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Resource Alert: You’ll Want to “Wolf Swallow Tiger Gulp” These Common Chinese Idioms Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Vocabulary

Wait, what? Did I just tell you to “wolf swallow tiger gulp” something? Yes I did. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should watch this quick clip:

Does it make sense now? The Chinese idiom “wolf swallow tiger gulp” is similar in meaning to the English expression “to wolf something down”, like wolfing down a sandwich when you’re really hungry.

Pretty cool, huh? Want to wolf down some more Chinese idioms? The Confucius Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan is ready to help you do just that.

Every week the Institute introduces a new idiom in their “Learn a Chinese Phrase” video series. The goal is to provide Chinese language learners (that’s you!) with a free, simple resource to learn every day Chinese that you won’t find in a textbook or dictionary.

Let’s take another look. It would probably hurt to bump into a nail, right? Well, yes it would, but not for the reason you think:

So when you “bump into a nail” in Chinese, you’ll probably be hurt because your proposal just got “shot down”, which is the equivalent English phrase. It definitely hurts to get shot down, but learning the expression with this quick video was pretty painless, right?

These bite-size clips of authentic Chinese are a great resource for Chinese learners of all levels, engaging multiple learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. You’ll see the Chinese characters and Pinyin, upon which the pronunciation is modeled twice, allowing you to repeat the phrase out loud and follow along.

So why on earth would someone make such awesome videos for free? For that answer, I’ll leave you with one final video, in which Institute Director John Brender, Ph.D. explains the inspiration and purpose behind the video series:

To view the rest of the “Learn a Chinese Phrase” videos subscribe to their Youtube channel here and be sure to ‘LIKE’ them on Facebook here.

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  1. Peter Simon:


  2. jonathan miller:

    nice !!!!!!!!

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