Chinese Idioms Surprising Best Method To Memorize Chinese Characters

Have you been interested in learning Mandarin Chinese in 2021 but have no idea where to begin? This article provides some tips and basic knowledge on learning Chinese idioms and characters for you to start without struggling!

Maybe before you find this article, you might already read several Chinese step-by-step learning guidelines. However, reading all these lengthy guidelines may seem like a massive amount of work that takes years of effort, tempting you to want to give up. 

That’s why we’ve got you covered with this article from Pandanese! Let’s learn how to memorize Chinese characters in a fun and easy way as a beginner by going through these excellent tips on learning Chinese idioms.

Greeting in Chinese and English languages

No matter what language you learn as a new language, one of the first things you know is always how to greet people. Learning Chinese is no different from learning other languages. They’re the key to ensuring the people you talk to have a good impression of you right from the beginning.

If you’re a beginner in learning Chinese, the very first question for you to ask is “How do you say ‘hello’ in Chinese?.” Usually, your Chinese teacher will teach you to say 你好 (nĭhǎo).” However, it might not always be the best choice since there are different Chinese greetings for several occasions, and a proper greeting is critical in opening up the gate to a fuller, desired conversation.

So now, let’s help you grasp the gist of greeting in the Chinese language like a native! Even if you are a beginner. You’ll know all about Chinese greetings in no time!

Top 3 popular ways to say ‘hello’ in Chinese

#1 你好 – Hello! The perfect start

It would be hard not to mention “你好 (nǐ hǎo)” which is the most common and used expression to say hello in Mandarin. If you want to learn Chinese, you need to know this helpful word, and if you are, this was most likely one of the first things you learned. As “你 (nǐ)” is the informal form of “you,” Chinese people use “你好” when they want to greet friends or acquaintances. Although don’t forget that you should use this phrase to greet one person at a time!

For example, if you run into a classmate of yours, you can say:

同学你好 (tóngxué nǐ hǎo) Hello classmate! 

It doesn’t matter if you put the name or subject before or after the greeting expression in Chinese.

You can also shorten the greeting session by just putting the name or subject before “好 (hǎo)” good.

For example:

老师好 (lǎoshī hǎo) Hello teacher!

#2 您好 – Hello! the most polite Chinese learner

As we’ve just talked about the informal version of “you,” let me introduce to you the polite form of “你 (nǐ)” you: “您 (nín)” you. Imagine you want to say hello in Chinese to someone that is higher-ranked than you, let’s say your boss for instance, but also to elders, you’ll need to say “您好 (nín hǎo)” hello to show your respect.

For example, when you meet someone’s grandfather, you have to say:

经理您好 (jīnglǐ nín hǎo) hello manager!

Plus, they’ll be happy to hear you greeting them that way.

Note: The Taiwanese tend to use more “你好 (nǐ hǎo)” than “您好 (nín hǎo)” to greet people, even those they don’t know well.

#3 大家好 – Hello everyone! to greet a crowd

Say hello in Chinese: “大家好” hello everyone!

In the section above, I mentioned the first way to say hello in Mandarin. That you should use “你好 (nǐ hǎo)” to greet one person at a time. But what if you’re with many people and you want to say hi in Chinese to everyone at the same time? It’s the right time to use the Chinese expression “大家好 (dàjiā hǎo)” Hello everyone! ( ‘大家 (dàjiā)’ means everyone)

Let’s set the background. If you go to the bakery and there are many sellers and people inside, you can say:

大家好 (dàjiā hǎo) Hello everyone!

When greeting many people at a time, you can also say:

你们好 (nǐmen hǎo) hello everyone!

Where “你们 (nǐmen)” is the plural form of you, meaning “everyone.” 

Greeting people in Chinese at different times of a day

You know now how to greet people depending on how many they are with the most used and common expressions. Let’s see now how to say hello in Chinese based on what time of day it is! Chinese speakers use the following expressions regularly in their daily conversations. So don’t be surprised if someone greets you in one of these ways! 

#1 早上好/上午好 – start the day the right way

How do you say hello in Chinese in the morning? It’s straightforward! You can use the word “早上 (zǎo shang)” early morning and add the Chinese character “好 (hǎo)” – good. What you get in the end is the word “早上好 (zǎoshang hǎo)” Good morning! 

But be careful, “早上好” is only used if you meet someone early in the morning, specifically from 6 am to 9 am. After that, from 9 am to 12 am, you must say “上午好 (shàngwǔ hǎo)” which also means good morning. “上午 (shàngwǔ)” means morning.

