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Learning Corner

Chinese Language Learning

What is Chinese Language (中文)?

  1. Literally, the language used by the Chinese people.
  2. Each Chinese character (or kanji in Japanese). Represents a monosyllabic Chinese word or morpheme.
  3. However, the relationship between the Chinese spoken and written language is rather complex. Its spoken varieties evolved at different rates, while written Chinese itself has changed much less.
  4. Chinese people use the same writing system starting from Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD) (the Traditional Chinese). Until the PRC implemented simplified characters in 1964.
  5. The Chinese script spread to Korea together with Buddhism from the 2nd century BC to 5th century AD. The Japanese kanji were adopted for recording the Japanese language from the 5th century AD.
  6. Chinese characters were first used in Vietnam during the millennium of Chinese rule starting in 111 BC. They were used to write Classical Chinese and adapted around the 13th century to create the Nôm script to write Vietnamese.
    resources1(Writing of Wang Xizhi 303-361 AD)
  7. The writing system of China is basically the same but there are a lot of linguistic subdivisions in China.

    The seven main groups are:

    Languages Population Size
    Mandarin/Putonghua 國語/普通話 1.3Billion
    Yue including Cantonese 粵語 包括廣東話 80 Millions
    Wu including Shanghainese吳語 包括上海話 60 Millions
    Min including Hokkien, Taiwanese and Teochew 閩語 包括福建話、台灣話、潮州話 50 Millions
    Xiang 湘語 38 Millions
    Hakka 客家話 30 Millions
    Gan 贑語 22 Millions/td>
  8. There are dialects under these seven main groups. For example, Mandarin can be spoken by people from Beijing or Tianjin; Cantonese can be spoken by people in Hong Kong or Guangzhou each of the different places may have their own dialects.
  9. All spoken Chinese are tonal languages
    Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning of words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional which is called intonation, but not all languages use tones to distinguish words.
  10. Polit-linguistically, the Greater China area is separated in the four pieces now.

    Area Official Language Writing System Spoken Language
    The Chinese Mainland Putonghua (Mandarin) Simplified Chinese Mandarin
    Taiwan Mandarin Traditional Chinese Mandarin and Min (or so called Taiwanese)
    Hong Kong Chinese (Cantonese) and English Traditional Chineseand English Cantonese and English
    Macau Chinese and Portuguese (very minimal usage) Traditional Chinese and Portuguese (very minimal usage) Cantonese

1.Major Ethnic Groups in China

English Name Chinese Name 2010 National Shares
Han 漢族 91.6474%
Zhuang 壯族 1.2700%
Hui 回族 0.7943%
Manchu 滿族 0.7794%
Uyghur 維吾爾族 0.7555%
Miao 苗族 0.7072%
Yi 彝族 0.6538%
Tujia 土家族 0.6268%
Tibetan 藏族 0.4713%
Mongol 蒙古族 0.4488%


Han 漢族(Population in China 1.3B)

The Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to East Asia. They constitute approximately 92% of the population of China, 98% of the population of Taiwan, making them the largest ethnic group in the world. There is considerable genetic, linguistic, cultural, and social diversity among the Han, mainly due to thousands of years of immigration and assimilation of various regional ethnicities and tribes within China. The Han Chinese is a subset of the Chinese nation.

Traditional Han Costume


Zhaung 壯族 (Population in China 17M)

A branch of Yue, the native People of Guangdong, Guangxi and Vietnam, The Yue were assimilated or displaced as Chinese civilization expanded into southern China in the first half of the first millennium AD. Variations of the name are still used in both the name of Vietnam (Chinese: 越; Vietnamese: Việt) and the abbreviation for Guangdong (Chinese: 粤; Jyutping: jyut6). But the Zhaung people still keep their tradition and culture.

A Zhaung Person with their costume

Hui 回族 (Population in China 10M)

A group of Muslim business people came to China at the 7th century from Arab and Persia. Most of them lived in Kaifeng, and Quanzhou. More of them came after the Mongol conquered in the 13th century.

A Hui’s couple

Manchu 滿族 (Population in China 10M)

A minority ethnic that conquered China twice in history (Jin Dynasty AD 1115-1234, North of China and Qing Dynasty Ad 1644-1911, the whole China). Most of them merged with Han Chinese after the 1911 Revolution.

An old man with the famous Manchurian braid

Manchurian Costume for Women

Manchurian Costume for Men

Uyghur 維吾爾族 (Population in China 10M)

A middle Asia ethnic that believe in Muslim. Having 2000 years of history interaction with the mainland. Conquered by the Qing Empire at AD 1759.

An Uyghur woman

Miao 苗族 (Population in China 9M)

Also Hmong, an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

A Miao’s woman

Yi or Lolo (Population in China 8M)

One of the oldest ethnic group in China originated from the Southwest of China.

Yi people with their traditional costume

Tujia 土家族 (Population in China 8M)

One of the oldest ethnic group in the Southwest of China. Interestingly, they share the gene of the modern Greek people, it is believe that they are mixed in the Song dynasty (AD 960-AD 1279)

Traditional Tujia Costume

Tibetan 藏族 (Population in China 5M)

Shared the same origin from Han ethnic but separated from 4000 years ago. Most of them believe in Tibetan Buddhism. Part of China since they surrendered to the Mongol Empire at (AD 1247)

A Tibetan Man

10. Mongol 蒙古族 (Population in China 5M)

Lived in the North of China for thousands years. Emerged and conquered the whole China in the 13th century.

Costume of Mongol

2.History Time Table of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

History of China 中國歷史

 

Xia Dynasty 夏朝 2100-1600 BC
Shang Dynasty 商朝 1600-1046 BC
Zhou Dynasty 周朝(Western Zhou) 西周(Eastern Zhou) 東周

(Spring and Autumn Period) 春秋時代

(Warring States Period) 戰國時代

1045-255BC1045-771BC770-256 BC

770-453 BC

453-221 BC

Qin Dynasty 秦朝 221-206 BC
Han Dynasty 漢朝(Western Han) 西漢(Xin Dynasty) 新朝

(Eastern Han) 東漢

206 BC-220 AD206 BC -9 AD9 – 23 AD

25 – 220 AD

Three Kingdoms 三國 220-280 AD
Jin Dynasty 晉朝(Western Jin) 西晉(Eastern Jin) 東晉 265-420 AD265-316 AD317-420 AD
Southern and Northen Dynasties南北朝 420- 589 AD
Sui Dynasty 隋朝 581-618 AD
Tang Dynasty 唐朝(Second Zhou) 武周 618-907 AD690-705 AD
5 Dynasties and 10 Kingdoms五代十國 907-960 AD
Song Dynasty 宋朝Northern Song 北宋Southern Song 南宋 960-1279 AD960-1127 AD1127-1279 AD
Yuan Dynasty (Mongol) 元朝 1271-1368 AD
Ming Dynasty 明朝 1368-1644 AD
Qing Dynasty (Manchurian)清朝 1644-1911 AD
Republic of China 中華民國 1912-1949 AD
Republic of China on Taiwan中華民國 (台灣) 1949-Present
People’s Republic of China中華人民共和國 1949-Present

History of Hong Kong 香港歷史

The First Opium War 鴉片戰爭 1839-1842
Cession of Hong Kong Island, founded as a crown colony of the United Kingdom(Treaty of Nanking) 南京條約 29 August 1842
The Second Opium War 1856-1860
Cession of Kowloon(South of Boundary Street)(Convention of Beijing) 北京條約 18 October 1860
Sino-Japanese War 甲午戰爭 1894-1895
Lease of the New Territories(including New Kowloon)Second Convention of Beijing展拓香港界址專條 1 July 1898
Japanese Occupationduring World War II 日佔時期 23 December 1941 to 15 August 1945.
Sino British Joint Declaration中英聯合聲明 19 Dec 1984
Transfer of the Sovereignty ofHong Kong 主權移交 1 July 1997

History of Taiwan

Dutch Occupation 荷治時期 1624
Kingdom of Tungning 明鄭時期 1661-1683
Qing Rule 清治時期 1683-1895
Sino-Japanese War 甲午戰爭 1894-1895
Japanese Rule 日治時期 1895-1945
Republic of China 中華民國時期 1945-Present

3.Study Cantonese or Mandarin?

A number of students have difficulty in deciding whether they have to study Cantonese or Mandarin. In my opinion, you may study Cantonese if you reside in Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is an international city, people are very English friendly, but there are a lot of local culture that is not available in English. You can order food or take a taxi by using English. However, your exploration is limited. If you are in the manufacture industry or you have a lot of business to do with China. I strongly recommend that you learn Mandarin. Even if you speak one or two words in Mandarin, people would be very impressed.

4.Sample Course Outline (Cantonese)

40+60 Course for Cantonese
It is an integrated course for Cantonese beginner. The course can be dissected into three parts. Part A and Part B last for 40 hours and it is a MUST for students to study in order to kick off in Cantonese. Part A is an intensive course for oral and practical usage in Cantonese, meanwhile, Part B is a course for grammar and more structural approach.

After finishing Part A and Part B, students will be able to master daily conversation and communication in Cantonese. Part C (60 hours) is an intermediate course for students who finished Part A and B (40 hours). It is a tailor made program for students for want to impress their business partners/friends/spouse with their Cantonese Level. Since they have already finished 40 hours of training, it is liable that they can master an intermediate or advanced level of Cantonese in their business field.

