Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

Taiwanese Mandarin Survival Phrases Lesson 8: Can You Speak English?
In this lesson, we will learn the important phrase, "Can you speak English?"
In Chinese, "Can you speak English?" is 你會說英文嗎(Nǐ huì shuō yīng wén ma)?
Let’s break it down by tone:
你(nǐ) is in third tone.
會(huì) is in fourth tone, falling tone.
說(shuō) is in first tone, flat tone.
英(yīng) is in first tone.
文(wén) is in the second tone.
嗎(ma) has no tone and just indicates a question mark. It makes the phrase a question.
Now let’s break it down by meaning:
你(nǐ) means "you."
會(huì) means "to be able to."
說(shuō) means "to speak."
英文(yīng wén) means "English."
Literally, the sentence translates, "You able to speak English?" This is translated as “Can you speak English?”
Altogether, we have 你會說英文嗎(Nǐ huì shuō yīng wén ma)?
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 你會說英文嗎(Nǐ huì shuō yīng wén ma)?
[Normal] 你會說英文嗎(Nǐ huì shuō yīng wén ma)?

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Can you speak Chinese?