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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 term “铁公鸡(tiěgōngjī)” comes from the Chinese idiom “铁公鸡,一毛不拔(tiěgōngjī, yìmáo bùbá) You can’t pluck a feather from an iron rooster.” Here, “铁(tiě)” means “iron” and “公鸡(gōngjī)” means “rooster,” but what the term “铁公鸡(tiěgōngjī)” is really used to refer to is a mean, stingy person who won’t spare a cent.
Examples:
Tā shì gè tiěgōngjī, xiǎngyào tā ...


The Chinese word “火(huǒ)” literally means fire, but the word also has a few other meanings:
First, to describe something/somebody that is very popular.
For instance, “最近这个节目很火(Zuìjìn zhège jiémù hěnhuǒ) This show is really popular these days.”

Second, to refer to getting angry.
For example, “不要为了一点小事发火(Búyào wèile yìdiǎn xiǎoshì fāhuǒ) Don’t get angry over such a trivial matter.”

...


For Chinese learners, one major difficulty you may face during your Chinese studies is the pronunciation of the four tones. These include the 1st tone which is level, the 2nd tone which rises, the 3rd tone which falls then rises, and the 4th tone which falls sharply. Getting the right tone is quite important since ...


Asking What Something Is:
Zhè shì shénme?
这    是  什么?
What is this?


Beginner Level/初级(chūjí)

Joey: Zuìjìn tiānqì búcuò, zánmen qù páshān ba!
Joey: 最近   天气   不错, 咱们    去    爬山   吧!
Joey: The weather is fine recently. Let’s go hiking!
Amy: Kěshì wǒ juéde tài rè le, háishì gǎitiān qù ba!
Amy: 可是  我  觉得 太 热 了,还是   改天  去  吧!
Amy: I think it’s too hot. Let’s change to a different day!
生词(shēngcí)Vocabulary
改天(gǎitiān): v change to a different day

Intermediate ...


Greeting:
Nǐhǎo, hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ.
你好, 很   高兴       认识  你。
Hello, nice to meet you.

Here, “高兴(gāoxìng)” means “happy” and “认识(rènshi)” is “ to meet”. This sentence is always used when first meeting new friends or acquaintances.
Example:
Lǐ Yuè: Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Lǐ Yuè.
李月: 你好,我   是  李月。
Li Yue: Hello, I am Li Yue.

Wáng Dōng: Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Wáng ...


Zhāng Qíng: Xiàzhōu jiùyào qīmòkǎoshì le!
张晴:           下周      就要    期末考试  了!
Zhang Qing: We will have the final exam next week!

Lǐ Chéng: Shìya. Nǐ fùxí de zěnmeyàng le?
李成:     是呀。你复习得 怎么样    了?
Li Cheng: Yeah. How’s your preparation going?

Zhāng Qíng: Hái méi kāishǐ fùxí.
张晴:          还   没   开始  复习。
Zhang Qing: I haven’t begun to prepare yet.

Lǐ Chéng: Wǒ ...


In last week’s test, we learned about the idiom “喝西北风(hē xīběifēng)”, which means getting nothing to eat or having to live on air. Now in this issue we will get to know about two other kinds of “风(fēng)”: “东风(dōngfēng)” and “耳边风(ěrbiānfēng).”
“东风(dōngfēng)”

“东风(dōngfēng)” comes from the idiom “万事俱备, 只欠东风(wànshì jù bèi, zhǐ qiàn dōngfēng),” which means that ...


We have previously introduced Sichuan’s “麻辣(málà)” and Hunan’s “香辣(xiānglà)” flavors. In this last issue of our three-part sizzling-hot tour of China we will learn about one more unique kind of “spiciness” — the “酸辣(suānlà) sour spiciness” of “贵州(guìzhōu).” The special climate of Guizhou Province is, in a word, “天无三日晴(tiān wú sānrì qíng),” meaning ...


In China, “辣椒(làjiāo) chili” has rich cultural connotations. The fire-red chilies, connected with feelings of joy and celebration, symbolize colorful and thriving lives. What’s more, the character “交(jiāo) make friends or associate with someone” is a homophone of “椒(jiāo)”, suggesting that making good friends with others can help you make a good fortune, get a ...


Mention of the word “spicy” often reminds people of hot peppers, which turn red when ripening. In China, red color is the color of auspiciousness and prosperity, symbolizing good luck, happiness, and a rich life.
Most people from southern China love spicy food, especially those from Sichuan, Hunan, and Guizhou provinces. These places frequently have wet ...


Yesterday, May 6, 2015, was a special day called 立夏(Lì xià),” the seventh solar term of the 24 Chinese Solar Terms This is the day that marks the beginning of the hot summer in China. These days,
the maximum air temperatures of most cities in south China exceed 30°C (86°F)! Can you feel the “热 (rè) heat”?
Stroke order:

In Chinese, “热 (rè)” can be used to describe burning hot weather, but this term is also often used to describe certain popular and trending activities, such as “汉语热 (hànyǔrè) Mandarin fever,” “健身热 (jiànshēnrè) fitness fad,” “股票热 (gǔpiàorè) ...


Paper money is what keeps any country running, and the RMB, or yuan, is the currency of China. In many countries, paper currency is not only practical, but also features well-known public figures and landmarks. For example, you can see the White House on the back of the US 20-dollar bill and the United States ...


Last week we talked about the weird-looking, and tasting, “皮蛋(pídàn) preserved egg.” Have you rolled up your sleeves and given it a taste? If not, here comes another choice you might want to try! This week we will introduce another strange Chinese delicacy with a nasty smell: “臭豆腐(chòudòufu).”

A lot of foreigners in China find it unbelievable ...


David and Wang Ming are good friends. One day, Wang Ming asked David to help him 晒(shài) his bed sheets. Wang Ming explained that 晒(shài) is a verb, and when you 晒(shài) something you put it in the sunshine. David really enjoyed learning new words especially when they came up during the course of everyday ...


“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 ...


“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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


At the recently concluded 2014 Inchon Asian Games, Ning Zetao won the gold medal in the Men’s 100m Freestyle Final and set a new Asian Games record. Now he is called “泳坛新秀(yǒngtán xīnxiù)” by the media. Here, “泳坛新秀(yǒngtán xīnxiù)” means a new swimming star.

“秀(xiù)” literarily means beautiful, elegant and pretty. It can also refer to ...


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