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General Chinese (Beginner Level)

eChineselearning provides a huge number of Chinese resources for Chinese language learners. The materials in this section are designed to teach Chinese to non-native Chinese learners of various skill levels. These basic Chinese language materials are edited by eChineselearning's professional teaching staff. And best of all, they are totally FREE! If you are interested in learning Chinese, the basic Chinese language resources in this section will be of a great use to you!

Drinking culture in China, compared drinking culture in Western societies is quite different. And, by “drinking” I don’t mean tea or juice! Just as most other societies like to “put one back” and have one (or many!) alcoholic beverages in an evening, so too do the Chinese. However, it’s good to do your homework before ...

Have you ever been this girl?
There was a girl making her way down the street one day. An attractive young man caught her eye. She walked, needing to put her foot onto the curb and ended up tripping over herself.
Have you ever been this boy?
A boy sat in school. In front of him was ...

In a previous article , we introduced Initials and Finals. Today we will teach another important part of Pinyin: Tones. Many learners have difficulties mastering the tones of each character, but correct tonal pronunciation is essential for intelligibility because of the vast number of words in the language that only differ by tone.
1. Pinyin – ...

“你吃饭了吗 (Nǐ chīfàn le ma) Have you eaten yet?” is a traditional way of greeting others. One day, one of my students tried to use this Chinese sentence to greet others before we started the class. It came as quite a shock when he asked me “你吃粪了吗 (nǐ chī fèn le ma)? Have you eaten ...

One of my favorite aspects of living and studying in China is that I get to learn about and take part in holidays that are completely new and very exciting for me. While some Chinese holidays such as New Year, the Moon Festival and the Dragon Boat festival I had known before arriving in China, ...

1. The History of Kung-fu
In Chinese, the term 功夫 (gōngfū) Kung-fu refers to any skill that is acquired through learning or practice. It is a compound word composed of the words 功 (gōng) meaning “work”, “achievement”, or “merit”, and 夫 (fū) which is a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings. “Kung-fu,” the way people ...

Today I will introduce to you one of my favorite lessons that I teach my foreign students. This topic is about how we address each other in China. It’s quite different from how people in the west address each other. In particular, I will explain to you all of the different ways that a man ...

Today I’m going to tell you about one of China’s most beloved summer time snacks. They are bright red when cooked. They come from the water. They have ten legs and two claws. Lobster, you might think? Guess again!
Over the past twenty years, the Chinese have gone crazy for the lobster’s tiny cousin. The ...

1. About Learning Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan. There are many versions of Chinese spoken throughout China; including Cantonese (spoken in Guangdong province), the Beijing dialect and the Shanghai dialect; but Mandarin Chinese is most common dialect spoken by Chinese people from all areas.
Mandarin Chinese is known as ...

Do you watch The Bachelor or Bachelorette?
In each show the main hero or heroine (who we label as the Bachelor or Bachelorette) hands out a series of roses to contestants who he or she favors and a final rose to let the final contestant who he or she picks to be his or her wife ...

Today I’m going to introduce some fun and helpful Chinese songs that you can learn, from beginner to intermediate level. These songs can supplement your Mandarin Chinese progress and make things a bit more fun. In fact, one of my favorite parts of teaching Chinese is introducing songs for my students of all levels to ...

The grass is always greener on the other hill. Let’s learn how to say “other” in Chinese.

Exercises in the Video:
1. A: Jenny, what are you looking for?
    B: Wǒ xiǎng mǎi mángguǒ.
    A: Zhèi ge chāoshì méiyǒu. Wǒmen qù biéde chāoshì, zěnmeyàng?
    B: Hǎo.
    What would they probably do next? Please choose the best answer.

Something anyone traveling in China should be aware of is over-exaggerated tours that will rip you off. Often walking down a street of a famous area in China, you will be approached by tour agencies trying to get you to buy some tour to nearby areas for some supposedly low price.
This happened to me once ...

I’m going to introduce a Chinese word that is useful to everyday situations of human interaction. We often use it in group work or when trying to get things accomplished. The word is 帮倒忙 (bāng dàománg) and I’m going to explain how we use it amongst classmates from our Mandarin Chinese classes.
I’m a Chinese language ...

Today, I’m going to teach you a useful Mandarin Chinese phrase to describe uncivilized, or even “disgusting” behavior: 倒胃口 (dǎo wèikǒu). Our Mandarin language teacher taught us this phrase when we were discussing taboos in Chinese culture. So, when can we use this phrase?
Studying in China and leaving “Western culture” for “Eastern culture” is quite ...

Today I will teach you a traditional folk song from Kangding! The song was inspired by local people’s daily work and is a very popular song in China. The Chinese lyrics are relatively simple to learn and the rhythm is much slower than other songs. It is the perfect song to learn for people who ...

When my Mandarin Chinese students come to China and study in our program, they often think that the stressful, high-pressure days of test-taking are behind them. Not quite!
Mandarin Chinese students have goals to set and reach just as junior high and high school students do. Although in class we focus on speaking and communicating orally, ...

A very enjoyable part of the experience of learning Mandarin Chinese in China is the opportunity to be able to see and experience new parts of the world. Sometimes, those “new” parts are actually quite old!
I’m going to introduce to you some places referred to as “中国四大古都 (Zhōngguó sì dà gǔ dū),” or the “Four ...

As a student of Mandarin Chinese and a native English speaker, there are some things that fascinate me in comparing our two languages. One of these fascinations are the words that have no equivalent between the two languages. Some English words that don’t translate to Chinese are “serendipity” and “dying”. Likewise, in English, we don’t ...

Toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleanser, facial cream…got everything you need for the trip?

Exercise in the Video:
1. A: Nǐ mǎi yágāo ma?
    A: 你买牙膏吗?
    B: …
What would she say?
A. 我买牙膏。(Wǒ mǎi yágāo.)
B. 我没有牙刷。(Wǒ méiyǒu yáshuā.)
C. 我不买洗面奶。(Wǒ bù mǎi xǐmiànnǎi.)
Watch Video Answer

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