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Chinese (Mandarin)

The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Chinese_(Mandarin)

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Table of contents

Text / 课文

Introduction / 介绍

About Chinese
中文是什么?
100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
How to use this textbook
如何使用这本教科书
100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
How to study Chinese
如何学习中文
100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005

Pronunciation

Pinyin Pronunciation Basics 100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
Pronunciation of Initials
Pronunciation of Finals
Possible Initial-Final Combinations
Using Tones

Text / 课文

  1. Hello! - 第一课:你好! 100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  2. Are you busy today? - 第二课:今天你忙不忙? 75% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  3. An introduction to particles - 第三课:助词 75% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  4. Word order and Verbs - 第四课:词序和动词 0% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  5. Measure words/Counters - 第五课:量词 75% developed  as of August 16, 2009
  6. More on interrogatives - 第六课:疑问助词 0% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  7. What's this? - 第七课:这是什么? 100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  8. Who is she? - 第八课:她是谁? 25% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005
  9. Where is the railway station? - 第九课:火车站在哪里? 0% developed  as of Oct 5, 2008
  10. A telephone conversation - 第十课:电话 0% developed  as of Dec 30,2009
  11. Taiwan - 第十一课:台湾 0% developed  as of Dec 30,2009
  12. Mandarin is so interesting! - 第十二课:华语真好玩 0% developed  as of Dec 30,2009
  13. I'm sick - 第十三课:我生病了 0% developed  as of Dec 30,2009
  14. Drinking tea - 第十七课:喝茶 0% developed  as of Dec 30,2009
  15. China - 第十八课:中国 0% developed  as of Sep 12,2010

Introduction / 介绍


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

About Chinese

Flag of the PRC
Flag of Singapore
中华人民共和国 (中国)
新加坡共和国 (新加坡)
People's Republic of China
(China)
Republic of Singapore
(Singapore)
Map-Chinese World.png
The Chinese cultural sphere of influence

The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語 or 中文; Pinyin: Hanyu, Huayu, Zhongwen) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world speaks some form of Chinese as its native language, making it the most common natively-spoken language in the world.

There is great internal variety within Chinese, and spoken Chinese languages such as Standard Mandarin (Putonghua), Shanghainese (Wu), and Cantonese, which are not mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, there is a single standardized form of Chinese known as Standard Mandarin (国语), which is based on the dialect of Beijing, which is in turn its own Mandarin dialect, among a large and diverse group of Chinese dialects spoken in Northern and Southwestern China. Standard Mandarin is the official language of Mainland China and Chinese Taiwan, one of four official languages of Singapore, and one of six official languages of the United Nations. Standard Mandarin also corresponds to the modern standard written Chinese language used by people speaking all forms of Chinese from all corners of China, including Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Hakka, Min-nan, and so forth. This textbook will teach Standard Mandarin, both spoken and written.

Chinese grammar is in many ways simpler than European languages (for example, you will see no tenses, plurals, or subject-verb agreement), but there are also plenty of pitfalls that will trip up the unsuspecting beginner (for example, you will encounter tones, measure words, and discourse particles, which do not feature as strongly in European languages.) In addition, the complexity of the writing system often daunts newcomers, as Chinese is one of the few languages in the world that does not use an alphabet or a syllabary; instead, thousands of characters are used, each representing a word or a part of a word. However, most complex Chinese characters are composed of only a few hundred simpler characters and many contain phonetic hints. There is a common Western misconception of Chinese writing as having thousands of distinct and idiomatic symbols each representing a single word, however, Chinese writing is surprisingly mnemonic, granted it is not as simple as the writing of Romance languages. The government of China has developed a system of writing Standard Mandarin pronunciation in the Roman alphabet, known as Hanyu Pinyin, or simply, pinyin (汉语拼音/漢語拼音, "spelling according to sounds"). Hanyu Pinyin is used to write out Chinese words phonetically in an effort to help learners of Chinese with their pronunciation. This wikibook will teach you Hanyu Pinyin first, before any actual sentences. All examples and new vocabulary will always be given together with Hanyu Pinyin.

There are two character sets: Simplified Chinese characters (简体字/簡體字, Pinyin: Jiǎntǐzì) and Traditional Chinese characters (繁体字/繁體字, Pinyin: Fántǐzì). Traditional characters trace their lineage through thousands of years of Chinese history, and continue to be used in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and among many overseas Chinese. Simplified Chinese characters were the result of reforms carried out in Mainland China to increase literacy rates and is now used in Singapore as well. The two systems share many of the same characters or with systematic, predictable reductions in stroke; however, some changes are not as formulaic. As a result, most native Chinese speakers are able to write in only one of the two systems, though they can usually read both. You are recommended to do the same. It is considered easier for people who learn Traditional to read both sets than people who learn Simplified only, but Simplified characters are less intimidating for beginners. In this wikibook, all examples and vocabulary are given in both systems, and you are encouraged to choose one system and stick with it throughout.

Chinese characters have also been used in the past by other neighbouring Asian countries, and are still being used by some of them today. Some older Koreans still know how to read and write Chinese characters, but although the members of younger generations are taught Chinese characters or hanja, they are rarely used and unnecessary for literacy in Korean, with the native alphabet, hangul. Chinese characters are occasionally used for abbreviations, to clarify technical vocabulary (as Chinese serves roughly the same role in Korean that Latin serves in English), and to write family and many personal names. The Japanese still preserve many Chinese characters or kanji today and use them along with two syllabaries to write the Japanese language.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Expectations

This textbook will assume that you have no prior knowledge of Chinese, but are willing to take Chinese as a serious subject of study. Each lesson contains a combination of new vocabulary and new grammar in a gradual progression, building on previous lessons.

Each lesson should be appropriate for a week's worth of daily classes, so don't feel overwhelmed by the amount of material per lesson. Learning to write new characters will probably be your limiting factor, so split up the memorization of a lesson's characters over two or three days and use class time mostly for work on grammar and speaking skills.


Lesson Sections

Each lesson consists of five parts:

  1. Dialogue. Here you will see a dialogue carried out by two or more people. All texts are given in 4 versions: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, and an English translation.
  2. Grammar. This section breaks down all of the new sentence structures introduced in the dialogue and shows example sentences to reinforce them.
  3. Vocabulary. New vocabulary for the lesson, with translation and pronunciation. Every newly introduced character will be linked to an image or animation showing its stroke order.
  4. Examples. A page of sentences and phrases giving more examples based on the lesson material.
  5. Exercises. Questions and activities to test comprehension of the material. May be used as homework or as review material for lesson exams.


Wikibook Navigation

All the lessons and appendices of this Wikibook are arranged as subpages of the Chinese main page (the Table of Contents). Navigating between lessons is done by clicking the appropriate link in the green mini-Table of Contents box found at the top and bottom of every page. To navigate to less-commonly-accessed pages from a subpage, you must first return to the Chinese main page by clicking on "< Chinese" which appears in the top left corner of all subpages.

Additionally, lesson subpages have subpages branching off of them which contain supporting material for the lesson such as examples, exercises, and animations demonstrating the stroke orders of new characters. You'll also find "Traditional" listed as a subpage, which is a toggle button for accessing the traditional version of the page. Click on it, and "Simplified" replaces it, meaning you can easily switch back and forth between the simplified and traditional character versions of this text.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Speaking and Pronunciation

  • Learn pinyin. Not only is it used throughout this book to explain proper pronunciation, it is needed to look up words in dictionaries and to type in Chinese.
  • Pay attention to the tones. Since there are so few syllables in Chinese, there are many homonyms, making attention to tones very important. Learning to write the pinyin with correct tones at the same time as you learn the characters will improve your pronunciation and your listening comprehension.
  • Read the text aloud. Speaking (and hearing yourself speak) will help reinforce the text in your memory. Exaggerating the tones can help you remember them. In Chinese, character (something that when writing takes a space unit), word (which may include some characters or a single character), and sentence may be different from English. When speaking Chinese, the pronunciation of each character should be a single unit.
  • Find a language partner. There may be a Chinese language club in a nearby city or university. There are also free websites on the Internet that can help you set up a language exchange using Skype or other VoIP programs. Two examples are The Mixxer and E-Tandem.
  • Use a Text To Speech (TTS) service. In other words, have a computer read the text for you. Free examples include Google Translate and imtranslator.net. Google Translate can not only read the text (the volume icon, not available for large texts) but also give you the pinyin (the A with the umlaut), and, of course, translate.
  • Consume Chinese media. Immersing yourself in Chinese after learning the basics will make learning easier. To learn pronunciation, make the voices of native speakers your constant companions, and after finishing this book, continue to immerse yourself—you will have learned enough to take on Chinese "in the wild". A wide variety of multimedia options exist for exposing your ears to native Chinese speakers. Two of the best sites for easy listening materials are Popup Chinese and ChineseClass101.com. Advanced learners can listen to broadcasts of Xinhua, China's official news network, or visit Youku, a Chinese incarnation of YouTube (YouTube is blocked in China, and Facebook as well, for that matter). Download as much audio as you can from these sites to your MP3 player and start listening. You can listen to Chinese whenever you're in the car, commuting, or doing mechanical tasks. Note that, since Internet Explorer 6 is still a popular browser in China, Chinese websites may seem a bit quirky, and video streaming services may not work at all on modern browsers.

Reading and Writing

  • Practice writing—a lot. When you study, write a character at least ten times, and more if you have trouble remembering it. You can find special grid paper for writing practice with Chinese characters on the Internet; for example, PDF sheets are available on UVM's web site, and a practice sheet generator is available at www.chinesetools.eu (or original site, French). The output is set up as a grid, so that a typical printer can print 11 characters with 8 boxes each per page in portrait mode, giving each character one row, or 5 characters with 17 boxes each, and so on. In landscape mode, a printer can print 8 characters with 11 boxes each per page, or 4 characters with 23 boxes each giving each character two lines. Remember to quiz yourself periodically to test your memory and to find which characters you need to practice more. As you write, think of the sound and meaning of the character, or say it out loud. Check out the East Asian Calligraphy wikibook for more help with Chinese writing. Learn the correct stroke order initially and write carefully, looking at the printed character each time before copying. Actually writing is important to establish a 'motor memory' of each character, which will allow your writing to flow more easily.
  • Use a flashcard program. Many people use flash cards memorize information, but there's often much time wasted reviewing what they already know well, or in relearning what they forgot. The free programs Anki and Mnemosyne, can optimize your review schedule using their algorithms. They can also use audio for pronunciation help and 3-sided cards to study reading, writing, and translation separately. You can download free cardsets, export your own, or write them yourself to fully customize your character selection.
A radical highlighted in 3 characters
  • Look for radicals. Radicals are components of Chinese characters that you will see repeated over and over again. Learning the meaning of radicals will help you to see the connections between similar categories of words. Many characters are comprised of radical-phonetic pairings, where the radical is the "root" that hints at the meaning of the word, while another part of the character hints at the sound of the word. Learning to spot radicals is also useful since they can be used when looking up words when you don't know the pinyin in Chinese dictionaries.
  • Buy a dictionary. They're useful for looking up new words or just browsing. Beginner's dictionaries have larger fonts, usage examples, and Pinyin pronunciation, all of which are sometimes missing in comprehensive dictionaries. CC-CEDICT is a thorough Chinese-English dictionary available under Creative Commons. KTdict C-E is a free iOS app that uses CEDICT. A good physical dictionary that provides many example sentences and phrases is The Starter Oxford Chinese Dictionary (Simplified characters only). A good online dictionary would be nciku. It is searchable by pinyin, characters, and sketches, via a drawing panel. It not only contains definitions, also shows the stroke order of a character, and gives examples of its use.

Suggested Reading Materials

  • Children's story books (the characters are easier, many include pinyin or zhuyin for difficult characters)
  • Xinhua is the official Chinese news network, but again, it is mostly for advanced learners.
  • Pinyin/Pinyin-English News Summary


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Pronunciation


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Pinyin Pronunciation

This lesson shows the pronunciation of pinyin, the standard Romanization system used for Mandarin Chinese and the one that will be used throughout the textbook. While most of the letters are the same or very close to the English usage, there are some important differences.

Pronunciation Basics

Mandarin Chinese may sound strange, but is actually relatively easy for English speakers to pick up—much easier than it is for Mandarin-speakers to learn English. A large part of the reason is that Chinese has a very limited sound inventory, meaning there are not many sounds in the language, and hardly any new ones if you already know English. On the other hand, that means Chinese-speakers trying to grasp English must learn to produce dozens of entirely new sounds—remember that as you proceed through these first lessons on pronunciation!

One very different aspect of Chinese is its use of tones. Because of its limited sound inventory, the pitch, also known as the tone or inflection, is used to help differentiate between words. Words with different tones usually have entirely different meanings, but may have the same base with different radicals. While some dialects of Chinese have up to nine tones, Mandarin is comparatively easy with only four. It's often difficult for beginners to distinguish the tone of a word, especially when not sure of the context, people who do not speak a tonal language are not used to listening for pitch in conversation. Speaking Chinese is like singing, but even if you have perfect pitch, it may be hard to follow or reproduce what seems like a roller coaster ride of tonal transitions. Don't worry though, you'll improve by listening and practicing. These lessons will describe how to understand and reproduce all the syllables and tones of Mandarin.

If you know another Romanization system or the IPA

If you are familiar with Zhuyin (bopomofo), Tongyong Pinyin, or the Wade-Giles system of Romanization, Wikipedia has an equivalency chart comparing the different systems. Learn to use Hanyu Pinyin—the more common Romanization system for Chinese, which will be used for this book.

The IPA, or International Phonetic Alphabet, is a standard set of symbols that can be used to write any sound from any human language. The sounds of pinyin are listed below in IPA.

The Mandarin syllable

There are three parts to all syllables in Mandarin; the initial, the final, and the tone. In pinyin, the tone, initial, and final are represented as follows:

Tone

The tone is represented by a tone mark placed on top of the syllable. There are exactly four tone marks: ˉ, ˊ, ˇ, and ˋ. The two dots on ü (like a German umlaut) do not have to do with the tone, so if you see ǖ, ǘ, ǚ, or ǜ, the symbol above the dots represents the tone.

Initial

The initial is...

  • in the beginning of a syllable
  • a consonant (excluding y, or w)
  • usually one letter, except for zh, ch, sh

Final

The final is made up of the letter(s) after a syllable's initial, not including the tone mark. A final...

  • begins with a vowel
  • can be made of 1-4 characters
  • ends with a vowel, n, ng, or r

Exceptions to initial-final combinations in syllables

Some syllables have no initial or no final. In Pinyin, this is shown as follows:

  • For syllables with no final:
    • an unpronounced i is added to the end of the syllable
    • Occurs only with the following initials:zh, ch, sh, r, z, c, s
  • For syllables with no initial:
    • if the final begins with an i, it is replaced with a y
    • if the final begins with an u, it is replaced with a w
    • if the final begins with an ü, it is replaced with yu
    • Exceptions to the above:
      • i alone is replaced by yi
      • iu is replaced by you
      • in is replaced by yin
      • ing is replaced by ying
      • u alone is replaced by wu
      • ui is replaced by wei
      • un is replaced by wen
      • ueng is replaced by weng

One other exception:

  • when combined with initials j, q, x; any ü in a final is changed to u.

Please note that the pronunciation of these syllables is not according to the English pronunciation of the letters. The next few pages give examples of how initials and finals are pronounced, put together, and how to use tones.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Remember, since hearing is very important for learning to speak, audio samples and the voices of native speakers should be your constant companions.

Pronunciation of initials

Pinyin IPA Explanation Examples
b [p]
unaspirated p, as in spit
帮 bāng, to help
包 bāo, (Chinese) bun
p [pʰ] as in English 炮 pào, gun; cannon
m [m] as in English 马 mǎ, horse
f [f] as in English 风 fēng, wind
d [t]
unaspirated t, as in stand
大 dà, big
刀 dāo, knife
t [tʰ] as in English 头 tóu, head
n [n] as in English 男 nán, male
l [l] as in English 老 lǎo, old
g [k]
unaspirated k, as in skill
格 gé, grid
歌 gē, song
k [kʰ] as in English 看 kàn, to see
h [x]
like the English h if followed by "a"; otherwise it is pronounced more roughly (not unlike the Scots ch)
好 hǎo, good
喝 hē, to drink
画 huà, to draw
j [tɕ]
like q, but unaspirated. (To get this sound, first take the sound halfway between joke and check, and then slowly pass it backwards along the tongue until it is entirely clear of the tongue tip.) While this exact sound is not used in English, the closest match is the j in ajar, not the s in Asia; this means that "Beijing" is pronounced like "bay-jing", not like "beige-ing".
叫 jiào, to call
家 jiā, home, family
近 jìn, close
尖 jiān, sharp
q [tɕʰ] like j above, but with strong aspiration. Similar to church; pass it backwards along the tongue until it is free of the tongue tip 气 qì, air, gas
桥 qiáo, bridge
x [ɕ]
like sh, but take the sound and pass it backwards along the tongue until it is clear of the tongue tip; very similar to the final sound in German ich, Portuguese enxada, luxo, xícara, puxa, and to huge or Hugh in some English dialects
小 xiǎo, little, small
心 xīn, heart
想 xiǎng, to think; to want
zh [tʂ]
ch with no aspiration (take the sound halfway between joke and church and curl it upwards); very similar to merger in American English, but not voiced
长 zhǎng, to grow
中 zhōng, center, middle
重 zhòng, heavy
ch [tʂʰ] Like zh above, but with strong aspiration. Similar to chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture in American English, but strongly aspirated 吃 chī, to eat
茶 chá, tea
sh [ʂ]
as in shinbone, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to undershirt in American English
沙 shā, sand
手 shǒu, hand
上 shàng, up, on
r [ɻ]
similar to the English r in rank, but with the lips spread and with the tongue curled upwards
日 rì, sun
热 rè, hot
z [ts] unaspirated c (halfway between beds and bets), (more common example is suds) 紫 zǐ, purple
c [tsʰ] like ts, aspirated (more common example is cats) 草 cǎo, grass
次 cì, time(s)
s [s] as in sun 送 sòng, to send
y [j], [ɥ] as in English. If followed by a u, pronounce it with rounded lips 月 yuè, moon
音 yīn, tone
w [w] as in English 外 wài, outside


