the degree that items were made easier for the general reader to relate to with a reduced amount of explanation, the potential impact of this book would be greatly enhanced.

The Chinese Essay does nevertheless fill a crucial gap in materials for courses on Chinese literature in translation. While most scholars in the field of Chinese literature are probably not going to set up a course exclusively devoted to the essay even with a comprehensive anthology available, the selections in this book would mix well with other genres and materials in a more general course. I could see using it this way in either premodern or modern Chinese literary courses, but more likely for the modern period because of the greater concentration of material there.

Charles A. Laughlin Associate Professor, Chinese Literature Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures Yale University

Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Translation of essay – English–Mandarin Chinese dictionary

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

  • I want to finish off this essay before I go to bed .
  • His essay was full of spelling errors .
  • Have you given that essay in yet ?
  • Have you handed in your history essay yet ?
  • I'd like to discuss the first point in your essay.

(Translation of essay from the Cambridge English-Chinese (Simplified) Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Examples of essay

Translations of essay.

Get a quick, free translation!

{{randomImageQuizHook.quizId}}

Word of the Day

peanut butter (= a soft food made from crushed peanuts) and jam (= a soft sweet food made from fruit and sugar), or a sandwich with these inside. PB&J is short for peanut butter and jelly.

Sitting on the fence (Newspaper idioms)

Sitting on the fence (Newspaper idioms)

essays in chinese

Learn more with +Plus

  • Recent and Recommended {{#preferredDictionaries}} {{name}} {{/preferredDictionaries}}
  • Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English English Learner’s Dictionary Essential British English Essential American English
  • Grammar and thesaurus Usage explanations of natural written and spoken English Grammar Thesaurus
  • Pronunciation British and American pronunciations with audio English Pronunciation
  • English–Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified)–English
  • English–Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional)–English
  • English–Dutch Dutch–English
  • English–French French–English
  • English–German German–English
  • English–Indonesian Indonesian–English
  • English–Italian Italian–English
  • English–Japanese Japanese–English
  • English–Norwegian Norwegian–English
  • English–Polish Polish–English
  • English–Portuguese Portuguese–English
  • English–Spanish Spanish–English
  • English–Swedish Swedish–English
  • Dictionary +Plus Word Lists
  • English–Chinese (Simplified)    Noun Verb
  • Translations
  • All translations

Add essay to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

{{message}}

Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.

essays in chinese

  • How it Works

essays in chinese

Chinese Grammar Bank

Dates in chinese.

essays in chinese

Writing dates in Chinese is easy once you know how. If you have already learned to count to 30 in Mandarin, you are ready to start learning dates!

In Chinese we follow the order of  big to small  when writing dates, rather than small to big as in English.

Years in Chinese

For years, each number of the year is read individually and then the character 年 is added at the end.  

👉 2024年 is read as  èr líng èr sì nián

TOP TIP || In a more formal context, such as a wedding invitation, the date is written out in all characters as 二零二四年。

When writing or speaking about the year, the character 年 is not optional. 

If you simply say the numbers of the year without adding 年 at the end, it will just sound like random string of numbers. Do not forget the 年 at the end! 

Play 今年是哪一年?

Play 今年是2024年。

Months in Chinese

Months are written following the formula: Number + 月.  It’s dead simple. Unlike most other languages, you don’t need to learn 12 separate words.

In Mandarin, if you can count to 12, then just add  月 , you’ve got the months nailed down just like that.

The character 月 originally means “moon.”  Since one month is the cycle of one moon, this makes a lot of sense!  

Just like with years, the number can be written either in numeric digits or with the characters. 

Writing the date in characters exclusively is typically reserved for formal occasions, such as inviting someone to a 100-day celebration to celebrate the  birth of a new child .

Days in Chinese

Dates are expressed with the number of the date followed by either the character 日 or 号.  

The 21st, for example, can be either 21日 or 21号

As a beginner, you can memorise one, but both are used commonly and thus worth learning.

This is also a good opportunity to practice the vocabulary for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Now let’s see how one of these words can be used in a basic conversation.

Play 昨天是什么日期

Play 昨天是16号

Play 时间过得真快!

Days of the Week

Days of the week follow a simple numeric formula: 星期 + number. 

Remember that whereas the number goes  before  月 in months, for days of the week it goes  after  星期.

NOTE –  Sunday can also be written as  星期日 xīngqí rì .

Another way of writing the dates that is not always taught in beginning-level Chinese books but is very commonly used  is the formation 周 + Number.  

In this instance, 星期 is replaced by 周:

ASKING ABOUT THE DATE

Once you have learned how to talk about dates, months, years, and days of the week,  learning how to ask about this information requires only one more character: 几。

Question word for numbers: 几 jǐ

Here’s a few examples of questions you might heard:

  • jǐ yuè jǐ hào?
  • What’s the month and date?
  • jīntiān jǐ yuè jǐ hào xīngqí jǐ?
  • What’s today’s date?  (asking about month, date, and day of the week)
  • What day of the week?
  • jīntiān xīngqí jǐ?
  • What’s the day of the week?

There you go! That’s how to write the date in Chinese, explained in full.  Now, will you be able to answer the question 今天几号 (jīntiān jǐ hào)?

essays in chinese

Learn Mandarin with Flexi Classes

Book online classes with the best teachers in the industry.

The Chinese date format is: Year + Month + Day .

To ask about the date in Chinese you’ll need the question word for numbers: 几 jǐ .

If you ask about the month and date: 几月几号? jǐ yuè jǐ hào?

If you ask about the day of the week: 今天星期几? jīntiān xīngqí jǐ?

Knowing how to write the date in Chinese will be very useful at school if you have to hand out papers for example, or when you have to fill out forms while in China.

Year in Chinese is 年 nián.

Week in Chinese is 星期 xīngqí.

Date in Chinese is 日期 rìqí.

MORE FREE LESSONS

要 to indicate “want / need / should”, using 吧 to indicate suggestion, using 在 to indicate location, basic sentence structure.

essays in chinese

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience.

FluentU Logo

Chinese Short Stories: 9 Best Websites for Improving Your Mandarin Reading Skills

A good short story can be the perfect complement to a Sunday afternoon or Tuesday work break.

Better yet, you can read short stories in Chinese for an interesting learning experience —both linguistic and cultural.

We’ll show you how to take advantage of Chinese short stories and where to find them online.

2. 短美文网 | Short and Beautiful Writings

  • 3. 短文学网 | The Art of Short Writing
  • 4. 成语故事大全 | Chinese Chengyu Short Stories

5. Chinese-Tools.com

6. 人生屋小故事大道理全集 | life house’s big list of short stories, 7. chinese reading practice, 8. 中文故事 | chinese stories, 9. mandarin companion, why you should read short stories in chinese, handy tools for reading chinese short stories.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

essays in chinese

Wattpad is a popular destination for online English readers, but did you know there are also Chinese authors on Wattpad?

Although Wattpad stories have chapters (called “parts”), they’re generally much shorter than full-on novel chapters, and cater to mobile reading.

Wattpad also has an app for iOS and Android .

Note: This site uses traditional Chinese, which is why the recommended titles below are also written in traditional characters.

Recommended Stories:

  • “這樣的我 , 是否能夠喜歡那樣的你”   (zhè yàng de wǒ, shì fǒu néng gòu xǐ huān nà yàng de nǐ)  The Way That We Are, Can We Still Fall in Love — A modern romance exploring the lives of urban working millennials.
  • “人生「徐」筆 (一) : 人與事”   (rén shēng xú bǐ yī : rén yǔ shì) Life Thoughts Part One — Short essays on practical wisdom, thoughtful reflection and life tips.

chinese short stories

Pinyin: duǎn měi wén wǎng

Here’s a collection of recommended short writings, including poetry. You’ll see all the categories listed at the top of the website. 

Check out their page of classics  and other categories such as “ relationships ” and “ short stories ,” or scroll down to see featured and specially curated stories.

  • “有一种青春叫宿舍”   (yǒu yī zhǒng qīng chūn jiào sù shè)  Dorm Life — On the little things only those who’ve lived in a school dorm would appreciate.
  • “品 ‘笑'”   (pǐn xiào) On Laughter — A short reflection on humor.

3.  短文学网   | The Art of Short Writing

chinese short stories

Pinyin: duǎn wén xué wǎng

This is another collection of online short stories that are worth checking out. Story categories are listed at the top of the homepage, once again.

On the right, you’ll see rankings for the most popular stories of the week. Scroll down a little bit, and you’ll see rankings for the best authors as well.

  • “有一种友情叫平时不联系” (yǒuyī zhǒng yǒuqíng jiào píngshí bù liánxì) — This thoughtful piece shows that friendships can last even if you haven’t talked in a while.
  • “男人和树”   (nán rén hé shù) — A nostalgic story about how trees can connect several generations. 

4.  成语故事大全   |  Chinese Chengyu Short Stories

Pinyin: chéng yǔ gù shì dà quán

Chéng yǔ , or Chinese proverbs , are important to know for every Chinese student. They crop up in a lot of literary writing and even in speech as idioms. This site gives you all the short stories behind Chinese chéng yǔ .

All their stories are shown on the same page, listed according to the idiom. You can pretty much click on any idiom and get an interesting quick read.

  • “九牛一毛”   (jǐu níu yī máo) One Hair from Nine Oxen — The story behind the idiom that means something small and insignificant.
  • “三人成虎”   (sān rén chéng hǔ) Three Men Talking Makes a Tiger — The story behind the idiom describing how rumors spread.

You can even venture beyond the idiom stories here and explore their collections of poetry and songs , which offer all the same tools and on-site features that make reading easier.

  • “对牛弹琴”   (duì niú tán qín) Play the Lute to a Cow — It’s a story about what happens when you overestimate the sophistication and intelligence of your audience.
  • “一日千里” ( yī rì qiān lǐ) A Thousand Li a Day  — The main character in this story is 造父 ( Zào fù ), a man who’s famous for being good at riding horses. 

chinese short stories

Pinyin: rén shēng wū xiǎo gù shì dà dào lǐ quán jí

This site specializes in “life lessons,” not unlike “Chicken Soup for the Soul” kind of stories.

It has a page with a large collection of short stories sorted by category. At the end of every story you’ll find a practical application point for your life.

If you navigate to other pages on this site, you can find longer writings of life philosophy and life advice.

  • “命运”   (mìng yùn) Fate — A story that teaches us not to trust in fate but to take our lives into our own hands.
  • “9点到12点”   (9 diǎn dào 12 diǎn) From Nine to Twelve — A story about facing disappointments in life.

chinese short stories

It offers short Chinese readings with an English translation, along with notes for language students. These short stories are categorized by skill level.

The site is set up like a blog, with stories shown by date and newer stories at the top. You can find categories on the right-hand column.

  • “Catching Frogs”   — This is a beginner-level piece about respecting nature. A quick read, with plenty of new vocabulary related to the environment.
  • “The History of Chinese Americans”   — This is an intermediate-level story on how the Chinese first started immigrating to North America, suitable for those interested in history or social studies.

chinese short stories

Pinyin: zhōng wén gù shì

iTunes | Google Play

Here’s a great website with numerous free Chinese short stories, for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.

You’ll have the option of downloading the stories as free e-books or going with the mobile app.

There are separate apps for different skill levels, and each one offers both free and paid stories that you can read.

Just keep in mind that the stories here are written in traditional characters!

  • “中国情人节” (zhōng guó qíng rén jié) Chinese Valentine’s Day — This is a story about the holiday found within the apps and e-book for beginners.
  • “年糕的由来” ( nián gāo de yóu lái) The Origin of Rice Cake — This advanced story explores the ancient legend behind 年糕 ( nián gāo ), which is a rice cake that’s served during Chinese New Year.  

chinese short stories

Most readers will be somewhat familiar with the plots already, so you won’t have to worry about losing the story thread. These are long books, not really short stories, so they take more time commitment.

