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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Introduction to Chinese.
My name is Alisha and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone! I'm Rui
In this lesson, we'll focus on teaching you the most useful Chinese words and phrases for absolute beginners!
Make sure you're repeating the words out loud after me!
Are you ready? Let's get started!
Expressing Thanks and Forgiveness
The best phrase to learn when studying a new language is one that expresses gratitude and appreciation. If you had to learn only a single phrase, this would be it!
We taught you this phrase in the first lesson of this series. Do you remember what it was?
It means "Thank you."
Keep repeating after ... until you get it!
谢谢 (xièxie)
Your turn!
谢谢 (xièxie)
谢谢 (xièxie)
In lesson 2, we mentioned the pronunciation of the consonant...
x. It sounds like "sh," only with flatter lips.
Then we have the compound vowels.
The tone in the first syllable is fourth falling tone.
And the second syllable is neutral tone.
谢谢 (xièxie)
You can see the radical in this character 谢 (xiè) is 讠.
This indicates that the meaning of this character has something to do with speech.
The next phrase we'll teach you is perhaps the second most useful phrase of all. It's to apologize or to excuse yourself.
对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
Which means "I'm sorry."
This is a formal way to apologize, for when you did something wrong.
Repeat after ...
对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
But if you want to interrupt someone and ask a question, we don't often use this phrase. Instead, we use...
请问 (qǐngwèn)
before a question.
It literally means "may I please ask..."
请问 (qǐngwèn)
If you want to get the waiter or waitress's attention, in English you might say "excuse me." But in Chinese, you just need to raise your hand and your voice and say...
服务员 (fúwùyuán)
which means "waiter" or "waitress."
服务员 (fúwùyuán)
Don't worry, it won't sound rude. Everyone in China does it. It's the most common way to get a waiter's attention in China.
Now you can say "thank you very much," "excuse me," and "I'm sorry," in Chinese. Let's move on.
Where is...?
Asking where something is is an incredibly important and useful phrase to learn. You're going to need this when asking where the bathroom, the train station, or where the hotel is.
...在哪里?(...zài nǎlǐ?)
在 (zài) means "at." 哪里 (nǎlǐ) means "where."
So the pattern is [something/location] + 在哪里?(zài nǎlǐ?)
For example, if you want to ask "Where is the bathroom..."
洗手间在哪里?(Xǐshǒu jiān zài nǎlǐ ?)
Or for the subway station, you say...
地铁站在哪里?(dì tiě zhàn zài nǎlǐ ?)
To sound more polite, you can add "may I please ask" before the sentence. We mentioned this phrase earlier in this lesson.
请问,洗手间在哪里?(qǐngwèn,xǐshǒu jiān zài nǎlǐ ?)
请问,地铁站在哪里?(qǐngwèn,dì tiě zhàn zài nǎlǐ ?)
So altogether, the polite way to ask where something is is...
请问,...在哪里?(qǐngwèn, ...zài nǎlǐ ?)
If you know the person you're talking to well, you can simply say...
...在哪里?(...zài nǎlǐ ?)
Your turn!
...在哪里?(...zài nǎlǐ ?)
请问,...在哪里?(qǐngwèn,...zài nǎlǐ ?)
OK. Now let's teach you some vocabulary to use in the sentence.
Here are some of the most common words you'll need to learn:
洗手间 (xǐshǒu jiān)
洗手间 (xǐshǒu jiān)
洗手间在哪里?(xǐshǒu jiān zài nǎlǐ ?)
Next, we have...
地铁站 (dì tiě zhàn)
"subway station"
地铁站 (dì tiě zhàn)
地铁站在哪里?(dì tiě zhàn zài nǎlǐ ?)
超市 (Chāoshì)
"super market, or convenience store."
超市 (Chāoshì)
超市在哪里?(Chāoshì zài nǎlǐ ?)
我的座位 (Wǒ de zuòwèi)
"my seat"
我的座位 (Wǒ de zuòwèi)
我的座位在哪里?(Wǒ de zuòwèi zài nǎlǐ ?)
You can ask where anything is, simply by saying the place or location and...
...在哪里?(...zài nǎlǐ ?)
... to ask where something is in Chinese.
In this final lesson, you learned how to say "thank you", "excuse me", "I'm sorry", and to ask where something is in Chinese.
And in this series, we introduced you to the basics of Chinese pronunciation, grammar, writing, and more.
Let's conclude with some parting advice from Rui, and listen to some of her tips on how to learn Chinese from a native Chinese perspective.
Parting Advice - Insider Knowledge
The best way to learn Chinese, particularly if you want to improve your communication skills, is to watch and study contemporary Chinese videos. That's because we often use expressions in daily conversation that aren't necessarily introduced in grammar textbooks.
Even though Mandarin is a common language in China, men and women, elderly people, and children have their own ways of speaking. This means they have their own vocabularies and tones. For example, women use 呢 (ne) at the end of their statements a lot, with the purpose of softening their tones. But if men use that, they would sound very feminine. Make sure you mimic the right person.
Watching contemporary videos, such as our videos here at ChineseClass101, will ensure that you're learning real, applicable Chinese in the fastest and most effective way.
You've reached the end of this course 'Introduction to Chinese.' But it's only the beginning of your journey to Chinese fluency! Where do you go from here? Try our Ultimate Guide to Chinese Pronunciation series where we teach you all the sounds of the Chinese language. Or, check out any of our other video series. We have many different categories for you to choose from.
Good luck as you continue learning Chinese, and we'll see you in another video!