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Chinese, Mandarin that is, represents at present the most widely spoken language on the planet with at least 1.2 billion speakers. Although English has more speakers overall, Chinese has more native speakers, and this trend is likely to continue because of China's growing population and the Chinese central government's major push to make Chinese the most important language in the world.

Language Reference

Chinese Slang - A growing dictionary of Chinese street talk, including curses, vulgarisms, colloquialisms, and idioms you'll hear in China and Taiwan.

Measure Words - Those pesky little words used to count everything in Chinese. There are dozens upon dozens, and you do need to know them. So here they all are.

Place Names in China - A comprehensive list of the characters, pinyin pronunciation, and English for places names throughout China, including Taiwan.

Foreign Place Names in Chinese - An extensive directory of the names of countries, cities, states, and attractions around the world. Includes characters, pinyin, and Roman alphabet versions of the place name.

Chinese Food - A comprehensive list of all the popular dishes in Chinese cuisine, in characters, pinyin, and English.

Language Learning

Negating Verbs - An explanation of how to say 'no' and 'not' in Chinese using 不 (bù) versus没有 (méiyŏu).

The Rule of Bu - A quick guide to how to pronounce the word  “bù” (不) when combined with other words in a sentence.

Cultural Reference

Chinese New Year - A simple guide to the 12 animals and which years they fall on, plus the actual dates of the Chinese New Year.

Beijing Olympic Mascots - A guide to the Fuwa of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, where the meaning and wordplay of the five mascots is explained.

My Name in Chinese - A guide to foreign names in Chinese, how they are created, what is standard practice, and some interesting exceptions. A must-read if you are learning Chinese or headed to China for a while.

External Linkslink

ChinesePod is an outstanding resource for learning Chinese, using a combination of fun, well-produced podcasts and downloadable content. The podcasts are free, but learning materials require a subscription.

Popup Chinese offers a comprehensive chinese dictionary, learning materials, software and podcasts. Advanced learning materials for serious learners of the chinese language require a paid subscription.

Pinyin.info is an excellent guide and resource for the use of pinyin romanization in Mandarin.