Understand Chinese Measure Words in 1 Video

In English, you would say 'a piece of paper' or 'a kilo of apples' The 'piece' and 'kilo' are a bit like measure words in Chinese. In English you wouldn't say, 'a piece of phone' or 'a piece of shirt' But in Chinese you need to use measure words like this a lot of the time. 一个苹果 Yī gè píngguǒ A 'piece of' apple (an apple) 一头大象 Yī tóu dàxiàng A 'piece of' elephant (an elephant) 两条鱼 Liǎng tiáo yú Two 'pieces of' fish You use measure words in Chinese whenever you are Continue Reading

How to Use Question Words in Chinese

Here are the basic question words you'll need to know in Chinese:   什么 shénme what 哪里 哪儿 nǎlǐ/nǎr where 哪(个) nǎ (ge) which 谁 shéi or shuí who 什么时候 shénme shíhou when 为什么 wèishénme why 怎么 zěnme how 多少 duōshao how many/much Unlike in English, 'what, who, where, which, how much' don't go at the beginning of the sentence in Chinese. They go in the same place as the thing you are asking about if the sentence was a Continue Reading

How to Form Questions in Chinese

There are a few different ways to ask questions in Chinese. One of the simplest is to take a statement and make it into a question by adding the character 吗 ma to the end of the sentence. Some examples: 你是中国人 Nǐ shì zhōngguó rén You are Chinese 你是中国人吗? Nǐ shì zhōngguó rén ma? Are you Chinese? 你喜欢喝茶 Nǐ xǐhuān hē chá You like to drink tea 你喜欢喝茶吗? Nǐ xǐhuān hē chá ma? Do you like to drink tea? 他是学生 Tā shì xuéshēng He is a student 他是学生吗? Tā shì xuésheng ma? Is he a Continue Reading

Chinese Conversation Clips – WeChat, the Most Popular App in China

English translation of video content: Chris: And there is one app that we can call a super app. It’s called WeChat. Can you tell us what kind of app WeChat is? Becca: I first came into contact with WeChat in around 2011 or 2012. At that time, WhatsApp was already really popular outside China. But in China, there weren’t so many people using WhatsApp. Later I found a lot of people began to use an app to send short messages. You didn't get charged for sending an SMS, it only used up your Continue Reading

Chinese Conversation Clips – Primary School in China

English translation of video content: Chris: This time we will discuss what kind of experience it is going to school in China. Let’s start from primary (elementary) school. First let me ask a relatively simple question, that is, in China, at what age do children usually start school? Becca: Usually around the age of seven, and now some children go to school earlier and earlier, but even the earliest would be at least six years old. Chris: This formal education, does it start from Continue Reading

Chinese Characters Explained (1) Ones That Look Like Things

There are a lot of misconceptions about Chinese characters. One thing that I hear very often is that Chinese characters are "just like pictures of things." The popularity of the Chineasy series of books has done a lot to spread this idea - a lot of people are starting to think that Chinese characters are just like drawings. And that's not really a good thing, because it isn't exactly true. Yes, it is true that some Chinese characters are based on 'pictures of things', but estimates 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