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Pronunciation of finals

Pinyin IPA Final-only form Explanation
a [a] a if ending a syllable, then as in "father"
o [ɔ] (n/a) plain continental 'or'. Only used in certain interjections.
e [ɤ], [ə] e when occurring at the end of a syllable and not in the combinations of ie, üe, ue, then a backward, unrounded vowel, which can be formed by first pronouncing a plain continental "o" (AuE and NZE law) and then spreading the lips without changing the position of the tongue. That same sound is also similar to English "duh", but not as open. Many unstressed syllables in Chinese use the schwa (idea), and this is also written as e.
ê [ɛ] (n/a) as in "bet". Only used in certain interjections.
ai [aɪ̯] ai like English "eye", but a bit lighter
ei [eɪ̯] ei as in "hey"
ao [ɑʊ̯] ao approximately as in "cow"; the a is much more audible than the o
ou [oʊ̯] ou as in "so", "dough"
an [an] an starts with plain continental "a" (AuE and NZE bud) and ends with "n"; as in "stun", "fun"
en [ən] en as in "taken"
ang [ɑŋ] ang as in German Angst, including the English loan word angst (starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; as in "flung", "dung", "young";like song in American English)
eng [əŋ] eng like e in en above but with ng added to it at the back
er [ɑɻ] er like ar (exists only on own, or as last part of final in combination with others- see bottom of list)
i [i] yi like English "ee", except when preceded by "c", "ch", "r", "s", "sh", "z" or "zh"; in these cases it should be pronounced as a natural extension of those sounds in the same position, but slightly more open to allow for a clear-sounding vowel to pass through
ia [i̯a] ya as i + a; like English "yard" or the name "iago"
io [iou] (n/a) as i + o; like English slang "yo"; (only exists as a final-only interjection)
ie [i̯ɛ] ye as i + ê; but is very short; e (pronounced like ê) is pronounced longer and carries the main stress (similar to the initial sound ye in yet)
iai [iɑi] yai as i + ai; like "yi" in "yikes"; (only exists as final-only form "yai")
iao [i̯ɑʊ̯] yao as i + ao
iu [i̯oʊ̯] you as i + ou
ian [i̯ɛn] yan as i + an; like English yen
in [in] yin as i + en; as in the English word "in";
iang [i̯ɑŋ] yang as i + ang
ing [iŋ] ying as i + eng
u [u] wu like English "oo", except in xu and yu, where it is pronounced as u
ua [u̯a] wa as u + a
uo, o [u̯ɔ] wo as u + o (as o after initials b, p, m and f); the o is pronounced shorter and lighter than in the o final
uai [u̯aɪ̯] wai as u + ai
ui [u̯eɪ̯] wei as u + ei; here, the i is pronounced like ei
uan [u̯an] wan as u + an
un [u̯ən] wen as u + en; like the on in the English won
uang [u̯ɑŋ] wang as u + ang; like the ang in English angst or anger
ong [ʊŋ], [u̯əŋ] weng as u + eng; starts with the vowel sound in book and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing
ü [y] yu as in German "üben" or French "lune" (To get this sound, say "ee" with rounded lips)
üe [y̯œ] yue as ü + ê; the ü is short and light
üan [y̯ɛn] yuan as ü + an;
ün [yn] yun as ü + en;
iong [i̯ʊŋ] yong as ü + eng;
Finals that are a combination of finals above + er final
Pinyin IPA Explanation
e'r [ɤɻ] as e + er (not to be confused with er final on its own- this form only exists with an initial character before it)
air, anr [ɑɻ] as ai + er, an + er
aor [ɑʊ̯ɻ] as ao + er
our [oʊ̯ɻ] as ou + er
angr [ɑŋɻ] as ang + er
iar, ianr [i̯ɑɻ] as ia + er, ian + er
inr, ir [i̯əɻ] as in + er, i + er
ingr [i̯əŋɻ] as ing + er
ur [uɻ] as u + er
uor [u̯ɔɻ] as uo + er
uir [u̯əɻ] as ui + er
ongr [ʊŋɻ] as ong + er
ür [y̯əɻ] as ü + er


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Using Tones

Relative pitch changes of the four tones

Every syllable in Chinese has a clearly defined pitch of voice associated with it to distinguish characters with the same sound from each other. Unfortunately, there is no indication of the tone given when reading a character, so the tones for words must be individually memorized. To help with this, pinyin uses four easily-remembered diacritical marks to tell you what the tones of words are. The diagram to the right shows the pitch changes of the four tones on a five-bar scale going from lowest (1), to highest (5), while the five tone marks are:

  1. First tone (阴平)( ˉ ), high level.
  2. Second tone (阳平)(ˊ), middle rising.
  3. Third tone (上声)( ˇ ), low dipping.
  4. Fourth tone (去声)(ˋ), high falling.
  5. Tone of unstressed syllable (轻声)(without any marks), low level.


Tone marks are always placed over vowels, never consonants. If there is more than one vowel in the syllable, the mark placement is determined by three simple rules.

  1. If there is an a or an e, the tone goes on the a or the e. No pinyin syllable contains both an a and an e.
  2. In the ou combination, the o takes the tone mark.
  3. In all other cases, the final vowel gets the tone mark.

Pronouncing the tones

Each bar of this musical staff represents the relative pitch changes when saying tones 1, 2, 3 and 4

Say the first tone as if you were singing a high note. The second tone is pronounced like a question in English, with your pitch rising at the end of the syllable. Third tones are low and extended, noticeably longer than the other tones because of the dip. The fourth tone is said abruptly and forcefully, like a curt command in English. The neutral tone's pitch depends on the tone that precedes it. It is described more fully below, but in general, they are pronounced quickly and softly. The classic example used to show the difference tones make is:

() () () () (·ma)

(Being "mother", "hemp", "horse", "scold" and a question particle, respectively.)

The shape of the 3rd tone when before 1st, 2nd and 4th tones

In many cases, several characters can have exactly the same syllable and tone. For example, along with 马, the characters 码 and 蚂 are also pronounced exactly the same (mǎ). 马 can be used alone to mean the animal "horse." It can also be combined with other characters for new meanings. 马上mǎshàng-immediately; 马球mǎqiú-polo; 马路mǎlù-street; etc. Other characters with the same pronunciation will be used differently as well. 数码相机shùmǎ xiàngjī-digital camera; 蚂蚁mǎyǐ-ant; etc. Since these characters alone sound exactly the same in conversation, the only way to distinguish them is through context.

Tone changes

The third tone, with its dip-and-rebound, is hard to fit into a continuous sentence. This is why the third-tone changes depending on its environment. There are two rules:

  1. If a third tone comes before another third tone, then it is pronounced as a second tone.
  2. If a third tone comes before any other tone, then it only dips, and doesn't rebound and is called a half-third tone (see image).

Because of these broad rules, the majority of third tones you encounter will be spoken as second tones or half-third tones. Be mindful of this because the written tone marks remain unchanged despite the differences in actual pronunciation.

Neutral Tones

Some syllables don't have a tone and carry no tone mark. They are not stressed, and they take their tone from the syllable before them:

  1. If it follows a first- or second-tone syllable, then the toneless syllable is mid-range.
  2. If it follows a third-tone syllable, then the toneless syllable is high, as if the dip-and-rebound of the third-tone continues right into it.
  3. If it follows a fourth-tone syllable, then the toneless syllable is low, as if the fall of the fourth-tone continues right into it.

Test and Review

Mandarin One: Lesson One

Congratulations! You have completed the pronunciation lessons. Continue to Lesson 1!



Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lessons / 课程

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Contents

Lesson 1: 你好!

It is appropriate to start off the introduction to Chinese with the common greeting 你好 Look up 你好 in Wiktionary ‹nǐ hǎo› (“hello”)。 Below is a dialogue between two people meeting each other for the first time.

Dialogues

Dialogue 1

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
金妮: 你好。 金妮: 你好。
欧文: 你好。 歐文: 妳好。
金妮: 我叫金妮。你叫什么名字? 金妮: 我叫金妮。你叫什麽名字?
欧文: 我叫欧文。 歐文: 我叫歐文。
Pīnyīn English
Jīnní: Nǐ hǎo. Ginny: Hello.
Ōuwén: Nǐ hǎo. Owen: Hello.
Jīnní: jiào Jīnní. jiào shénme míngzi? Ginny: I'm Ginny. What's your name?
Ōuwén: jiào Ōuwén. Owen: I'm Owen.

Dialogue 2


Problems listening to this file? See media help.
Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
金妮: 他们是谁? 金妮: 他們是誰?
欧文: 她是艾美,她是中国人。他是东尼,他是美国人。 歐文: 她是艾美,她是中國人。他是東尼,他是美國人。
金妮: 你也是美国人吗? 金妮: 你也是美國人嗎?
欧文: 不是,我是英国人。你呢?你是哪国人? 歐文: 不是,我是英國人。你呢?你是哪國人?
金妮: 我是法国人。 金妮: 我是法國人。


Pīnyīn English
Jīnní: Tāmen shì shéi? Ginny: Who are they?
Ōuwén: Tā shì Àiměi, tā shì Zhōngguórén. Tā shì Dōngní, tā shì Měiguórén. Owen: She is Amy. She's Chinese. He's Tony, an American.
Jīnní: Nĭ yě shì Měiguórén ma? Ginny: Are you also American?
Ōuwén: Bú shì. Wǒ shì Yīngguórén. Nǐ ne? Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén? Owen: No, I'm British. How about you? Which nationality are you?
Jīnní: Wǒ shì Fǎguórén. Ginny: I'm French.

Vocabulary

Note: Visit this lesson's Stroke Order subpage to see images and animations detailing how to write the following characters. Audio files of the words are linked from the pīnyīn when available. Problems listening? See media help.

Simplified Traditional (if diff.) Pīnyīn Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1a.  Look up 你 in Wiktionary  (pro) you (singular, masculine)
1b.  Look up 妳 in Wiktionary   Look up 妳 in Wiktionary  (pro) you (singular, feminine)
2.  Look up 好 in Wiktionary  hǎo (adj) good
3.  Look up 们 in Wiktionary   Look up 們 in Wiktionary  men (particle) (noun plural marker)
4a. 你们 Look up 你们 in Wiktionary  你們 Look up 你們 in Wiktionary  nǐmen (pro) you all (plural, masculine)
4b. 妳们 Look up 妳们 in Wiktionary  妳們 Look up 妳們 in Wiktionary  nǐmen (pro) you all (plural, feminine)
5.  Look up 我 in Wiktionary  (pro) I, me
6. 我们 Look up 我们 in Wiktionary  我們 Look up 我們 in Wiktionary  wǒmen (pro) we, us
7.  Look up 他 in Wiktionary  (pro) he, him
8.  Look up 她 in Wiktionary  (pro) she, her
9. 他们 Look up 他们 in Wiktionary  他們 Look up 他們 in Wiktionary  tāmen (pro) they, them (masc.)
10. 她们 Look up 她们 in Wiktionary  她們 Look up 她們 in Wiktionary  tāmen (pro) they, them (fem.)
11.  Look up 叫 in Wiktionary  jiào (v) to be named, (lit.) to call
12. 什么 Look up 什么 in Wiktionary  什麽 Look up 什麽 in Wiktionary  shénme (pro) what
13. 名字 Look up 名字 in Wiktionary  míngzi (n) name
14.  Look up 是 in Wiktionary  shì (v) to be (am/is/are)
15.  Look up 谁 in Wiktionary   Look up 誰 in Wiktionary  shéi OR shuí (pro) who, whom
16.  Look up 国 in Wiktionary   Look up 國 in Wiktionary  guó (n) country
17.  Look up 人 in Wiktionary  rén (n) person [ Look up 个 in Wiktionary ‹gè› ( Look up 個 in Wiktionary )]
18.  Look up 也 in Wiktionary  (adv) also
19.  Look up 吗 in Wiktionary   Look up 嗎 in Wiktionary  ma (part) (question particle for yes or no questions)
20.  Look up 呢 in Wiktionary  ne (part) (question particle for known context)
21.  Look up 哪 in Wiktionary  OR něi (pro) what, which
22.  Look up 不 in Wiktionary  (adv) (negates verbs)

Proper Nouns

Simplified Traditional (if diff.) Pīnyīn English
1. 金妮 Jīnní Ginny
2. 欧文 歐文 Ōuwén Owen
3. 艾美 Àiměi Amy
4. 东尼 東尼 Dōngní Tony
5. 中国 Look up 中国 in Wiktionary  中國 Look up 中國 in Wiktionary  Zhōngguó China
6. 美国 Look up 美国 in Wiktionary  美國 Look up 美國 in Wiktionary  Měiguó America
7. 英国 Look up 英国 in Wiktionary  英國 Look up 英國 in Wiktionary  Yīngguó Britain
8. 法国 Look up 法国 in Wiktionary  法國 Look up 法國 in Wiktionary  Fǎguó France

Forming the nationality is usually as simple as adding on  Look up 人 in Wiktionary ‹rén› (“person”) to the country name. 中国 Look up 中国 in Wiktionary ‹Zhōngguó› (“China”) becomes 中国人 Look up 中国人 in Wiktionary ‹Zhōngguó rén› (“a person of Chinese nationality”), and so forth.

Grammar

Basic Sentences

The sentence structure of Chinese is very similar to that of English in that they both follow the pattern of Subject-Verb-Object (SVO). Unlike many languages, verbs in Chinese are not conjugated and noun and adjective endings do not change. They are never affected by things such as time or person.


S + V + O



1. 我叫艾美。

Wǒ jiào Àiměi.
I'm called Amy.

Sentences using shì [是]

The equational verb  Look up 是 in Wiktionary ‹shì› (“to be”) can be used as the English is or equals.  Look up 是 in Wiktionary ‹shì› can only be used to equate combinations of nouns, noun phrases, and pronouns. In Chinese,  Look up 是 in Wiktionary ‹shì› (“to be”) is not used with adjectives, as it is in English, as in, "He is cold."


S + 是 + O



1. 我是中国人。

Wǒ shì Zhōngguórén.
I am a Chinese person.

2. 她是金妮。

Tā shì Jīnní.
She is Ginny.

3. 她们是英国人。

Tāmen shì Yīngguórén.
They are English.
 Look up 是 in Wiktionary ‹shì› is negated when preceded by  Look up 不 in Wiktionary ‹bù› (“not”).  Look up 不 in Wiktionary ‹bù› is normally 4th tone, but changes to a 2nd tone when it precedes another 4th tone.


S + 不 + 是 + O



1. 他不是东尼。

Tā bú shì Dōngní.
He is not Tony.

2. 我不是美国人。

Wǒ bú shì Měiguórén.
I am not American.

Articles

There are no articles in Chinese grammar. While English noun clauses often begin with "a", "an", or "the", Chinese is less verbose.

An example:

  1. 我是中国人。
    Wǒ shì Zhōngguórén.
    I am [a] Chinese person.

An "a" appears in the English translation, but the singular and indefinite nature of 中国人 Look up 中国人 in Wiktionary ‹Zhōngguórén› (“Chinese person”) is just inferred in Chinese.


The question particle  Look up 吗 in Wiktionary ‹ma›

Adding the modal particle  Look up 吗 in Wiktionary ‹ma› to the end of a sentence makes a statement into a question. There is no change in word order unlike in English.

The declarative example sentence in #1 is transformed into an interrogative in #2.

1. 她是金妮。

Tā shì Jīnní.
She is Ginny.

2. 她是金妮吗?

Tā shì Jīnní ma?
She is Ginny ?

The question particle  Look up 呢 in Wiktionary ‹ne›

Using the ending modal particle  Look up 呢 in Wiktionary ‹ne› makes a question when the context is already known, similar to saying "How about...?" in English. A common circumstance is when you wish to repeat a question that was just asked for another subject. Simply add  Look up 呢 in Wiktionary ‹ne› to the end of the noun or pronoun to ask "How about this".


1. 我叫东尼, 你呢?

Wǒ jiào Dōngní, nǐ ne?
I'm called Tony. How about you?

2. 艾美是中国人, 他呢?

Àiměi shì Zhōngguórén, tā ne?
Amy is Chinese. How about him?

Question words

Question words like  Look up 哪 in Wiktionary ‹nǎ› (“what”) and  Look up 谁 in Wiktionary ‹shéi› (“who”) also make statements into questions without changing the order of the sentence. In Chinese, each question word appears where its answer would complete the surrounding sentence.


1. 他们是国人?

Tāmen shì guó rén?
What nationality are they? (literally, "They are what country person?")

2. 是美国人?

Shéi shì Měiguórén?
Who is American?'

3. 她是

Tā shì shéi?
Who is she? (literally, "She is who?")

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 2: 今天你忙不忙?

Lesson 2 contains a dialogue of two students discussing their classes for the day.

Dialogues

Dialogue 1

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
东尼: 艾美,早上好(早安)。 東尼: 艾美,早上好(早安)。
艾美: 早。你好吗? 艾美: 早。你好嗎?
东尼: 我很好,谢谢。你呢? 東尼: 我很好,謝謝。你呢?
艾美: 我也很好。你今天忙吗? 艾美: 我也很好。你今天有空嗎?
东尼: 今天我很忙。我有五门课。 東尼: 今天我很忙。我有五門課。
艾美: 五门?太多了!我今天只有一门。 艾美: 五門?太多了!我今天只有一門。
东尼: 一门?太少了! 東尼: 一門?太少了!
Pīnyīn English
Dōngní: Àiměi, zăoshang hǎo (zǎo'ān). Tony: Good morning, Amy.
Àiměi: Zăo. Nǐ hǎo ma? Amy: Good morning. How are you?
Dōngní: hěn hǎo, xièxie. ne? Tony: I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Àiměi: hěn hǎo. jīntiān (máng ma?) (yǒukòng ma?) Amy: I'm also fine. Are you busy today?
Dōngní: Jīntiān hěn máng. yǒu -mén . Tony: I'm very busy today. I have five classes.
Àiměi: -mén? Tài duō le! jīntiān zhĭyǒu -mén. Amy: Five? That's too many! Today I only have one.
Dōngní: -mén? Tài shǎo le! Tony: One? That's too few!

Dialogue 2

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
东尼: 艾美,下午好。 東尼: 艾美,下午好。
艾美: 下午好。你那五门课上完了吗? 艾美: 下午好。你那五門課上完了嗎?
东尼: 上了三节,你呢? 東尼: 上了三節。你呢?
艾美: 上完了,下午想去公园。 艾美: 上完了,下午想去公園。
东尼: 哦。这个计划不错。 東尼: 哦。這個計劃不錯。
艾美: 谢谢夸奖。那么,明天见! 艾美: 謝謝夸獎。那麼,明天見!
东尼: 明天见。 東尼: 明天見。
Pīnyīn English
Dōngní: Àiměi, xiàwǔ hǎo. Tony: Good afternoon, Amy.
Àiměi: Xiàwǔ hǎo. Nǐ nà wǔ-mén kè shàng-wánle ma? Amy: Good afternoon. Did you finish your five classes?
Dōngní: Shàng-le sān-jié, nǐ ne? Tony: I finished 3 of them. And you?
Àiměi: Shàng-wánle, xiàwǔ xiǎng qù gōngyuán. Amy: I'm free now. I am going to the park.
Dōngní: O. Zhègè jìhuà bùcuò. Tony: Oh. That's a good plan.
Àiměi: Xièxiè kuājiǎng. Nàme, míngtiān jiàn! Amy: Thanks a lot. Hey, see you tomorrow.
Dōngní: Míngtiān jiàn! Tony: See you.

Vocabulary

Note: Visit this lesson's Stroke Order subpage to see images and animations detailing how to write the following characters. Audio files of the words are linked from the pīnyīn when available. Problems listening? See media help.

Simplified (traditional in parentheses) Pīnyīn Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1. (adj) one
2. èr (adj) two
3. sān (adj) three
4. (adj) four
5. (adj) five
6. liù (adj) six
7. (adj) seven
8. (adj) eight
9. jiǔ (adj) nine
10. shí (adj) ten
11. zăo (n) morning (often spoken alone as a shortened form to mean "good morning" just like with English)
12. ān (adj) peaceful
13. 早安 zăo'ān (phrase) good morning
14. hěn (adv) very
15. 谢谢 (謝謝) xièxie (v) thanks
16. tiān (n) day/sky
17. 今天 jīntiān (n) today
18. máng (adj) busy
19. yǒu (v) to have, possess
20. () méi (adv) negates yǒu
21. () mén (m) (measure word for school courses)
22. () (n) class [-measure word for class]
23. tài (adv) too, extremely
24. le (part) (combines with 太 - see grammar)
25. duō (adj) many
26. shăo (adj) few
27. zhĭ (adv) only, merely
28. dōu (adv) all,both
29. 早上好 zǎoshàng hǎo (phrase) good morning
30. 下午好 xiàwǔhǎo (phrase) good afternoon

Grammar

The adverb Hěn [很]

Though translated as "very", Hěn [很] has a weaker meaning than it does in English. It is often added before a single-syllable adjective just to enhance the rhythmic flow of the sentence. Hěn is used before the adjective in affirmative sentences, but not in negative sentences or questions. A common mistake of beginners is to insert shì [是] into adjectival sentences, but this usage is incorrect as shì can only be used to equate combinations of nouns, noun phrases and pronouns.