Each story is available in printed format and for digital download to your Kindle.

  • “六十年的梦”   (liù shí nián dí mèng) The Sixty-Year Dream — You can learn 300 characters by reading this adaptation of “Rip Van Winkle.”
  • “美好的前途” ( měi hǎo de qián tú) Great Expectations — This is based on the famous book by Charles Dickens and comes in two parts. 

It goes without saying that reading in Chinese will help with your language skills . Here are some reasons why we especially like short stories:

  • They’ll grow your interest in Chinese.  Stories really draw out our emotions and entertain our minds. Reading Chinese short stories can increase your interest in Chinese culture and help you enjoy learning more.

You’re no longer thinking about good sentence structure  or what colloquialisms are most appropriate. Rather, it all comes from your “gut” knowledge.

Conveniently, you can use apps and online dictionaries for quick translations and definitions while reading short stories online:

chinese short stories

This Google Chrome extension acts like a popup dictionary that follows you around the Internet.

Anytime you encounter Chinese text in your web browser, you can hover your mouse over the text and see definitions and pronunciations right away.

chinese short stories

MDBG is an online dictionary that provides both traditional and simplified characters, as well as Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations.

So for someone who’s spending time in both China and Hong Kong, or wanting to get a broader understanding of Chinese, MDBG is quite helpful.

essays in chinese

FluentU uses video clips from authentic Chinese media to help you build your vocabulary and comprehension. You can find movie trailers, scenes from TV shows, news segments and more in the expansive video library.

Each video comes with interactive subtitles available in Chinese, pinyin and English. With the flashcard feature and personalized vocabulary quizzes, you can review new words you’ve learned from the videos. 

Offline Resources

Learning how to use a hardcopy dictionary forces you to learn Chinese radicals (the only way to look up words in the Chinese dictionary), which is extremely beneficial for mastering Chinese.

Just because you’re reading short stories online, doesn’t mean that you can’t combine it with offline learning.

Consider printing out one of those stories (which is more convenient for reading on the bus without overusing your data plan) so that you can mark it up with pencils, colorful pens and highlighters.

Chinese short stories can be a fresh and fun addition to your regular study regimen.

We hope the above short story recommendations will get you inspired!

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

essays in chinese

Introduce Yourself in Chinese with Self-Introduction Speech Examples

How to introduce yourself in chinese.

It is not difficult to introduce yourself in Chinese language as they are fixed answers which you memorise about yourself. However, it is not that easy to be able to understand all the variations of questions asked. Therefore, in this article, you will also learn about various ways of questioning and response, so you know they mean the same thing and handle the Chinese self-introduction with ease.

For a start, I have prepared three articles below with audio on self-introduction speech examples, changing the variation of replies in Chinese for beginners when you introduce yourself in Mandarin. The questions and answers will revolve around: –

① Chinese Greetings and Pronouns ② Your Name and Surname ③ Your Age ④ Your Country and Nationality ⑤ Your Hobby and Interest ⑥ Your Relationship and Marital Status

It is always a good practice to read and listen in Mandarin to guess the meaning of the articles before looking at the English translation.

Chinese Self-Introduction Essay and Speech Samples

你们好! 我叫芮。 其实,芮是我的姓氏。我是华人。我来自新加坡。不过,我现在居住安特卫普,比利时的一个美丽城市。我有一个英俊的比利时男友。我会说英语、华语、广东话、法语和荷兰语。现在,我和你们一样,都在学习语言。我每天要去学校上荷兰语课。

平时,在业余时间,我写博客和上网查询资料。在周末,我喜欢和我的男朋友一起骑自行车,拍照,购物和吃饭。 我最喜欢去餐馆吃中餐。我的最爱是旅行。我去过很多国家。

那你呢?请你自我介绍,告诉我平时你喜欢做些什么?请留言。

Hāi! Dú zhě men,

Nǐ men hǎo!  Wǒ jiào Ruì. Qí shí, Ruì shì wǒ de xìng shì. Wǒ shì huá rén. Wǒ lái zì xīn jiā pō. Bù guò, wǒ xiàn zài jū zhù ān tè wèi pǔ, bǐ lì shí de yī gè měi lì chéng shì. Wǒ yǒu yīgè yīng jùn de bǐ lì shí nán yǒu. Wǒ huì shuō yīng yǔ, huá yǔ, guǎng dōng huà, fǎ yǔ hé hé lán yǔ.  Xiàn zài, wǒ hé nǐ men yī yàng, dōu zài xué xí yǔ yán. Wǒ měi tiān yào qù xué xiào shàng hé lán yǔ kè.

Píng shí, zài yè yú shí jiān, wǒ xiě bó kè hé shàng wǎng chá xún zī liào. Zài zhōu mò, wǒ xǐ huān hé wǒ de nán péng yǒu yī qǐ qí zì xíng chē, pāi zhào, gòu wù hé chī fàn. Wǒ zuì xǐ huān qù cān guǎn chī zhōng cān. Wǒ de zuì ài shì lǚ xíng. Wǒ qù guò hěn duō guó jiā.

Nà nǐ ne? Qǐng nǐ zì wǒ jiè shào, gào sù wǒ píng shí nǐ xǐ huān zuò xiē shén me? Qǐng liú yán.

Hi Readers, 

How are you? I am called Rui. In fact, Rui is my surname. I am a Chinese. I come from Singapore. However, I am now living in Antwerp, a beautiful city in Belgium. I have a handsome Belgian boyfriend. I can speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, and Dutch.

Now, I am like you, learning a language too. Every day, I go to school for my Dutch class. Usually, during my spare time, I blog and surf the internet for information. During the weekend, I like to cycle with my boyfriend, take photographs, shopping and eating. I also like going to restaurants to eat Chinese food. My favourite is travelling. I have been to many countries.

How about you? Please introduce yourself. Tell me what do you usually like to do? Please leave a message.

我的名字是彼得。 我今年27岁。 我从美国来的。 我还单身,也没有女朋友。 我会说英语和一点点西班牙语。我也在学习汉语。可是,我的中文说的不太好,还可以在进步。

我想去中国旅行。我对中国的文化和语言很感兴趣。我希望找一位中国女友。我可以向她学习中文。我也能教她英语。我很好动。平时,我喜欢做运动, 例如跑步和游泳。

Hāi! Nín hǎo!

Wǒ de míng zì shì Bǐ Dé. Wǒ jīn nián 27 suì. Wǒ cóng měi guó lái de. Wǒ hái dān shēn, yě méi yǒu nǚ péng yǒu. Wǒ huì shuō yīng yǔ hé yī diǎn diǎn xī bān yá yǔ. Wǒ yě zài xué xí hàn yǔ. Kěs hì, wǒ de zhōng wén shuō de bù tài hǎo, hái kěyǐ zài jìn bù.

Wǒ xiǎng qù zhōng guó lǚ xíng. Wǒ duì zhōng guó de wén huà hé yǔ yán hěn gǎn xìng qù. Wǒ xī wàng zhǎo yī wèi zhōng guó nǚ yǒu. Wǒ kě yǐ xiàng tā xué xí zhōng wén. Wǒ yě néng jiào tā yīngyǔ. Wǒ hěn hào dòng. Píng shí, wǒ xǐ huān zuò yùn dòng, lì rú pǎo bù hé yóu yǒng.

My name is Peter. I am 27 years old this year. I come from the United States. I am still single and also do not have a girlfriend. I speak English and some Spanish. Now, I am also learning Chinese. However, I do not speak Mandarin so well. It can still be improved.

I wish to travel to China. I am very interested in Chinese culture and language. I hope to find a Chinese girlfriend. I can learn Chinese from her. I can teach her English. I am very active. Usually, I like to exercise such as jogging and swimming.

我是爱丽丝。大家都叫我丝丝。我是加拿大人。十年前,我从加拿大搬迁到台湾工作。我学了五年的中文,现在能说一口流利的华语。我现年四十岁。 我已婚,嫁给了一位台湾人。我有两个孩子,一个儿子和一个女儿。

我的嗜好是烹饪、阅读、听音乐和教书。我是一名教师。 我会说流利的英语、华语、 法语和一点点葡萄牙语。我不太喜欢做运动。不过,我很喜欢旅行,到处走走。

Hāi! Nǐ hǎo! 

Wǒ shì Ài Lì Sī. Dà jiā dōu jiào wǒ Sī Sī. Wǒ shì jiā ná dà rén. Shí nián qián, wǒ cóng jiā ná dà bān qiān dào tái wān gōng zuò. Wǒ xué le wǔ nián de zhōng wén, xiàn zài néng shuō yī kǒu liú lì de huá yǔ. Wǒ xiàn nián sì shí suì. Wǒ yǐ hūn, jià gěi le yī wèi tái wān rén. Wǒ yǒu liǎng gè há izi, yīgè er zi hé yī gè nǚ’ér.

Wǒ de shì hào shì pēng rèn, yuè dú, tīng yīn yuè hé jiāo shū. Wǒ shì yī míng jiào shī. Wǒ huì shuō liú lì de yīng yǔ, huá yǔ, fǎ yǔ hé yī diǎn diǎn pú táo yá yǔ. Wǒ bù tài xǐ huān zuò yùn dòng. Bù guò, wǒ hěn xǐ huān lǚ xíng, dào chù zǒu zǒu.

Hello, my name is Alice. Everyone call me Si Si. I’m a Canadian. Ten years ago, I relocated from Canada to work in Taiwan. I have studied Chinese for five years. Now, I speak Mandarin fluently. This year, I am 40 years old. I am married to a Taiwanese. I have two children, a son and a daughter.

My hobby is cooking, reading, listening to music and teaching. I am a teacher. I speak fluent English, Mandarin, French and a little bit of Portuguese. I do not like so much to do sports. However, I enjoy travelling and walk around.

① Chinese Greetings and Pronouns

How to say “hello” in chinese.

For the Chinese, it is common to greet in person with  嗨!你好! It has a similar connotation as “Hello, how are you?” but not a question asked like 你好吗? to get a response. The Chinese greeting means “ You are fine! ” Since the tone of the sentence is an exclamation mark, the other party is not expected to give a reply to 你好!

The pronouns used in the three self-introduction speech in Chinese is: –

  • 读者们  |    dú zhě men |  Readers
  • 你们 | nǐ men | You (Plural)
  • 您 |   nín | You (Formal address of someone of a higher authority, a stranger or out of courtesy)
  • 你 |   nǐ | You (Singular. Informal way and most commonly used to address among friends and people)

Whenever you see the word 们 | mén , with a pronoun, it always refers to a plural form of a pronoun. You can virtually place the Chinese plural word 们 behind any nouns, but usually for humans and animals.

② What is Your Name? Introduce Yourself in Chinese

The first sentence that most people learn is likely “What is your name?”. In a more formal setting, you can be asked to introduce yourself instead of someone asking you to say your name. Both sentences can be applied at the same time too.

How to Say “What is Your Name” in Chinese?

What is your name? Please introduce yourself OR Please self-introduced.

你叫什么名字? 请介绍一下你自己。 ( 或者 | or)  请自我介绍。

Nǐ jiào shén me míng zì? Qǐng jiè shào yī xià nǐ zì jǐ. (huò zhě) Qǐng zì wǒ jiè shào.

How to Say “What is Your Surname?” in Chinese? – Formal

Here, you can see the formal pronoun 您 | you being used asking for only the surname (family name) instead of the person’s name. The person asking for only the family name wants to address the other party as Mr, Mrs or Miss + Surname.

