Lesson 1: Introductions


Hello! Welcome to our first lesson: Introductions. Please read and listen to me introduce myself in English and then in Mandarin Chinese. Remember that each word will have a distinct tone, and I have included the Romanized pinyin below the traditional Chinese characters to make it easier for you to read. But I also want to remind you not to get obsessive about the tones! If you don\’t know about the five tones of Mandarin Chinese, or how to read the pinyin below, please checkout my Mandarin primer course.

Self Introduction:

Hello, I\’m Logan.
nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì luó gēn.

I\’m from America.
wŏ shì cóng mĕi guó lái de.

I\’m 29 years old.
wŏ èr shí jiŭ suì.

Now you try! Use the information below to make your own introduction. If you record it and post a link to the audio below(email it to me or send me a message on Skype if you are shy), I will listen to it and offer you some feedback.

Hello, I\’m _____________.
nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì__________.

I\’m from __________
wŏ shì cóng__________ lái de.

I\’m ________years old.
wŏ _______ suì.

Numbers 1-10: These are the essential building blocks for numbers in Chinese, these ten characters in various combinations make up all of the numbers from 1-99. That should be good for now, unless you are over 100! In which case, what\’s your secret to health?

0 零 líng
1 一 yī
2 二 èr
3 三 sān
4 四 sì
5 五 wŭ
6 六 liù
7 七 qī
8 八 bā
9 九 jiŭ
10 十 shí

Numbers 11-99: These numbers are made simply by placing the above characters together. For example, my age, 29 is made by placing a 2 二 in front of a 10 十 to make 20 二十, followed by a 9 九 and the word 歲 which means age. Easy, right? Check below for a few more example ages, and if anything is unclear, please write in and I\’ll help you out as soon as I can.

23 二十三歲
35 三十五歲
50 五十歲

Countries: I\’m going to keep this list short and sweet, since one of the following lessons deals with the topic in more detail. If your country isn\’t listed below, please check the lesson on countries of the world.

1. America 美國 mĕi guó
2. Canada 加拿大 jiā ná dà
3. England 英國 yīng guó
4. Spain 西班牙 xī bān yá
5. France 法國 fă guó

Questions: Here is a list of questions you can ask, or you may be asked when introducing yourself.

1. What\’s your name?
nĭ jiào shén me míng zì?

2. Where are you from?
nĭ shì cóng nă lĭ lái de?

3. How old are you?
nĭ jǐ suì?

Essential Vocabulary: I\’m a big proponent of learning languages through natural use, and not needing a word-by-word translation for every single phrase. This is not the best approach, nor is it truly possible. I feel a language is best understood in the context of that language, so I encourage you to explore Mandarin Chinese in this spirit. However, it won\’t happen over night, so here are some essential vocabulary words we learned in this lesson. Practice them and reord yourself and compare your pronunciation to mine.

1. 我= I, me
2. 你= you
3. 你好= hello
4. 是= am/are
5. 從…來的= come from….
6. 歲 age
7. 叫= call/be called
8. 名字= name
9. 什麼? What?
10. 哪裡?= Where?
11. 幾…?= How many…?