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Chinese Beginner Course I

A1-Beginner

With a focus is on listening comprehension and speaking, Chinese Beginner Course I is designed for beginners with no/limited prior Chinese knowledge and with interest in China and the Chinese language. Upon completion, students will understand and use basic everyday expressions phrases in Chinese.

What's Your Name?

"What's your name?" Learn how to ask this basic question in Mandarin in this lesson....

Topics: introductions, names

Good Morning!

It's the beginning of the day at a Chinese company. Say hello! In this lesson, learn how to greet people in Mandarin Chinese, ask them how they are, and reply when they ask you how you are. ...

Topics: questions, introductions, greetings

Long Time No See!

Cliché as it may be, a good “long time no see” does wonders for reconnecting with old friends. In this podcast, we’re going to make you sound more like a local by sharing these tidbits, as well as a cooler way of saying “how are you." And how are you? In this Chinese lesson, you'll learn that in Sha...

Topics: greetings, jobs

Getting Nationalities Straight

One question that a foreigner will continually be asked in China is "Where are you from?".  In this lesson, learn how to talk about where someone is from in Mandarin....

Topics: people, nationalities, culture

Where do you Live?

Whether you're making a new friend or you've gotten lost in a new city, you'll need to be able to tell someone where you live. In this lesson, learn how to tell someone where you live in Mandarin....

Topics: location, places

Do you Like China?

When you travel to China, the question on all Chinese people’s lips is “Do you like China?" So, in this podcast lesson, we help you to answer that all important question. You’ll learn how to give an emphatic “Yes! I like China!” in Mandarin Chinese. In this lesson you will also learn how to speak ab...

Topics: location, liking_and_disliking

Days of the Week

This lesson teaches the basics for scheduling and making plans. Learn how to talk about days of the week and whether or not one is free to do something....

Topics: time, numbers, days

Months

Learn the months of the year in Mandarin in this lesson. In some ways, it proves to be easier than English, requiring mostly that you master counting from 1 to 12!   ...

Topics: time, numbers, months

Asking the Time

In bustling cities like Shanghai and Beijing, there's always something happening, and sometimes even according to schedule. Knowing what time it is will always be something you need to ask early on. Learn the essential Chinese words and phrases to do so in this lesson.  ...

Topics: time, numbers

Asking for a Phone Number

In this lesson, improve your Mandarin skills by practicing how to ask for a cell phone number. As cell phone numbers in China tend to be 11 digits long, it might take a big of getting used to....

Topics: numbers, communications

Business Cards

Business cards. In China they’re handed out for any and every reason… but what do you say when you get one? “Thanks” might seem a little bland, but then again, “WOW! You’ve such fine taste in paper!” might be a bit over the top. So then what? Better find out; you’ll be doing it about 12 times a day....

Topics: name, work, business

What's Your Job?

During introductions, you're bound to be asked about your job. In this lesson, learn how to ask someone about their job and tell them about your own....

Topics: jobs, work, office

Explaining Your Job

“So… what do you do?” While that might sound like a “Singles’ Night” introduction, we mean it… seriously (you should see our faces right now). In this lesson, you will learn how to ask someone what they do, using Mandarin Chinese. And this podcast will also help you to learn how to give a nice sound...

Topics: jobs, work, doctor, teacher, occupation

How Many People are in Your Family?

Ah, the home front. Any self-respecting Mandarin learner has their work cut out for them in deciphering the who's who of a Chinese family. And don't think the one-child policy makes things any easier. So, line 'em up, and get them all straight in this podcast which will enlighten you on the members ...

Topics: introductions, family

Son or Daughter?

The Chinese terms for various relatives are a bit complicated. But don't worry, ChinesePod is here to help you learn them! In today's Mandarin lesson, start talking about your sons, daughters and other family members.  ...

Topics: family, children

Living in Nanjing

You are about to experience the saga of Miss Wang and handsome John, and their fabulous lives in Nanjing.  Don't worry; it's a short saga, composed of short, Newbie-level sentences.  It's a saga for learning Chinese....

Topics: nationalities, name, appearance

Transportation

We know that deep down, there’s a person in ya that wants to combine “On the Road” with “Journey to the West”, and we think that’s just great. But the “lu” less traveled might be a road un-traveled should you be unable to get around. In this podcast, we’ll get you on your way, learning a lesson in M...

Topics: transportation

Taxi to the Airport

Never leave it till the last minute to catch a taxi to the airport. If you are left with no choice, make sure you've listened to today's lesson - you'll be able to tell the driver the time of your flight in Mandarin. This should inspire them to use their 'driving gongfu' get you to the departure ter...

Topics: time, flight, taxi

Taking the Train to Beijing

If you're a newbie to China, then you've definitely got to make a trip to Beijing. This Chinese lesson for total beginners will help you to make sure you've got those train tickets... and maybe even help you be all bossy and make someone else go buy them.  ...

Topics: travel, transportation

Catch the Train

One foot on the platform, the other foot on the train. Listen to today's Chinese podcast and learn how to talk all about those fateful few moments before the locomotive rolls on out -- in Mandarin. All aboard!  ...

Topics: travel, train, transportation, urgent

Just Looking

OK, so you’re in a little Chinese shop, or checking out a vendor’s stand, and the clerk is super excited. She’s trotting out a seemingly endless line of products, not a single one which arises an iota of your interest. So how do you tell her that you’re really “just looking?” In this podcast you can...

