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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!

Learning Mandarin Chinese is different from learning other languages such as Italian or French. It is nearly impossible to self-study Mandarin Chinese or learn through books and audio/video resources alone. To effectively learn Mandarin Chinese, you need to immerse yourself into a learning process with a native-speaking Chinese teacher. If possible, the opportunity to study ...


Do you work really hard for the money you earn? In the West, we have different levels of jobs. We separate them by words like “蓝领 (lánlǐng) blue-collar” and “白领 (báilǐng) white-collar” jobs. In China, there are different types of jobs as well, some harder than others.
Do you work as a manual laborer, for ...


So you are learning to speak Mandarin. That’s great! But can you speak with native Chinese people? The first step to doing so is to use a little slang or at least be able to understand when you hear it in conversation. Today’s slang word is used as an exaggeration for describing something in its ...


In English we have the saying, “Take a chill pill!” This can be slightly derogatory, but it also can encourage others to relax a bit when they are being too up-tight.
In Chinese we have a phrase that very much relates to this meaning. It is “定心丸 (Dìngxīnwán)”. And it originally was used to define a ...


Expressing emotion is difficult enough but trying to say how you feel in another language is a whole new challenge. Here is a Chinese slang expression that reveals feelings of frustration and aggravation. For instance, most of us have faced this situation: You are typing a way on your computer and suddenly it freezes. So ...


As we all know, rice is a very common food in China. We eat it all the time! If you look at the amount of chopsticks we use it to eat every year, you can see it is a staple in our diet and our life. There are many rice paddies in China, and much ...


There is one word that I ALWAYS teach my students when they are new to Chinese culture. As with any country/culture, relationship is everything. To interact with meaning with those around you, it’s essential you have an understanding of how business, interpersonal, familial and other types of relationships work. The word that best covers the ...


As you may know, colors hold an important role in the use of language in Chinese culture. The color “红 (hóng) red” is associated with fortune and good luck. The color “白 (bái) white” represents death and decay. “黑 (hēi) black” can represent integrity, but also indicate a fearful and pessimistic outlook on life. While ...


Chinese Slang is my favorite thing to teach because there is so much meaning contained in the phrases. This week I taught my students two Chinese slang phrases because they contain the same word/character in them.
That character is: 底 (Dǐ).
What does it mean?
底 (Dǐ): bottom, underneath, underside.

You will find this in the first phrase ...


It’s important to learn Chinese words that also have negative connotations. This is why I have been teaching my students the word “小动作 (Xiǎo dòngzuò)”.
小动作 (Xiǎo dòngzuò) has two meanings:

1. Its first, literal meaning, is “small movement/action.”
2. Its second refers to simply a petty and mean action.
As you listen for this word in conversation you ...


The phrase “一口气 (yìkǒuqì)” is one I use a lot when I’m talking to friends and family about people I admire. Do you like to watch sports? Have you seen any athletes who can finish a competition in one go without stopping? Wanna know how to talk about their effort with your Chinese friends? If ...


In a recent lesson, I shared with you some of my classroom tips for practicing your Mandarin Chinese pronunciation. In today’s lesson, I will do the same, but with another essential aspect of the Chinese language, the enriching act of writing Chinese characters. Usually, learners begin with learning pinyin, then move to reading and recognizing ...


Learning Chinese has one specific challenge in its early stages: pronunciation. The tonal sounds of Mandarin Chinese will be a challenge that you will have to overcome. A Mandarin Chinese learner will have to exercise and train their mouths to create the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation as best as possible.
First, you must learn from a native ...


Chinese Slang Words like “栽跟头 (zāi gēntou)” are the most important Chinese words to learn, because not only are they words that are used in daily life, but they are words that have a few meanings, which you can use in multiple ways in conversation.
Do you know people who seem to suffer from a ...


There are many types of people with many types of personalities. In Chinese we use different words to categorize different interpersonal characteristics. One such word is “闷葫芦 (mèn húlu)”. This type of person isn’t necessarily popular, because he/she is considered to be overall quiet, a silent type. It’s hard to know what exactly this person ...


One of my favorite things about Chinese is that it has a wide range of depth and meaning, especially when it comes to characters, or combinations of characters that have evolved into daily conversation piece over time. One such word is “放水 (fàngshuǐ)”.
It has, first, a very literal meaning:
放水 (fàngshuǐ): v. (of a reservoir) ...


Are you still single? You’re not the only one. In China more and more people are choosing to remain “单身 (dānshēn) single.” In fact, the number of single people in China has reached 200 million. So what’s the reason? There are a few, actually:
1. 性别失衡 (Xìngbié shīhéng) Gender Imbalance.

Do you know about China’s one-child ...


Western traditions, especially those involving holidays and events such as weddings, are becoming more popular in China these days. One thing some people are now doing for fun is making a “New Year’s Resolution”, just as those in other countries have done for years. The start of a whole new year is a good time ...


Do you feel like you have people to back you up on a daily basis, in daily life? In Mandarin Chinese we have a special word for such sentiment, and the word is:
“后台 (hòutái)”

In reality the word “后台 (hòutái)” has two different meanings when we use it in a sentence.
1. “后台 (hòutái)” n. The area ...


None of us like to start a new learning process just to end up being average in the end. We all wish to become “masters” at what we do. I began learning Mandarin Chinese nearly two years ago. While I’m still far from being a master of Chinese, I do strive daily to meet the ...


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