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Mandarin Characters of the week

  • 14-09-2007 11:49am
    Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    Ok, so i'm going to start the above, and hopefully it'll be made into a sticky...
    so here goes, the first few characters for this week...

    note - Since most characters have many meanings, im not going to put them all here. just the main meanings.

    我 wǒ - I, me; 我们 wǒmen - we

    可以 kěyǐ - 1) can; may;
    2) passable; pretty good; not bad; be worth (doing)

    会 huì - 1) can; be able to | Wǒ huì yòng kuàizi. I can use chopsticks
    2) get together; assemble 3) meet; see



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    他 tā ①he ②she ③it ④they (referring to inanimate things in object position)
    他们 tāmen ①they ②and the others

    决定 juédìng (verb) ①decide; resolve; make up one's mind

    喜欢 xǐhuan (verb) ①like; love; be fond of
    ②be happy/elated/delighted

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 857 davros

    Thanks, ChineseSpeaker! 谢谢你!

    I'll be following this as long as it continues.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 256 ✭✭ nij

    Damn why is this board so dead? I think it would be great if more people started learning Mandarin! I started a few years ago but I didn't give it much time...

    Wo keyi yong xingyongka ma? Hehe - I remember that one from linguaphone. "Can I use a credit card?" LOL uhh let's see...

    Buyao! - "Are sure you don't need to!"

    Weishenme? - "Why?"

    Mar tá...umm...yinwei....uhh..jiangw... ah crap i better stop now before I make a bigger fool of myself!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    Sorry about the lack of postings...i'll keep it more regular from now on

    去 qù v ①go; go to; leave; depart ②get rid of; remove; cast out - qu nǐ de! Get lost!

    来 lái v. ①come; arrive

    More uses of Lai - [lái] come; 起来 (qi(3)lai) get up; 原来 (yuan(2)lai) it turns out

    足球 zúqiú n. 〈sport〉 football; soccer

    踢 [tī] kick; 踢足球 play football

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    Just a quick word on tones

    There are four tones in Chinese

    The 1st tone 一 [yī] (one)

    The 2nd tone 姨 [yí] (aunt (mother's sister))

    The 3rd tone 椅 [yǐ] ((椅子 yǐzi) chair)

    The 4th tone 亿 [yì] (100 million)

    Tones differentiate the meaning. A word has a different meaning when pronounced in different tones as in the example above with yi.

    The tones, in pinyin (not characters) are indicated by tone marks as shown above. These tone marks are written over the main vowel in the word.
    1st - high and level tone
    2nd - rising tone
    3rd - falling-rising tone
    4th - falling tone (sharp sound)

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    Thanks for the input wij. I'll build on a few of yours...

    为什么 wèishénme - why?; why is it that?

    因为 yīnwèi - because; for; on account of

    所以 suǒyǐ - so; therefore; as a result

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    要 yào - want; will

    说 shuō v. - speak; talk

    在 zài v. - be at/in/on

    什么 shénme pr. ①what? | Nǐ zài shuō shénme? - What are you talking about?

  • Registered Users Posts: 390 ✭✭ kwalsh000

    Great idea chinesespeaker. I will be following this aswell, ive been studying mandarin on and off for a while but i will have to start getting back into it properly.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    glad you guys are finding it useful...

    对 duì - correct; yes; (This is usually used as an affirmative response to a question as in 'Yes, you are right'.)

    Another common word 对 duì is used in
    对不起 - (duìbuqǐ) excuse me.

    不好意思 bù hǎoyìsi s.v. - Sorry (when you're embarrassed about something or made a mistake).

    这 [zhè] - this

    怎么 zěnme adv. - how?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    意思 yìsin. ①meaning; idea ②opinion; wish; desire

    是 shì v. ①be ②matter; affair

    你 [nǐ] - you; 你们 nǐmen you (plural)
    他 [tā] - he, him; 他们 them
    她 [tā] - she, her; it; 她们 them
    的 [de] - This is just a grammar particle that joins sentences together...examples below....

    我的 wǒde - mine,
    你的 nǐde - yours,

    with 意思 yìsi above
    Wǒ de yìsi shì shuō - I mean to say
    Nǐ de yìsi ne? - OR - Nǐ de yìsi shì shénme? - What's your opinion?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭ rivers

    good stuff ChineseSpeaker...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    好 hǎo - good,well

    你好 nǐhǎo - Hello.

    你好吗? nǐhǎo ma? - How are you?

    谁 [shuí] [shéi] - who : shéi lái le? Who came?

