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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!

In a recent newsletter, we introduced the key Chinese phrases you will need to buy “火车票(huǒchēpiào) train tickets” in China. With all the choices you have when it comes to type and class of travel, it can certainly get a little confusing. Now that you know how to get from one city to another, today ...

One of the best things about traveling in China is the country’s convenient transportation network. China’s cities are well connected by trains, which are generally quick, comfortable, and with regular departures to choose from. To enjoy your trip in China, you must learn some essential phrases, e.g. how to buy train tickets in Chinese, etc. ...

New technology is being developed every day, and the Chinese are always up-to-date on what’s hot, with the newest gadget in hand. People in China are especially obsessed with smartphones. Take a trip on a bus or the subway in any Chinese city and have a look around. Chances are everyone around you has their ...

Recently, a Chinese cat named Luhu was deemed “the most depressed cat in the world” by many netizens, thanks to the permanently gloomy expression on the feline’s face.

Meanwhile, Grumpy Dog, a pooch from America with an annoyed look, went viral on the internet after its photo was posted on Reddit.

Just as animals are capable of ...

In China you will certainly find yourself needing to take a taxi at some point. Compared to many other countries, taxis in China are generally an affordable and convenient way to get where you want to go quickly. So what lingo do we need to master to get around town by taxi? Let’s take a ...

Family plays an important role in every culture, and it is a topic you will certainly cover when learning any new language. As you might guess, there are many terms used to describe relationships in a Chinese family, which can be quite confusing because terms differ depending on the side of the family. So how ...

Today, we’ll teach you how to make Chinese friends! Or, at least the very first step: greetings. You’ll learn how to greet people in Mandarin Chinese, ask them how they are doing, and reply when they ask you. Sit back, listen, and you’ll be able to show off with a few sentences yourself in no ...

Many phrases in spoken Chinese take on completely new meanings when just one or two words are changed. Take the phrase we will learn today for instance: “大不了(dà bù liǎo).” You will find that this versatile phrase is used a lot in daily conversations. Let’s have a look!
1. “大不了(dà bù liǎo)” = At worst
“大不了(dà bù ...

There is a saying in English that goes, “Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.” In Chinese, this same phrase can be translated as “麻烦没有来找你, 你就永远不要去找麻烦(Máfan méiyǒu lái zhǎo nǐ, nǐ jiù yóngyuǎn búyào qù zhǎo máfan),” or, in brief, “不要自找麻烦(búyào zì zhǎo máfan).” The moral here is, don’t seek out trouble, and in Chinese ...

In a previous lesson we learned how to address young Chinese women, so how about young Chinese men?
In general, depending on different situations and the age of the person speaking, there are four ways to address young Chinese men:
“帅哥(shuàigē)” literally means “handsome man.” This casual term is usually used to address peers in informal situations. ...

Do you know what Chinese people say when trying to get everyone to smile for a photo? While Western people usually say “cheese” when taking photos, in China, people usually shout out “茄子(qiézi)!” which means “eggplant.”
Why Western people usually say “cheese” when taking photos? Here’s the story.
The idea of saying words that force your mouth ...

A number of Chinese words are related to certain colors. We have introduced a few of these in the past, like “眼红(yǎnhóng),” “黑心(hēixīn),” and “绿帽子(lǜmàozi).”  Today we will take a look at another common one: “白眼(báiyǎn).” This literally means “the whites of your eyes,” something that shows when rolling your eyes. If you show the ...

Previously, we introduced two other Chinese words related to the character “霸(bà)”: “学霸(xuébà)” and “麦霸(màibà).” In this issue we will learn about another one, which is “霸王餐(bàwángcān).”
Literally, “霸(bà)” means “to dominate, lord over, tyrannize over or rule by force” and “王(wáng)” means “king.” Together, “霸王(bàwáng)” refers to “an overlord or an overbearing ruler” and “餐(cān)” ...

Compliments play an important role in maintaining good social relationships. After all, it never hurts to make others feel good about themselves! Let’s learn how to pay your Chinese friends compliments in Mandarin.
First, let’s have a look at the most common sentence structure for compliments.
Nǐ + hǎo/zhēn + adj.
你 +  好/真     + adj ...

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.
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!
改天(gǎitiān): v change to a different day

Intermediate ...

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.
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 ...

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