Learn Mandarin

useful phrases and third-party resources

Get Started with the Basics

There are four sections we’ve used to teach you basic Mandarin below. Start with the English, learn how to write it with the Chinese Pinyin Keyboard (whilst learning the tones), read it with English phonetics and then confirm what you’ve written with the Chinese characters. The words we’ve provided are high-frequency language that will enable you to become more immersed in the Chinese culture, and get by on daily activities.

Greetings

Hello – Nǐ hǎo – Nee how – 你好
Thank you – Xièxiè – Shieh-shieh – 谢谢
You are welcome – Bù kèqì – Boo kuh-chi – 别客气
How are you? – Nǐ hǎo ma – Nee how ma – 你好吗
Good morning – Zǎoshang hǎo – Zhow-shang-how – 早上好
Good afternoon – Xiàwǔ hǎo – Shyah-woo how – 下午好
Good evening – Wǎnshàng hǎo – Wan-shung how – 晚上好
Good Night – Wǎn’ān – One-un – 晚安

Food

Dumplings – Jiǎo zhī – Jyow-zz – 饺汁
Bread Rolls (filled) – Bào zhī – Bow-zz – 鲍汁
Fruit – Shuǐguǒ – Shway-gwarh – 水果
Vegetables – Shūcài – Shoo-tsai – 蔬菜
Rice – Mǐfàn – Mee fan – 米饭
Noodles – Miàntiáo – Mee-en tee-ow – 面条

Taxi

I want to go to – Wǒ Yào qù – Waw yao chyoo – 我要去
Right side – Yòubiān – Yo bien – 右边
Left side – Zuǒbiān – Zaw bien – 左边
This place – Zhège dìfāng – jigga dee-fang – 这个地方
Here – Zhèlǐ – jur lee – 这里
Stop! – Tíng – ting – 停

Numbers

One – Yī – ee – 一
Two – èr – ar – 二
Three – sān – san – 三
Four – sì – srr –
Five – wǔ – woo –
Six – liù – leo –
Seven – qī – chee –
Eight – bā – ba –
Nine – jiǔ – jeo –
Ten – shí – shrr – 十

Common Words

Yes – Shì – Sheh – 是
No – Bù shì – Bu-Sheh – 不是
Good – Hǎo – How – 好
Bad – Bù hǎo – Boo-how – 好
Today – Jīntiān – Jeen-tian – 今天
Tomorrow – Míngtiān – Meeng-tian – 明天
Yesterday – Zuótiān – Zwuh-tian – 昨天
Goodbye – Zàijiàn – Zhai-jian – 再见

Useful phrases

How much? – Duō shǎo? – Dwuh shauw? – 多少
It’s too expensive – Tài guìle! – Tie gway luh! – 太贵啦
Beautiful – piàoliang – peow-liung – 漂亮
Delicious – Hào chī – How chir – 好吃
I don’t understand (when listening) – Wǒ tīng bù dǒng – Waw ting boo dong – 我听不懂
I don’t understand (when reading) – Wǒ Kàn bù dǒng – Waw can boo dong – 我看不懂
Let’s go! – Wǒmen zǒu ba! – Wuh-men zoew bah! – 我们走吧

Mandarin Proficiency Tests - HSK

The HSK (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì) is China’s only standardised test for determining a non-natives proficiency in the Chinese language. The tests come in six parts and require an increasing amount of time per test. From HSK 1 requiring 3 hours of studying a week for one semester and remembering 150 words with simple grammatical structures, to HSK 6 requiring almost fluency in the language by remembering over 5,000 words. Click here to purchase the first HSK book on Amazon, and here for TaoBao.

Litao Chinese – Learn Chinese Mandarin HSK 1
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Elementary Chinese Course - HSK 1

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HSK 1 tests everyday Chinese and you’ll have to remember 150 commonly used words as well as grammar patterns. View ‘Learn Mandarin with Litao’ a useful YouTube playlist that will guide you through HSK 1. 

Elementary Chinese Course - HSK 2

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HSK 2 tests you on 300 commonly used words and grammar patterns that will test you on listening & reading comprehension and contains a total of 60 items. Watch ‘Learn Mandarin with Litao’ on YouTube as he guides you though HSK 2 and supplements your learning.

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