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Chinese Words

hanzi-han

What is Chinese characters

Chinese characters are logograms utilized in the composing of Chinese (in which they could be named hanzi; "Han character") and Japanese (kanji). This kind of characters are also utilized, albeit less frequently, in Korean (hanja), and have been formerly used in Vietnamese, in addition to in a amount of other languages. Chinese characters constitute the oldest constantly utilized system of composing all over the world. There are tens of thousands Chinese characters, though most of them are minor graphic variants only encountered in historical texts. Studies carried out in China have proven that practical literacy needs the knowledge between three and four thousand characters. In Chinese orthography, the characters are largely morphosyllabic, each of them corresponding to a spoken syllable having a distinct meaning. Nonetheless, the majority of Chinese words today include two or more characters. About 10 percent of native words have two syllables with no separate meanings, however they are nonetheless written with two characters. Some characters, usually ligatures, represent polysyllabic words or even phrases, although this is the exception and is generally informal.

See more related articles at
Common Knowledge of Chinese Characters

hanzi-zi

How to learn Chinese

"When some one is learning a foreign language, he needs to use the foreign language." In this way, he could use many languages. A saying goes, "Practice makes perfect." When we learn Chinese, we ought to read more, practise more, and pay more attention to Chinese on occasion. We should not be afraid of making mistakes. Only in this way can we study it well. I believe the simplest way to learn Chinese well, is to understand and use Chinese frequently. Do not be afraid of being laughed at. We'd better do a good deal of listening, speaking, reading and composing. If you're able to form the habit of contemplating and composing in Chinese all day, you will be certain to grasp the spirit of Chinese and can be capable of read works in Chinese in a quick period of time. Given that Chinese may be the language must be much more educated to listen to far more speakers, used by as much as possible. Daily adhere to spend 1-3 minutes to learn Chinese. Learning Chinese is really a long process, the training should be as much as possible and you should develop an interest in mastering it. Also your memory need to strengthen, because Chinese is really hard to remember. Nowadays more and more foreigners begin to learn Chinese and Chinese is becoming more and more popular in the world. So hurry up, let’s learn Chinese together.

See more related articles at
The Fastest Way to Learn Chinese
Is Chinese Really So Hard to Learn as a Second Language?

Pronunciation tips
Chinese seems designed to defeat romanizers-- there’s no system that suggests pronunciations to English speakers without explanations. The pinyin romanization used in the above list shouldn’t be read as if it were English. It would take pages and sound clips to teach really correct pronunciation; but you can use these rules as a starting point: Consonants

  • The sounds b d g don’t differ from p t k by voicing; rather, the latter series are aspirated, the first aren’t. Technically, the b in běn is an unaspirated p, like our p in spend, as opposed to the aspirated p in pen. If that doesn’t make much sense to you, English b d g aren’t terribly wrong.
  • h is a velar fricative, like German ch in Bach.
  • As a first approximation, ch zh q j can all be pronounced like English ch. However, ch zh are retroflex, while q j are palatalized. And zh j are unaspirated. Don’t pronounce j like a French j.
  • Also as a first approximation, sh x can be pronounced like English sh. In fact sh is retroflexed and x is palatalized.
  • Pronounce c z as ts. The z is unaspirated.
  • Initial r- is retroflex, though to me it sounds assibilated, like a cross between American English r and zh.
Vowels
  • a: "ah" as in father, arm
  • e: "uh" as in were, fur
  • i: (after z, c, s, zh, ch, sh and r) "er" as in sir, otherwise "ee" as in we, tea
  • o: "or" as in bore, snore
  • u: "oo" as in who, too
Consonants
  • z: "ds" as in zoo, but zh is pronounced "j" as in job
  • j: "g" as in get
  • q: "ch" as in cheek
  • x: "sh" as in shy

Tones
  • First tone (mā) is just a high pitch: a word in first tone should be noticeably higher than your normal tone of voice.
  • Second tone (má) is a rising pitch, much as we’d use in the initial syllable in “Ma? You there?”
  • Third tone (mǎ), in isolation, drops from a neutral pitch, then rises again ; in connected speech, it just drops. Think “Ma, are you listening?”
  • Fourth tone (mà) drops from a high pitch. “Ma! Stop that!”

