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Chinese Language Instruction

Ni hao (hello)! Chinese language study is a big part of our AACE course. Hillary, (2004 group) volunteered to create this page as a resource for her class. We provide it here as an aid to your Chinese language study.
Hao ji le (wonderful), Hillary.
BASIC PRONUNCIATION
CHINESE LETTER PRONUCIATION ENGLISH SOUND
c ts ts
x sh sh
q ch ch
zh j j
z dz dz
ai i rhymes with rye
ao ow rhymes with cow
en ehn rhymes with when
i mostly ee; after z, c, and s: zz; after zh, ch, sh, and r: r rhymes with bee; sounds like pzz; sounds like err
iu eo rhymes with Leo
u oo rhymes with shoe
un one rhymes with fun
an ahn rhymes with fawn
e uh rhymes with push
eng ung rhymes with flung
ian ien sounds like zen
iao eeow rhymes with yeeow
iong yawng rhymes with song
o aw rhymes with flaw
ua wah rhymes with spa
uan mostly wahn; after j, q, x, and y: wen rhymes with fawn; pen
ue oo-eh sounds like ooeh
un win rhymes with pin
ang ahng rhymes with long
ei ay rhymes with fillet
ia ya rhymes with paw
iang yahng rhymes with bong
ie yeh rhymes with yeh
in een rhymes with spleen
ou oe rhymes with flow
uai ie rhymes with sigh
uang wahng rhymes with gong
ui ay rhymes with parfait
uo aw rhymes with cha
RANDOM, BUT HELPFUL VOCABULARY
CHINESE WORD PRONUNCIATION MEANING
COLORS
huang se hwahng suh yellow
hong se hahng suh red
hei se hay suh black
ka fei se kah fay suh brown
fen hong se fehn hahng suh pink
lan se lahn suh blue
lu se leeoo suh green
ju se joo suh orange
bai se bi suh white
zi se dzuh suh purple
NUMBERS
yi ee 1
er arr 2
san sahn 3
si suh 4
wu oo 5
liu leo 6
qi chi 7
ba bah 8
jiu jeeo 9
shi shur 10
er shi arr shur 20
san shi sahn shur 30
si shi suh shur 40
wu shi oo shur 50
liu shi leo suhr 60
qi shi chee shur 70
ba shi bah shur 80
jiu shi jeeo shur 90
yi bai ee bi 100
yi bai ling yi ee bi leeng ee 101
yi qian ee chien 1000
REFRESHMENTS
kele kuhluh cola
cha chah tea
kafe kahfay coffee
shui shway water
guozhi gwahshee juice
xuebi shwebby sprite
PRONOUNS
Wo wah I/me
ni nee you (singular)
ta tah s/he (singular)
women wahmehn we
nimen neemehn you (plural)
tamen tahmehn they/them
RELATIONSHIPS
tongxue tahngshuh classmate
laoshi lowshuh teacher
pengyou pungyo friend
xuesheng shwayshung student
wo di baba wah duh bahbah my father
wo di mama wah duh mahmah my mother
wo di gege wah duh guhguh my older brother
wo di didi wah duh deedee my younger brother
wo di jiejie wah duh jayjay my older sister
wo di meimei wah duh maymay my younger sister
wo di yeye wah duh yehyeh my paternal grandfather
wo di nainai wah duh nini my paternal grandmother
wo di waigong wah duh wigahng my maternal grandfather
wo di waipo wah duh wipo my maternal grandmother
COUNTRIES AND NATIONALITIES
Meiguo/Meiguoren Maygwah/Maygwahrehn America/American
Zhongguo/Zhongguoren Jahngwah/Jahngwahrehn China/Chinese
Jianada/Jianadren Jienahdah/Jienahdahrehn Canada/Canadian
Riben/Ribenren Arrbehn/Arrbehnrehn Japan/Japanese
Faguo/Faguoren Fahgwah/Fahgwahrehn France/French
Taiguo/Taiguoren Tigwah/Tigwahrehn Thailand/Thai
Yidali/Yidaliren Eedahlee/Eedaleerehn Italy/Italian
Deguo/Deguoren Duhgwah/Duhgwahrehn Germany/German
Hanguo/Hanguoren Hahngwah/Hahngwahrehn South Korea/South Korean
Yingguo/Yingguoren
Yenggwah/Yengwhatrehn England/English
DIFFERENT REPSONSES FOR WHEN SOMEONE ASKS HOW YOU ARE
Wo hen hao. Wah hehn how. I'm very well.
Wo hao. Wah how. I'm well.
Wo ma ma hu hu. Wah mah mah hoo hoo. I'm okay.
Wo bu hao. Wah boo hao. I'm not well.
Wo bu shufu. Wah boo shoo foo. I'm uncomfortable.
Wo hen lei. Wah hehn lay. I'm tired.
Wo hen mang. Wah hehn mahng. I'm busy.
Wo zhen mei. Wah jehn may. I'm beautiful.
Wo hao ji le. Wah how jee luh. I'm wonderful.
Wo e le. Wah uh luh. I'm hungry.
