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Mandarin Learning Tips Blog

Jinna Wang

Jinna Wang is a contributing writer for TutorMing. She grew up in the city of Harbin in northern China, and attended college at NYU where she majored in Finance and Management. In her spare time, Jinna likes to travel, eat, and write about both.

Recent Posts

Why Do So Many Chinese People Have The Same Last Name?

Jinna Wang | November 02, 2016

As anyone who has lived in both China and the United States will tell you, there are major cultural differences between the two countries. For example, the toilets in the U.S actually provide toilet paper. One of the differences that struck me the most when I moved to the United States are the difference in names.

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How To Introduce Yourself In Chinese

Jinna Wang | October 21, 2016

As a Mandarin Chinese tutor, I work with students ranging from elementary school to graduate school. Their level of Chinese fluency might differ, but one question I always get is: “How do I introduce myself?”

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Chinese Words About Fall You Should Learn

Jinna Wang | October 14, 2016

The first rains of autumn are falling, tree leaves have turned gorgeous shades of red and yellow, and the cool breeze is gently blowing away the last remainders of summer. Welcome to fall!

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How To Say Your Favorite Disney Characters in Chinese

Jinna Wang | May 26, 2016

 If you are a Disney aficionado, you probably have been counting down the days until the Shanghai Disney Resort opens on June 16, 2016. Did you know that the Shanghai Disney is the first Disney theme park to open in mainland China, and is three times larger than the Hong Kong Disneyland?

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The VERY Complicated Chinese Family Tree

Jinna Wang | May 18, 2016

When I was growing up in China, before any weddings, parties, or family reunions, my mom always pulled me aside for an extensive study session.

“Jinna, what do you call my older brother?”

This one’s easy-peasy. “舅舅 (Jiùjiu).”

“Good…what do you call my older brother’s oldest son?”

Getting a little harder now. “Erm…表哥 (Biǎo gē).”

The increasingly complicated quiz questions go on until we get to the party. I usually get completely lost by the time she asks me about her older brother’s youngest daughter’s daughter, and end up walking around the party parroting whatever kinship term my mother tells me to say (much to her dismay.)

In my defense, the Chinese family tree is really, really, ridiculously complicated. But why?

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