Dialogue - Chinese



电脑 [電腦] diànnǎo computer
[吧] ba suggestive particle
简历 [簡歷] jiǎnlì resume
经验 [經驗] jīngyàn experience
差不多 [差不多] chàbùduō more or less
也会 [也會] yě huì also to be able
还会 [還會] hái huì still to be able
经历 [經歷] jīnglì to experience
[差] chà bad

Lesson Notes


Lesson Focus

The Focus of This Lesson is Auxiliary Compounds with 会 and Questions
"And you can speak French?"

In our Beginner series, we introduced the auxiliary (helper) verb 会 and taught you to put it in front of other verbs to suggest that the subject "has learned or internalized the skills necessary" to carry out some task. Examples include the sentences 他会说外语, Tā huì shuō wàiyǔ ("He can speak foreign languages.") or perhaps 我不会弹钢琴, Wǒ bù huì tán gāngqín. ("I can't play the piano.")


会 is the auxiliary verb we use most commonly to describe competence at job skills, and in this lesson, we introduce two new compound phrases that you'll run into quite frequently. These are 也会, yě huì ("also to be able") and 还会, hái huì ("also to be able"). What's that you say? Can't tell them apart? Although both of these might literally translate as "also to be able," they carry different kinds of emotions. If you use 还会, you'll be communicating a feeling of surprise, telling your conversation partner that you wouldn't have expected them to have that skill.

Cultural Insights

Looking for Work in China

Looking for work? As in the West, networking remains the best way to find good opportunities in China. Doing this in person is always best. Finding work from abroad is much more challenging. And although there are agents who advertise for those wishing to teach English in China, we recommend against working with many of these agencies. As anywhere, you'll get a better deal and be happier with your job if you put in the legwork on the ground.


Another thing to bear in mind is that a lot of the growth opportunities in China are with smaller and mid-sized companies. Unless your new employer has experience hiring foreigners, it is unlikely they will know how to process the paperwork required for you to work legally in China. Be patient and walk through the process with them. While those details get sorted out, you may end up having to handle affairs yourself, possibly even through making visa runs out of the country. Hong Kong is a popular destination.

If you do go down this route, be sure to check visa availability before you leave. For the past few years, the Chinese government has launched sporadic crackdowns on visa availability. Checking for visa availability before you hop on a plane is always a smart move.



Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.