One example is a shop assistant serving his customer. The Chinese find it more respectful to call a person by the surname when they do not know him well or when the status is higher. However, the person replying back do not need to use 您 and may use  你 instead.

I presume that if you are a foreigner especially a Caucasian, the Chinese would not ask you this question. Next time, you can also ask  您贵姓? to Chinese people if you meet them for the first time.

What is your surname? (Polite)

您贵姓? Nín guì xìng?

My surname is Li. How about you?

我姓李。那你呢? Wǒ xìng Lǐ. Nà nǐ ne?

Hi, Mr Lee. My surname is Rui. Pleased to meet you! / It is an honour to meet you!

李先生,您好。我姓芮。幸会,幸会! Lǐ xiān shēng, nǐn hǎo. Wǒ xìng Ruì. Xìng huì, xìng huì!

How to Say “Who Are You” in Chinese?

Asking someone “Who are you?” is an abrupt and less friendly way when asking for a self-introduction. However, it has to depend on the tone used and the situation. 你是谁? can have an implied meaning of curiosity, uncertainty, suspicion or fear.

Example – You went to your friend’s house to look for her. She was not at home. The mother opened the house and saw you. She asked,“ 你是谁呀? ” Then, you have to introduce yourself in Mandarin.

Who are you?

你是谁(呀)? Nǐ shì shéi (ya)?

How to Say “My Name is … ” in Chinese?

There are three ways that you can introduce yourself with “My name is ___”.

a) I am called Rui. b) My name is Peter. c) I am Alice. Everyone calls me Si Si (nickname). You can call me Alicia or Si Si.

a) 我叫芮。 b) 我的名字是彼得。 c) 我是爱丽丝。大家都叫我丝丝。你可以叫我爱丽丝或者是丝丝。

a) Wǒ jiào Ruì. b) Wǒ de míng zì shì Bǐ dé. c) Wǒ shì Ài Lì Sī. Dà jiā dōu jiào wǒ sī sī. Nǐ kě yǐ jiào wǒ Ài Lì Sī huò zhě shì Sī Sī.

③ How Old Are You?

The first two questions are common ways to ask someone their age. You can refer to the Chinese numbers of your age.

How to Say “What is Your Age” in Chinese?

What is your age?

a) 你今年几岁了?(或者 | or)  今年你几岁了? b) 你今年多少岁了?

a) Nǐ jīn nián jǐ suì le? (huò zhě) Jīn nián nǐ jǐ suì le? b) Nǐ jīn nián duō shǎo suì le?

How to Say “How Old are You” in Chinese?

To ask someone’s age, “How OLD” in Chinese, is not a direct translation of the English word “old”. The literal translation of “How old” would be “ 多老 “. “老” means aged, senior. Please do not ask someone “ 你多老? ” because the Chinese will never ask a person’s age this way. It is quite offensive to use the Chinese word 老 | lǎo when talking to someone.

Instead, we use the phrase “how big – 多大 ” to ask someone’s age. Note that the phrase “ 多大 ” can have an ambiguous meaning. It can directly refer to the size of the object that you are discussing and not about age. The preferred sentence is still 你今年几岁了? when meeting someone for the first time.

How old are you?

a) 你多大年纪? b) 你多大年龄? c) 你多大了?

a) Nǐ duō dà nián jì?  b) Nǐ duō dà nián líng? c) Nǐ duō dà le?

How to Say “How old are you” in a Formal Way?

However, it is considered abrupt and rude to ask a senior, elderly or someone respectable on their age with the sentence construction above. In a formal situation or writing, we ask people on their age with 您今年贵庚? It is more polite asking when you hold high regard for someone.

How old are you? (Formal)

您今年贵庚? Nín jīn nián guì gēng?

How to Say “Your Age” in Chinese?

It is easy to say your age in Chinese. There are not many variations. You only have to know the Chinese numbers so you can tell your age to others.

I am 35 years old this year.

我今年35岁。 Wǒ jīn nián sān shí wǔ suì.

Pardon! My Age is Confidential!

Women are more reserved and sensitive when it comes to divulging their age especially Chinese women. Looks matter to many of them and they care about how people look at them.

Many of them also spend a lot of money, time and effort to maintain their youth. They hope to give a lasting impression of looking young forever.

Therefore, if you do not know a Chinese woman long enough, refrain from asking her age as you never know how she feels about telling it to you. Maybe she is fine with the question. Or, perhaps she does not like it and would not say it frankly.

Sorry, my age is a secret. Woman‘s age is always confidential.

不好意思,我的年龄是秘密。 女人的年龄是保密的。 Bù hǎo yì si, wǒ de nián líng shì mì mì. Nǚrén de nián líng shì bǎo mì de.

④ Where Are You From?

When someone asks you “where are you from”, you can tell them either your country of origin or your nationality. It is not necessary to say both unless you have a different nationality than that of the country that you live.

How to Say ” Where are you from” in Chinese?

Where are you from? 

你从哪里来?(或者 | or) 你来自哪里? Nǐ cóng nǎ lǐ lái? (huò zhě) Nǐ lái zì nǎ lǐ?

How to Say “Which country are you from” in Chinese?

Which country are you from?

你来自什么国家?  (或者 | or) 你从什么国家来的? Nǐ lái zì shén me guó jiā? (huò zhě) Nǐ cóng shén me guó jiā lái de?

How to Say “What is Your Nationality” in Chinese?

How to say Nationality  国籍 | Guó jí in Chinese? Most of the time, you use the {name of the country + 人 |people}to derive the nationality.

Which country are you from? OR Who are you?

a) 你是什么国家的人? (或者 | or) 你是什么人? b) 你是哪里人?

a) Nǐ lái zì shén me guó jiā?  (huò zhě) Nǐ cóng shén me guó jiā lái de? b) Nǐ shì nǎ lǐ rén?

How to Say “Do You Come from (Country)” or “Are You (Nationality)” in Chinese?

Do you come from America? Are you an American?

你从美国来的吗?你是美国人吗? Nǐ cóng měi guó lái de ma? Nǐ shì měi guó rén ma?

How to Say “Your Country and Nationality” in Chinese?

I am American, from California.

我是美国人,来自加州。 Wǒ shì měi guó rén, lái zì jiā zhōu.

I come from Germany (or) I am from Germany (Berlin).

我从德国来  (或者 | or) 我来自德国(柏林)。 Wǒ cóng dé guó lái (huò zhě) wǒ lái zì dé guó (bó lín).

I come from Italy but I am a Turk.

我来自意大利,但我是土耳其人。 Wǒ lái zì yì dà lì, dàn wǒ shì tǔ’ěr qí rén.

I am not Dutch. I am French.

我不是荷兰人。我是法国人。 Wǒ bù shì hé lán rén. Wǒ shì fà guó rén.

I do not come from England. I am Australian.

我不是从英国来的。我是澳大利亚人。 Wǒ bù shì cóng yīng guó lái de. Wǒ shì ào dà lì yǎ rén.

⑤ What Do You Like to Do? Hobby and Interest

The questions below are all referring to the same things. That is your hobbies and interests. Sometimes, the word 平时 | píng shí is added and means ‘usually’. I will prepare a list of activities about hobbies and interests in the near future so you can make references to what you like to do.

How to Say “What Do You Like to Do” in Chinese?

What do you like to do?

你喜欢做(些)什么? Nǐ xǐ huān zuò (xiē) shén me?

I like jogging and swimming.

我喜欢跑步和游泳。 Wǒ xǐ huān pǎo bù hé yóu yǒng.

How to Say “What is Your Interest” in Chinese?

What is your interest?

你的兴趣是什么? Nǐ de xìng qù shì shén me?

My interest is surfing the net and shopping.

我的兴趣是上网和逛街。 Wǒ de xìngqù shì shàng wǎng hé guàng jiē.

How to Say “What is Your Hobby” in Chinese?

What is your hobby?

你的嗜好是什么 你的爱好是什么?

Nǐ de shì hào shì shén me? Nǐ de ài hào shì shén me?

My hobby is reading, listing to music and watching movies.

我的嗜好是。。。阅读、听音乐和看电影。 Wǒ de shì hào shì yuè dú, tīng yīn yuè hé kàn diàn yǐng.

⑥ What is Your Marital Status?

Western men looking for a Chinese girlfriend would always be happy to declare that he is single and available. He also wants to know whether they are still single and available or married. It is just an illustration and applies to anyone who wants to say about their relationship status.

How to Say “What is Your Marital Status” or “Relationship Status” in Chinese?

To be honest, I have never had anyone asked me about my marital status 你的婚姻状况是什么? except when filling up forms because it sounds too formal. Many would just ask me about my relationship status “Are you married?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?”

It is always good to know the Chinese phrase ‘marital status’ for administration purpose and the different status as part of introducing yourself in Chinese to others.

What is your Marital Status?

你的婚姻状况是什么? Nǐ de hūn yīn zhuàng kuàng shì shén me?

How to Say “Are You Single” in Chinese?

Most importantly, people want to know whether you are single or married.

Are you single? OR Are you still single?

你单身吗?( 或者 | or)  你还单身吗? Nǐ dān shēn ma? (huò zhě) Nǐ hái dān shēn ma?

How to Say “Do You Have a Boyfriend” in Chinese?

Do you have a boyfriend?

你有男朋友吗? Nǐ yǒu nán péng yǒu ma?

Are you seeing anybody? Do you have someone in mind?

你有对象吗? Nǐ yǒu duì xiàng ma?

How to Say “Are You Married” in Chinese?

Are you married?

你结婚了吗? Nǐ jié hūn le ma?

How to Say “I am Single” in Chinese?

I am single and have no girlfriend.

我单身, 也没有女朋友。 Wǒ dān shēn, yě méi yǒu nǚ péng yǒu.

I am still single but I have a boyfriend.

我还单身, 但是我有一个男朋友。 Wǒ hái dān shēn, dàn shì wǒ yǒu yī gè nán péng yǒu.

I am not married.

我未婚 ( 或者 | or) 我还没结婚。 Wǒ wèi hūn (huò zhě) Wǒ hái méi jié hūn.

How to Say “Got Engaged, Fiance and Fiancee” in Chinese?

I am engaged. He is my fiance. She is my fiancee.

我订婚了。 他是我的未婚夫。 她是我的未婚妻。

Wǒ dìng hūn le. Tā shì wǒ de wèi hūn fū. Tā shì wǒ de wèi hūn qī.

How to Say “I am Married” in Chinese?

I am married.

我已婚 (或者 | or) 我结婚了。 Wǒ yǐ hūn (huò zhě) Wǒ jié hūn le.

How to Say “I am Divorced or a Divorcee” in Chinese?

I am divorced. I am a divorcee.

我离婚了。 我是离婚者。 Wǒ lí hūn le. Wǒ shì lí hūn zhě.

How to Say “I am Separated” in Chinese?

I am in the midst of a separation.

我在分居状态中。 Wǒ zài fēn jū zhuàng tài zhōng.

How to Say “Widow” and “Widower” in Chinese?

For widows and widowers, it is not necessary to mention that. The Chinese might find it awkward to reply back. Just say that you are still single if you do not want to be too frank. After all, the Chinese are usually reserved people if you do not know them well and would not go too deep into such a topic.

I would think that not many people would say upfront that “I am a widow or widower” as it is somewhat private to use as a self-introduction in Chinese. Nonetheless, the Chinese sentences below are for information.

I am a widow. My husband passed away two years ago.

我是个寡妇。我的丈夫2年前去世了。 Wǒ shì gè guǎ fù. Wǒ de zhàng fū liǎng nián qián qù shì le.

I am a widower. My wife recently passed away due to sickness.

我是个鳏夫。我的妻子不久前病世了。 Wǒ shì gè guān fū. Wǒ de qī zi bù jiǔ qián bìng shì le.

