Chinese Language Blog

10 Great Posts for Beginners Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Culture, Vocabulary

Here at the Chinese language & culture blog, we try to post a variety of content that caters to a wide audience – no matter what your level of Chinese, there’s something for you here. As this blog has been around for quite a few years now, it can be intimidating trying to search through the content. Since new people are signing up and following along every single day, I figured it would be useful to compile a list of ten great posts for beginners. If you’re just thinking about studying Chinese, planning a trip to the Middle Kingdom, or even thinking about studying or working there, this list should get you started:

1. Chinese Pinyin: Looking at Chinese characters for the first time can be a terrifying experience for new learners. Thankfully, there’s Hanyu Pinyin (汉语拼音 – hàn yǔ pīn yīn). This system allows you to become familiar with the sounds of Chinese and get you started with speaking.

2. Staying in Tone: Next to the characters, the thing that freaks most newcomers to Chinese out are the tones. This post is a good basic guide to how to master the four tones (plus the neutral tone, of course) in Chinese.

This is your voice on Chinese.

This is your voice on Chinese.

3. How to Say “Hello” in Chinese: I’m sure you all know how the most famous Chinese word – 你好 – but there are plenty of other ways to greet someone in Chinese.

The most common way to say "Hello" in Chinese.

The most common way to say “Hello” in Chinese.

4. How to Say “Goodbye” in Chinese: This is the logical next step in our journey here. Learn lots of farewell greetings here.

5. Introduce Yourself in Chinese: This post will help you both ask and answer basic questions in Chinese (What’s your name? Where are you from? Etc.) There’s even a video embedded that you can follow along with.

Nice to meet you sweaty, shirtless Chinese man!

Nice to meet you sweaty, shirtless Chinese man!

6. Chinese Public Holidays: For those learning Chinese language, you also have to learn a bit about the culture! This post gives you a basic rundown of all the Chinese public holidays, so you can learn their Chinese names, as well as a bit of history and customs.

7. 20 Common Chinese Dishes: When I first got to China, the first order of business was learning how to read a menu. After all, you’ve got to feed yourself every day, and some of us don’t want to end up eating chicken feet or pig’s ears. You won’t go hungry after learning the names for 20 famous Chinese dishes in this post.

The ubiquitous 宫爆鸡丁.

The ubiquitous 宫爆鸡丁.

8. Chinese #s from 1-100: Along with food, one of the most important things to learn is how to count. Get yourself up to 100 in Mandarin with this easy-to-follow post. You can also follow along with this video:

9. 10 Must Know Chinese Measure Words: There are tons of Chinese measure words, but learning these ten should get you by.

10. Useful Travel Phrases: Traveling in China requires Chinese language skills, unless you’ve got tons of money to bring a guide along who speaks your language. Get started with some useful travel phrases here.


Don’t forget, you can always learn a new Chinese word every day with us. Chinese can be difficult, but keep on going and you’ll get there!



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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.

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