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Random Chinese I’ve Learn after 4 years in #China

21 Jan

Hey guys! 

So I was watching a Shanghai film the other night, and was really excited when I found myself recognizing several words here are there. 

I can’t say that I’m anywhere close to beginner, but this year one of my new year’s resolutions is to improve my spoken (and written) Chinese.  So I thought I’d keep track of some of the words I know. 🙂   Also, because I’m learning Chinese as I need it, I thought it would give other people an idea of the Chinese you might want to learn first.   I’m putting the characters on here as I learn them.  So if a character is here, I actually recognize that character. 

  • Numbers (The first thing I learned in Chinese were the numbers because of when I want to pay for stuff). 
  • My Name 🙂 = 奥利维亚 (Olivia | Ào lì wéi yǎ) 
  • Phrases
    • I Want = Wǒ yào (我要)
    • I am . . . = Wǒ shì  (Wǒ shì Meiguoren = I am American)
      • I = Wǒ  (我)
      • We = Wǒmen
      • You (你) = Ní  (Nín =  formal)
      • You (plural) = Nímen
    • I love you = Wǒ ài nǐ ♥ 
    • and = hé
    • ?? =  . . . . . . . . me?    (if you hear “ma” at the end of a sentence, it usually means it’s a question. 😛 
    • Why? = Wèishéme
    • Yes = Duì (pronounced dway)
    • No = Méiyǒu
    • I Understand = Wǒ míngbái
    • I Don’t Understand = Wǒ bù míngbái or Tīng bù dǒng (literally “Hearing but not understanding”)
    • Understand or Not Understand? = dǒng bù dǒng (use this a lot with my students)
    • Good? = Hǎo
    • Bad? = bù Hǎo
    • Good or Bad? =Hǎo Bù Hǎo
    • Good Morning = Zǎoshang hǎo
    • Good Night! = Wǎn’ān
    • Good Bye = Baibai or Zàijiàn
    • Hello = Nǐ hǎo
    • Sorry! = Duìbùqǐ (pronounced Duay boo chee)
    • No Problem / don’t worry about it = Méiguānxì
    • It’s good. It’s fine = 没事。(used if someone made a mistake, but you are ignoring it. Or, in my experience, generally it means “okay, okay”).  
    • Thank You = Xièxiè
    • You’re Welcome = Bié kèqì
    • I Know = Wǒ zhīdào 
    • I Don’t Know = Wǒ bù zhīdào
    • I Like = Wǒ xǐhuān
    • I Don’t Like = Wǒ bù xǐhuān
    • I’m hungry = Wǒ èle
    • I’m tired = Wǒ lèile
    • I’m cold = hěn lěng
    • Happy New Year = Xīnnián kuàilè\
    • Chinese (language) = Zhōngwén
  • People
    • Mother = Mǔqīn (most often “mama” though by children)
    • Father = Fùqīn (slang is “baba” by children)
    • Male = Nán (男) — especially important for forms or bathrooms 😛 
    • Female = Nǚ (女)
    • Baby = Bǎobǎo or bebe
    • Child = Háizi
    • Grandma = Nǎinai
    • Grandpa = Yéyé
    • Brother = Gēgē
    • Sister = Mèimei
    • American = Měiguó rén (Ren means “people” — added to most country names for the people).
    • Teacher = Lǎoshī (Wǒ shì Lǎoshī  = I am a teacher)  . . . . . 
      • Business = Shāngyè  . . .
      • Law = fǎlǜ
      • So I say Wǒ shì shāngyè hé fǎlǜ Lǎoshī 
    • Foreigner = Wàiguó rén or wàijiāo (wàijiāo is more common in my experience)
      • Sometimes (often) we are called lǎowài.  A long time ago, it was the Chinese word for “foreign devil” and had negative connotations.   Today, it’s generally all in good fun depending on how much they like you 😛  It’s just slang in modern language. 
  • Countries
    • America = Měiguó
    • China = Zhōngguó
    • Korea = Hánguó
    • Japan = Rìběn
    • Greece = Xīlà
    • Middle East = Zhōngdōng
    • Egypt = Āijí 
    • France = Fàguó
    • Ireland = Ài’ěrlán
  • Directions
    • Go Straight = Zhí zǒu.
    • Turn Left =  Zuǒ Zhuǎn
    • Turn Right = Yòu Zhuǎn
  • Food
    • One of them = Yi gè
    • Two of them = liǎng gè
    • Cup = Bēi
    • Iced = Bīng
    • One Iced Coca Cola = Yi Bei Bīng Cola
    • Lipton Tea (black tea) = Hóngchá
    • Water = Shuǐ (pronounced “shuay”
    • Coffee = Kāfēi
    • Latte = Kāfēi Ná tiě (sounds like “cafe natee uh”)
    • Chicken = Jīròu
    • Pork = Zhūròu
    • Beef = Niúròu
    • Mutton = Yángròu
    • Fish = Yú
    • Steamed Buns = Bāozi
    • Dumplings = Jiǎozi
    • Small = Xiǎo (小)
    • Middle = Zhōng (中)
    • Large = Dà (大)
    • “A big cola” = da bei bing cola”   
    • To Go  . . .  = Dài zǒu 

