Now click and listen

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Basic Chinese
中文
History of Chinese language
Old Chinese was the
language used during
the early and middle
Zhou Dynasty (1122
BC–256 BC) and its texts
include the inscriptions
on bones or tortoise
shells.
The earliest form of written Chinese
was carved on bones
Character vs. pictures
• Chinese is written in
characters rather than
letters. Many of the
characters were originally
pictures of many things. But
over the centuries,
characters have changed a
lot and they no longer look
like the things they
represent.
• Can you guess the meaning
of the character used today
from their original picture
above them?
fish
snake
Number of Characters
Here is a written sentence in Chinese meaning “I
would like to visit Beijing Olympic Stadium.”
我想去参观北京奥林匹克体育馆。
Can you count how many characters this
sentence has?
14 characters!
Characters vs. Words
In Chinese, one word can be
• one character: 我 I
• two characters:参观 to visit
• three characters: 体育馆 stadium
• four characters: 奥林匹克 Olympic
我想去参观北京奥林匹克体育馆。
(I would like to visit Beijing Olympic Stadium)
Pinyin
To write down the sound of the Chinese
characters in Roman letter, we use Pinyin,
spelling of a word. Pinyin helps learner to
remember the sound of the character. Most
letters in Pinyin sound the same as in English
but many are different.
Chinese character
Pinyin with tones
English
你好
nǐ hǎo
hello
中国
zhōng guó
China
Click and listen
Tones
The same spelling of pinyin can sound different
(and mean different things) according to the
tones used. There are four main tones. The
tones are marked on top of the vowels. Here is
an example with “ma”.
Pinyin with
tones
tones
characters
English
mā
1st tone, high and flat
妈
mum
má
2nd tone, going up
麻
numb
mǎ
3rd tone, down and up
马
horse
mà
4th tone, going down
骂
to scold
Now click and listen to sound “ma” in four different tones
A Taste of Mandarin Chinese
You will learn words, phrases and sentences.
You will be seeing the characters and hearing
the sound of them. There will be 5 topics:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Words/phrases used on a daily basis
Numbers
Self introduction
Chinese currency
Useful adjectives
words/phrases used on a daily basis
• 你好 nǐ hǎo hello
• 你们好 nǐ men hǎo hello (to more
than one person)
• -谢谢 xiè xie thank you
-不客气 bú kè qì you are welcome
• -对不起 duì bu qǐ sorry/excuse me
-没关系méi guān xi it’s ok
• 再见 zài jiàn good-bye
Now click and listen to the words and phrases
Test on words used on daily basis
How to say the following in Chinese?
1) Hello [to more than one person]
2) Thank you
3) Good-bye
Click to listen to the answers.
Numbers
• 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
• 11 十一 shí yī
12 十二shí èr
• 20 二十 shí èr
21 二十一shí èr yī
• 30 三十 sān shí
35 三十五sān shí wǔ
• 100 一百 yī bǎi
Chinese numbers are very logical. Can you now
work out all the numbers before 99?
Now click and listen to numbers from 1 to
10.
Test on on numbers
1. Click to Listen and say the numbers in English
(1-4)
Answers:
1) 2
2) 5
3) 10
4) 13
2. How to say the following numbers in Chinese?
1) 3
2) 6
3) 8
4) 15
Click and listen to the answers
Chinese currency
The units for the Chinese
money (RMB)are
• 元 yuán or 块 kuài
• 角 jiǎo or 毛 máo
• 分 fēn (not very often
used nowadays)
(1 yuán/kuài = 10 jiǎo/ máo
= 100 fēn)
now click and listen to the
units of Chinese money
Test on Chinese currency
1. Guess the prices in Chinese currency of the
following items in China.
¥3.00
(3 yuan/kuai )
¥70.00
(70 yuan/kuai)
¥18.00
(18 yuan/kuai)
2. If the exchange rate is 1:10 British
pounds to Chinese RMB, how much do
the items above cost in pound?
Self and family (1)
• 我叫wǒ jiào… My name is…
• 我十二岁wǒ shí èr suì I am 12
years old.
• 我是英国人wǒ shì yīng guó rén
I am British
Now click and Listen
Self and family (2)
• 我家有四口人
wǒ jiā yǒu sì kǒu rén
My family have four people.
• 爸爸/妈妈/哥哥/姐姐/弟弟/妹妹
bà ba/ mā ma/ gē ge/ jiě jie/ dì di/
mèi mei
dad/mum/older brother/older
sister/younger brother/younger sister
Now click and Listen
Self and family (3)
• 我喜欢…
wǒ xǐ huan
I like….
• 运动/足球/音乐/玩电脑/看电视/看书/
yùn dòng /zú qiú /yīn yuè/ wán diàn
nǎo/ kàn diàn shì/ kàn shū
sports/football/music/play with
computer/watching TV/reading/
Now click and listen.
Test on Chinese currency
Listen to a child introducing himself. Can you
find out his:
•
•
•
•
•
name
age
nationality
family (how many people in his family)
hobbies
Answers
•
•
•
•
•
Name: dà wèi
Age: 8
Nationality: British
Family (how many people in his family): 3
Hobbies: watching TV, playing on the
computer and reading
Useful adjectives (1)
• 好/很好/太好了
hǎo/ hěn hǎo/ tài hǎo le
good/very good/ great
• 好吃
hǎo chī
delicious
• 饿/我很饿
è / wǒ hěn è
hungry/ I am very hungry
• 渴/我很渴
kě/ wǒ hěn kě
thirsty/ I am very thirsty
Now click and listen
Useful adjectives (2)
• 热/很热/太热了
rè/ hěnrè/ tài rè le
hot/ very hot/ too hot
• 漂亮
piào liang
beautiful/pretty
• 累/我很累
lèi/ wǒ hěn lèi
tired/ I am tired
• 贵/太贵了
guì/ tài guì le
expensive/ too expensive
Now click and listen
Test on adjectives
1. Click to listen and say what they mean in
English
Answers
1) I am hungry 2) Great! 3) very good
2. Can you say the following phrases in
Chinese?
1) Great! 2) delicious 3) too expensive
Click and listen to the answers.
BBC Chinese learning site
www.bbc.co.uk/languages/chinese
• Real Chinese: an introductory course for
beginners with video clip, cultural note etc.
• Pinyin and tone guide plus games
• Character guide plus games
• Tongue twisters
• Chinese jokes
• And many more!
Download
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