Say It Right Series

    Edsko's HSK 1


    Diligent student, and developer extraordinaire, Edsko, in preparation for his HSK exams, prepared a list of ChinesePod lessons that would best prepare him for the listening portion of the test.

    This list is for any student that wants to kick start their learning, and attempt the HSK 1 exam. For more information about how Edsko picked these lessons, you can read his in-depth blog post here, or reply directly on the forum.
    HSK 1 = 150 cumulative words. Designed for learners who can understand and use some simple Chinese characters and sentences to communicate, and prepares them for continuing their Chinese studies. In HSK 1 all characters are provided along with Pinyin.

    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

    Dialect Party Mix Newbie

    Lots of lessons under your belt and you’re feeling a bit sure of yourself these days, so here’s an intro to a few of the 1500 regional dialects here in China to bring you back down to us. In this podcast you will learn a few key phrases in a couple of the major dialects of China. Be nice and we’ll only make you remember a few.

    Tags: food, etiquette,

    I love China! Newbie

    Things that will get you the best seat in the “jia”: 1. Saying “I love Yao Ming!” 2. Saying “I love Chinese food!” 3. Saying “I love China” So, for those who don’t know of giant basketball players, or who haven’t yet ventured out into the “hairy crab” food section, in this podcast we’ll make sure you know how to confess your love for the P.R.C. in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: culture, feelings

    This is mine! Newbie

    If you were that kid in school who hated sharing, then we strongly suggest hypnotherapy before attending a meal here. Food, laughs and sometimes even a bottle of the ole’ baijiu are passed out among the present…which is fine, until Mr. Food-in-his-teeth mistakes your glass for his. Perhaps this podcast with a Mandarin Chinese lesson on getting straight whose glass is whose would be appreciated.

    Tags: questions

    Requesting a Glass of Water Newbie

    Hot day—there’s nothing you imagine that could be better than a nice cold glass of ice water... aha, not so! There is a whole nation of Chinese people that would beg to differ with you on this point. In this podcast, learn how to request a glass of water in Mandarin Chinese... cold water.

    Tags: questions, preferences

    Wrong Change Newbie

    You're dancing around gesticulating. They're dancing around gesticulating. Children are clapping and someone might even be singing, shaking an abacus in time to the music. Except that you're not teaching them a "foreign friend" dance, you're trying to get the correct change so you'll have the bus fare home. This podcast in Mandarin Chinese will help you stave off that three hour walk home, although you'll have to learn the art of the abacus on your own.

    Tags: money

    My Dog Newbie

    There are dogs to love (big, drooly, friendly pups) and dogs to love (loyal, best friend mutts)... hey--who doesn't love pooches? (No offense to the cat lesson.) Now, we know you've probably got a wallet full of photos to pull out and show off, but first, learn from this podcast how to throw a few dog commands and compliments around, in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: pets, dogs, animals

    What's tomorrow? Newbie

    So you download the BitTorrent file of 500 ChinesePod podcasts and hole yourself up for days on end learning Mandarin and laughing along with Ken and Jenny. You finally tear yourself away, glassy-eyed and ears ringing. As you come out squinting to the light of day, you realize you have been in a ChinesePod induced time-warp. What day is it? Listen to this podcast and find out.

    Tags: questions, time, numbers

    Knowing the Teacher Newbie

    Listening to ChinesePod podcasts every day, one gets to know many profound things from teachers Ken and Jenny. But of course, to quote the infamous Miss Zhu, there are many layers in meat, many layers to learning Mandarin, and... to add another... many layers of 'knowing' things. Learn in this lesson about two of the types of 'knowing', in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: location, studies, people

    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

    Before Noon, After Noon Newbie

    The unending feud between those annoying morning people and their alter-egos, the 'night cats' comes to a Chinese lesson today. Listen in as pre-noon takes on post-noon, chipper good mornings take on groggy good afternoons. Listen and learn in Mandarin how to do battle for control of the alarm clock setting.

