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Learn Chinese Easily - Conversational Chinese

Updated on June 26, 2012

Learning Chinese Language

The earliest form of Written Chinese was recorded over an unbelievable 6000 years ago when figures and symbols were used instead of the characteristic strokes modern Chinese language is known for these days. Since then, the early Chinese language has evolved several times in its history. The earliest known form of patterned stroked Chinese language has origins dating back 1120BC, over 3000 years ago, when bronze artifacts in the Zhou Dynasty was discovered with inscriptions. Further evolution has since taken place, over almost twenty dynasties later, the Chinese language have evolved, branched off and now the spoken Chinese language has over 13 sub-languages and dialect, making it the most in the world.

SunSeven in Chinese

SunSeven in Chinese (this is the closest I could get!)
SunSeven in Chinese (this is the closest I could get!)

With over one billion people in the world speaking some form of Chinese, spoken Chinese is by far the most used language in the world. Most countries in the Asian world uses some form of the Chinese language so practicing the language would definitely benefit those living, visiting or doing business in the Asian world. Currently, two systems are being used for Chinese characters; the traditional Chinese (used widely in Macau and Hong Kong) and simplified Chinese (practiced in Singapore and Malaysia). These two systems co-relate with each other and mostly differ only in the number of characters.

With China quickly becoming an economic powerhouse and countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore having a growing economy, learning the Chinese language would definitely be beneficial in the modern business world. It is well known that locals are more open to those who have embraced the language and culture and with your knowledge of the Chinese language; even basic conversational words will give you the added advantage if you wish to strike up a business deal with an Asian Chinese speaking partner. Learning the language will only benefit any business minded individual as most business dealings are headed east, where production costs are cheaper and production rate goes at an outstanding speed.

Learning the Chinese language will only serve to benefit those with an avid interest in one of the oldest cultures known to mankind; the Chinese culture. With its colorful past of the era of the Chinese Dynasties, the art of Chinese calligraphy, the beautiful water color paintings, the practices of the Chinese society and how China has revolutionized to cope and take advantage of the current world, linguistics and culture experts will definitely learn to appreciate the many facets of the culture by first picking up the language.

Basic Mandarin Chinese

Most who have been in contact with the Chinese Language but not picked it up generally assume that there are millions of Chinese characters to learn, this is one of the misconceptions that throws people off from learning the Chinese language. In actual fact, the language only has over 20,000 characters and most get by with only 6000 characters and 400 spoken monosyllables. While some may argue that the number is still considerably larger than the English language, as a business trader or a traveler, one can get by with the most basic conversational Chinese. We take a look at some of the basic words and terms, along with numbers you can use in your quest to pick up the Chinese language.

Basic Conversational Chinese

(click column header to sort results)
English  
Chinese equivalent  
Hello
ni hao
How are you
ni hao ma
Very good
hen hao
No good
bu hao
Thank you
xie xie
No (or Do not want)
bu yao
Very expensive
hen gui
Goodbye
zai jian
Excuse me
jie guo
I do not want
wo bu yao
Eat
chi fan
Come here
guo lai
Can you help me?
ni neng bangzhu wo ma?
What is your name
ni jiao shenme mingzi
You are welcome
bu yong xie
My name is…
wo jiao…
I am fine
wo hen hao
Good morning
zao shang hao
Good evening
wan shang hao
See you tomorrow!
Míngtiān jiàn!
What's your name?
Nín guì xìng?
Learn Basic Conversational Chinese

Mandarin Chinese Lesson - Numbers 1 to 10

How to Count in Chinese

(click column header to sort results)
   
Numbers  
Chinese equivalent  
Zero
0
ling
One
1
Two
2
èr
Three
3
sān
Four
4
Five
5
Six
6
liù
Seven
7
Eight
8
Nine
9
jiǔ
Ten
10
shí
Eleven
11
shíyī
Twelve
12
shí'èr
Thirteen
13
shísān
Twenty
20
èrshí
Twenty one
21
èrshíyī
Twenty two
22
èrshíèr
Thirty
30
sānshí
Forty
40
sìshí
Fifty
50
wǔshi
Ninety nine
99
jiǔshíjiǔ
One Hundred
100
yībǎi
One hundred and one
101
yībǎilíngyī
One hundred and two
102
yībǎilíngèr
One hundred and ten
110
yībǎiyīshí
One hundred and twenty
120
yībǎi'èrshí
Two hundred
200
èrbǎi
Three hundred
300
sānbǎi
Nine hundred and ninety nine
999
jiǔbǎijiǔshǐjiǔ
One thousand
1000
yīqiān
One thousand and one
1001
yīqiānlíngyī
One thousand and ten
1010
yīqiānlíngshí
One thousand ans one hundred
1100
yīqiānyībǎi
Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine
9999
jiǔqiānjiǔbǎijiǔshíjiǔ
Ten thousand
10000
yīwàn
One million
1000000
yībǎiwàn
One billion
100000000
yīyì
Learn numbers in Chinese

While these words and numbers are basic survival Chinese that will probably get you from one place to another and do simple transactions, it will take you a while longer to familiarize with the environment and people. Do remember that in some provinces, many Chinese speak with an accent so it may take you a while to understand them as well. It would be best to enroll yourself in a school that will teach you spoken as well as written Chinese to fully understand the language and have that edge in the modern business world. Good luck and hao yun!

Comments

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    • profile image

      matthew 6 years ago

      i like to learn more about chinese since i am taking chines class.

    • profile image

      hem kusum 6 years ago

      wonderful effort. just that yiyi is hundred million and not one billion. best wishes.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 7 years ago from Tumkur

      How much pain you have taken in preparing this hub Sunseven. It is quite a well-planned hub. I wonder how you get time to do this type of research.Are you not doing any other work? A 'vote up' to this one.

    • Labear profile image

      Labear 7 years ago from hubei china

      Yes, the Chinese text is profound.

    • profile image

      ChineseCrossStitch 7 years ago

      Language has no border! Keep on trying!

    • profile image

      Chinese Emo 7 years ago

      yehey now my teacher in mathematic s mwont understand me!

      xie xie

    • ocoonocoon profile image

      ocoonocoon 7 years ago

      Good tips! Especially with the numbers.

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Great hub! I know most of the simple stuff but it is so hard to learn how to understand the whole conversation. I speak Cantonese and would love to learn Mandarin, so I can communicate with my customers. I give a lot of credit to people who can speak another language.

    • Taichichuan profile image

      Taichichuan 8 years ago

      Ni hao ma? I learned it when I was in Singapore this beautiful garden city. In Hong Kong I have learned in cantonese "fak kok yam". I have good remembrance of my journey in Asia. I have appreciated a lot.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 8 years ago

      You've put together a great resource here. Currently I only know how to say "hi" in Chinese, I have a long way to go!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      very good hub for learning the basics. I have a CD but it is mostly conversational and hard to grasp. What you have here is a good starting point. Thanks

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I have added this to my list of 100 Things I Desire to Do.

      Thanks for getting me started!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Wonderful introduction into survival Chinese!

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