Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Chinese 17 - Have you been fooled today? / (jīntiān nǐ bèi piàn le ma?)

Part 1 Vocabulary.

a Chinese surname
to look for
in process
to fool / cheat
real / true
back / return
a sound particle
Fool’s Day/ Festival

Part 2, Dialogue.

A:刘 经理,老板找你。
       liú jīn lǐ,    lǎobǎn  zhǎo nǐ.
       Manager liu, boss is looking for you .
       nǐ zài  piàn wǒ bā?
      you are cheatime me, (right) ?
       shǐ zhēn de.
       It is true.
       wǒ gāng cóng lǎobǎn bàngōngshì huílái.
       I just back from boss's office.
       hēhe,   yú rén jié kuàilè!
       Hehe,  happy Fool's Day.

Note : 被bèi is a word used before the main verb to express the passive.
For example:

1, 你被骗了吗?
    nǐ bèi piàn le ma?
    You been fooled?

2, 爱和被爱。
    ài hé bèi ài.
    To love and be loved.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Study of Mandarin Chinese By U.S. Students Booming

Here's a snapshot of key findings of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, based on comparing 2004-05 enrollment with 2007-08. The languages that saw an increase include:

• Mandarin, up 195 percent to 60,000;
• Japanese, up 18 percent to 73,000;
• German, up 8 percent to 395,000;
• Russian, up 3 percent to 12,000; and
• Spanish, up 2 percent, to 6.42 million.

• French is down 3 percent to 1.25 million; and
• Latin is down 9 percent to 205,000.

Speak Mandarin Chinese in a Day

Want to impress your Chinese host/hostess/guests and you have one day to prepare yourself? No fear! This article teaches you how to speak Mandarin like a Chinese in a day. Chances are you have a translator or your Chinese friends know how to speak English, but you can still shine by doing what this article is about to tell you.


1. Learn the "four tones" of Mandarin as much as you can. There are many resources on the web that tell about the four tones. Search Google for "tones of Mandarin Chinese". These are the basics of Mandarin pronunciation. Do not be too concerned if you cannot get it right, it can be very hard. A bit of "foreign" tone makes you sound interesting, and are what set you apart from a silly foriegner trying to speak Chinese and a fluent Chinese speaker.

2. Learn to say "Ni Hao". "Ni Hao" literally translates into "You Good" and can be a very generic greeting term. It is pronounced like "nee how". You can say it when you shake hands with your Chinese friends, when you walk by them in the hallway, when you sit down next to a new friend at dinner, etc.etc. It can be loosely used in all situations where you may say "hi" or "hello" in American English.

3. Learn to say "Xie Xie". "Xie Xie" means "Thank you". It is pronounced like "Shi-e Shi-e" or "Zhi-Zhi"(if that is not too confusing). It can be used whenever you want to say thank you to someone.

4. Learn to say "Bu Ke Qi". "Bu Ke Qi" means "You're welcome". It is pronounced like "Boo Ker(British accent without the "r") Chi".

5. Learn to say "Tai Hao Le!" "Tai Hao Le!" means "Wonderful!". It is pronounced like "Thai Hao Lah". This can be applied to many situations as you may suspect, such as someone agreeing to see you again, someone giving you a business card, etc..

6. Learn to say "Na Li Na Li". "Na Li Na Li" is a standard response to any compliment, including compliments to your spouse. Do not say "Xie Xie" (Thank you) when you receive compliments. It is not the Chinese way. Instead, say "Na Li Na Li" (pronounced as "Nah Lee Nah Lee").

7. Learn to pronounce your name in Chinese. Ask your Chinese friend ahead of time how to say your name in Chinese and practice it. Then as you shake hands with your Chinese host/hostess/guests, say "Wo Jiao [insert your name here]". "Wo Jiao" means "My name is". For instance, you say say "Wuo Jiao John" but pronounce "John" the Chinese way which actually sounds like "Yue Hahn". You can also say "Wuo de ming zi shi [insert name here], which also means "my name is."

8. Say every phrase twice. Except for "Na Li Na Li" which is already a repetitive phrase, everything above can be said twice to make you really sound like a native. For instance, instead of saying "Ni Hao", say "Ni Hao Ni Hao!". Instead of "Xie Xie", say "Xie Xie Xie Xie" (I know it may sound crazy but trust me, this is how a native Chinese would say it.) This is done to put emphasis on the words. Say the phase a little softer the second time, and keep repeating to fade out smoothly. So here you go again: Ni Hao Ni Hao! Xie Xie Xie Xie! Bu Ke Qi Bu Ke Qi! Tai Hao Le Tai Hao Le!

9. Say "Da Jia Hao!" when opening a speech. You may be asked to make a speech. Open the speech by saying "Da Jia Hao!" which can be loosely translated into "How's everyone today?", "Hello everyone!", ""Wish everyone well!", or "Good day, everyone!"

10. Use a Chinese phrase before you answer wherever you can. Chances are you have a translator or your Chinese friends speak English. Even then, try to use a Chinese phrase before you move on to talking normally in English. This will really differentiate you from any other foreigners they meet and leave them very good impressions.

  • Equip yourself with an English-Chinese conversational book. This guide does not list all the possible things you may want to learn to say. So if you wish, buy a small conversational guide and pick up a few more.
  • Always smile when you speak. Smiling works the same way in China! It makes you a friendly person. So be generous with it!
  • Be humorous. Joke when you can. Joking is part of the positive stereotype of a westerner. The Chinese people tend to be more serious when compared to westerners and they love the westerners for their humor. So carry on with that good impression and enhance it. Especially when you give a speech. Be sure you prepare a couple jokes. They may be disappointed if you are all business. However, don't make too many jokes, or you'll mix in a lot of English and sound silly.
  • Do not shrug. Shrugging is not a Chinese gesture. It creates distance between you and your Chinese friends.
  • This guide applies to Mandarin-speaking Chinese only. Only apply this guide when you make sure that your Chinese friends speak Mandarin. This is no good if they are Cantonese. Cantonese is another popular Chinese dialect which sounds completely different. You may sound ridiculous if you speak Mandarin to your Cantonese friends. Also, many of the words have different meanings, so you won't get the results you wanted!
Things You'll Need
  • An English-Chinese conversational guide. A very small inexpensive one will do. This helps you review your phrases.
  • A Mandarin-speaking Chinese friend or tutor. If you already have a good friend who is Chinese, ask them to help you practice ahead of time.
Sources and Citations
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, March 28, 2011

100,000 Strong Initiative - China Study Abroad

From the US State Department:
The need for Americans to gain greater exposure to and understanding of China is clear: there is perhaps no more important or complex relationship in the world than that between the United States and China in terms of securing global peace and security. Virtually no major international issue – whether global economic recovery or climate change or nuclear non-proliferation can be solved without the active engagement of both the United States and China, working in concert.

Yet Americans have much to learn about China. Ten times more Chinese students come to the United States for educational programs than Americans who study in China, and 600 times more Chinese study the English language than Americans study Mandarin. This imbalance in knowledge can undermine strategic trust between the two countries. Redressing this imbalance in knowledge is essential to ensuring that Americans have the cultural understanding and language skills that underpin effective diplomacy and foreign policy. It will also enhance our students’ ability to succeed academically and professionally in the global economy.

Here is the website about China study abroad programs via the "100,000 Strong" initiative.

The official Twitter for "100,000 Strong."

Our partner's program for China Summer Immersion for High School Students can be found on the tab above, China Immersion.

Get yourself to China and see what it's all about!