Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

Amber: Hey, everybody! Welcome back to Basic Bootcamp. I’m Amber.
Victor: 大家好!(Dàjiā hǎo!) I’m Victor.
Amber: And this Basic Bootcamp Number 4, and it’s part 4 in a 5-part series that will help ease your way into Chinese.
Victor: We’ll go over all the basics that will really help you understand Chinese more quickly, and painlessly!
Amber: Yes, it will be fun. We promise!
Victor: In this lesson you will learn one of the essentials in Chinese… the numbers.
Amber: Okay, everybody, you know what that means. Pull out your abacus…
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Victor got his ready, ready from China, click-clacking away in there.
Victor: It’s funny that you mentioned that because I really, really have to learn that in elementary school, like in 3rd grade.
Amber: You really used it?
Victor: Not really use it, but we have to learn it. I’m not sure now.
Amber: Like how do you use it?
Victor: I’m not sure. They still teach them now, but I’m not sure.
Amber: That was back in the day, Victor. They have calculators now.
Victor: Back in the day, yes, 3rd grade.
Amber: Okay. Well, the truth is, you won’t need an abacus because Chinese numbers are pretty simple, I think.
Amber: Yeah and the thing is, you don’t even need an abacus, right? Chinese numbers are simple.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: Very simple.
Amber: And, it’s true, Chinese people love numbers, right? You guys are always good at math, right? I know that.
Victor: And markets.
Amber: Cliche.
Victor: We use it in the markets a lot.
Amber: That’s right and Chinese people love numbers so much that they even have number sign language!!
Victor: Yeah, that’s true!
Amber: You’ll see that in the market.
Victor: Are we gonna teach that? Yeah.
Amber: That could be another lesson, but it needs to be a video lesson, I think.
Victor: Okay, yeah.
Amber: But basically for every number, there’s a hand signal.
Victor: Okay, so in this lesson, we will count from 1-10.
Amber: Yeah, we’ll start with the basics with 1-10 and we’ll count a little beyond that too.
Victor: 1 (yī), 2 (èr), 3 (sān), 4 (sì), 5 (wǔ), 6 (liù), 7 (qī), 8 (bā), 9 (jiǔ), 10 (shí),
20 (èrshí), 30 (sānshí), 40 (sìshí), 50 (wǔshí), 60 (liùshí), 70 (qīshí), 80 (bāshí), 90 (jiǔshí), 100 (yībǎi)
Victor: 重复一次,慢速。(Chóngfù yīcì, màn sù.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Victor: 1 (yī), 2 (èr), 3 (sān), 4 (sì), 5 (wǔ), 6 (liù), 7 (qī), 8 (bā), 9 (jiǔ), 10 (shí),
20 (èrshí), 30 (sānshí), 40 (sìshí), 50 (wǔshí), 60 (liùshí), 70 (qīshí), 80 (bāshí), 90 (jiǔshí), 100 (yībǎi)
Victor: 重复一次,加英文翻译。 (Chóngfù yīcì, jiā yīngwén fānyì.)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Victor: 1 (yī)
Amber: “one”
Victor: 2 (èr)
Amber: “two”
Victor: 3 (sān)
Amber: “three”
Victor: 4 (sì)
Amber: “four”
Victor: 5 (wǔ)
Amber: “five”
Victor: 6 (liù)
Amber: “six”
Victor: 7 (qī)
Amber: “seven”
Victor: 8 (bā)
Amber: “eight”
Victor: 9 (jiǔ)
Amber: “nine”
Victor: 10 (shí)
Amber: “ten”
Victor: 20 (èrshí)
Amber: “twenty”
Victor: 30 (sānshí)
Amber: “thirty”
Victor: 40 (sìshí)
Amber: “forty”
Victor: 50 (wǔshí)
Amber: “fifty”
Victor: 60 (liùshí)
Amber: “sixty”
Victor:70 (qīshí)
Amber: “seventy”
Victor: 80 (bāshí)
Amber: “eighty”
Victor: 90 (jiǔshí)
Amber: “ninety”
Victor: 100 (yībǎi)
Amber: One hundred.
Amber: Okay, so, like we said with a nation of brainy math people, we would expect nothing less than such good sounding numbers!
Victor: Yeah and easy to learn.
Amber: Yeah. I heard a lot of things repeating and that’s a good thing about Chinese numbers. They’re just sort of compound words.
Victor: Yeah. I think it’s a lot easier than English, sometimes.
Amber: Yeah. And I think I’m the foster child for Chinese numbers because I learned them and I hate numbers, I hate math, and it was pretty easy.
Victor: Okay, so you’re gonna tell us your experience today, yeah?
Amber: Yeah. I’ll share the secret.
Victor: Your secrets, yes.
Amber: Okay. So here, we’re gonna have you do is no matter where you are listening right now, no matter if you’re at home, on the subway, in your car, we want you to talk to yourself.
Victor: Hahaha. No one will think you’re crazy.
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: It’s okay.
Amber: It doesn’t matter. Maybe you are crazy, but that’s not a bad thing, crazy for numbers too.
Victor: Just talk in Chinese, that’s okay.
Amber: That’s right, so it’s for a good cause. So basically, Victor is going to read each number once more and you can repeat after him this time.
Victor: Okay, so here we go. I’m gonna read it aloud and give you time to repeat aloud after me.
Amber: So we’re gonna start with 1 through 10.
Amber: “one”
Victor: 1 (yī)
Amber: “two”
Victor: 2 (èr)
Amber: “three”
Victor: 3 (sān)
Amber: “four”
Victor: 4 (sì)
Amber: “five”
Victor: 5 (wǔ)
Amber: “six”
Victor: 6 (liù)
Amber: “seven”
Victor: 7 (qī)
Amber: “eight”
Victor: 8 (bā)
Amber: “nine”
Victor: 9 (jiǔ)
Amber: “ten”
Victor: 10 (shí)
Amber: Oh, it reminds me of Sesame Street, “1, 2, 3, 4...5, 6, 7.” Can you do that in Chinese?
Victor: No, I can’t.
Amber: Do they have that song in Chinese?
Victor: No, I don’t think so.