Some useful words, phrases and sentences
Chinese pronunciation English
Emergencies
救命! Jiu ming Help!
警察 Jing cha Police
小偷 Xiao tou Thief
我生病了 Wo sheng bing le I am ill.
我要去医院 Wo yao qu yi yuan I want to go to the hospital.
Language    
我听不懂 Wo ting bu dong I don’t understand
我听得懂 Wo ting de dong I understand
懂吗? Dong ma? Do you understand
慢一点 Man yi dian Speak slowly
你会英文吗 Ni hui ying yu ma? Do you speak English?
有没有会英文的? You mei you hui ying yu de? Does anyone speak English?
中文 Zhong wen Chinese
可以把它写下来吗? Ke yi bat a xie xia lai ma? Please write it down
Toilets, Bathrooms etc.
厕所 Ce suo Toilet
男/女 Nan/nv Male/female  
卫生纸 Wei sheng zhi Toilet paper
洗手间 Xi shou jian Bathroom
浴室 Yu shi Shower
肥皂 Fei zao Soap
香波 Xiang bo Shampoo
卫生巾 Wei sheng jin  Sanitary towel
卫生棉条 Wei sheng mian tiao Tampon
防晒油 Fang shai you Sunscreen
阿司匹林 A si pi lin Aspirin
抗菌素 Kang jun su Antibiotics
泻药 Xie yao Laxative
止泻药 Zhi xie yao Anti diarrhoea medicine
安全套 An quan tao Condom
pronouns
Wo I
Ni You
他/她/它 Ta  He/She/It
我们 Wo men We
你们 Ni men You
他们 Ta men They
Greeting and Civilities
你好 Ni hao Hello
你饭吃了没 Ni chi fan le mei? Have you eaten?
再见 Zai jian Goodbye
谢谢 Xie xie Thanks
对不起 Dui bu qi Sorry
不用谢 Bu yong xie You’re welcome
不客气 Bu ke qi You’re welcome
Shopping and Money
这/那个多少钱 Zhe/na ge duo shao qian? How much is this/that?
太贵了 Tai gui le Too expensive!  
可以便宜一点吗 Ke yi pian yi yi dian ma? Can you make it cheaper?
... 元行吗? ... yuan xing ma? ... How about … Yuan
那是什么? Na shi shen me?  What’s that?
有没有大号? You mei you da hao? Are there larger sizes?
中国银行 Zhong guo yin hang Bank of China  
自动取款机 Zi dong qu kuan ji ATM
不能更便宜我就不要了! Bu neng geng pian yi wo jiu bu yao le! If you can’t make it any cheaper, I just won’t buy it!
Transport
Che Vehicle (bus, train or taxi)
行李 Xing li Luggage  
我想去 Wo xiang qu I want to go to …
几点开/到 Ji dian kai/dao What time does it leave/arrive?
花多长时间 Hua duo chang shi jian How long does it take?
我想(在…)下车 Wo xiang(zai...)xia che I want to get off (at…)
单程/往返票 Dan cheng/wang fan piao Single/Return Ticket
打的 Da di Get a taxi (slang)
坐地铁 (Zuo) di tie (Get) undergrond/subway
下一班车几点开 Xia yi ban che ji dian kai When is the next bus/train
火车(站) Huo che(zhan) Train (station)  
硬座 Ying zuo Hard seat
硬卧 Ying wo Hard sleeper
软座 Ruan zuo Soft seat
软卧 Ruan wo Soft sleeper
几号站台? Ji hao zhan tai? Which (number) platform?
汽车(站) Qi che(zhan)   Bus (stop)
长途汽车站 Chang tu qi che zhan Long distance bus station
出租汽车 Chu zu qi che Taxi
打表 Da biao Use the meter
飞机 Fei ji Aeroplane
登记卡 Deng ji ka Boarding pass  
飞机场 Fei ji chang Airport
一天/一个小时多少钱? Yi tian/yi ge xiao shi duo shao qian? How much per day/hour?
Accomodation
宾馆/酒店 Bing guan/jiu dian Hotel
旅馆 Lv guan Hostel/Cheap
有没有空房间 You mei you kong fang jian Are there vacancies?
有/没有 You / Mei you Yes, there are/No
多人房 Duo ren fang Dormitory
单人房 Dan ren fang Single room
双人房 Shuang ren feng Twin room
有没有旅馆的名片  You mei you lv guan de ming pian Is there a hotel namecard?
可以把这些衣服洗干净吗? Ki yi ba zhe xie yi fu xi gan jing ma? Can I have these clothes washed please?
这里/房间里 能上网吗? Zhe li/fang jian li neng shang wang ma? Is there internet access here/in the room?
Basic conversation
您贵姓 Nin gui xing May I ask your name?
我叫... Wo jiao My name is…
你结婚了吗 Ni jie hun le ma Are you married?  
你多大了 Ni duo da le How old are you?  
我 ... 岁了 Wo ... sui le   I am … years old
你从哪儿来? Ni cong na er lai
Where are you from
我喜欢你 Wo xi huan ni I like you.
我爱你 Wo ai ni I love you.
我从 ... 来 Wo cong ….lai I am from …

