Will You Marry Me When My Hair Covers My Waist

Do you know the meaning of “hair” in Chinese culture? Let’s first look at one of the top 10 most popular Chinese words before we reveal the answer.

dàiwǒ chánɡfā jíyāo ,shàonián qǔwǒ kéhǎo?
待我 长发 及腰,少年 娶我  可好?
Will You Marry Me When My Hair Covers My Waist?

This sentence came from a girl’s blog post attached with two photos and soon became popular. The first photo is of a handsome young guy and a beautiful girl who fell in love with each other at a young age. The second picture is taken at the graduate ceremony, when they are both grown-ups. Then why did she wrote “Why would you marry somebody when her hair reaches her waist?” Why does “hair” has anything to do with one’s marriage?

In China, the tradition of having long hair has continued for thousands of years, as it is believed that what we have all come from our parents and we should cherish them thus cutting hair is believed as a un-filial behavior. No matter how hairstyle changed, both women and men wearing long hair is a tradition kept until 19th century. Up to now, having long, dark and straight hair is still a feature of classical beautiful girls.

Meaning of
There are two ways to explain the word “”: The first is to take it as a verb in phrases such as “发送 (fā sònɡ) – to send”, “发现 (fā xiàn) – to discover. The second way to use the word is to take it as a noun in phrases such as “头发 (tóu fà) - hair”, “长发 (chánɡ fā) – long hair”, “理发 (lǐ fà) – to have a hair cut”, etc.

Note that when it is used as a noun, “” is often used in poems as a symbol of gloomy mood.
báifà sānqiān zhànɡ, yuán chóu sì ɡè chánɡ.
My gray hair is three thousand feet long, and my sorrow is just as long as that.

jūn bú jiàn ɡāo tánɡ mínɡ jìnɡ bēi bái fà, zhāo rú qīnɡ sī mù chénɡ xuě.
君不见, 高堂明镜悲白发, 朝如青丝暮成雪。
You didn’t see that the person who sat in the church was lamenting his gray hair, which was black in the morning but turned gray because of sorrow in the night.

The above are two lines of Chinese poems for you to appreciate. It’s Ok if you can’t understand.


Two Simple Ways of Using NE

Like Chinese particle , is also a common particle word used to end a sentence in Chinese. In this post, we will introduce two simple ways of, one of the most common particle words in learning Chinese grammar.

This is when someone asks you a question, and you return the question to them after answering it. This is commonly done by simply asking “你呢?”. We may call it a “bounce-back” question. For example, when you first meet somebody, you may introduce each other by:
nǐjiào shén me mínɡ zi
A: 什么 名字?
What’s your name?

wǒ jiào jiékè   nǐne
B: 杰克, 你呢?
I am Jack, what about you?

Another usage of is probably to form simple queries. It’s very easy to query things in Chinese using . Just say the thing you’d like to know about, and put right after it. When used this way, can combine with question words to emphasize a query. Examples:
tā yǒu shénme bù xǐhuɑn chī de ne
有什么 喜欢 呢?
Why is that he doesn’t like eating?

tā wèishénme méi lái ne
为什么 没来 呢?
Why didn’t she come?

These questions are also grammatically valid questions without , but by adding the speaker makes it clear that they don’t just want an answer to the question. Maybe they’re questioning the situation or even criticizing it.


Must-known Tips Coming to China

Today, there is an increasing number of people who are interested in learning Chinese. And more and more people consider coming to China, for travel or for business. But, don’t forget these things before you set off!
First, when you come to China, there is a whole new world to explore. Shopping, food, sight-seeing, all these are very exciting. But, have you ever considered the language barrier? As most Chinese people speak Chinese – mandarin (standard Chinese) to be exact, it is necessary for you to pick up the Chinese language, such as asking directions, taking taxis, asking for help, etc.
Language Barrier

Chinese learning is never easy work, and speaking it fluently like a native is obviously not realistic. But, it will be very handy and useful to pick up simple words and phrases for daily use. You can memorize some commonly-used Chinese sentence structures first and then fill in the structure with the words you learn on the go! Another way to master the Chinese language is to enroll in online mandarin classes before you go – iChineseLearning does a decent job in teaching mandarin Chinese online. 

Second, Chinese culture. The last thing you want to do when you go to a new country is be rude and offend the locals by doing something totally unacceptable. This may require you to invest some time to learn. As a famous saying goes, when in Rome, do as Romans do. If you are in China, we might say: do as Chinese people do. These top 8 Chinese cultural taboos may be useful for you to know what can and can’t be done in China.
                     Crowed Great Wall of China During National Holiday
Another important thing to consider while traveling is the time. China is a very populated country, with 1.3 billion people. Almost every tourism destination is flooded with people during Chinese holidays. In China, there is a very satire translation of the idiom 人山人海 – “People mountain, people sea.” The translation may be incorrect, but it is correct enough to tell you that it is bad idea to travel to China during Chinese holidays. The main Chinese holidays include Chinese New Year Holiday ( 12.29 – 1. 15 Lunar year), May Day Holiday (5.1 – 5.3), QingMing Festival (4.4 - 4.6), National Day (10.1 – 10.7). It is highly recommended that you avoid the above time periods if you decide to come to China for travelling. 