#2 下午好 – Good afternoon! greetings for the tea hours

Let’s pretend it’s the afternoon, and you’re going over to a friend’s house for tea time. When arriving, you can say:

“朋友, 下午好 (péngyǒu, xiàwǔ hǎo)” Good afternoon my friend! 

“下午 (xiàwǔ)” means afternoon and it’s added to the character “好 (hǎo)” – good, to create good afternoon. 

The Chinese language is really easy, isn’t it?

#3 晚上好 – Good evening! greetings for the night owls

When it’s late, and you’re supposed to meet people in the evening, you can greet them by saying “晚上好 (wǎnshàng hǎo)” Good evening. As you have probably easily guessed, “晚上 (wǎnshàng)” means evening.

Short and cool expressions to say hello in Chinese

Nowadays, Chinese people have added more expressions to say hi in Mandarin. Young people, especially, have created their words inspired by the Western greeting expressions. See how and when you can get rid of “你好.”

#1 喂 – Hello! to pick up the phone like a pro

The expression “喂 (wèi)” Hello is only used in one situation: when answering your phone. If you’ve heard a Chinese person on the phone, then you have to listen to that “喂” before! For instance, if someone calls you on your phone when you answer, you can say “喂 (wèi)” Hello to greet them and indicate you’ve picked up. This is a charming yet simple word to say hello in Chinese. “喂” is used by everyone. Age doesn’t matter here.

#2 哈罗 – Hello! the one that sounds familiar

If you go to China, you’ll most likely hear young people say “哈罗 (hā luō)” Hello. If you pay attention ty6 o the pronunciation of “哈罗” you’ll notice it sounds like hello. In fact, “哈罗 (hā luō)” is a loanword the Chinese borrowed from English. Easy to remember, right? You can use this expression when speaking with young people.

#3 嗨 – Hi! to sound cool in Chinese

Young people are very creative, here’s another expression to say hello in Chinese you can use when talking to young people or people of your age to show how cool you are. “嗨 (hāi)” – Hi! is also a loanword the Chinese borrowed from English. If you say it out loud you’ll hear it sounds just like the English word Hi.

When sometimes, you think a “你好” is not enough to greet someone, you can use the following expressions to help you to be friendly with people and greet others in Chinese.

#1 好久不见- Long time no see! greetings sentence for old friends

Old friends can be separated by life’s duties, jobs, family, or hobbies, but once they gather together, it’s like they’ve never been away from each other that long. If that happens to you with a Chinese friend, you can tell them “好久不见 ! (hǎojiǔ bújiàn!)” Long time no see!

It’s a friendly greeting from a close friend. Yes, some suspect the English expression ‘long time no see’ was borrowed from Chinese.

#2 最近过得怎样呀? How has life been recently?

The expression “最近过得怎样呀? (zuìjìn guò dé zěnyàng ya?)” means “how has life been recently” and “how are you”?

For example, when you meet one of your friends you haven’t seen in a little while, they can ask you “最近过得怎样呀? (zuìjìn guò dé zěnyàng ya?)”, to which you can answer in several ways:

  • “挺好的 (tǐng hǎo de)” – Quite good!
  • “还不错 (hái búcuò)” – Not bad!
  • “一般般 (yì bān bān.)” – Just so so! 
  • “不太好 (bù tài hǎo.)” – Not good!

#3 吃了吗?- Have you eaten? 

Asking someone if they have eaten can seem like a weird question but it’s a well-known and popular expression to say hello in Chinese. Wait. To say hello? Absolutely. In China, eating is important and therefore inquiring whether someone has eaten or not “吃了吗? (chī le ma?)” Have you eaten? Gradually became a perfectly normal way of asking “How are you?” in Chinese. Whenever someone asks you “吃了吗? (chī le ma?)” – Have you eaten?, just say “吃了 (chī le)” – I’m fine (literally I’ve eaten) and ask them back “你呢? (nǐ ne?)” – and you? They’ll be glad to be asked so.

After learning some fun and extended way to say “Hello” in Chinese. Do you feel your Chinese is more like a native? Now let’s move to a more difficult part – the Chinese idioms, and see how they can better help us memorize Chinese characters!

Chinese idioms to memorize Chinese characters

Chinese idioms also called “成语 (chéngyǔ)” is one term with four characters. 

For almost all Chinese learners (no matter beginners or high-level learners), Chinese idioms are the most challenging. Even if you lived ten years in China, you may still have trouble understanding and using Chinese idioms. Today, I’d like to introduce two fun and easy ways to learn Chinese idioms and how they help you memorize Chinese characters, even if you are a beginner.

