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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!

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 ...


Thanksgiving is here! What delicious dishes do you have planned for your Thanksgiving Day feast?
In preparation for this day, we want to teach you how to talk about your day in Chinese.
First let’s start simple: Thanksgiving Day is 感恩节 (gǎnēnjié).
感恩 (gǎnēn) means thanksgiving and 节 (jié) means “festival, holiday,” such as in “圣诞节 (shèngdànjié) Christmas,” ...


There are many differences between life in western countries and life in China. One similarity is that we both need to eat, obviously! However, the way we go out for grocery shopping is often quite different.

Over the past 100 years, in the USA most notably, the most common way to go out for grocery shopping ...


In Chinese, a rich son-in-law, or a rich husband, is often referred to as a “Gold Turtle Husband”, or 金龟婿 (jīnguīxù)” . Are you looking for your golden turtle? Does this phrase make any sense to you? Probably not. There is, however, an interesting story as to how this phrase began. Let’s learn more:
During ancient ...


One of the first things you probably learned when studying Mandarin is how to count to 10. But did you know that the number “1” actually has another, special pronunciation?
In most cases you will just pronounce the number “1” as “一 (yī)” when wanting to say “one.” There is just one exception, when you ...


Do you know anyone that just doesn’t seem to learn from their mistakes? Someone who refuses to adapt and change for the better? Maybe they are a bit stubborn and hardheaded, too? We all know these types…maybe we can even see one in the mirror!
In Chinese, we refer to a person having this kind of ...


If you are soon moving to China or already living there, it is possible that you will need to rent an apartment. For some people, such as English teachers, an apartment might be included in their contract. Students may live in dorms, which is prepared through the school. So, this may not seem relevant to ...


Festivals
Halloween in China

Halloween is coming up soon on 31st of October this year! People in China call it 万圣节(wànshèngjié), where people use 南瓜(nánguā) pumpkins to carve all kinds of funny faces and shapes to ward off evil spirits. Many colleges in China hold parties in which students wear 面具(miànjù) masks and clothes that they design ...


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