Study Cantonese or Mandarin?
A number of students have difficulty in deciding whether they have to study Cantonese or Mandarin. In my opinion, you may study Cantonese if you reside in Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is an international city, people are very English friendly, but there are a lot of local culture that is not available in English. You can order food or take a taxi by using English. However, your exploration is limited. If you are in the manufacture industry or you have a lot of business to do with China. I strongly recommend that you learn Mandarin. Even if you speak one or two words in Mandarin, people would be very impressed.

Lesson 1 Greetings and Introduction
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Useful Expression
Basic Greetings
Part B
Romanization Systems in Cantonese
Cantonese as one of a Chinese Languages
Pronunciation in Cantonese
Six Tones in Cantonese
Checked Tones (Glottal Stops) in Cantonese
Lesson 2 Numbers
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Number System in Cantonese
Cardinals and Ordinals Numbers
Large Number in Cantonese
Money System
Maths Calculations in Cantonese
Asking for Phone Numbers
Lucky and Taboo Numbers
Part B
Word Structure and Morphology in Cantonese
Lesson 3 Asking for Directions
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Asking for Directions
Taking a Taxi
On a Mini Bus
Vocabulary for Places
Vocabulary for Transportation
Part B
Asking “Where is…” Questions
The Case of Omission of Subject in Cantonese
Basic Sentence Structure “Subject+Verb+Object”
Asking Rhetorical Questions
Lesson 4 What Time
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Time and Date System in Cantonese
Weekday System in Cantonese
Review on the Numbers
Part B
Asking “What time” Questions
Asking “What date” Questions
Asking “When” Questions
Lesson 5 He is My Friend
Duration 4 Hours
Content
Part A
Addressing Others in Cantonese
Vocabulary for Introducing Friends
Drilling Exercise
Translation
Names of Countries
Part B
Personal Pronouns
Asking “Wh” Questions
Use of Measure Words
Use of Possessive
Use of Measure Words as Possessive
Asking “Yes/No” Questions with “Verb to Be”
Lesson 6 How Much is This?
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Review on Money System
Vocabulary for Shopping
Vocabulary for Color
Translation Exercise
Part B
Review on “What” Questions
Introducing Possession and Existence “yauh”
Lesson 7 Buying Food and Drink
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Conversation for Buying Food and Drink
Vocabulary for Food and Drinks
Translation Exercise
Part B
Using “or” Questions
Using the word “give”
Lesson 8 Casual Chat with Friends
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Chatting
Translation Exercise
Drilling Exercise
Part B
Subject+Time+Action Sentence Structure
Review on “What time” Sentence Structure
Lesson 9 I am Busy
Duration 4 Hours
Content
Part A
More Vocabulary for Chatting with Friends
Pursue a Man/Woman
Initiate a Topic
Review Exercise
Translation Exercise
Part B
Describe Actions in the Sequence of How Things Happened
Using the Word “with”
Use of Adjectives in Different Levels
Use of Final Particles
Asking Questions with Comparative Adjectives
Lesson 10 Dim Sum
Duration 4 Hours
Content
Part A
Table Manner
Chinese Tea and Dim sum
Rice and Noodles
Conversation in a Dim Sum Restaurant
Reading Exercise
Review on Numbers
Part B
Using the Word “like” in a Sentence
Using the Word “want” in a Sentence
Action at Present or Near Future
Lesson 11 A Chinese Dinner
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Cantonese Dishes
Ordering Food in a Chinese Restaurant
Part B
Counting Objects
Action in the Recent Past
Using “I want” Sentence Structure
Lesson 12 Where do You Live?
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Some Places
Asking Where do you live and Where do you work?
Inviting Others for a Dinner
Review on Asking Questions
Part B
Subject+Place+Action Sentence Structure
Giving Suggestion
Lesson 13 Weather and Date
Duration 4 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Weather
Review on Date and Weekday
Reading Comprehension
Review Exercise
Translation Exercise
Part B
“How Often” Sentence Structure
Using “until”, “to” in a Sentence
Using “but” in a Sentence
Lesson 14 Location
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Asking for Locations
Vocabulary for Locations
Study a Map
Part B
Using the word “know”
“If…then…”Sentence Structure
Lesson 15 Learning Cantonese
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Holidays
Vocabulary for Learning a Language
Part B
Asking “How Long” Questions
Review on the Time Indicators
Action under Progress
The “will” Sentence Structure
Lesson 16 Tour around Hong Kong
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Chinese Food in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Movie
Tour in Hong Kong
Translation Exercise
Part B
Showing one’s Experience
Using the Word “not yet”
Using the Word “dak”
Using the Word “sin”

After the first 40 hours, you may keep on the intensive study with the textbook or you may choose some of the topics below as extensive study. You may suggest some interesting topics to us.
Part C Optional Topics

1. Oral Practice in Cantonese
2. Social Problems in Hong Kong
3. Chinese Newspaper and Magazine Reading
4. Introduction to Hong Kong/Chinese Culture (Ethnicity, Language, Culture, Religion,Festival)
5. Exploration of Food and Beverage in Hong Kong
6. Introduction to History and Heritage in Hong Kong
7. Exploration of Local Culture in Hong Kong
8. Exploration of Natural Environment in Hong Kong
9. Reading Comprehension in Chinese
10. Introduction to Chinese Literature
11. Introduction to History of China/Hong Kong
12. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
13. Listening to News in Cantonese
14. Introduction to Film and TV Drama of Hong Kong
15. Introduction to Canton Pop
16. Cantonese Opera Appreciation
17. Introduction to Chinese Grammar
18. Introduction to Tonal Language
19. Introduction to Chinese Writing
20. Introduction to Calligraphy
21. Chinese Arts and Music Appreciation

Texbooks:
(For the First 40 Hours)
Chan, Kwok Kin and Hung, Betty. (2009) A Cantonese Book Third Edition. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
(For 40 Hours Onwards)
Lee, Yin-Ping Cream (1998) Current Cantonese Colloquialisms. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
Lee, Yin-Ping Cream and Kataoka, Shin. (2013) A Shortcut to Cantonese. An Innovative Approach for English and Putonghua Speakers. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
References:
Chan, Kwok Kin and Hung, Betty. (2009) A Cantonese Book Third Edition. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
Chan, K., & Si, C. (2005). Cantonese in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
Chow, Bun Ching. (2009) Cantonese for Everyone. Hong Kong, the Commercial Press.
Guan, J. (2013). A Dictionary of Cantonese Colloquialisms in English. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press.
Kwan, Choi Wah. (2013) The Right Word in Cantonese. Hong Kong, the Commercial Press.
Lee, Yin-Ping Cream (1998) Current Cantonese Colloquialisms. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Adjectives (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Basic Patterns (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Verbs (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
Lee, Yin-Ping Cream and Kataoka, Shin. (2013) A Shortcut to Cantonese. An Innovative Approach for English and Putonghua Speakers. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
McNaughton, William and LI, Ying (1999). Reading & Writing Chinese Traditional Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Hong Kong, Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.
NG Susanna (2009). Interesting Cantonese 10th Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
NG Susanna (2010). Interesting Cantonese 2 3rd Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
NG Susanna (2013). Interesting Cantonese 3 2rd Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2000). Basic Cantonese a Grammar and Workbook. New York, Routledge.
Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2011). Cantonese a Comprehensive Grammar 2nd Edition. Abington, Routledge.
Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2001). Intermediate Cantonese a Grammar and Workbook. New York, Routledge.

5.Sample Course Outline (Mandarin)

40+60 Course for Mandarin
It is an integrated course for Mandarin beginner. The course can be dissected into three parts. Part A and Part B last for 40 hours and it is a MUST for students to study in order to kick off in Mandarin. Part A is an intensive course for oral and practical usage in Mandarin, meanwhile, Part B is a course for grammar and more structural approach. After finishing Part A and Part B, students will be able to master daily conversation and communication in Mandarin. Part C (60 hours) is an intermediate course for students who finished Part A and B (40 hours). It is a tailor made program for students for want to impress their business partners with their Mandarin Level. Since they have already finished 40 hours of training, it is liable that they can master an intermediate or advanced level of Mandarin in their business field.
Study Cantonese or Mandarin?
A number of students have difficulty in deciding whether they have to study Cantonese or Mandarin. In my opinion, you may study Cantonese if you reside in Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is an international city, people are very English friendly, but there are a lot of local culture that is not available in English. You can order food or take a taxi by using English. However, your exploration is limited. If you are in the manufacture industry or you have a lot of business to do with China. I strongly recommend that you learn Mandarin. Even if you speak one or two words in Mandarin, people would be very impressed.