Read stories 

The first thing you should know about “成语 (chéngyǔ)” – Chinese idioms is that they are not words from modern Chinese, they are classical Chinese. In English, the term “成语 (chéngyǔ)” can be directly translated as “already made words” or “formed words.”

Chinese idioms always come from specific backgrounds, typically contain a story with them. After studying Chinese for a few months, especially if you learn Chinese in China, you become confident in your language abilities. Now is the time for level up that you may want to challenge learning Chinese idioms. My suggestion is to try reading some Chinese idioms storybooks with pictures to learn idioms like reading comics or children’s stories. There are even animations for them.

For example, one of the most famous Chinese idioms is “熟能生巧 (shú néng sheng qiǎo)” came from a story of “卖油翁 (mài yóu wēng)” wrote by “欧阳修 (ōu yángxiū)” in Song dynasty.

Watch this story in animation here

Another interesting idiom example is “画蛇添足 (huà shé tiān zú).”

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In the Warring States Period, a man in the state of Chu was offering a sacrifice(祭品) to his ancestors. After the ceremony, the man gave a beaker of wine to his servants. The servants thought that there was not enough wine for all of them and decided1 to draw a picture of a snake; the one who finished the painting first would get the wine. One of them drew very rapidly. Seeing that the others were still busy drawing, he added feet to the snake. At this moment, another man finished, snatched the beaker(烧杯,大口杯) and drank the wine, saying, “A snake doesn’t have feet. How can you add feet to a snake?” 

This idiom refers to ruining a venture by doing unnecessary and surplus things. You can watch the story here. If you are a visual learner, definitely check out our most recommended Chinese TVs and movie websites to watch for free!

Play games 

Another way to learn Chinese idioms is to play games with them. It is also helpful in learning any new Chinese terms. Especially when you have friends and classmates, you can practice Chinese while having fun with your friends.

Here, I would like to introduce Pandanese to you. You can enjoy playing all Chinese character games in Pandanese when you log in and sign up for free. Here is how you can do it.

First, you open the Pandanese website: https://www.pandanese.com/ and sign up.

Then, you can check the bottom of this web page and find the mandarin flashcards section. You click and you will see this screenshot: 

It is time to play! There are many ways to play with these cards. 

First step:

If you don’t know any of these words and they’re all new to you, you can click on the characters and learn their meaning.

For example, you click “一无所有(yī wú suǒ yǒu),” a four-character idiom and you will see this page: 

Then, you will hear the pronunciation of the term that you click. You can replay this audio until you are fluent in pronouncing it.

If you want to memorize this Chinese idiom, there are several ways to help you do it!  Firstly, you try breaking down the term and remember it one by one. On the other hand, you can use mnemonics to remember its reading and meaning. You can also click the blue and orange flashcards to learn related characters. 

Second step: 

After you and your friends finish learning the first row, you can start to play.

One person clicks a flashcard, and others listen to the audio. Then the others click their flashcard to find the word that matches the sound. Since each row has eight words, you can click four of them in one round and check if everyone found out the correct words or not.

There are indeed other ways to play with Chinese idioms while memorizing them. We’d love to hear your experiences in the comment below. Let us know if you are interested in getting more fun games ideas to learn and memorize Chinese characters!

Great 11 Websites To Learn Chinese Through Movies Effectively

To master a language, you should learn it in context. This applies to all languages, including Chinese. One of the easiest ways to do this is to watch Chinese movies, especially when you don’t have a native nearby to talk to.  

This article combines a list of the top 11 best websites to help you learn Chinese through movies efficiently.

How to learn Chinese through movies effectively? 

Learning Chinese through movies/videos means that in the process of enjoying the movie, your mind must not forget your learning task. This will both help you improve your Chinese skills and deepen your understanding of the meaning behind each character’s lines.

Here are the steps that many students take to learn Chinese through movies that we highly recommend you to try out: 

Step 1 – Watch the full movie with bilingual subtitles

Step 2 – Choose your favorite clip (each clip should not be longer than 3 minutes)

Step 3 – Practice with actively selected clips:

  • Watch the video over and over again with Chinese subtitles
  • Look up and save good phrases/sentence patterns
  • Practice listening and spelling
  • Practice speaking, imitating the character’s lines

Step 4 – Watch the movie and review the vocabulary

Why learning Chinese through movie websites?

Before we jump into the list of the top 10 movies/videos, let’s explore the 4 reasons why you should learn Chinese through movies websites. 

First of all, most movie websites are free to watch. In fact, you’d be surprised to find many Chinese movie sites offering most of their movies for free. This is great if your Chinese courses cost you thousands of dollars. 