See more related articles at
Chinese Vocabulary List
Some Chinese Phrase You should know

  • Other useful Chinese phrases and words
Mei-guo (May-gwaw) - America
Zhong-guo (Joong-gwaw) - China
Ni Hao. (Knee How) - Good day / Hello / How are you
Xie-xie ni. (Syeah-syeah nee) - Thank you.
Dui-bu-qi. (Dway-boo-chee) - Excuse me.
Wo bu dong. (Waw boo-doong) - I don’t understand.
Qing shou Ying-wen. (Ching shwaw Ying-wun) - Please speak English.
Qing bang-zhu wo. (Ching baang-joo waw) - Please help me.
Wo mi-lu le. (Waw mee-loo luh) - I am lost.
Zai jian. (Dzai gee-en) - Goodbye.
Ni, chi fan le, mai you (Knee chir fawn la, may yo) - Have you eaten
Ming tien jian. (Ming tien jian) - See you tomorrow.
Tai gui le. (Tai gwee luh) - (It is) too expensive.
  • A few hard to pronounce Chinese pinyin letters

ZH - as in the beginning of "jeweler"
CH - as in ZH above, but with a strong puff of breath
SH - as in "shoe"
R - as in "run"
C - like the "ts" in "it's high," but with a strong puff of breath
J - as in "Jeff"
Q - like the "ch" in "cheese"
X - like the "sh" in "sheep"
I, me
Wo [3] (Waw)
You (singular)
Ni [3] (Knee)

He / she
Ta [1] (Tah)

China
Zhong-guo [1-2] (Joong-gwaw)

Good day / hello / how are you?
Ni hao? [3-3] (Knee how?)

Thank you
Xie-xie ni [4-4-3] (Syeah-syeah nee)

Excuse me
Dui-bu-qi [4-2-3] (Dway-boo-chee)

I don't understand
Wo bu dong [3-2-3] (Waw boo-doong)

Please speak English
Qing shou Ying-wen [3-1-1-2] (Ching shwaw Ying-wun)

Please help me
Qing bang-zhu wo [3-1-4-3] (Ching baang-joo waw)

I am lost
Wo mi-lu le [3-2-4-0] (Waw mee-loo luh)

Goodbye
Zai jian [4-4] (Dzai gee-en)

Have you eaten?
Ni, chi fan le, mai you? [3-1-4-5, 3-3] (Knee chir fawn la, may yo?)

Acupuncture
Zhen jiu [1-1] (Gin joe)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
(counting from one to ten)
Yi, Er, San, Sz, Wu, Leo, Qi, Ba, Jou, Shi

Qigong
Qi gong [4-1] (Chee gung)

See you later
Ming tien jian [2-1-4] (Ming tien jian)

Taijiquan (T'ai Chi Ch'uan)
Tai ji quan [4-2-2] (Tie gee chwan)

I don't understand
Wo bu dong [3-4-3] (Waw boo dung)
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