huì 会
acquired abilities

Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101. I am David.
Echo: 大家好,我是 (Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì) Echo。
David: And we are here with an exciting lesson in series 1, lesson 1 at the elementary level here at chineseclass101.
Echo: 没错。我们的初级第一课。(Méi cuò. Wǒmen de chūjí dì yī kè.)
David: Yeah. Our dialogue for today takes place in an office.
Echo: 在办公室里。(Zài bàngōngshì lǐ.)
David: Between a boss
Echo: 老板。(Lǎobǎn.)
David: And a staff member.
Echo: 员工。(Yuángōng.)
David: They are speaking standard Mandarin. So let’s listen to the dialogue.
Echo: But before we do
David: As always, before we do, we want to point out to you a great review tip. Now one of the best ways of reviewing is to follow up the day after you studied something.
Echo: Yeah.
David: So if you are a premium subscriber, we would encourage you to print out the transcripts, put them in a place where you are going to run into them “嗯 (Ń)” tomorrow “明天 (Míngtiān)” and then you’ve got a very natural way of reviewing what we are teaching.
Echo: 好。(Hǎo.)
ANDY: 你的简历不错。你还会电脑?(Nǐ de jiǎnlì bùcuò。 Nǐ hái huì diànnǎo?)
田森: 嗯,以前有点儿经验。(TIÁN SĒN: Ng,yǐqián yǒu diǎnr jīngyàn。)
ANDY: 你也会说法语?(Nǐ yě huì shuō fǎyǔ?)
田森: 嗯......差不多吧。(TIÁN SĒN: Ng ...... Chàbuduō ba。)
田森:Si。(TIÁN SĒN: Si。)
Andy: Your resume looks pretty good. And you know your way around computers too?
Tian Sen: Sure, I've had a bit of experience.
Andy: And you can speak French?
Tian Sen: Oh...more or less.
Andy: More or less?
Tian Sen: Si.
David: Let’s go on through the vocab though. We’ve got some really great vocab words for you. So we are going to step in there. Echo, take us away. And now the vocab section.
Echo: 简历。(jiǎnlì.)[natural native speed]
David: Resume.
Echo: 简历。(jiǎnlì.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 简历。(jiǎnlì.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 电脑 (diànnǎo)[natural native speed]
David: Computer.
Echo:电脑。(diànnǎo.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:电脑。(diànnǎo.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 经验。(jīngyàn.)[natural native speed]
David: Experience.
Echo:经验。(jīngyàn.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:经验。(jīngyàn.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 还会。(hái huì.)[natural native speed]
David: Also, to be able to.
Echo:还会。(hái huì.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:还会。(hái huì.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 也会。(yě huì.)[natural native speed]
David: Also to be able to.
Echo:也会。(yě huì.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:也会。(yě huì.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 差不多。(chàbùduō.)[natural native speed]
David: More or less the same.
Echo:差不多。(chàbùduō.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:差不多。(chàbùduō.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 吧。(ba.)[natural native speed]
David: Suggestive particle.
Echo:吧。(ba.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:吧。(ba.)[natural native speed]
David: Okay let’s go over a couple of these words in more depth. The first one we want to touch on is resume.
Echo: 简历。(jiǎnlì.)
David: We all know what resume means. We might have the sentence I need to update my resume.
Echo: 我需要更新我的简历。(Wǒ xūyào gēngxīn wǒ de jiǎnlì.)
David: Does resume have a photo?
Echo: 他的简历有照片吗?(Tā de jiǎnlì yǒu zhàopiàn ma?)
David: Our second word is experience.
Echo: 经验。(jīngyàn.)
David: As in, he doesn’t have enough experience.
Echo: 他没有足够的经验。(Tā méiyǒu zúgòu de jīngyàn.)
David: They hired someone without much experience.
Echo: 他们雇了一个没有经验的人。(Tāmen gùle yīgè méiyǒu jīngyàn de rén..)
David: We’ve got resume.
Echo: 简历。(jiǎnlì.)
David: And we’ve got experience.
Echo: 经验。经验用的地方更多。(Jīngyàn. Jīngyàn yòng dì dìfāng gèng duō.)
David: Yeah. So we are going to use experience in more places. Right, it’s more generic word, more general.
Echo: 比如说生活经验。(Bǐrú shuō shēnghuó jīngyàn.)
David: Life experience.
Echo: 工作经验。(Gōngzuò jīngyàn.)
David: Work experience.
Echo: 学习经验。(Xuéxí jīngyàn.)
David: There is a verb as well.
Echo: 经历。(jīnglì.)
David: As in to experience something.
Echo: It can also be a noun
David: It can also be a noun. Our next vocab point is about
Echo: 差不多。(chàbùduō.)
David: If you’ve come up with us through the beginner level, you’ve probably run into this before. If you haven’t, it’s a standalone set phrase. It literally means difference not great or more or less.
Echo: 差不多。(chàbùduō.)
David: The first character in this word has two main pronunciations. The first is
Echo: 差。(chà.)
David: Which is fourth tone. Here it’s either a verb or an adjective.
Echo: Yes.
David: As a verb, it’s going to mean to differ from.
Echo: Like 我的中文还差得远呢。(Wǒ de zhōngwén hái chà dé yuǎn ne.)
David: My Chinese still has a long way to go or it can mean adjective meaning poor.
Echo: 你的脸色很差。(Nǐ de liǎnsè hěn chà.)
David: The color of your face, it’s a bit pale or it’s a bit off.
Echo: It’s a bit 差。(Chà.)
David: Yeah. The second main pronunciation for this is first tone.
Echo: 差。(Chā.)
David: And the important thing to remember here is that it’s a noun, as in
Echo: 差别。(Chābié.)
David: Difference.
Echo: 差距。(Chājù.)
David: Distance or difference in space. When it’s in the set phrase "more or less" 差不多。(More or less)
Echo: 差不多。(Chàbùduō.)
David: It’s fourth tone.
Echo: 现在该到我最喜欢的部分啦。(Xiànzài gāi dào wǒ zuì xǐhuān de bùfèn la.)