1. 我很忙。

Wǒ hěn máng
I am (very) busy.

Le [了] as emphasizer

The particle le [了] has many different functions in Chinese, but in this case, it serves to add emphasis to the verb or adjective of the sentence. It can be seen paired with tài [太] to express excessiveness.


1. 太多了。

Tài duō le.
(That's) too many.

2. 太少了。

Tài shăo le.
(That's) too few.

Affirmative-negative questions

A sentence can be made into a question by having both affirmative and negative options together. To answer in the affirmative, the verb or adjective is repeated. (An affirmative adjective in this case is usually preceded by hěn [很] to avoid a comparative tone.) Responding in the negative is simply saying "not verb" or "not adjective".


S + V 不 V + O?



Example:

Because the in affirmative-negative questions is often said quickly, marking the tone on is not strictly necessary in their case.

Q: 他是不是东尼?

Tā shì bu shì Dōngní?
Is he Tony?
literally, "he is/is not Tony?"

A: 是的。(是,他是/嗯,他是。)or 不是。 (不,他不是。)

The de is not necessary. You can simply answer (shì).
Shì de. (Shì tā shì) or Bú shì (Bù tā bú shì).
Yes (he is). or No (he isn't).


S + adj. 不 adj.? (The second adjective can be omitted.)



Example:
Q:艾美今天忙不忙?/艾美今天忙不?

Àiměi jīntiān máng bù (máng)?
Is Amy busy today?
literally, "Today, Amy busy/not busy"

A: 她很忙。or 她不忙。

Tā hěn máng. or Tā bù máng.
Yes, she's (very) busy. or No, she's not busy.

Sentences using yǒu [有]

Yǒu [有] means to have and indicates possession.


S + 有 + O



Example:
我有三门课。

Wǒ yǒu sān mén kè.
I have three classes.
Yǒu is negated when preceded by méi [没].


S + 没 + 有 + O



Example:
今天,他们没有课。

Jīntiān tāmen méi yǒu kè.
Today, they don't have any classes.
Yǒu is negated when preceded by méi [没].


S + 一 + O + 都没有



Example:

The adverb (dōu) is required here in front of 没有 to emphasize the lack of a single one of the object. Also, be sure to remember to place the proper measure word between 一 and the object.

今天,他们一门课都没有。

Jīntiān tāmen yì mén kè dōu méi yǒu.
Today, they don't have a single class.

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 3: 助詞

The Chinese language employs heavy usage of particles to modify the meaning of characters and sentences. Since Chinese has neither inflections nor tense, the mastery of particles is an absolute must if one is to fully comprehend both written and spoken Chinese. Below, you will find some of the most common particles in everyday Chinese.

The De {的} particle as possessive

The particle de [的] can be used to indicate possession. It is roughly equivalent to the contraction "X's" in English, where X is the subject.

Example:

      她  的   名字   是   金妮。
       Tā de míngzi shì Jīnní.
      Her name is Ginny.
sometimes the "的" is following an adjective to make meaning clearer.


Example 她是一个美丽的姑娘

        Tā shì yīge měilì de gū’niang.
       She is a beautiful girl.

The Le {了} / Liăo {了} particle

Perfective Aspect Particle


The {了} particle is used mainly to indicate a completed action (this overlaps somewhat with the English perfect aspect, i.e. "to have gone", "to have eaten").

Example:

      他  走  了。
       Tā zŏu le.
      He has gone. 

※The "le" here is used to modify 走 (zŏu, to go) into an action which has already been completed.


The {了} can also be used as an imperative, that is, a command which is issued by the subject

Example:

      別   再   打扰  我  了! 
      別   再   打擾  我  了! 
      Bié zài dărăo wŏ le! 
      Do not bother me again!

※In this instance, le is used in conjunction with bié ("do not") to form an imperative. Note: most imperatives are not formed using this construction.


The {了} , as in Liăo (a homographic variant) can be used to indicate the subject's capability in doing such and such.

Example:

      我  实在    吃  不  了   了。
      我  實在    吃  不  了   了。 
       Wŏ shízài chī bù liăo le. 
      I cannot possibly eat any more.


At first glance, this sentence may seem a bit daunting as it includes two instances of the le particle, paired side-by-side. However, the first le is understood to be liăo given its placement (bù + le is a nonsensical pairing). Therefore, liăo serves to indicate the capability of eating any further and le emphasizes this assertion.

The Zhe [着] particle showing continuation

The particle Zhe [着] is used after a verb to show that the action is in progress or that the results from that action are continuing.

1. 他睡着觉时有人敲门。

Tā shuìzhe jiào shí yǒurén qiāomén
While he was sleeping, someone knocked on the door.

2. Alternatively you could take out "着" and say "他睡觉时有人敲门。"

The Zháo [着] particle indicating accomplishment

The particle Zháo [着] is used after a verb to show accomplishment or result.

Note: It is not to be confused with the identically written particle Zhe, which shows continuation (Lesson 3).

1. 我终于把东西买着了!

 (我終於把東西買著了!) 
Wŏ zhōngyú bă dōngxī măi zháo le.
I've finally been able to buy this item!

And another word, dào [到], can be seen as a substitution for 着, in most cases they are interchangeable.

2. 他在行窃时被当场抓到。

Tā zài xíng qìe shí beì dāng chǎng zhuā dào.
He was(is) caught in the act of stealing.

The 把 + N + V + 着(到)了 construction is particularly useful and should be studied.

The De [得] particle indicating degree

The particle de [得] is used in few special constructs to indicate degree of complement (how fast, how early, how expensive, etc.). It has no equivalent in English but must be used to indicate the meanings below.
S + V + 得 + adjective

1. 我说得很好.

Wŏ shuō de hěn hăo.
I speak very well.

This construct often requires a context to gain its full meaning.

If you wish to speak more specifically about an action, the two constructs below demonstrate the use of 得 with a direct object.

S + V + O + V + 得 + adjective

2. 我说中文说得很好.

Wŏ shuō zhōngwén shuō de hěn hăo.
I speak Chinese very well.

Note the dual-use of the verb.

O + S + V + 得 + adjective

3. 中文我说得很好.

Zhōngwén wŏ shuō de hěn hăo.
I speak Chinese very well.

This construct emphasizes the object (here being "Chinese").

S + O + V + 得 + adjective

4. 我中文说得很好.

Wŏ zhōngwén shuō de hěn hăo.
I speak Chinese very well.

This expression is the simplification of the 2nd expression by eliminating the 1st verb. This form is even more frequently used than the 2nd expression above.

Vocabulary

Note: Visit this lesson's Stroke Order subpage to see images and animations detailing how to write the following characters. Audio files of the words are linked from the pīnyīn when available. Problems listening? See media help.

Simplified Traditional (if diff.) Pīnyīn Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1. zǒu (v) to walk, leave
2. 打扰 打擾 dărăo (v) to bother
3. 实在 實在 shízài (adv) emphatically, etc.
4. chī (v) to eat
5. 睡觉 睡覺 shuìjiào (v) to sleep
6. shí (n) (lit.) time. When used in conjunction with a verb, it means "when/as" that action is taking place
7. qiāo (v) to knock
8. mén (n) door, gate
9. 终于 終於 zhōngyú (adv) finally, eventually
10. dōng (adj) east
11. 西 (adj) west
12. 东西 東西 dōngxī (n) a general expression for "thing"
13. wán (n) Only be used express that "play" the game.It can't be used like "play the piano" or "play video"...etc.
13. (v) drink
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order



Lesson 4: Word order and Verbs

Basic Word Order

Subject-Verb-Object

The order of most Chinese sentences, like in English, is S-V-O, that is Subject-Verb-Object.

我看这本书。
我看這本書。
Wǒ kàn zhè běn shū.
I read this book.

Word order in Chinese is more rigid than in English. However, sometimes you may find sentences that seem to defy normal word order. For example, 我住在中国。wǒ zhù zài zhōngguó. The English translation does this too: I live in China. The reason for this is that "in China" is a preposition (prepositions indicate place or time) that is tacked on to the main sentence—"I live." More examples:

下午一点半,我们走。
Xiàwǔ yīdiǎn bàn, wǒmen zǒu.
At 1:30 in the afternoon, we'll go.
在青岛,我看到了。
Zài qīngdǎo, wǒ kàn dào le.
In Qingdao, I saw it.

As in English, a preposition can also appear after a subject.

我在我家看这本书。
我在我家看這本書。
Wǒ zài wǒ jiā kàn zhè běn shū.
I read this book at my house.
我明天看这本书。
我明天看這本書。
Wǒ míngtiān kàn zhè běn shū.
I will read this book tomorrow.

When using both a preposition for time and a preposition for place, put the preposition for time first.

我明天在我家看这本书。
我明天在我家看這本書。
Wǒ míngtiān zài wǒ jiā kàn zhè běn shū.
I will read this book at my house tomorrow.
明天在我家,我看这本书。
明天在我家,我看這本書。
Míngtiān zài wǒ jiā, wǒ kàn zhè běn shū.
Tomorrow at my house, I will read this book.
明天,我在我家看这本书。
明天,我在我家看這本書。
Míngtiān, wǒ zài wǒ jiā kàn zhè běn shū.
Tomorrow, I will read this book at my house.

Note the variation in word order. You can also place a preposition for place, but not for time, at the end of a sentence.

我看这本书在我家。
我看這本書在我家。
Wǒ kàn zhè běn shū zài wǒ jiā.
I read this book at my house.

Topic-Comment

Another structure for Chinese sentences is topic-comment. That is, the first thing mentioned is the topic of discussion and then the speaker will add a comment following that.

It is used to emphasize a certain part of the sentence. In the following example, the speaker wants to emphasize that he is going to read the particular book being discussed.

这本书,我明天在我家看。
這本書,我明天在我家看。

Zhè běn shū, wǒ míngtiān zài wǒ jiā kàn.

I will read this book tomorrow.

Comparisons Using [比]

Comparisons can be made using [比]. Adverbs (like 不,也,只,都)and any auxiliary verbs are placed before in the sentence. The amount of the disparity between the two is placed after the adjective.


A 比 B + Adj.



她比我忙。
Tā bǐ wǒ máng.
She is busier than I am.


东尼也比我忙很多。
東尼也比我忙很多。
Dōngní yě bǐ wǒ máng hěn duō.
Tony is also a lot busier than I am.

Notes

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 5: Measure words

Measure Words/量词(liàngcí)

In Chinese, most specified or numbered nouns must be preceded by measure words, also known as classifiers, according to the type of object. Consider the English phrase, "two pairs of pants." Like the word "pair," Chinese measure words are placed between the noun and the preceding number.

1. 这本书里没有一个汉字。

Zhè bĕn shū lǐ méi yŏu yí gè Hànzì.
This book doesn’t contain one Chinese character.

2. 那间宿舍有六十个学生。

Nà jiān sùshè yŏu liùshí ge xuésheng.
That dorm has sixty students.

The phrase 一朵花 (yī duǒ huā) means "one flower," but how would you say "a pile of flowers?" It's simple: just change the classifier. The phrase 一堆花 (yī duī huā) means "a pile of flowers." You could also say 一把花 (yī bǎ huā; a handful of flowers), 一桶花 (yī tǒng huā; a bucket of flowers), or 一种花 (yī zhǒng huā; a kind of flower). You can see that measure words act as adjectives.

In Chinese, like in English, you can omit the noun if it's already known, leaving only the classifier. 你看到那种(花)吗? (Nǐ kàn dào nà zhǒng (huā) ma?) means "Did you see that kind (of flower)?" You can see that measure words also act as nouns.

Measure words are also used with demonstrative pronouns (this, that). For example, 这朵花 means "this flower," and 那朵花 means "that flower."

You might also encounter something like this: 书架上有书本。 (Shūjià shàng yǒu shūběn.) which means "The bookshelf has books on it." Note that the classifier is after the noun. This signifies multiple books where the exact number is not important, here translated "books." The sentence 书架上有书。, means the same as above, but is without the classifier.

Some Common Measure Words

Column key: Trad. is Traditional, Simp. shows changes made for the simplified variant (if any).

Trad. Simp. Pinyin Main uses Example
ge individual things, people — usage of this classifier in conjunction with any noun is generally accepted if the person does not know the proper classifier. 一个书包 yí ge shūbāo, a schoolbag
"handful", "fistful" — objects that can be held or grabbed (knives, scissors, keys; also chairs) 一把刀 yì bă dāo. One knife.

一把盐 yì bă yán. A handful of salt.

bāo "package", "bundle" 一包纸巾 yì bāo zhǐ jīn. A package of paper towels.
bēi "cup" — drinks 一杯水 yì bēi shuǐ. A cup of water.
běn "volume" — any bound print or written matter (books, etc.) 一本书 yì běn shū. A book.
slimmer volumes of books
"time" — opportunities, accidents 两次 liǎng cì. Twice. 三次 sān cì. Three times.
"droplet" — water, blood, and other such fluids 一滴水 yì dī shuǐ. A drop of water.
diǎn ideas, suggestions, can also mean "a bit" 你睡一点。 Nǐ shuì yīdiǎn. Sleep a bit.
duī "pile" — anything in a pile 一堆书 yī duī shū. A pile of books.
duǒ flowers, clouds 一朵花 yì duŏ huā. One flower.
fèn newspapers, jobs 一份报 yì fèn bào. A newspaper
gēn thin, slender objects, lit. "a root of a..." (needles, pillars, grass, vegetable roots etc.) 一根针 yì gēn zhēn. A needle
jiā gathering of people (families, companies, etc.) 一家人 yī jiā rén. A family of people.
jià objects with a "frame" or structure; generally used for machines or mechanical objects (esp. cars, planes, etc.) 一架飞机 yī jià fēijī. One plane.
jiàn matters, clothing, etc. 一件衣服 yí jiàn yī fù. An article of clothing.
jié "a section" — of bamboo, tutorials and classes, etc.
liàng automobiles, bicycles, vehicles, etc. 一辆车 yí liàng chē. One car.
miàn any flat and smooth objects, lit. "a surface of a..." (mirrors, flags, walls, etc.) 一面镜子 yí miàn jìng zi. One mirror
horses and other mounts, or rolls/bolts of cloth 一匹马 yì pǐ mă. One horse.
piàn "slice" — any flat object, like cards, slices of bread, tree leaves, etc. 一片叶子 yì piàn yè zi. One leaf.
píng "bottle" — drinks
shàn objects that open and close (doors, windows) 一扇门 yì shàn mén. One door
sōu ships 一艘船 yì sōu chuán. One ship.
suǒ any buildings, apartment
tái heavy objects (TVs, computers, etc.) and performances (esp. in theatre, etc.) 一台电脑 yī tái diànnǎo. One computer.
tiáo long, narrow, flexible objects (fish, trousers, etc.) 一条鱼 yì tiáo yú. One fish.
tóu "head" — herd animals (pigs, cows, sheep etc., never for fowls or birds), hair 一头牛 yì tóu niú. One head of cattle (Literally translated into English, "头" means head).
wèi polite classifier for people (e.g. gentlemen, professors, customers) 几位?Jǐ wèi? How many (people)?
xiē "some" — anything that's plural 一些书 yī xiē shū. Some books. Never 两些书
zhāng "sheet" — squarish or rectangular flat objects (paper, tables, etc.), faces, bows, paintings, tickets, constellations 一张纸 yì zhāng zhǐ. One piece of paper.
zhī stick-like objects (pens, chopsticks, etc.) 一支笔 yì zhī bǐ. One pen.
zhī one of a pair (e.g. hands, limbs), animals (birds, cats, etc.) 一只狗 yì zhī gŏu. One dog.
zhǒng types or kinds of objects, ideas, etc.
dǒng building object 一栋房子 yí dòng fáng zí. One house

See Chinese measure words on Wikipedia for a more complete reference.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 6: What do you want to buy? 你想要買什麼?

王明:你好,李红。

李红:嗨!王明。你去哪儿?
王明:我去图书馆。你呢?
李红:回家。
王明:再见。
李红:再见。

Wang Ming: Nǐ hǎo, Lǐ Hóng.

Li Hong: Hài! Wáng Míng. Nǐ qù nǎr?
Wang Ming: Wǒ qù túshūguǎn, nǐ ne?
Li Hong: Huí jiā.
Wang Ming: Zài jiàn.
Li Hong: Zài jiàn.

Wang Ming: Hello, Li Hong.

Li Hong: Hi, Wang Ming. Where are you going?
Wang Ming: I'm going to the library. What about you?
Li Hong: Going home.
Wang Ming: See you.
Li Hong: See you.


NOTE: It's also appropriate with close friends (ones who you would use "你" (nǐ) instead of "您" (nín) with) to greet with "哎" (aì), the closest equivalent in English being "Hey". This can precede or even take place of the traditional "你好" greeting, and partially serves as an attention-getter. However, if the pronunciation of "哎" (aì) is stretched/lengthened, it may sound as if you are complaining about something, which uses the same word.

Vocabulary

  • 嗨 / hài = hi
  • 去 / qù = go
  • 哪儿 (哪兒) / nǎr = where
  • 图书馆 (圖書館) / túshūguǎn = library
  • 再见 (再見 / zàijiàn = bye, goodbye (literally: see you again)

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 7: 这是什么? What's this?

Text 1

You can check out the translations here.

王明:这是什么?

李红:这是书。
王明:那是什么?
李红:那是钢笔。
王明:那是杂志吗?
李红:不,那不是杂志。那是字典。

Wáng Míng: Zhè shì shěnme?
Lǐ Hóng: Zhè shì shū.
Wáng Míng: Nà shì shěnme?
Lǐ Hóng: Nà shì gāngbǐ.
Wáng Míng: Nà shì zázhì ma?
Lǐ Hóng: Bù, nà bùshì zázhì. Nà shì zìdiǎn.

Text 2

王明是中国人。

王明是学生。
史密斯是美国人。
史密斯是王明的朋友。
史密斯是律师。

Wáng Míng shì Zhōngguórén.

Wáng Míng shì xuéshēng.
Shīmìsī shì Měiguórén.
Shīmìsī shì Wángmíng de péngyǒu.
Shīmìsī shì lǜshī.

