Review of ‘Cantonese Conversations’

I’ve written about my interest in Cantonese on this blog before, and how I went about learning Cantonese, but it’s not a topic I normally talk about on this site very much: after all, Mandarin is the most widely spoken Chinese dialect and this site is called Fluent in Mandarin! However, Cantonese is what’s spoken in Hong Kong and Macao, so if you live there or you are interested in either of these two places, then Cantonese is what you will want to learn. Contrary to what people say, Continue Reading

Building Fluency in Chinese – A Review of Glossika

[Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links] When I was learning Chinese, it was clear that just working through the beginners’ textbooks wasn’t going to be enough; I needed more practice to build up fluency. So, I devised all sorts of methods to force myself to get out of my comfort zone and start thinking in Chinese as much as possible: I thought up example dialogues in my head, and practised thinking of what I would say in different situations. I would try to interpret what friends Continue Reading

Making a Dinner Date – Survival Chinese Bites

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 我想请你吃饭 wǒ xiǎng qǐng nǐ chī fàn I want to treat you to a meal 你今天晚上有空吗? nǐ jīntiān wǎnshang yǒu kòng ma? Are you free tonight? 有空 yǒu kòng Yes I’m free 不好意思, 我今天晚上没有空 bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ jīntiān wǎnshang méiyǒu kòng Sorry, I’m not free tonight 我们在哪里见面? wǒmen zài nǎlǐ jiànmiàn? Where shall we meet? 我们6点在酒店见面吧 wǒmen liù diǎn zài jiǔdiàn jiànmiàn ba Let’s meet at the hotel at 6:00 好的,一会儿见 hǎo de, yīhuì'er jiàn Okay, see you Continue Reading

Shopping For Souvenirs – Survival Chinese Bites

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 有没有明信片? yǒu méi yǒu míngxìnpiàn? Do you have postcards? 我想买三张 wǒ xiǎng mǎi sān zhāng I want to buy three. 一共多少钱? yīgòng duōshao qián? How much is that altogether? 10 块钱 shí kuài qián 10 yuan 还要别的吗? hái yào biéde ma? Anything else? 不用了, 就这些 bùyòngle, jiù zhèxiē No, just these things. 有袋子吗? yǒu dàizi ma? Do you have a bag? 谢谢 xièxie Thank you Continue Reading

Shopping For Clothes – Survival Chinese Bites

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 我想买一件衬衫 wǒ xiǎng mǎi yī jiàn chènshān 
 I would like to buy a shirt 我可以试穿一下吗? wǒ kěyǐ shìchuān yīxià ma?
 Can I try it on? 有没有L号? yǒu méi yǒu L hào?
 Do you have this in L? 
还有别的吗? hái yǒu biéde ma? Do you have any others? 多少钱? duōshao qián
? How much is it? 
便宜一点可以吗? piányi yīdiǎn kěyǐ ma? Can you make it a bit cheaper? Continue Reading

Alternative Ways to Learn Mandarin More Effectively

Chinese is a fascinating, captivating, and even lyrical language. With China being a commerce and industry center and a major world market player, there are many people who are interested in the country, its culture and its language. But while the Chinese language is interesting and is now fast catching the attention of many language learners, it is one of the most difficult to learn. For people used to alphabetic languages, Chinese characters are a mystery because they offer Continue Reading

How to say the Numbers in Chinese – Survival Chinese Bites

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 1 一 yī 2 二 èr 3 三 sān 4 四 sì 5 五 wǔ 6 六 liù 7 七 qī 8 八 bā 9 九 jiǔ 10 十 shí How to say numbers up to 100 in Chinese For example: To say 37, you would say 3, 10, 7 三十七 sānshí qī To say 96, you would say 9, 10, 6 九十六 jiǔshí liù How to say numbers between 100 and 1000 in Chinese
 100 一百 yībǎi For example: 324 would be 3, hundred, 2, 10, 4 三百二十四 sān bǎi èr shí sì Continue Reading

7 Things to Keep in Mind Before You Learn Chinese

Before learning Chinese, it is essential to know what is in store for you. Chinese is a language that is both easy and difficult to learn, based on your perspective. Still there are some things that are intrinsic to the language, such as the sentence order, the characters and the different tones. If you know these things in advance, you'll have an easier time while learning this fascinating language. 1. Tones Chinese is a tonal language, just like Thai and Vietnamese. Mandarin is the most Continue Reading

Ordering Drinks – Survival Chinese Bites

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 你想喝什么? nǐ xiǎng hē shénme?
 What do you want to drink? 来一瓶可乐 lái yī píng kělè
 Bring a bottle of coke 我想喝一瓶青岛啤酒 wǒ xiǎng hē yī píng qīngdǎo píjiǔ
 I’ll have a Qingdao beer 我想喝一个苹果汁 wǒ xiǎng hē yī gè píngguǒ zhī
 I’d like an apple juice 服务员,买单 fúwùyuán, mǎidān
 Could I have the bill? Continue Reading

How to order at a Chinese restaurant in Mandarin

Key Chinese words and phrases from the video: 我想看看菜单 wǒ xiǎng kànkan càidān
 I’d like to look at the menu 有没有英文菜单? yǒu méi yǒu yīngwén càidān?
 Do you have an English menu? 我要一份这个 wǒ yào yīfèn zhège
 I’d like this 服务员, 买单 fúwùyuán, mǎidān

 Could I have the bill? Continue Reading