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44 lessons available

Buying a Newspaper

At this juncture, we know some of you bespectacled types are going to show-off your 4,000 character-plus savvy and say you read the Chinese newspaper. This lesson, however, is about options. Some of us lazy types just want to know what's going on in the world, without losing our eyesight over mornin...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 30, 2015

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Ice Cream

The kids are eating it. The old people are eating it. The babies are smooshing it into their faces and hair. The lady that sells stinky tofu sells it. The meat market man even sells it. We can't make it through the hot summer without it. Summer in China is an ice cream eating bonanza. In this podcas...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: numbers, food

Published: November 26, 2014

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Feminine Products

A man writes these intros. He doesn’t have a “special time” each month. He also realizes that being funny about needing feminine products isn’t funny. So he’ll simply say, “Here’s a Mandarin Chinese lesson on buying tampons.” He now feels uncomfortable. But hopes you find this podcast useful....

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: October 30, 2014

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The Drug Dealer

The Departed was a pretty good film, although we have an office-wide dispute over whether it's better than Infernal Affairs. Before you settle down to watch the Hong Kong original in its glorious Mandarin dub though, we recommend checking out this podcast to learn the Chinese of the streets. Otherwi...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: October 01, 2014

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The DVD Vendor

As you know, we at ChinesePod do not advocate drug deals, illegal sale of firearms and/or parking lot rage... but when it comes to our friendly neighborhood DVD man, well, that's when things get a little grey area-ish. Listen in to this podcast and learn all the Chinese movie-purchasing lingo you're...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: September 01, 2014

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The Paper Chase

Tissues, handkerchiefs, toilet paper, paper towels - that's a lot of paper products! What are they all for? In this lesson, a wife makes it all clear for her husband at the supermarket.  ...

Host: Dilu, Greg
Grammar: 好像, 怪不得

Published: August 01, 2014

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Signing up for Art Class

You've always admired those Guilin paintings. You know the ones... winding river, limestone mountains... with the pagoda up on the right and that bamboo raft floating by in the foreground. Sometime they get a little crazy and throw in a water buffalo over there on the left. Well, now you too can do ...

Host: Jenny, John
Function: choosing

Published: June 01, 2014

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Hairwash

When going to the hair salon in China, there are two different ways to get your hair washed. You can either get a "dry wash" (干洗, gānxǐ) or a "wet wash" (水洗, shuǐxǐ). What's the difference? Learn all about it in this lesson!  ...

Host: Dilu, Greg
Function: choosing, comparing
Topic: price, haircut

Published: May 01, 2014

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Hospitality Series 6:Buying a Handbag

We revisit Ms. Wu's saga in New York in today's elementary lesson as we follow on a handbag shopping excursion. Will she be able to find one that suits her? Learn how to shop for handbags (and other products) in today's ChinesePod lesson!  ...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: May 01, 2014

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Whatever...

Coined phrase of sulky teenagers and pet phrase of indecisive girlfriends. When you know what you don't want but not what you do want, turn to this lesson to learn how to non-commit, in Mandarin Chinese. In this podcast, a motley assortment of ambiguous phrases for the indecisive amongst us....

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: choosing

Published: May 01, 2014

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Too Picky

You may feel that it is your God-given right to not have the eyes of your shrimp staring back at you from the plate. Or that bones in your fish are nothing but a potential throat-lodging disaster. But keep in mind, there are others in distant lands who feel that chewing a bagel with cream cheese has...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2014

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Buying a Prepaid Cell Phone Card

So you've just had an hour-long argument with your landlord about the electricity bill or exchanged a few hundred texts with your significant other; either way your phone is out of credit. Don't panic! Learn how to recharge your cell phone minutes in today's highly useful Elementary lesson.  ...

Host: John, Dilu
Function: choosing, shopping

Published: May 01, 2014

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Buying a Bouquet of Flowers

This friendly reminder lesson goes out to all you boyfriends, husbands, secret admirers, penpals, joe blows and stalkers in the land... buy some flowers for your lady on the way home tonight. In this podcast, you'll get the language you need to do it right, in Mandarin Chinese. And don't forget to ...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: shopping
Function: choosing

Published: May 01, 2014

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Pearl Tea

Your last Chinese dining experience has left you with a little post-traumatic stress, yes, but let us assure you that that toothsome slimy black ball you just sucked up your straw was NOT a fish eye. Or fish egg for that matter. Was it a drink, a food, or an unidentifiable glutinous object? You be t...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: food

