Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101. I am David.
Echo: 大家好,我是 (Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì) Echo。
David: Yeah we’ve got the beautiful, stunning Echo with us today as well.
Echo: 哦,谢谢。(Ó, xièxiè.)
David: And series 1, lesson 3 in our elementary set.
Echo: 我们的第三课。(Wǒmen de dì sān kè.)
David: Yeah. So if you already got some basic Mandarin behind you, this is the right place to be. We are going to get even better.
Echo: Yes.
David: Stepping forth, we’ve got a dialogue here that takes place between two friends in Beijing. And so they are speaking maybe bit colloquially but this is standard Mandarin. Echo, before we get into the dialogue, we want to remind people something. What is that?
Echo: Yes. Comment, comment, comment and comment on the site.
David: Yes if you have any questions, if you have any problems, if you have any thoughts of feedback, we want to hear about it. So come to chineseclass101.com, leave us a comment. We are listening and we are looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Let’s get to the dialogue now.
Andy:呃,好久没有见到丁汉了。(ANDY: E, hǎojiǔ méiyǒu jiàn dào Dīng Hàn le.)
田森:他在北京啊。(TIÁN SĒN: Tā zài Běijīng a.)
Andy:真的?(ANDY: Zhēn de?)
田森:他在一家公司里做翻译。(TIÁN SĒN: Tā zài yī jiā gōngsī lǐ zuò fānyì.)
Andy:啊?他的普通话这么好吗?(ANDY: á? Tā de pǔtōnghuà zhème hǎo ma?)
田森:咳,他翻译的是法语。(TIÁN SĒN: Hāi, tā fānyì de shì fǎyǔ.)
Andy: Hey, I haven't seen Ding Han in a long time.
Tian Sen: He's in Beijing.
Andy: Really?
Tian Sen: He works as a translator in a company.
Andy: Huh? His Chinese is this good?
Tian Sen: (Sigh) He translates French.
Echo: 好久。(hǎojiǔ.)[natural native speed]
David: A long time.
Echo: [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: [natural native speed]
Echo: 见到。(jiàn dào.) [natural native speed]
David: To see.
Echo: 见到。(jiàn dào.) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:见到。 (jiàn dào.) [natural native speed]
Echo: 在。(zài.)[natural native speed]
David: To be at.
Echo: 在。(zài)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo:在。(zài) [natural native speed]
Echo: 真的。(zhēn de.) [natural native speed]
David: Really.
Echo: 真的。(zhēn de.) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 真的。(zhēn de.) [natural native speed]
Echo: 家。(jiā.)[natural native speed]
David: A measure word for companies.
Echo: 家。(jiā.) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 家。(jiā.) [natural native speed]
Echo: 公司。(gōngsī.) [natural native speed]
David: Company.
Echo: 公司。(gōngsī.) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 公司。(gōngsī.) [natural native speed]
Echo: 里。(lǐ.)[natural native speed]
David: In.
Echo: 里。(lǐ.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 里。(lǐ.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 翻译。(fānyì.) [natural native speed]
David: To translate, translator.
Echo: 翻译。(fānyì.) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 翻译。(fānyì.) [natural native speed]
Echo: 普通话。(pǔtōnghuà.)[natural native speed]
David: Mandarin.
Echo: 普通话。(pǔtōnghuà.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 普通话。(pǔtōnghuà.)[natural native speed]
Echo: 这么。 (Zhème.)[natural native speed]
David: This much.
Echo: 这么。 (Zhème.)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 这么。 (Zhème.)[natural native speed]
David: Some stuff I think we already know. Some of the stuff should be new. Let’s take a look at some of the more difficult pieces here. First is
Echo: 好久。(hǎojiǔ.)
David: This means for a long time and we typically use it as an adverb.
Echo: Yes 好久不见。(Hǎojiǔ bùjiàn.)
David: Long time no see. What else can we say?
Echo: 好久没有你的消息了。(Hǎojiǔ méiyǒu nǐ de xiāoxīle.)
David: Haven’t heard about you in a long time or
Echo: 我们好久没有在一起吃饭了。(Wǒmen hǎojiǔ méiyǒu zài yīqǐ chīfànle.)
David: We haven’t eaten together in a long time. Our next word is a measure word.
Echo: 家。(Jiā.)
David: We ran into this previously as a noun meaning home or house but here it’s functioning as a measure word and we use it for companies and restaurants and hotels.
Echo: 一家公司。(Yījiā gōngsī.)
David: A company.
Echo: 一家餐厅。(Yījiā cāntīng.)
David: A restaurant.
Echo: 一家饭店。(Yījiā fàndiàn)
David: A hotel. Our third word is
Echo: 翻译。(Fānyì.)
David: Now in the dialogue, this was a noun. He is working in a company as a translator.
Echo: 他在一家公司里做翻译。(Tā zài yījiā gōngsī lǐ zuò fānyì.)
David: Yeah. However, this is also useful as a verb, to translate. I am translating a short story.
Echo: 我在翻译一本短篇小说。(Wǒ zài fānyì yī běn duǎnpiān xiǎoshuō.)
David: How would you say Chinese English translation?
Echo: 汉英翻译。(Hàn yīng fānyì.)
David: Or English Chinese translation.
Echo: 英汉翻译。(Yīnghàn fānyì.)
David: Right. Our last vocab point is
Echo: 普通。(Pǔtōng.)
David: We ran into this as an alternate way of talking about Mandarin.
Echo: 普通话。(Pǔtōnghuà.)
David: Right. This literally translates as the common tongue. So 普通 (Pǔtōng) means common or universal even.
Echo: Right.
David: Right.
Echo: 普通人。(Pǔtōng rén.)
David: A common person.
Echo: 普通朋友。(Pǔtōng péngyǒu.)
David: Just an ordinary friend.
Echo: 普通员工。(Pǔtōng yuángōng.)
David: An ordinary employee. Okay let’s move on to the grammar section. We’ve got some great things to talk about here. It’s grammar time. Our first grammar point is about the proper use of 在。(Zài.) we’ve got two sentences here that use it.