Vocabulary

  • 王明 (Wáng Míng)
n. Wang Ming [personal name] [Wang= Family Name, Ming=First name/Personal name]
  • 李红/李紅 (Lǐ Hóng)
n. Li Hong [personal name] [Li= Family Name, Hong= First/Personal name]
  • 这/這 (zhè)
pron. this
  • 是 (shì)
v. to be (is/are)
  • 什么/甚麼 (Mainland shěnme
    and Taiwan shěme)
pron. what
  • 那 (nà)
pron. that
  • 笔 (bǐ)
n. pen; a generic term for all pens
  • 钢笔 (gāngbǐ)
n. fountain pen
  • 铅笔 (qiānbǐ)
n. pencil
  • 原子笔 (yuánzíbǐ)
n. ballpoint pen
  • 毛笔 (máobǐ)
n. brush (calligraphy pen)
  • 杂志 (zázhì)
n. magazine
  • 报纸 (bàozhī)
n. newspaper
  • 书本 (shūběn)
n. book
  • 传单 (chuándān)
n. pamphlet
  • 吗 (ma)
final interrogative particle used
to form a question sentence
  • 不 (bù)
adv. no
  • 字典 (zìdiǎn)
n. dictionary
  • 人 (rén)
n. person/people
  • 中国人 (Zhōngguórén)
n. PRC Chinese (中国:China 人:people)
  • 外国人 (WàiGuórén)
n. Foreigners (外:Outside 国:Country 人:People)
  • 日本人 (Rìběnrén)
n. Japanese (日本:Japan 人:People)
  • 英国人 (Yīngguórén)
n. British (英国:Britain 人:People)
  • 新加坡人 (Xīnjiāpōrén)
n. Singaporean (新加坡:Singapore)
  • 美国人 (měiguórén)
n. American
  • 学生 (xuéshēng)
n. student
  • 老师 (lǎoshī)
n. teacher
  • 校长 (xiàozhǎng)
n. principal
  • 史密斯 (Shǐmìsī)
n. Smith
  • 美国人 (Měiguórén)
n. American
  • 朋友 (péngyǒu)
n. friend
  • 律师 (lǜshī)
n. lawyer
  • 笔记本/筆記本 (bǐjìběn)
  • 铅笔/鉛筆 (qiānbǐ)
  • 英国人/英國人 (Yīngguórén)
  • 法国人/法國人 (Fǎguórén)
  • 报纸/報紙 (bàozhǐ)
  • 老师/老師 (lǎoshī)
  • 作家 (zuòjiā)

n. notepads
n. pencil
n. British people
n. French people
n. newspaper
n. teacher
n. writer

Stroke orders

王-bw.png
明-bw.png
李-bw.png

More stroke orders will be added if it's helpful.

Grammar

Chinese Names

In Chinese names, the family name comes before the given name. Family names are passed down paternally and usually have only one character. Chinese given names are usually two characters long, but may also be one character.

Hence a man called 王明 (Wáng Míng) is addressed as Mr. Wang, not Mr. Ming. A woman called 李红 (Lǐ Hóng) is addressed as Mrs./Miss Li.

However, if the person has a western personal name, it is presented in the GIVEN-NAME/FAMILY-NAME format, following the Western convention. Hence if 李红 (Lǐ Hóng) has a western-style personal name of Mary, she is usually introduced as "Mary Li" and not "Li Mary"


In this lesson, we learn how to say "something is something" in Chinese. The first thing you need to know is that the sentence structure of Chinese is very similar to that of English in that they both follow the pattern of Subject-Verb-Object (SVO). But unlike many Western languages, verbs in Chinese aren't conjugated and noun and adjective endings don't change. They are never affected by things such as time or person.

这(/那)是什么?

This sentence means "What's this/that?":

  1. 这是什么?(What's this?)
  2. 那是什么?(What's that?)

The sentences, if broken down literally, shows that the ordering of words differs in English and Chinese:

这/那 什么  ?
this/that is what  ?

The order of the sentences may seem a little bit tricky, but don't worry about that, we will discuss this later.

A 是 B

This sentence means "A is B."

"是" (shì), the equational verb to be, can be used as the English is or equals. When used in a simple Subject-Verb-Object sentence, the subject defines the object. Since Chinese verbs never change, no other forms for shì exist such as was or am in English. Also, articles like a and the are absent in Chinese. They are not translated.

For example:

  1. 这是书 (zhe4 shi4 shu1): this is (a) book.
  2. 那是杂志 (na4 shi4 za2 zhi4): that is (a) magazine.

A 不是 B

This sentence means "A is not B." in which shì is negated when preceded by "不" (bu). "不" literally means "no", "not".

For example:

  • 这不是书 (zhè bú shì shū): this is not (a) book.

Now, we come back to the "what's this/that?" questions. We already see that the order is a bit tricky comparing to the English question order. But comparing to the latter pattern "A 是 B", we find the similarity: their orders are identically the same. In fact, like particles, question words make statements into questions without changing the order of the sentence. To make one, simply substitute the QW in for place the subject would be in the answer.

Comparison:

  1. 这是。(This is (a) book.)
  2. 这是什么?(This is what?)
  1. 那是杂志。(That is (a) magazine.)
  2. 那是什么?(That is what?)

"吗"(ma) is a final interrogative particle used to form a question sentence. Adding this character at the end of a statement transforms the sentence into a question.

Example 1:

  • 这是书 (zhe4 shi4 shu1)。(This is (a) book.)
    • 这是书 (zhe4 shi4 shu1 ma)?(Is this (a) book?)

Example 2:

  • 这不是杂志 (zhe4 bu2 shi4 za2 zhi4)。(This is not (a) magazine.)
    • 这不是杂志(zhe4 bu2 shi4 za2 zhi4 ma)?(Isn't this (a) magazine?)

是/不

"是" (shi4) can be used to answer a simple yes/no question. In this case, "是" means yes, whilst "不" (bu2) or "不是" (bu2 shi4) means no (literally, not is).

How to answer yes/no questions correctly in Chinese? Usually, it's the same as in English, but pay attention if the questions are negative, like "Isn't this a book?". In Chinese, you answer to the questions, not the fact. If the question itself is a negative answer, use "不是" or simply "不", vice versa. For example:

  • A: 这不是书吗?zhe4 bu2 shi4 shu1 ma? (Isn't this (a) book? = This is not a book, right?)
    • B: ,这不是书。shi4, zhe4 bu2 shi4 shu1. (No, this is not (a) book. = You are right; this is not a book.)
    • B: ,这是书。bu4, zhe4 shi4 shu1. (Yes, this is (a) book. = You're wrong; this is a book.)

A asks if that's a book in a negative way. If the object is not a book, you should nevertheless approve A's saying first. So we use "是" to acknowledge that A is correct, and then say "this is not (a) book" to emphasis A is right; In the case of that is a book, you should deny A's saying first, using "不" (no) to point out A is wrong, then make a new statement by noting that "这是书" (this is (a) book). One more example:

  • 他今天晚上不来参加宴会了,对吗?(He's not going to the party tonight, is he?)
    • ,他肯定要来。(Yes, he's definitely coming.)
    • 啊,他很忙呢!(No, he's so busy!)

Character "的" (de) indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one. In English it functions like 's or like the word of but with the position of possessor and possessee switched. For example:

  1. 史密斯(Shǐ mì Sī)的书(shū: book) <-> Smith's book
  2. 王明的钢笔 <-> Wang Ming's pen
  3. 约翰** (Yuēhàn: John)的朋友** (péngyǒu: friend) <-> John's friend or a friend of John's

Exercise

  1. Replace the underline words, and practice.
    1. 史密斯是美国人
      • 英国人
      • 法国人
    2. 这不是杂志
      • 笔记本*
      • 铅笔
  2. Replace the underline words, and then answer the questions with both positive answers and negative answers.
    • Example:
    • 史密斯是法国人吗?
      • 是,史密斯是法国人
      • 不,史密斯不是法国人
    1. 那是杂志吗?
      • 钢笔
      • 铅笔
      • 报纸*
    2. 王明是学生吗?
      • 律师
      • 老师*
      • 作家*
  3. Translate the following English into Chinese.
    1. Wang Ming is not a teacher. Wang Ming is a student. Wang Ming is a Chinese. Wang Ming is not an American.
      • Answer(答):王明不是位老師,王明是位學生。王明是位中國人,(但)王民不是位美國人。
    2. Smith is a lawyer. Smith is not a writer. Smith is an American. Smith is not a French.
      • Answer(答):Smith是位律師,Smith不是位作家。Smith是位美國人,Smith不是位法國人。
    3. This is Smith's book. That is Wang Ming's pen.
      • Answer(答):這是Smith的書,那是王明(Wang Ming)的筆。

Further reading

Read the following article, and then answer the questions in Chinese.

你好(nǐhǎo, hello),我(wǒ, I)是王明。我是学生,我是中国人。这是史密斯。史密斯是我的1 朋友,史密斯是律师。那是史密斯的妻子(qīzi, wife),安娜(Ana)。安娜是我的英语(yīngyǔ, English language)老师。
1."我 的" means "my", we will discuss this in the next lesson.

Questions:

  1. Who is "I"?
  2. What does Smith do?
  3. Who is Ana?
  4. What does Ana do?

Useful phrases

Greetings. How to greet people in Chinese?
  • 你好!(nǐhǎo): Hello!
  • 嗨!(hài): Hi!
  • 幸會 (xìng huì) Great to meet you!
  • 你吃过饭了吗?(nǐ chī guò fàn le ma?): Have you had your meal? (This is a causal greeting between friends etc. But it doesn't mean you are asked to a dinner! Another derivation of this phrase commonly used in Beijing is "你吃了吗?")
  • 再见。(zàijiàn): Goodbye
  • 拜拜。(bāibāi): Bye-bye
  • 回头见。(huítóu jiàn): See you later.

Translation for the text

Chinese characters Sentences breakdown English translation
Text 1

王明:这是什么?
(王明:這是什麼?)
李红:这是书。
(李紅:這是書。)
王明:那是什么?
(王明:那是什麼?)
李红:那是钢笔。
(李紅:那是鋼筆。)
王明:那是杂志吗?
(王明:那是雜誌嗎?)
李红:不,那不是杂志。那是字典。
(李紅:不,那不是雜誌。那是字典。)

Text 1

Wang Ming: This is what?
Li Hong: This is book.
Wang Ming: That is what?
Li Hong: That is pen.
Wang Ming: That is magazine (final interrogative particle)?
Li Hong: No, that not is magazine, this is dictionary.

Text 1

Wang Ming: What's this?
Li Hong: This is a book.
Wang Ming: What's that?
Li Hong: That's a pen.
Wang Ming: Is this a magazine?
Li Hong: No, that's not a magazine. That's a dictionary.

Text 2

王明是中国人。
王明是学生。
史密斯是美国人。
史密斯是王明 的 朋友。
史密斯是律师。

Text 2

Wang Ming is Chinese.
Wang Ming is student.
Smith is American.
Smith is Wang Ming's friend.
Smith is lawyer.

Text 2

Wang Ming is a Chinese.
Wang Ming is a student.
Smith is an American.
Smith is Wang Ming's friend.
Smith is a lawyer.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 8

她是谁?

Dialogues

You can check out the translation here

Dialogue 1

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters

杨勋:你今天好吗?
何铭:我很好。
杨勋:你吃饭了吗?
何铭:还没。
杨勋:要不要一起去吃饭?
何铭:好啊。我昨天看到你跟一个女生去图书馆,她是谁?
杨勋:她是我的女朋友,她叫陈洁。
何铭:原来你有女朋友,这么厉害啊!
杨勋:哪里,不敢当。我们要去哪里吃饭?
何铭:都可以。

楊勳:你今天好嗎?
何銘:我很好。
楊勳:你吃飯了嗎?
何銘:還沒。
楊勳:要不要一起去吃飯?
何銘:好啊。我昨天看到你跟一個女生去圖書館,她是誰?
楊勳:她是我的女朋友,她叫陳潔。
何銘:原來你有女朋友,這麼厲害啊!
楊勳:哪裡,不敢當。我們要去哪裡吃飯?
何銘:都可以。

Pīnyīn

Yáng Xūn: Nǐ jīn tiān hǎo mā?
Hé Míng: Wǒ hěn hǎo.
Yáng Xūn: Nǐ chī fàn le mā?
Hé Míng: Hái méi.
Yáng Xūn: Yào bú yào yì qǐ qù chī fàn?
Hé Míng: Hǎo ā. Wǒ zuó tiān kàn dào nǐ gēn yī ge ǔ shēng qù tú shū guǎn, tā shì shuí?
Yáng Xūn: Tā shì wǒ de nǚ péng yǒu, tā jiào chén jié.
Hé Míng: Yuán lái nǐ yǒu nǚ péng yǒu, zhè me lì hài a!
Yáng Xūn: Nǎ li, bù gǎn dāng. Wǒ mén yào qù nǎ lǐ chī fàn?
Hé Míng: Dōu kě yǐ.

Dialogue 2

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters Pinyin

王明:我叫王明。你叫什么名字?
李红:我叫李红。
王明:她的名字是什么?
李红:她的名字是周朱丽。
王明:周朱丽是一个很好的名字。
李红:是,但是我比较喜欢你的名字。
王明:为什么比较喜欢我的名字?
李红:因为你的名字听起来很聪明。
王明:哪里,我不敢当。

王明:我叫王明。你叫什麼名字?
李紅:我叫李紅。
王明:她的名字是什麼?
李紅:她的名字是周朱麗。
王明:周朱麗是一個很好的名字。
李紅:是,但是我比較喜歡你的名字。
王明:為什麼比較喜歡我的名字?
李紅:因為你的名字聽起來很聰明。
王明:哪裡,我不敢當。

Wáng míng: Wǒ jiào wáng míng. Nǐ jiào shén me míng zì?
Li hóng: Wǒ jiào li hóng.
Wáng míng: Tā de míng zì shì shén me?
Li hóng: Tā de míng zì shì zhōu zhū lì.
Wáng míng: Zhōu zhū lì shì yī gè hěn hǎo de míng zì.
Li hóng: Shì, dàn shì wǒ bǐ jiào xǐ huan nǐ de míng zì.
Wáng míng: Wèi shé me bǐ jiào xǐ huan wǒ de míng zì?
Li hóng: Yīn wèi nǐ de míng zì tīng qǐ lái hěn cōng míng.
Wáng míng: Nǎ lǐ, wǒ bù gǎn dāng.

Vocabulary

Simplified Traditional (if diff.) Pīnyīn Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1. 周朱丽 周朱麗 [Zhōu Zhūlì]] (proper noun) Person's Name
2. 但是 dànshì (conjunction) But, However
3. 比较 比較 bǐjiào by comparison
4. 喜欢 喜歡 xǐhuan (verb) to like
5. 为什么 為什麼 [wèishénme (adverb) Why (lit. "because of what?").
6. 因为 因為 yīnwèi (conjunction) because
7. 听起来 聽起來 tīng qǐlai (phrase) Sounds like
8. 聪明 聰明 cōngmíng (adjective) intelligent
9. 哪里 哪裡 nǎli (noun) lit. Nowhere, can be used as a polite response to a complement.
10. 不敢当 不敢當 bùgǎndāng (phrase) I don't accept (not at all) / polite response to a compliment
11. 还没 還沒 háiméi (conjunction) not yet
12. 图书馆 圖書館 túshūguǎn (noun) library
13. 名字 míngzi (noun) name
14. 女朋友 nǚpéngyǒu (noun) girlfriend
15. 昨天 zuótiān (noun) yesterday

Grammar

Translation of the text

Chinese characters Sentences breakdown English translation
Text 1

楊勳:你今天好嗎?
何銘:我很好。
楊勳:你吃飯了嗎?
何銘:還沒。
楊勳:要不要一起去吃飯?
何銘:好啊。我昨天看到你跟一個女生去圖書館,她是誰?
楊勳: 她是我的女朋友,她叫陳潔。
何銘: 原來你有女朋友,這麼厲害啊!
楊勳: 哪裡, 不敢當。我們要去哪裡吃飯?
何銘: 都可以。

Text 1 Text 1

Yang Xun: How are you today?
He Ming: I'm very good.
Yang Xun: Have you eaten yet?
He Ming: Not yet.
Yang Xun: Would you like to go eat together?
He Ming: Sure. Yesterday, I saw you going to the library with a girl, who is she?
Yang Xun: She is my girlfriend, her name is Chen Jie.
He Ming: All along you have had a girlfriend, it's so good!
Yang Xun: Thanks, that's flattering. Where do you want to go to eat?
He Ming: Anywhere is fine.



Chinese characters Sentences breakdown English translation
Text 2

王明:我叫王明。你叫什麼名字?
李紅:我叫李紅。
王明:她的名字是什麼?
李紅:她的名字是周朱麗。
王明:周朱麗是一個很好的名字。
李紅:是, 但是我比較喜歡你的名字。
王明: 為什麼比較喜歡我的名字?
李紅: 因為你的名字聽起來很聰明。
王明: 哪裡, 我不敢當。

Text 2

Wang Ming: I called Wang Ming. You called what name?
Li Hong: I called Li Hong.
Wang Ming: Her name is what?
Li Hong: Her name is Zhou Zhuli.
Wang Ming: Zhou Zhuli is very good name.
Li Hong: Yes, but I relatively (implied: more) like your name.
Wang Ming: Why (lit: for what) relatively like my name?
Li Hong: Because your name sounds (lit: hear-startup, hear-start-come) intelligent.
Wang Ming: Where, I don't dare to be so.

Text 2

Wang Ming: My name is Wang Ming. What is your name?
Li Hong: My name is Li Hong.
Wang Ming: What is her name?
Li Hong: Her name is Zhou Zhuli.
Wang Ming: Zhou Zhuli is a very good name.
Li Hong: Yes, but I like your name better.
Wang Ming: Why do you like my name better?
Li Hong: Because your name sounds very intelligent.
Wang Ming: Oh no, I wouldn't say that.


Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 9: 請問火車站在哪裡?

Dialogues

Dialogue 1

(濃濃開車中,碰到路人妙妙)

濃濃:不好意思,請問火車站在哪裡?

妙妙:往前開,遇到紅綠燈右轉,它就在你的左手邊。
濃濃:這樣大約要花多久時間呢?
妙妙:大概要花十分鐘。
濃濃:所以是往前開,紅綠燈右轉,車站在我的左邊,大概十分鐘囉?
妙妙:是這樣沒錯。
濃濃:非常感謝你。

(Nóng Nóng: kāichē zhōng, pèngdào lùrén Miào Miào)
Nóng Nóng: bùhǎoyìsi, qǐngwèn huǒchēzhàn zài nǎlǐ?
Miào Miào: wǎngqián kāi yùdào hónglǜdēng yòuzhuǎn tā jiù zài nǐde zuǒshǒu bian.
Nóng Nóng: zhèyàng dàyuē yào huā duōjiǔ shíjiān ne?
Miào Miào: dàgài yào huā shífēn zhōng.
Nóng Nóng: suǒyǐ shì wǎngqián kāi, hónglǜdēng yòuzhuǎn, chēzhàn zài wǒde zuǒbian, dàgài shífēn zhōng luo?
Miào Miào: shì zhèyàng méicuò.
Nóng Nóng: fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ.

Dialogue 2

(天龍在跟"話多且頻尿的"陳阿捷問路中…以下是對話)

天龍:不好意思,請問火車站怎麼走?

腦子進水阿捷:恩…你可以再說一遍嗎?。
天龍:不好意思,請問火車站怎麼走?。
腦子進水阿捷:哦!你好,我不是真理大學的學生。
天龍:……。

(Tiān Lóng zài gēn "huà duō qiě pín suī de" Chén A Jié wènlù zhōng yǐxià shì duìhuà)
Tiān Lóng: bù hǎo yìsi, qǐngwèn huǒchēzhàn zěnme zǒu?
Nǎozi jìnshuǐ A Jié: ēn, nǐ kěyǐ zài shuō yībiàn ma?
Tiān Lóng: bù hǎo yìsi, qǐngwèn huǒchēzhàn zěnme zǒu?
Nǎozi jìnshuǐ A Jié: O! Nǐ hǎo, wǒ bùshi zhēnlǐ dàxué de xuésheng.
Tiān Lóng: .......

