Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Amber: Hey everybody, welcome to ChineseClass101.com. I’m Amber.
Victor: I’m Victor.
Amber: This is our Absolute Beginner Series, and this is Season 1 Lesson 4.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Which is also about meeting people, and today’s lesson is about studying Chinese.
Victor: Studying Chinese is what everyone is doing right now.
Amber: Yes. All the cool kids are doing it. Like us. Yeah. Today’s dialogue is for students everywhere.
Victor: Yeah. That’s the essential student language.
Amber: Yeah. So let’s listen in. In this lesson you’re going to learn how to talk about being a student.
Victor: This conversation takes place in the school.
Amber: Yeah, and it’s between the student and the teacher. Okay. Let’s listen to the conversation.
Victor: 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)
Amber: 对。 我学中文。你呢?(Duì. Wǒ xué Zhōngwén. Nǐ ne?)
Victor: 我是老师。(Wǒ shì lǎoshī.)
Amber: 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ Zhōngwén!)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Victor: 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)
Amber: 对。 我学中文。你呢?(Duì. Wǒ xué Zhōngwén. Nǐ ne?)
Victor: 我是老师。(Wǒ shì lǎoshī.)
Amber: 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ Zhōngwén!)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Victor: 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)
Amber: Are you a student?
Amber: 对。 我学中文。你呢?(Duì. Wǒ xué Zhōngwén. Nǐ ne?)
Amber: Yes. I study Chinese. How about you?
Victor: 我是老师。(Wǒ shì lǎoshī.)
Amber: I am a teacher.
Amber: 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ Zhōngwén!)
Amber: You can teach me Chinese.
Amber:Okay. Well, I think Victor that there is no better Chinese lesson than going out there and making conversation. No matter how little Chinese you know, don’t you think?
Victor: Yeah, definitely. You never know who you’re going to run into, right?
Amber: A Chinese teacher maybe like our dialogue.
Victor: Maybe.
Amber: I happened to meet one in a bookstore.
Victor: That’s great.
Amber: So it doesn’t hurt to try.
Victor: So let’s learn some of these words about studying Chinese.
Amber: Yeah.
Amber: Yeah. Let’s look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Victor: And now, the vocab section.
Victor: 學生 (xuéshēng)
Amber: Student.
Victor: 對 (duì)
Amber: Correct. Right.
Victor: 學 (xué)
Amber: To study.
Victor: 中文 (Zhōngwén)
Amber: Chinese language.
Victor: 老師 (lǎoshī)
Amber: Teacher.
Victor: 可以 (kěyǐ)
Amber: May, can.
Victor: 教 (jiāo)
Amber: To teach.
Amber: Okay. Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases that we heard into this dialogue.
Victor: Yeah. Well today, we got to learn the word for “yes” in Chinese because there really isn’t a word for yes in Chinese.
Amber: Okay. Let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases we heard. Well, first off, today we get to learn another word for yes in Chinese because as we talked about before, there isn’t really a blanket word “yes” or “no” in Chinese.
Victor: Right.
Amber: But there’s a few ways to do it.
Victor: And in this case, it’s 对(duì).Fourth tone, 对(duì), which means correct.
Amber: Yeah. Now in the dialogue, what were they saying yes to? Well, it’s a question that we can all answer with a yes if we are listening to ChineseClass101. The question was…
Victor: 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)
Amber: Yeah. That’s right. So let’s break this down. The key word here is 学生(Xuéshēng).,which is the word for “student”.
Victor: Right. 学生(xuéshēng).. 学(xué) is second tone, and 生(Shēng) is first tone.
Amber: Good. And the rest of the sentence luckily is vocabulary that we already learned. Can you repeat the sentence for us, Victor?
Victor: 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)
Amber: The first word 你, then the verb to be 是(Shì). Then we learned student and then 吗 which is of course our verbal question mark. It tells us it’s a question that we can answer with yes or no.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So the question was are you a student?