    哪儿 nǎr - where : nǐ shàng nǎr?你上哪儿? where are you going?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 256 ✭✭ nij

    Is the 'ni' in nihao not the rising tone?

  • Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭ rivers

    Do you mean is 'ni' a rising tone because it's before a third tone?
    i think it is, but i don't think in writing its is represented...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 857 davros

    Right, when two third tones come together the first becomes second tone. This change is not reproduced in written pinyin, however; you just need to remember the rule when reading the words aloud.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    叫 jiào ①to be called ②call; greet

    名字 míngzi - name

    你叫什么名字? nǐ jiào shénme míngzi? What's your name?

    您 nín you (polite - usually used with elders instead of nǐ 你)
    贵姓 guìxìng - (May I ask) your family name?
    nín guìxìng? - May i ask your family name? (polite)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,609 ✭✭✭ Ideo

    i'm liking this a lot chinese speaker - keep up the good work!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    In a restaurant...

    饭店 fàndiàn - restaurant
    饭馆 fànguǎn - restaurant
    菜单 càidān - menu
    菜 cài - vegetable; dish - this is the same 'cài' in 'càidān'
    好吃 hǎochī - good to eat; tasty
    请问 qǐngwèn - Excuse me, may I ask...?
    等一下 děng yīxià - wait a little while, wait a moment
    等一会儿 děng yīhuìr - ①wait a little while ②after a little while
    点菜 diǎncài - choose dishes from a menu; order dishes
    还可以 hái kěyǐ- not bad; passable
    不错 bùcuò - correct, right, good

    qǐngwèn, yǒu càidān ma? - Excuse me, do you have a menu?
    yǒu de, qǐng děng yīxià - Yes we do, please wait a moment
    hǎo de, xièxie - ok, thanks

    wǒ xiànzài xiǎng diǎncài - I would like to order now.

    hǎochī ma? Is it tasty? does it taste good?
    hěn hǎochī, nǐ ne? - very tasty, and yours?
    hái kěyǐ - not bad; passable

    mǎidān - the bill please
    duōshao qián? How much?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 MsGu

    Hello! :)

    It is not so polite putting these three in my first post, but it is very very popular in daily conversation.

    有毛病!(you 3 mao 2 bing 4),
    it can be translated as weird. And when you feel even more unhappy with someone, you could also say:

    神经病!! (shen 2 jing 1 bing 4)
    That means weird, mad and crazy. If you can't stand this person anymore, say:

    去死吧!!!(qu 4 si 3 ba)
    This means go to the hell.

    All of these three are NOT recommended when you are talking with strangers. ;)

    ChineseSpeaker, how did you put the tone on PinYing? I don't know how to do that so I put number 1,2,3,4 instead of Yi sheng, er sheng, san sheng , si sheng.

    Have a nice day!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 139 ✭✭ armada104

    I've just found this thread ChineseSpeaker, and it's very helpful. I intend to follow it from now on, if you're going to continue. So thanks.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    圣诞节 Shèngdànjié - Christmas
    快乐 kuàilè - happy; cheerful
    圣诞节快乐 Shèngdànjié kuài lè - Happy xmas
    圣诞树 Shèngdànshù - Christmas tree

    期盼 qīpàn - expect; await; look forward to
    家人 jiārén - family members
    亲戚 qīnqi - relatives
    礼物 lǐwù - gift; present
    得到 dédào - gain; receive
    所有 suǒyǒu - all; every
    将 jiāng - shall

    我 期盼 这 圣诞节 因为, 我 所有 的 家人 都 将 在 家
    wǒ qīpàn zhè Shèngdànjié yīnwèi wǒ suǒyǒu de jiārén dōu jiāng zài jiā.
    I'm looking forward to Xmas because my entire family will be at home.
    我 从 我 父母 那 得到
    wǒ cóng wǒ fùmǔ nà dédào ____.
    I received _______ from my parents.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,165 DEmeant0r

    Hi, stickified now. Thanks for doing this ChineseSpeaker.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    Hey everyone who's interested. Sorry about the long delay in getting new posts but ill make up for it this week with a few...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    国家 guójiā - country; state; nation
    老家 lǎojiā - hometown, native place; old home
    哪儿 nǎr - where
    生在 shēngzài - to be born
    长大 zhǎngdà - grow up; mature
    第一次 dì-yī cì - first time
    第二次 dì-èr cì - second time
    第五次 dì-wǔ cì - fifth time
    到 dào - to, towards, until
    来 lái - come

    你是哪个国家的? nǐ shì nǎge guójiā de? - Which country are you from?
    你的老家在哪儿? nǐ de lǎojiā zài nǎr? - Where is your hometown?
    我生在爱尔兰,但是我是在美国长大的 - wǒ shēngzài Ài'ěrlán, dànshì wǒ shì zài Měiguó zhǎngdà de - I was born in Ireland, but i grew up in America.
    这是你第一次到中国来吗? zhè shì nǐ dì-yī cì dào Zhōngguó lái ma? - Is this your first time to come to China?

