画 picture - Chinese in a Tweet

Actually, it all started with a Tweet!

One of my regular on Twitter responded to a simple poll about an avatar that I've created today. I think there is so much to learn from this Twitter post, be it it is someone who've 
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just begin to learn Mandarin or someone who is in Beginners' Advanced stage of their learning journey.

The question was simple, just A or B.
哪个比较好呢? Nǎge bǐjiào hǎo ne?

The first person responded in PinYin, and said the left, zuo.

Then he added that the right one is also good :)

For these, in Chinese we say, 左边的。Zuǒbiān de


In the second tweet, he added
Yòubiān de yě hěn hǎo.

Basically, there are many ways we can express our views, and I am very glad that my followers on Twitter are participating in the conversations. Some of them do not speak a word of Mandarin. Others are bilingual, multilingual and I even have polyglots visiting my Twitter timeline from time to time. 

What I wanted to point out is that, everyone can learn Mandarin even from a simple tweet like this. The main point is to engage yourself with the people. 

Some people use emoticon :) Arrows that point to the right or point to the left. That's perfect! Because it also gets the message across.

I counted their votes as the tweets responses came in. In a way I enjoy the real-time interactions with my followers. Then, the first guy said he is studying Japanese now, that he hardly can recall the Mandarin which he studied many years ago. 

At this point, I said to him that people with some Chinese knowledge especially knowing the way characters are written has a 'learning advantage' for Japanese. Next was a series of time travel as I recalled having been working for a Japanese MNC for my first job. I did took up "Survival Japanese" in a crash "course" with just a laminated card from Kinokuniya Book Store

Speaking about Katakana and Hiragana, it happened so that I chanced upon this Japanese character (while flipping through some Japanese resources and saw this.) That it is also Kanji and for Chinese learners it is our 汉字 Han zi.

I decided to make a screen shot to show you too:

Contrast 畫 is the traditional script for 画,and it looked so much like 書, which is 书, the latter is use nowadays as Simplified Chinese. 

Why I like so much the Chinese characters writing is that it has such a poetic way to express itself.

This is the character: 画 Huà

It means picture. In Japanese kanji, it is also the same.

We can form many other words using 画, see below:

漫画, 绘画, 动画片, 油画, 画册, 画面, 画家, 插画, 图画, 画廊
mànhuà, huìhuà, dònghuà piàn, yóuhuà, huàcè, huàmiàn, huàjiā, chāhuà, túhuà, huàláng

Cartoon, drawing, animation, paintings, pictures, images, painter, illustrator, drawing, gallery

Finally, I would like to end this post inviting you to answer this question. What do you call this 'Avatar'

in Chinese? ;) email your answers to or you can join us on Twitter or you can find us on Facebook Page:


NihaoHello aims to cater to the new generation's growing interest to learn Mandarin Chinese. Homeschool and specialise in tutoring English speakers to speak essential but confident Mandarin Chinese. For beginner language learners to readily put to use as soon as you arrive to a Mandarin speaking region.