Amber: Is there Chinese Sesame Street, Victor?
Victor: No, but there’s a number song.
Amber: You should make, you should be on Chinese Sesame Street. We should make it. Okay, so that’s not too hard. Now what happened next when we listened earlier to the recording of the numbers was, we start with 1 through 10, and then we read in multiples of 10 from 20 to 100. So Victor is gonna, again, demonstrate those for us and everyone has to repeat after Victor. So, starting with “twenty”…
Victor: 20 (èrshí)
Amber: “thirty”
Victor: 30 (sānshí)
Amber: “forty”
Victor: 40 (sìshí)
Amber: “fifty”
Victor: 50 (wǔshí)
Amber: “sixty”
Victor: 60 (liùshí)
Amber: “seventy”
Victor:70 (qīshí)
Amber: “eighty”
Victor: 80 (bāshí)
Amber: “ninety”
Victor: 90 (jiǔshí)
Amber: And last but not the last, “one hundred.”
Victor: 100 (yībǎi)
Amber: Yes! So, I think we’ve noticed a pattern developing which we’re going to talk about in a minute. We’ll look at how to construct these numbers... put them together.
Victor: So 1 through 10 are pretty easy, and as we get past 10, you’ll notice a pattern developing.
Amber: Since you mentioned all the multiples of 10, let’s just break down the numbers in between a little bit. Let’s look at, say, “eleven.” We’ve learned 1 to 10, with next, “eleven.” How do you say it in Chinese, Victor?
Victor: Okay, it will be (shí yī).
Amber: Right. So, did you remember that when learned from 1 to 10, the number for “ten” was…
Victor: 10 (shí)
Amber: And the number for “one” was…
Victor: 1 (yī)
Amber: So for “eleven,” it’s so easy. All you do…
Victor: You just say it together.
Amber: Put it together.
Victor: 11 (shí yī)
Amber: “Ten, one”
Victor: And that’s it.
Amber: Logical, pragmatic, Chinese.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Okay, what about “twelve” then? Does it follow the pattern?
Victor: Yeah, it does. So it’s just (shí èr).
Amber: Right, which is “ten, two.”
Victor: Yeah, “ten, two.”
Amber: And so on. “Thirteen”
Victor: (shí sān)
Amber: Right. Okay, so we learned the word for “twenty” just now in our list of numbers.
Victor: (èr shí)
Amber: So you just said “two, ten” basically for “twenty.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: And you can think of it like multiplication. If you say “2 x 10,” you have “20,” right?
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: What about “thirty”?
Victor: (sān shí).
Amber: Right, it’s the same, “three, ten.”
Victor: It’s just like all the other numbers that are multiple of “tens” that we mentioned earlier.
Amber: Right. And then just keep going up, basically, to ninety as we learned earlier.
Victor: So (sān shí) will be “thirty,” will be “three, ten” and “forty” is (sì shí), is “four, ten.”
Amber: “Fifty”
Victor: 50 (wǔ shí)
Amber: “Sixty”
Victor: 60 (liù shí)
Amber: And so on.
Victor: Yep.
Amber: So it’s even a good way to re-practice your 1 to 10 numbers, because all they’re doing is repeating.
Victor: Yes, so it’s 70 (qī shí), 80 (bā shí), 90 (jiǔ shí)... and that’s it.
Amber: Right. Okay, so remember, thinking back a minute here. The word for “ten” is (shí). So just to recap, all the numbers that are multiples of “ten,” you just put the amount in front of the “ten” and you get the multiple which is (èr shí, sān shí).
Victor: (èr shí) yeah. So now, we’re going a little deeper.
Amber: Yes, we’re going to get a little bit crazy with the numbers now.
Victor: So, I guess in a perfect world, right, every number will be a multiple of “tens,” all numbers.
Amber: That will be my perfect world.
Victor: Haha, yeah, yeah, perfect world. So, I’m going to venture into some other important number territories, but they’re not gonna be higher than 100 to start.
Amber; Yeah, we won’t overload you. It’s a bootcamp, but not torture camp.
Victor: Yeah. So, I normally would never ask a girl her age.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: But for the grand cause teaching Chinese numbers…
Amber: For the sake of learning.
Victor: Amber has volunteered to tell us her age. So how old…
Amber: I can see where you’re going with this.
Victor: So how old are you, Amber?
Amber: Okay, well, you might have to torture me to get this information, but… okay, okay. I’m in the double digits. I admit it. I’m 21.
Victor: Hahaha, okay, I accept that. That’s totally fine. You’re 21, 21 it is.
Amber: I don’t have to show ID? Okay.
Victor: Yeah, 21 it is.
Amber: It’s for the sake of the lesson, okay.
Victor: So, to make a number that isn’t in the denomination of 10, here is all you do. So “twenty” we remember is (èr shí). Well now, all you have to do is to add on the rest which is “one” in this case, so it’s (èr shí yī) “two, ten, one.”
Amber: Right because (yī) is a number for “one,” so all you’re saying is “twenty” plus a “one” on the end because we remember that “twenty” was (èr shí), so (èr shí yī). So next, like next year, I’ll be 22. All you do is say “twenty” plus “two” which is…
Victor: (èr shí èr)
Amber: Right.
Victor: Yeah, so let’s try with more numbers.
Amber: Okay. Well, how old are you, Victor? I see this happening and he’s gonna tell the truth.
Victor: I’m gonna tell the truth. I’m 24.
Amber: He’s got nothing to hide.
