Say It Right Series

    Daily Life 1


    With a focus is on listening comprehension and speaking, the Daily Life Newbie Course is designed for beginners with no/limited prior Chinese knowledge and with interest in China and the Chinese language. Upon completion, students will understand and use basic everyday expressions phrases in Chinese.

    Introduction to Pinyin The Pinyin Program

    What in the world is pinyin? In this illuminating series, the ChinesePod team will help you to master the Chinese phonetic system. Whether you're just starting to learn Mandarin, or trying to improve your pronunciation, this series is sure to be a big help. Listen to this program and follow along with the ChinesePod Pronunciation Guide and Pinyin Chart, and bring your Chinese to a new level of excellence! For links to the legacy software for Mac and Windows click here

    Tags: pinyin

    Good Morning! Newbie

    In this lesson, we’ll teach you how to make friends! Or, at least the very first step: greetings. You’ll learn how to greet people in Mandarin Chinese, ask them how they are, and reply when they ask you. Sit back, listen, review and you’ll be able to show off with a few sentences yourself in no time.

    Tags: questions, introductions, greetings

    What's Your Name? Newbie

    Yes, it’s easy to point at yourself, say your own name, then point at their chest and make a questioning grunt, but wouldn’t it be great if you could ask for your new friends name in Chinese, and even tell them yours? In today’s podcast lesson, hosts Jenny and Ken teach you a few simple sentences to help you exchange names in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: daily life, introductions

    What's up? Newbie

    If we were, this lesson would be called 'whattup.' But for the sake of warding off potential improper English critics, we'll stick to the Queen's English just this once. Enough about English, what about Chinese? How do you greet your peeps? Listen in to this podcast and get the lingo down, bro, in Mandarin. Word.

    Tags: daily life, greetings

    Getting Nationalities Straight Newbie

    Contrary to popular notions, no, we're not all Americans. The nationality guessing game: favorite exchange of bored cabbies and their captive audience passengers. Expressing nationality in Mandarin Chinese is not hard--unless you are Azerbaijani, Djiboutian, or hail from the Republic of Vanuatu, and even then a bit of research and transliteration gymnastics will do the trick. Listen to this podcast and learn how to reclaim your identity.

    Tags: people, nationalities, culture

    Do you like China? Newbie

    When you travel to China, the question on all Chinese people’s lips is “Do you like China?" So, in this podcast lesson, we help you to answer that all important question. You’ll learn how to give an emphatic “Yes! I like China!” in Mandarin Chinese. In this lesson you will also learn how to speak about your likes and dislikes – something of the utmost importance, unless you’re happy eating chicken’s feet for breakfast.

    Tags: China, questions

    Where Do You Live? Newbie

    Your place is a mess? Didn't make your bed this morning? Get those dirty clothes off the floor and stack those dishes you were leaving for the Ayi... Guess what? We're finding out where you call home and we're coming over! In this podcast, get ready to reveal all and open your door to someone other than your nosy neighbors! Learn how to say where you live, in Mandarin.

    Tags: daily life, location

    Where's the bathroom? Newbie

    Despite our professional image (ahem) we confess to laughing like schoolgirls anytime someone attempts to act out this phrase. So, listen in to this podcast and get the education in the things you really need to know in Mandarin Chinese. If we didn’t teach you, who would?

    Tags: bathroom, directions, location

    Ordering Noodles Newbie

    The Chinese claim to have discovered the key to a long life... eating noodles on your birthday. While they struggle for immortality, you the Newbie can start with a little mortality, and learn how to order some in Mandarin. Your own struggle may have less to do with life and more to do with slippery wetness and chopstick management, but at least you won't starve awaiting your next birthday. Long live the noodle.

