Learn Chinese These lessons contain English translations.

Chinese lessons are only available for corporate and unlimited subscribers. To purchase a subscription for Chinese please visit ChinesePod.com.

By Tag > initiating_a_conversation

25 lessons available

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....

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 26, 2015

Study Lesson

Do you have a girlfriend?

Of course, being a single man-about-town in a city chock-full of laowai-hungry gals this phrase will not come in handy at all. But, on the off-chance you find yourself being pursued, listen to this podcast and learn the language of getting hit-on, in Mandarin Chinese.  ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 14, 2015

Study Lesson

Finding the Teacher

The title of this lesson may bring back painful childhood memories of that field trip to the museum; the one where you got lost somewhere between the Egyptian pharaohs and the Chinese cabbage carved from jade. Maybe it was that self same ethereal cabbage that inspired you to learn Mandarin. So here ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: December 10, 2014

Study Lesson

Taxi Small Talk

Don't be put off by that cage contraption. Think about it... a man trapped in a metal cage. What better language partner could there be than one that can't escape? Listen to this podcast and learn how to chew the fat with that paunchy driver who is so bored he's even willing feign listening to your ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: August 15, 2014

Study Lesson

Morning at the Office

Here is a Chinese lesson for all those morning people out there that we love to hate. A few chipper 'good mornings' to start off the day. You can shout them out your window to those neighbors who love to rise at the screech of dawn for a powwow outside your window. In this lesson, learn all kinds of...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: August 04, 2014

Study Lesson

Los Angeles

Many a little ditty has been written about the land of beach bunnies, surfer dudes, movie stars, Kobe Bryant and The Lakers. After a day of treating yourself to a new Armani on Rodeo Drive and finishing your Skinny triple French Vanilla Half Caf on Melrose, put the top down on your Beamer and take a...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: June 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Language Power Struggle

A battle of wills. Language domination. Do not relinquish your position. The only way to survive the language power struggle is to arm yourself with grammar and vocab. Only the fluent will survive. In this podcast, learn the Chinese to control the conversation when that inevitable eager language 'fr...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: June 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Here she comes

'When someone you've never even met suddenly gives you flowers, that's ChinesePod.' In this podcast, we hear what really goes on inside the mind of the average smitten male. A Chinese lesson in mustering up the courage to talk to that guy/girl you're fancying. So put on some deodorant, grab some dai...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: June 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Microsoft

A little name-dropping serves one well in many environments. 'Brad Pitt' is just too long to say in Chinese, so let's start with a more business-oriented angle first. You may recognize your nosy neighbor in the conversation that follows. And, if you really want to impress him, throw in a little of y...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Barbecuing

The apparatus may be the same. The venue, similar--give or take a few trees. The wafts of the mouth-watering scent of roasting flesh. You begin to reminisce over the long days of summers past-- replete with hot dogs, steak, jacket potatoes... but WAIT. What do you see... whaaat the... Yes, the mediu...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: food

Published: May 01, 2014

Study Lesson

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....

Host: Jenny, Ken
Grammar: where

Published: April 20, 2014

Study Lesson

How Old Are You?

How old are you? When an adult asks another adult this question, guessing games are likely to ensue. In this dialog, the question is met with just this kind of response. Learn the Chinese to ask this question, and pick up a coyly evasive (but simple!) response at the same time.  ...

Host: John, Dilu
Grammar: 差不多

Published: April 09, 2014

Study Lesson

Just Call Me...

Unless your name is "John Smith" or "Anna Jones," chances are your new Chinese friends will have a little difficulty with the pronunciation of your English name. If you've adopted a Chinese name for your stay in the Middle Kingdom, you'll want to make it known to your Chinese friends. Learn how to d...

Host: Jenny, John
Grammar: can, to_be_called

Published: April 09, 2014

Study Lesson

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 do...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: April 01, 2014

Study Lesson

How are you?

Nervous about how to get past that initial “good morning”? Well, nothing better than to ask a question, naturally, “how are you?” Here’s a great basic lesson that will get you through all your “good morning” greets. In this podcast you will learn how to give and respond to greetings in Mandarin Chin...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: etiquette

Published: April 01, 2014

Study Lesson

It's broken

We were on our way to the studio when our “authentic” Tag Heuer stopping working making us stop abruptly in our “realistic” Nike’s to reach into our “genuine” Prada (man) bag to check the time on our phone…which turned out to be broken. In this podcast, Ken (all real, he claims) and Jenny (unreal, y...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Hard of Hearing

Screeching scooter brakes, cacophonous construction and prolonged iPod use to block it all out is a China dweller’s recipe for auditory undoing. Before you end up bidding an early retreat to the world of grandpa hearing aids, listen (while you still can) to this podcast and learn about being hard of...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Little Friends

If your height, hair color, eyelashes, and big feet somehow don’t scare off the kiddo cowering behind his mother’s leg, you might find yourself with a new little friend. So either you confuse him even more by throwing in what you’ve learned up ‘til now (see: taxi lingo, mild insults) or ask him that...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Grammar: how_many

Published: January 01, 2014

Study Lesson

Finding Live Music

The experts agree: China is an emerging power. But as a new superpower, what powers will it have on the world stage? Hopefully, one of them will be the power to rock your face off! Slowly but surely, China’s live music scene is making progress. From this podcast you’ll learn the Mandarin Chinese req...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: July 01, 2013

Study Lesson

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.  ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: March 29, 2013

Study Lesson

Can I Have your Phone Number? Please?

You may know one way to ask for a phone number, but can you beg shamelessly for one?  Or can you deflect the request like a true ice queen?  This lesson provides some simple but useful Chinese which might just come in handy at a bar....

Host: Jenny, John
Grammar: , , 可以,

Published: March 06, 2013

Study Lesson

Useful Phrases #3

What could you use more than some more useful phrases in Mandarin Chinese? Well, even better than that, we’ve got some excellent high-frequency language you will wonder how you ever did without (i.e. Where is the washroom?). Listen in on this podcast, and learn some more important and useful questio...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: language

Published: May 01, 2012

Study Lesson

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...

Topic: greetings
Host: Jenny, John

Published: April 20, 2012

Study Lesson

What's Your Name?

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

Published: April 18, 2012

Study Lesson

A Ticket to Suzhou

“In the sky there’s heaven, on the earth there’s Suzhou”. Coming in as the 335th city the Chinese call “Venice of the East”, it would be a shame not to spend a few days here. In this podcast, Jenny and Ken maneuver you through the canals of a Mandarin Chinese lesson on buying a train ticket to Suzho...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: May 01, 2011

Study Lesson