Secondly, learning Chinese through movies also obviously improves listening and speaking skills. Professional actors often try to speak in the most natural and unscripted way possible. Hence by watching movies, you can’t just really hear Chinese on a daily basis, with a full range of different accents, but also gradually understand how to communicate fluently.

Additionally, movies help expand your vocabulary. The more movie categories you go into, the broader your vocabulary will likely be. 

Finally, movies help broaden your understanding of Chinese culture and society, giving you various topics and ideas to have memorable conversations with locals rather than just saying hello.

Don’t forget that you can check out Pandanese ‘s Mandarin learning platform for free! Pandanese has a learning system that enables you to memorize Hanzi (Chinese characters) really fast with images, flashcards, reminders, and cool examples sentences. 

The top 11 best free websites to learn Chinese through movies

1. Iqiyi.com

Considered the Netflix of China, iQiyi offers a large and diverse range of Chinese movie genres from cartoons, movies, series, documentaries, and more.

Besides Chinese movies, on the iQiyi website, you can also find Hong Kong and Taiwanese movies with interesting content. One good thing about iQiyi is that all the movies on this site come with Simplified Chinese subtitles. So it is very suitable for Chinese learners. Note that this site only allows access to Chinese IP addresses, so you will need a VPN to watch the movie.

2. Youku.com

Youku is one of China’s leading online and video service platforms and is considered the “YouTube of China”. Yoku has an easy-to-use interface, few ads, and especially a video store of all topics as well as a variety of good TV series and movies. The special thing is that all the videos and movies here are completely free. Just like Iqiyi, you need to use a VPN to unlock the site if you are outside of China.

3. Bilibili.com

Founded in 2009, Bilibili is a video-sharing website that builds content about Chinese cartoons, comics, and games. Currently, this website focuses on 9x and 10x audiences with movies and videos of all topics running from music, dance, science, technology, entertainment, movies, drama to fashion. 

In addition, Bilibili also offers Danmu live streaming service, in which the audience can interact with the streamer.

4. 56.com

56 Movie is a leading video-sharing platform in China. On the 56.com movie website, you can find a large number of free copyrighted HD movies and TV series. In addition, this channel also contains more than 80 million videos shared by users. Most movies and videos have Chinese subtitles for your convenience.

The good news is that 56.com has no IP restrictions, so wherever you are, you can enjoy the movies on this site without worrying about being blocked.

5. Kankan.com

Kankan is also a famous movie site in China. Its predecessor was Xunlei Kankan. This site provides high-quality content and attracts a large audience thanks to its emerging dramas and numerous films from Mainland China, Hong Kong and

 Taiwan. 

For now, the movies here are only available to viewers with Chinese IPs addresses. If you want to use this site, you will need to use a VPN to switch the IPs.

6. Video.sina.com.cn

Under the management of Sina – a well-known network media company in China, Video Sina offers a wide range of popular video content, including news videos, TV shows, and movies. 

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7. Pptv.com

PPTV is another great online TV provider that offers both live streaming and video-on-demand services. On PPTV you can find a variety of TV shows, movies, dramas, sports, news and entertainment, and much more. Like other Chinese streaming services, this site requires a Chinese IP address to access all content.

8. M1905.com

M1905.com is the official movie site of China Central Television (CCTV). This site offers a variety of free content such as movies, videos, movie ratings, star worlds, and movie reviews and ratings.

With more than 10000 copyrighted HD movies and 3 more movies updated every day, M1905 is a great source for watching Chinese movies. Rest assured that this site is not IP-restricted, so you can comfortably watch movies wherever you are in the world.

9. V.qq.com

If you are interested in Chinese and know something about China, you must have heard of QQ – China’s second-largest instant chat application (perhaps only after Wechat).

VQQ is a movie site owned by QQ. This is also a popular movie site in China. This site provides TV series, movies, documentaries, animations with rich genres and content. The site also blocks IPs from abroad, so you’ll need a VPN to unlock it.

10. V.baidu.com

Baidu is the most popular and famous search social network in China. Baidu is like a miniature Google used in China. But you may not know, in addition to the search engine, Baidu is also the largest social network in China, and also encroached on the video segment.

The good thing about Baidu is that after typing a keyword into the search section if you click on the video section, you will see a series of videos, movies, TV series, music videos related to that keyword. And you can completely view all content here without logging in to your account.

11. Sohu Movie

Sohu is the leading free movie site in China, with rich content, including the latest genuine classic movies, exclusive TV series, animation, and many other attractive programs.