#Chinese Numbers 1 to 100!

17 Jan
Image result for chinese hand numbers
Image Borrowed from China Highlights
0 Líng
1 Yī   

**also called “Yao” if using a series of numbers like a phone number or room number or something.  But if you’re like “I want one soda” it’s Yi.

2 Èr

** also called “Liang” (两) sometimes. In my experience, it’s usually when you are talking about things. Like “I want two sodas” = “Wǒ yào liǎng gè Cola”



3 sān

**Sounds similar to the word for death. Unlucky number. Many students prefer not to be in the 4th group, in the 4th chair, etc. Best to accomodate them.

6 liù
9 Jiǔ
10 Shí
11 十一 Shí yī
12 十二 Shí èr
13 十三 Shí sān
14 十四 Shí sì
15 十五 Shí wǔ
16 十六 Shí liù
17 十七 Shí qī
18 十八 Shí bā
19 十九 Shí jiǔ
20 二十 Èr shí
21 二十一 Èr shí yī
22 二十二 Èr shí èr
23 二十三 Èr shí sān
24 二十四 Èr shí sì
25 二十五 Èr shí wǔ
26 二十六 Èr shí liù
27 二十七 Èr shí qī
28 二十八 Èr shí bā
29 二十九 Èr shí jiǔ
30 三十 Sān shí
31 三十一 Sān shí yī
32 三十二 Sān shí èr
33 三十三 Sān shí sān
34 三十四 Sān shí sì
35 三十五 Sān shí wǔ
36 三十六 Sān shí liù
37 三十七 Sān shí qī
38 三十八 Sān shí bā
39 三十九 Sān shí jiǔ
40 四十 Sì shí
41 四十一 Sì shí yī
42 四十二 Sì shí èr
43 四十三 Sì shí sān
44 四十四 Sì shí sì
45 四十五 Sì shí wǔ
46 四十六 Sì shí liù
47 四十七 Sì shí qī
48 四十八 Sì shí bā
49 四十九 Sì shí jiǔ
50 五十 Wǔ shí
51 五十一 Wǔ shí yī
52 五十二 Wǔ shí èr
53 五十三 Wǔ shí sān
54 五十四 Wǔ shí sì
55 五十五 Wǔ shí wǔ
56 五十六 Wǔ shí liù
57 五十七 Wǔ shí qī
58 五十八 Wǔ shí bā
59 五十九 Wǔ shí jiǔ
60 六十 Liù shí
61 六十一 Liù shí yī
62 六十二 Liù shí èr
63 六十三 Liù shí sān
64 六十四 Liù shí sì
65 六十五 Liù shí wǔ
66 六十六 Liù shí liù
67 六十七 Liù shí qī
68 六十八 Liù shí bā
69 六十九 Liù shí jiǔ
70 七十 Qī shí
71 七十一 Qī shí yī
72 七十二 Qī shí èr
73 七十三 Qī shí sān
74 七十四 Qī shí sì
75 七十五 Qī shí wǔ
76 七十六 Qī shí liù
77 七十七 Qī shí qī
78 七十八 Qī shí bā
79 七十九 Qī shí jiǔ
80 八十 Bā shí
81 八十一 Bā shí yī
82 八十二 Bā shí èr
83 八十三 Bā shí sān
84 八十四 Bā shí sì
85 八十五 Bā shí wǔ
86 八十六 Bā shí liù
87 八十七 Bā shí qī
88 八十八 Bā shí bā
89 八十九 Bā shí jiǔ
90 九十 Jiǔ shí
91 九十一 Jiǔ shí yī
92 九十二 Jiǔ shí èr
93 九十三 Jiǔ shí sān
94 九十四 Jiǔ shí sì
95 九十五 Jiǔ shí wǔ
96 九十六 Jiǔ shí liù
97 九十七 Jiǔ shí qī
98 九十八 Jiǔ shí bā
99 九十九 Jiǔ shí jiǔ
100 一百  Yì  bǎi

