Introduction to Chinese:
Lesson 5

By Linas

If you want to say I am Chinese you simply say I am China man. You know all the characters for doing that:

I am Chinese.

Answer: 我是中国人
Not correct. Please try again.

The character for beautiful is the king with two bits on the top and the character for big (man with his hand spread out) on the bottom. This the bigger the king, the more beautiful he is. Here it is:

Well, the Chinese word for America is beautiful country. You now know both characters. How would you write in Chinese:

I am American.

Answer: 我是美国人
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Chinese character for be called is simply a mouth and the number 4. Take a look:

Mouth four, huh? Imagine seeing 4 mouths calling you at the same time and being confused where to go.

How would you say:

This is called America.

Answer: 这叫美国
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Almost the same sentence:

This is not called China. This is called America.

Answer: 这不叫中国。这叫美国。
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Ask what do you call yourself which would come out as you are called what?:

What are you called?

Answer: 你叫什么
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You could say... I am called ..insert your name... In Chinese, you usually have something similar to your name in Chinese characters. For example, the name Mary would be written in Chinese characters that sound like Ma (meaning agate - a mineral) and Ly (meaning elegant) just because they combination of them (Maly) sounds like the name Mary.

Alright, let’s also learn the Chinese way for saying hi. We will need to learn the character for good for that. The character for good is the character for woman on the left and the character for child on the right. It is worth remembering this character because you will then also be able to separate the ladies room from the mens room. Here is the character for good:

You see woman on the left and child on the right. A child looks indeed like a silhouette of a child while woman looks, well, like a woman sitting on the front seat of the car driving (without her head totally visible). Imagine a woman driving and you should remember this character.

Woman child is good because it is always good when the woman is with her child.

The Chinese word for hello is simply the characters you good?. They ask you good and answer you good to say hello, hello. You could already say that in Chinese:


Answer: 你好
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Amazing. We have learned 15 out of the first 20 most used Chinese characters alone, and we have also learned a bunch of other characters which will allow us to express ourselves in some situations. Let’s try a simple conversation in Chinese which will let you show off some (albeit a limited amount) of what you have learned. Let’s try. Imagine you are speaking with a Chinese person at a cosplay party. He initiates the conversation:


Answer: 你好。
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Hello. What are you called?

Answer: 你好。你叫什么。
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I am called a Chinese person. What are you called?

Answer: 我叫中国人。你叫什么。
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I am called the king. I am American.

Answer: 我叫国王。我是美国人。
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Then your another friend approaches you and you add:

This is my friend. He is not American. He is Chinese.

Answer: 这是我的朋友。他不是美国人。他是中国人。
Not correct. Please try again.

Right. A small conversation where you introduced yourself and your friend. It was a small introduction but we still need to work a lot on our Chinese to improve it. The goal of this introduction was to show you that you can indeed learn and understand the Chinese characters. Most of them consist of other characters that often consist of simple elements. If you learn the characters, it will be relatively easy to learn to speak the language since it is pretty simple compared to languages like English.