Victor: So if someone asks you, you know what to say. ‘对!(Duì!)’
Amber: Yes. Correct, I am.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Now, what kind of students are we? What do we study? Let’s hear it, Victor.
Victor: It’s 中文(Zhōngwén), which is one way of saying Chinese as in the language. 中文(Zhōngwén). 中(Zhōng) is first tone, 文(Wén) is second tone.
Amber: Yeah. And actually, just as a side point, you may hear other terms for referring to the Chinese language. This is just one of the ways. What are some other ways that people sometimes refer to Chinese languages?
Victor: Yeah. Sometimes you hear 中文(Zhōngwén) and sometimes you will hear 普通话(Pǔtōnghuà),or even 汉语(Hànyǔ).
Amber: Yeah, sort of all different names for the same thing.
Victor: Right.
Amber: A lot of people speak the language so they have a few names for it. So there is 普通话(Pǔtōnghuà). What’s the tones on that?
Victor: 普(Pǔ) is a third tone. 通(Tōng) is a first tone and 话(Huà) is fourth tone.
Amber: Which basically means like the common language.
Victor: Right, 普通话(Pǔtōnghuà). Exactly. Like the standard Mandarin.
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: As opposed to Cantonese or other dialect.
Amber: Yeah, or a dialect.
Victor: So 汉语(Hànyǔ). 汉(Hàn) is fourth tone and 语(Yǔ) is a third tone.
Amber: Yeah, and you hear that quite a bit as well. So that was just a little heads up. Now, we also heard the word for, “to study” or “to learn,” in that sentence. It was...
Victor: 学(Xué). second tone. And the sentence was our simple sentence structure we learned about which is subject, verb and object, as in 我学中文。(Wǒ xué zhōngwén.)
Amber: Right. I study Chinese. Okay, so that was just a little heads up because you probably going to run into that. It’s different words for the Chinese language.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay. Now the next sentence we heard was talking about what we study.
Victor: And it was 我学中文。(Wǒ xué zhōngwén.)
Amber: That’s right. And in this sentence we heard the word for to study or to learn which was...
Victor: 学,学(Xué, xué) is second tone.
Amber: Yeah. And this sentence is also giving an example of our very basic sentence structure in Chinese which we learned before, which is subject, verb, object.
Victor: Right. As in 我学中文。(Wǒ xué zhōngwén.)
Amber: So 我(Wǒ) is the subject, 学 (Xué) is the verb, to study...
Victor: Right.
Amber: And then 中文(Zhōngwén) the language is the object.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Now, right after that, we hear something else we know as a little review. Now remember when someone makes a statement and then we want to ask a follow up question. There’s a little tiny word we can use in Chinese...
Victor: Right.
Amber: That will indicate that we’re asking someone, “What about you?”
Victor: And you say, 你呢?(Nǐ ne?)
Amber: Yeah. So 你(Nǐ) is “you” and the 呢(Ne) just basically indicates that you’re asking them the same basic question.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So in our sentence it was, “I study Chinese.” 你呢?(Nǐ ne?) it’s “and you”. So what about the other person in our dialogue? What did they do? Were they studying Chinese?
Victor: 老师(Lǎoshī)
Amber: Yes. Bonus of all bonuses, they were not a student but rather 老师(Lǎoshī) which is a teacher.
Victor: Right. 老(Lǎo) is a third tone,师(Shī) is first tone.
Amber: Which is a very important word to learn in Chinese.
Victor: Yeah. You know, actually literate means old master.
Amber: Teachers are very revered in Chinese society.
Victor: Right. Education is very, very important.
Amber: Yeah. And teachers are treated with a lot of respect. For example, in the West, maybe we call our teacher Mr. Smith...
Victor: Right.
Amber: But you actually use this title teacher when you’re addressing your teacher.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So for example, Victor, your last name is Ling.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: If I want to call you Teacher Ling in Chinese, how would I say it?
Victor: Well, you say the last name first and then the title. So in this case, it will be Ling老师(Lǎoshī) I guess.