Topics: preferences, shopping

I Want to Buy this One

China is a shoppers’ heaven, and in this podcast lesson you’ll learn some key phrases in Mandarin Chinese to help you navigate the markets and shopping streets and get what you want. You’ll learn how to identify the items you want, and ask how much they are. You’ll also learn the colloquial term for...

Topics: questions, shopping

Do you Want a Map?

Getting from one place to another is no mean feat in the land of curvy, inconsistently marked streets. Today's Chinese podcast will give you the Mandarin you need to buy a map that will help you on your merry way....

Topics: travel, shopping, geography, lost, purchase, money, maps

Too Expensive!

We know you would *never* lower yourself to buying a “Rolax” here and passing it off as an original for someone’s birthday, but we’re sure that “friend of yours” will. So how to politely suggest that the opening bid might be a bit out of your range? A lesson on acting incensed by the price could sav...

Topics: shopping, money

Ordering Noodles

The Chinese claim to have discovered the key to a long life... eating noodles on your birthday. While they struggle for immortality, you the Newbie can start with a little mortality, and learn how to order some in Mandarin. Your own struggle may have less to do with life and more to do with slippery...

Topics: questions, food

How do you Take your Coffee?

Coffee drinking is on the rise in China, and nowadays it's easy to get a cup of joe in cities throughout China. In this lesson, learn how to ask for coffee just the way you like it....

Topics: questions, preferences, food

Really Good Food

How to win over Chinese friends and wrangle more dinner invites? It's all about the compliments, people. Learning how to wax poetic about food bodes well for your future popularity with your new-found partners in calories. In this podcast, learn to rhapsodize in Mandarin over the cookery, and secure...

Topics: food

Checking into a Hotel

If you're planning on spending a night in a Chinese hotel, as a foreigner, you better have your passport ready. In this lesson, learn those magic Chinese phrases that will land you in a hotel room.  ...

Topics: greetings, name, hotel

Finding a Cheap Hostel

There’s a good chance that you’ll come here with loads of cash and leave with none (see: Qipu Lu, the new “hot spot” to shop), meaning those final few nights might be spent in a “starless abode.” Because ChinesePod loves you, we want you to be able to find the best of the… erm, lesser, and offer up ...

Topics: travel, shopping, accommodation

Hotel Essentials

Now you’ve used your Mandarin skills to find the hotel, check-in, order in some room service—but wait! There is something essential you forgot to learn how to say. In this podcast, we aid you in making a phone call to the front desk to ask for some essential items, in Mandarin Chinese.  ...

Topics: accommodation

Lost Luggage

Ask anyone who’s flown into Pudong Int’l Airport and we promise that the words “laid-back” and “relaxing” will never cross their lips. So should that suitcase full of Imodium AD and ChinesePod backup CDs go a-missing, this podcast will prepare you well. In this lesson you will learn how to say that ...

Topics: travel, transportation

Student or Teacher?

If you're reading this, you're most likely studying Mandarin. You need to learn how to talk about yourself and your teachers. In today's lesson, learn how to explain in Chinese that you're a student....

Topics: introductions, teacher, students, classroom, school

Speaking and Writing

It is said that the ability to speak and write is what separates us from the monkeys. Now, if you want to be the Monkey King, then try your hand at learning to speak and write Mandarin. In this podcast, a good start, where you will learn to talk about speaking and writing Chinese.  ...

Topics: numbers, language, ability

I Have Class

No, we are not talking about the Ron Burgundy type of class, we are talking about the kind you go to...or at least supposed to go to. So don't skip class, and definitely don't skip this podcast. You will slowly become as wise as a miniature Buddha with yet another Chinese lesson under your belt.  ...

Topics: time, studies, education

What are you Doing?

We’re all about the classics here – Chuck Taylors, Pong, New Coke, the lot. So why not help you out with the classic question: “what are you doing?” Why not, indeed! Listen to this podcast and learn it in Mandarin Chinese.  ...

Topics: internet, actions

Studying Chinese

So you're studying Chinese? Is it hard? As a student of Chinese, you better be prepared to answer these questions. And don't worry... Chinese people won't mind if you tell them you're finding it a tad bit difficult. They've wrestled with it their whole lives too.  ...

Topics: language, studying

Surfing the Internet

So what do you like to do in the evening? If your answer is something that does not involve going online, then you're weird, and we're not going to help you. If, however, you like going online for your entertainment, we've got just the Chinese lesson for you!  ...

Topics: hobbies, entertainment, movies, television

Weekend Activities

"What did you do over the weekend?" It's a great way to start conversation with a coworker or a friend in Mandarin. In this lesson, learn how to ask what someone did over the weekend, as well as some typical responses.  ...

Topics: hobbies, entertainment, daily_life

When is Your Birthday?

Everyone loves birthdays, and chances are if you're new to Chinese they'll be some of the first things you broach in conversation. Learn about birthdays, dates, and days of the week in Mandarin Chinese in today's lesson....

Topics: time, numbers, daily_life

The First Tone

The alpha, the genesis, dongxi numero uno.  All the other tones wish they were this high,  but without the other tones, we wouldn't know how supreme the first tone actually is.  That's the existential truth of tonal relativity.  The first tone in history to get its very own podcast, and the only ton...

Topics: language, tones

The Second Tone

Of all the tones, the second tone is the most exciting.  It's a rising tone.  Don't get too charged up though, we don't want to turn it in to a fourth tone just yet, we want to make this last.  Listen to this podcast and learn all about the second tone of Mandarin Chinese as it ascends to its rousin...

Topics: language, tones