Chinese Language and dialects
It is estimated that one in four persons in the world is a Chinese
or speaks Chinese. With Chinese economy and culture on a blazing
path, many people, inside and outside China are keen to learn Chinese.
has also surpassed English as the largest commercial language.
More people do business in Chinese than they do in English or
any other language.
can you learn Chinese when each
province, each city and even each village in China speak their
own dialect? There are hundreds of Chinese dialects in China
so that each dialect speaker is not likely to understand another
dialect speaker from another village or city. Fortunately, Mandarin,
the official dialect of China, is understood by almost all
other dialect speakers. If you learn Mandarin,
you will practically be able
with almost everyone in China as it is the common dialect or
language across China.
Mandarin is also common and popular with Chinese population around the
world including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia
and the various Chinatowns around the world. Hence, the ability
to speak Mandarin will help you make friends in many parts of
learn a few useful basic and common Chinese words and
that will help you break barriers with your Chinese friends.
of my readers had asked me what is the best way to learn
Chinese. Unfortunately, Chinese is one of the most difficult
in the world to learn on your own. Books, tapes and videos
seldom work because they're all one-dimensional; ie you
learn in a vacuum with no one to interact with, to practise
with or to correct your mistake.
of attending physical classes which many of us cannot
due to time or physical contraints, perhaps the next
best option is an online-learning portal, which allows
interaction with real live teachers and students.
I have done some research on your behalf and you are now able to learn
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Basic Chinese words and phrases
are You? Ni Hao Ma
commonly shorten to Ni Hao.
is likely to be the first Chinese words that you will ever
need to learn.
Useful as a greeting or a ice-breaker. Suitable for use with Chinese
friends of all ages and professions. Remember to use the Chinese
you meet a Chinese friend or neighbor.
Good Hen Hao.
is useful when giving praise for a job or task well done. Also useful
as a reply to anyone who says "Ni Hao Ma?'
Ni Hao Ma? (How are you?)
Hen Hao (Very Good)
same phrase, Hen Hao, can also be used as a
praise or compliment to someone who has done a good job.
Good Bu Hao.
is useful when there is a need to comment on a shoddy or incomplete
job or task. Can also be used as a reply to Ni Hao Ma
but may not be such a good reply.
Ni Hao Ma? (How are you?)
Hao (No Good)
You Xie Xie.
you is another basic and polite term that is easy
to remember and use.
Expensive Hen Gui.
bargaining at the shops, Hen Gui, is the best term to use when
a hard bargain.
want or No Bu Yao.
is the best term to use for touts - street hawkers who approach
you at every tourist stop to ask you to buy things. Bu Yao....will
stop them in their track.
is beautiful Hen Piao Liang.
this phrase to praise something that is nice or beautiful. May also
be used when meeting a pretty girl too!
Taxi De Shi.
Shi is the correct term but you should be understood even if
use the English word for Taxi. They sound alike anyway. In
many mainland Chinese cities, they also use the term DaDi for Taxi.
Good Bye or See You Again Zai
I guess this is another term that will be easily understood.
With young people, it is now common to say 'Bye' as well.
Excuse Me Jie Guo.
is a very crowded country and there
is always a crowd in major touristy areas and shopping malls.
There are so many Chinese who
wants to see the same monuments as you too. Rather than push your
way through the crowd, using the term Jie Guo may
just open the path ahead for you!
ask for the receipt or Fa Piao at the shops
or from a taxi. This may be useful if you need to complain
fraud or shoddy product. Also useful if you happen to leave behind
your bag or camera in the taxi.
don't want Wo Bu Yao.
when refusing a tout who is too pushy with selling you something
on the streets or when your Chinese friend offer a drink too
many at the Dinner table.
friends Hao Peng You
someone who treated you well and you want to be a friend? Just
use the phrase Hao Peng You
Brochures to attend language schools in China