Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hēi , dàjiā hǎo , wǒ jiào Mǎ Yànrú . Hi everybody! I’m Yanru Ma.
Welcome to ChineseClass101.com’s Sān fēnzhōng Hànyǔ”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Chinese
In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Chinese. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in Chinese, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's the usual, slightly informal way to say it.
Nǐ huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
[slowly] Nǐ huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
Let’s break that down
... you: Nǐ
… can: huì
… speak: shuō
…. english: Yīngyǔ
… question marking particle: ma
You’ll notice the word “nǐ” in the beginning of the sentence. Remember that this is the way to say “you”
The next word, huì is like the English “can”:
Then we have the verb ”shuō”, which means to speak.
Next up is Yīngyǔ, the word for English:
And last we have ma, This is used to ask a question. It works just like a question mark. Put it at the end of the sentence with a low tone.
All together it’s
Nǐ huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma?
To learn how to properly use verbs, like huì, please look at our Absolute Beginner series on ChineseClass101.com. You can find very detailed grammar lessons and resources there!”
We’re now going to make this sentence formal. First, we need to use the formal version of “you,” which is “nín”. Even if we change the word for “you,” we don’t need to change the verb huì. Everything stays the same.
Nín huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
“[slowly] Nín huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
Adding , "qǐngwèn", the sentence becomes even more polite: It means, something like “excuse me” here: (slow) qǐngwèn.
Altogether, it’s
Qǐngwèn, nín huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
[slowly] Qǐngwèn, nín huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma ?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Huì. "Yes."
[slowly] Huì.
or
Huì,wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn ."Yes,i can speak a little."
[slowly] Huì,wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn
or
Wǒ bù huì shuō . "No, I don’t."
[slowly] Wǒ bù huì shuō .
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say a negative word bù before the verb, huì . It’s just that easy.
Now it’s time for Yanru’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can use this question with any language you need. More and more Chinese people are studying other languages, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute Yīngyǔ with…
Yìdàlìyǔ for Italian.
Éyǔ for Russian.
Xībānyáyǔ for Spanish.
Déyǔ for German.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression qǐngwèn. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in Chinese.
I'll see you in our next Sān fēnzhōng Hànyǔ lesson.
Zàijiàn!

18 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which languages do you speak?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:49 PM
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你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. Amazing to read; you are a true polyglot! Keep up the good work with your new languages and if you ever have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Friday at 08:25 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


i speak english, french and spanish a little portuguese and italian


i currently studying russian, german and mandarin ( hopefully)


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:36 PM
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Hi Jack


Here are the languages:

French: 法语 [fá yǔ]

Filipino: 菲律宾语 [fēi lǜ bīn yǔ]

Romanian: 罗马尼亚语 [luó mǎ ní yà yǔ]

And you need to use 人(which means 'person'), when you would like to say a nationality:

法国人 (a French person /French people)

菲律宾人 (a Filipino person/ Filipino people)

罗马尼亚人 (a Romanian person/ Romanian people)


Thanks for learning with us. Good luck with your learning!


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

Jack McDowell
Monday at 10:56 PM
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One more thing. What is Romanian in Chinese? Thanks again.

Jack McDowell
Monday at 10:53 PM
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謝謝 for telling me what French is in Chinese. Chinese is my favorite language and I want to keep learning it! Do you know what Filipino is in Chinese?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:15 AM
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Hi Jack


'French' in Chinese is: 法语 [fá yǔ].


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

Jack McDowell
Saturday at 07:59 AM
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What is French?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:07 PM
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Hello, Asma,


Arabic is 阿拉伯语(ā lā bó yǔ).


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Asma
Thursday at 07:19 AM
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Hello ! thanks for these amazing lessons , i really am improving fast !

one question , how do we say Arabic in Chinese ?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 02:38 PM
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Hi Jeifu,


Please be noted that after your free trial is done, you can check the first three lessons of each series, or the lessons published within three weeks for free.


Thank you,

Jae

Team ChineseClass101.com