With huge movie storage, always updated with the latest, Sohu will help satisfy your hobby of watching movies while providing an opportunity for you to practice your Chinese skills. You need a VPN to unblock and watch movies if you are outside of China!

Above is a summary of 11 movie and video channels to help you practice Chinese effectively. The plus point of all these sites is that most of them are free.

What is your favorite website? Share with us in the comments section below!

The Top 10 Chinese Novel Series: Finding the New Awesome Reads

In China, the word comic is translated as (manhua). The word itself originated from 18th-century literary painting. The word can be translated as impromptu sketches. The word and art did not come into popularity until it was re-introduced by the manhua pioneer Feng ZiKai. Nowadays, instead of physical prints, webcomics are much more popular throughout China. Similar to comics, novels were also able to maintain its popularity thanks to technology. The evolution of technology did not kill these literary cultures but instead helped it spread all around the world. Bigger websites for Chinese Manhua include QQ comics and U17, but today we will take a look at a website called wuxia world. 

Wuxia, in mandarin, means martial arts.This website is similar to Wattpad but their contents focus on translating popular comics and novels from Korean or Chinese to English. As their website name suggests, most of their contents have an element of martial arts to their plot. I tried reading the Chinese translation for novels on this website and I can say, it’s like discovering a new possible world to read. I find the use of Chinese terminologies and names made it easier for me to imagine a glimpse of the world the characters were in. I had fun reading some of their stories and I hope that you do too! So here are their top 10 most popular stories on the website

1. Against the Gods

The genres for this novel include action, comedy, fantasy, harem, mature, mystery, romance, and xuan huan. Xuan Huan is a category and the term can be translated into mysterious fantasy. 

The story talks about the main character Yun Che, who is hunted down for possession of a very strong weapon. He tried to escape by jumping off the cliff bringing the weapon with him but ended up reincarnated to a different body. His new body is named Xiao Che. His new body is weak but he has to be able to overcome the challenges he faces with the clan he was reincarnated into, his fiancee, and the adventure that comes with it. 

I find the novel very enjoyable with an interesting plot. Highly recommend it if you like all things related to the Chinese culture of ancient superpower, poison, martial arts, and other similar cultural practices. I love the character growth and overall a very enjoyable novel to read indeed. I have finished reading, but will hopefully do so in the future. 

2. Emperors Domination

The story is about the tale of Li QiYe. He was captured by an evil master and imprisoned in the body of a crow for hundreds of centuries. His fate was doomed until he was saved by an old man after hundreds and centuries of imprisonment. He then became a disciple of the old man starting his journey for revenge, friendship, and to become the next ruler of the heavens. He had one mission on his head, to beat the evil that had held him down, once and for all. 

I love the fact that this story is a fantasy story. If you like to imagine fighting scenes, shapeshifts and other similar stories, this novel will certainly suck you to that imaginative realm. Highly recommend it!

3. Nine Star Hegemon Body Art

This is a story of a merged soul. The confused main character Long Chen woke up from a brawl with his friends. He was often bullied by his peers, but after waking up, he was reminded of another memory where he was strong, arrogant and nothing like the Long Chen he is now. He decided then and there that he will become someone stronger and left his old self there. He started noticing mysteries surrounding him, suggesting to him that trouble is brewing. He is determined to solve it, even if it means going against the fate of the Gods where he is nothing more than just a pawn.

This series had multiple mentions of medicinal herbs and alchemy which I enjoyed reading. The plot was very interesting as you can see the growth of the main character from one chapter to another. You might find this novel series less interesting if you are not too into alchemy but otherwise, it’s a great series to read and very enjoyable. 

4. A Record of A Mortal’s Journey to Immortality

A poor and ordinary boy from a village joins a minor sect in Jiang Hu and becomes an Unofficial Disciple completely by chance. Nicknamed the second fool in his village, this is a story of an ordinary mortal who, against all odds, clashes with devilish demons and ancient celestials to find his path towards immortality.

The novel’s  synopsis above was taken from the website and in my opinion, is a great trailer to the awesome adventures the series holds. The start of the series is a bit slow as the earlier chapters had to explain all the background of the stories. However, despite the progression being a bit slow, it is worth reading, and would strongly urge you to try and read this series. 

5. Keyboard Immortal

Keyboard Immortal is a system-based story where our lead character Zu An is suddenly struck by lightning! He realized soon that he had entered another universe world where people can level up just like game characters. When the lightning struck, he was given a mission to gather 12 secret scrolls from the 12 unknowable regions, just like the f1-f12 keys on the keyboard, and was left on the streets until his WIFE?! Showed up to help him and started his journey. 