Your Turn to Introduce Yourself in Chinese

So, now is your turn. Leave a reply to me in Chinese (or English) and tell us about yourself. 请你告诉我,平时你喜欢做些什么呢? Take it as a practice and show us what you have learnt. I will reply back to you 🙂

How to Express Sentences with Colors in Mandarin?

How to say "admit" and "confess" in chinese 承认 chengren in mandarin, related articles.

How to Say "Master" in Chinese? 师傅 or 师父 Shifu in Mandarin?

How to Say “Master” in Chinese? 师傅 & 师父 Shifu Meaning in Mandarin

How to Say Teacher in Chinese? 老师 Laoshi, 教师 Jiaoshi, 导师 Daoshi in Mandarin

How to Say “Teacher” in Chinese? 老师 Laoshi, 教师 Jiaoshi, 导师 Daoshi in Mandarin

Chinese Colors in Mandarin

5 Exceptional Reasons to Learn Mandarin & Chinese Language

One comment.

my name is haleema sadia .im from india .im 18 yrs old.i love chinese culture and languagei started studying chinese from 2 months.i want to visit china as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an answer in digits: 3 + twelve =

Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Find anything you save across the site in your account

How Chinese Students Experience America

By Peter Hessler

Panels showing a person traveling to different places.

In my composition class at Sichuan University, in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, the first assignment was a personal essay. I gave some prompts in case students had trouble coming up with topics. One suggestion was to describe an incident in which the writer had felt excluded from a group. Another was to tell how he or she had responded when some endeavor went unexpectedly wrong. For the third prompt, I wrote:

Have you ever been involved in a situation that was extremely threatening, or dangerous, or somehow dramatic? Tell the story, along with what you learned.

It was September, 2019, and the class consisted of engineering majors who were in their first month at university. Like virtually all Chinese undergraduates, they had been admitted solely on the basis of scores on the gaokao , the national college-entrance examination. The gaokao is notorious for pressure, and most of my students chose to write about some aspect of their high-school experience. One girl described a cruel math instructor: “He is the person whose office you enter happily and exit with pain and inferiority.” Edith, a student from northern Sichuan Province, wrote about feeling excluded from her graduation banquet, because her father and his male work colleagues hijacked the event by giving long-winded speeches that praised one another. “That’s what I hate, being hypocritical as some adults,” she wrote.

Few students chose the third prompt. Some remarked that nothing dangerous or dramatic had ever happened, because they had spent so much of their short lives studying. But one boy, whom I’ll call Vincent, submitted an essay titled “A Day Trip to the Police Station.”

The story began with a policeman calling Vincent’s mother. The officer said that the police needed to see her son, but he wouldn’t explain why. After the call, Vincent tried to figure out if he had committed some crime. He was the only student who wrote his essay in the third person, as if this distance made it easier to describe his mind-set:

He was tracing the memory from birth to now, including but not limited to [the time] he broke a kid’s head in kindergarten, he used V.P.N. to browse YouTube to see some videos, and talked with his friends abroad in Facebook and so on. Suddenly he thought of the most possible thing that happened two years ago. In the summer vacation in 2017, he bought an airsoft gun in the Internet, which is illegal in mainland China but legal in most countries or regions. Although it had been two years since then, he left his private information such as the address and his phone number. In modern society, it is possible to trace every information in the Internet and [especially] easy for police.

Vincent’s parents both worked tizhinei , within the government system. The boy approached his father for advice, and the older man didn’t lecture his son about following the rules. Vincent described their exchange:

“If you are asked about this matter,” dad said, “you just tell him that the seller mailed a toy gun and you were cheated. And then you felt unhappy and threw it away.” Sure enough, two policemen came to his home the next day.

Vincent stood about six feet tall, a handsome boy with close-cropped hair. He always sat in the front of the class, and he enjoyed speaking up, unlike many of the other engineers, who tended to be shy. On the first day of the term, I asked students to list their favorite authors, and Vincent chose Wang Xiaobo, a Beijing novelist who wrote irreverent, sexually explicit fiction.

As with many of his classmates, Vincent hoped to complete his undergraduate degree in the United States. I was teaching at the Sichuan University–Pittsburgh Institute, or SCUPI . All SCUPI classes were in English, and after two or three years at Sichuan University students could transfer to the University of Pittsburgh or another foreign institution. SCUPI was one of many programs and exchanges designed to direct more Chinese students to the U.S. In the 2019-20 academic year, Chinese enrollment at American institutions reached an all-time high of 372,532.

Nobody in Vincent’s section had previously studied in the U.S. Almost all of them were middle class, and they often said that their goal was to complete their bachelor’s degree in America, stay on for a master’s or a Ph.D., and then come back to work in China. A generation earlier, the vast majority of Chinese students at American universities had stayed in the country, but the pattern changed dramatically with China’s new prosperity. In 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Education reported that, in the past decade, more than eighty per cent of Chinese students returned after completing their studies abroad.

Vincent also intended to make a career in China, but he had specific plans for his time in the U.S. Once, during a class discussion, he remarked that someday he would purchase both a car and a real firearm. The illegal airsoft pistol that he had acquired in high school shot only plastic pellets. In 2017, when Vincent ordered the gun, it had been delivered to his home at the bottom of a rice cooker, as camouflage. At the time, such subterfuges were still possible, but the government had since cracked down, as part of a general tightening under Xi Jinping.

In Vincent’s essay, he was surprised that the two policemen who arrived at his home didn’t mention the forbidden gun. Instead, they accused him of a much more shocking crime: spreading terrorist messages.

“That’s ridiculous,” Vincent said. “I have never browsed such videos, not to mention posted them in the Internet. You must be joking.” “Maybe you didn’t post it by yourself,” the policeman said. “But the app may back up the video automatically.”

Vincent admitted that once, in a WeChat group, he had come across a terrorist video. The police instructed him to get his I.D. card and accompany them to the station. After they arrived, they entered a room labelled “Cybersecurity Police,” where Vincent was impressed by the officers’ politeness. (“It’s not scary at all, no handcuffs and no cage.”) The police informed him that they had found a host of sensitive and banned material on his cloud storage:

“But how interesting it is!” the policeman said. “They sent pornographic videos, traffic accident videos, [breaking news] videos, and funny videos.” “Yes,” he said helplessly, “so I am innocent.” “Yes, we believe you,” the policeman said. “But you have to [sign] the record because it is the fact that you posted the terrorism video in the Internet, which is illegal.”

On one level, the essay was terrifying—Chinese can be imprisoned for such crimes. But the calm tone created a strange sense of normalcy. The basic narrative was universal: a teen-ager makes a mistake, finds himself gently corrected, and gains new maturity. Along the way, he connects with the elders who love him. Part of this connection comes from what they share: the parents, rather than representing authority, are also powerless in the face of the larger system. The essay ended with the father giving advice that could be viewed as cynical, or heartwarming, or defeatist, or wise, or all these things at once:

“That’s why I always like to browse news [but] never comment on the Internet,” father said. “Because the Internet police really exist. And we have no private information, we can be easily investigated however you try to disguise yourself. So take care whatever you send on the Internet, my boy!” From this matter, Vincent really gained some experience. First, take care about your account in the Internet, and focus on some basic setting like automatic backup. Besides, don’t send some words, videos, or photos freely. In China, there is Internet police focus on WeChat, QQ, Weibo, and other software. As it is said in 1984 , “Big Brother is watching you.”

More than twenty years earlier, I had taught English at a small teachers’ college in a city called Fuling, less than three hundred miles east of Chengdu. The Fuling college was relatively low in the hierarchy of Chinese universities, but even such a place was highly selective. In 1996, the year that I started, only one out of twelve college-age Chinese was able to enter a tertiary educational institution. Almost all my students had grown up on farms, like the vast majority of citizens at that time.

In two years, I taught more than two hundred people, not one of whom went on to live abroad or attend a foreign graduate school. Most of them accepted government-assigned jobs in public middle schools or high schools, where they taught English, as part of China’s effort to improve education and engage with the outside world. Meanwhile, the government was expanding universities with remarkable speed. In less than ten years, the Fuling college grew from two thousand undergraduates to more than twenty thousand, a rate of increase that wasn’t unusual for Chinese institutions at that time. By 2019, the year that I returned, China’s enrollment rate of college-age citizens had risen, in the span of a single generation, from eight per cent to 51.6 per cent.

“O.K. go long and then go about a hundred feet to your left or your right—who knows”

Link copied

When I had first arrived, in the nineties, I believed that improved education was bound to result in a more open society and political system. But in Fuling I began to understand that college in China might work differently than it did in the West. Students were indoctrinated by mandatory political classes, and Communist Party officials strictly controlled teaching materials. They were also skilled at identifying talent. In “River Town,” a book that I wrote about teaching in Fuling, I described my realization that the kind of young people I once imagined would become dissidents were in fact the most likely to be co-opted by the system: “The ones who were charismatic, intelligent, farsighted, and brave—those were the ones who had been recruited long ago as Party Members.”

This strategy long predated the Communists. China’s imperial examination system, the ancestor of the gaokao , was instituted in the seventh century and lasted for about thirteen hundred years. Through these centuries, education was closely aligned with political authority, because virtually all schooling was intended to prepare men for government service. That emphasis stood in sharp contrast with the West, where higher learning in pre-modern times often came out of religious institutions. Elizabeth J. Perry, a historian at Harvard, has described the ancient Chinese system as being effective at producing “educated acquiescence.” Perry used this phrase as the title for a 2019 paper that explores how today’s Party has built on the ancient tradition. “One might have expected,” she writes, “that opening China’s ivory tower to an infusion of scholars and dollars from around the world would work to liberalize the intellectual climate on Chinese campuses. Yet Chinese universities remain oases of political compliance.”

At Sichuan University, which is among the country’s top forty or so institutions, I recognized some tools of indoctrination that I remembered from the nineties. Political courses now included the ideas of Xi Jinping along with Marxism, and an elaborate system of Party-controlled fudaoyuan , or counsellors, advised and monitored students. But today’s undergraduates were much more skilled at getting their own information, and it seemed that most young people in my classes used V.P.N.s. They also impressed me as less inclined to join the Party. In 2017, a nationwide survey of university students showed decreased interest in Party membership. I noticed that many of my most talented and charismatic students, like Vincent, had no interest in joining.

But they weren’t necessarily progressive. In class, students debated the death penalty after reading George Orwell’s essay “A Hanging,” and Vincent was among the majority, which supported capital punishment. He described it as a human right—in his opinion, if a murderer is not properly punished, other citizens lose their right to a safe society. Another day, when I asked if political leaders should be directly elected, Vincent and most of his classmates said no. Once, I asked two questions: Does the Chinese education system do a good job of preparing people for life? Should the education system be significantly changed? Vincent and several others had the same answer to both: no.

The students rarely exhibited the kind of idealism that a Westerner associates with youth. They seemed to accept that the world is a flawed place, and they were prepared to make compromises. Even when Vincent wrote about his encounter with the Internet police, he never criticized the monitoring; instead, his point was that a Chinese citizen needs to be careful. In another essay, Vincent described learning to control himself after a rebellious phase in middle school and high school. “Now, I seem to know more about the world,” he wrote. “It’s too impractical to change a lot of things like the education system, the government policies.”