#Baking Mysteries! Can you pick the right flour? 😜

1 Sep

LOL! My student & I attempting to figure out which of 5,000 available flours I needed for baking. 😜 Is it a #dumpling flour or a #wheat flour or an #all-purpose flour? The Fish kind or the wheat stick kind? The life I live. . . . . . I Love it so much – even going to the grocery is an adventure!

Chinese 101 ~ I Love You!

10 May

I (我) Love (爱) You (你) = Wǒ ài nǐ = 我爱你

I Love You

Chinglish Funny -Sounds Delicious

18 Dec

“Expired Raw Meat” = “a large number of expired metamorphic meat raw material behavior” -> I love Chinglish 😛

Writing Hiragana – お

2 Dec

“O” OR “お” SAYS “long o sound as in potato”

First, Starting on the upper left, make a medium horizontal line. 


Second, starting a little bit above stroke one, make a vertical line down. Then (WITHOUT PICKING UP YOUR PEN) make a small loop to the left, cross back over the line and make a large curved line to the right.  


Notice that the line and loop are not centered, they are actually a little bit to the left of the character box.  You can see in the picture below that the big curve  (4) actually extends pretty far to the right – past the end of Stroke (1).


The Third stroke belongs in the upper right of the character. Starting on the left, make a very small sloped line downwards. 




  • おもい (Omoi) = Heavy
  • おい (Oi) = Nephew
  • おやつ (Oyatsu) = Snack
  • おちゃ (Ocha) = Green Tea

Writing Hangul -ㄹ

1 Dec

“R / L” (ㄹ)

First – Start on the top left and make a long horizontal line. Then (WITHOUT PICKING UP YOUR PEN!) pull a short vertical line down.  Basically, you are forming the “Hangul G.” You see this a lot in Hangul, where on character is used to form another. g1

Second – Starting on the left, form a long horizontal line that connects to the first stroke.  You are kind of making a backwards, upside down  ㄷ. 🙂 


Third. Starting on the top left of stroke two, go down forming a short vertical line. Then (WITHOUT PICKING UP YOUR PEN!) make a second long horizontal line.  Basically makes a Hangul “N”






  • 우리 (Uli) = We / Our
  • 모르다 (Moleuda) = To not know
  • 물 (Mul) = Water

Writing Hiragana – え

30 Nov

“E” OR “え” SAYS “short e sound as in egg”

The First stroke belongs in the upper middle of the character. Starting on the left, make a very small sloped line downwards. 


Sometimes, you might see this line with a small side-stroke back towards the left. These characters were originally written with a brush, and this was just a small pull sideways that gave it flair. It shouldn’t be too deliberate – more a fast pull than anything.


Second, below the first line and without picking up your pen! Start by making a sloping-upwards line. Then pull your pen down quickly in a slight diagonal. Drag it back up again about 1/2 way. Then pull off into a sloping “s” shape.

Kind of like a slanted “h” with a fancy top and a hooked end


Pay attention to proportions – note that Step 2 ends up close to where Step 1 started. Step 3 pulls off at close to where Step 1 started.  The hook on Step 4 goes below Step 2. 

Eh 7.png

Final Version of This Part: 



  • かえる (Kaeru) = Frog
  • いえ (Ie) = House / Home
  • えんぴつ (Enpitsu) = Pencil

Writing Hangul -ㄷ

29 Nov

“D/T” (ㄷ)

First – Start on the top left and make a long horizontal line. 


Second – Starting on the top left of your line, go down forming a short vertical line. Then (without picking up your pen) make a second long horizontal line.  Basically makes a Hangul “N”. You see this a lot in Hangul – one character being used to form another.







  • 싶다 (Sipda) = To Want / To Hope
  • 나다 (Nada) = To be Born
  • 대통령 (Daetongryeong) = The President

Writing Hangul – ㄴ

27 Nov

“N” (ㄴ)

Start on the top left and make a short vertical line, then bring your pen right to make the longer horizontal line .





  • 원(Weon) = KRW (Korean Money)
  • 인간 (Ingan) = Human Being
  • 눈 (Nun) = Eyes
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