I honestly started laughing in the first chapter that I read. Zu An is the epitome of all characters constantly living in the modern world of “last 3 brain cells” working. Very humorous and fun to read. I am not very good with technology but this series is too good to be put down just because of my lack of love for technology. Highly recommend it. 

6. Beastmaster of the Ages

Our main character Li Tianming is on his journey of accession to be the number one beastmaster of the ages. He journeys across many worlds and yet one thing remains the same. No one is ready to face his pets. His pets include a small chicken which is an Eternal Infernal Phoenix that eats suns! His black cat is the Genesis Chaos Thunderfiend that refines worlds with its lightning. And also a cockroach. The Myriad World’s Deathless Beast possesses trillions of undying clones.

I fell in love with the series from reading just the synopsis. If you have not noticed, I love fantasy, and having fantasy pets is one of my favorite things to read. The fight scenes were epic and I fully enjoyed every detail the translation had carefully put in translation.

7. Martial World

In the Divine Realm, countless legends fought over a mysterious cube. After the battle, it disappeared into the void. A young man stumbles upon this mystery object, opening a whole new world to him. His name is Lin Ming, and this is his road of martial arts.

Reading the synopsis at first glance, I thought that the series might be interesting and decided to give it a go from there. Very glad to say that this series does not disappoint me. I’m very impressed with the world-building the novel was able to achieve. Everything is fictional yet felt very real at the same time. The translation team has done an amazing job at using adjectives that help describe and build the story for us readers who just crave all the fantasy that this story pours. I especially recommend this series if you have an interest in martial arts (of course as the title suggests) and love a good game like fight scenes. 

8. Warlock of the Magus World

What happens when a scientist from a futuristic world reincarnates in a world of magic and knights?

An awesome main character– that’s what happens!

A scientist’s goal is to explore the secrets of the universe and this is exactly what Leylin sets out to do when he is reincarnated. Dark, cold, and calculating, he makes use of all his resources as he sets off on his adventure to meet his goal. 

The flow of how the author writes this story still amazed me. It’s very easy to read and you do get a sense of immersion of the universe they had built. I find the new character very interesting and funny especially in the first few chapters when he just arrived at the new game-like world. The translation is high quality in my opinion and did a great job of bringing the world alive while you read. Highly recommend it. 

9. Tales of Demons and Gods

Killed by a sage emperor and reborn as his 13-year-old self, Nie Lu is given a second chance at life. A second chance to change everything, save his loved ones and his beloved city. He shall once again battle with the Sage Emperor to avenge his death. With The vast knowledge he accumulated in his previous life, he shall have a new starting point. Although he starts as the weakest, without a doubt, he will climb the steps towards the strongest. 

Like the many in this list, this series is a reincarnation novel. I find the main character’s growth great and enjoyable to read! More than the main characters, I find the sidekicks of the story’s growth very worth reading. Overall, I would recommend this as a good read. 

10. Necropolis Immortal

A great war raged between cultivators a hundred thousand years ago. Immortals fell by tens of thousands, the path of cultivation itself was severed, and after the dust settled, tombs forested the world. A hundred thousand years after the last legend faded Lu Yun, commandant of the tomb raider descended upon the world. Armed with the Tome of Life and Death, he had some burning questions to answer. 

This series brings a fresh new type of plot into the list, Post-apocalyptic Chinese fantasy. I enjoyed reading the series as it involved communicating with the dead *laughs*. The main character is not strong (just like the several others in this list) but adds depth into the plot making this series an enjoyable one to read. Please do give this one a try. 

Why Not Start Reading?

Surely afterall the reccomendations you may find one of the stories interesting. So why not give the novels a try? If you did try reading the series we mentioned or have read the series, let us know what you think about them in the comments below!

This article is written by Pandanese. Check us out at Pandanese!

How to Maintain A Strong Business Connection with China

China is currently one of the strong players in the business world across several industries. Be it manufacturing, technology, or financial service, China is a powerhouse not to be underestimated. Because their strong success and international power do not lie solely on their industry billionaires or economic policy. The Chinese business culture is said to be one of the deciding factors that strongly influence China’s international economic power. 

In a previous article about money in Chinese culture, we discussed why Chinese culture is obsessed with money. Chinese business flourishes all around the world for similar reasons. Chinese businesses tend to focus on profits and the details of why and how they can earn more of it. Above all that, remains one significant cultural practice that you can still find today, 人际关系 (ren ji guan xi).

