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35 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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Please Speak Chinese

You've just stepped out from the office when a frenzied pack of language students senses your presence and rushes over with English greetings. We've all been there and know this is one of those things about China that can be both sweet as well as incredibly frustrating. How you deal with it is your ...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: language

Published: November 21, 2014

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Repeat after Me

Though we all wish we sounded like Jenny when we repeat after her, the old adage is true, that practice makes (well, almost) perfect. So don't give up! Put Jenny on in your headphones day in and day out, and you'll be guaranteed to be sounding more sweet and adorable within the week. Of course, if y...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: November 03, 2014

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The Working Hours Policy

Formal Chinese can be a bit tricky at first. In this lesson, your trusty ChinesePod hosts dissect a typical announcement from HR, explaining in everyday terms what that formal language about "flexible work hours" is trying to say....

Host: John, Dilu

Published: September 01, 2014

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How do you fix a boring Chinese course?

Foreigners everywhere are working hard at learning Chinese. Unfortunately, many of those sincere students find themselves learning from boring, poorly designed material. In this lesson we take a look at this issue from the angle of the school and the teachers, who are asking each other: what can we ...

Host: Jenny, John
Grammar: 倒,倒是

Published: September 01, 2014

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Learning English in China

There is a phenomenon in China called "mute English." You've probably met someone who has experienced this - someone who studied English (or any language, for that matter) but who just can't speak it! Well find out more about this in today's lesson....

Host: Jenny, John

Published: September 01, 2014

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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

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Please Speak Mandarin!

China is an amazing land with a rich and diverse culture. That cultural landscape includes a multitude of regional variations, and one of the ones that most directly affects you as a student of Chinese is that of dialects. Expect to hear various "versions" of Chinese, but don't be too shy to ask peo...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: May 01, 2014

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Where Did You Learn Chinese?

Once you get past the initial niceties and compliments that inevitably take place during a conversation, your newfound Chinese friend will most likely ask you where you've learned such exemplary Mandarin. Today's lesson will teach you how to respond to this question while still preserving the image ...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: May 01, 2014

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Old China Hand

Have you ever been called an "Old China Hand?" Don't worry, if you keep practicing your Chinese and spend some time in China, you will be! In this Chinese lesson, learn more about this common term while also going over the "foreigner in China FAQ" list.  ...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: May 01, 2014

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Swearing at a Driver

"Aggressive" would be a kind way to describe the driving style you'll witness on the streets of mainland China. For the most part, the pedestrian population regards this driving behavior with amazing tolerance, but every now and then you'll witness a conflict. In this PG-13 Chinese lesson, listen in...

Host: John, Dilu
Function: arguing

Published: May 01, 2014

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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....

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 21, 2014

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What to Expect

We know the challenge of getting into Mandarin Chinese is daunting to say the least, but don't worry, ChinesePod is here to help! Today's lesson is a practical guide for the complete newbie, hopefully assuaging some of the fears associated with learning Mandarin and giving you pointers of what you s...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: April 02, 2014

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A Self-Introduction

Today's newbie lesson will teach all of you who've just started learning Chinese how to give a basic self-introduction. We admit, this framework may not knock you off your feet with its scintillating content, but hey, it's functional and will get your point across. Learn how to let people know where...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: April 02, 2014

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What's That in Chinese?

When you're first learning Chinese, it's pretty tough to express your basic opinions, needs, and desires when you don't know the names of the various objects that surround you. Today's lesson will teach you a useful phrase that will let you smoothly ask your teacher what something is called in Chine...

Host: John, Dilu

Published: April 02, 2014

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Your Mandarin Is Really Good!

No matter where you are in China, Chinese people will be lavishing praise on you the moment you're able to utter even a simple "hello" or "thank you" in barely distinguishable Chinese. It's important to know how to deflect this politely (your Chinese companion will often expect you to!). Listen to t...

Host: Jenny, Greg

Published: April 02, 2014

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What Does This Word Mean?

Some say "1.3 billion people," but we say "1.3 billion human dictionaries." That's right, why should you thumb through one of those new-fangled "book" thingies when you can rely on glorious oral tradition and just ask people what words mean? This lesson will equip you to do just that, in Chinese!  ...

Host: Jenny, Greg

Published: April 02, 2014

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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...

Host: Jenny, Ken, John
Topic: language, tones

Published: April 01, 2014

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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...

