Yang over at Learn Mandarin Now is spoiling me with all these guest posts. I’ve been struggling to find something that suitable for beginners lately – everything I stumble across ends up being intermediate. But this is a very good place for beginners to start reading chéngyǔ (成语 idiom) stories, because you’ll get an introduction to a few words that you often see in this kind of “long long ago, far far away” fable.
Here’s a terrifying 200-word piece of micro-fiction that Zuowen.com indicates is written by a 1st year student. I think they might have a little Edgar Allan Poe horror savant on their hands over there: this language is far and above most first-year essays. The Chinese name of the story is “死神降临” – 死神 being the Chinese word for the Grim Reaper.
Hey hey, lookie here, an excellent guest post submitted by native Chinese speaker Yang from Learn Mandarin Now. This story tells us a bit about the Chinese chengyu (idiom),塞翁失马, which can mean “a blessing in disguise”, or can conversely mean “bad luck disguised as good”. It’s used to point out the hidden positives or negatives in a situation, so you might say it means “there are two sides to every circumstance”.
Happy Year of the Sheep! Couple of days ago, I stumbled across the Book “The Last Yin Yang Master”, aka “The Last Onmyoji” （最后一个阴阳师), a supernatural ghost story available for free online. It’s incredibly rare to find full-length books that aren’t impossibly difficult to get through, but this one is phenomenal for learners. I’m gonna put part of the first chapter here, so you can dive on in. The rest can be grabbed on Zhuaji.com.
Story behind the Chinese idiom 专心致志 zhuān xīn zhì zhì, which means “to do something with single-minded devotion”.