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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!

“美 (Měi) Beauty” is not an absolute, inflexible concept. There are differences between the understanding and pursuit of beauty between the East and the West. For Chinese, among many standards of beauty, fair skin is a rather important “标准 (biāozhǔn) criterion” to judge “外貌 (wàimào) appearances,” and how to whiten is also a daily life ...

For those of you new to Chinese language tests, HSKK stands for “汉语水平口语考试 (hànyǔ shuǐpíng kǒuyǔ kǎoshì)” and is a standardized oral test that aims to test examinees’ ability in spoken Chinese. HSKK is the oral test portion of the HSK and is divided into 3 levels:
● HSKK Test Prep (Beginner Level)
● HSKK Test Prep ...

(Last updated time: Nov. 30th)
Learning Key Words (preview)
东 (Dōng) east

西 (Xī) west

Since “东 (Dōng) east” and “西 (xī) west” are both direction words. Can you guess what “东西 (dōngxī)” means?
It can be applied to noun phrases, which refers to the two hemispheres or directions east and west. Such as:
东西方文化 (Dōngxī fāng wénhuà) ...

Double eleven is over. Some Chinese say they have to “剁手吃土 (duò shǒu chī tǔ) chop their hands off and eat dirt,” and Double 12 is around the corner. Double 12 resembles Double 11 and is another new shopping carnival day. Are you ready for it?
(Why Do Chinese People “吃土 (Chī tǔ)” After the ...

You asked, so I’m here to answer! An eChineseLearning student was recently puzzled about the differences among “有名 (yǒumíng),” “著名 (zhùmíng)” and 闻名 (wénmíng) in Chinese. She asked, “Why are there 3 words for the same thing?” I assured her that they really have different uses and are quite easy to differentiate once you ...

Compliments, modest remarks, and polite expressions are all forms of respect. We have these in every culture, complimenting the other party or praising them for something they have accomplished, belittling oneself as a form of modesty, as well as terms of respect that express politeness. These are all important parts of an elegant conversation.
Honoring the ...

In daily conversation, you will hear common phrases that are meant to describe a situation or person but the meaning can easily get lost in the literal translation if you have never heard it before. So today I’ll introduce you to “耍嘴皮子 (shuǎzuǐpízi).”
Essentially, it can be used in a couple of different types of situations. ...

(The picture source:
Here is the second part of the popular ”十二生肖 (shí’èrshēngxiào): Chinese Zodiac” series that you all have been patiently waiting for. If your animal wasn’t included in the last installment, you are sure to find it below. In the last zodiac article, we discovered all 12 of the animals while going into ...

One of the unexpected benefits of studying the Mandarin Chinese language is that you also get to learn new things about Chinese culture and philosophy, which is likely much different from the beliefs that you grew up with outside of China.
One of these beliefs that I’ve learned is the five elements theory. The five ...

In a previous article, I introduced some common usages and grammar rules of “了 (Le).” And in today’s lesson, Part II, I will introduce three more rules and fixed phrases about it.
There are additional rules to follow when using “了 (le):”
(a) “了 (le)” is placed at the end of a sentence to indicate that a ...

People have been interested in their fortune and explanations of their personalities since the beginning of civilization. Even if you don’t believe in it, it’s fun when your friend reads your weekly horoscope. In China, there are 12 zodiac animals and they are:
1. 鼠 (Shǔ): Mouse

2. 牛 (Niú): Ox ...

There is a popular Internet word “碰瓷 (pèng cí) touching the porcelain” which often appears on all kinds of websites and social media platforms. What does it mean? It metaphorically refers to a behavior or trick when someone pretends to be knocked down so he can ask for money.
(Four Must-Know Facts Before You Travel to ...

When I first decided to learn Mandarin Chinese, it was mostly because of China’s rising economy and all the business opportunities between China and western countries. However, once I began the language learning process, I became much more interested in Chinese culture and history.
This interest led me to read some of the classic books ...

Chinese grammar is famously simple. However, some grammatical aspects are still difficult for my Mandarin Chinese students. In this lesson, I will help you understand one of these tricky aspects that you are likely to see on tests such as the HSK. What’s so difficult about the particle “了 (le)”?
I often need to spend extra ...

Just like with English, Mandarin has evolved a lot since the use of the internet. We have a lot of slang words whose meanings started as something and ended up as something entirely different because of the way it’s used in messaging and online. One of my favorite words like this is “卖萌 (màiméng).”
Let’s break ...

If you want to evolve your spoken Chinese beyond baby talk, it is necessary to be able to improve how you express your thoughts. One way to do this is to use “因果关系 (yīnguǒ guānxì) cause and effect relation.” Let’s explore more commonly associated words to use when describing various situations.
1. 因为 (Yīnwèi)…所以 (suǒyǐ)…


Key Learning Points (Preview):

国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) n. National Day

黄金周 (Huángjīn zhōu) n. golden week


爬山 (Páshān) v. mountain hiking

阅兵仪式 (Yuèbīng yíshì) n. the military parade

October first is "国庆节 (Guóqìng jié) National Day" in China, and commemorates the establishment of present-day China. "节 (jié)" means "festival;" " 国庆 (guóqìng)" is short for ...

Do you have one of those friends who is just obsessed with something she likes? What about a friend who does nothing but talks about their favorite TV show?” In Chinese, we have a specific slang phrase for this type of manic love for something. The word is used for someone being totally obsessed with ...

Welcome to part I of commonly used word pairs. This is one of the best ways to improve your Chinese and help your speaking sound more native. Let’s look at various “递进关系 (dìjìn guānxì) progressive relationships” and “转折关系 (zhuǎnzhé guānxì) transition relationships” between words. These are very common to use in sentences for everyday ...

Vocabulary plays an important role in learning new languages and Chinese is no exception. Of course, attending a regular course is essential but it may not be enough. Everybody has a different learning style, as well. Here are 6 smart ways to quickly improve your Chinese vocabulary based on your learning style.
1. 阅读 (Yuèdú) Reading


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