Vincent took another class with me the following fall, in 2020. That year, China had a series of vastly different responses to COVID . Early on, Party officials in Wuhan covered up reports of the virus, which spread unchecked in the city, killing thousands. By February, the national leadership had started to implement policies—strict quarantines, extensive testing, and abundant contact tracing—that proved highly effective in the pre-vaccination era. There wasn’t a single reported case at Sichuan University that year, and we conducted our fall classes without masks or social distancing. Our final session was on December 31st, and I asked students to write about how they characterized 2020. Vincent, like more than seventy per cent of his peers, wrote that it had been a good year. He described how his thinking had evolved after observing the initial mistakes in Wuhan:

Most people held negative attitudes to the government’s reaction, including me. Meanwhile, our freedom of expression was not protected and the supervision department did a lot to delete negative news, critical comments, and so on. I felt so sad about the Party and the country at that time. But after things got better and seeing other countries’ worse behaviors, I feel so fortunate now and change my idea [about] China and the Party. Although I know there are still too many existing problems in China, I am convinced that the socialist system is more advanced especially in emergency cases.

In 2021, after suspending visa services for Chinese students during the pandemic, the U.S. resumed them. Throughout the spring, I fielded anxious questions from undergraduates who were thinking about going to America. One engineer itemized his concerns in an e-mail:

1. How to feel or deal with the discrimination when the two countries’ relationship [is] very nervous? 2. What are the root causes [in] America to cause today’s situation (drugs; distrust of the government, unemployment, and the most important, racial problem)?

They generally worried most about COVID , although guns, anti-Asian violence, and U.S.-China tensions were all prominent issues. One student who eventually went to America told me that in his home town, in northeastern China, ideas about the U.S. had changed dramatically since his childhood. “When people in the community went to America, the family was proud of them,” he said. “But this time, before I went, some family members came and they said, ‘You are going to the U.S.—it’s so dangerous!’ ”

Vincent’s mother was on a WeChat group for SCUPI parents, and that spring somebody posted an advisory from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.:

Since the COVID pandemic, there have been successive incidents of discrimination and violent crimes against Asians in some cities in the United States. . . . On March 16, three shooting incidents occurred in Atlanta and surrounding areas, killing 8 people, of whom 6 were Asian women, including 1 Chinese and 1 Chinese citizen. . . . When encountering such a situation, you must remain calm, deal with it properly, try to avoid quarrels and physical conflicts, and ensure your own safety.

That month, Vincent told me that he planned to buy a .38 revolver after arriving in Pittsburgh. He had already researched how to acquire a hunting license and a firearm-safety certificate. In July, a month before he was scheduled to leave, I had dinner with his mother. She said that she worried about gun violence and racial prejudice. “Lots of people say that now in America you can’t rise to the highest level if you are Chinese,” she said.

Vincent’s mother was born in 1974, the same year as many of the people I had taught in Fuling. Like them, she had benefitted from a stable government job during the era of China’s economic boom. She and her husband weren’t rich, but they were prepared to direct virtually all their resources toward Vincent’s education, a common pattern. Edith, the girl who wrote about her graduation banquet, told me that her parents were selling their downtown apartment and moving to the suburbs in order to pay her tuition at Pittsburgh—more than forty thousand dollars a year. Like Vincent, and like nearly ninety per cent of the people I taught, Edith was an only child. Her mother had majored in English in the nineties, when it was still hard to go overseas. After reading “Gone with the Wind” in college, she had dreamed of going abroad, and now she wanted her daughter to have the opportunity.

At dinner with Vincent’s mother, I asked how his generation was different from hers.

“They have more thoughts of their own,” she said. “They’re more creative. But they don’t have our experience of chiku , eating bitterness.”

Even so, she described Vincent as hardworking and unafraid of challenges. I saw these qualities in many students, which in some ways seemed counterintuitive. As only children from comfortable backgrounds who had spent high school in a bubble of gaokao preparation, they could have come across as sheltered or spoiled. But the exam is so difficult, and a modern Chinese childhood is so pressured, that even prosperous young people have experienced their own form of chiku .

They often seemed eager for a change of environment. In my classes, I required off-campus reporting projects, which aren’t common at Chinese universities. Some students clearly relished the opportunity to visit places that otherwise may have seemed illicit or inappropriate: Christian churches, gay bars, tattoo parlors. Occasionally, they travelled far afield. One boy in Vincent’s year who called himself Bruce, after Bruce Lee, rode a motorcycle several hundred miles into the Hengduan Mountains, at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, to research a road that had been constructed as part of China’s supply chain during the Second World War.

Vincent liked interacting with people from different backgrounds, and he researched a massage parlor, a seedy pool hall, and an outdoor marriage market in Chengdu’s People’s Park. At the marriage market, singles tried to find partners, often with the help of parents and various middlemen. In Vincent’s opinion, Chinese parents were too controlling, and young people had spent so much time studying that they had no dating experience. He wrote:

Because of one-child policy and traditional ideology, many parents consider their children as their treasure which belongs to the parents instead of the children themselves. . . . I hope the future Chinese children can have genuine liberty.

Vincent’s mother told me that she and her husband had made a point of allowing their son to decide for himself whether to go to America. But many parents were nervous, including Bruce’s father, who didn’t want his son to go to the U.S. because of the political tensions with China. In the end, Bruce decided to take a gap year before leaving. The delay was probably fortunate, because while researching the highway in the mountains he drove his motorcycle around a blind curve and was hit by a thirteen-ton dump truck. Bruce and the motorcycle slid beneath the truck; by some miracle, the vehicle came to a halt before killing the boy. I didn’t hear about the accident from the police, or the hospital, or anybody at the university. It was characteristic of these hardworking students that the news arrived in the form of an e-mailed request for an extension:

Dear Prof. Hessler, I had an accident on my way to the Lexi Highway. I was turning a corner when I was hit by a truck. Now I have a fracture in my left hand and a piece of flesh has been grinded off my left hand. Then the ligaments and nerves were damaged, and the whole left hand was immobile. My left foot was also injured. It was badly bruised. The whole foot was swollen and couldn’t move. I’m in hospital now. I’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while before I can come back. So I may not be able to write the article about the Lexi Highway. I don’t know what to do now. Can I write the article at a later date? Because I can’t do my research right now. And it’s really hard for me to type with one hand. Best wishes, Bruce

The first time I saw Vincent in Pittsburgh, in October, 2021, he had lived in America for only eighty-two days, but already he had acquired a used Lexus sedan, a twelve-gauge Winchester shotgun, a Savage Axis XP 6.5 Creedmoor bolt-action rifle, and a Glock 19 handgun. “It’s the Toyota Camry of guns,” he said, explaining that the Glock was simple and reliable.

Vincent had studied the gun laws in Pennsylvania, learning that an applicant for a concealed-carry permit must be at least twenty-one, so he applied on his birthday. The permit cost twenty dollars and featured a photograph of Vincent standing in front of an American flag. He had also researched issues of jurisdiction. “I can use it in Ohio,” he said. “But not in California. I don’t like California.” One reason he disliked California was that state law follows the Castle Doctrine, which, in Vincent’s opinion, provides inadequate protection for gun owners. “Pennsylvania has Stand Your Ground,” he said, referring to a law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force in public spaces. “They made some adjustments to the Castle Doctrine.”

Vincent was thriving in his engineering classes, and he said that some of the math was easier than what he had studied in high school in China. His views about his home country were changing, in part because of the pandemic. Vaccines were now widespread, but the Party hadn’t adjusted its “zero COVID ” strategy. “Their policy overreacts,” Vincent told me. “You should not require the government to do too many things and restrict our liberties. We should be responsible for ourselves. We should not require the government to be like our parents.”

“Im a monster.”

A couple of times, he had attended Sunday services at the Pittsburgh Chinese Church Oakland, an evangelical congregation that offered meals and various forms of support for students. In China, Vincent had never gone to church, but now he was exploring different denominations. He had his own way of classifying faiths. “For example, a church with all white Americans,” he said, referring to his options. “One of my classmates joined that. I think he likes it. He goes every week. He can earn so many profits. Even the Chinese church, they can pick you up from the airport, free. They can help you deliver furniture from some store, no charge. They do all kinds of things!”

In 2021, there were more than fifteen hundred Chinese at the University of Pittsburgh, and around three thousand at Carnegie Mellon, whose campus is less than a mile away. I came to associate the city with Sichuanese food, because I almost never ate anything else while meeting former students. Some of them, like Vincent, were trying to branch out into American activities, but for the most part they found it easy to maintain a Chinese life. Many still ordered from Taobao, which in the U.S. is slower than Amazon but has a much better selection of Chinese products. They also used various Chinese delivery apps: Fantuan, HungryPanda, FreshGoGo. The people I taught still relied heavily on V.P.N.s, although now they used them to hop in the other direction across China’s firewall. They needed the Chinese Internet in order to access various streaming apps and pop-music services, as well as to watch N.B.A. games with cheaper subscription fees and Mandarin commentary.

For students who wanted to play intercollegiate basketball, the Chinese even had their own league. An athletic boy named Ethan, who had been in my composition class at Sichuan University, was now the point guard for the Pittsburgh team. Ethan told me that about forty students had tried out and seventeen had made the cut. I asked if somebody like me could play.

“No white people,” Ethan said, laughing.

“What about hunxue’er ?” The term means a person of mixed race.

“I think that works.”

One weekend in 2022, I watched Pitt play Carnegie Mellon. Or, more accurately, I watched “UPitt,” because that was the name on the jerseys. My father attended Pitt in the late sixties, and I had grown up wearing school paraphernalia, but I had never heard anybody refer to the place as UPitt. The colors were also different. Rather than using Pitt’s royal and gold, the Chinese had made up uniforms in white and navy blue, which, in this corner of Pennsylvania, verged on sacrilege: Penn State colors.

The team received no university funding, so it had found its own sponsors. Moello, a Chinese-owned athletic-clothing company in New York, made the uniforms, and Penguin Auto, a local dealership, paid to have its logo on the back, because Chinese students were reliable car buyers.

The Northeastern Chinese Basketball League, which is not limited to the Northeast, has more than a hundred teams across the U.S. On the day that I watched, the Pitt team played a fast, guard-dominated game, running plays that had been named for local public bus lines. “ Qishiyi B!” the point guard would call out: 71B, a bus that runs to Highland Park. It was the first time I had attended a college basketball game in which the starting forward hit a vape pen in the huddle during time-outs.

The forward was originally from Tianjin, and his girlfriend was the team manager. She told me that she was trying to get him to stop vaping during games. Her name was Ren Yufan, and she was friendly and talkative; she went by the English name Ally. Ally had grown up in Shanghai and Nanjing, but she had attended high school at Christ the King Cathedral, a Catholic school in Lubbock, Texas, where she played tennis. “I was state sixth place in 2A,” she said. She noted that she had also been elected prom queen.

Ally often answered questions with “Yes, sir” or “No, sir,” and her English had a slight Texas twang. Her parents had sent her to Lubbock through a program that pairs Chinese children with American host families. Ally’s host family owned a farm, where she learned to ride a horse; she enjoyed Lubbock so much that she still returned for school holidays. In the past ten or so years, more Chinese have found ways to enroll their kids in U.S. high schools, in part to avoid gaokao agony. In Pittsburgh, my Sichuan University students described these Chinese as a class apart: typically, they come from wealthy families, and their English is better than that of the Chinese who arrive in college or afterward. Their work patterns are also different. Yingyi Ma, a Chinese-born sociologist at Syracuse University, who has conducted extensive surveys of students from the mainland, has observed that the longer the Chinese stay in the U.S. the less they report working harder than their American peers. Like any good Chinese math problem, this distinctly American form of regression toward the mean can be quantified. In Ma’s book “Ambitious and Anxious,” she reports on her survey results: “Specifically, one additional year of time in the United States can reduce the odds of putting in more effort than American peers by 14 percent.”

Ally’s boyfriend had attended a private high school in Pennsylvania that cost almost seventy thousand dollars a year, and he drove a Mercedes GLC. “We are using our parents’ money, but we can’t be as successful as our parents,” Ally said. Neither her father nor her mother had attended university, but they had thrived in construction and private business during the era of China’s rapid growth. Now the country’s economy was struggling, and Ally accepted the fact that her career opportunities would likely be worse than those of the previous generation. Nevertheless, she planned to return to China, because she wanted to be close to her parents. I asked if anything might make it hard to fit in after spending so many formative years in America.

