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Chinese Beginner Course II

A1-Beginner

Chinese Beginner Course II focuses on high-frequency language used in everyday communication and is designed to help beginner students transition smoothly to high level. It starts with some of the more challenging beginner lessons and transition into elementary ones. It's ideal for those who want to push past the beginner level.

What's Up?

If we were slangpod.com, this lesson would be called 'whattup.' But for the sake of warding off potential improper English critics, we'll stick to the Queen's English just this once. Enough about English, what about Chinese? How do you greet your peeps? Listen in to this podcast and get the lingo d...

Topics: greetings

Where's the Bathroom?

Despite our professional image (ahem) we confess to laughing like schoolgirls anytime someone attempts to act out this phrase. So, listen in to this podcast and get the education in the things you really need to know in Mandarin Chinese. If we didn’t teach you, who would?  ...

Topics: location, directions

What do you do?

So a banker, a lawyer and a model walk into a bar… seriously. We won't make you the funniest guy in the room, but we will do our best to make you conversational, at least. In this podcast, learn to ask and answer the "what do you do?" query in Mandarin Chinese. And should you actually be a lawyer, w...

Topics: jobs, work, office

Identifying Family Members

The one-child policy might make a conversation about family members in Mandarin Chinese seem like a breeze. Be forewarned: to a nation of only children, birth order is a very interesting topic. Be forearmed: come to China with a cheesy family photo, and listen to this podcast. You'll learn all the v...

Topics: introductions, people, family

What will it be?

Meat-laden fourth of July barbecues may have caused you to consider a jump onto the pescetarian bandwagon. It's so much more than vegetarianism for underachievers. To make the move easier, let's not learn how to say pescetarian in Chinese, and learn instead how to spurn meat and switch to fish, in t...

Topics: food

Are you OK?

Someone's fallen and they can't get up. You want to help, but likely due to the stress of the whole ordeal, you've forgotten every Chinese word you know. By this time you are wishing for a Life Alert alarm with a direct line to ChinesePod's Mandarin Emergency response team. The 24 hour helpline is i...

Topics: questions, health, feelings

Do you Have a Cold?

Flu season is upon us. Don your surgical mask, get jacked up on Vitamin C, and embrace obsessive-compulsive disorder in any form that involves non-stop hand sterilization. Someone's a-sneezing and if you don't watch out, it's gonna be you. In this lesson, learn to discern if that sneezer is a harbin...

Topics: health, medicine

Stomach Trouble

In Indonesia it’s “Bali Belly,” Mexico “Montezuma’s Revenge,” and in China… commonplace. There’s a good chance that despite how tasty those hairy crabs look (or not), your tummy might disagree. In this podcast learn how to express your stomach woes in Mandarin Chinese (You’ll notice we didn’t make t...

Topics: health

What are your Hobbies?

As you start busting out your Chinese and making Chinese friends, one of the topics that's going to come up is hobbies. (Spoiler alert: you're going to hear a lot of "listening to music" and "watching movies.") If one of your hobbies is playing basketball, this lesson is perfect. If you just like wa...

Topics: hobbies, sports

How do you Say...?

The key to learning a new language is finding ways to learn the language when not in class. In this lesson, learn how to say "how do you say..." to help improve your vocabulary....

Topics: questions, communications, ability

When are you Coming to Hong Kong?

Planning a trip somewhere? This lesson teaches you how to tell someone that you are going someplace and when....

Topics: time, city, place

Cola and Milk Prices

Cola or milk? Sugar or calcium? Cavities or strong bones? While the more healthy choice may be quite obvious, it's still important to know the price of either product as well. Learn how to use Mandarin Chinese to ask for prices in today's newbie lesson....

Topics: numbers, food, price

How Much is Your Car?

You may know that the Chinese (especially the Shanghainese) are rather open about discussing prices.  Housing prices are a conversation staple.  But you may be surprised how much a car can set you back in modern China.  Learn how to ask how much a car costs, and embrace the harsh financial realities...

Topics: numbers, money, price

Come In, Please

When making friends in China, it's typical for someone to invite you to their home. This lesson teaches you the basics of at-the-door pleasantries that you'll exchange when you arrive....

