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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!

A year after the devastating May 12, 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, people across China and around the world are still deeply concerned about the fate of the quake-affected people. Memories from the disaster and the government’s effective response are still fresh. The following are excerpts from Premier Wen Jiabao’s speech regarding the Sichuan earthquake.

“The earthquake has ...


打出租车 (Dǎ chūzūchē) Take a Taxi

Sī jī:     Zǎoshang hǎo. Huānyíng nín dào Běijīng lái.  Nín yào qù nǎ?
司机:早上        好。   欢迎      您   到    北京  来。您   要  去  哪?
Driver: Good morning! Welcome to Beijing. Can I help you?

Julia:   Wǒ yào qù Běijīngjiŭdiàn. Wǒ kéyĭ ...


“皮蛋(pídàn),” which is known as “preserved egg,” “century egg,” “hundred-year egg,” “thousand-year-old egg” and “millennium egg” in English, is a kind of special delicacy for the Chinese, but many foreigners think it tastes awful! Let’s see how some foreigners respond to their first taste of “皮蛋(pídàn)!”

The video is pretty funny but it obviously shows differences between the ...


月亮代表我的心 (yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn) arguably has been the most popular karaoke song in China for the past 30 years. Most people can sing this song and now it is still one of the best-loved songs with the new generation of Chinese. The song expresses that words cannot adequately convey one’s love, but the ...


“驴友(lǘyŏu)” literally means “donkey friend,” but translates as “backpackers” or “travel buddies.” It is a homophone of “旅游(lǚyóu),” the Chinese word for tour. “驴友(lǘyŏu)” refers to people who like off-the-beaten-path travel or outdoor sports, especially those who enjoy adventures, climbing, hiking, etc. “驴友(lǘyŏu)” are people who are proud to be compared to donkeys since these ...


“羊(yáng)” is zodiac animal of this Chinese Lunar New Year, but it has caused a good deal of confusion in the English-speaking world, because its translation results in at least three candidates: ram, sheep and goat. Unlike China, other countries in Asia are more settled on the question of which kind of “羊(yáng)” is the ...


“微信红包” WeChat Lucky Money(wēixìn hóngbāo)
During the Spring Festival, Chinese adults will give children and elders “红包(hóngbāo),” known as Lucky Money or Red Envelopes in English, as a sign of luck and good fortune.
However, this year, this Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes stuffed with cash went virtual. WeChat, a popular Chinese social network, has ...


The “元宵节(yuánxiāojié) Lantern Festival” is several days after the Spring Festival. The Lantern Festival, which falls on January 15th of the lunar calendar, is another important traditional festival in China. In the evening of that day, streets are decorated with lanterns and festoons and also filled with the sound of gongs and drums. Many people ...


The Spring Festival is fast approaching and Chinese people are looking forward to enjoying themselves. However, the Spring Festival is not just a festive, carefree time, there are also many superstitions, or taboos, which you should pay attention to. As a significant part of Chinese traditional culture, these taboos show people’s hope of fending off ...


“拜年(bàinián),” to pay a New Year’s call, is a traditional Chinese custom during the Spring Festival. “拜年(bàinián)” is a way for the Chinese to say goodbye to the current year and ring in the new one, and it provides Chinese people with opportunities to show the ir best wishes to relatives and friends. However, many young Chinese people are not willing to pay New Year’s visits. Can you guess why? Let’s have a closer look!


The Spring Festival is coming up soon and Chinese people are preparing to welcome the Year of the Sheep. It is around this time that you may hear some Chinese people claiming that this coming year is his or her year of fate. What do they mean by this? Read on to find out!

 

A ...


One basic meaning of “后(hòu)” is “after or later”, such as “一周后(yìzhōuhòu) after a week” and “三天后(sāntiānhòu) three days later.”

Example

Wǒ sāntiān hòu qù běijīng.
我   三天     后    去 北京。
I will leave for Beijing in three days.

 

At some point you will come across the word “后(hòu)” used in phrases like: “80后(bālínghòu) children of the 80’s” ...


If you take a look at Chinese social sites like WeChat and Weibo you will probably notice a number of people who proclaim themselves to “有钱就是任性(yǒuqián jiùshì rènxìng) or “有钱,任性(yǒuqián, rènxìng).” Once you understand the meaning of the phrase you will probably wonder what this world is coming to. This buzzword was officially listed as ...


Are you the kind of person who is desperately overcommitted and suffering from exhaustion? Are you still upset about your most recent failure? Are you living with terrible pressure? If so, you’re the victim of negative emotions. To resolve these problems, you need some “正能量(zhèngnéngliàng),” which can save you from feeling constantly disappointed or drained ...


New Year’s Day 2015 is coming! Happy New Year! New Year's Day is an official holiday in many countries, but different countries celebrate the day in unique ways So what is New Year in China like? How do Chinese people celebrate it? Let’s take a closer look!

In China New Year’s Day is called “元旦 (yuándàn).” ...


Christmas and the New Year are coming. Have you picked gifts? Trying to find the perfect gift to buy for friends, relatives, children etc, can be a bit overwhelming at times, and that’s without having to tiptoe around cultural taboos. Chinese are very careful when giving gifts. Colors, quantities and local customs are all taken ...


“拼(pīn)” means “to put together” or “piece together.” When you see someone spare no effort to do something, you can remark that he is very “拼(pīn).” When used for this meaning, “拼(pīn)” is used as an adjective or a verb, meaning to strive or struggle for something.

pīnchē/pīntuán/ pīndān
拼车/       拼团/      拼单

The character “拼(pīn)” can be used ...


When you first come to China, you will hear Chinese people say things like “打电话(dǎdiànhuà),” “打车(dǎchē),” “打球(dǎqiú),” etc. As you may know, “打(dǎ)” basically means “hit,” “beat,” “break,” or “attack.” With so many meanings, it’s not surprising if you start to get confused. So the big question is, why do Chinese people “打(dǎ) hit” so ...


In theaters in ancient China, when there was a show, some wooden tablets bearing the names of the actors would be hung at the door of the theater. The tablet placed at the very front was called the “头牌(tóupái),” referring to the lead actor in the performance. The term “大牌(dàpái)” is derived from this and ...


Lately, discussions on social networking sites have turned their attention to, what some argue to be, a new type of ideal boyfriend called “暖男(nuǎnnán).” So, what is it about this type of men that makes them so sought after? Do you or your man have the characteristics of a “暖男(nuǎnnán)”?

“暖(nuǎn)” basically means “warm,” but in ...


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