    Tags: questions, food

    How do you take your coffee? Newbie

    Coffee is a harsh mistress. One perhaps best relinquished before you arrive in tea land. But for those who can't face the notion of life without her, here is a Mandarin Chinese lesson modeled on a fantasy utopia-China, where not only could you have your coffee, but your sugar and cream too. Listen in, and you never know, you may just get your cuppa to your liking. If not... there is a Chinese medicine perfect for treating that withdrawal headache.

    Tags: questions, preferences, food

    What will it be? Newbie

    Meat-laden fourth of July barbecues may have caused you to consider a jump onto the pescetarian bandwagon. It's so much more than vegetarianism for underachievers. To make the move easier, let's not learn how to say pescetarian in Chinese, and learn instead how to spurn meat and switch to fish, in this podcast.

    Tags: dishes, eating, food

    Really Good Food Newbie

    How to win over Chinese friends and wrangle more dinner invites? It's all about the compliments, people. Learning how to wax poetic about food bodes well for your future popularity with your new-found partners in calories. In this podcast, learn to rhapsodize in Mandarin over the cookery, and secure your future place at the dinner table.

    Tags: questions, food

    Just Looking Newbie

    OK, so you’re in a little Chinese shop, or checking out a vendor’s stand, and the clerk is super excited. She’s trotting out a seemingly endless line of products, not a single one which arises an iota of your interest. So how do you tell her that you’re really “just looking?” In this podcast you can learn the Mandarin to do just that.

    Tags: shopping, preferences

    I want to buy this one Newbie

    China is a shoppers’ heaven, and in this podcast lesson you’ll learn some key phrases in Mandarin Chinese to help you navigate the markets and shopping streets and get what you want. You’ll learn how to identify the items you want, and ask how much they are. You’ll also learn the colloquial term for money, so you can fit right in--no matter what color your hair is.

    Tags: shopping, questions

    Do You Want a Map? Newbie

    Getting from one place to another is no mean feat in the land of curvy, inconsistently marked streets. Today's Chinese podcast will give you the Mandarin you need to buy a map that will help you on your merry way.

    Tags: geography, shopping, money, maps

    Too expensive! Newbie

    We know you would *never* lower yourself to buying a “Rolax” here and passing it off as an original for someone’s birthday, but we’re sure that “friend of yours” will. So how to politely suggest that the opening bid might be a bit out of your range? A lesson on acting incensed by the price could save you a few “jiao.” In this podcast, learn how to tell someone “it’s too expensive” in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: numbers, shopping

    Asking the Time Newbie

    In bustling cities like Shanghai and Beijing, there's always something happening, and sometimes even according to schedule. Knowing what time it is will always be something you need to ask early on, as well as knowing how good your timing is. Learn the essential Chinese words and phrases in this lesson.

    Tags: numbers, time

    Days of the week Newbie

    There are two methods for learning the days of the week in Chinese. One: this podcast. Two: personalized Chinese days of the week undies. Since the latter seem to be the one eighties fad that has yet to be resurrected, this podcast might be the easier way to get them in your head. And creates less laundry. Listen in and learn, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3... 4, 5, 6, 7.

    Tags: daily life, time

    Months Newbie

    Thirty days has September... April, June, and November. All the rest... are so easy you won't even need a rhyme. In this podcast, learn the months of the year in Mandarin Chinese. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3....4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

    Tags: numbers, time

    Asking for a Phone Number Newbie

    At the risk of subjecting our poor receptionist to an onslaught of telephone calls from Jenny fans trying out this newly-acquired language tomorrow morning, we publish this lesson on requesting a phone number. In this podcast, learn to improve your Mandarin skills by practicing how to request information. Learn how to improve your mental math skills by actually trying to memorize the 50 digit long number that gets spat back at ya!

    Tags: numbers, communications

    Little Friends Newbie

    If your height, hair color, eyelashes, and big feet somehow don’t scare off the kiddo cowering behind his mother’s leg, you might find yourself with a new little friend. So either you confuse him even more by throwing in what you’ve learned up ‘til now (see: taxi lingo, mild insults) or ask him that age-old question that always gets you an answer in the form of fingers. In this podcast, you will learn how to use Mandarin Chinese to ask someone how old they are.