Published: May 01, 2014

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Diet Coke

No, ChinesePod has not sold out. We have not succumbed to target marketing, multinational corporate conspiracies, nor do we endorse one cola over another (though in the blind taste test challenge, admittedly, had a favorite). This lesson is simply for those of us who want a Diet Coke. Here's how to ...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: food

Published: May 01, 2014

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Going to the Pharmacy

Being sick sucks, but being sick in Chinese really sucks. If you haven't lost your voice yet, get yourself down to the corner pharmacy for some relief. The smorgasbord of remedies range from the thick, boiled and black variety to something of the pill genre that you can't decipher from the box. But ...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: choosing

Published: May 01, 2014

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Instant Noodles

The Mr. Noodles rage that swept elementary schools in the 80s (crunchy raw with seasoning packet sprinkled on top) doesn't hold a candle to Chinese people's love affair with this quick lunch. Nutritional value: no. Great taste: debatable. Cheap and easy: of course. The recipe for any well-loved Chin...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: choosing

Published: May 01, 2014

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Going to the Gas Station

While "the great Chinese road trip" might not be the most popular activity for your typical trip to China, knowing how to say "fill 'er up" is definitely going to come in handy if you find yourself in private cars often. In this lesson, learn all the key Chinese words and phrases you need to get bac...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: May 01, 2014

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Ordering Pizza

From Papa John's to Pizza Hut, American pizza franchises have become a common sight in China's big cities. Learn how to order the pizza you want with today's lesson.  ...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: May 01, 2014

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Getting an Official Receipt

If you intend to claim something as an expense in China, you need an "official receipt" (AKA "fapiao"). So don't just fight over the bill -- make sure you get this government-issued scrap of paper to make it official. Learn the magic words in this Chinese lesson....

Host: Jenny, John
Function: requesting, choosing

Published: May 01, 2014

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Choosing a Room

You've had a long day and finally arrive at your hotel, ready for some much needed R&R. But alas, the room you desire isn't available! What is to be done? Today's unlucky traveler finds himself in such a predicament. Be sure to listen in and learn about different room types in today's lesson!...

Host: Jenny, John
Topic: travel, hotel

Published: May 01, 2014

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Hospitality Series 4: Chinese Breakfast

We're back with another useful lesson for the hotel-staffing Chinese learner. Hotel guests highly value their breakfast. Today's lesson will teach you how to direct guests to their morning vittles.  ...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: May 01, 2014

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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...

Topic: questions, food
Host: Jenny, Ken
Grammar: 想(xiǎng)

Published: April 12, 2014

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Which City Do You Like?

Ah, the eternal question... do you like Shanghai, or do you like Beijing? It's a question that both Chinese and foreigners alike enjoy debating, and with the rapid development of both cities, it kind of feels like a new discussion every time. So take your first steps into this discussion in Chinese ...

Host: Jenny, Greg
Topic: china, city, place

Published: April 02, 2014

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Buying Foundation

It's time to get pretty! In this lesson, ChinesePod gives an introduction to the world of make-up in Chinese by going out to buy some foundation!  ...

Host: Vera, Tom

Published: April 01, 2014

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Noodles without Cilantro

At ChinesePod, we not only care about helping you learn Mandarin, we also want to help your social standing…and, to be honest, herbs in the teeth a cool cat do not make. So, in this podcast, here’s what we can do: teach you how to order those tasty noodles, but without the either loathed or loved ci...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

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Ordering Xiaolongbao

Learning Mandarin is like climbing a mountain made of dumplings. And as with other mountaineering expeditions, it's necessary to study the landscape before starting the ascent. In this podcast, we unravel the mystery of the xiaolongbao, the Mount Everest of Chinese breakfast foods. Tip to the wise: ...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: food

Published: January 01, 2014

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Buying a SIM card

We hope that those who come to China have a good memory, seeing as mobile phone numbers are about 20 digits long here. In this podcast, experience a Mandarin Chinese lesson on getting something you can’t live without here—a mobile phone SIM card. (ChinesePod tip: don’t get tricked into taking the nu...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: choosing

Published: January 01, 2014

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How spicy?