Complement Sentence in Chinese Grammar

In iChineseLearning’s online mandarin class, the usage of complement is always a challenging thing. Now, let’s summarize how to make sentences with complements.

In Chinese, a verb can be followed by another word to explain its further meaning, which is known as a complement. A complement indicates the degree of the verb. In a complement sentence, the particle “” , which indicates how the actions are done is often used to connect the verb and the complement.

Learning sentence pattern is always a good way to learn Chinese grammar online. Now let’s see the pattern of a complement sentence:
S + N + V + + Complement
wǒ zúqiú tī dé hǎo.
1. 足球 好。
  I am good at playing football.

tā hànyǔ shuō dé hǎo.
2. 汉语 好。
  She is good at speaking Chinese.

When we want to express the negative meaning, “” can be added before the complement.
wǒ zúqiú tī dé bùhǎo.
3. 足球 不好。
  I am not good at playing football.

tā hànyǔ shuō dé bùhǎo.
4. 汉语 不好。
  She is not good at speaking Chinese.

There is another sentence pattern to express a complement in Chinese. If the verb is followed by an object, the verb should be repeated after the object.
S + V + O + V + + complement
tā shuōhànyǔ shuō dé hǎo.
5. 说汉语 好。
  She is good at speaking Chinese.

tā chànɡɡē chànɡ dé hǎotīnɡ.
6. 唱歌 好听。
  She is good at singing songs.


Chinese Number - Meanings

The meanings of the following numbers are much related to their pronunciation in mandarin Chinese. You can listen to them in the pinyin chart with audios.

wǒ ài nǐ.
I love you.

wǒ ài qī.
I love (my) wife.

yì shēnɡ yí shì
for a lifetime, forever

bái bái.
Bye bye.

wū wū wū
wuwuwu, (like a girl weeping)

qì sǐ wǒ le.
I am so pissed off.

Also learn Chinese pronunciation through 1-on-1 Chinese tutoring.


To Marry Somebody in Chinese

In Chinese, there is a saying “男婚女嫁 nán hūn nǚ jià”, literally “a man and a woman getting married”. Marriage is a big event in everyone’s life. Today, we will learn how to say “to marry your Mr or Miss Right” in mandarin Chinese.
In English, when we want to say “somebody is getting married with another person”, we simply use one word “to marry” despite the gender. E.g. Lily is to marry Jack. Jack is to marry Lily. In Chinese, however, we use different words “to marry a man” and “to marry a woman”.
To marry a man, we use “jià”. To marry a woman, we use “”. Both of these two characters mean “to marry” in Chinese.

Usage of
We usually put “ɡěi” after “jià” in order to say “to marry a man”. “” literally means “to give” in Chinese, but here “” doesn’t carry a specific meaning. We can simply imagine that “to marry a man” is like “giving a gift to him”, isn’t it?
wǒ yào jiàɡěi jiékè.
嫁给 杰克。
I want to marry Jack.

Having said that, when the person you want to marry doesn’t refer to a specific person, there is no need to add “”.
tā yào jià rén le.
She is getting married.

Usage of
The sentence pattern “to marry a woman” is” “S + + O”.
tā yào qǔ nàɡè nǚhái’ér
那个 女孩儿。
He wants to marry that girl.

However, to express “a man is getting married“, you can’t say “他要娶人了 tā yào qǔ rén le”, which sounds a little weird in Chinese. Instead, we can say “他要结婚了tā yào jiéhūn le”, meaning “He is getting married.” 


A Chinese Poem about Mother’s Day 母亲节

May 10th. Wish all mothers in the world a Happy Mother’s Day. In Chinese, Mother’s Day is called “母亲节(mǔqīnjié)”. “Happy” is called “快乐(kuàilè)” in Chinese. So, the whole phrase goes:
mǔqīnjié kuàilè
母亲节 快乐
Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s love is the greatest and most unselfish one in the world. Let’s learn a Chinese poem that songs the greatness of Mother’s love.

《游子吟》 - “A Travel’s Song” was written by a famous poet 孟郊 Meng Jiao in China’s Tang Dynasty. The poem is based on a circumstance when Meng Jiao is about to leave home, while his mom is sewing the clothes for him to wear.

《游子吟》A Travel’s Song
孟郊 Meng Jiao

慈母 手中 线,游子 身上 衣。
A thread is in my fond mother’s hand moving,
For her son to wear the clothes are leaving.

临行 密密 缝,意恐 迟迟 归。
With her whole heart she’s sewing and sewing,
For fear I’ll ever be roving and roving.

谁言 寸草 心,报得 三春 晖。
Who says the little soul of grass waving,
Cloud for the warmth repay the sum of spring.

Due to the fact that most Chinese poems are written in classical Chinese or “ancient Chinese” known as “文言文(wén yán wén”, there is no need to explore to the deeper meaning of each line. Sometimes it is even hard for a native Chinese to know classical Chinese. Getting the general idea of the poem is already enough.