    Tags: age, greetings, children

    Son or Daughter? Newbie

    The Chinese terms for various relatives are a bit complicated. But don't worry, ChinesePod is here to help you learn them! In today's Mandarin lesson, start talking about your sons, daughters and other family members.

    Tags: family, son

    How many people are in your family? Newbie

    Ah, the home front. Any self-respecting Mandarin learner has their work cut out for them in deciphering the who's who of a Chinese family. And don't think the one-child policy makes things any easier. So, line 'em up, and get them all straight in this podcast which will enlighten you on the members of a Chinese family.

    Tags: introductions, family

    Living in Nanjing Newbie

    You are about to experience the saga of Miss Wang and handsome John, and their fabulous lives in Nanjing. Don't worry; it's a short saga, composed of short, Newbie-level sentences. It's a saga for learning Chinese.

    Tags: appearance, nationalities, name

    Taxi to the Airport Newbie

    Never leave it till the last minute to catch a taxi to the airport. If you are left with no choice, make sure you've listened to today's lesson - you'll be able to tell the driver the time of your flight in Mandarin. This should inspire them to use their 'driving gongfu' get you to the departure terminal in time.

    Tags: flight, taxi, time

    Transportation Newbie

    We know that deep down, there’s a person in ya that wants to combine “On the Road” with “Journey to the West”, and we think that’s just great. But the “lu” less traveled might be a road un-traveled should you be unable to get around. In this podcast, we’ll get you on your way, learning a lesson in Mandarin Chinese about the different modes of transportation in the big land.

    Tags: asking questions, transportation

    Catch the Train Newbie

    One foot on the platform, the other foot on the train. Listen to today's Chinese podcast and learn how to talk all about those fateful few moments before the locomotive rolls on out -- in Mandarin. All aboard!

    Tags: station, train, urgent

    Taking the Train to Beijing Newbie

    If you're a newbie to China, then you've definitely got to make a trip to Beijing. This Chinese lesson for total beginners will help you to make sure you've got those train tickets... and maybe even help you be all bossy and make someone else go buy them.

    Tags: time, train, transportation

    Business Cards Newbie

    Business cards. In China they’re handed out for any and every reason… but what do you say when you get one? “Thanks” might seem a little bland, but then again, “WOW! You’ve such fine taste in paper!” might be a bit over the top. So then what? Better find out; you’ll be doing it about 12 times a day. In this podcast, learn to do the ol’ card exchange, in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: name, work, business

    What’s Your Job? Newbie

    Today's Chinese podcast will teach you how to talk about your job or lack thereof. No matter whether you're an easy-living bohemian, a diligent student, or an uptight and mildly incompetent middle manager, ChinesePod can help you learn how to talk about your job in Mandarin.

    Tags: office, jobs, work

    What is your job? Newbie

    So a banker, a lawyer and a model walk into a bar… seriously. We won't make you the funniest guy in the room, but we will do our best to make you conversational, at least. In this podcast, learn to ask and answer the "what do you do?" query in Mandarin Chinese. And should you actually be a lawyer, we’ll also help you learn how to apologize profusely.

    Tags: professions, jobs

    Explaining Your Job Newbie

    “So… what do you do?” While that might sound like a “Singles’ Night” introduction, we mean it… seriously (you should see our faces right now). In this lesson, you will learn how to ask someone what they do, using Mandarin Chinese. And this podcast will also help you to learn how to give a nice sounding response… and so much more.

    Tags: work, doctor, teacher, occupation, jobs

    Lost Luggage Newbie

    Ask anyone who’s flown into Pudong Int’l Airport and we promise that the words “laid-back” and “relaxing” will never cross their lips. So should that suitcase full of Imodium AD and ChinesePod backup CDs go a-missing, this podcast will prepare you well. In this lesson you will learn how to say that you can’t find your luggage.