When your mouth is on fire and the only thing within reach with which to douse the flames is a tiny cup of hot tea, you had better be wise enough to take precautionary measures. In this lesson, learn how to avoid the potentially high cost of mouth skin grafts, and take control of your oral inferno, ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

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Chinese Seasonings

The little extras you'll have to crown your food masterpiece with on this side of the world may just turn out to be a little different than the humble yet revered fixings you're accustomed to back home. Come to think of it, the foods you'll like to adorn here aren't the most ketchup-and-mustard-frie...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

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Condoms

Drug stores are full of potentially embarrassing items. Embarrassment is exponentially heightened when it involves the acting out of said item to drug store clerk, gesturing to specific body parts and drawing pictures. Thankfully, we at ChinesePod do not shy away from these topics (to wit: lesson on...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: shopping, show

Published: January 01, 2014

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Black or Green Tea

You know (from watching Tom Hanks save the world again) that lemon or milk depends on the brew, but would you be able to order a proper cup of PG Tips in Mandarin? Let’s hope so…no, wait, instead of hoping, in this podcast let’s give you a Mandarin Chinese lesson on black and green tea, for your dri...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

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Difficult Cake Choices

Everyone has been at the mercy of indecision at one time or another. However, the task of deciding becomes even more difficult when you are being pummeled by an array of delicious dessert choices. In this lesson, we explore the challenging task of choosing a birthday cake - from black forest to mang...

Host: John, Dilu
Grammar: 出来, tone, 只要

Published: January 01, 2014

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In Search of a Business Partner

They say that when going into business it's important to do it with people you trust. And who do you trust more than your friends? Of course, working with one's friends might not be the best idea. Hear the reasons why in this lesson as two friends discuss starting up an online education business. Al...

Host: Jenny, John
Grammar: , 按照, 不如

Published: January 01, 2014

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MBA

Do you have business school in your sights? If so, you are most likely researching your options to determine which MBA program would be the best investment of time and money. One MBA candidate is doing just that in today's lesson!...

Host: Jenny, Vera
Topic: business, study, MBA
Grammar: 反而

Published: January 01, 2014

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Booking a Plane Ticket

Our businessman friend, Peter, has sobered up and accepted the exciting offer of touring the factory he is considering buying product from in China. But he's got to get there first. Since China is a little bit bigger than he had anticipated when he booked and then subsequently cancelled the 52 hour ...

Host: Jenny, John
Grammar:

Published: July 01, 2013

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Mailing a Package at the Post Office

Sending a package can be a bit intimidating in any language. The post office employee will ask you a number of questions about the contents of your package, the way you want to send it, and the options you have for its arrival. Check out today's ChinesePod lesson to prepare yourself for the next tim...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: June 01, 2013

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Office Lunch Options

You eat lunch at your office every day. Five meals a week, nearly fifty weeks a year. It might seem like there are a lot of options at first, but after a few months (or years) on the job, the options really start to bore. Discover a very familiar office conversation in today's lesson on lunch option...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: June 01, 2013

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Buying a Drink

With a 16-hour flight on what can only be described as an “Eastern seating design” in the cabin – and oh, by the way, those cabbies at the airport are the loudest in the mainland – you might need an adult beverage. In this podcast, you’ll learn all about ordering a nice stiff drink in Mandarin Chine...

Host: Jenny, John
Topic: food, beer, wine
Function: choosing, shopping
Grammar: 以为

Published: June 01, 2013

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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....

Host: Jenny, Ken
Grammar: 想(xiǎng)

Published: March 12, 2013

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Christmas Presents

“Do they know it’s Christmastime at allllllll....” - while John and Ken fight over who gets to sing the Spandau Ballet part, in this podcast we’ll unwrap a Mandarin Chinese lesson on buying Christmas presents here in China.  ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2012

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American Breakfast

While the writer cannot believe “grits” and “biscuits and gravy” were not included on the list of an “American Breakfast,” his contract stipulates that he still has to write this. So, (begrudgingly) here’s a lesson on that oh-so-important first meal. And if you don’t fancy having rice or noodles wit...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2012

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Fast Food

In certain groups, McDonalds has been renamed the “McEmbassy” – and no matter how much you tell yourself you won’t, you will end up caving in to that craving for something familiar. So what would a burger order sound like? A super-sized lesson, that’s what. Listen in to this podcast and learn how to...

Topic: greetings, food
Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2012

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Hungry Traveler: Xinjiang

One man's meat is another man's poison. In this edition of 'The Hungry Traveler' we journey to the cuisine oft adored by westerners and somewhat spurned by those of a more Shanghai palate. Did you ever think of Chinese food as chewy flatbreads, cumin-crusted kebabs, and spicy curries? Welcome to Xin...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: suggesting, choosing

Published: May 01, 2012

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