    Tags: time

    Fruit Salad Newbie

    Could it be key to the Chinese ability to eat three oil saturated meals a day and maintain their girlish (or boyish) figures? No. Trust us. Even the fruit salad comes with mayonnaise. Your western genes weren't made for this diet. So listen to this Mandarin lesson on eating fruit salad and come prepared with loose pants. Make peace with your paunch and revel in the Buddha belly noogies given by admiring locals.

    Tags: questions, food

    When will he return? Newbie

    “Call me at the office when you land,” your friend says. So you do… He's not in. Now unless you actually envied Tom Hanks in “The Terminal,” you might want to learn a little phone Mandarin. In this podcast you will learn how to deal with a "bu zai" in Chinese, thereby avoiding the prospect of spending the night on a luggage cart.

    Tags: time, location, communications

    Who is that? Newbie

    You may not be strutting on the catwalk, but your significant other is working it tonight! With this lesson, you can let everyone in the room know, hey... she's with me! And you'll do it in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: people, appearance

    Taking a Shower Newbie

    Rub-a-dub-dub four tones in the tub. Bath time just got more fun and your old repertoire of songs to shower by just expanded. In this podcast, lather up and learn how to take a shower, Chinese-style. Also included, for those with long-showering, hot water user-upper roommates: learn how to stage phantom phone calls from love interests. Sure to get them out in a hurry.

    Tags: communications

    How's the weather? Newbie

    Though quite likely the response in these parts on a given day may be typhoon, blizzard or hurricane, we're not going to teach you how to say those just yet. However, in this podcast you will learn how to get your way through this universal conversation starter in Mandarin Chinese. How's the weather? Get ready to be the life of the party when you pull this topic out of your sleeve.

    Tags: daily life, weather

    Counting Coins Newbie

    In today's Mandarin lesson, you'll learn to count your blessings. Actually, after today's podcast, you'll know how to count all kinds of things in Chinese. Listen, learn, and get ready to count!

    Tags: crying, counting, egg

    Where Did You Go? Newbie

    How do you use Chinese to say where you've been, and when you were there? In today's Mandarin lesson, you'll learn how to talk about where you were and when you went there.

    Tags: discussion, asking questions

    Away on Business Newbie

    Do you often travel on business in China? Here's a Mandarin lesson that will help you to explain where you're going and when you'll be back. In this class we'll explain some useful phrases to use when you're traveling on business.

    Tags: trip, travel, business

    Where is the Supermarket? Newbie

    So you're in China. You don't need no stinking "maps." You'd rather just walk up to the nearest person on the street and ask where the supermarket is, in Chinese (of course). Tune in to today's lesson and learn how to do just that.

    Tags: location, time, supermarket

    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

    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

    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

    Shanghai Sightseeing Newbie

    Shanghai might not have a "Great Wall" or an army of "Terracotta Warriors," but it does have a few famous landmarks of its own. In this lesson, learn the Chinese names for the Bund and Nanjing Road, two must-see spots for any tourist in Shanghai.

    Tags: place, city, travel

    Tables and Chairs Newbie

    Ah, tables and chairs. Even the most minimalist decorator agrees that "being able to sit down" and "having a raised surface to put stuff on" are good things. There are a few surprises in store for you in today's Chinese lesson, though, so tune in and learn.

    Tags: office, daily life, furniture

    Serving Tea Newbie

    If you come to China you're going to be getting served tea everywhere: in restaurants, homes, even offices. In today's newbie lesson, we'll be joining a young woman as she enters an office. Listen in and learn the language for basic manners and politeness in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: polite, office

    How Long Have You Been in Shanghai? Newbie

    When you strike up a conversation with someone in Shanghai, people will inevitably want to know how long you've been there. Whether you're a grizzled expat who's been there for years or a newbie who's just around for a couple of days, you'll still need to know how to respond in Mandarin Chinese. Learn how in today's newbie lesson.

    Tags: time, city

    Which City Do You Like? Newbie

    Ah, the eternal question... do you like Shanghai, or do you like Beijing? It's a question that both Chinese and foreigners alike enjoy debating, and with the rapid development of both cities, it kind of feels like a new discussion every time. So take your first steps into this discussion in Chinese with this lesson!

    Tags: city, China, place

    Which Character Is That? Newbie

    When you hear a Chinese person's name, you can be reasonably sure that each syllable is a character and that the first character is the surname. But with thousands of Chinese characters, you often won't know which character it is unless you ask. Learn how to ask in this lesson.