    Tags: luggage, travel

    Finding a Cheap Hostel Newbie

    There’s a good chance that you’ll come here with loads of cash and leave with none (see: Qipu Lu, the new “hot spot” to shop), meaning those final few nights might be spent in a “starless abode.” Because ChinesePod loves you, we want you to be able to find the best of the… erm, lesser, and offer up a lesson on finding a hostel. In this podcast you will learn how to ask how to find a hostel, using Mandarin Chinese. Plus, those iPod earplugs work great for drowning out that “dorm ambience” as well.

    Tags: shopping, accommodation

    Hotel Essentials Newbie

    Now you’ve used your Mandarin skills to find the hotel, check-in, order in some room service—but wait! There is something essential you forgot to learn how to say. In this podcast, we aid you in making a phone call to the front desk to ask for some essential items, in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: travel, accommodation

    Checking into a Hotel Newbie

    If you're planning on spending a night in a Chinese hotel, as a foreigner, you better have your passport ready. In this lesson, learn those magic Chinese phrases that will land you in a hotel room.

    Tags: greetings, name, hotel

    Student or Teacher? Newbie

    If you're reading this, you're most likely studying Mandarin. You need to learn how to talk about yourself and your teachers. In today's lesson, learn how to explain in Chinese that you're a student.

    Tags: introductions, school, classroom, teacher, students

    Speaking and Writing Newbie

    It is said that the ability to speak and write is what separates us from the monkeys. Now, if you want to be the Monkey King, then try your hand at learning to speak and write Mandarin. In this podcast, a good start, where you will learn to talk about speaking and writing Chinese.

    Tags: numbers, language, ability

    Studying Chinese Newbie

    So you're studying Chinese? Is it hard? As a student of Chinese, you better be prepared to answer these questions. And don't worry... Chinese people won't mind if you tell them you're finding it a tad bit difficult. They've wrestled with it their whole lives too.

    Tags: language, studying

    I Have Class Newbie

    No, we are not talking about the Ron Burgundy type of class, we are talking about the kind you go to...or at least supposed to go to. So don't skip class, and definitely don't skip this podcast. You will slowly become as wise as a miniature Buddha with yet another Chinese lesson under your belt.

    Tags: time, studies, education

    What are you doing? Newbie

    We’re all about the classics here – Chuck Taylors, Pong, New Coke, the lot. So why not help you out with the classic question: “what are you doing?” Why not, indeed! Listen to this podcast and learn it in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: newspaper, internet, actions

    Surfing the Internet Newbie

    So what do you like to do in the evening? If your answer is something that does not involve going online, then you're weird, and we're not going to help you. If, however, you like going online for your entertainment, we've got just the Chinese lesson for you!

    Tags: movies, entertainment, hobbies, internet

    What Are Your Hobbies? Newbie

    As you start busting out your Chinese and making Chinese friends, one of the topics that's going to come up is hobbies. (Spoiler alert: you're going to hear a lot of "listening to music" and "watching movies.") If one of your hobbies is playing basketball, this lesson is perfect. If you just like watching basketball, this lesson is still perfect. If you like hitting people, it's also pretty good.

    Tags: hobbies, sports

    Weekend Activities Newbie

    Don't be surprised when your Chinese friends start asking you what you do on the weekends. (Foreigners are known to have riotously good times on the weekends, as faithfully reported by Hollywood.) In this lesson, learn how to make a connection and ask a friend in Mandarin Chinese what they are up to this weekend (AKA fishing for an invite).

    Tags: hobbies, entertainment, daily life

    Boba Tea Newbie

    Ordering tea from a tea shop can be a little daunting, but it's also a great chance to practice some of the Chinese you've been learning. We're here to guide you with the tools necessary to get some of that lovely bubble tea inside you. We also talk a little about some useful tone change rules which will help you with your pronunciation.

    Tags: tea, bubble tea, boba, buying