Age Old Relationships

photo of man reading newspaper
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人际关系 (ren ji guan xi) is the business culture practice where you build and maintain relationships with clients. Getting to know clients is so important that this is the first thing they teach you from the first day you join the company. The relationship in this contact is more than just the formula contact you do during the period of transactions. This stretches to times outside of the transaction period in which companies try to stay on good terms. Good imagery for this would be maintaining the business relationship like that of family. These relationships can last years and years and are often continued by the generations after.

The question remains, how does this cultural practice affect business in China?

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In one simple sentence, ren ji guan xi helps build the strength of a company and in certain cases competitive advantage. There have been controversies surrounding the practice as many businesses use it to maintain questionable relationships with government officials. Nevertheless, it is still an important  part of the business culture that helps shape the economy of China. Let’s take a look at one industry example to give us an insight into how this cultural practice takes into effect. 

The Apparel Industry

Take for example the apparel industry of china. China is one of the world’s largest manufacturers for fashion. Be it the fast fashion for american brands like H&M or bigger brands like Chanel. However, the industry is also high in competition. With more and more brands looking to move their production to China to cut costs, manufacturers have to fight for the cost they can offer and the quality they can make.

With so much competition, players turn to information sharing for survival. To survive in this industry, information sharing. A manufacturer or factory owner can own many skills and resources, but information sharing is believed to be the best tools they can own. Without information sharing, you will not be able to meet the right person who can become a client that can support your business. Information sharing does not come easy on a high competition market and so this is where guan xi comes into play.

Making your connections, maintaining them and utilising your ressources well with the gathered information, will give  you a strong competitive advantage to survive in the industry especially if you are a new player in the industry. The key to making sure that your new business last in the long run is long-term relationship. Literally knowing the right person can give you new clients, prepare for what’s to come and build your name in the industry until you become a mature player once you’ve been long enough in the game.

The Important Values in Chinese Business

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Chinese value their relationship with business partners because it is a practice that’s embedded with the Confucian teachings which shaped China’s past and present.

In China, the value of family and collective community is quite strong in both society and business. The three key pillars of Chinese society include family, community, and status. 

Family and community are very important values as you can find them in several Chinese sayings, one of the most renowned being Ka Ki Lang (meaning: our own kind). This phrase is popularized in the film Crazy Rich Asian, a movie based on a book with the same name written by Kevin Kwan. Chinese businesspeople tend to do business with someone they know or are referred to by a trustworthy friend. The more familiar you are with the business owner, the more you are able to gain their trust and have more transactions with them. These relationships last over a long period of time instead of short ones. These relationships are then passed on to the younger generation where they help shape some of China’s businesses today.

The Starbucks Case

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This Chinese culture surprised many foreign brands that open their offices in China including Starbucks. Starbucks is a mega coffee store franchise that originated in the United States. They then spread their business internationally and made their way to open a store in China in 1999. Starbucks in China did not hit success when they first launched until several changes later. They named shareholders and company meetings “Partner Family Forum” where partners were employees and parents were the shareholders. They created large spaces for their stores to welcome crowds of customers. Following the three pillars, Starbucks made great changes and is currently quite successful in China. 

Making or Breaking the Relationship 

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So, how can you start and keep a relationship with a Chinese businessperson? In China, business people maintain their relationship differently than the rest of the world. These differences often went unnoticed by foreign employees. There are several things you can try to start building the relationship and not ruining any chances when you first try. However, keep in mind that these methods will take some time and effort to achieve the desired result. 

Understand The Depth

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Rather than just doing the normal business talk where you make an offer, negotiate the price or do cold calls, try and understand their depth. What are their values? What they look for and try to maintain that relationship for the long-term instead. Understanding your client like you would a friend is key. Similar to the practice of ren ji guan xi, it takes a long time but is very effective and great for the long-term. 

Take for example the trip that president obama took in November 2009 to Shanghai, During his speech with the shanghai youth and members of the Fudan university, he expressed genuine interest in the culture and heritage of ShangHai. He also apologized that “ I’m sorry that my Chinese is not as good as your English”. This simple move of giving consideration and respect is the first step to building a great relationship. Willingness to understand the person’s culture and where they came from will help you build a solid bond that will last a long time. 

Collaborate With a Local

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If you want to start your business in China, it would be better if you have a  local company help you out. The more familiar you “look” familiar to your potential client in China, the more they are willing to do business with you and create that relationship for the long term. Collaborating with locals also go beyond than just achieving “The Familiar” look. Local companies or manufacturers have their own set of connections that they have mastered. This conenctions will give you a great step up compared to starting all the connections from scrath.

