Free Mandarin Chinese Lessons

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These Mandarin Chinese lessons have been designed to provide practical travel vocabulary and a foundation for basic conversational skills through a simple listen and repeat format. Don't get frustrated if you find some of the phrases difficult to pronounce at first. Many of the sounds will be new, and saying them may be a challenge in the beginning. With practice you'll soon notice your ability to recognize and produce the sounds of Mandarin developing naturally. You may also download a complete audio transcript for listening in your car.

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  • For standard pinyin (e.g. you've studied Chinese before with that system), please click here.

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SECTION: GETTING STARTED
English:Hello
Chinese:nee hau
Literally:you good
Hello is a combination of two words - the word for you and the word for good.
English:You
Chinese:nee
English:Good
Chinese:hau
So to say hello in Mandarin, you literally say you good:
English:Hello
Chinese:nee hau
Literally:you good
To convert that into the question How are you?, or literally You good?, all you have to do is add the following syllable at the end:
English:(Add this word to make a statement into a question)
Chinese:mah / muh
English:How are you?
Chinese:nee hau mah
Literally:you good +?
In China, you'd only ask this in formal situations. Chinese don't use this phrase as casually as Americans do. Here are some simple responses:
English:Good (a positive answer)
Chinese:hau
English:Very
Chinese:hun / heun
English:Very good
Chinese:hun hau
Literally:(same)
English:I
Chinese:woh
English:I'm very good
Chinese:woh hun hau
Literally:I very good
English:Not
Chinese:boo
English:Not good
Chinese:boo hau
Literally:(same)
English:Again
Chinese:dzie
English:To see
Chinese:djee-en
English:Goodbye
Chinese:dzie djee-en
Literally:again see
Again, if you're new to Mandarin, don't be worried if you are unable to pronounce these words perfectly. You'll find that with repeated exposure/listening, your ability to recognize and reproduce Chinese tones will become easier.

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