Lesson 1: Pronunciation and Numbers
Duration: 2 Hours
Content
Part A: Basic Vocabulary
Practice, Reading Aloud
Numbers
Part B: Initials and Finals in Mandarin
Syllables
Basic Noun Structure in Mandarin
Tones
Apostrophes
Retroflexes
Numbering System in Chinese
Writing Number in Chinese
Hand Signs for Chinese People
Lesson 2: Greetings
Duration: 2 Hours
Content
Part A: Some Common Greetings
Vocabulary
Addressing People in a Polite Manner
In Book Exercise
Reading Aloud
Part B: Basic Sentence Structures (Subject Verb Object)
Basic Question Structures (Subject Verb Object)
Omission of “Verb to be” in a sentence which followed by an adjective phrase
Surname Always Come First when Addressing People
Lesson 3: Introducing Friends and Yourself
Duration: 2 Hours
Content
Part A: Asking Others Name and Surname
Methods of Address People in Mandarin
Introducing Friends
Asking for Others Occupation
Asking for Others Nationality
Names of Some Countries
Part B: The Use of “verb to be” in Mandarin
The Use of “what” , “which” and “who” in Mandarin
Noun and Attributive Structure in Mandarin
Lesson 4: What is This?
Duration: 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Asking and Answering “What” Questions
Practice of Using Measure Words
Names of Different Objects
Part B
The Use of Measure Words in Mandarin
Subject Verb Object Order in Questions
The Use of Possessive in Mandarin
The Use of Adjective to Describe a Noun
Lesson 5 Where are You Going?
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Key Verbs in Mandarin
Names of Some Places
Asking and Answering “where” Questions
Asking and Answering “how many” Questions
Time Indicators
A Tongue Twister
Part B
Reinforcement on using the Subject Verb Object Structure
Further Expand the Subject Verb Object Structure by Using Time Indicators
Lesson 6 Ordering Food
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Review on Number
Unit of Currency in Chinese
Reading Aloud Numbers
Ordering Food and Drinks
Asking and Answering “how many” and “how much” Questions
Some Words of Food and Drinks
Eating and Family Culture
Part B
Yes/No Questions
Have/Do Not Have Questions
“May I have” Questions
Lesson 7 Taking Taxis and Looking for Direction
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Basic Conversation in a Taxi
Basic Conversation to Look for Places
The Use of Suffixes to Show Done Actions
Part B
Asking and Answering “How” Questions
Asking and Answering ‘Do you know” Questions
Three Basic Sentence Structures in Mandarin
Practice of Using Suffixes to Show Done Actions
Lesson 8 What Time is it?
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Asking and Answer “what time”
More Time Indicators
Reading Aloud Passages
Part B
The Use of “Time+Subject+Place+Verb+Object” Structure
Lesson 9 Date
Duration 2Hours
Content
Part A
Expressions of Date
Reading Aloud Passage
Review Exercise on the “Time+Subject+Place+Verb+Object” Structure
Part B
Using the Words “Above” and “Below”
Using the Words “Previous” and “Next”
Lesson 10 Buying Food in the Market
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Bargaining in the Market
Different Food in the Market
Introducing the word “or” in Questions
Review on “May I have” Sentence Pattern
Part B
Asking and Answer “What would you like” Questions
Review on the Measure Words
Lesson 11 Shopping for Clothes
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Color in Mandarin
Vocabulary in Clothes
Part B
Using “What About” Questions
Using “Adjectives” to Describe
The Use of Comparative and Superlative in Mandarin
Lesson 12 Eat Out
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Cooking Methods for Chinese Cuisine
Vocabulary in Restaurants
Some Famous Chinese Cuisines
Part B
Review on the “how much” sentence structure
Review on the “May I have” sentence structure
Review on the “Do you have” sentence structure
Review on the “Do you like” sentence structure
Introducing the word “times”
Lesson 13 Inviting Friends to Have Dinner
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Utensils
Vocabulary for Food
Reading Exercise
Listening Exercise
Writing Exercise
Part B
Review on the “what is” sentence structure
Lesson 14 Where do You Live?
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Asking and Answer “where do you live” questions
Vocabulary for Directions
Vocabulary for Seasons
Part B
Review on Time Indicators
Review on the word “zai” which substitute all the preposition in English
Lesson 15 Please Give Me…
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Verbs for Getting Objects in Mandarin
Introducing the Word “ba” in Mandarin
Part B
Introducing the “Subject Verb Object1+Object2” Sentence Pattern
Lesson 16 Expressing Gratitude/Making an Apology
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Expressing Gratitude or Making an Apology
Sentence Writing Exercise
Listening Exercise
Part B
Review on the Word “zai”
Review on the Subject +V1+V2 or (adj.) + Object
Review “mei” + V1+V2 (or adj.) + Object
Lesson 17 You Speak Very Well
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Using the Word “de” to Comment
Part B
Introducing the “de” Sentence Structure
Introducing the “same as” Sentence Structure
Introducing the “together with” Sentence Structure
Lesson 18 My Body
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Vocabulary for Different Body Parts
Listening Exercise
Vocabulary for a Doctor Consultation
Part B
Review on the Word “zai”
Review on “have/have not” Questions
Lesson 19 Chinese Holidays
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
Introducing to Holidays in China
Listening Exercise
Writing Exercise
Part B
Review on the “May I have…” Sentence Structure
Review on the suffixes “guo” and “le”
Lesson 20 Overall Review
Duration 2 Hours
Content
Part A
A Listening Comprehension
Part B
Review on All Sentence Patterns
Review on the Vocabulary

After the first 40 hours, you may keep on the intensive study with the textbook or you may choose some of the topics below as extensive study. You may suggest some interesting topics to us.

Part C Optional Topics
1. Oral Practice in Mandarin
2. Social Problems in China
3. Chinese Newspaper and Magazine Reading
4. Introduction to Chinese Culture (Ethnicity, Language, Culture, Religion,Festival)
5. Exploration of Food and Beverage in China
6. Introduction to History and Heritage in China
7. Local Culture in China
8. Exploration of Natural Environment in China
9. Reading Comprehension in Chinese
10. Introduction to Chinese Literature
11. Introduction to History of China
12. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
13. Listening to News in Mandarin
14. Introduction to Film and TV Drama in Chinese
15. Introduction to Music in Chinese
16. Chinese Opera Appreciation
17. Introduction to Chinese Grammar
18. Introduction to Tonal Language
19. Introduction to Chinese Writing
20. Introduction to Calligraphy
21. Chinese Arts and Music Appreciation
Texbooks:
(For the First 40 Hours)
Liu, H.M. (2006). Chinese Express. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press
(For 40 Hours onwards)
Liu, H.M. (2009). Chinese Express 2. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press

References:
Liu, H.M. (2006). Chinese Express. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press
Liu, H.M. (2009). Chinese Express 2. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press
Matthews, Alison and Matthews, Laurence (2007). Learning Chinese Characters. HSK Level. North Clarendon, Tuttle Publishing
McNaughton, William (2005). Reading & Writing Chinese Simplified Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Hong Kong, Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.
McNaughton, William and LI, Ying (1999). Reading & Writing Chinese Traditional Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.
Tan, M., & Wang, H. (2012). Chinese Express (6th ed., Vol. Talk Chinese). Beijing: Cypress Book UK
Yip, Po-Ching and Rimmington, Don. (2004). Chinese, a Comprehensive Grammar, Abingdon, Routledge

a)Cantonese

What is Cantonese? (廣東話)

  1. Literally, a language spoken in Guangdong Province (廣東省).
  2. One of Chinese languages.
  3. Shares a similar writing system as other Chinese languages.
  4. It is a tonal language.
  5. There are various dialects of Cantonese, with different accents in different regions.
  6. Starting from 661 AD, Guangzhou (or Canton) was one of the trading ports in China. In 1757 AD, Guangzhou became the only trading ports of China until 1842 AD. Therefore, the Cantonese language (not Mandarin)became the lingua franca for business between the Chinese people and the foreign people.
  7. After 1949, Hong Kong is the only free city in the territory. Through years of mass media and pop culture influence, Hong Kong has now become the cultural center of Cantonese.
  8. Cantonese is a tonal language. There are six tones in total.
    Name of tone

    • High Level
    • High Rising
    • Middle Level
    • Low Falling
    • Low Rising
    • Low Level

Chinese Writing System/ Chinese Characters Calligraphy

cw1

Oracle Bone Script (1500-1200BC)

cw2

Bronze Script (1200BC-219AD)

cw3

Seal Script (770BC-220AD)

cw4

Clerical Script (206BC-Present)

cw5

Phonetics System in Cantonese

Phonetics System in Cantonese

Unfortunately, there is no single standardized phonetics system in Cantonese. The most commonly used systems are Yale and Jyutping.

Six Tones in Cantonese

Cantonese is a language that closed to the Middle Age Chinese. In the past, tones are an indispensable part of Chinese language and literature, as characters in poetry and prose were chosen according to tones and rhymes for their euphony. In the Tang (618-907AD) and Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), writing poetry is an assessment in the imperial examination. The use of tones helps in reconstructing the pronunciation of Old Chinese and Middle Chinese, since the Chinese writing system is logographic rather than phonetic. In Modern Chinese, tones are used to distinguish meanings of different words.

  • High Level Si1 詩 Poem
  • High Rising Si2 史 History
  • Middle Level Si3 試 Try
  • Low Falling Sih4 時 Time
  • Low Rising Sih5 市 Market
  • Low Level Sih6 事 Matter

Low tones may indicated by an “h” after the vowel
Check Tones in Cantonese

A Checked Tone or Entering Tone is not a tone in the phonetic sense, but rather describe a syllable that ends in a stop consonant, such as p,t,k, or glottal stop.

However, the checked “tones”, have disappeared from most of the Mandarin dialects since 14century but remain preserved in Cantonese.