Topics: business, office, visit

Serving Tea

Make no mistake, tea is the national beverage of China. You'll be offered tea in restaurants, homes and even offices. In this lesson, learn the basic expressions of politeness in Mandarin. Over tea, of course....

Topics: office

Making Introductions

It's time to make introductions. This lesson will equip you with a few phrases to assist in Chinese introductions like how to ask for someone's last name and if someone has a name card. ...

Topics: introductions, greetings, business

Introducing One's Spouse

No, it's not cool to ignore your spouse at those social functions.  (That's what those repeated pokes in the ribs are trying to tell you.) So learn how to introduce him or her with this practical Chinese lesson....

Topics: introductions, names

I Work in Shanghai

What are you doing here in Shanghai?  It's what everyone wants to know.  So tell them that you're here in Shanghai working, and learning Chinese in your spare time.  (Convincing them that you're not all about partying and living the high life is a topic for another lesson...)...

Topics: introductions, greetings, jobs, name, city

Your Baby is So Cute!

Not every baby is cute, but here in China, almost all of them are, so you'll probably find yourself in many situations in which you'll feel the need to tell parents just how adorable their little one is. In today's Newbie lesson, learn all about how to compliment a baby without holding back, because...

Topics: numbers, children, age

Getting Picked up by a Driver

If you've really made it in China, you may have a driver to get you where you need to go.  But a driver that also speaks fluent English would just be no fun, so this lesson focuses on basic communications with the driver in Chinese....

Topics: family, transportation, daily_life, driving

How's the Weather?

Though quite likely the response in these parts on a given day may be typhoon, blizzard or hurricane, we're not going to teach you how to say those just yet.  However, in this podcast you will learn how to get your way through this universal conversation starter in Mandarin Chinese.  How's the weath...

Topics: daily_life, weather

Asking for Help

Yes, you’re a go-getter, self-starter, and outside-the-box thinker.  But even you might need the occasional hand… especially at the office.  So, not that you need it, but here’s a podcast with a Mandarin Chinese lesson on asking someone if they have time to give you a hand....

Topics: questions, home_and_office

Colors Song

You know that Ken and Jenny like to show their appreciation to our CPoddies by giving you a little serenade for your listening pleasure from time to time.  Thus, in this podcast they will teach you a little ditty in Mandarin Chinese all about the the colors of the sky, clouds, fields, grass and sun....

Topics: colors, music

Valentine's Day Gift

It is common workplace knowledge that the reason Rian the Intern took a long sabbatical a few months back was because he was so deeply touched by “Love, Actually” that he got back into poetry.  So this podcast is for him--and everyone else who still believes in the power of love-- an oh-so-special M...

Can I smoke here?

Not that we condone it (we learned that lesson before), but there’s a nice, and a not-so-nice way of lighting up.  So, why not ask if it’s an appropriate “smoking area” beforehand?  In this podcast, learn how to do just that, in Mandarin Chinese....

Topics: location, etiquette, home_and_office

How Long Have You Been in Shanghai?

In this lesson, learn how to tell someone how long you have lived somewhere in Mandarin....

Topics: time, city

Say It Again, Please

When jumping into a new language, you'll definitely need to ask someone to repeat something they've said. In this lesson, learn how to do this in Mandarin....

Topics: classroom, studying, pinyin, pronunciation

Can you Speak Chinese?

"Do you speak Chinese?" It's a question you're bound to hear in Mandarin quite a lot while in China. Learn how to say this imporant question, and most importantly, how you should respond....

Topics: language, ability

Asking About Prices

When buying something in China, it's best to ask the price first as prices in many places are not posted. In this lesson, learn how to ask how much something costs and make a purchase....

Topics: numbers, food, price, ordering

Coffee Shop

Whether it's early in the morning or early in the afternoon, it's coffee time. In this lesson, learn how to order a coffee in Mandarin....

Topics: greetings, drinking, ordering, coffee, polite

How Long?

How long is "just a moment?" In today's Chinese lesson, you'll learn how to talk about things that are about to happen. Wait for it-- the lesson is almost here. Just a bit longer, and you'll be learning Mandarin. Hold on, almost there......

Topics: time