Cover photo by Safa Bilal

There are only so many syllables and tones in the Mandarin language. This makes Mandarin rife with homophones—words that sound the same but with separate meanings. Mandarin homophones make for some interesting cultural beliefs and traditions. Here is a list of eight homophones you may not be familiar with.



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Erin Dumke

Erin Dumke is the head editor at Chinosity. She is a journalist who recently graduated from the University of Kentucky. She hopes to bridge the education gap and promote international communication.