Lesson focus

David: Yes it is grammar time. It’s grammar time. We’ve got two grammar points we want to make if you’ve come up with us from the beginning level.
Echo: Yeah.
David: We’ve already taught you the easiest way to make a question.
Echo: Add the question marker 吗 (Ma) at the end.
David: Yes. We kind of oversimplified things because Chinese is a really contextual language. So if you actually listen to the dialogue, you will notice that the boss is asking questions here.
David: MAN A: 你还会电脑?你也会说法语?MAN B:差不多。(Nǐ hái huì diànnǎo? Nǐ yě huì shuō fǎyǔ?MAN B: Chàbùduō.)
David: In none of these cases does he use
Echo: 吗。(Ma.)
David: If you’ve got the context right, you can actually say it as if it’s a statement and people will understand.
Echo: Yeah if it’s pretty obvious.
David: Yeah.
Echo: Yeah. And just one more thing. You need to put the intonation there too.
David: 差不多。(Chàbùduō.)
Echo: You should raise your tone at the end of the sentence like 你还会电脑?(Nǐ hái huì diànnǎo?)
David: Let’s move on. The second point we want to make also somewhat revisits something we’ve taught you before and that’s
Echo: 还会 and 也会。(Hái huì and yě huì.)
David: We’ve already learned 会.(Huì.) This is an auxiliary verb or a helper verb that means can or to be able.
Echo: Yes.
David: You are going to use it with any skills that you acquired through learning such as job skills. For instance, we have to be able to use a computer.
Echo: 会电脑。(Huì diànnǎo.)
David: To be able to speak a foreign language.
Echo: 会说外语。(Huì shuō wàiyǔ.)
David: It’s a bit more complex in this dialogue because they don’t just say 会.(Huì.) They say
Echo: 还会。(Hái huì.)
David: And
Echo: 也会。(Yě huì.)
David: MAN: 你还会电脑?你也会说法语?(Nǐ hái huì diànnǎo? Nǐ yě huì shuō fǎyǔ?) Echo, what’s going on?
Echo: 其实在对话里,这两个意思差不多。(Qíshí zài duìhuà li, zhè liǎng gè yìsi chàbùduō.)
David: Means also or still. There is a nuance difference I think in expectations.
Echo: Yes for 还 (Hái) it’s kind of like 我之前没有期待这件事发生。(Wǒ zhīqián méiyǒu qídài zhè jiàn shì fāshēng.)
David: Yeah I didn’t know or I didn’t expect you’d be able to do it.
Echo: So I am kind of surprised.


David: Right. Okay so that’s our first lesson at the elementary level. We’ve learned a couple of things. We’ve learned words that you are going to use to describe your resume.
Echo: 简历。(Jiǎnlì.)
David: Or your work experience.
Echo: 经验。(Jīngyàn.)
David: We’ve covered this phrase.
Echo: 差不多。(Chàbùduō.)
David: And going into some details with the tones and when it comes to grammar, we’ve reviewed questions and we’ve gone over two extra auxiliary verb compounds you can use.
Echo: 还会。(Hái huì.)
David: And
Echo: 也会。(Yě huì.)
David: Okay. Before we close up, we want to remind you that speaking is really important part of learning Chinese.
Echo: Exactly.
David: And it is hard to do with the podcast which is why we’ve got the voice recording tool right on the site. So sign up, become a premium subscriber and put it to use. Record your voice, listen to it and practice, practice, practice speaking.
Echo: Yeah.
David: You are going to see yourself making very quick progress.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Okay so that’s it for today. Echo, from our studios in downtown Beijing, we would like to say
Echo: 下次见。(Xià cì jiàn.)
David: Yeah and we will see you again soon. Bye bye.
Echo: Bye bye.