Vocabulary

Traditional (simplified)

不好意思 (不好意思)(bùhǎo yìsi) phrasesorry / to feel embarrassed
請問 (请问)(qǐngwèn) phrasemay I ask...
火車站 (火车站)(huǒchē zhàn) phrasetrain station
開車 (开车)(kāichē) to drive a car
碰到 (碰到)(pèngdào) to come across
路人 (路人) (lùrén) passerby
往前 (往前)(wǎngqián) to move forwards
紅綠燈 (红绿灯)(hónglǜdēng) nountraffic light

Taiwan - 第十一課:臺灣

Traditional Characters

台灣是一個海島。
台灣的主要語言是中文 (繁體中文)。
它有各種文化,有名的特產。
它處於大陸棚上。所以有海鮮。
它有山脈,所以有美麗風景。

Simplified Characters

台湾是一个海岛。
台湾的主要语言是中文 (繁体中文)。
它有各种文化,有名的特产。
它处于大陆架上。所以有海鲜。
它有山脉,所以有美丽风景。

English

Taiwan is an island.
Its main language is Chinese (Traditional Chinese).
It has a variety kinds of culture, famous local products.
It is on the continental shelf. So there is seafood.
It has mountains, it has beautiful scenery.

Vocabulary

Trad. Chinese Simp. Chinese Pinyin English
東海 东海 Dōnghǎi East China Sea
南海 = Nánhǎi South China Sea
山脈 山脉 shānmài mountain
特產 特产 tèchǎn local products
海鮮 海鲜 hǎixiān seafood
大陸*棚 大陆*架 dàlùpéng(dàlùjià) continental shelf
風景 风景 fēngjǐng scenery
文化 = wénhuà culture
note
  • = means there are no differences in characters.
  • * means those are different in using words ,rather than in characters.

Chinese Characters

Grammar

美麗(的)風景 = beautiful scenery
Sometimes Chinese people drop the ‘的’ for adjectives to avoid it appears too many times. They will say ‘美麗風景’ and ‘免費圖書(Free book)’Chinese (Mandarin)/Mandarin is so interesting Chinese (Mandarin)/I'm sick Chinese (Mandarin)/Drinking tea 课文 中国,全称中华人民共和国。 是一个有五十六个民族做成的国家 位于东亚 她(1)风景秀丽,历史悠久,文化多元 这里的人好客 他们优美的语言, 等着你来探索。


English

China, offically called the People's Republic of China(PRC), is a country in which 56 different peoples inhabit, located in East Asia. It has beautiful views, a long history, and diverse culture. The people living there welcome you and their wonderful language is waiting for your exploration.

Vocabulary

  • 共和国 /gòng hé guó/ republic
  • 东亚 /dōng yà/ East Asia
  • 秀丽 /xiù lì/ beautiful, pretty
  • 悠久/ yōu jiǔ/ so long
  • 多元 /duō yuán/ divers
  • 好客/hào kè/ welcome to
  • 探索/ tàn suǒ/ n. exploration verb. explore

Note

1 "她 "commonly is used to represent female as first person, but it, here , is used as to represent a nation. This “她” could be used to represent nation, nature , and planet etc.

Appendices / 附录

Chinese languages

Chinese, Cantonese (Sinitic)

Note: Cantonese is a tonal language. Pronunciations provided below

include numbers indicating tone. Tone 1 is high and level/falling; 2 is medium and rising;

3 is medium and level; 4 is low and falling; 5 is low and rising, 6 is low and level. For

more info, see Standard Cantonese. The characters shown are Traditional Chinese

characters. Pronunciation is given using Jyutping and IPA. However, non-use of the tones will not hinder comprehension for such simple

phrases.

Translation Phrase Jyutping IPA
Cantonese: 廣東話 gwong2 dung1 waa2 /kwɔːŋ2 tʊŋ1 wɑː2/
hello 你好 nei5 hou2 /nei5 hou2/
good-bye 再見 zoi3 gin3 /tsɔːi3 kiːn3/
bye-bye 拜拜 baai1 baai3 /pɑːi1 pɑːi3/
please 唔該 m4 goi1 /m̩4 kɔːi1/
thank you (for gifts) 多謝 do1 ze3 /tɔː1 tsɛː3/
thank you (for services rendered) 唔該 m4 goi1 /m̩4 kɔːi1/
sorry 對唔住 deoi3 m4 zyu6 /dɵy3 m̩4 tsyː6/
this one 呢個 ni1 go3 or nei1 go3 /niː1 kɔː3/ or /nei1 kɔː3/
that one 嗰個 go2 go3 /kɔː2 kɔː3/
how much/many? (ask for quantity) 有幾多個呀 yau5 gei2 do1 go3 aa3 /jɐu5 kei2 tɔː1 kɔː3 ɑː3/
how much? (ask for amount of money) 幾多錢呀 gei2 do1 cin2 aa3 /kei2 tɔː1 ts̚in2 ɑː3/
yes hai6 /hɐi6/
no 唔係 m4 hai6 /m̩4 hɐi6/
correct/right am1 /a:m1/
incorrect/wrong 唔啱 m4 am1 /m̩4 a:m1/
I don’t understand 我唔明 ngo5 m4 ming4 /ŋɔː5 m̩4 mɪŋ4/
Where's the washroom (toilet, lavatory)? 洗手間喺邊度呀? sai2 sau2 gaan1 hai2 bin1 dou6 aa3 /sɐi2 sɐu2 kɑːn1 hɐi2 piːn1 tou6 ɑː3/
Do you speak English? 你識唔識講英文呀? nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2 aa3 /nei5 sɪk1 m̩4 sɪk1 kɔːŋ2 jɪŋ1 mɐn2 ɑː3/

Note: Cantonese, like most of the other Chinese languages, does not actually have words for

“yes” and “no”. Translations for “yes” and “no” given above actually mean “it is” and “it

is not” and can be used for questions asking for confirmation. However, for certain yes/no

questions, one would normally respond with the verb or the negation of the verb. For

instance, to respond to a question such as “do you want to go?” one would respond with

“want” or “not want”.

Chinese, Mandarin (Sinitic)

Note || Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. Tone 1 (e.g. mā) is high and level; 2 (e.g., má) is rising; 3 (e.g., mǎ) is low dipping; 4 (e.g., mà) is falling. Also note that the first set of characters preceding the slashes are in simplified Chinese characters and the ones following the slashes are in traditional characters. If the simplified- and traditional-character versions of a phrase are identical, only one phrase is shown.

Translation Phrase Pinyin IPA Pronunciation Remarks Literal meaning
Mandarin Chinese 国语 / 國語or
普通话 / 普通話
(Guóyǔ)
(Pǔtōnghuà)

[kwɔ̌ jỳ]
[pʰù tʰʊ̋ŋ xwɑ̂] || (gwo yu)
(poo-toong-hwa) || National

language
Common speech

hello 你好 (ní hǎo) [nǐ xàw] (knee-how) You're good
good-bye 再见 / 再見 (zàijiàn) [tsâj ʨjɛ̂n] (dzai-jyen) Meet again,

lit “to the next sighting”

please 请 / 請 (qǐng) [ʨʰìŋ] (cheeng)
thank you 谢谢 / 謝謝 (xièxie) [ɕjɛ̂-ɕjɛ̂] (shyeh-shyeh)
good morning 早安 (zǎo'ān)
good night 晚安 (wǎn'ān)
good luck (祝你)好运 / (祝你)好運 ((zhù ) hǎoyùn)
that one 那个 / 那個 (nèige) [nêj gə] (nay guh) See Usage Note

1

sorry 对不起 / 對不起 (duìbuqǐ) (dway boo chee)
no problem 没关系 / 沒關係 (méiguānxì) (may gwan shee)
how much? 多少 (duōshǎo) [twɔ̋ ʂàw] (dwo shahw) Many few
English 英文 (Yīngwén) [jɪ̋ŋ wə̌n] (ing wen)
Can you speak English? 你会说英文吗 / 你會說英文嗎 huì shuō Yīngwén ma?
yes (''shì) /ʂɻ̂/ (sher as in sherpa) See Usage Note 2

[It] is

no () [pû] (boo)
where's the toilet? 厕所在哪里 / 廁所在哪裏 (cèsuǒ zài nǎli?) [tsʰɤ̂ swɔ̀ tsâj nɑ̌

lì] ||(tsuh swo dzai nah lee?) || Not the politest, but you'll get your point across!

Bathroom at/in where
generic toast 干杯 / 乾杯 (gānbēi) [ka̋n pe̋j] (gahn bay) Dry

glass/cup

  1. The second syllable of “nèige” is actually a generic measure word; it is replaced by the appropriate measure word for the noun it refers to. You may therefore hear a number of different syllables after the initial nèi. In many parts of southern China, nèi is also pronounced .
  2. This actually means “it is” and can only be used in an answer to a question with the verb “to be” (in casual speech, this can be neglected). Languages like Chinese, Irish, Toki Pona, and Welsh do not have words for “yes” or “no”. Instead you repeat the main verb of the question in your answer. Shaking your head in affirmation or negation works as expected, though speakers should ensure they are answering negative questions as literally asked – answering in the negative to “You don’t like him?” would indicate that you do like him.

Chinese, Shanghainese (Sinitic)

Note: Chinese characters for Shanghainese are not standardized and are provided for reference only. IPA transcription is for the Middle period of modern Shanghainese (中派上海话), pronunciation of those between 20 and 60 years old.

translation Northern Wu Lumazi IPA Simplified Chinese
Shanghainese (language): Zanheghaewo Zanheireiwo [zɑ̃.'he.ɦɛ.ɦʊ] 上海咸话
Shanghainese (people): Zanhegnin Zanheinin [zɑ̃.'he.ɲɪɲ] 上海人
I ghoo, gnou wo, ngu [ɦʊ], [ŋu]
we or I álá aelae [ɐˑ.lɐʔ] 阿拉
he/she ji yi [ɦi]
they jila yila [ɦi.la] 伊拉
you (sing.) non non [noŋ]
you (plural) na na [na] 人那
hello: non ho non ho [noŋ hɔ] 侬好
good-bye: tsewe tzeiwei [ˈtse.ɦue] 再会
thank you: ziaja non zhaya non [ʑ̻ia.ja noŋ] 谢谢侬
sorry: tevéchi teivechi [te.vəˑ.ʨʰi] 对勿起
but, however: daezu, daezu ne deizi, deizi nei [dɛ.zɿ], [dɛ.zɿ.ne] 但是, 但是呢
please: tshin chin [ʨʰɪɲ]
that one: etsá, itsá eitzae, itzae [ˈe.tsɐʔ], [i.tsɐʔ] 哎只, 伊只
there: etá, itá eitae, itae [ˈe.tɐʔ], [i.tɐʔ] 哎耷, 伊耷
over there: emitá, imitá eimitae, imitae [ˈe.mi.tɐʔ], [i.mi.tɐʔ] 哎米耷, 伊米耷
here: gétá getae [gəˑ.tɐʔ] 搿耷
to have jeuté youte [ɦiɤɯ.təʔ] 有得
to exist, here, present: láhe laehei [lɐˑ.he] 辣海
now, current: jieze yizei [ɦi.ze] 现在
what time is it?: jieze citie tson? yizei citi tzon? [ɦi.ze ʨi.ti 'tsoŋ] 现在几点钟?
where: ghalitá, sadifan ralitae, sadifan [ɦa.ɺi.tɐʔ], [sa.di.fɑ̃] 何里耷, 啥地方
what: sa sa [sa]
who: sagnin sanin [sa.ɲɪɲ] 啥人
why: wesa weisa [ɦue.sa] 为啥
when: sazencuan sazenkuan [sa.zəɲ.kuɑ̃] 啥辰光
how: nanen, nana, nanenca nanen, nana, nanenka [na.nəɲ], [na.na], [na.nəɲ.ka] 哪能, 哪哪, 哪能家
how much?: cidie a? cidi a? [ʨi.di 'a] 几钿啊?
yes: eh ei [ˈe]
no: m, vézu, mmé, vio m, vezi, mme, vio [], [vəˑ.zɿ], [m̩məʔ], [viɔ] 呒、勿是、呒没
telephone number: diewo ghodeu diwo rodou [di.ɦʊ ɦɔ.dɤɯ] 电话号头
home: ólihian oelishan [oˑ.ɺi.ɕiã] 屋里向
Come to our house and play. to álá ólihian le bésian. to aelae oelishan lei beshan. [tɔ ɐˑ.lɐʔ oˑ.ɺi.ɕiɑ̃ le

bəˑ.ɕiã]

到阿拉屋里向来孛相(白相)!
Where's the restroom?: daseucae lélá ghalitá? dasoukei lelae ralitae? [da.sɤɯ.kɛ ɺəˑ.ɺɐʔ ɦa.ɺi.tɐʔ] 汏手间勒勒何里耷?
Have you eaten dinner?: javae chícoulé va? yavei chiekule va? [ɦia.vɛ ʨʰɪˑ.ku.ləʔ va] 夜饭吃过了伐?
I don’t know: ghoo véhioté. wo veshote. [ɦʊ vəˑ.ɕiɔ.təʔ] 我勿晓得
Do you speak English?: non Inven weté can va? non Inven weite kan va? [noŋ ˈɪn.vəɲ ɦue.təʔ kã va] 侬英文会得讲伐?
I love you: ghoo e non! wo ei non. [ɦʊ e noŋ] 我爱侬!
I adore you: ghoo emó non. wo eimoe non. [ɦʊ e.moʔ noŋ] 我爱慕侬
I like you a lot: ghoo lo huoehi non ghé! wo lo hueushi non re. [ɦʊ ɺɔ ˈhuø.ɕi noŋ ɦəʔ] 我老欢喜侬个!
news sinven shinven [ɕɪɲ.vəɲ] 新闻
dead sithélé shithele [ɕi.tʰəˑ.ləʔ] 死脱了
alive wéláhe welaehei [ɦuəˑ.lɐˑ.he] 活辣海

Unlike Mandarin, Shanghainese actually has the direct “yes” (eh/ei) similar to English.

Chinese, Min Nan / Taiwanese (Sinitic)

The Han characters provided below are for reference only. They are not necessarily

standard.

Translation Characters Romanization Remarks
Min Nan 閩南語 Bân-lâm-gú
Taiwanese 臺灣話 Tâi-oân-oē
Hokkien 福建話 Hok-kiàn-oē
Hello. 食飽未? Chia̍h pá boeh? (literally, Eaten full yet? Note: This greeting

came about at a time when most of Taiwan was in poverty, so to say that one has had enough

to eat would be to imply that the person is “doing well”.)

Goodbye. 平安 Pêng-an. (literally, Peace, can also be used as a greeting;

primarily Christian usage.)

Please 拜託 Pài-thok
Thank you 勞力 Ló·-la̍t 感謝 (Kám-siā) (literally, "be grateful for, praise") or 感恩

(Kám-ún) is more common in Taiwan.

That one 彼個 Hit-ê
how much? 若濟? goā choē?
is
not 唔是 m̄-sī (literally, "not is")
Sorry 失禮 Sit-le
Embarrassed! 歹勢! Pháiⁿ-sè! (often used in response when offered/given something

by a host)

I don't understand. 我聽無. Goá thiaⁿ bô. (literally, "I hear not")
Where's the bathroom? 便所佇叨? Piān-só· tī toh? (literally "bathroom is where?")
Cheers! 呼乾啦! Hō· ta lah! (literally, Let it [the cup/glass] be dry

[empty]!)

Do you speak English? 你咁講英語? Lí kám kóng Eng-gú?
Chinese/Everyday Phrases

Please add all vocabulary that is used in this book, and any more that should be included in the first year's worth of Chinese lessons. This is not meant to be a full dictionary with thousands of entries (see Wiktionary for that), but a reference for users of this textbook.

Contents:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

B

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
bad 坏 (壞) huài adj.
busy máng (adj) 2
bus [辆] 公共汽车
(公共汽車)
gōnggòngqìchē (n)

C

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
car 汽车 (汽車) qìchē noun
city 城市 chéngshì noun
computer 电脑 / 计算机 (電腦) dìannǎo / jìsuànjī (diànnǎo) noun
country 国家 (國家) guójīa noun

D

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
dangerous 危险 (危險) wēixǐan adj.
dog gǒu noun

E

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

F

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
Frog 青蛙 qingwa noun
Fish yu noun
French 法國 faguo noun

G

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
good hǎo adj.

H

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

I

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

J

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

K

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
knife dāo noun

L

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
land di noun
love 爱 (愛) ài verb

M

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
meter (metric unit) rice
money qián noun
mountain shān noun

N

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
now 现在 (現在) xìanzaì noun

O

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

P

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
please 请 (請) qǐng verb

Q

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

R

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
rice noun
person rén noun

S

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

T

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
sunny day 晴天 qíngtiān noun

U

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
up shàng noun

V

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
volcano 火山 huǒshān noun

W

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
water shuǐ (noun)
we, us 我们 (我們) wǒmen (pro) 1
week 星期, 周 xingqi, zhou (noun)
what 什么 (什麼) shénme (pro) 1
which, what nǎ; něi (pro) 1
who, whom 谁 (誰) shéi; shuí (pro) 1
winter 冬天 dongtian (n)

X

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

Y

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced

Z

English Simp. (Trad.) Pīnyīn Part of speech Lesson Introduced
zebra 斑马 (斑馬) bānmǎ noun


Contents:
Top   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lesson1

Matching Sentences

1c,2g,3d,4b,5f,6a,7h,8e

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Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Chinese, like all languages, has its own set of unique greetings which may be seemingly strange to learners of the language (this is particularly true if the two cultures are vastly different). Below, you will find commonly-used Mandarin greetings and farewells, along with corresponding pinyin pronunciations.

Hello

  • 你好。 Nǐ hǎo; The standard "hello" greeting. Literally means "you good."
  • 您好。 Nín hǎo; The same "hello" greeting as above, except that 您 (nín), like in many European languages, is the polite form of "you", used when addressing elders, or teachers etc.
  • 你好吗? Nǐ hǎo ma?; More often used following a greeting than not, however, this can be used as a "hello" by itself.
  • 您好吗? Nín hǎo ma?; The same as the "Nǐ hǎo ma?" above, again, except that this is used as a more polite form.
  • 你怎么样? Nǐ zěnmeyàng?; "What's up?", "How are you doing?"
  • 幸会 Xìnghuì! "Nice to meet you!"
  • 久仰 Jiǔyǎng; An extremely polite greeting that is not commonly used between friends, but rather between professionals meeting for the first time.
  • 久闻大名 Jiǔwéndàmíng; This greeting should be reserved for use towards those whom you have extreme respect for. Literal translation: "Your name is famous" / "I have heard much about you"

Good morning

Good afternoon

  • 下午好 Xìawǔ hǎo! Seldom used in the Republic of China.
  • 午安 Wǔ'ān; note: seldom used in the Mainland. Most used in the Republic of China.

Good evening / Good night

Good-bye

  • 再见 Zàijiàn; Literally "See you again".
  • 明天见 Míngtiān jiàn; Literally "See you tomorrow".
  • 拜拜 Báibái/bàibài/bāibai; From English "Bye-Bye". Widely used in Hong Kong, Taiwan (ROC) and most urbanised parts of mainland China. 掰掰 (Báibái/bàibài/bāibai) is the variant character form that is gaining popularity in ROC.
  • 回头见 Huítóu jiàn: roughly equivalent to "see you soon", used in northern China.
  • 回见 Huíjiàn; usually used in Beijing or written Chinese.
  • 再会 Zàihuì: Literally "[we'll] hello again". Usually used in Shanghai or other part of China, and sometimes used at the end of TV programs.

Chinese New Year Greetings

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Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
^ Chinese ^ | <<Pronunciation of Finals | Possible Initial-Final Combinations | Using Tones>>
Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Table of Possible Combinations of Chinese Initials and Finals

The table below shows all possible combinations of initials and finals in Pinyin (not including -r modified syllables). It also does not reflect the use of tones. Some combinations may only be valid with the use of one tone, while others may be valid with multiple tones.