As in 六luhk6 七chat1 十sahp6

Some Key Differences in Different Phonetics Systems
Initials

IPA Yale Jyutping C.P.Y
Dz J Z Ts
Ts Ch C Tsh

 

Cantonese Numbers

Cantonese Numbers
1. 1﹣10
一(yat1)
二(yih6)
三(saam1)
四(sei3 4)
五(ngh5/mh5)
六(luhk6)
七(chat1)
八(baat3)
九(gau2)
十(sahp6)
零(lihng4)

2. 11-99
11﹣20
十一 (sahp6 yat1)
十二 (sahp6 yih6)
十三 (sahp6 saam1)
十四 (sahp6 sei3)
十五 (sahp6 ngh5)
十六 (sahp6 luhk6)
十七 (sahp6 chat1)
十八 (sahp6 baat3)
十九 (sahp6 gau2)
二十 (yih6 sahp6)

21﹣30
二十一 (yih6 sahp6 yat1)/廿一 (yah6 yat1)
二十二 (yih6 sahp6 yih6)/廿二 (yah6 yih6)
二十三 (yih6 sahp6 saam1)/廿三 (yah6 saam1)
二十四 (yih6 sahp6 sei3)/廿四 (yah6 sei3)
二十五 (yih6 sahp6 ngh5)/廿五 (yah6 ngh5)
二十六 (yih6 sahp6 luhk6)/廿六 (yah6 luhk 6)
二十七 (yih6 sahp6 chat1)/廿七 (yah6 chat1)
二十八 (yih6 sahp6 baat3)/廿八 (yah6 baat3)
二十九 (yih6 sahp6 gau2)/廿九 (yah6 gau2)
三十 (saam1 sahp6)

31﹣40
三十一 (saam1 sahp6 yat1)
三十二 (saam1 sahp6 yih6)
三十三 (saam1 sahp6 saam1)
三十四 (saam1 sahp6 sei3)
三十五 (saam1 sahp6 ngh5)
三十六 (saam1 sahp6 luhk6)
三十七 (saam1 sahp6 chat1)
三十八 (saam1 sahp6 baat3)
三十九 (saam1 sahp6 gau2)
四十 (sei3 sahp6)

41﹣50
四十一 (sei3 sahp6 yat1)
四十二 (sei3 sahp6 yih6)
四十三 (sei3 sahp6 saam1)
四十四 (sei3 sahp6 sei3)
四十五 (sei3 sahp6 ngh5)
四十六 (sei3 sahp6 luhk6)
四十七 (sei3 sahp6 chat1)
四十八 (sei3 sahp6 baat3)
四十九 (sei3 sahp6 gau2)
五十 (ngh3/mh3 sahp6)

51﹣60
五十一 (ngh3 sahp6 yat1)
五十二 (ngh3 sahp6 yih6)
五十三 (ngh3 sahp6 saam1)
五十四 (ngh3 sahp6 sei3)
五十五 (ngh3 sahp6 ngh5)
五十六 (ngh3 sahp6 luhk6)
五十七 (ngh3 sahp6 chat1)
五十八 (ngh3 sahp6 baat3)
五十九 (ngh3 sahp6 gau2)
六十 (luhk6 sahp6)

61﹣70
六十一 (sahp6 yat1)
六十二 (sahp6 yih6)
六十三 (sahp6 saam1)
六十四 (sahp6 sei3)
六十五 (sahp6 ngh5)
六十六 (sahp6 luhk6)
六十七 (sahp6 chat1)
六十八 (sahp6 baat3)
六十九 (sahp6 gau2)
七十 (chat1 sahp6)

71﹣80
七十一 (chat1 sahp6 yat1)
七十二 (chat1 sahp6 yih6)
七十三 (chat1 sahp6 saam1)
十十四 (chat1 sahp6 sei3)
七十五 (chat1 sahp6 ngh5)
七十六 (chat1 sahp6 luhk6)
七十七 (chat1 sahp6 chat1)
七十八 (chat1 sahp6 baat3)
七十九 (chat1 sahp6 gau2)
八十 (baat3 sahp6)

81﹣90
八十一 (baat3 sahp6 yat1)
八十二 (baat3 sahp6 yih6)
八十三 (baat3 sahp6 saam1)
八十四 (baat3 sahp6 sei3)
八十五 (baat3 sahp6 ngh5)
八十六 (baat3 sahp6 luhk6)
八十七 (baat3 sahp6 chat1)
八十八 (baat3 sahp6 baat3)
八十九 (baat3 sahp6 gau2)
九十 (gau2 sahp6)

91﹣99
九十一 (gau2 sahp6 yat1)
九十二 (gau2 sahp6 yih6)
九十三 (gau2 sahp6 saam1)
九十四 (gau2 sahp6 sei3)
九十五 (gau2 sahp6 ngh5)
九十六 (gau2 sahp6 luhk6)
九十七 (gau2 sahp6 chat1)
九十八 (gau2 sahp6 baat3)
九十九 (gau2 sahp6 gau2)

1. Hundred 百 baak3
一百 yat1 baak3 100
二百 yih6 baak3 200
三百 saam1 baak3 300
四百 sei3 baak3 400
五百 ngh5 baak3 500
六百 luhk6 baak3 600
七百 chat1 baak3 700
八百 baat3 baak3 800
九百 gau2 baak3 900

2. Building up numbers from 101 to 999

For ten, we have to pronounce 一十 yat1 sahp6 instead of 十sahp
For example
110= 一百一十 yat1 baak3 yat1 sahp6

If zero is in between, we have to pronounce it once.
For example
102 一百零二 yat1 baak3 ling4 yih6

Practice
101 一百零一= yat1 baak3 ling4 yat1
222 二百二十二= yih6 baak3 yih6 sahp6 yih6
567 五百六十七= ngh5 baak3 luhk6 sahp6 chat1
730 七百三十= chat1 baak3 saam1 sahp6
888 八百八十八= baat3 baak3 baat3 sahp6 baat3
999 九百九十九= gau2 baak3 gau2 sahp6 gau2
456= 四百五十六=???

3. Counting thousands and above
千 chin1 thousand
一千 yat1 chin1 1,000
二千 yih6 chin1 2,000
三千 saam1 chin1 3,000
四千 sei3 chin1 4,000
五千 ngh5 chin1 5,000
六千 luhk6 chin1 6,000
七千 chat1 chin1 7,000
八千 baat3 chin1 8,000
九千 gau2 chin1 9,000
萬 maan6 ten thousands
一萬 yat1 maan6 10,000
二萬 yih6 maan6 20,000
三萬 saam1 maan6 30,000
四萬 sei3 maan6 40,000
五萬 ngh5 maan6 50,000
六萬 luhk6 maan6 60,000
七萬 chat1 maan6 70,000
八萬 baat3 maan6 80,000
九萬 gau2 maan6 90,000

Mahjong 麻雀 ma4 jeuk3

十萬 sahp6 maan6 100,000
二十萬 yih6 sahp6 maan6 200,000
三十萬 saam1 sahp6 maan6 300,000
四十萬 sei3 sahp6 maan6 400,000
五十萬 ngh3 sahp6 maan6 500,000
六十萬 luhk6 sahp6 maan6 600,000
七十萬 chat1 sahp6 maan6 700,000
八十萬 baat3 sahp6 maan6 800,000
九十萬 gau2 sahp 6 maan6 900,000
一百萬 yat1 baak3 maan6 1M
一千萬 yat1 chin1 maan6 10M
一億 yat1 yik1 100M

Table for the Number Translation:

(一)個
(yat1) go3

sahp6
(一)百
(yat1)
baak3
(一)千
(yat1)
chin1
(一)萬
(yat1)
maan6
十萬
sahp6
maan6
(一)
百萬
(yat1)
baak3
maan6
(一)
千萬
(yat1)
chin1
maan6
(一)億
(yat1)
yik1
1 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1M 10M 100M

4. Ordinal Numbers
When a cardinal number is preceded by 第dai6, it becomes ordinal.
Example:
第一 dai6 yat1 the first
第二 dai6 yih6 the second
第三 dai6 saam1 the third
第… dai6… (and so on)
第幾(名)? Dai6 gei2 (ming4)? What rank?
Putting a verb in front of the ordinal number to tell the ranking in an event
Example:
考第幾? Haau2 (to exam) dai6 gei2? What is the ranking in the exam?
跑第幾? Paau2 (to run) dai6 gei2? What is the ranking in the race?
Title in a Competition:

冠軍 gun3 gwan1 the champion
亞軍 a3 gwan1 the second place/first runner-up
季軍 gwai3 gwan1 the third place/second runner-up
殿軍 din6 gwan1 the fourth place

Title in an Exam:

狀元 jong6 yun4 the first in the highest imperial examination in the past now the first in the public examination
榜眼 bong2 ngaan5 the second
探花 taam3 fa1 the third

Practice
3rd 8th 2nd 4th 10th 1st 50th which rank?

The Champion
The First Runner up
The Second Runner up
The Fourth Place
The First in the public exam
The Second in the public exam
The Third in the public exam

5. Money
In Hong Kong, the basic unit of money is called 文 man1 which means one Hong Kong Dollar. The word 文man1 can be traced to 文錢man4 chin4 at the past.

(A coin issued by the Southern Tang State in 937AD)
Man1 文 is also used as a measure word, so when you are mentioning an amount of money, just include man1 文 after the numerical value.

Numerical Value + man1 文
一文 yat1 man1 $1
兩文 leung5 man1 $2
三文 saam1 man1 $3
四文 sei3 man1 $4
五文 ngh3 man1 $5
六文 luhk6 man1 $6
七文 chat1 man1 $7
八文 baat3 man1 $8
九文 gau1 man1 $9
十文 sahp6 man1 $10

6. Ten-cent units
In Hong Kong currency, the smallest unit of money is houh4 ji2 毫子, which is a ten-cent unit (similar to the US “dime”). In spoken language, the shorter form “houh4” 毫, is used as the measure word.

1-9 + houh4

一毫(子) yat1 houh4 (ji2) ten cents
兩毫(子) leung5 houh4 (ji2) twenty cents
三毫(子) saam1 houh4 (ji2) thirty cents
四毫(子) sei3 houh4 (ji2) forty cents
五毫(子) ngh5 houh4 (ji2) fifty cents
六毫(子) luhk6 houh4 (ji2) sixty cents
七毫(子) chat1 houh4 (ji2) seventy cents
八毫(子) baat3 houh4 (ji2) eighty cents
九毫(子) gau2 houh4 (ji2) ninety cents

7. Dollars and ten-cent units
When a figure involved both dollars and ten-cent units, go3 個is used instead of man1 文for dollars and houh4 is omitted in the speech. Also the word bun3 半 is used for fifty cents.

