Tag Archives: chinese phrases

Lesson 15: Five Essential Chinese Phrases

These five phrases are essential, especially if you ever plan to visit a Chinese speaking country as a tourist, or even live in one. Armed with these phrases, you will come across as a very polite, respectful and well-mannered individual, and I wouldn’t be surprise if you found the local people going out of their way to help you. So pay attention! Also, let me know how this lesson helped you, and if there are any other phrases that you just have to know. Study hard and I’ll see you next time!

借過一下。

jiè guò yī xià 。

Excuse me.

Click HERE to check out the other 4 essential Chinese phrases in this article!

 

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Lesson 10: At the Post Office

Hey guys, long time no see! I apologize for taking such a long hiatus fom blogging, but life has been chaotic of late! My wife and I have relocated to the USA and have been working very hard to get re-established here, and so I have had little time or motivation to blog. But I know you all would be lost without me, so I’m back!
The format for my blog is now going to be a little different from the way it was before. From now on, since I am no longer in Taiwan, I will not be writing as many posts on exploring the island. I already have a fair amount of content on the subject, and I am always willing to answer any of your questions, but for now I am shifting my focus to Chinese. My posts will now be mainly Chinese lessons, with anecdotes of my time in Taiwan strewn in when appropriate. Please let me know what you think of this format, and as always, thank you for reading!
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So you’re in the post office, waiting in line to send a care package back home. The guy in front of you is playing on his iPhone, and the guy behind you is stamping his feet, looking at his watch and visibly annoyed. He’s obviously in a hurry and doesn’t want to end up being held up by the foreigner taking forever to get walked through the process by the friendly, though somewhat lingually challenged clerk…or are you? Let’s show that guy that he picked the wrong laowai!
 
Ten essential phrases:
1. Letter 一封信 yīfēngxìn
2. Stamp 郵票 yóupiào
3. Package 包裹 bāoguǒ
4. Express delivery 快遞 kuàidì
5. Registered 掛號 guàhào
6. Standard shipping 平信 píngxìn
7. mailbox 信箱 xìnxiāng
8. PO box 郵政信箱 yóuzhèng xìnxiāng
9. envelope 信封 xìnfēng
10. postage fee 郵資 yóuzī
 
In context:
1. I would like to send a package overseas. 
我要寄包裹到國外。
2. How much is express delivery? 
快遞的郵資要多少錢?
3. I want to send this letter as registered mail.
這封信我要寄掛號。
4. I would like to buy some stamps and envelopes.
我想買一些郵票和信封。
5. When will my letter arrive?
大概幾天會到?
 
That’s it for today, practice and we’ll see you next time!

 

Lesson 4: Countries and Nationalities

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Where are you from? Where are going? Where would you like to visit? These are all questions you need to be able to answer! So today’s lesson is going to focus on introducing you to a base of countries you can speak about in Chinese. Of course this list is not exhaustive(I don’t even know EVERY country in the world’s English name for crying out loud!), but this is a good place to start. If you are interested in learning the names of any specific countries that aren’t in the list (not because I don’t like them, just because my fingers hurt from all the typing, lol!), then please feel free to send me an email and I’ll add it to the list right away, boss! It is also helpful to know what people from different countries are called and what languages they speak, so I will teach you each respective country on the list below’s nationality in this lesson. Check out the next lesson in this series to learn about talking about languages in Mandarin. Remember to review last week’s lesson if you haven’t already.