Amber: Now I’ll call you that from now on, Ling老师(Lǎoshī)
Victor: You don’t have to call me. No.
Amber: Respect.
Victor: That’s quite all right. But you know you should do this when in China.
Amber: It’s a good one...
Victor: Right. That’s the proper way to do that.
Amber: Yeah. You should address your teacher that way.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. So this person has encountered a teacher, lucky them. So it naturally leads to the next sentence which was, “You can teach me Chinese.”
Victor: Yes.
Amber: How do we say that in Chinese?
Victor: 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ zhōngwén!)
Amber: Right.
Victor: So 可以(Kěyǐ) is a key word to learn in this sentence. It means can. 可(Kě) is a third tone, 以(Yǐ) is also third tone.
Amber: And when you put it together, it’s actually pronounced second tone and third tone because of the tone change rule. If there’s two third tones in a row, the first one will change to second.
Victor: Correct.
Amber: So it’s 可以(Kěyǐ)
Victor: 可以(Kěyǐ)
Amber: And what can the teacher do?
Victor: 教我中文(Jiāo wǒ zhōngwén)
Amber: Right. 教(Jiāo) first tone is the verb for to teach.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So what can the teacher do? The teacher can teach me Chinese.
Victor: Yes. As in 教我中文.(Jiāo wǒ zhōngwén.)
Amber: I’m sure the teacher is very happy to hear this. Okay. So now we have a few grammar points too. Today is a really light lesson on grammar. Just a little bit more on word order to point out.
Victor: Yes, if you look at the sentence we were just looking at 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ zhōngwén!) , actually the word order for this is just like in English.
Amber: Yeah. It’s literally, “You can teach me Chinese.”
Victor: 你可以教我中文!(Nǐ kěyǐ jiāo wǒ zhōngwén!)
Amber: Yeah. See, Chinese is not as hard as you think.
Victor: Right.
Amber: It gets a bad rap but it’s really not that hard.
Victor: A lot of common ground with English.
Amber: Yeah. We see another basic sentence order that we learn before too using the verb “this” quite similar to the verb for “to be” in English, and that is 是(Shì). So we see it used again here and this is when you talk about what your profession is.
Victor: Yes. And our teacher said 我是老师 .(Wǒ shì lǎoshī.)
Amber: I am teacher.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So just like before we learned that basic sentence order with a subject, verb, object, we see it again here. 我(Wǒ) is a subject “I” 是(Shì) is the verb “to be” and 老师(Lǎoshī) teacher is the object.
Victor: Right. And also the teacher asks our students using the same word order but this time in a question 你是学生吗?(Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?) Remember 吗(Ma) is our question article that turns a statement into a question.
Amber: Yeah. So she basically said, are you a student?
Victor: So ‘wo shi ______’ is just how you state your profession.
Amber: Like for example, if I want to say, Victor, 我是(Wǒ shì) podcast Star.
Victor: Yes. There you go.
Amber: That’s how you do it. So everyone can use this. If you don’t know what your profession is you know what to do, look in the dictionary or if you can’t find it, come to the website. You can always ask us and we’ll help you find out and you can tell everyone 我是(Wǒ shì) .. whatever it is, rock star you are. Okay. Well, that does it for today’s lesson.
Amber: One more thing before we go, Victor is going to tell you how to improve your pronunciation. Number one is listen to Victor and copy him but there’s another tool on the site.
Victor: All right. We do have a voice recording tool on our website, which is really helpful.
Amber: Yeah. You just click a button and you’ll find it in the premium learning center.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: And you can record yourself, your pronunciation and then compare it with the pronunciation in the line by line audio or that sort of thing. Or you can just use it to practice karaoke, I was thinking. You can hear how out of tune you really sound. Well, either way, your pronunciation will improve.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Karaoke or using it for real.
Victor: Whatever you can do.
Amber: Yeah. So we’ll see you next time on ChineseClass101. And that’s it for now.




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