“My personality,” she said. “I’m too outgoing.”

“There are no prom queens in China, right?”

By my second visit to Pittsburgh, in November, 2022, Vincent had decided to stay permanently in the U.S., been baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and added an AK-47 and two Sig Sauer handguns to his arsenal. He had also downgraded to a less expensive car, because the Lexus had been damaged in a crash. Rather than getting the Glock 19 of automobiles, Vincent decided on the Camry’s cousin, a used Toyota Prius. He picked me up in the Prius, and we headed out for a traditional Steel City meal of lajiao and prickly ash. Vincent wore a Sig Sauer P365 XL with a laser sight in a holster on his right hip. The car radio was playing “Water Tower Town,” a country song by Scotty McCreery:

In a water tower town, everybody waves Church doors are the only thing that’s open on Sundays Word travels fast, wheels turn slow. . . .

Earlier in the year, some Mormon missionaries had struck up a conversation with Vincent on campus. “Their koucai is really good,” he told me, using a word that means “eloquence.” “It helps me understand how to interact with people. They say things like ‘Those shoes are really nice!’ And they start talking, and then they ask you a question: ‘Are you familiar with the Book of Mormon?’ ” Now Vincent had a Chinese app for the Book of Mormon on his phone, and he attended services every Sunday. He had been baptized on July 23rd, which was also the day that he had quit drinking and smoking cigarettes, a habit he’d had since Sichuan University. He thought that the church might be a good place to meet a girlfriend. He had a notion that someday he’d like to have a big family and live in a place like Texas, whose gun laws appealed to him.

Corn grows high, crime stays low There’s little towns everywhere where everybody knows. . . .

During the winter of Vincent’s first academic year in the U.S., his political transformation had been rapid. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos about things like June 4th,” he told me, referring to the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre, in 1989. He began to question the accommodationist views that he had previously held. “Young people are like this in China,” he said. “They tend to support the system.”

In the spring of 2022, Vincent became dismayed by the excessive COVID lockdown in Shanghai. He posted a series of critical remarks on social media, and in May he sent me an e-mail:

In recent months, I make some negative comments on WeChat on the humanitarian crisis caused by the lockdown in Shanghai and some other issues. My parents got nervous and asked me to delete these contents because their colleagues having me in their contact lists in WeChat read my “Pengyou Quan” [friends’ circle] and reminded my parents of potential risks of “Ju Bao” [political reporting] that would affect my parents’ jobs.

One day, a man who may have been from the Chinese security apparatus phoned Vincent’s parents. Unlike in the call from years before, this man didn’t identify himself as the police. But he said that Vincent’s actions could cause trouble for the family. Such anonymous warnings are occasionally made to the parents of overseas Chinese, and they weigh heavily on students.

Vincent deleted his WeChat comments. But he also decided that he couldn’t imagine returning to China. “I would say something and get arrested,” he told me. “I need to be in a place where I have freedom.” An older Chinese friend in Pittsburgh had made a similar decision, and he advised Vincent on how to eventually apply for a green card.

Vincent told his parents that he planned to stay in America for at least five years, but initially he didn’t say that his decision was permanent, because he worried that they would be upset. In the meantime, he didn’t want to waste their money, so he earned cash on the side by teaching Chinese students how to drive. Professional garages charged at least five hundred dollars to install a passenger brake, but Vincent found one on Taobao for about eighty-five dollars, including shipping from China. “I don’t know if it’s legal,” he told me. With his engineering skills, he was able to install the brake in the Prius.

“How about you wash and dry and Ill curate a dishwashing playlist”

The number of Chinese studying in the U.S. had dropped to the lowest level in nearly a decade. But there were still almost three hundred thousand, and many of them arrived in places like Pittsburgh and realized that qishiyi B and other public buses weren’t adequate for their needs. They preferred to hire driving instructors who spoke Mandarin, and Vincent’s rate was eighty dollars an hour. He charged even more for the use of his car during exams. Vincent told me that a Chinese-speaking driving instructor who hustled could earn at least two hundred thousand dollars a year. In my own business, the Chinese political climate had made it almost impossible for American journalists to get resident visas, and specialists of all sorts no longer had access to the country. Sometimes I envisioned a retraining program for old China hands: all of us could buy passenger brakes on Taobao and set up shop as mandarins of parallel parking.

I knew of only a few former students who, like Vincent, had already decided to make a permanent home outside China. It was viewed as an extreme step, and most of them preferred to keep their options open. But virtually all my former students in the U.S. planned to apply to graduate school here.

They were concerned about the economic and political situation in China, but they also often felt out of place in Pittsburgh. American racial attitudes sometimes mystified them. One engineer had taken a Pitt psychology class that frequently touched on race, and he said that it reminded him of the political-indoctrination classes at Sichuan University. In both situations, he felt that students weren’t supposed to ask questions. “They’re just telling you how to play with words,” he said. “Like in China when they say socialism is good. In America you will say, ‘Black lives matter.’ They are actually the same thing. When you are saying socialism is good, you are saying that capitalism is bad. You are hiding something behind your words. When you say, ‘Black lives matter,’ what are you saying? You are basically saying that Asian lives don’t matter, white lives don’t matter.”

It wasn’t uncommon for Chinese students to have been harassed on the streets. They often said, with some discomfort, that those who targeted them tended to be Black. Many of these incidents involved people shouting slurs from passing cars, but occasionally there was something more serious. One group of boys was riding a public bus at night when a passenger insulted them and stole some ice cream that they had just bought. Afterward, one of the students acquired a Beretta air pistol. He was wary of buying an actual gun, but he figured that the Beretta looked real enough to intimidate people.

One evening, I went out for Sichuanese food with four former students, including a couple who had been involved in that incident. They seemed to brush it off, and they were much more concerned about Sino-U.S. tensions. One mentioned that if there were a war over Taiwan he would have only three options. “I can go back to China, or I can go to Canada, or I can go somewhere else,” he said. “I won’t be able to stay here.”

“Look at what happened to the Japanese during World War Two,” another said. “They put them into camps. It would be the same here.”

They all believed that war was unlikely, although Xi Jinping made them nervous. Back in China, my students had generally avoided mentioning the leader by name, and in Pittsburgh they did the same.

“It all depends on one person now,” a student said at the dinner. “In the past, it wasn’t just one person. When you have a group of people, it’s more likely that somebody will think about the cost.”

I asked whether they would serve in the Chinese military if there were a war.

“They wouldn’t ask people like us to fight,” one boy said. He explained that, in a war, he wouldn’t return home if his country was the aggressor. “If China fires the first shot, then I will stay in America,” he said.

I asked why.

“Because I don’t believe that we should attack our tongbao , our compatriots.”

I knew of only one Pitt student who planned to return to China for graduate school. The student, whom I’ll call Jack, was accepted into an aerospace-engineering program at Jiao Tong University, in Shanghai. Jack was one of the top SCUPI students, and in an earlier era he would have had his pick of American grad schools. But Chinese aerospace jobs are generally connected to the military, and American institutions had become wary of training such students. Even if a university makes an offer of admission, it can be extremely difficult to get a student visa approved. “Ten years ago, it would have been fine,” Jack told me. “My future Ph.D. adviser got his Ph.D. at Ohio State in aerospace engineering.” He continued, “Everybody knows you can’t get this kind of degree in the U.S. anymore.”

When I met Jack for lunch, I initially didn’t recognize him. He had lost twenty pounds, because in Pittsburgh he had adopted a daily routine of a four-mile run. “In middle school and high school, my parents and grandparents always said you should eat a lot and study hard,” he said. “I became kind of fat.”

He had assimilated to American life more successfully than most of his peers, and his English had improved dramatically. He told me shyly that he had become good friends with a girl in his department. “Some of my friends from SCUPI are jealous because I have a friend who is a foreign girl, a white girl,” he said. “They make some jokes.”

He said that he would always remember Pittsburgh fondly, but he expected his departure to be final. “I don’t think I’ll come to the U.S. again,” he said. “They will check. If they see that you work with rockets, with the military, they won’t let you in.”

On the afternoon of January 10, 2023, at around three o’clock, in the neighborhood of Homewood, Vincent was stopped behind another vehicle at a traffic light when he heard a popping sound that he thought was fireworks. He was driving the Prius, and a Chinese graduate student from Carnegie Mellon sat in the passenger seat. Vincent wore a Sig Sauer P365 subcompact semi-automatic pistol in a concealed-carry holster on his right hip. The Carnegie Mellon student was preparing to get his driver’s license, and Vincent was taking him to practice at a test course in Penn Hills, an area that was known for occasional crime problems.

At the traffic light, Vincent saw a car approach at high speed and run a red light. Then there were more popping sounds. Vincent realized that they weren’t fireworks when a bullet cracked his windshield.

He ducked below the dashboard. In the process, his foot came off the brake, and the Prius struck the vehicle ahead of him. The shooting continued for a few seconds. After it stopped, the Carnegie Mellon student said, “ Ge , brother, you just hit the car in front!”

“Get your head down!” Vincent shouted. He backed up, swerved around the other vehicle, and tore through a red light. After a block, he saw a crossing guard waiting for children who had just finished the day at Westinghouse Academy, a nearby public school.

“Shots fired, shots fired!” Vincent shouted. “Call 911!”

He parked on the side of the road, and soon he was joined by the driver whose car he had struck. They checked the bumpers; there wasn’t any damage. The driver, an elderly woman, didn’t seem particularly concerned about the shooting. She left before the police arrived.

A woman from a nearby house came out to talk with Vincent. She remarked that shootings actually weren’t so common, and then she walked off to pick up her child from Westinghouse Academy. After a while, a police officer drove up, carrying an AR-15. Vincent explained that he was also armed, and the officer thanked him for the information. He asked Vincent to wait until a detective arrived.

For more than two hours, Vincent sat in his car. The Carnegie Mellon student took an Uber home. When the detective finally showed up, his questions were perfunctory, and he didn’t seem interested in Vincent’s offer to provide dashboard-camera footage. A brief report about the incident appeared on a Twitter account called Real News and Alerts Allegheny County:

Shot Spotter Alert for 20 rounds Vehicles outside of a school shooting at each other. 1 vehicle fled after firing shots.

Later that year, Vincent took me to the site. He recalled that during the incident he had repeatedly said, “Lord, save me!,” like Peter the Apostle on the Sea of Galilee. The lack of police response had surprised Vincent. “I didn’t know they didn’t care about a shooting,” he said. For our visit, he wore a Sig Sauer P320-M17 on his right hip. “Normally, I don’t open-carry,” he said. “But this gun can hold eighteen rounds.”

It had been four years since Vincent arrived in my class at Sichuan University. Have you ever been involved in a situation that was extremely threatening, or dangerous, or somehow dramatic ? Back then, he had written about what happened when the Chinese Internet police came to his home. Now Vincent’s American story was one in which the police effectively didn’t come after twenty rounds had been fired near a school. But there was a similar sense of normalcy: everybody was calm; nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The following month, four students were shot outside Westinghouse Academy.

I asked Vincent if the incident had changed his opinion about gun laws.

“No,” he said. “That’s why we should carry guns. Carrying a gun is more comfortable than wearing body armor.”

At Sichuan University, I also taught journalism to undergraduates from a range of departments. Last June, I sent out a detailed survey to more than a hundred and fifty students. One question asked if they intended to make their permanent home in China. A few weren’t certain, but, of the forty-three who answered, thirty said that they planned to live in China. There was no significant difference in the responses of students who were currently in China versus those abroad.