Figure of dollars +go3 個+ Figure of ten-cents
三個四 saam1 go3 sei3 $3.4
十二個三sahp6 yih6 go3 saam1 $12.3
九十九個九 gau2 sahp6 gau2 go3 gau2 $99.9
四個半 Sei3 go3 bun3 $4.5
兩個二 Leung5 go3 yih6 $2.
Omission of yat1 一 in one dollar and something

個一 go3 yat1 $1.1
個二 go3 yih6 $1.2
個三 go3 saam1 $1.3
個四 go3 sei3 $1.4
個半 go3 bun3 $1.5
個六 go3 luhk6 $1.6
個七 go3 chat1 $1.7
個八 go3 baat3 $1.8
個九 go3 gau2 $1.9

Practice
Read aloud the amounts of money given below

$350= saam1 baak3 ngh5 sahp6 man1

$2,205, $1,489, $37,961, $75,888

Useful Daily Expression

Useful Expressions

Basic Greetings

1. 你好。 Hello

Neih5/Leih5 hou2

2. 你好嗎?How are you?

Neih5/Leih5 hou2 ma3?

3. 幾好有心。Quite good, thanks for asking.

Gei2 hou2 yauh5 sum1

4. 好好。I am fine.

Hou2 hou

5. 麻麻地。 Just so-so.

Ma4 ma42 dei2

6. 唔係幾好。 Not so good

Mh4 haih6 gei2 hou2

7. 唔好。 Not good.

Mh4 hou2

8. 喂。 Hi (Between closer acquaintances)

Wai3

9. 喂。 Hi (On the phone)

Wai2

10. 哈佬 Hello (informal)

Ha1 Lo2

Every Day Greetings

1. 早晨 Good Morning

Jou2 Sahn4

2. 早抖 Good Night

Jou2 Tau2

3. 食左飯未呀?Have you eaten yet?

Sik6 Jo2 faan6 mei6 a3?

4. 食左喇 Yes, I have eaten.

Sik6 Jo2 la3

5. 未呀 Not yet.

Mei6 a3

Saying Goodbye

1. 再見 Goodbye

Joi3 Gin3

2. 拜拜 Byebye

baai1 baai3

3. 聽日見 See you tomorrow

ting1 yaht6 gin3

4. 一陣見 See you in a while

yat1 jan6 gin3

5. 慢慢行 Mind your step

maan6 maan2 haang4

Useful Expression

1. 歡迎 Welcome

fun1 ying4

2. 唔該 Thank you

mh4 goi1

3. 多謝 Thank you

do1 jeh6

4. 唔使客氣 You’re welcome

mh4 sai2 haak3 hei3

5. 對唔住 Sorry

deui3 mh4 jyu6

6. 唔好意思 Excuse me

mh4 hou2 yi3 si1

7. 唔緊要 Never mind

mh4 gan2 yiu3

8. 冇問題 No problem

mou5 man6 tai4

9. 埋單 The Bill

maai4 daan1

10. 有落 I want to get off

yauh5 lok6

11. 呢度停車 Stop the car

Ni/li douh6 ting4 che1

12. 唔該等等 Please wait

mh4 goi1 dang2 dang2

13. 唔該借借 Please let me go through

mh4 goi1 je3 je3

14. 咪郁, 畀錢 Frezze give me the money

maih5 yuk1 bei2 chin2

15. 唔該快啲 Faster please

mh4 goi1 faai1 di1

16. 救命呀 Help

gau3 meng6 a3

17. 唔該打九九九 Please dial 999

mh4 goi1 da2 gau2 gau2 gau2

18. 我唔知 I don’t know

ngoh5 mh4 ji1

Dim Sum List

海鮮酒家Hoi2 Sin1 Jau2 Ga1
Seafood Restaurant

飲茶Yam2 Cha4 Drink tea or going to a dim sum restaurant

茶 Cha1 Tea
1. 普洱 Pou2 Lei2 Pu’er Tea

2. 香片 Heung1 Pin2 Jasmine Tea
3. 鐵觀音 Tit3 Gwun1 Yam1 Iron Buddha Tea

4. 水仙 Seui2 Sin1 Narcissus Tea

5. 壽眉 Sau6 Mei2 Shou Mei Tea

蒸點心 Jing1 Dim2 Sum1 Steamed Dim Sum蝦餃 Ha1 Gaau2 Shrimp Dumpling

燒賣 Siu1 Maai2 Pork Dumpling

鳳爪 Fuhng6 Jaau2 Chicken Feet

牛肉燒賣 Ngaau4 Yuk6 Siu1 Maai2 Beef Dumpling

山竹牛肉 San1 Juk1 Ngaau4 Yuk6 Beef Ball

叉燒包 Cha1 Siu1 Baau1 BBQ Pork Bun

雞包 Gaai1 Baau1 Chicken Bun

蓮蓉包 Lin4 Yong4 Baau1 Lotus Seed Bun

麻茸包 Ma4 Yong 4 Baau1 Sesame Bun

奶黃包 Naaih5 Wohng1 Baau1 Custard Bun

流沙包 Lauh4 Sa1 Baau1 Custard and Butter Bun

馬拉糕 Ma3 Laai1 Go1 Malaysian Sponge Cake

鮮竹卷 Sin1 Juk1 Gyun2 Pork, Mushroom and Vegetable Dumpling

金錢肚 Gam1 Chin4 To3 Beef Stomach

牛柏葉 Ngaau4 Pak3 Yip6 Beef Omasum

粉果 Fan2 Guo2 ChiuChow Dumpling

小籠包 Siu2 Lung4 Baau1 Xiaolong Bao

珍珠雞 Jan1 Jyu1 Gai1 Rice and Chicken Dumpling

豬手 Jyu1 Sau2 Ham Hock

豬腳薑 Jyu1 Guk2 Geung1 Pork Leg with Ginger

雞扎 Gaai1 Jak3 Chicken Pork and Ham Dumpling

排骨 paaih3 gwat1 Steamed Spare Rib

釀豆腐 Yeung6 Dou6 Fu6 Stuffed Bean Curd

蒸蘿蔔糕 Jing1 Lo4 Bahk6 Go1 Steamed Turnip Cake

腸粉 Cheung2 Fun2 Rice Roll
蝦米腸 Ha1 Mai3 Cheung2 Dried Shrimp Rice Roll

牛腸 Ngaau4 Cheung2 Beef Rice Roll

蝦腸 Ha1 Cheung2 Shrimp Rice Roll

豬潤腸 Jyu1 Yeun2 Cheung2 Pork Liver Rice Roll

叉燒腸 Cha1 Siu1 Cheung 2 BBQ Pork Rice Roll

炸兩 Ja3 Leung3 Fried Rice Roll

齋腸 Jai1 Cheung2 Vegetable Rice Roll
煎、炸、焗點心 Jin1 Ja3 Guk6 Dim2 Sum1
Fried or Baked Dim Sum
煎蘿蔔糕 Jin1 Lo4 Bahk6 Go1 Fried Turnip Cake

馬蹄糕 Ma3 Taai4 Go1 Water Chestnut Cake

煎釀三寶 Jin1 Yeung6 Saam1 Bou2 eggplant(aubergine), Green Bell Pepper,To Fu mixed with Mud Carp

芋頭糕 Wuh6 Tou2 Go1 Taro Cake

春卷 Cheun1 Gyun2 Spring Roll

豆沙角 Dau6 Sa1 Gok3 Red Bean Dumpling

蛋撻 Daahn6 Taat1 Egg Tart

Measure Words

Measure Words

In Cantonese, when nouns are counted or its quantity made specific, a measure word must be included.

1. Measure Words/Counters/Classifiers
Measure words are words that express a unit of things or actions. They serve to sort nouns into semantic of objects (indicating meaning), and is also known as “classfier” or “counter”.

Here are some common measure words:

  • 個 go3 for person; round objects; abstract things, such as questions or ideas
  • 架 ga3 for vehicles; machines, e.g. cars, airplane
  • 件 gin6 for upper body items of clothing e.g. shirt, coat
  • 間 gan1 for buildings; houses; rooms
  • 本 bun2 for books; magazines
  • 隻 jek3 for most animals; ships; one of a pair
  • 對 deui3 a pair of objects, such as shoes, hands, chopsticks
  • 條 tiu4 for things that are long and narrow e.g. street
  • 張 jeung1 for paper; cards; objects with a flat surface, such as chairs, tables etc.
  • 枝 ji1 for objects that are cylinder, rigid, long and thin, e.g.. pens, cigarettes
  • 杯 bui1 literally a cup or glass, for the quantity of something that a cup will hold
  • 碗 wun2 literally a bowl, for quantity of something that a bowl will hold
  • 碟 dip6 literally a plate, for quantity of something that a plate will hold
  • 罐 gun3 literally a can, for quantity of something that a can will hold
  • 份 fan6 for objects in a set, such as documents, newspaper, a sandwich or a job

By Felix Tak Fu WONG All Rights Reserved

2. Number of Objects
Measure word helps describe the quantity and quality of a noun in counting. A number alone usually cannot function enough as an attributive and must be combined with a measure word inserted between the cardinal number and the noun in modifiers.