    以前 yǐqián - before; formerly; previously
    过 - guò - indicating completion of an action / that an action has taken place, but does not continue up to the present. - 你看过吗? nǐ kàn guò ma? Did you see it before? 我看过 - wǒ kàn guò - I saw it before.

    不是, 我来过一次 - búshì, wǒ lái guò yī cì - No, i;ve been here before.
    我以前北京学中文 - I studied Chinese in Beijing before.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19 ✭✭✭ ChineseSpeaker

    中国 Zhōngguó - China
    多久 duōjiǔ - how long?
    年 nián - year
    半 bàn - half
    生活 shēnghuó - life; existence
    习惯 xíguàn - to be used to; habit; custom
    差不多 chàbuduō - almost; about
    有点 yǒudiǎn - some; a little
    想家 xiǎngjiā - be homesick
    想念 xiǎngniàn - to miss alot
    想 xiǎng - miss, think, feel, consider
    就是 jiùshì - to be, it's just
    父母 fùmǔ - parents

    你来中国多久了 - nǐ lái Zhōngguó duōjiǔ le?- How long have you been in China?
    一年半了 yīnián bàn le - A year and a half
    这里的生活习惯吗? zhèlǐ de shēnghuó xíguàn ma? - Are you used to life here?
    差不多习惯了 - chàbuduō xíguàn le - I'm pretty much used to it.
    就是有点想家了 - jiùshì yǒudiǎn xiǎngjiā le - It's just that i'm a little homesick.
    我很想念我的父母 - wǒ hěn xiǎngniàn wǒ de fùmǔ / 女朋友 nǚpéngyou - I miss my parents / girlfriend alot.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 435 ✭✭ ~Candy~

    this is hard for beginners i d say ,
    its like there is no relationship between the pinyin and the actual words um mm:pac: but good job~~ Chinese is a awesome lanuage, i d wish to learn more

  • Registered Users Posts: 506 Cully

    nij wrote: »
    Is the 'ni' in nihao not the rising tone?

    Ni (you) and Wo (I) are both the 3rd tone... You have to fall a little before rising your tone.

    When speaking two 3rd tones in a row, the first one generally sounds like the 2nd tone.

    厕所 [cè suǒ] - toilet; This is actually pronounced more like "Tsuh soo-oh".

    One thing to note is that when you go to china, you will see many different signs for toilet. The key thing to look for is if it's male or female...

    Take "he" and "she" for example...
    他 [tā] - he, him; 他们 them
    她 [tā] - she, her; it; 她们 them
    See the part on the left? that is called a 'radical'.. There is one for male (人, but actually looks like the left bit on the "he" above) and female... (女 = woman)

    It's worth noting that if you see these two radicals that it's quite often to do with male/female... Especially the female radical. The problem is that.

    When saying tā as him or her it sounds exactly the same and you know if it's he or she from context, but written down you'll know exactly. If you encounter native chinese speakers in ireland, you will probably notice that a common mistake they make is with genders... They say stuff like "My mother... He is chinese".. This is the reason why, and as a learner of chinese, you should be aware of it.
    饭店 [fàndiàn] - restaurant

    饭店 [fàndiàn] is generally used as "restaurant" in china as the two characters stand for 'food' 'shop', but officially this word means "Hotel".

    餐馆 [cān guǎn] is the official word for "restaurant", but if you actually go to China, you will see both. It's worth noting as you will need a hotel if going to china. Also, the dictionary might confuse you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ 4diarmuid

    This is a very helpful list of phrases for a beginner. Keep up the good work and the additional information which is particularly helpful.

    Xie xie ni

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ galwayqq

    [HTML]<div><IFRAME SRC="; frameborder=0 scrolling=no WIDTH=191 HEIGHT=216></IFRAME></div>[/HTML]

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 543 Neewbie_noob

    你的汉语真好, 我2009学习汉语了, 6个月。但是我的汉语非常不好。