Since the pandemic, there have been increasing reports of young Chinese engaged in runxue , or “run philosophy,” escaping the country’s various pressures by going abroad permanently. A number of my students pushed back against the idea that runxue had wide appeal. “I think that’s just an expression of emotion, like saying, ‘I want to die,’ ” one student who was studying in Pittsburgh told me. “I don’t take it very seriously.” He planned to go to graduate school in America and then return home. He said that in China it was easy for him to avoid politics, whereas in Pittsburgh he couldn’t avoid the fact that he was a foreigner. During his initial few months in the city, he had experienced three unpleasant anti-Asian incidents. As a result, he had changed the route he walked to his bus stop. “I think I don’t belong here,” he said.

How Chinese Students Experience America

Yingyi Ma, the sociologist at Syracuse who has surveyed Chinese students in the U.S., has observed that almost sixty per cent of her respondents intend to return to their homeland. She told me that young Chinese rarely connect with the political climate in the U.S. “But what makes America appealing is the other aspects,” she said. “The agency. The self-acceptance. Over time, as they stay in the U.S., they figure out that they don’t have to change themselves.”

One former student told me that she might remain in America in part because people were less likely to make comments about her body. She’s not overweight, but she doesn’t have the tiny frame that is common among young Chinese women, and people in China constantly remarked on her size. In Pittsburgh, I met with Edith, the student who had written about her graduation banquet. Now she had dyed some of her hair purple and green, and she avoided video calls with her grandparents, who might judge her. Once, she had gone to a shooting range with Chinese classmates, and she had attended church-group meetings out of curiosity. She told me that recently she had taken up skateboarding as a hobby.

It was typical for students to pursue activities that would have been unlikely or impossible in China, and several boys became gun enthusiasts. Nationwide, rising numbers of Asian Americans have purchased firearms since the start of the pandemic, a trend that scholars attribute to fears of racism. One afternoon, I arranged to meet a former student named Steven at a shooting range outside Wexford, Pennsylvania. I knew that I was in the right parking lot when, amid all the pickup trucks, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said “E=mc 2 .” On the range, whenever the call came for a halt in shooting—“All clear!”—a bunch of bearded white guys in camo and Carhartt stalked out with staple guns to attach new paper covers to the targets. Steven, a shy, round-faced engineer in glasses, was the only Chinese at the range, and also the only person who used quilting pins for his target. He told me that the quilting pins were reusable and thus cheaper than staples. He had come with a Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7 handgun, a Ruger American Predator 6.5 Creedmoor bolt-action rifle, and a large Benchmade knife that he wore in a leather holster. At the range, he shot his rifle left-handed. When he was small, his father had thought that he was a natural lefty, but he was taught to write with his right hand, like all Chinese students. He told me that shooting was the first significant activity in which he had used his left.

On the same trip, I met Bruce for a classic Allegheny County dinner of mapo tofu and Chongqing chicken. After the accident in the Himalayas, Bruce had sworn off motorcycles. At Pitt, in addition to his engineering classes, he had learned auto repair by watching YouTube videos. He bought an old BMW, fixed it up, and sold it for a fifty-per-cent profit. He used the money to purchase a used Ford F-150 truck, which he customized so he could sleep in the cab for hiking and snowboarding excursions to the mountains. He had decorated the truck with two “thin blue line” American-flag decals and another pro-police insignia around the license plate. “That’s so it looks like I’m a hongbozi ,” Bruce said, using the Mandarin translation of “redneck.” “People won’t honk at me or mess with me.” He opened the door and pointed out a tiny Chinese flag on the back of the driver’s seat. “You can’t see it from the outside,” he said, grinning.

Over time, I’ve also surveyed the people I taught in the nineties, and last year I asked both cohorts of former students the same question: Did the pandemic change anything significant about your personal opinions, beliefs, or values? The older group reported relatively few changes. Most are now around fifty years old, with stable teaching jobs that have not been affected by China’s economic problems. They typically live in third- or fourth-tier provincial cities, which were less likely to suffer brutal lockdowns than places like Shanghai and Beijing.

But members of the younger generation, who are likelier to live in larger cities and generally access more foreign information, responded very differently. “I can’t believe I’m still reading Mao Zedong Thought and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” one graduate student at a Chinese university wrote. “In this collectivist ideology, there is no respect for the dignity and worth of the individual.” Another woman, who was in graduate school in the United Kingdom, wrote, “Now I’ve switched to an anarchist. It reduces the stress when I have to read the news.”

Their generation is unique in Chinese history in the scope of their education and in their degree of contact with the outside world. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that their concerns are broader. In my survey, I asked what they worried about most, and, out of forty-seven responses, three mentioned politics. Another three worried about the possibility of war with Taiwan. Only one cited environmental issues. The vast majority of answers were personal, with more than half mentioning job opportunities or problems with graduate school. This seemed to reflect the tradition of “educated acquiescence”: there’s no point in concerning yourself with big questions and systemic flaws.

Nevertheless, their worldliness makes it harder to predict long-term outcomes, and I sense a new degree of unease. On a recent trip to California, I interviewed a former student who commented that even when she and her Chinese boyfriend were alone they instinctively covered their phones if they talked about politics, as if this would prevent surveillance. I noticed that, like many other former students, she never uttered the name Xi Jinping. Afterward, I asked her about it over e-mail, and she replied:

I do find myself avoiding mentioning Xi’s name directly in [California], even in private conversations and in places where I generally feel “safe.” . . . I guess it’s a thing that has been reinforced millions of times to the point that it just feels uncomfortable and daunting to say his full name, as it has too much association with unrestrained power and punishment.

In the survey of my Sichuan University students, I was most struck by responses to a simple query: Do you want to have children someday? The most common answer was no, and the trend was especially pronounced for women, at seventy-six per cent. Other surveys and studies in China indicate a similar pattern. One former student explained:

I think that Chinese children are more stressed and profoundly confused, which will continue. We are already a confused generation, and children’s upbringing requires long periods of companionship and observation and guidance, which is difficult to ensure in the face of intense social pressure. The future of Chinese society is an adventure and children do not “demand to be born.” I am worried that my children are not warriors and are lost in it.

By my third visit to Pittsburgh, in November, 2023, Vincent had graduated, been baptized again, and embarked on his first real American job. The previous year, I had attended Sunday services with him at a Mormon church, but this time he took me to the Church of the Ascension, an Anglican congregation near campus. When I asked why he had switched, he used a Chinese word, qihou . “Environment,” he said. “They aren’t pushy. The Mormons are too pushy.”

He liked the fact that the Anglicans were conservative but reasonable. He saw politics in similar terms: he disliked Donald Trump, but he considered himself most likely to vote as a traditional Republican if he became a citizen. He had been baptized in the Anglican Church on Easter. “I told them that I had already been baptized,” he explained. “But they said that because it was Mormon it doesn’t count.”

The previous summer, Vincent’s mother had visited Pittsburgh, where, among other places, he took her to church and to the shooting range. During the trip, he told her about his plan to live permanently in the U.S. When I spoke with her recently by phone, she still held out hope that he would someday return to China. “I don’t want him to stay in America,” she said. “But if that’s what he wants I won’t oppose it.” She said that she was impressed by how much her son had matured since going abroad.

After receiving his degree in industrial engineering, Vincent decided not to work in the field. He believed that he was best suited for a career in business, because he liked dealing with all kinds of people. He had started working for his landlord, Nick Kefalos, who managed real-estate properties around Pittsburgh. One morning, I accompanied Vincent when he stopped by Kefalos’s office to drop off a check from a tenant.

Kefalos was a wiry, energetic man of around seventy. He told me that on a couple of occasions a roommate had left an apartment and Vincent was able to find a replacement. At one point, he persuaded a Japanese American, a Serbian, and a Dane to share a unit, and all of them had got along ever since. “We could see that he had a knack,” Kefalos said. “He was able to find unrelated people and make good matches.” Kefalos also liked having a Chinese speaker on staff. “We think a diverse population is ideal,” he said. Vincent was currently studying for his real-estate license, and he hoped to start his own business someday.

Kefalos’s grandfather had come from Greece, and his father had worked as an electrical engineer in the steel industry. Many of his current tenants were immigrants. “My personal experience is that they are relatively hardworking,” he said. “And I think that’s true with most immigrants who come into the country. Whether it’s for education or a better life.” He looked up at Vincent and said, “My sense is that most U.S. citizens born in the United States don’t have any idea how fortunate they are.” ♦

New Yorker Favorites

Searching for the cause of a catastrophic plane crash .

The man who spent forty-two years at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool .

Gloria Steinem’s life on the feminist frontier .

Where the Amish go on vacation .

How Colonel Sanders built his Kentucky-fried fortune .

What does procrastination tell us about ourselves ?

Fiction by Patricia Highsmith: “The Trouble with Mrs. Blynn, the Trouble with the World”

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the best stories from The New Yorker .

By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement . This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

How an Enthusiast of Soviet Socialism Fell Afoul of the Authorities

By Benjamin Kunkel

Kafta as a Tool for Palestinian Diplomacy

By Hannah Goldfield

Forty-three Mexican Students Went Missing. What Really Happened to Them?

By Alma Guillermoprieto

The Aftermath of China’s Comedy Crackdown

By Chang Che

Lead Stories

Fact Check: Mitch McConnell's Sister-In-Law Angela Chao Is NOT Listed As CEO Of Company That Owns Ship That Hit Baltimore Bridge

  • Mar 27, 2024
  • by: Ed Payne

Fact Check: Mitch McConnell's Sister-In-Law Angela Chao Is NOT Listed As CEO Of Company That Owns Ship That Hit Baltimore Bridge

Is Angela Chao, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's sister-in-law who drowned in a fatal car accident in February 2024, listed as the CEO of the company that owns the ship that hit Baltimore's Key Bridge on March 26, 2024? No, that's not true: Chao is listed as the chair and CEO of Foremost Group, an American shipping company headquartered in New York. The container ship, Dali, that crashed into the bridge, is owned by Singapore-based Ocean Grace.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here ) on X (formerly Twitter) by Lori Allen on March 26, 2024. The post's caption said:

McConnel's sister in law that recently drowned in a Tesla is listed as the CEO of the company that owns the ship that hit the bridge.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

chrome_VQ9lwsZdNX.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Mar 27 14:25:02 2024 UTC)

The social media post appeared to be quoting Grok, X's AI chatbot. In the screenshot included, Grok purportedly said:

It appears that the container ship DALI is owned by the company Foremost Group, which has Angela Chao listed as its CEO on its website

The virtual assistant debuted on November 3, 2023, and was only available to premium subscribers (archived here ) at the time this fact check was written. Grok's website (archived here ) promises that:

Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don't use it if you hate humor! A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the 𝕏 platform. It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems. Grok is still a very early beta product - the best we could do with 2 months of training - so expect it to improve rapidly with each passing week with your help.

Because Grok gets its information from the "𝕏 platform," it's susceptible to whatever is circulating there -- whether true or false, accurate or inaccurate.

Angela Chao

It is true that Chao, the sister of McConnell's wife Elaine Chao , was the chair and CEO of Foremost Group , the company's website says. But Foremost Group does not own the ship that crashed (archived here ) into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Dali, the container ship involved in the incident, is owned by Grace Ocean (archived here ) and managed by Synergy Group.

Angela Chao (archived here ) drowned in a fatal car accident (archived here ) involving a Tesla in Texas on February 11, 2024.

Other Lead Stories fact checks involving claims around the F rancis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore can be found here .

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.”  Read more about or contact Ed Payne

essays in chinese

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet. Spotted something? Let us know! .