Wo ke le. Wah kuh luh. I'm thirsty.
Wo bing le. Wah beeng luh. I'm sick.
PROPER TITLES FOR PEOPLE
laoshi lowshuh teacher
Xiansheng shienshung Sir
Furen/ Taitai foorehn/ti-ti Madame
Xiaojie sheeowjeh Miss
Nushi nooshee Ms.
shifu sheefoo Master (to address professionals)
SENTENCE FRAGMENTS OF SOME IMPORTANCE
wo di wah duh my
you yo to have
mei you may yo to not have
shi shuh to be
bu shi boo shuh to not be
_you mei you_ yo may yo do you have or don't you have
_you_mah? _yo_mah? you have_right?
keneng kuhnung maybe
qing cheeng please
dui dooay correct
bu dui boo dooay wrong
shi de shuh duh yes
ye yea also
he huh food
ai i love
chi chuhr drink
xi huang shee hwahng like
GETTING AROUND
_zai nali? _zi nahlee? Where is_?
...shudian shoodien a bookstore
...shangwu zhongxin shahngwoo johngsheen the business center
...kafeting kahfayteeng a cafe
...xiao mai bu sheeow mi boo a convenience store
...canting cahnteeng the dining room
...rukou rookoh the entrance
...chukou chookoh the exit
...lipin dian leepehn dien a gift store
...jianshenfang jienshuhnfahng the gym
...dating dahteeng the lobby
...baotan bowtahn a newsstand
...gongyong dianhua gahngyahng dienhooah a public telephone
...dianhua dienhooah a telephone
...fanguan fahngyooehn a restaurant
...chuzu qiche choozoo cheechuh the taxi
...chaguan chahgwan the teahouse
...cesuo suhswah the toilet
...xishou jian sheeshow jien the washroom
SURVIVAL LANGUAGE
Ni hao. Nee how. Hello.
Ni hao mah? Nee how mah? How are you?
Zai jien! Zi chien. Good bye.
Neige bu yaojin. Nayguh boo yow jehn. That is not important.
Qing ni shuo man yidian. Cheeng nee shwah mahn eedien. Please speak more slowly.
Zhe shi shenme yisi? Juh shee shuhn muh eesee? What does this (that) mean?
_yong Zhongwen zenme shuo? _yahn Jahngwehn zuhnmuh shwah How do you say _ in Chinese?
Ni shuo shenme? Nee shwah shuhn muh? What did you say?
Shenme? Shuhn muh? What?
Rang wo xiang yi xiang. Rahng wah shieng ee shieng. Let me think.
Wo bu dong. Wah boo dahng. I don't understand.
Ni dong ma? Nee dahng mah? Do you understand?
Wo hui shuo yidian Zhongwen? Wah hway shwah eedien jahngwehn I speak a little Chinese.
Ni ui shuo Yingwen ma? Nee hway shwah Yehngwehn mah? Do you speak English?
Xing. Sheeng. That's alright.
Mingtian jian. Meengtien jien. See you tomorrow.
Ke yi. kuh yee Okay.
Mei wenti. May wuhntee. No problem.
Bu ji. Boo jee. No hurry.
Mafan ni. Mahfahn nee May I trouble you?
Deng yixia. Dung eesheeuh. Just a second.
Fanbian ma?/Hao ma? Fahngbien mah?/How mah? Is it convenient?
Wo hen baoqian. Wah hen bowchien. I'm very sorry.
Wan an. Wahn ahn. Good night.
Zhaoshange hao. Zowshahng how. Good morning.
Suan le. Swahn luh. Forget it. Never mind.
Lao jia! Low cheeuh! Excuse me! (to get attention)
Bu ke qi. Boo kuh chee. Don't be so polite.
Xiexie. Shay shay. Thank you.
Mei guanxi. May gwahnshee. It's alright.
Wo jiao_ Wah chow_ My name is_
Zen me yang? Zehn muh yahng? How's it going?
Bu xie. Boo shay. No thanks.
Dui bu qi. Dooay boo chee. Sorry.
Duoshao qian? Dwahshow chien? How much does it cost?
Wo xiangyou_ Wah shiengyow_ I'd like_
Qing gei wo_ Cheeng gay wah_ Please give me_
Qing gei wo kan_ Cheeng gay wah kahn_ Please show me_
Tai gui le! Ti gway luh! Too expensive!
Pianyi dian, hao ma? Pienee dien how mah? Can you come down in price?
Wo bu xiangyao. Wah boo shiengyow. I don't want it.
Wo mi lu le. Wah mee loo luh. I'm lost.
Wi de pengyou zai nali? Wah duh pungyo zi nahlee? Where are my friends?
Wo zai zhao_ Wah zi zow_ I'm looking for_
Tamen wang nali qu le? Tahmen wahng nahlee koo luh? Which way did they go?
...xiang zuo shieng zwah ...to the left
...xiang you shieng yo ...to the right
...xiang qian shieng chien ...straight ahead

about | policies | language | map '09 | Travel to China '09
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last revised 3-24-10 lb