Lesson focus

Echo: 他在北京啊。他在一家公司里做翻译。(Tā zài běijīng a. Tā zài yījiā gōngsī lǐ zuò fānyì.)
David: Do you notice anything strange about that. You should. In the first sentence, we just used
Echo: 在北京。(Zài běijīng.)
David: At Beijing. In the second sentence
Echo: 在一家公司里。(Zài yījiā gōngsī lǐ.)
David: At a company 里。(Lǐ.)
Echo: In.
David: Yeah it’s a directional compliment and there is a great question here. Why in one sentence do we have to use 里 (Lǐ) and in the other sentence, we don’t?
Echo: 对。我们在一般比较大的地方,就不会用里,比如说国家。(Duì. Wǒmen zài yībān bǐjiào dà dì dìfāng, jiù bù huì yòng lǐ, bǐrú shuō guójiā.)
David: Right. So with countries or geographic place names, we don’t need to use 里.(Lǐ.) You will just say 在。(Zài.)
Echo: 在中国。(Zài zhōngguó.)
David: In China.
Echo: 在日本。(Zài rìběn.)
David: In Japan.
Echo: 在美国。(Zài měiguó.) (In USA)
David: In Beijing.
Echo: 在北京。(Zài běijīng.)
David: But when we get to the level of a company,
Echo: 在公司里。(Zài gōngsī lǐ.)
David: We have to have that directional complement closing it out.
Echo: 还有比如说,在家里。(Hái yǒu bǐrú shuō, zài jiālǐ.)
David: Yeah in my home.
Echo: 在办公室里。(Zài bàngōngshì lǐ.)
David: In the office. Okay our second grammar point is about nominalizing subject verb phrases. Don’t be scared by the terminology here. It’s actually describing something that’s really, really simple.
Echo: Very simple. In the dialogue, we have 他翻译的是法语。(Tā fānyì de shì fǎyǔ.)
David: So we have the subject and then the verb and then 的。
Echo: Subject, verb plus 的。
David: Yes right that which is verbed by the subject. Let’s have some examples.
Echo: 他说的是英语。(Tā shuō de shì yīngyǔ.)
David: That which he speaks is English.
Echo: 你看的是什么书。(Nǐ kàn de shì shénme shū.)
David: That which you are looking at is what book.
Echo: Yes. 你吃的是什么?(Nǐ chī de shì shénme?)
David: What are you eating?
Echo: Uhoo.
David: We are taking as a verb and we are kind of turning it into a subject. Very, very common in Chinese.
Echo: 别忘了的。(Bié wàngle de.)
David: Yes don’t forget the 的。(De.) okay and that’s it. In today’s lesson, we’ve covered a lot of really interesting vocab and we’ve highlighted
Echo: 好久,家,翻译,普通。(Hǎojiǔ, jiā, fānyì, pǔtōng.)
David: In our grammar section, we identified two common patterns for you.
Echo: 第一个是,在。(Dì yī gè shì, zài.)
David: And when we use it with
Echo: 里。(Lǐ.)
David: Yeah and when we don’t use it and if it’s a country name or a proper place name, we don’t need to use it. If it’s not, you need to have it there. And the second thing we talked about was a very quick example of how we nominalized subject verb phrases.
Echo: 别忘了放“的”。(Bié wàngle fàng “de”.)
David: Yeah don’t forget to add that to
Echo: The magic card.