Victor: I’m 24, although people have told me, I look 30, so I’m kinda, I don’t know.
Amber: Are you happy about that?
Victor: No, I wasn’t. I was, you know, surprised.
Amber: Okay, well…
Victor: But I’m 24.
Amber: Okay, so 24. So all we would say is “twenty” and then the “four”, right?
Victor: Yeah, which is (èr shí sì).
Amber: Good, very easy.
Victor: (èr shí sì)
Amber: So that’s like “24,” “two, ten, four,” basically. Okay, okay, let’s actually tell my real age, Victor. My real age is 65. How do we say that? I’m just kidding. But let’s get into a higher number now, to see if the pattern still fits. So, let’s just pull that number, 65, how would we say that?
Victor: So the number for “sixty” remember is (liù shí), so…
Amber: Which is “six, ten.”
Victor: Yep. And we just add the “five” at the end and that will be (liù shí wǔ).
Amber: So it’s great, all the way up to 99, this pattern does not change.
Victor: Right.
Amber: You just basically state each number in order.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: And create a new number.
Victor: So let’s try a number that Chinese people love.
Amber: Okay.
Victor: The number “eight.”
Amber: Yes.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: The lucky 8.
Victor: So why is 8 so popular?
Amber: Yeah, can you tell me?
Victor: I think we should explain that.
Amber: Because I don’t really know.
Victor: Well, see, the pronunciation for “eight” in Chinese is (bā).
Amber: Yes.
Victor: And it sounds like the pronunciation for the word (fā). (Fā) means “to grow, to get rich.”
Amber: Oh, like in Chinese New Year when they say (gōngxǐ fācái).
Victor: Right. So it means, you know, to get more abundance. You know, (bā) sounds like (fā), so Chinese people love it. Cell phone numbers that end with “8” will cost more.
Amber: Yeah, like I heard someone that got maybe “888, 8888” cost like a million dollars.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: They bid on it or something.
Victor: And, you know, lessons, place, and things like that.
Amber: Yeah!
Victor: And of course, the opening ceremony for the Olympics…
Amber: Mm-hmm.
Victor: Was 2008, August 8, at 8:00 PM. So, Chinese people love the 8.
Amber: Yes, very lucky.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: Okay, so how about, let’s just say, we know “eight” is (bā). How would you say “eighty-eight” then?
Victor: That’s (bā shí bā).
Amber: Hmm, so it’s just “8, 10, 8.”
Victor: Yep.
Amber: Okay. So now, we’ll just do, how a little bit of, throw out numbers and you’ll tell us how to say them, Victor, for a little test, okay?
Victor: Sure.
Amber. How about “thirty-nine”?
Victor: (sān shí jiǔ)
Amber: So “three, ten, nine.” How about “forty-four?”
Victor: (sì shí sì)
Amber: But Chinese people don’t like that number.
Victor: And by the way, that’s the worst number, yeah.
Amber: You’re so brave to say that number.
Victor: (Sì), so let’s tell the story here too.
Amber: I know. I was throwing it there just to throw you off a little, Victor, but you totally missed it.
Victor: So again like, you know, (bā), you know, sounds like (fā). (Sì) sounds like (sǐ) in Chinese.
Amber: Oh, which is the word for…
Victor: Word for “death” and it’s a big taboo, usually, to talk about it in public places.
Amber: Yeah, in any context, Chinese people don’t like talking about death.
Victor: Right, so (sì), the number, (sì shí sì), you know, is like “666” here or the number 13, like people really don’t like it.
Amber: Mm-hmm.
Victor: However though, there are some people trying to, like, make it sound better because in “four”, in music notes is...
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: It represents the sound /fa/, so some people like when they end up with some number as in the “four” whatever, they just say it...
Amber: They’re trying to make the best of it.
Victor: Right. You just say, you know, if you think of music terms, you know, it still sounds like /fa/, which is “8.”
Amber: That’s like looking at a glass half full, sort of.
Victor: Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. So, but usually “4,” you know, people don’t like it. So yeah, “forty-four” would be (sì shí sì).
Amber: Right, okay. So that’s just a basic intro into how numbers up to 99, up to 100 work in Chinese. And one last time, what was the word for “one hundred” when everything kind of changes, Victor? We heard that too in our earlier recording.
Victor: It’s 100 (yī bǎi).
Amber: Right. Now, I know you’re all tantalized with the “100”, but you’re going to have to just wait for Bootcamp 5 where we will talk about the numbers 100 to 10,000.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: But until then, you’ll have to content yourself to go back to 1 to 10 and 20 to 100, so listen one more time.
Victor: Okay. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next time.
Amber: Yeah. Everyone, get out your times tables and practice. We’ll see you next time.
Victor: (Zài jiàn)
Amber: (Zài jiàn)
Victor: 1 (yī), 2 (èr), 3 (sān), 4 (sì), 5 (wǔ), 6 (liù), 7 (qī), 8 (bā), 9 (jiǔ), 10 (shí), 20 (èrshí), 30 (sānshí), 40 (sìshí), 50 (wǔshí), 60 (liùshí), 70 (qīshí), 80 (bāshí), 90 (jiǔshí), 100 (yībǎi).