Lead Stories is a:

  • Verified signatory of the IFCN Code of Principles
  • Facebook Third-Party Fact-Checking Partner
  • Member of the #CoronavirusFacts Alliance
@leadstories

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Fact Check: Putin Did NOT 'Reveal' That 'Jesus Was Black'

Fact Check: Putin Did NOT 'Reveal' That 'Jesus Was Black'

Fact Check: 'The Great Reset' Is NOT A Secret Plan Masterminded By Global Elites To Limit Freedoms And Push Radical Policies

Fact Check: 'The Great Reset' Is NOT A Secret Plan Masterminded By Global Elites To Limit Freedoms And Push Radical Policies

Fact Check: The April 8, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse Will NOT Pass Over 8 North American Towns Named Nineveh

Fact Check: The April 8, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse Will NOT Pass Over 8 North American Towns Named Nineveh

Fact Check: Venus Williams Did NOT 'Refuse To Play Against A Trans Woman' -- Claim Is From A Satire Network

Fact Check: Venus Williams Did NOT 'Refuse To Play Against A Trans Woman' -- Claim Is From A Satire Network

Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Ban Posting Of The Lord's Prayer

Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Ban Posting Of The Lord's Prayer

Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Discuss Black Jesus In Major Speech -- Both Sound And Contents Of The Address Were AI-Generated

Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Discuss Black Jesus In Major Speech -- Both Sound And Contents Of The Address Were AI-Generated

Fact/Line™ -- A New Social Network Based On Facts

Fact/Line™ -- A New Social Network Based On Facts

Most recent.

Happy International Fact-Checking Day From Lead Stories!

Happy International Fact-Checking Day From Lead Stories!

Lead Stories Presents: The Daily NOT -- A Show About What Didn't Happen Today

Lead Stories Presents: The Daily NOT -- A Show About What Didn't Happen Today

Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show US Anti-Bunker Missile Strike In Yemen -- It's Gamer Video  From Arma 3

Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show US Anti-Bunker Missile Strike In Yemen -- It's Gamer Video From Arma 3

Fact Check: Video Of Kelly Clarkson Promoting Keto Weight-Loss Gummies Is NOT Authentic

Fact Check: Video Of Kelly Clarkson Promoting Keto Weight-Loss Gummies Is NOT Authentic

Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Declare Easter Sunday 'Transgender Day Of Visibility' -- 'TDOV' Is Always March 31, But Easter Varies Yearly

Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Declare Easter Sunday 'Transgender Day Of Visibility' -- 'TDOV' Is Always March 31, But Easter Varies Yearly

Fact Check: Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki Did NOT Promote A Blood Vessel Cleaning Product -- Or Any Commercial Product, Ever

Fact Check: Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki Did NOT Promote A Blood Vessel Cleaning Product -- Or Any Commercial Product, Ever

Fact Check: Donald Trump Did NOT Say '144,000 Black People With Superpower Godlike Abilities' Are 'Chosen Ones' -- Audio Was AI-Generated

Fact Check: Donald Trump Did NOT Say '144,000 Black People With Superpower Godlike Abilities' Are 'Chosen Ones' -- Audio Was AI-Generated

Share your opinion, lead stories.

IMAGES

  1. How To Write Better Chinese Essays

    essays in chinese

  2. 003 Chinese Essay St1961mag 076p Wp ~ Thatsnotus

    essays in chinese

  3. Me in 20 Years: a Chinese Kid's Essay

    essays in chinese

  4. 009 Chinese Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    essays in chinese

  5. 009 Chinese Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    essays in chinese

  6. Chineseness and Modernity in a Changing China: Essays in Honour of

    essays in chinese

VIDEO

  1. China bids to achieve harmony between man and nature

  2. I Made Language Learning a Blast!

  3. 中国古代诗词精选

  4. (sub) 人工智能和我的生活| AI and my life Mandarin essay

  5. 麻婆豆腐

  6. The Greatest Inventions of Ancient China

COMMENTS

  1. Essays

    In the first of a two-part post, we'll look at a letter sent in 1987 from a group of elementary school students to the anarchist writer Ba Jin (most famous for his 1931 novel The Family) as they struggle to cope with China's changing social values. In Part II, I'll translate Ba Jin's reply. Essays.

  2. PDF Style Guide For Essays In Chinese Studies

    2" " " Foreignwordswrittenin "pinyin"(butnotpropernames!) are"usually"italicized inthemain"text. "" The qipao"becamepopular"inShanghaiduringthelate1920s ...

  3. How to Write a Chinese Essay

    Here are tips to help you get better at writing essays in Chinese. Cover image from Pexels Learn New Chinese Words. The key to communicating in a new language is learning as many words as you can. Take it upon yourself to learn at least one Chinese word a day. Chinese words are to essay writing what bricks are to a building.

  4. Short Stories and Essays in Chinese and English

    Essays. Translations. Write Me. Short stories and essays by a contemporary Chinese writer, Yafei Hu.

  5. Improve Chinese Essay Writing-A Complete How To Guide

    Takeaway to Improve Chinese Essay Writing. Keep an excel spreadsheet of 口语 (Kǒuyǔ, spoken Chinese) -书面语 (Shūmiànyǔ, written Chinese) pairs and quotes of sentences that you like. You should also be marking up books and articles that you read looking for new ways of expressing ideas. Using Chinese-Chinese dictionaries is really ...

  6. How to Write in Chinese

    First we went from components to characters. Next, we are going from characters to words. Although there are a lot of one-character words in Chinese, they tend to either be classically-rooted words like "king" and "horse" or grammatical particles and pronouns. The vast majority of Chinese words contain two characters.

  7. Chinese Writing--How to Write a Good Chinese Essay

    Chinese essay is not just meaning some simple Chinese characters and make a simple sentences, it needs the Chinese grammar and sentence structure, if you don't familiar with Chinese grammar, you can learn our Chinese grammar course. At last, adhere to write diary at ordinary times, it can practicing writing. Try to read some good articles, good ...

  8. 8 Useful Words for Writing Essays in Mandarin Chinese [IB, AP, HSK]

    10 Useful Words for Writing Essays in Mandarin Chinese: https://youtu.be/h24nSlnOet0** [Grammar used in this video]: 👇⭐️ The most often used Chinese word 的 ...

  9. writing

    When analyzing Chinese speeches or essays, I often have difficulty understanding how their the authors organized their ideas. In North America, for example, a common template for writing an essay is the five-paragraph essay. This organizes the paragraphs and the sentences within each paragraph. Most English-language writing in academia follows ...

  10. Mandarin Chinese Essay-Writing Skills

    Get hands-on writing practice and guidance from native speakers. After this introduction, it's time to get stuck into some writing. In Weeks 3 and 4 of the course, you'll write one short narrative excercise and one longer essay, giving you a chance to put your new writing skills into practice. Throughout the course, you'll get tailored ...

  11. How to write in Chinese

    In Chinese writing, you need to learn the strokes and strokes orders first. Only then, you will know how to write Chinese characters in the correct way. After that, you also need to study the radicals and the logic behind them. You can also make good use of pictograms image to help you remember the characters easily.

  12. Chineasy Blog

    Final Thoughts. Writing Mandarin is a challenging task that will test your language skills and make you think hard about how to apply what you've learned so far. It might be slow going to begin with, but that's great as it means you're pushing your limits and building on your existing skills. If you want to be able to master Mandarin, you ...

  13. Useful Chinese Essay Phrases

    Chinese Essay Phrases Used in Abstracts. The abstract should explain the purpose, method, results, and conclusion of your research, also highlighting the new ideas that you proposed; and do remember to keep your language concise while writing. The purpose of the abstract is to conclude and summarize the main contents of your essay so that the ...

  14. 20 tips and tricks to improve your Chinese writing ability

    Writing is in this sense a result of learning, not the cause of it. Read as much as you can; read extensively. Read narrowly - Because reading is so important for improving writing ability, I'll bring up another way of reading that can be particularly helpful: narrow reading.

  15. How to Write a Chinese Essay

    As a Chinese student, learning how to write an essay in this language is very important. Here are tips to help you get better at writing essays in Chinese. You can also enter a city, course or keyword to search, such as: Private Shanghai Location Online Beijing Shanghai

  16. 10 Useful Words for Writing Essays in Mandarin Chinese [IB ...

    10 Useful Words for Writing Essays in Mandarin Chinese 不但...,而且...: https://youtu.be/EJnKych4BvU

  17. Written Chinese

    13 Perfect Gift Options for Your Chinese Friends, Colleagues & Family. On July 13, 2022 | By Hollie | Blog. 20 Chinese Greetings That Will Make You Sound Like a Native. On June 26, 2022 | By Hollie | Blog. A List of Silly Mistakes We Made When Trying to Learn Chinese. On January 10, 2022 | By Hollie | Blog.

  18. Written Chinese

    Written Chinese is a writing system that uses Chinese characters and other symbols to represent the Chinese languages.Chinese characters do not directly represent pronunciation, unlike letters in an alphabet or syllabograms in a syllabary.Rather, the writing system is morphosyllabic: characters are one spoken syllable in length, but generally correspond to morphemes in the language, which may ...

  19. The Chinese Essay

    The Chinese Essay is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive introduction to Chinese literary non-fiction prose from earliest times to the present. Comparable collections in print, such as Richard Strassberg's Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China and Sang Ye's Vignettes from the Late Ming, are restricted to the premodern period, and until now modern essay ...

  20. ESSAY in Simplified Chinese

    ESSAY translate: (尤指学生写的作为课程作业的)短文;论说文;小品文,散文, 企图;尝试. Learn more in the Cambridge English-Chinese ...

  21. How to Write Dates in Chinese || Structures & Examples

    Days in Chinese. Dates are expressed with the number of the date followed by either the character 日 or 号. The 21st, for example, can be either 21日 or 21号. As a beginner, you can memorise one, but both are used commonly and thus worth learning. This is also a good opportunity to practice the vocabulary for yesterday, today, and tomorrow ...

  22. Chinese Short Stories: 9 Best Websites for Improving Your ...

    Better yet, you can read short stories in Chinese for an interesting learning experience—both linguistic and cultural. We'll show you how to take advantage of Chinese short stories and where to find them online. Contents. 1. Wattpad; 2. 短美文网 | Short and Beautiful Writings; 3. 短文学网 | The Art of Short Writing; 4.

  23. Introduce Yourself in Chinese with Self-Introduction Essay

    For a start, I have prepared three articles below with audio on self-introduction speech examples, changing the variation of replies in Chinese for beginners when you introduce yourself in Mandarin. The questions and answers will revolve around: -. ① Chinese Greetings and Pronouns. ② Your Name and Surname. ③ Your Age.

  24. How to say "Essay" in Chinese

    This video demonstrates "How to say Essay in Chinese"Talk with native teacher on italki: https://foreignlanguage.center/italki"About Foreign Language Center:...

  25. How Chinese Students Experience America

    On one level, the essay was terrifying—Chinese can be imprisoned for such crimes. But the calm tone created a strange sense of normalcy. The basic narrative was universal: a teen-ager makes a ...

  26. Imagining a common homeland: A study of Northeast landscape writing

    By writing about natural landscapes with Northeast features, war-ravaged landscapes from the invasion, and landscapes on the lives of members of the nation, war of resistance songs and Northeast resistance literature established the boundaries between the Chinese nation and the "other" (invaders), and molded the northeast, a border region ...

  27. What we know about the Baltimore bridge collapse

    A massive cargo ship plowed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday, causing the 1.6-mile structure to crumble like a pile of toothpicks - plunging cars and people into the ...

  28. Fact Check: Mitch McConnell's Sister-In-Law Angela Chao Is NOT Listed

    This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing: (Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Mar 27 14:25:02 2024 UTC) Grok. The social media post appeared to be quoting Grok, X's AI chatbot. In the screenshot included, Grok purportedly said: