A few years back I took a few weeks out of the Written Chinese Office to spend some time travelling with my parents and fiance, now husband, in China. I was really impressed by how quickly they picked up words and asked what they meant. I have to admit, rather embarrassingly, that it took me a lot longer to master these basic phrases when I first arrived in China. You can hear what they thought of their first few days in China on the Two White Chicks in China podcast.
Basic Mandarin Chinese Words and Phrases to Learn for Your Next Trip to China
List of English words of Chinese origin - Wikipedia
Tourists in China usually speak Chinese for three things: being cordial, buying something, and asking directions. So here are 10 essential expressions that will allow you do these essential things. Notation: Next to the English phrase or word is the official Chinese pronunciation notation called pinyin for if you want to have a go at pronouncing the tones. See our Pinyin Guide to learn about pronouncing Chinese. A more intuitive phonetic representation follows, so that without learning pinyin you can roughly make the required sounds, and hopefully be understood.
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It doesn't haven't to be as daunting as it seems. The idea of learning Chinese likely strikes fear in your heart — or just completely mystifies you. Chinese is made up of tens of thousands of characters. As there is no alphabet, you cannot spell out words according to their sounds or read a word simply by stringing together the letters. Learning Chinese really is a process of straight memorization.
The grammar of Standard Chinese or Mandarin shares many features with other varieties of Chinese. The language almost entirely lacks inflection , so that words typically have only one grammatical form. Categories such as number singular or plural and verb tense are frequently not expressed by any grammatical means, although there are several particles that serve to express verbal aspect , and to some extent mood. The basic word order is subject—verb—object SVO , as in English.