Pinyin table Initials Pinyin table
(no initial) b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s
Group a Finals (no final) zhi chi shi ri zi ci si (no final) Group a Finals
a a ba pa ma fa da ta na la ga ka ha zha cha sha za ca sa a
o o bo po mo fo o
e e me de te ne le ge ke he zhe che she re ze ce se e
ê ê
ai ai bai pai mai dai tai nai lai gai kai hai zhai chai shai zai cai sai ai
ei ei bei pei mei fei dei nei lei gei hei zhei shei zei ei
ao ao bao pao mao dao tao nao lao gao kao hao zhao chao shao rao zao cao sao ao
ou ou pou mou fou dou tou nou lou gou kou hou zhou chou shou rou zou cou sou ou
an an ban pan man fan dan tan nan lan gan kan han zhan chan shan ran zan can san an
en en ben pen men fen nen gen ken hen zhen chen shen ren zen cen sen en
ang ang bang pang mang fang dang tang nang lang gang kang hang zhang chang shang rang zang cang sang ang
eng eng beng peng meng feng deng teng neng leng geng keng heng zheng cheng sheng reng zeng ceng seng eng
er er er
Group i Finals i yi bi pi mi di ti ni li ji qi xi i Group i Finals
ia ya lia jia qia xia ia
io yo io
ie ye bie pie mie die tie nie lie jie qie xie ie
iai yai iai
iao yao biao piao miao diao tiao niao liao jiao qiao xiao iao
iu you miu diu niu liu jiu qiu xiu iu
ian yan bian pian mian dian tian nian lian jian qian xian ian
in yin bin pin min nin lin jin qin xin in
iang yang niang liang jiang qiang xiang iang
ing ying bing ping ming ding ting ning ling jing qing xing ing
Group u Finals u wu bu pu mu fu du tu nu lu gu ku hu zhu chu shu ru zu cu su u Group u Finals
ua wa gua kua hua zhua chua shua ua
uo wo duo tuo nuo luo guo kuo huo zhuo chuo shuo ruo zuo cuo suo uo
uai wai guai kuai huai zhuai chuai shuai uai
ui wei dui tui gui kui hui zhui chui shui rui zui cui sui ui
uan wan duan tuan nuan luan guan kuan huan zhuan chuan shuan ruan zuan cuan suan uan
un wen dun tun lun gun kun hun zhun chun shun run zun cun sun un
uang wang guang kuang huang zhuang chuang shuang uang
ong weng dong tong nong long gong kong hong zhong chong rong zong cong song ong
Group ü Finals ü yu ju qu xu ü Group ü Finals
üe yue nüe lüe jue que xue üe
üan yuan lüan juan quan xuan üan
ün yun lün jun qun xun ün
iong yong jiong qiong xiong iong
Pinyin table (no initial) b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s Pinyin table
Initials
Colour Legend:
"regular" initial or final

Final is in Group a or is a direct combination of:

  • i+Group a final
  • u+Group a final
  • ü+Group a final
Final of i, u, ü groups is a modified combination of:
  • i+Group a final
  • u+Group a final
  • ü+Group a final
syllable is direct combination of initial and final (or follows rules for standalone initials and finals, explained in pronunciation basics)
syllable is modified combination of initial and final
Modified i, u, and ü group finals:
The following finals in the i, u, and ü groups are a modified combination of i, u or ü with a group a final:
  • ie=i+ê
  • iu=i+ou
  • in=i+en
  • ing=i+eng
  • ui=u+ei
  • un=u+en
  • ong=u+eng
  • üe=ü+ê
  • ün=ü+en
  • iong=i+u+eng



^ Chinese ^ | <<Pronunciation of Finals | Possible Initial-Final Combinations | Using Tones>>

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Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Number System (数字系统)

基本用字 Basic Characters

About this sound Listen to audio

  • 0: 〇 (零) líng
  • 1: 一 (壹) yī
  • 2: 二 (Simplified:贰;Traditional:貳) èr
  • 3: 三 (Simplified:叁;Traditional:叄、參) sān
  • 4: 四 (肆) sì
  • 5: 五 (伍) wǔ
  • 6: 六 (Simplified:陆;Traditional:陸) liù
  • 7: 七 (柒) qī
  • 8: 八 (捌) bā
  • 9: 九 (玖) jiǔ
  • 10: 十 (拾) shí
  • 100: 百 (佰) bǎi
  • 1000: 千 (仟) qiān
  • 10,000: Simplified:万;Traditional萬 wàn
  • 100,000,000: Simplified:亿;Traditional億 yì
  • 1,000,000,000,000: 兆 zhào

Parenthesized entries are the complex forms, which are used mainly in notarized, official documents, and when writing checks. An exception is zero; the complex form is more widely used. The complex forms are known in English as banker's anti-fraud numerals, in Chinese as 大写 dà xiě (which is the same term for "capital letter"). They are necessary because, since normal Chinese characters are so simple, a forger could easily change 三十 to 五千 with just three strokes. Some have other uses as well (for example, 贰 èr can also mean "to betray"). See Standard numbers for more information.

个十百千万 Larger Numbers

  • 十一 shí yī (eleven)
  • 十二 shí èr (twelve)

等等 (děngděng) etc.

  • 二十一 èr shí yī (twenty-one)
  • 二十二 èr shí èr (twenty-two)

等等 etc.

  • 一百 yī bǎi (one hundred)
  • 一百零一 yī bǎi líng yī (one hundred one)
  • 一百五十八 yī bǎi wǔ shí bā (one hundred fifty eight)
  • 二百三十 èr bǎi sān shí (two hundred thirty)

等等 etc.

  • 一千 yī qiān (one thousand)
  • 七千二百五十三 qī qiān liǎng bǎi wǔ shí sān (seven thousand two hundred fifty-three)

等等 etc.

  • 一万 yī wàn (one myriad or ten thousand)
  • 四万三千 sì wàn sān qiān (forty-three thousand)

等等 etc.

更大的数字(亿兆) Even Larger Numbers

  • 一亿五千万 yī yì wǔ qiān wàn 150,000,000 (one hundred fifty million)
  • 两亿零八十万 liǎng yì líng bā shí wàn 200,800,000 (two hundred million eight hundred thousand)

等等 etc.

中文中零的用法 The Use of Zero in Chinese

If a number ends in zero, there is no need to include the zero character. For example,

  • 350: 三百五十
  • 1350: 一千三百五十
  • 1600: 一千六百

However, if the zero character does not end the number (i.e., it is followed by a non-zero character), it is necessary to include the zero character, while the "tens-place" characters are dropped. For example,

  • 305: 三百零五 (not 三百零五)
  • 1035: 一千零三十五 (not 一千零三十五)

Note that the "十" in the first example and the "百" in the second example are dropped.

If a zero digit is followed by one or more zero digits, only one zero character is need. For example,

  • 1006: 一千零六 (not 一千零零六)
  • 300,250: 三十萬零二百五十
  • 8,000,300: 八百萬零三百

数字手势 Chinese Gestures for Numbers

Note:

  • The gesture for nine is not used in Taiwan.
  • The third sign for ten is uncommon in both Taiwan and mainland China.

Source: commons:数字手势

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Here's a list of some nations and regions, with their names in Chinese. Note that the country's name can also be used as an adjective. For example, 日本货 (rìběn huò) means "Japanese goods," and is derived from 日本 (rìběn; Japan) and 货 (huò; goods). As an aside, China imports a good number of products from Japan. Between 2001 and 2007, it was the greatest exporter to China, beating the European Union, South Korea, and Taiwan.[1] You could also say 日本椅子 (rìběn yǐzi; Japanese chair), 日本食品 (rìběn shípǐn; Japanese food products), and 日本动画片 (rìběn dònghuà piàn; Japanese cartoons). Terms like these can be shortened, for example, 日货 means the same thing. You can see 日 is an adjective which means "pertaining to Japan," i.e., "Japanese." Another way to describe its function is that it acts like a "root," much like in English. Headlines are often abbreviated this way. For example, 中俄合作 (zhōng é hézuò) can mean "China and Russia cooperate" or "Sino-Russian cooperation." In common conversation, however, excessive abbreviation is undesirable, because it often leads to ambiguity.

References

Asia 亚洲 / 亞洲 Yàzhōu

East Asia 东亚 / 東亞 Dōngyă
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
China 中国 中國 Zhōngguó
Hong Kong 香港 Xiānggăng
Japan 日本 Rìbĕn
Macao 澳门 澳門 Àomén
North Korea 朝鲜 / 朝鲜 / 北韩 朝鮮 / 朝鮮 / 北韓 Cháoxǐan / Běicháoxǐan / BěiHán
South Korea 韩国 / 南韩 / 南朝鲜 韓國 / 南韓 / 南朝鮮 Hánguó / Nánhán / Náncháoxǐan
Taiwan 台湾 臺灣 Táiwān
Southeast Asia 东南亚 / 東南亞 Dōngnányà
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Brunei 文莱 汶萊 Wénlái (...Dálŭsàlángúo)
Cambodia 柬埔寨 柬埔寨 Jiănpŭzhài
East Timor 东帝汶 東帝汶 Dōngdìwèn
Indonesia 印度尼西亚 印度尼西亞 Yìndùníxīyă (also 印尼 Yìnní)
Laos 老挝/寮国 寮國 Lǎowō/Liáoguó
Malaysia 马来西亚 馬來西亞 Măláixīyă
Myanmar 缅甸 緬甸 Miăndiàn
Philippines 菲律宾 菲律賓 Fēilǜbīn
Singapore 新加坡 Xīnjiāpō
Thailand 泰国 泰國 Tàiguó
Vietnam 越南 Yuènán
South Asia 南亚 / 南亞 Nányà
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Bangladesh 孟加拉国 孟加拉國 Mèngjiālāguó
Bhutan 不丹 Bùdān
India 印度 Yìndù (not 印尼 Yìnní, Indonesia)
Maldives 马尔代夫 馬爾地夫(馬爾代夫) Mă'ěrdàifù
Nepal 尼泊尔 尼泊爾 Níbó'ěr
Pakistan 巴基斯坦 Bājīsītăn
Sri Lanka 斯里兰卡 斯里蘭卡 Sīlĭlánkă
Central Asia 中亚 / 中亞 Zhōngyà
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Afghanistan 阿富汗 Āfùhàn
Kazakhstan 哈萨克斯坦 哈薩克(哈薩克斯坦) Hāsàkèsītǎn
Kyrgyzstan 吉尔吉斯坦 吉爾吉斯(吉爾吉斯坦) Jíěrjísīsītǎn
Mongolia 蒙古 Ménggŭ
Tajikistan 塔吉克斯坦 塔吉克 Tăjíkèsītǎn
Turkmenistan 土库曼斯坦 土庫曼(土庫曼斯坦) Tŭkùmànsītǎn
Uzbekistan 乌兹别克斯坦 烏茲別克(烏茲別克斯坦) Wūzībiékèsītǎn
Southwest Asia (Middle East) 西南亚 (中东) / 西南亞 (中東) Xīnányà (Zhōngdōng)
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Armenia 亚美尼亚 亞美尼亞 Yàmĕiníyà
Azerbaijan 阿塞拜疆 亞塞拜然 Āsàibàijiāng
Bahrain 巴林 Bālín
Cyprus 塞浦路斯 塞浦勒斯 Sàipǔlùsī
Georgia 格鲁吉亚 喬治亞 Gélǔjíyà
Iran 伊朗 Yīlăng
Iraq 伊拉克 Yīlākè
Israel 以色列 Yǐsèliè
Jordan 约旦 約旦 Yuēdàn
Kuwait 科威特 Kēwēitè
Lebanon 黎巴嫩 Líbānèn
Oman 阿曼 Āmàn
Qatar 卡塔尔 卡達 Kǎtǎ'ĕr
Saudi Arabia 沙特阿拉伯 沙烏地阿拉伯(沙特阿拉伯) Shātè'ālābó
Syria 叙利亚 敘利亞 Xùlìyà
Turkey 土耳其 Tǔ'ĕrqí
United Arab Emirates 阿拉伯联合酋长国 阿拉伯聯合大公國(阿拉伯聯合酋長國) Ālābó Liánhé Qiúchángguó
Yemen 也门 葉門(也門) Yĕmén

Oceania 大洋洲 Dàyángzhōu

English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Australia 澳大利亚 澳大利亞(澳洲) Àodàlìyà
Kiribati 基里巴斯 吉里巴斯 Jīlǐbāsī
Fiji 斐济 斐濟 Fěijì
Marshall Islands 马绍尔群岛 馬紹爾群島 Mǎshào'ěr Qúndǎo
Micronesia 密克罗尼西亚 密克羅尼西亞 Mìkèluóníxīyà
Nauru 瑙鲁 諾魯 Nǎolǔ
New Zealand 纽西兰(新西兰) 紐西蘭(新西蘭) Niŭxīlán (Xīnxīlán)
Palau 帕劳 帛琉(貝勞) Pàláo
Papua New Guinea 巴布亚新几内亚 巴布亞新幾內亞 Bābùyà Xīnjǐnèiyà
Samoa 萨摩亚 薩摩亞 Sàmóyà
Solomon Islands 所罗门群岛 所羅門群島 Suǒluómén Qúndǎo
Tonga 汤加 東加(湯加) Tāngjiā
Tuvalu 图瓦卢 吐瓦魯(圖瓦盧) Tùwǎlú (Túwǎlǔ)
Vanuatu 瓦努阿图 萬那杜(瓦努阿圖) Wǎnǔ'ātú

America 美洲 Měizhōu

North America 北美洲 Běi Měizhōu
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Canada 加拿大 Jiānádà
Cuba 古巴 Gŭbā
Mexico 墨西哥 Mòxīgē
United States 美国 美國 Měiguó
Central America 中美洲 Zhōngměizhōu
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Belize 伯利兹 貝里斯 Bólìzī/Bèilǐsī
Costa Rica 哥斯达黎加 哥斯大黎加 Gēsīdálíjīa
El Salvador 萨尔瓦多 薩爾瓦多 Sà'ěrwǎduō
Guatemela 危地马拉 瓜地馬拉 Wēidìmālā/Guādìmǎlā
Honduras 洪都拉斯 宏都拉斯 Hóngdūlāsī
Nicaragua 尼加拉瓜 尼加拉瓜 Níjiālāguā
Panama 巴拿马 巴拿馬 Bānámǎ
Caribbean Islands 加勒比 Jiālèbǐ Qǔndǎo
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Antigua and Barbuda 安提瓜和巴不达 Āntíguā hé Bābùdá
Bahamas 巴哈马 巴哈馬 Bāhāmǎ
Barbados 巴巴多斯 Bābāduōsī
Dominica 多米尼加 多明尼加 Duōmǐníjiā
Dominican Republic 多米尼加共和国 多明尼加共和國 Duōmǐníjiā Gònghéguó
Grenada 格林纳达 格瑞那達 Gélínnàdá/Géruìnàdá
Haiti 海地 Hǎidì
Jamaica 牙买加 牙買加 Yámǎijiā
Puerto Rico 波多黎各 Bōduōlígè
St. Kitts and Nevis 圣基茨和尼维斯 Shèngjīcí hé Níwéisī
St. Lucia 圣卢西亚 聖露西亞 Shèng Lúxīyà /Shèng Lùxīyà
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 圣文森特和格林纳丁斯 聖文森 Shèng Wénsēntè hé Gélínnàdīngsī
Trinidad and Tobago 特里尼达和多巴哥 千里達 Tèlǐnídá hé Duōbāgē/Qiānlǐdá
South America 南美洲 Nán Měizhōu
English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Argentina 阿根廷 Āgēntíng
Bolivia 玻利维亚 玻利維亞 Bōlìwéiyà
Brazil 巴西 Bāxī
Chile 智利 Zhìlì
Colombia 哥伦比亚 哥倫比亞 GēLúnBǐYà
Ecuador 厄瓜多尔 厄瓜多爾 Èguāduō'ěr
Falkland Islands (UK) 马尔维纳斯群岛 福克蘭群島 Mǎ'ěrwéinàsī Qúndǎo/Fúkèlán Qúndǎo
French Guiana (France) 法属圭亚那 法屬蓋亞那 Fáshǔ Guīyànà/Fàshǔ Guīyǎnà
Guyana 圭亚那 蓋亞那(圭亞那) Guīyànà/Guīyǎnà
Paraguay 巴拉圭 Bālāguī
Peru 秘鲁 秘魯 BìLŭ (not MìLŭ)
Suriname 苏里南 蘇里南 SŭLĭNán
Uruguay 乌拉圭 烏拉圭 Wūlāguī
Venezuela 委内瑞拉 Wěinèiruìlā

Europe 欧洲 / 歐洲 Ōuzhōu

English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Albania 阿尔巴尼亚 阿爾巴尼亞 Ā'ěrbāníyà (mainland)
Ā'ěrbāníya (Taiwan)
Andorra 安道尔 安道爾 Āndào'ěr
Austria 奥地利 奧地利 Àodìlì
Armenia 亚美尼亚 亞美尼亞 Yàměiníyà(mainland)̀
Yǎměiníyǎ (Taiwan)
Azerbaijan 阿塞拜疆 阿塞拜疆 Āsàibàijiāng
Belarus 白俄罗斯 白俄羅斯 Bái'éluósī
Belgium 比利时 比利時 Bǐlìshí
Bosnia and Herzegovina 波斯尼亚和黑塞哥维那 波士尼亞赫塞哥維納 Bōsīníyǎ hé hēisāigēwéinà(mainland)
Bōshìníyǎhèsāigēwéinà (Taiwan)
Bulgaria 保加利亚 保加利亞 Bǎojiālìyà (mainland)
Bǎojiālìyǎ (Taiwan)
Croatia 克罗地亚 克羅埃西亞 Kèluódìyà (mainland)
Kèluódìyǎ (Taiwan)
Czech Republic 捷克 Jiékè
Denmark 丹麦 丹麥 Dānmài
Estonia 爱沙尼亚 愛沙尼亞 Àishāníyà (mainland)
Àishāníyǎ (Taiwan)
France 法国 法國 Fǎguó (mainland)
Fàguó (Taiwan)
Finland 芬兰 芬蘭 Fēnlán
Georgia 格鲁吉亚 佐治亞 Gélǔjíyà (mainland)
Zuǒzhìyǎ (Taiwan)
Germany 德国 德國 Déguó
Greece 希腊 希臘 Xīlà
Hungary 匈牙利 匈牙利 Xiōngyálì
Iceland 冰岛 冰島 Bīngdǎo
Ireland 爱尔兰 愛爾蘭 Ài'ěrlán
Italy 意大利 Yìdàlì
Latvia 拉脱维亚 拉脫維亞 Lātuōwéiyà (mainland)
Lātuōwéiyǎ (Taiwan)
Liechtenstein 列支敦士登 Lièzhīdūnshìdēng
Lithuania 立陶宛 Lātáowǎn
Luxembourg 卢森堡 盧森堡 Lúsēnbǎo
Macedonia 马其顿 馬其頓 Mǎqídùn
Malta 马耳他 馬耳他 Mǎ'ěrtā
Moldova 摩尔多瓦 摩爾多瓦 Mó'ěrduōwā
Monaco 摩纳哥 摩納哥 Mónàgē
Netherlands 荷兰 荷蘭 Hélán
Norway 挪威 Nuówēi
Poland 波兰 波蘭 Bōlán
Portugal 葡萄牙 Pútáoyá
Romania 罗马尼亚 羅馬尼亞 Luómǎnǐyà
Russia 俄罗斯 俄羅斯 Éluósī
San Marino 圣马力诺 聖馬力諾 Shèng Mǎlìnuò
Serbia and Montenegro 塞尔维亚和黑山 塞爾維亞和蒙特內哥羅 Sài'érwéiyà hé HēIshān
Slovakia 斯洛伐克 Sīluòfákè
Slovenia 斯洛文尼亚 斯洛維尼亞 Sīluòwénníyà
Spain 西班牙 Xībānyá
Switzerland 瑞士 Ruìshì
Sweden 瑞典 Ruìdiǎn
Turkey 土耳其 Tǔ'ěrqí
Ukraine 乌克兰 烏克蘭 Wūkèlán
United Kingdom 英国 英國 Yīngguó