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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When I can't fall asleep, I count backwards from 500 in Chinese and it works every time.  I rarely get past 450 and I'm out like a light!  It's a great way to get the numbers in your head too, ha. amber

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:25 PM
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Hello Philipp Harris,


Thank you for your comment. If you'd like to type pinyin with tones, you may use an online tool like this:

https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/chinese.php


Yes right, because there are two words for "two". When counting objects, we use 两 liǎng.

You may take a look at this lesson for more details:

https://www.chineseclass101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-yinru-14-saying-two-is-it-%E4%BA%8C-er-or-%E4%B8%A4-li%C7%8Eng/


Hope it helps, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Philipp Harris
Wednesday at 01:43 AM
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😳😳My keyboard does not allow me to put the tones on the letters but this should not mess up this question.

It is simple but I am stuck on it, it's like a distracting obsession

You got for ex.: yi nian, or san nian BUT two years is liang nian. Why (level: total beginner!) ??

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:10 PM
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你好 Thin Wuityi Thin,


Thank you for your comment, very well! 👍


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Thin Wuityi Thin
Tuesday at 05:08 PM
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五百,四百九十九,四百九十八,四百九十七

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:08 PM
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Hello Zayed,


Thank you for your comment, we're glad to have you here! Maximize your exposure to the language is always better.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Zayed
Wednesday at 03:00 PM
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I've skipped others Chinese learning class to focus on chineseclass101.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:26 PM
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Hello Shin Latt,


Thank you for your comment. There's only one way to pronounce 4, it's sì.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Shin Latt
Tuesday at 11:30 PM
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Are there any other way to pronounce 4?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 01:11 PM
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Hello again Mark,


You're welcome! Hope that helped!


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Mark
Friday at 05:56 AM
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Interesting. Thanks for answering my question!