David: Yes. Before you go, we want to remind you, if you are not a premium subscriber, what are you waiting for?
Echo: Yes.
David: Taking a look at the PDF transcripts, getting the ID3 annotated MP3s, it’s going to help you study faster, it’s going to help you study smarter. Come to the site and think about signing up.
Echo: 而且如果你们有任何问题,或者任何建议,别忘了来我们网站给我们留言。(Érqiě rúguǒ nǐmen yǒu rènhé wèntí, huòzhě rènhé jiànyì, bié wàngle lái wǒmen wǎngzhàn gěi wǒmen liúyán.)
David: Yeah and we’ve got people who are going to answer any questions that you need. From Beijing, I am David.
Echo: 我是 (Wǒ shì) Echo。
David: And we will see you soon.
Echo: 好好学习,天天向上。(Hǎo hào xuéxí, tiāntiān xiàngshàng.)
David: Okay.
Echo: 回头见。(Huítóu jiàn.)
David: Bye bye.


Chinese Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

There are lots of opportunities in the Chinese-English translation space, but sometimes you have to hustle a bit to get your first clients. Do you have any experience doing translation professionally yet? Are you interested?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 03:36 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 11:24 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thanks for the lesson

my favorite phrase is 你吃的是什么?


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:54 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello, alwingate,

Yes, we miss him.

Do you also miss him, too?


Team ChineseClass101.com

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:53 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello, alwingate,

Thank you for your sharing.

It must be helpful.


Team ChineseClass101.com

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 01:48 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello, Delmar Gray,

Thank you for your posting.

We have pinyin for Dialogue section. You can check the pinyin for all the sentences.


Team ChineseClass101.com

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 01:32 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello, Albert Wingate,

Thank you for all of your comments.

If you have any question, please let us know.


Team ChineseClass101.com

Sunday at 06:58 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Sunday at 06:48 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.



The title of the extension is Zhongwen. I just downloaded it from the URL above. Pass your curser over a Chinese character and you will get pinyin and some meanings of the character. Sounds like it might be helpful for your situation. However, it is just my opinion and I could be wrong.

Albert Wingate
Sunday at 06:24 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

@Delmar Gray

Since I only hear crickets, let me say this. Learning characters is difficult. Why? My ability to listen and speak first makes my speech and listening abilities which surpass my ability to read or write in Chinese. There really is no focused way of learning to read or right Chinese characters here other than the Hanzi Close Up in the Premium subscription. I don't use them. It is too expensive to print each one out. Learning to read characters can take useful approaches like collecting the characters in groups with syllables in common. This does two things for me. It gives me a hint. And it gives me meaningful recognition. I understand that the Chinese language was based on some extent with pictures. So a tree, looked like a tree, but might have a related meaning. For example, 人 ren2 kind of looks like a person. And great or big looks like a man stretching his arms saying "This big". Looks like da = 大 and maybe you can imagine a person holding out his arms in indicating that something was this long. Now, maybe he was exaggerating. I know what you are thinking. It couldn't be that big or long. But certainly some fish are indeed that long. Barracuda for example. A solution. Take a separate course; one designed to teach reading of characters. Or write simple sentences. Translate as you can. (Google translate) Then set your computer to flip from your native language to Simplified Chinese. Sorry for running on. Good luck. Also, someone mentioned that Google has a software extension for chrome which will translate Chinese characters into both pinyin and your native language. Downside? You have to use Google Chrome.

Delmar Gray
Tuesday at 03:51 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I studied Chinese as a student in Taiwan in 1970-71. I studied using pinyin and never really studied Chinese characters.

It appears that as I progress in these lessons that there is less pinyin and more dependent on reading characters. I know there is a big advantage to knowing the characters but at this point in my life I am not motivated to spend that much effort. Can I get the dialogues in pin yin?