Numeral + Measure Word + Noun

  • 一個人 yat1 go3 yan4 one person
  • 一架車 yat1 ga3 che1 one vehicle
  • 一件衫 yat1 gin6 saam1 one piece of clothing
  • 一間房 yat1 gan1 fong2 one room
  • 一本書 yat1 bun2 syu1 one book
  • 一隻狗 yat1 jek3 gau2 one dog
  • 一對鞋 yat1 deui3 haai4 one pair of shoes
  • 一條褲 yat1 tiu4 fu3 one pair of trousers
  • 一張紙 yat1 jeung1 ji2 one sheet of paper
  • 一枝筆 yat1 ji1 bat1 one pen
  • 一杯酒 yat1 bui1 jau2 one glass (cup) of wine
  • 一碗飯 yat1 wun2 fan6 one bowl of rice
  • 一碟菜 yat1 dip6 choi3 one plate of vegetables
  • 一罐可樂 yat1 gun3 ho2 lok6 one can of coke
  • 一份三文治 yat1 fan6 saam1 man4 ji6 one sandwich

By Felix Tak Fu WONG All Rights Reserved

3. Counting things in two
Both yih6 二 and leung5 兩 mean two. When the number “two” is used before a measure word, leung5 兩 is normally used instead of yih6 二
As in 兩個人 leung5 go3 yan4 two people

Practice

  • 衫= Saam1 Clothes X3
  • 褲= Fu 3 Trousers X9
  • 鞋= Haai4 Shoes X 1
  • 襪= mat6 Socks X2
  • 車= che1 Vehicles X5
  • 狗= gau2 DogsX9
  • 呔= taai1 TieX7
  • 屋= uk1 House X1
  • 咭= kat1 card x6
  • 茶= cha4 tea x2
  • 人= yan4 person x 10
  • 三文治= saam1 man4 ji6 sandwich x 4

By Felix Wong Tak Fu All Rights Reserved

4. Using measure words as possessive
The possessive word 既ge3 , can be replaced by a measure word in a sentence to show the owner ship.
Example:

我既筆 = 我枝筆 My Pen
Ngoh3 ge3 baat1 = Ngoh3 Ji1 baat1

你既鞋= 你對鞋 Your shoes
Neih/Leih3 ge3 haai4 = Neih/Leih3 deui3 haai4

佢既襪= 佢對襪 His/Her socks
Keuih3 ge3 mat6 = Keuih3 deui3 mat6

佢地既車= 佢地架車 Their car
Keuih3 deih6 ge3 che1= Keuih3 deih6 ga3 che1

我既紙= 我張紙 My piece of paper
Ngoh3 ge3 ji2 = Ngoh3 jeung1 ji2

By Felix Wong Tak Fu All Rights Reserved

Cantonese Learning References

  • Chan, Kwok Kin and Hung, Betty. (2009) A Cantonese Book Third Edition. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
  • Chan, K., & Si, C. (2005). Cantonese in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
  • Chow, Bun Ching. (2009) Cantonese for Everyone. Hong Kong, the Commercial Press.
  • Guan, J. (2013). A Dictionary of Cantonese Colloquialisms in English. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press.
  • Kwan, Choi Wah. (2013) The Right Word in Cantonese. Hong Kong, the Commercial Press.
  • Lee, Yin-Ping Cream (1998) Current Cantonese Colloquialisms. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
  • Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Adjectives (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
  • Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Basic Patterns (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
  • Lee, Y., & Kataoka, S. (2010). Fun with Cantonese Verbs (J. Lee, Ed.). Hong Kong: Greenwood Press.
  • Lee, Yin-Ping Cream and Kataoka, Shin. (2013) A Shortcut to Cantonese. An Innovative Approach for English and Putonghua Speakers. Hong Kong, Greenwood Press.
  • McNaughton, William and LI, Ying (1999). Reading & Writing Chinese Traditional Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Hong Kong, Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.
  • NG Susanna (2009). Interesting Cantonese 10th Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
  • NG Susanna (2010). Interesting Cantonese 2 3rd Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
  • NG Susanna (2013). Interesting Cantonese 3 2rd Edition. Hong Kong Ming Man Publications Limited.
  • Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2000). Basic Cantonese a Grammar and Workbook. New York, Routledge.
  • Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2011). Cantonese a Comprehensive Grammar 2nd Edition. Abington, Routledge.
  • Yip, Virginia and Matthews, Stephen (2001). Intermediate Cantonese a Grammar and Workbook. New York, Routledge.
  • http://cantonese.ca/

b)Mandarin

What is Mandarin? (國語) What is Putonghua? (普通話)

  1. The word Mandarin in English, means the official standard spoken language of China and the high-ranking government official in China (formerly)
  2. In the past, everybody can become the government official of China, if they can past certain exams of the government. (imperial examination 科舉)
  3. If someone has passed the exam, he became a Mandarin class of people. He enjoys the rights of

    • Exemption from taxes and military duties
    • Becoming the government official
    • Exemption from kowtowing to the government officials
    • Exemption from death penalty (only in the Song Dynasty)
    • Exemption from torture (not in the Ming Dynasty)
    • Writing Proposals to the Emperor (not in the Qing Dynasty)

    etc.

  4. Therefore, Mandarin is the name of the language which is spoken by the Mandarin class as well as referring to the people of the Mandarin class.
  5. Mandarin is also called:
    Pǔtōnghuà (普通话/普通話, literally “common speech”) in the People’s Republic of China,
    Guóyǔ (國語, literally “national language”) on Taiwan, and
    Huáyǔ (华语/華語, literally “Chinese language”) in Singapore and Malaysia
  6. Mandarin is a tonal language. There are four tones in total.

    • The first tone (Flat or High Level Tone) example: ā
    • The second tone (Rising or High-Rising Tone) example: á
    • The third tone (Falling-Rising or Low Tone) example: ǎ
    • The fourth tone (Falling or High-Falling Tone) example :à
    • The neutral tone example: a

Pinyin –Phonetics System in Mandarin

Pinyin (Phonetics System) in Mandarin
Initials (Consonants):

b [p] spit unaspirated p, as in spit
p [pʰ] pay strongly aspirated p, as in pit
m [m] may as in English mummy
f [f] fair as in English fun
d [t] stop unaspirated t, as in stop
t [tʰ] take strongly aspirated t, as in top
n [n] nay as in English nit
l [l] lay as in English love
g [k] skill unaspirated k, as in skill
k [kʰ] kay strongly aspirated k, as in kill
h [x] loch roughly like the Scots ch. English h as in hay or, more closely in some American dialects, hero is an acceptable approximation. The best way to produce this sound is by very slowly making a “k” sound, pausing at the point where there is just restricted air flowing over the back of your tongue (after the release at the beginning of a “k”)
j [tɕ] No equivalent in English, but similar to an unaspirated “-chy-” sound when said quickly. Like q, but unaspirated. Not the s in Asia, despite the common English pronunciation of “Beijing”. The sequence “ji” word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of じ(ジ) ji.
q [tɕʰ] No equivalent in English. Like punch yourself, with the lips spread wide with ee. Curl the tip of the tongue downwards to stick it at the back of the teeth and strongly aspirate. The sequence “qi” word-initially is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of ち(チ) chi.
x [ɕ] No equivalent in English. Like -sh y-, with the lips spread and the tip of your tongue curled downwards and stuck to the back of teeth when you say ee. The sequence “xi” is the same as the Japanese pronunciation of し(シ) shi.
zh [tʂ] junk Rather like ch (a sound between choke, joke, true, and drew, tongue tip curled more upwards). Voiced in a toneless syllable.
ch [tʂʰ] church as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture in American English, but strongly aspirated.
sh [ʂ] shirt as in shoe, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to marsh in American English
r [ʐ], [ɻ] ray Similar to the English z in azure and r in reduce, but with the tongue curled upwards, like a cross between English “r” and French “j”. In Cyrillised Chinese the sound is rendered with the letter “ж”.
z [ts] reads unaspirated c, similar to something between suds and cats; as in suds in a toneless syllable
c [tsʰ] hats like the English ts in cats, but strongly aspirated, very similar to the Czech, Polish and Slovak c.
s [s] say as in sun
w [w] way as in water.*
y [j], [ɥ] yea as in yes. Before a u, pronounce it with rounded lips.*

Finals (Vowels):

a [ä] a like English “father”, but a bit more fronted
e [ɯ̯ʌ], [ə] e a diphthong consisting first of a back, unrounded semivowel (which can be formed by first pronouncing “w” and then spreading the lips without changing the position of the tongue) followed by a vowel similar to English “duh”. Many unstressed syllables in Chinese use the schwa [ə] (idea), and this is also written as e.
ai [aɪ̯] ai like English “eye”, but a bit lighter
ei [eɪ̯] ei as in “hey”
ao [ɑʊ̯] ao approximately as in “cow”; the a is much more audible than the o
ou [oʊ̯] ou as in “so”
an [än] an like British English “ban”, but more central
en [ən] en as in “taken”
ang [ɑŋ] ang as in German Angst (starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; like song in some dialects of American English)
eng [ɤŋ] eng like e in en above but with ng added to it at the back
er [ɑɻ] er similar to the sound in “bar” in American English
Finals beginning with i- (y-)
i [i] yi like English bee.
ia [i̯ä] ya as i + a; like English “yard”
ie [i̯ɛ] ye as i + ê; but is very short; e (pronounced like ê) is pronounced longer and carries the main stress (similar to the initial sound ye in yet)
iao [i̯ɑʊ̯] yao as i + ao
iu [i̯oʊ̯] you as i + ou
ian [i̯ɛn] yan as i + ê + n; like English yen
in [in] yin as i + n
iang [i̯ɑŋ] yang as i + ang
ing [iŋ] ying as i + ng
Finals beginning with u- (w-)
u [u] wu like English “oo”
ua [u̯ä] wa as u + a
uo, o [u̯ɔ] wo as u + o where the o (compare with the o interjection) is pronounced shorter and lighter (spelled as o after b, p, m or f).
uai [u̯aɪ̯] wai as u + ai like as in why
ui [u̯eɪ̯] wei as u + ei;
uan [u̯än] wan as u + an;
un [u̯ən] wen as u + en; like the on in the English won;
uang [u̯ɑŋ] wang as u + ang;
ong [ʊŋ], [u̯ɤŋ] weng starts with the vowel sound in book and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing; as u + eng in zero initial.
Finals beginning with ü- (yu-)
u, ü [y] ( listen) yu as in German “über” or French “lune” (To pronounce this sound, say “ee” with rounded lips)
ue, üe [y̯œ] yue as ü + ê; the ü is short and light
uan [y̯ɛn] yuan as ü + ê + n;
un [yn] yun as ü + n;
iong [i̯ʊŋ] yong as i + ong
Interjections
ê [ɛ] (n/a) as in “bet”.
o [ɔ] (n/a) Approximately as in “office” in British accent; the lips are much more rounded.
io [i̯ɔ] yo as i + plain continental[clarification needed] “o”.