It’s easy, and I know you will get it down fast. So without further delay…
Countries:
1. America 美國 mĕi guó
2. Canada 加拿大 jiā ná dà
3. Mexico 墨西哥 mòxīgē
4. Brazil 巴西 bāxī
5. England 英國 yīng guó
6. Spain 西班牙 xī bān yá
7. France 法國 fă guó
8. Italy 義大利 yì dà lì
9. Germany 德國 dé guó
10. Greece 希臘 xī là
11. Russia 俄羅斯 é luó sī
12. Turkey 土耳其 tǔ’ ěr qí
13. The Philippines 菲律賓 fēi lǜ bīn
14. India 印度 yìn dù
15. Malaysia 馬來西亞 mǎ lái xī yà
16. Japan 日本 rìběn
17. Thailand 泰國 tài guó
18. Singapore 新加坡 xīn jiā pō
19. China 中國 zhōng guó
20. Taiwan 台(臺)灣 tái wān
Practice the above list until you are fairly familiar with it, then proceed to the next part.
Nationalities: if you know the above list of countries, then you practically already know the nationalities too! Good job! See? It’s easy to learn a new language! And doesn’t it feel good? Now all you need is one additional word to fit into the “equation”…and the missing piece to the puzzle is the word 人 rén, which means person or people(Mandarin Chinese doesn’t differentiate between singular and plural noun forms, instead the number is determined by context…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves, so back up a step!). So all you do intake one of the countries from the list above and add 人 behind it. So, I am American would be: 我是美國人
To sum it up, the formula is:
country + 人 = nationality
So let’s practice saying the nationalities together (this will really help to reinforce your previous learning).
1. American 美國人
2. Canadian 加拿大人
3. Mexican  墨西哥人
4. BrazilIan 巴西人
5. English 英國人
6. Spanish 西班牙人
7. French 法國人
8. Italian 義大利人
9. German 德國人
10. Greek 希臘人
11. Russian 俄羅斯人
12. Turkish 土耳其人
13. Filipino 菲律賓人
14. Indian 印度人
15. Malaysian 馬來西亞人
16. Japanese 日本人
17. Thai 泰國人
18. Singaporean 新加坡人
19. Chinese 中國人
20. Taiwanese 台(臺)灣人
Review: This is a cumulative review of lessons 1-4.  For questions 1-5, please listen to the audio file and answer the questions correctly in Chinese. For questions 6-10 please translate the English phrases into the correct Chinese phrases. As usual, please feel free to make a recording and submit it for “grading”. This should be easy for you guys!
1. 你叫什麼名字?
2. 你是從哪裡來的?
3. 你幾歲?
4. 你吃飽了嗎?
5. 你是哪國人?
6. Good morning
7. Long time no see
8. Not yet
9. Immediately
10. Goodbye
Make sure you are familiar with the above vocabulary before proceeding to the next lesson, because, while the next portion builds on the last few sections, it is also more complicated. You want to Learn Chinese, right? So get to it!

Bada-danbing!

Okay, so I have to take a minute to rave about my latest addiction…no, it’s not anything bad, except maybe a little for my waistline. And the culprit is shūcàidànbǐng(蔬菜蛋餅)!

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(The stand I always go to in the Zhongyuan Night Market in Zhongli City. Let’s take a look behind the scenes.)

Like the classic Taiwanese breakfast food, dànbǐng(蛋餅) which is like an omelet, only injected with steroids(not literally I hope, but they are seriously like 5 times the size of your regular dànbǐng(蛋餅)!), these babies will keep you coming back for more! This growing chain of stands is popping up all over the place, and with good reason. With flavors such as tuna wěiyú(鮪魚), barbecue kǎoròu(烤肉), beef niúròu(牛肉), corn yùmǐ(玉米),cheese with bacon qǐsīpéigēn(起司培根), ham huǒtuǐ(火腿) and more, you won’t get sick of eating them, just try a new flavor each time!

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(Let’s see how it tastes….)

One of the reasons I love shūcàidànbǐng(蔬菜蛋餅) is that each one comes stuffed with cabbage, so you’re getting a balanced meal all in one package(or at least I like to think so!). Actually, the only thing I really don’t like about this stand is that the food is really popular and I always have to wait in line (waiting in line is just part of life in Taiwan, but I’m an impatient American and I want my dànbǐng(蛋餅) immediately!).

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(You can tell by the look on my face that it tastes awesome!)

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Chinese phrases of the day:

shūcàidànbǐng(蔬菜蛋餅)= vegetable Chinese omelet
dànbǐng(蛋餅)= Chinese omelet
wěiyú(鮪魚)= tuna
kǎoròu(烤肉)= barbecue
niúròu(牛肉)= beef
yùmǐ(玉米)= corn
qǐsī(起司)= cheese
péigēn(培根)= bacon
huǒtuǐ(火腿)= ham

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Pancakes!

Who doesn’t love them? Especially lathered in butter and dripping with maple syrup! Yum! I’ll be blogging about the best place to get pancakes in Taiwan in the second part of this article, but for now I’d like to introduce you to a local equivalent. Chēlúnbǐng(車輪餅)is one of my all time favorite Taiwanese snacks (shown below)

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They are called Chēlún= wheel bǐng=round cakes due to their shape. In fact, they are a lot like pancakes in sandwich form, and what self respecting Westerner doesn’t like sandwiches?!? In all seriousness, these tasty little treats will fill you up, and it won’t hurt your wallet much at 10NT a piece (though some more famous stores can sell them for as much as 20NT). They come in an assortment of favors, such as cabbage, chocolate, peanut, hóngdòu(紅豆) or red bean, and cream….Let’s try a bite!

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Boy, that was GOOD!

The two most popular flavors by far are cream or nǎiyóu(奶油) and red bean. In fact, they are also often called hóngdòubǐng(紅豆餅), or red bean cakes. Whatever you call them, they’re delicious and I’m going to get some! See you at the night market!

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Chinese phrases of the day:

Chēlúnbǐng(車輪餅)= tire cakes

hóngdòu(紅豆)= red beans

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