Host: Jenny, Ken, John
Topic: language, tones

Published: April 01, 2014

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The Neutral Tone

Oft over looked due to its timid tone and quiet presence, this Mandarin Chinese tone is anything but passive.  In this podcast, we visit the sometimes forgotten and difficult to define tone that makes love, not war... impartially takes no sides and conscientiously objects to raising its voice.  Its ...

Host: Jenny, Ken, John
Topic: language, tones

Published: April 01, 2014

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Ten Four

No, it's not a lesson on CB radio lingo, good buddy. Rather, it's those pesky Chinese tones again. In this podcast, a Mandarin lesson to dissect the difference in sound between the perfect 10 and oft-maligned 4. Listen in, and you'll be blowing them away with the 'forty lions' tongue twister at the ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 01, 2014

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What Character?

You just thought the “what’s that, what’s this” went out at 7 years old…wrong. From the moment you realize that 山 means (and looks like a) “mountain,” you’ll be hooked. You’ll want to learn more. We want to help. The world wants you to listen.  ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 01, 2014

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Old Chinese Hand

Have you ever been called an "Old China Hand?" Don't worry, if you keep practicing your Chinese and spend some time in China, you will be! In this Chinese lesson, learn more about this common term while also going over the "foreigner in China FAQ" list....

Host: John, Dilu

Published: March 19, 2014

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Pronunciation Correction

Oh, it will happen – right after the cab driver who you just told “I don’t speak Chinese” starts drawing Chinese characters on the window with his hand. It’s the “tone correction” sit-down. Get used to it now, with this podcast giving you a Mandarin Chinese lesson in a tone correction. Forget those...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: language

Published: March 14, 2014

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Common Measure Words

While “how much” is usually reserved for all the bargaining you do here, it can also be used for “quantifying things,” meaning that you need to understand “measure words,” which means we need to make you a lesson on it… lest your retort to “how far is it” be “too expensive!” Listen in and expand you...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Function: describing, counting

Published: March 12, 2014

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Didn't Hear Clearly

Sometimes you say one word of Mandarin and the other side assumes you’re fluent and lets loose with a torrent of Chinese. But then there are times when you have the opposite problem: you don’t hear what someone says, and then they write you off as not even understanding “ni hao.” This podcast was de...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: January 01, 2014

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Giving an Example

When learning a language there are a profusion of ways to acquire new language. One method many have found helpful has been dubbed "pictionary." However, when your partner in language, pen in hand, attempts to illustrate a concept to you by drawing a likeness that looks like a game of pick-up-sticks...

Host: Jenny, Ken
Topic: language

Published: January 01, 2014

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A Convenient Misunderstanding

For foreigners, the road of Chinese learning is paved with mistakes and misinterpretations. In this lesson, we hear the tragically funny story of a foreigner who finds himself inconvenienced by the many meanings of the word 'convenient' (方便)....

Host: Jenny, John

Published: January 01, 2014

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Goals for Studying Chinese

With more and more “laowai” coming to the People’s Republic, more and more find themselves in conversations about the occasional frustration one finds at that point in Mandarin where you’re good enough to get by, but are far from fluent. In this podcast, Ken, Jenny and Aggie discuss the aforemention...

Host: Jenny, Ken, Aggie
Grammar:

Published: June 01, 2013

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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.  ...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: March 29, 2013

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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.  ...

Host: Jenny, John

Published: March 29, 2013

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Please speak slowly

When trying to understand a new language, it's important to get people to speak slowly with you to ensure that you understand. In this lesson, learn how to ask someone to speak to you slowly....

Host: Jenny, Ken
Grammar:
Function: making_requests

Published: March 21, 2013

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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

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A Correction of Tones

Mandarin tones got ya down? Perk up! We understand. In today’s podcast, our GM Steve comes in and offers up the wrong tones in Mandarin Chinese, so that you can start hearing the difference, which puts you on your way to correcting others mistakes, which is always an ego stroke....

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 01, 2012

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Guess what I'm learning?

So someone asks you what you've been up to. Be the life of the party and tell them "I've been studying Chinese"…in Mandarin!!! How many cool points awarded to your side? Uber…at least in our book. In this podcast, Ken and Jenny help out in explaining your studies. You will get the chance opine on wh...

Host: Jenny, Ken

Published: April 01, 2012

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