Four Tones

The First Tone ā
The Second Tone á
The Third Tone ǎ
The Fourth Tone à

The Neutral Tone a

Mandarin Numbers

Supplementary Materials For Numbers
1. 1﹣10
一yī 1
二’èr 2
三sān 3
四sì 4
五wǔ 5
六liù 6
七qī 7
八bā 8
九jiǔ 9
十shí 10
零Líng 0

2. 11-99
11﹣20
十一 shíyī 11
十二 shí’èr 12
十三 shísān 13
十四 shísì 14
十五 shíwǔ 15
十六 shíliù 16
十七 shíqī 17
十八 shíbā 18
十九 shíjiǔ 19
二十 ‘èrshí 20

21﹣30
二十一 èrshíyī 21
二十二 èrshí’èr 22
二十三 èrshísān 23
二十四 èrshísì 24
二十五 èrshíwǔ 25
二十六 èrshíliù 26
二十七 èrshíqī 27
二十八 èrshíbā 28
二十九 èrshíjiǔ 29
三十 sānshí 30

31﹣40
三十一 sānshíyī 31
三十二 sānshí’èr 32
三十三 sānshísān 33
三十四 sānshísì 34
三十五 sānshíwǔ 35
三十六 sānshíliù 36
三十七 sānshíqī 37
三十八 sānshíbā 38
三十九 sānshíjiǔ 39
四十 sìshí 40

41﹣50
四十一 sìshíyī 41
四十二 sìshí’èr 42
四十三 sìshísān 43
四十四 sìshísì 44
四十五 sìshíwǔ 45
四十六 sìshíliù 46
四十七 sìshíqī 47
四十八 sìshíbā 48
四十九sìshíjiǔ 49
五十 wǔshí 50

51﹣60
五十一 wǔshíyī 51
五十二 wǔshí’èr 52
五十三 wǔshísān 53
五十四 wǔshísì 54
五十五 wǔshíwǔ 55
五十六 wǔshíliù 56
五十七 wǔshíqī 57
五十八 wǔshíbā 58
五十九wǔshíjiǔ 59
六十 liùshí 60

61﹣70
六十一 liùshíyī 61
六十二 liùshí’èr 62
六十三 liùshísān 63
六十四 liùshísì 64
六十五 liùshíwǔ 65
六十六 liùshíliù 66
六十七 liùshíqī 67
六十八 liùshíbā 68
六十九 liùshíjiǔ 69
七十 qīshí 70

71﹣80
七十一 qīshíyī 71
七十二 qīshí’èr 72
七十三 qīshísān 73
七十四 qīshísì 74
七十五 qīshíwǔ 75
七十六 qīshíliù 76
七十七 qīshíqī 77
七十八 qīshíbā 78
七十九 qīshíjiǔ 79
八十bāshí 80

81﹣90
八十一 bāshíyī 81
八十二 bāshí’èr 82
八十三 bāshísān 83
八十四 bāshísì 84
八十五 bāshíwǔ 85
八十六 bāshíliù 86
八十七 bāshíqī 87
八十八 bāshíbā 88
八十九 bāshíjiǔ 89
九十 jiǔshí 90

91﹣99
九十一 jiǔshíyī
九十二 jiǔshí’èr
九十三 jiǔshísān
九十四 jiǔshísì
九十五 jiǔshíwǔ
九十六 jiǔshíliù
九十七 jiǔshíqī
九十八 jiǔshíbā
九十九 jiǔshíjiǔ

3. Hundred 百 Bǎi
一百 Yībǎi 100
二百/兩百 Èrbǎi /liǎng bǎi 200
三百 Sānbǎi 300
四百 Sìbǎi400
五百 Wǔbǎi 500
六百 Liùbǎi600
七百 Qībǎi 700
八百 Bābǎi 800
九百 Jiǔbǎi 900

4. Building up numbers from 101 to 999
For ten, we have to pronounce 一十 Yīshí instead of 十shí
For example
110= 一百一十 Yībǎi yīshí

If zero is in between, we have to pronounce it once.
For example
102 一百零二 Yībǎi líng èr

Practice
101 一百零一= Yībǎi líng yī
222 二百二十二/兩百二十二= Èrbǎi èrshí’èr/Liǎng bǎi èrshí’èr
567 五百六十七= Wǔbǎi liùshíqī
730 七百三十= Qībǎi sānshí
888 八百八十八= Bābǎi bāshíbā
999 九百九十九= Jiǔbǎi jiǔshíjiǔ
456= 四百五十六=???

5. Counting thousands and above
千 Qiān thousand
一千 yīqiān 1,000
二千/兩千èrqiān/liǎng qiān 2,000
三千 sānqiān 3,000
四千 sìqiān 4,000
五千 wǔqiān 5,000
六千 liùqiān 6,000
七千 qīqiān 7,000
八千 bāqiān 8,000
九千 jiǔqiān 9,000
(萬)万Wàn ten thousands
一万(萬)yīwàn 10,000
二万(萬)/兩万(萬) èrwàn liǎngwàn 20,000
三万(萬) sānwàn 30,000
四万(萬) sìwàn 40,000
五万(萬) wǔwàn 50,000
六万(萬) liùwàn 60,000
七万(萬) qīwàn 70,000
八万(萬) bāwàn 80,000
九万(萬) jiǔwàn 90,000

Mahjong 麻將 Májiàng

十万(萬)Shíwàn 100,000
二十万(萬)èrshíwàn200,000
三十万(萬) sānshíwàn 300,000
四十万(萬)sìshíwàn 400,000
五十万(萬)wǔshíwàn 500,000
六十万(萬)liùshíwàn 600,000
七十万(萬)qīshíwàn 700,000
八十万(萬)bāshíwàn 800,000
九十万(萬)Jiǔshíwàn 900,000
一百万(萬)yībǎiwàn 1M
一千万(萬)yīqiānwàn 10M
一亿(億)Yīyì 100M

Table for the Number Translation:

个 (個)

Shí
(一)百
(Yī)
Bǎi
(一)千
(Yī)
Qiān
(一)万(萬)
(Yī)
Wàn
十万(萬)
Shí Wàn
(一)
百万(萬)
(Yī)
Bǎi Wàn
(一)
千万(萬)
(Yī)
Qiān Wàn
(一)亿(億)
(Yī)
1 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1M 10M 100M

6. Ordinal Numbers
When a cardinal number is preceded by 第dì, it becomes ordinal.
Example:
第一 dì yī the first
第二 dì èr the second
第三 dì sān the third
第… dì … (and so on)
第几(幾)? Dì jǐ ? What rank?
Putting a verb in front of the ordinal number to tell the ranking in an event
Example:
考第几(幾)? Kǎo dì jǐ? What is the ranking in the exam?
跑第几(幾)? Pǎo dì jǐ? What is the ranking in the race?
Title in a Competition:

冠军(軍) guànjūn the champion
亞军(軍) yàjūn he second place/first runner-up
季军(軍) jìjūn the third place/second runner-up
殿军(軍) diànjūn the fourth place

Title in an Exam:

状(狀)元 zhuàngyuán the first in the highest imperial examination in the past now the first in the public examination
榜眼 bǎngyǎn the second
探花 tànhuā the third

Practice
3rd 8th 2nd 4th 10th 1st 50th which rank?