Take for example Coca Cola. They decided that they will be collaborating with COFCO corporation back in 2016. The collaboration not only brought efficiencycy, but also created a more market oriented product for Coca Cola in China. Tailoring a product takes a lot of work. Receiving help from an insider who is more familiar with the market is more strategic and efficient than doing it yourself.

Learn the Language

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You can always do it yourself, although it is not the easy way. Putting the effot, gives you off as a person that cares deeper than the transactions. Learning the language can be a great investment for you and your business. This will not only give you a great sense that you respect your partner, but your partners can also have a better sense of trust towards you as a business partner.

Conclusion

Family and community are very important in Chinese culture and also in business. You have to adapt to the environment and make necessary changes to succeed in this market. There are things you can do to start building a business relationship with a Chinese business person. However, keep in mind that it all takes effort and time. The effort and time you put in will definitely carve a path for you to follow.

7 Reasons Mandarin Is the Most Useful Language for the Future

The days of localized business are long gone with the increases in globalization and technology. Today’s economy has become a global village where multi-national corporations are more common than ever before.

With the constant growth in international business, the importance of communicating on a worldwide scale continues to grow.

For centuries the three dominant languages of the economic world have been English, Mandarin, and Russian, but which one will play a primary role in the future of economics?

While many languages will forever hold a great deal of importance on a global scale, today, we will examine why Mandarin is among the languages primed for a prominent role in the future of communication.

Growth in China’s Economy

The more languages you know, the easier it is for you to live and work in different countries. With China becoming an economic superpower and the most populous country globally, learning Mandarin will be immensely helpful for anyone who wants to get ahead in their career or business ventures.

With China’s rapidly expanding science and technology sectors, the country’s influence will continue to grow. Mandarin has a wide-reaching cultural significance and will be consistently recognized as one of the most prestigious languages in the world.

China’s importance on international trade cannot be understated. It was responsible for over ten percent of all global exports last year, with numbers projected to increase.

Over 1.5 billion People Speak Mandarin

If you learn to speak Mandarin, you will gain access to communicating with an additional 1.5 billion people.

An estimated 92% of the Chinese population speak Mandarin. It’s also one of six official languages in Singapore, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong.

If you can actually read Hanzi and understand radicals, then traveling to these countries will be drastically easier.

China Has Created Its Own Technology

If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that China has been feuding with the United States over various tech products.

A prominent example is the Chinese tech giant Huawei.

China Huawei is a direct competitor to Apple and is blacklisted from the United States.

For decades, China has attempted to use its own technology instead of relying on other countries.

Learning Mandarin May Make You Smarter

Learning a second or third language may make you smarter.

A study done in New Zealand found that bilingual children’s brains are more developed than monolinguals, and they have a greater capacity for cognitive control.

It is also worth noting that the benefits of learning a second language extend beyond just increased intelligence as it can increase empathy levels and improve your memory.

Knowing Mandarin Will Strengthen Job Applications

It is increasingly difficult to stand out on job applications in 2021. Everyone seems to have attended college, and skills that were once in high demand are no longer as essential.

Knowing Mandarin will provide you with an edge over other candidates and give you the potential to be hired for a position that otherwise might not have been available to you.

If you want your resume to stand out, learn Mandarin!

Few Mandarin Speakers Know English

For the amount of business conducted between China and English-speaking countries, the number of people who speak Mandarin and English is surprisingly low.

In China, although English is taught in schools, it is estimated that less than 1% of the population is fluent.

Most people who speak English cannot read or write in Mandarin because it is a tonal language and Western languages cannot pronounce many sounds.

Combining these two languages is a skill that a small percentage of the world has and can provide you with many advantages throughout life.

China Is Rich in Culture and History

China is one of the most ancient civilizations that still exists today. As the birthplace of many different religions, languages, and philosophies (to name a few), it is home to some of the world’s oldest continuous traditions.

The Chinese culture has had an immensely significant impact on western civilization, from Buddhism to Taoism and more.

The culture and history of China are something that many westerners struggle to understand. Learning a language such as Mandarin can unlock your insight into one of the most fascinating cultures the world has to offer.

Start Learning Mandarin Today

Learning Mandarin isn’t as difficult as you may think! Many Chinese learners are pleasantly surprised with how quickly they can understand Hanzi (Chinese characters) and radicals from using online learning software such as Pandanese.

If you are interested in learning Chinese, check out Pandanese today.

Pandanese provides a fully online educational platform that is fun and engaging and makes learning Mandarin very achievable. Through Q cards, quizzes, and various lesson types, Pandanese simplifies Mandarin and helps expedite the learning process.

To receive some helpful tips and tricks to assist you on your journey to master Mandarin, join the Pandanese mailing list today.