Mandarin Poster: The Evolution of a Vital Chinese Learning Tool

I’ve been a huge fan of Mandarin Poster for a while, but I have to say that the recent website redesign and the expanding line of resources in the past year has taken me by surprise. It has quietly exploded from a simple helpful resource into a website with the potential to change the Chinese language learner’s entire toolbox.

What is Mandarin Poster anyway?

At the core, Mandarin Poster is just what it says it is–a poster for Mandarin. But it had a simple goal: create a study aid for the most basic Chinese characters to help beginners track their progress, while more advanced learners can see how they’re progressing as well as reference back to what they’ve learned before. So it’s a pretty universal tool, with fairly humble beginnings.

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The full poster in all its glory. It’s in an IKEA picture frame, which the folks at Mandarin Poster helpfully let you know which one (spoiler: it’s the NYTTJA ).

So what’s new?

For starters–there’s now two character posters! There’s the original poster, which covered 1,000 characters, and now a second one which covers a further 1,000 characters. Not only that, but they also have a 1,500 character poster now as well. So many fun options to keep your character practice moving!

They’ve also got an Elements of Chinese poster, which contains the most common components of the most common characters. I really like the look of this one, to be honest:

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There’s more to be seen there, what with digital editions of their posters, typography maps, and a radical scroll (with both Pinyin and Zhuyin!). I’d definitely check each of these out if you can!

Summary

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mandarin Poster, so I’m really happy to see all the changes and what the team has been working on. I would definitely recommend them to learners, it’s a fairly priced tool–which also looks pretty awesome on your wall as well!

I suppose my only complaint, if I had one, is that the two 1,000 character posters appear to only be offered in Simplified Chinese now. As I recall, there used to be the option to purchase one or the other. But as it is now, only the Simplified version is available, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the return of the Traditional Chinese version.

Still, these are smartly designed posters that not only look beautiful but are fantastic study aid to guide the learner through Chinese characters and into fluency.

Prepare to battle!

I always much preferred the battle system in Chrono Trigger over Final Fantasy, especially encountering enemies: being able to see the enemies first not only made for richer environments, but is also took away much of the annoyance of random battles.

That said, battles do happen and when you get into one, you need to know what to do! Let’s check out the menu options:

Battle Dialog:

逃跑成功 (táopǎo chénggōng) = Escaped!
不能逃跑 (bùnéng táopǎo) = Can’t escape!
[Character]站起來了 (zhànqǐlai le) = [Character] got back up!
目標 (mùbiāo) = target

Battle Commands:

戰鬥 (zhàndòu) = Attack
技能 (jìnéng) = Tech
連攜 (liánxié) = Combo
道具 (dàojù) = Item
逃跑 (táopǎo) = Escape
1人技 (yīrénjì) = Single Tech
2人技 (liǎngrénjì) = Dual Tech
3人技 (sānrénjì) = Triple Tech

Status Ailments:

poison2毒 (dú) = Poison

slow

緩速 (huǎnsù) = Slow

sleep睡眠 (shuìmián) = Sleep

chaos混亂 (hùnluàn) = Confuse

blind失明 (shīmíng) = Blind

lock遺忘 (yíwàng) = Lock

stop2時間停止 (shíjiān tíngzhǐ) = Stop

沉睡 (chénshuì) = Sap
完全遺忘 (wánquán yíwàng) = Omnilock
守封 (shǒufēng) = Curse
無法戰鬥 (wúfǎ zhàndòu) = KO

Status Enhancements

加速 (jiāsù) = Haste
護盾 (hùdùn) = Protect
護罩 (hùzhào) = Barrier
重生 (chóngshēng) = Reraise
狂戰士 (kuángzhànshì) = Berserk

SNES - Chrono Trigger - Status Ailment

The spoils of battle:

到手了! (dàoshǒu le) = Obtained!
技能點數 (jìnéng diǎnshù) = TP (Tech Points)
金錢 (jīnqián) = Money; G
[Character]的等級上升了! (de děngjí shàngshēng le) = [Character]‘s level increased!
[Character][tech name]學會了!(jiāng xuéhuì le) = [Character] learned [tech name]
獲得了[number]經驗值 (huòdé le jīngyàn zhí) = Earned [number] EXP.
獲得了[number]技能點數 (huòdé le jìnéng diǎnshù) = Earned [number] TP.
獲得了[number]G (huòdé le G) = Found [number] G.
獲得了[item] (huòdé le) = Obtained [item]
[Character]的等級上升了! (de děngjí shàngshēng le) = [Character]‘s level increased!
[Character]學會了[tech name]! (xuéhuì le) = [Character] learned [tech name]!
[Character]學會了2人技 [tech name]! (xuéhuì le liǎngrénjì) = [Character] learned [tech name] dual tech!
[Character]學會了3人技 [tech name]! (xuéhuì le sānrénjì) = [Character] learned [tech name] triple tech!

This should get you safely any battle in the game!

Head Out Into the World – World Map Locations

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This post is a (fairly) exhaustive list of the locations in Chrono Trigger and some notes on their names and translations. I tried to catch as much as I could and give some insight into where the names came from, since some of them are different from the English version!

Head below the jump to see the list!

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Introducing Project Chrono

Coming Soon

Chrono Trigger: perhaps one of my (if not the) all-time favorite RPGs.

Then, a beautiful thing happened one day: SquareEnix released an iOS and an Android version of Chrono Trigger. But, not only that, it included a complete Chinese translation–both in Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

This was simply amazing.

So I decided in a series of posts I will be sharing some fun tidbits from the game and hopefully build up a useless amazing RPG vocabulary set in Chinese! So keep an eye out for those, and feel free to let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to know from the game!