The Champion
The First Runner up
The Second Runner up
The Fourth Place
The First in the public exam
The Second in the public exam
The Third in the public exam

Basic Mandarin Words and Vocabulary

Basic Mandarin Words and Vocabulary

  1. Personal Pronouns
English Chinese Characters Pinyin
I
You
He/She/It
We 我们 (我們) wǒmen
You (Plural) 你们 (你們) nǐmen
They 他们 (他們) tāmen
Who 谁 (誰) shuí (sheí)
  1. Verbs

 

English Chinese Characters Pinyin
To be shì
Not to be 不是 bú shì
To have yǒu
Have not 沒有 méiyǒu
To call or to be called jiào
To go
To walk/to leave zǒu
To come 来(來) lái
To return huí
To see/to look/to watch/to read/to view etc. kàn
To be located/in at on zài
To want or to need yào
To think/would like to xiǎng
To give/to give sth to 给(給) gěi
To ask 问(問) wèn
To tell 告诉(告訴) gàosù
To turn guǎi
To eat chī
To have a meal
(literally “eat rice”)
吃饭(吃飯) chīfàn
To drink
To do zuò
To sleep 睡觉 (睡覺) shuìjiào
To buy 买 (買) mǎi
To sell 卖 (賣) mài
  1. Question Words
English Chinese Characters Pinyin
What 什么(甚麼) shénme
What number 几 (幾)
How many/how much 多少 duōshǎo
When 什么时候 (甚麼時候) shénme shíhòu
Where 哪儿(哪兒)/哪里(哪裏) nǎr/ nǎlǐ
What time 几点(幾點) jǐ diǎn
Why 为什么(為甚麼) wèishéme
How 怎么(怎麼) zěnme
How about… 怎么样(怎麼樣) zěnme yàng
Yes/no question 吗(嗎) ma
Rhetorical question ne

 

  1. Words for Greeting
English Chinese Characters Pinyin
Good Morning 早上好 zǎoshang hǎo
Good Evening 晚上好 wǎnshàng hǎo
Goodbye 再见 (再見) zàijiàn
Thank you 谢谢 (謝謝) xièxiè
You are welcome 不客气/不用谢
(不客氣/不用謝)
bù kèqì/bùyòng xiè
I am sorry 对不起(對不起) duìbùqǐ
It doesn’t matter 没关系(沒關係) méiguānxì
  1. Some Basic Vocabulary
English Chinese Characters Pinyin
Book 书 (書) shū
Water shuǐ
Pen 笔 (筆)
Coffee 咖啡 kāfēi
TV 电视 (電視) diànshì
Phone 电话 (電話) diànhuà
Computer 电脑 (電腦) diànnǎo
Home jiā
Person rén
Cup/glass 杯子 bēizi
Company 公司 gōngsī
Work 工作 gōngzuò
Shop 商店 shāngdiàn
Market 市场 (市場) shìchǎng
Supermarket 超市 chāoshì
Thing/stuff 东西 (東西) dōngxī

Basic Mandarin Sentence Structures

Basic Sentence Structures in Mandarin
The sentence structures of Mandarin are easy. There is no concept of tenses.
Here are some examples of some basic sentence structures:
1.Subject + Verb + Object
i)Positive Statement
我是老師。
我是老师。
Wǒ shì lǎoshī.
I to be teacher.
English meaning: I am a teacher.

ii)Negative Statement
我不是老師。
我不是老师。
Wǒ bùshì lǎoshī.
I not to be teacher.
English meaning: I am not a teacher.

2.Subject + (Adverb) + Adjective
i)Positive Statement (with Adverb)
我 很 好。
Wǒ hěn hǎo.
I very good.
English meaning: I am fine.

ii)Positive Statement (without Adverb)
你 好。
Nǐ hǎo.
You good.
English meaning: Hello

iii)Negative Statement
你不好。
Nǐ bù hǎo.
You not good.
English meaning: You are not good.

3.Yes/No questions
你 好 嗎?
你 好 吗?
Nǐ hǎo ma?
You good yes/no?
English meaning: How are you?

4.Subject + Verb + Object (In Questions)
你去哪裏。
你去哪里。
Nǐ qù nǎlǐ?
You go where?
English meaning: Where do you go?/Where are you going?

5.Time + Subject + Verb + Object or Subject + Time + Verb + Object

明天我去上海。
Míngtiān wǒ qù shànghǎi.
Tomorrow I go Shanghai.

我明天去上海。
Wǒ míngtiān qù shànghǎi.
I tomorrow go Shanghai.

English meaning: I will go to Shanghai tomorrow.

6.Condition + Information
一瓶可樂,多少錢?
一瓶可乐,多少钱?
Yī píng kělè,duōshǎo qián?
One bottle of Coke, how much money?

English meaning: How much is a Coke of bottle?

Measure Words

Measure Words

In Mandarin, when nouns are counted or its quantity made specific, a measure word must be included.

1. Measure Words/Counter/Classifier

Measure words are words that express a unit of things or actions. They serve to sort nouns into semantic of objects (indicating meaning), and is also known as “classfier” or “counter”.

Here are some common measure words:

  • 个 (個) Gè for person; round objects; abstract things, such as questions or ideas
  • 架 Jià for machines, e.g. airplane
  • 辆 (輛) Liàng for vehicles, with wheels e.g. cars
  • 件 Jiàn for upper body items of clothing e.g. shirt, coat
  • 间 (間) Jiān for buildings; houses; rooms
  • 本 Běn for books; magazines
  • 只 (隻) Zhī for most animals; ships; one of a pair
  • 双 (雙) Shuāng a pair of objects, such as shoes, hands, chopsticks
  • 条 (條) Tiáo for things that are long and narrow e.g. street
  • 张 (張) Zhāng for paper; cards; objects with a flat surface, such as chairs, tables etc.
  • 支 Zhī for objects that are cylinder, rigid, long and thin, e.g.. pens, cigarettes
  • 杯 Bēi literally a cup or glass, for the quantity of something that a cup will hold
  • 碗 Wǎn literally a bowl, for quantity of something that a bowl will hold
  • 碟 Dié literally a plate, for quantity of something that a plate will hold
  • 罐 Guàn literally a can, for quantity of something that a can will hold
  • 份 Fèn for objects in a set, such as documents, newspaper, a sandwich or a job
  • 瓶 Píng literally a bottle, for quantity of something that a bottle will hold

2. Number of Objects
Measure word helps describe the quantity and quality of a noun in counting. A number alone usually cannot function enough as an attributive and must be combined with a measure word inserted between the cardinal number and the noun in modifiers.

Numeral + Measure Word + Noun

  • 一个人 Yī gè rén one person
  • 一辆车 Yī liàng chē one car
  • 一件衣服Yī jiàn yīfú one piece of clothing
  • 一间房 Yī jiàn fáng one room
  • 一本书 Yī běnshū one book
  • 一只狗 Yī zhī gǒu one dog
  • 一双鞋 Yī Shuāng xié one pair of shoes
  • 一条裤Yītiáo kù one pair of trousers
  • 一张紙Yī zhāng zhǐ one sheet of paper
  • 一支笔Yī zhī bǐ one pen
  • 一杯酒Yībēi jiǔ one glass (cup) of wine
  • 一碗饭Yī wǎn fàn one bowl of rice
  • 一碟菜 Yī dié cài one plate of vegetables
  • 一罐可乐Yī guàn kělè one can of coke
  • 一份三明治Yī fèn sānmíngzhì one sandwich

3. Counting things in two
Both Èr二 and Liǎng兩 mean two. When the number “two” is used before a measure word, Liǎng 兩 is normally used instead of Èr 二
As in 兩个人 Liǎng gè rén two people

Practice

  • 衣服= Yīfú Clothes X3
  • 裤= Kù Trousers X9
  • 鞋= Xié Shoes X 1
  • 襪子= Wàzi Socks X2
  • 车=Chē Vehicles X5
  • 狗= Gǒu DogsX9
  • 領帶= Lǐngdài TieX7
  • 屋= Wū House X1
  • 卡片= Kǎpiàn card x6
  • 茶= Chá tea x2
  • 人= Rén person x 10
  • 三明治= Sānmíngzhì sandwich x 4

Mandarin Learning References

Mandarin Learning References:
Lee, P., & Tibbles, D. (2010). 250 Essential Chinese Characters (Vol. 1). North Clarendon, Vermont: Turtle Publishing.

Lee, P., & Tibbles, D. (2010). 250 Essential Chinese Characters (Vol. 2). North Clarendon, Vermont: Turtle Publishing.

Liu, H.M. (2006). Chinese Express. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press

Liu, H.M. (2009). Chinese Express 2. Beijing, Beijing Language and Culture University Press

Matthews, Alison and Matthews, Laurence (2007). Learning Chinese Characters. HSK Level. North Clarendon, Tuttle Publishing

McNaughton, William (2005). Reading & Writing Chinese Simplified Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Hong Kong, Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.

McNaughton, William and LI, Ying (1999). Reading & Writing Chinese Traditional Character Edition, a Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System. Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc.

Tan, M., & Wang, H. (2012). Chinese Express (6th ed., Vol. Talk Chinese). Beijing: Cypress Book UK

T’ung, P., & Baker, H. (2010). Speak Chinese with Millions The Language of Everyday Conversation. New York: The Commercial Press.

Yip, Po-Ching and Rimmington, Don. (2004). Chinese, a Comprehensive Grammar, Abingdon, Routledge

Mandarin Learning Useful Links

Mandarin Language Apps & Links & on-line TV shows
Useful apps
1) Magic Chinese (Book 1 to 6 )
Lessons are displayed in Mandarin-English languages with a variety of real life situations, interesting and fun.
2) Mandarin Baby Flash Cards
Categories include: food, animals, transportation, numbers, colors, clothing and etc. Although the name is “Baby flash cards”, it is also very useful for mature students. You won’t feel bored when playing these cards.
3) Pleco
Great dictionary support, flash cards, strokes, vocabularies, sentence structure, passages and Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciations.
4) Talking-Apps
A set of interesting bilingual Mandarin-English fairytales, with simple words and sentence structure.

Useful links & on-line TV shows
1) http://cctv.cntv.cn/lm/kuailehanyu/
Advanced Mandarin Chinese Level. There is a set of interesting Chinese programs. Each program focuses on one Chinese Character.
2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTLmiD17mc0
Advanced Mandarin Chinese Level. Happy Chinese – very interesting TV drama aims to help students improve their listening and speaking
3) http://www.chinese.cn/onlinelearning/node_21871.htm
Self-study materials from Beginner to Advanced level (Confucius Institution online)
4)http://www.hwjyw.com/textbook.shtml
Study materials for kids with homework and tests.

Famous Mandarin Speakers
大山Mark Henry ROWSWELL
陸克文 Kevin RUDD
Mark ZUCKERBERG
Miro Sorvino