Chinese phrases for Travelers – Learn Chinese before travelling to Beijing China

Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers



Check out the useful Chinese phrases learning information below:
Language

The official language of the PRC is Putonghua or ” Common Speech “, usually referred to the west as ” Mandarin Chinese”.

Tones

Chinese is a tonal language, a language with many homonyms ( words of different meaning but with similar pronunciation ). Mandarin has four tones:

Tones Pinyin English Chinese
First tone ( – ) mother
Second tone ( / ) hemp
Third tone ( V ) horse
Fourth tone ( \ ) to scold
Pinyin ( spell & sound )

In 1958 the Chinese offically adopted a system known as pinyin as a method of writing their language using Roman alphabet. Pinyin is a romanization and not an anglicization; it makes use of Roman letters to represent sounds in Standard Mandarin. The way these letters represent sounds in Standard Mandarin will be different from other languages that make use of the Roman alphabet represent sound. Pinyin is quite useful in China, especially in majior cities, on shop fronts, street names and advertising etc. When Chinese people write their own names in Englsih, they use Pinyin.

Pronunciation

The main purpose of pinyin is to help people learn Standard Mandarin pronunciation. Pinyin vowels are pronounced quite similarly to the vowels in Romance languages, and most consonants are also similar to English. But there are some pitfalls: the strange pronunciation of x, q, c, zh, and z and the unvoiced pronunciation of d, b, g, and j. The pronunciation of Chinese is generally offered in terms of initials and finals that represent the segmental phonemic portion of the language. Initials are initial consonants and finals are all possible mixtures of medials, the nucleus vowel, final vowel or consonant.

Written Language

Chinese language characters look like kind of pictures, and often referred to as a language of ” pictographs”. But many of the Chinese words are actually quite abstract and stylished pictures of what they represent. Very often it is difficult to guess the meaning from its characters. A well-educated Chinese People should master 6000 charaters. Students should learn about 2000 characters to read Chinese newpapaer and books.

Simplifications

To raise literacy, China set up the Committee for Reforming the Chinese language in Beijing 1954. The committee has simplified over 2000 characters, reducing the number of strokes by about half. This reform is quite a success in the China mainland. But people in Taiwan and Hong Kong still use the traditional characters.

Useful Chinese Phrases

hǎo
你  好

English Pinyin/ Characters Phenetics English
Make Directions:
Stop! tíng
停!
ting
Left zuǒ
zaw
Right yòu
yo
Go straight qián
chee’ an
There nà lǐ
那 里
nar lee
Here zhè lǐ
这 里
jur lee
Toilet cè suǒ
厕  所
tsur saw
In the restaurant:
Chopstick kuài zǐ
筷  子
kwhy za
Knife dao
dow
Fork cha  zi
 叉 子
char z
Spoon shao zi
  勺  子
sheow z
Water shuǐ
shway
Settle the Bill mǎi dān
买  单
my dan
English Pinyin/ Characters Phenetics English
Pronouns:
I / Me
wore
You
knee
He / She / It tā tā tā
他 / 她 / 它
tar
Numbers:
1
e
2 èr
r
3 sān
san
4
sz
5
oo
6 liù
leo
7
chee
8
bah
9 jiǔ
jeo
10 shí
shr
Basic Chinese Characters

Chinese characters have been in existence for over 5,000 years. All though they have continued to develop, the basic form of writing was already established by 200 A.D. This makes it only a very interesting aspect of Chinese life, but also one of mankind’s greatest achievement.

woman;
girl;
daughter;
 
女儿 daughter
女工 woman worker
女皇 empress
女人 woman
女士 lady
女王 queen
女性 the famale
infant;
child;
son;
 
子弹 bullet
子弟 young generations
子女 children
子孙 descendants
子夜 midnight
子音 consonant
孩子 child
tree;
wood;
 
 
木材 timber
木筏 wooden raft
木工 carpentry
木瓜 papaya
木屐 clogs
木匠 carpenter
木料 timber;lumber
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