Africa 非洲 Fēizhōu

English
英文
Simplified
简体字
Traditional
繁體字
Pinyin
拼音
Algeria 阿尔及利亚 阿爾及利亞 Ā'ěrjílìyà
Angola 安哥拉 安哥拉 Āngēlā
Benin 贝宁 貝寧 Bèiníng
Botswana 博斯瓦纳 波札那 Bósīwǎnà
Burkina Faso 布基纳法索 布吉納法索 Bùjīnàfǎsuǒ
Burundi 布隆迪 蒲隆地 Búlóngdí
Cameroon 喀麦隆 喀麥隆 Kāmàilóng
Cape Verde 佛得角 維德角 Fódéjiǎo/Wéidéjiǎo
Central African Republic 中非共和国 中非共和國 Zhōngfēi Gònghéguó
Chad 乍得 查德 Zhādé/Chádé
Comoros 科摩罗 Kēmóluó
Democratic Republic of the Congo 刚果民主共和国 剛果民主共和國 Gāngguǒ Mínzhǔ Gònghéguó
Republic of the Congo 刚果共和国 剛果共和國 Gāngguǒ Gònghéguó
Côte d'Ivoire 象牙海岸/科特迪瓦 象牙海岸 Xiàngyá Hǎi'àn/ Kētèdíwǎ
Djibouti 吉布提 吉布地 Jíbùtí
Egypt 埃及 埃及 Āijí
Equatorial Guinea 赤道几内亚 赤道幾內亞 Chìdào Jĭnèiyà
Eritrea 厄立特里亚 Èlìtèlǐyà
Ethiopia 埃塞俄比亚 衣索比亞 Āisài'ébǐyà
Gabon 加蓬 加彭 Jiāpéng
The Gambia 冈比亚 甘比亞 Gāngbǐyà/Gānbǐyà
Ghana 加纳 迦魶 Jiānà
Guinea 几内亚 幾內亞 Jǐnèiyà
Guinea-Bissau 几内亚比绍 幾內亞比索 Jǐnèiyà-bǐshào
Kenya 肯尼亚 肯亞 Kěnníyà/Kěnyǎ
Lesotho 莱索托 賴索托 Láisuǒtuō
Liberia 利比里亚 賴比瑞亞 Lìbǐlǐyà
Libya 利比亚 利比亞 Lìbǐyà
Madagascar 马达加斯加 馬達加斯加 Mǎdájiāsījiā
Malawi 马拉维 馬拉威 Mǎlāwéi
Mali 马里 馬利 Mǎlǐ
Mauritania 毛里塔尼亚 茅利塔尼亞 Máolǐtǎníyà
Mauritius 毛里求斯 Máolǐqiúsī
Morocco 摩洛哥 摩洛哥 Móluògē
Mozambique 莫桑比克 莫三比克 Mòsāngbǐkè
Namibia 纳米比亚 納米比亞 Nàmǐbǐyà
Niger 尼日尔 Nírì'ěr
Nigeria 尼日利亚 奈及利亞 Nírìlìyà
Rwanda 卢旺达 盧安達 Lúwàngdá
São Tomé and Príncipe 圣多美与普林西比 聖多美及普林西比 Shèng Duōměi yǔ Pǔlínxībǐ
Senegal 塞内加尔 塞內加爾 Sàinèijiā'ěr
Seychelles 塞舌尔 塞席爾 Sàishé'ér
Sierra Leone 塞拉利昂 獅子山 Sàilālì'áng
Somalia 索马里 索馬利亞 Suǒmǎlǐ
South Africa 南非 南非 Nánfēi
Sudan 苏丹 蘇丹 Sūdān
Swaziland 斯威士兰 史瓦濟蘭 Sīwēishìlán
Tanzania 坦桑尼亚 坦尚尼亞 Tǎnsāngníyà
Togo 多哥 多哥 Duōgē
Tunisia 突尼斯 突尼西亞 Tūníxīyà
Uganda 乌干达 烏干達 Wūgāndá
Zambia 赞比亚 尚比亞 Zànbǐyà
Zimbabwe 津巴布韦 辛巴威 Jīnbābùwéi

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order
'偏旁,又称部件,是合体字的结构单位。原来把合体字的左边称「偏」,右边称「旁」;后来把合体字的结构部分统称为「偏旁」。比如位于合体字的左面,称「左偏旁」;右面,称「右偏旁」。

The word for radical in Chinese is 偏旁 (piānpáng), or simply 旁 (páng). A radical, or component of a character, usually indicates its meaning. 水 (shuǐ; water) with a 冫 becomes 冰 (bīng, ice). The 冫 hints that the character pertains to ice, like the "glaci-" in glacier. Radicals may also be used to differentiate characters that sound alike. 东 (dōng; east, owner) with a 冫 becomes 冻 (dòng; to freeze, jelly). Radicals, like characters, sometimes suggest their meaning by their appearance, for example, the 亻 in 他 (tā; him) is a compressed 人, and the 氵 in 江 (jiāng; river) looks like three water droplets. Radicals reduce the amount of memorization needed, be it for the language's ancient inventors or for you. In Chinese, the large number of homophones and rhyming words make this scheme possible. A character can have multiple radicals, for example, 捌 (bā; eight, see Numbers). Traditionally, the left part of composite characters was referred to as “piān” and the right side referred to as “páng.” Now, all parts of compound characters are generally referred to as “piānpáng.” For example, the left part of a compound character is referred to as 左偏旁 (zuǒ piānpáng), and the right side as 右偏旁 (yòu piānpáng).

Names of Radicals 中文偏旁的名称

一笔画 One Stroke

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
Héng 丁、丝、上
Shù 中、丰、串
竖钩 Shù gōu 事、予
丿 Piě 九、乍、乃
Zhé 买、予、乜
竖弯钩 Shù​ wān​ gōu 乜、也、乱
. Diǎn 以、义、主

二笔画 Two Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
包字头 Bāo zì tóu 勺、勾、匀
两点水 Liǎng diǎn shuǐ 冰、习、净
卜字旁 Bǔ zì páng 卡、卤、卧
偏厦 Piān shà 厕、原、厚
立刀旁 Lì dāo páng 刬、刘、判
三框栏 Sān kuàng lán 匠、匹、区
双耳旁
双耳刀
左耳刀
右耳刀
Shuāng ěr páng
Shuāng ěr dāo
Zuǒ ěr dāo
Yòu ěr dāo
阞、队、阡
邓、邗、邘
单耳旁 Dān ěr páng 卫、卬、卮
同字框 Tóng zì kuàng 冃、内、冈
秃宝盖 Tū bǎo gài 冗、冘、写
凶字框 Xiōng zì kuàng 凶、凹、凸
单人旁 Dān rén páng 亿、什、仁
私字 Sī zì 厾、去、厹
文字头 Wénzì tóu 亡、交、亢
言字旁 Yán zì páng 计、订、讣
建之旁 Jiàn zhī páng 延、廷、廸

三笔画 Three Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
草字头 Cǎo zì tóu 艺、艻、艾
出字头 Chū zì tóu 屯、屰
双人旁 Shuāng rén páng 彴、彷、彸
三拐 Sān guǎi 巠、巢、巤
走之儿
走之底
Zǒu zhī er
Zǒu zhī dǐ
边,辽、巡
弄字底 Nòng zì dǐ 开、弁、异
广 广字旁
广字头
Guǎng zì páng
Guǎng zì tóu
庀、庄、庆
宝盖
宝盖头
Bǎo gài
Bǎo gài tóu
宁、它、宄
反犬旁、
犬犹
Fǎn quǎn páng
Quǎn yóu
犯、犰、犴
三撇 Sān piě 形、彤、彦
食字旁 Shí zì páng 饥、饧、饨
提手旁、
剔手旁
Tí shǒu páng
Tī shǒu páng
扎、扐、扑
三点水 Sān diǎn shuǐ 氿、汀、汁
绞丝旁、
乱绞丝
Jiǎo sī páng
Luàn jiǎo sī
纠、纡、红
提土旁、
剔土旁
Tí tǔ páng
Tī tǔ páng
圢、圣、圥
竖心旁、
竖心
Shù xīn páng
Shù xīn
忆、忉、忋
尤字旁 Yóu zì páng 尤、尥、尨
折文 Zhé wén 处、夆、备
子字旁 Zǐ zì páng 孔、孕、孖
将字旁 Jiāng zì páng 壮、状、将
方匡 Fāng kuāng 囚、四、囝
门字旁 Mén zì páng 闩、闪、闫

四笔画 Four Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
四点 Sì diǎn 炁、炰、点
火字旁 Huǒ zì páng 灭、灯、灰
示字旁、
示补
Shì zì páng
Shì bǔ
礼、礽、社
斜玉旁、
斜玉旁
Xié yù páng
Xié yù páng
玉、玊、玍
木字旁 Mù zì páng 未、末、本
牛字旁、
剔牛
Niú zì páng
Tī niú
牝、牠、牡

五笔画 Five Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
病字旁、
病旁
Bìng zì páng
Bìng páng
疓、疔、疕
衣字旁、
衣补
Yī zì páng
Yī bǔ
初、补、衦
春字头 Chūn zì tóu 奉、奏、秦
四字头 Sì zì tóu 罗、罘、罚
皿字底、
皿墩
Mǐn zì dǐ,
Mǐn dūn
盂、盃、盅
金字旁 Jīn zì páng 钆、钇、针
禾木旁 Hé mù páng 禿、秀、私
登字头 Dēng zì tóu 癸、発、登

六笔画 Six Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
米字旁 Mǐ zì páng 籴、娄、籸
虎字头 Hǔ zì tóu 虎、虏、虐
竹字头 Zhú zì tóu 竺、笃、竼

七笔画 Seven Strokes

偏旁 Part 名称 Name 拼音 Pinyin 例子 Ex.
足字旁 Zú zì páng 趴、趵、趷

Mandarin, like any language, has its own slang words and informal meanings for some common words. For example, 同志 (tóngzhì - comrade, a commonly used honorific under Communism) now has a second meaning of "gay person" (because it literally means "same aspirations"—in this case sexual proclivities rather than political interests), and the female equivalent 小姐 (xiǎojiě, often used with service personnel such as waitresses) can also refer to a prostitute. Below is a partial list of common slang terms. The letters "xx" stand for someone or something, lit. gives a literal translation, and equiv. refers to an equivalent English expression.