    Tags: culture, Chinese character, name

    Say It Again, Please Newbie

    We can tell you from experience: the Chinese really have no clue about how crazy their mother tongue sounds to the rest of us. So while we're certainly not shocked that you might need things repeated again and again, the Chinese themselves are going to need that reminder. Repeatedly. Learn how to ask your kind, patient hosts to "say it again" in this lesson.

    Tags: studying, classroom, pronunciation, pinyin

    A Self-Introduction Newbie

    Today's newbie lesson will teach all of you who've just started learning Chinese how to give a basic self-introduction. We admit, this framework may not knock you off your feet with its scintillating content, but hey, it's functional and will get your point across. Learn how to let people know where you're from and what you do in Mandarin Chinese today!

    Tags: greetings, name, language, nationalities, introductions

    What Do You Want To Eat? Newbie

    Take a deep breath. It's time to order your first meal in Chinese. Luckily, many restaurants in China have picture menus which makes ordering a matter of simply pointing to something and saying "I want this". In this lesson, learn how to do just that, as well as discuss briefly with a friend what they want. Easy enough right? But what if they don't have what you want?

    Tags: eating, food, restaurant, daily life

    Introducing One's Children Elementary

    This is a lesson for all those proud parents out there. What’s better than showing off your cute offspring to those you meet? So, listen in on this podcast, and learn how to introduce your kiddes to those you meet, using Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: family, children

    Common Measure Words Elementary

    While “how much” is usually reserved for all the bargaining you do here, it can also be used for “quantifying things,” meaning that you need to understand “measure words,” which means we need to make you a lesson on it… lest your retort to “how far is it” be “too expensive!” Listen in and expand your knowledge of this especially fun element of the Mandarin Chinese language.

    Tags: language, measure words

    Excited About Traveling Elementary

    Oh boy, oh boy! You're going traveling soon, and you just can't wait! Tell all your friends in perfect Mandarin Chinese that you are going to be taking a trip soon. Today's podcast is all about the fun of looking forward to a vacation.

    Tags: tourism, visit, tour

    Character Amnesia Elementary

    Learning how to hand-write characters can be a daunting task for those of us just starting to learn Chinese; how often have you forgotten how to write a character? The answer is probably exceedingly often. Don't feel too bad, though. In today's lesson, you'll learn that it's not just foreigners who are prone to forgetting how to write characters!

    Tags: Chinese character, studying, writing

    Where Did You Learn Chinese? Elementary

    Once you get past the initial niceties and compliments that inevitably take place during a conversation, your newfound Chinese friend will most likely ask you where you've learned such exemplary Mandarin. Today's lesson will teach you how to respond to this question while still preserving the image of your impeccable language skills.

    Tags: language, study, school, ChinesePod, introductions

    Preparing for the HSK Elementary

    Teenagers in the US stress over the SATs, while expats in China go crazy preparing for the HSK, China's official test of Chinese-language skill. It's no easy task, but today you can learn how to talk about studying for this most burdensome of tests in our newest Elementary lesson.

    Tags: learning, test

    Help Backing Up a Car Elementary

    Parking can be quite an ordeal, can't it? In this lesson, a parking attendant helps someone park their car. You'll learn how to talk about turning right, turning left, backing up, going foward - well, you get the idea...

    Tags: driving, directions

    It's Hot This Time of Year Elementary

    Wow, it's so hot! What month are we in? Would you like some melon to cool yourself off? This is the kind of language you'll learn in today's lesson. Sure it's a bit random, but most conversations between friends are.

    Learn useful ways to ask questions like "How old are you?" or "What month is it?" as well as asking if someone would like some fruit.

    Tags: video, questions, fruit, month

    Heading out to Buy Some Rice Intermediate

    In this lesson, you'll hear a discussion about going out to buy some rice grains. Learn how to describe in detail a shop's location, and give arguments to why you prefer buying things from one shop rather than another. Perhaps it's because the shop assistant is particularly good looking...?
    Photo by m-louis .®

    Tags: rice, buying, food, market, shopping, price