Introduction to Chinese:
Lesson 4

By Linas

I don’t know about you but I am a bit tired of only talking about the king and the man. Let’s change that. First, let’s learn to be more ego-centric by learning the character for I. It is simply the English letters FX along with one and bit drawn on the same picture. Take a look:

Think I am the FiX.

Or, you could say instead:

I am the king.

Answer: 我是国王
Not correct. Please try again.

Just like I is FX +one+bit, the character for you is 1T + a bunch of slashes. You could simply look at you as the word IT written in a fancy way. Here is the character for you:

You will notice that the first character in you is actually the changed character for man (the one that looks like the number 1) The character on the bottom is which actually means small, by the way. Anyway, we only care about the 1T character which means you. How would you write:

I am not you.

Answer: 我不是你
Not correct. Please try again.

Try tackling this phrase:

I am not in your country.

Answer: 我不在你的国
Not correct. Please try again.

The character pretty similar to the character for you (你) is the character for he, she or it. We will call it the character 1LIL. It looks like the number one (which we now know is the character for man), the letter L, then the letter I and another letter L only this time turned upside down. Here is the character for he:

You can think of it as 1LIL and think that he is not big... definitely very LIL.

Right, now I want you to remember the character for I, that is, the FX character:

If we remove the first part of it (and extend that x a little bit) we have the character for language (or culture):

It also looks like a picture of a samurai as well. Not quite Chinese but it still symbolizes some culture.

If you combine the word middle with language you have the character for middle language or Chinese. Check it out:


If you go to, for example, Wikipedia, and see a link to the Chinese version of the article, you will see this text written: 中文 and it will mean Chinese. Check it out for yourself!

This language character is also very important because it plays a key role in the word for this:

It is the character for language preceded by what looks like the letter L with a dot (you thought the letter L does not have a dot but Chinese does...). It also also looks a bit like a chair if you turn it 45 degrees anti-clockwise (or look at it from the right side). So this is L and language.

You could now assert in writing:

This is China.

Answer: 这是中国
Not correct. Please try again.

And also:

This is not Chinese.

Answer: 这不是中文
Not correct. Please try again.

And remembering the characters for what what which were:


You could write what is this? which is literally this is what:

What is this?

Answer: 这是什么
Not correct. Please try again.

Well done. The last few lessons might have been a little bit challenging since we had characters which were a little bit complicated (because they are used often) and we could not take time to approach them slowly.