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General Chinese

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!

“Hello, is this Becky speaking?” “Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you.” Learn basic expressions when making a phone call.

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How do you celebrate your birthday? Many might answer: with a birthday cake. In China, there is an ancient tradition that is still in practice today. Instead of having a cake, many might be enjoying birthday noodles. Birthday noodles or 寿面 (shòumiàn) are not just ordinary noodles. They literally mean “long-life noodles” and it is ...


Let’s say how Chinese address their family members.

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After looking at the photo above are your eyes feeling spicy? What I mean is, does it feel like a pepper has been squirted in your eye? In Chinese, there is a fabulous internet phrase to describe when you are looking at something awful: 辣眼睛 (làyǎnjīng) or “spicy eyes.” It is a way of commenting ...


In both English and Mandarin Chinese we use the phrase “pulling my leg(s)”. However, the two expressions have different meanings and uses in the two languages.
In English, you can use “pulling my leg” as a way to say that you’re joking or telling lies in a humorous way:
“He told me we’d be meeting Lady Gaga, ...


As the saying goes: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
Making personal contacts and relationships and then applying them to work in China is just as important as it is in any country. It can make or break you!
In Mandarin Chinese, we use “打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)” as a common word in our daily ...


Chinese is distinctive for its characters. When people think of China, they think of thousands upon thousands of symbols, normally amazed that people can memorize so many different icons for their language. For some it’s the characters that make them want to learn Chinese, and for others the characters put them off. Here are some ...


The 微信 (wēixìn) WeChat app is not only an important part of life in China, it is essential. By the end of 2016, WeChat had over a billion accounts created, and 700 million accounts were active. Outside of China, 70 million users are also active on WeChat. It’s a great way to infiltrate the world ...


All languages often use animals as metaphorical representations of a person’s character or temperament. In English, phrases such as “stubborn as a mule” and “eyes of a hawk” are easily used and understood in everyday conversation. The Chinese language is no different!
Today’s blog focuses on the phrase “翅膀硬了 (chìbǎng yìng le)”, which literally translates to ...


In English you might say “I know it’s hard for you…” to express a kind of apology and thankfulness for someone’s extra efforts in a task that is not related to their usual responsibilities, or that require extra effort on their part.
In Mandarin Chinese, we have a similar expression: 难为你了 (nánwéi nǐ le).
Perhaps you’ve ...


“Would you like separate checks, or all together?”
Anyone who has eaten in a North American restaurant knows this question from the waiter or waitress. When the plates have been taken away and it’s time to pay the bill, payment usually happens separately. It’s quite rare, unless it’s an office dinner or lunch, for one single ...


As you know, the context and tone of how you say a word or expression in any language can change it’s meaning and intention. In English, you might jokingly say to your friends “you really screwed me over!” during a friendly game of Monopoly. However, you might not want to say that to your boss ...


There is an old English expression that describes people as sometimes being:
“Packed like sardines in a tin.”
Eventually, this expression was shortened down to the adjective “packed”, which is now the most likely-used word to describe a crowded place, or the scenario of people “cramming” into somewhere of interest and activity.
In Chinese, we can describe a ...


Christmas has come to China, and if you are a celebrator of Christmas then your festivities don’t have to stop when you leave home. A study on Chinese society showed that people aged 15-45 celebrate Christmas in China. This doesn’t mean Christmas will be the same as back home though—instead of a family dinner, people ...


As the old English expression goes:
“A fool and his money are soon parted.”
Some people have “deeper pockets” than others. Often, those people with the deep pockets are surrounded by others who sense that heavy wallet and will take advantage of that person’s financial generosity. In English, this person may be called a “big spender”, ...


Look at the photo above. What verb would you use to describe this act?
In Chinese, there are many ways as well, but the word that is flying around the internet lately is “笑喷 (xiàopēn).” The word “笑 (xiào)” means “laugh” and “喷 (pēn)” means “spurt, spray.” It is the act of suddenly spitting liquid ...


An old English expression says:
“Most burglaries are committed by casual opportunists”
We all know someone who will step over their neighbors to get what they desire. It happens in every country and every culture, unfortunately. When these opportunistic people take advantage of a situation, in Chinese we call this action “占便宜 (zhàn piányi).” It could ...


This September, engineers and designers in the Chinese city of Chengdu, Sichuan province successfully tested the first battery-powered suspended urban railway 空铁 (kōngtiě). This November, the “hanging” train was actually put into use! The train carries 120 passengers and can travel at a top speed of 60kph. The hanging train line is said to cost ...


By 2017, Chinese citizens will become the world’s largest group of filmgoers worldwide. Each year, since the films “Lost in Thailand” in 2015 and later “The Mermaid in 2016,” Chinese films are breaking box office records each year in China! However, Chinese blockbusters have had a difficult time finding success with American audiences due to ...


In Buddhist funerals, the idea of a place called Sukhavati, or “Western Paradise,” is considered the favorable destination for a soul that is departing Earth. Different languages have various names for this “heaven” that we hope to go to. In Chinese, we call this place “西天 (xītiān).” Buddhism is China’s oldest foreign religion, dating back ...


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