Slang List

简体 繁體 Pinyin Meaning(s), Literal and Figurative
cool (好酷喔 hǎo kù ō; that's cool!); lit., equiv. cool
shuài good looking, handsome (of a guy)
帅呆(了) 帥呆(了) shuài dāi (le) very good looking, a hunk (of a guy); very good, awesome (of a situation)
shuǎng satisfying, enjoyable, (as in 我昨天去按摩超爽(的)。 "The massage yesterday was very satisfying."
过瘾 過癮 guò yǐn entertaining; very pleasing; addictive
不行了 不行了 bùxíngle dying, at the point of death; lit. not OK anymore
chāo very, extremely, super, ultra- (as in 超冷 "very cold", 超酷 "very cool")
to annoy, provoke, offend, or get on someone's nerves(as in 你幹嘛老是惹我? "Why do you always get on my nerves?")
碍眼 礙眼 àiyǎn annoying, get-in-the-way (as in 你在這裡很礙眼, 趕快去做一些有用的事情吧! "You are being a nuisance, go see whether you can make yourself useful somewhere else!); lit. 'hinder the eye'
胡鬧 胡鬧 húnào make trouble, be a nuisance (as in 你現在馬上給我安靜睡覺,不要再胡鬧! "you are going to sleep right now, no more nonsense!"); lit ‘nonsense quarrel’
感冒 感冒 gǎnmào (catch) a cold; to develop an aversion against someone (as in 我說了那句話之後,她就對我感冒了 "after I said that she got upset with me")
机车 機車 jīchē (noun) motorcycle; adj: used to describe someone displaying annoying behavior (as in 她很機車 "she's annoying")
离谱 離譜 lípǔ preposterous, outrageous; lit. leaving the manual or musical score (as in 你這樣作實在是太離譜。 "You are really out of line doing things like that.")
chě farfetched, unimaginable, defying all logic (as in 很扯! "Unbelievable!", 太扯了吧! "That is ridiculous!", 你扯到哪裡去? "What are you talking about?"); lit. drag, pull; chat
扯xx(的)后腿 扯xx(的)後腿 chě xx (de) hòu tuǐ to be a drag on xx, be a hindrance; lit. to pull xx's hind legs
zhèng classy, good quality, high class (as in 正妹 "a classy chick", 他的女朋友很正。 "He has a knock out girlfriend.")
shuǎ cheat, deceive (as in 你想耍我嗎? "You must be kidding.")
耍嘴皮 耍嘴皮 shuǎ zuǐ pí to talk slickly, to pay lip service
耍赖 耍賴 shuǎlài to act shamelessly; to act indifferent
赖皮 賴皮 làipí to act shameless, brazen, like a rascal; rascal, villain
hùn to muddle along, to partake in a given activity in a lazy and unserious manner(as in 我這裡已經快混不下去了。 "I'm about to get kicked out of here." (school or company etc), 你還想混多久? "How much longer are you planning to go on like this?")
摸鱼 摸魚 mó yú to be lazy on the job; lit. to rub fish
鱿鱼 魷魚 yóuyú marching orders; lit. squid
炒鱿鱼 炒魷魚 chǎoyóuyú to be fired, sacked; lit. to fry squid, equiv. "getting a pink slip"
làn rotten, crappy
烂掉 爛掉 làn diào to rot, to go bad
烂摊子 爛攤子 làntānzi bad situation, mess (as in 我可以收他的爛攤子。 "I can take care of the mess he created.")
烂醉 爛醉 lànzuì piss drunk, blind drunk, dead drunk
烂好人 爛好人 làn hǎorén spineless, weak person; lit. rotten good person
tòu extremely, completely, used as a suffix (as in 爛透了 'extremely crappy'); lit. through
吓死 嚇死 xià sǐ terrified; lit., equiv. scared to death
难搞 難搞 nán gǎo hard to deal with, downright
休想 休想 xiūxiǎng never (interjection), lit., equiv. in your dreams
吹牛 吹牛 chuīniú to brag, boast
chuī to brag, boast
自大 自大 zì dà arrogant, overbearing
臭屁 臭屁 chòu pì arrogant, overbearing; equiv. cocky, lit. stinking fart
摆架子 擺架子 bǎijiàzi to put on an airs, to act like the master of, to be arrogant; lit. to swing a rack, shelf
假君子 假君子 jiǎ jūnzǐ equiv. a wolf in sheep's clothes, lit. a fake gentleman
上流社会 上流社會 shàngliú shèhuì lit. high society, the rich and famous; equiv. upper crust
黑社会 黑社會 hēishèhuì triad, triad society; lit. the underworld, equiv. gangland
流氓 流氓 liúmáng rouge, gangster, hoodlum; lit. flowing vagrant
老大 老大 lǎodà the big boss, older, elder
小弟 小弟 xiǎodì younger members of a gang; lit. little brother
吵架 吵架 chǎojià to quarrel, to argue
斗嘴 鬥嘴 dòuzuǐ bicker, squabble (lit. to fight with the mouth)
打架 打架 dǎjià to fight, scuffle (physically)
把风 把風 bǎ fēng to keep watch, be on the look out (esp. during a heist)
坏胚子 壞胚子 huài pēizi a bad personal characteristic
好兄弟 好兄弟 hǎo xiōngdì a ghost; a good friend; lit. good brother
不干净 不乾淨 bù gānjìng not clean; haunted (by ghosts)
夜总会 夜總會 yèzǒnghuì nightclub; graveyard
菜鸟 菜鳥 càiniǎo rookie, beginner, novice, inexperienced person; lit. 'vegetable bird'
天真 天真 tiānzhēn naive (said mostly of young girls); lit 'heaven real'
猪头 豬頭 zhū tóu idiot; lit. pig's head
笨蛋 笨蛋 bèndàn idiot; lit. stupid egg
坏蛋 壞蛋 huàidàn crook, scoundrel; lit. rotten egg
王八蛋 王八蛋 wángbā dàn son of a bitch; lit. king eight egg
huò goods, merchandise, stuff; drugs
白痴 白痴 báichī idiot; stupidity; lit. white fool
蠢货 蠢貨 chǔnhuò idiot, blockhead, dunce, moron (used infrequently)
傻瓜 傻瓜 shǎguā fool, simpleton (sometimes used lovingly); lit. stupid melon
小子 小子 xiǎozi guy, kid; prick, brat
疯子 瘋子 fēngzi madman, lunatic
发疯 發瘋 fāfēng to become insane, to go mad
娘娘腔 娘娘腔 niángniang qiāng sissy, girly, effeminate (esp. of a male)
傢伙 傢伙 jiāhuo guy, chap (negative); weapon, gun
毒蟲 毒蟲 dú chóng junky, someone on drugs; lit. poisonous insect
吸毒 吸毒 xīdú to drug, to take drugs (esp. narcotics); lit. to absorb poison
上隱 上隱 shàng yǐn to become addicted; addictive; Used colloquially: 'get hooked to something' (as in 這種啤酒太好喝了,我快要上隱了 "This kind of beer is too tasty, I'm about to get hooked"
崩溃 崩潰 bēngkuì debacle; to fall apart, to collapse, esp. mental collapse
欠 xx 欠 xx qiàn xx to owe xx (as in, 欠錢 "owe money", 欠情 "owe a favor"); to ask/beg for xx (as in, 欠念 "asking for a verbal dress down", 欠揍 "asking for a beating")
放xx(的)鸽子 放xx(的)鴿子 fàng xx gēzi to (intentionally) not not come for xx; to miss xx's appointment, equiv. to stand xx up, to be a no-show (as in, 不要放我鴿子喔! "Don't stand me up!"); lit. release xx pigeons
吃xx(的)豆腐 吃xx(的)豆腐 chī xx(de) dòufu to commit borderline sexual harassment with a woman (as in, 不要吃我的豆腐。 "Don't touch me.", 你想吃我的豆腐嗎? "Would you like to touch me?"); lit. to eat xx's tofu
没水准 沒水準 méi shuǐzhǔn equiv. to have no class; lit. to have no standards
没家教 沒家教 méi jiājiào unmannered, not well behaved, impolite; lit. without home teaching, without a good upbringing
下流 下流 xiàliú nasty; obscene; indecent; a low life; lit. downstream
with no class, like a buffoon (as in, 你的衣服好土喔! 'your clothes are so low class!'); lit. earth, soil
飙车 飆車 biāochē drag racing; motorcycle racing; to drive in speedily, a crazed fashion; lit. whirlwind car
xx族 xx族 xx zú people that do xx (as in, 上班族 "people that work", 飆車族 "people that drive too fast"); lit. xx tribe/clan/family
种草莓 種草莓 zhǒng cǎoméi to kiss someone passionately, leaving a reddish mark (equiv. to give someone a hickey); lit. to plant strawberries
丢脸 丟臉 diūliǎn to embarrass, to disgrace, to humiliate (as in 你在朋友的面前這樣說我真丟臉。 "The way you spoke about me in front of our friends really made me lose face."); equiv., lit. to lose face
没面子 沒面子 méi miànzi to lose face (as in 你害我沒面子。 "You made me lose face.")
厚脸皮 厚臉皮 hòu liǎnpí cheeky, brazen; thick skinned; willing to make daring demands (negative)
嚣张 囂張 xiāozhāng brazen, shameless, arrogant
酒吧 酒吧 jiǔbā a bar
酒店 酒店 jiǔdiàn a hotel; restaurant; hostess bar (Taiwan only); wine shop
夜店 夜店 yèdiàn a nightclub
夜猫子 夜貓子 yèmāozi someone who sleeps late (equiv. a night owl); someone with a rich nightlife
黄包车 黃包車 huángbāochē rickshaw / denigrating slang: a Chinese woman abroad (being promiscuous as opposed to conservative at home)
恐龙妹 恐龍妹 kǒnglóng mèi ugly girl (lit. 'dinosaur girl')
辣妹 辣妹 làmèi a hot girl (lit. 'spicy girl'); the Spice Girls
帅哥 帥哥 shuàigē good looking dude, a hunk
放电 放電 fàngdiàn to create an atmosphere of feminine attraction (of a woman); lit. 'to discharge electricity'
欲火焚身 慾火焚身 yù​huǒ​fén​shēn to be very horny; lit. 'lust fire incinerate body'
泡妞 泡妞 pàoniū (try to) hook up with girls, on the prowl for women; lit ‘steep/soak girls’
把妹 把妹 bǎ mèi to hunt for girls
把马子 把馬子 bǎ mǎzi to hunt for girls
把凯子 把凱子 bǎ kǎizi to hunt for rich hunks (of a woman)
搭讪 搭訕 dāshan (trying to hook up by) starting a conversation (with a stranger)
乱讲 亂講 luàn jiǎng to speak nonsense
胡烂 胡爛 húlàn give someone a load of nonsense; (as in 男生最利害的就是胡爛 "(said by a woman) Selling crap is what men do best"); lit ‘nonsense crap‘
放屁 放屁 fàngpì to speak nonsense; lit. 'to fart'
废话 廢話 fèihuà to speak nonsense, to trashtalk; lit. 'to waste words'
啰嗦 囉嗦 luōsuo to talk too much (as in 你很囉嗦。 "You talk too much.", 不要囉嗦了! "Stop rambling!")
哈啦 哈啦 hā la to argue, to incessantly try to convince someone (as in 你不用哈啦這麼多, 就直接認錯吧! "Stop arguing and just admit you're wrong!", 哇,你很會哈啦喔! "Wow, you really know how to argue!")
闭嘴 閉嘴 bì zuǐ shut up (interjection, often said by parents)
插嘴 插嘴 chāzuǐ to interrupt someone talking (as in 你不要老是插嘴。 "Stop interrupting me."); lit. to insert a mouth
顶嘴 頂嘴 dǐngzuǐ to talk back, to be a wiseguy; to answer defiantly (as in 如果你再頂嘴我就修理你! "I am going to take care of you if you talk back to me again.")
xx 个屁 / xx 个头 xx 個屁 / xx 個頭 xx gèpì / xx gètóu xx my ass (interjection, as in A: 這電影好浪漫喔。 B: 浪漫個屁阿! A: This movie is so romantic. B: Romantic my ass!)
小弟弟 小弟弟 xiǎo dìdì penis; lit. little brother
(小)鸡鸡 (小)雞雞 (xiǎo) jī jī penis; lit. chicken
小鸟 小鳥 xiǎo niǎo penis; lit. small bird
那话儿 那話兒 nà huà er penis; lit. "that talk"
dàn testicles, equiv. balls (as in 打架的時候要好好保護你的蛋(蛋)。 "When fighting you have protect your balls."); lit. egg
奶子 奶子 nǎizi breast(s)
巨乳 巨乳 jùrǔ huge breast(s)
波霸 波霸 bō(or pō)bà (woman with) huge breast(s)
高潮 高潮 gāocháo orgasm; lit. high tide, climax
做爱 做愛 zuò'ài to have sex; lit., equiv. to make love
炒饭 炒飯 chao3fan4 to make love; lit. to fry rice
上床 上床 shàngchuáng to go to bed; to make love
色狼 色狼 sèláng a man with strong sexual desires, a satyr, a sex addict; lit. appearance wolf
变态 變態 biàntài a sexual pervert; lit. metamorphosis, abnormal
(有)外遇 (有)外遇 (yǒu) wàiyù to have an affair
劈腿 劈腿 pī tuǐ to have an affair, to cheat on someone; lit. to split the legs
一夜情 一夜情 yīyè qíng a one-night stand; lit. love for one night
分手 分手 fēnshǒu to break up in a relationship; to bid farewell; lit. divide hands
兵变 兵變 bīngbiàn a mutiny; a relationship that breaks up during military service; lit. military change
zhuī to try to get a relationship with someone (as in 他還在追那個美妹嗎? "Is he still after that pretty girl?"); to pursue
狐狸精 狐狸精 húlíjīng a woman that steals another woman's man; lit. a fox spirit
母老虎 母老虎 mǔ lǎohǔ a dominant wife; lit. mother tiger
哇靠 哇靠 wākào exclamation: WOW! (also the title of a song by 周杰倫 Jay Zhou, a famous Taiwanese singer)
gàn to make love [vulgar]; used as a vulgar exclamation, equiv. "F**k!"; to do something, as in 幹活 "work"
干掉 幹掉 gàndiào to get rid of; to kill someone; lit. to do away
干你娘 幹你娘 gàn nǐ niang to have sex with your mother, very vulgar (never used in public unless speaker wants to appear boorish)
干嘛 幹嘛 gàn má exclamation, "What is it now?" or "What do you want now?", indicating irritation; why (impolite) (as in '你幹嘛花這麼多錢買這麼爛的東西? "Why would you spend so much money buying something as crappy as that?")
(他)妈的 (他)媽的 (ta1)ma1de5 exclamation, "Fuck!", "Shit!", "To hell with it!", "Damn it!"; used to increase vulgarity (as in 你也他媽的夠了吧! "You are really out of line!"); lit. his mom's
cào to fuck [vulgar] (from 肏 which has the same pronunciation); to exercise, drill (when pronounced cāo)
操你妈的屄 操你媽的屄 cāo nǐ mā de bī to fuck your mother's cunt [very vulgar] (never use in public, or for that matter, at home)
diǎo male reproductive organ; expression (mostly among guys) showing admiration or approval (as in 你很屌! "you're awesome!" or 超屌的! "far out!")
老外 老外 lǎowài foreigner (neutral connotation)
洋妞 洋妞 yáng niū foreign babe, foreign chick
阿都仔 阿都仔 ā dōu zǐ foreigner (Taiwan only)
同志 同志 tóngzhì gay or lesbian (normally "comrade" in a Communist context)
小姐 小姐 xiǎojiě girl working in a hostess bar; exclamation, used alone, "Waitress!"; prostitute; young woman
槟榔西施 檳榔西施 bīnláng xīshī a young, attractive girl, usually scantily clad, hired to sell betelnuts in street stalls (西施 is a classic beauty from Chinese history/myth); lit. betelnut beauty
杀价 殺價 shājià to haggle, to bargain (foreigners will always be forced to pay more, though)
动手 動手 dòngshǒu to begin doing something (e.g. 他开始动手了吗?); to touch, to handle; to hit someone with hands
动手脚 動手腳 dòng shǒujiǎo to sabotage something; to cheat by modifying something; to tinker with; lit. to move hands and feet
灌醉 灌醉 guàn zuì to fuddle, to confuse with alcohol; to get someone drunk
海量 海量 hǎiliàng to be capable of holding liquor (a highly valued asset in competitive drinking, a Chinese sport)
灌水 灌水 guànshuǐ to sell inferior goods that have been tampered with (business), for example, adding water to milk; to lose a game on purpose (sports)
黑货 黑貨 hēi huò goods that have been tampered with, potentially hazardous to health; smuggled goods; lit. black stuff, majorly used in China but Taiwan
拍马屁 拍馬屁 pái mǎ pì to flatter; lit. to align horse farts
拍拍屁股走 拍拍屁股走 pái pái pìgu zǒu to run away, to take off without caring for the consequences (while engaged in a relationship or project); lit. to line up the ass and go
条子 條子 tiáozi a police officer; a strip (esp. of paper), a note
内鬼 內鬼 nèi guǐ to steal; lit. within ghosts
饭桶 飯桶 fàntǒng a scallywag, a do-nothing; a guy who lives off his girlfriend; lit. a rice container
吃软饭 吃軟飯 chī ruǎnfàn to live off one's girlfriend; lit. to eat soft rice
毛毛的 毛毛的 máomáo de creepy, suspicious, causing goosebumps (as in 他那樣瞪我, 我都覺得毛毛的。 "The way he stared at me made me feel spooked.")
人情味 人情味 rénqíngwèi affection, humane, used to describe a friendly, caring atmosphere (as in 中國很有人情味。); lit. the smell of human feelings
累死了 累死了 lèi sǐle exhausted, worn out; lit. tired to the death
(老)油条 (老)油條 (lǎo) yóutiáo a deceitful, "slick" person (油條, fried wheat cruller, is a long stick of deep fried batter, a staple in China)
狗仔(队) 狗仔(隊) gǒuzǎi (duì) paparazzi; lit. dog puppy team
小强 小強 xiǎo qiáng cockroach; lit. little strong one
过头 過頭 guòtóu in excess (as in 睡过头, to oversleep)
赖床 賴床 lài chuáng to stay in bed (esp. too long), to not get up
昏昏欲睡 昏昏欲睡 hūn hūn yù shuì drowsy, sleepy
拖拖拉拉 拖拖拉拉 tuō tuō lā lā to be slow (esp. from reluctance); to procrastinate
湿达达(的) 溼答答(的) shī dá dá (de) soaking wet
A A ēi to steal (as in A錢, to steal money)
K書 K書 kēi shū study (as in pounding something into one's head)
SPP SPP sòng piào piào having no class (Taiwan only, based on Hoklo dialect)
A片 A片 ēi piàn a porn movie
咱们 咱們 zán men we, us (sometimes just 咱).

External links

  • Chinese Chat Codes - This page contains numeric codes used in chatting or pager messages similar to English acronyms like LOL (Laughing Out Loud) or BRB (Be Right Back).
  • Chinese Slang Dictionary - A dictionary of Chinese slang, colloquialisms, curses, vulgarities, dialects, and street talk that Chinese characters, pinyin romanization, and an English version.

This history of the Chinese Wikibook highlights milestones along the book's development.

2006

2005

2004

2003

Contributors

The Chinese Wikibook was started 2003 December 13. Below is a list of users who have contributed greatly to the authoring of this Wikibook. Please add your username if you have made substantial additions and/or revisions to this textbook. Use *{{user|username}} to add a name.

M4RC0, Yug and Wikic all made substantial contributions to the Chinese stroke order project on Wikicommons, which are used in our lessons. Peter Isotalo, also of Wikicommons, contributed the first audio samples used in this Wikibook.

In addition, the authors would like to thank the development team in relation with the Wikimedia Foundation and its affiliates, without whom our text could not be so accessible.

Ways to Contribute

Internationalization

Keep the Simplified/Traditional Versions in Sync

The Chinese Wikibook has two identical versions; Simplified and Traditional. This is done to unclutter the textbook and to meet the needs of people either interested in the characters used in China or used in Taiwan. However, whenever a change is made in one version, it is not automatically carried over, so periodic checks must be made to ensure that the two remain in sync. This sometimes involves translating from one script to the other, but often only involves copying formatting changes.

Saint Jerome, the patron saint of translators.

Translate Pages

Currently, the English version is the most developed of the Chinese Wikibooks. If you know another language, please check if a Chinese book is started in that language and compare it to this one. You can make changes to their content based on ideas gained here, or do a wholesale translation of this textbook into the target language. Since the Chinese can stay the same across languages, a lot of work can be saved in this way. Translation efforts have been started in the following languages:

Even if a translation has been done at one time, it may have been incomplete or not been updated to reflect recent changes on the English site. Please work to keep them current. If you can only do a partial translation, leave a note to later contributors linking back to your source (a good candidate for using Templates).

Add InterWiki Links

If you can't translate pages, but know enough of a language to locate the corresponding Chinese Wikibook, you can make Interwiki links. You can see them on the Wikibooks Sidebar listed under "in other languages" when available. They are typically placed at the very end of a page using a simple format. Here is the list used for the Chinese TOC page:

[[it:Corso di cinese/Indice]]
[[pl:Chiński]]
[[es:Chino]]
<!-- 在以上的课程里中文是一样的,
在以下的课程里中文是不同的 -->
[[fr:Enseignement du chinois]]
[[de:Chinesisch]]
[[ja:中国語]]
[[nl:Mandarijn]]

The ones listed above the divider are translations of this book. The ones below are of their own design. In addition to the main page, Lesson pages, Stroke Order pages and anything else can be interwikied as long as the content is the same.

Stroke Order Images

Black to red fade
Gif animations

There is a project on Wikicommons to upload images and animations of the stroke order for characters. There are directions on how to contribute. It's easy with the use of some free programs and can be done even with only a basic understanding of Chinese. Please contribute so that we'll have a standardized reference for our Wikibook users.

Have a look at the stroke order pages for each lesson to see what our immediate needs are:

Lesson 1 — Lesson 2 — Lesson 3


Sound Samples

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With a microphone and a read through the recording guidelines for the Spoken Wikipedia you can contribute audio examples. Sound samples are particularly important for beginners, especially ones who are studying alone with no teacher or native speaker on hand.

You can see what has been uploaded so far at Category:Chinese pronunciation. Peter Isotalo started, but a native speaker would be best. Welcome to the main Planning page for the Chinese Wikibook. Unless your comment only pertains to a particular lesson, discuss your ideas here so that the overall planning discussion is not spread across many lesson pages. Initial planning and continued coordination of effort is extremely important to help reduce the need for reworking later. New issues are entered here, with the most recent at the bottom of the page. Please review the Table of Contents to see if your issue has already been raised; also check the archives (see below) in case it was discussed some time ago.

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Please observe the following guidelines:

  1. Place your question at the bottom of the list;
  2. Title the question (by placing the title between equals signs like this: == title ==);
  3. Sign your name and date (by adding four tildes: ~~~~).
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Chinese Wikibook Purpose and Audience

This book is intended to be a complete learning resource center for students of Mandarin Chinese. Dialects, such as Cantonese, will be covered by their own Wikibooks and be linked to in the See Also section of the Table of Contents (TOC). It should teach listening comprehension and speaking as well as reading and writing using whatever technologies are most appropriate (includes audio for text and animations for stroke orders).

The audience is the serious studier of Chinese, either at the high school or college level. Casual learners looking for a few choice phrases or unwilling to spend the time learning characters can be served adequately by the Chinese Phrasebook on Wikivoyage. Younger audiences can have age-appropriate material created for them in WikiJunior. Intermediate- or Advanced-Level modules may be added, but because of the cumulative nature of a language text (explained below), it would probably be best to focus efforts on the Introductory Level first and make continuations of the series later.

The Need for Planning

Language Wikibooks faces some unique challenges from a planning perspective. It's harder to produce a quality, integrated work in language instruction than in other subjects, like Biology or Physics. Those you can break into discrete units and still read about it—topics within the subject can be rearranged or meaningfully read even in isolation from the rest of the text.

Not so with an elementary language text. All the grammar and vocabulary that you learn is cumulative, so everything can only stack one way. Flipping ahead (or falling behind) more than a few chapters and you're lost. Order matters, so we use the a sequential naming scheme (Lesson 1, Lesson 2,...), not a topic-based one (Asking Questions, Giving Directions,...).

To avoid late-stage reorganizations that would neccessarily be painful with lots of work going to waste, we should agree on a 'Lesson Roadmap' beforehand and then flesh it out. I think a Wiki can really work for this, but that the project still needs a common format and approach. A standard outline for lessons would help a lot with that, so, may I suggest that the lessons of this text each include the components outlined below.

Lesson Roadmap

  1. Lesson 1: Hello! (你好!)100% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005 - Basic Sentences and Questions
    • Simple Sentences
      • SVO sentence structure
        • The equational verb shi [是] and its negation with bu [不]
        • Verb 叫
    • Intro to Questions
      • Ma [吗] and ne [呢] particles
      • Question words (for now, only shei [谁] and na/nei [哪])
  2. Lesson 2: Are you busy today? (今天你忙不忙?) 75% developed  as of Jan 24, 2005 - Measure Words, Possession and Affirmative-Negative Questions
    • Measure Words (the most commonly used, like 个、本、张)
    • The possessive verb you [有] and its negation with mei [没]
    • More Questions! Affirmative-Negative
      • 是不是 Questions
      • 有没有 Questions
  3. Unit 3: 今天星期三 - Numbers, Days, Aux. Verbs, de [的]
    • Numbers (to 100)
    • year, month, day, week etc.
    • Auxiliary Verbs, the de [的] particle
  4. Lesson TBA: Unordered List of Grammar Explanations - Even w/o example sentences grammar can be explained nonetheless
    • Comparisons Using bǐ [比]
    • The le [了] particle
      • indicating a completed action
      • indicating a past event
      • expressing change of state or situation
      • adding emphasis
    • Time
      • when - time of day, hour and minutes, morning/night
      • how long - duration of time
    • Directions/Placement Words (NESW, L/R, li3, li2, zai4, bian1)
    • Pronunciation of yi1 (b/c of tone changes)
    • Complement of degree de
    • ordinal numbers di
    • Complement of direction qu/lai
    • Compliment of result
    • ba
      • the suggestion particle
      • as preposition
    • guo denoting experience of something
    • (some) members of family
    • reduplication
    • emphasis using shi...de
    • How to use a Radical Index (for C-E Glossary)
    • Basic rules for writing Chinese characters

Subjects Areas to Cover

Greetings

Getting around (a city)

  • Where is the post office?
  • How far is it to the school?
  • Public transport
  • Conversation in a taxi

Chapter Three: Buying Things

  • How much is that shirt?
  • Haggling

Eating

  • Eating Out
  • At the supermarket
  • The grocer
  • A meal at home
  • Traditional Chinese cooking

Sports

  • What do you play?
  • Talking about a match
  • Skiing
  • Mountaineering
  • Yachting
  • Surfing

Your House

  • Description of house
  • Traditional Chinese furniture
  • Living in a community

Immediate family and relatives

Education

  • This is my school
  • Afterschool activities
  • School subjects

Going to the Zoo / Wo men qu dong wu yuan

Decided Conventions

  1. The Title Page leads to the main TOC, not the Cover Page. The Cover Page can be linked from the TOC and used in Print versions.
  2. Hanyu Pinyin is used as the only Romanization format, though equivalency charts to other systems provided[1]. Tone marks are used instead of tone numbers.
  3. Traditional or Simplified characters appear only in the Lesson Text and in parentheses in the Vocabulary sections—not in titles, example sentences, or exercises.
  4. Traditional pages are linked as parallel subpages of every Simplified page. On every Traditional page, a parentdirectory link links back to the Simplified version, always providing a toggle button between versions.

Unresolved Issues

License

GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008 Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/>

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

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This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.

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It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.

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