Say It Right Series

    Edsko's HSK 3


    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 3 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 3 = 600 cumulative words. Designed for learners who can use Chinese to serve the demands of their personal lives, studies and work, and are capable of completing most of the communicative tasks they experience during their Chinese tour.

    Useful Phrases #1 Newbie

    With these basic sentences you’ll be able to sound like a pro even if you only started studying Chinese five minutes ago. In this lesson, learn some high-frequency sentences in Mandarin Chinese that you will find you can use every day in China or with your Chinese friends. Careful with “Wǒ lái fù qián” though – showing off could get you into trouble…

    Tags: bill

    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

    Thirsty for Water Newbie

    So, you’re thirsty… for water. Now, believe it or not, some shopkeepers will give you tea when you ask for water. In fact, others will even offer up OJ! But you need some H20 and you need it now! Parch no more – it’s a ChinesePod podcast to quench that burning throat…and desire to…(ahem)…learn Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: food, preferences

    Buying Bread and Butter Newbie

    It’s only right that with us being the “bread and butter” of your day, we also offer up a Mandarin Chinese lesson on buying these two basics at the grocers. In this podcast, learn how to request a specific item at the supermarket, using your Mandarin Chinese. Spread the word!

    Tags: shopping, questions, food

    St. Patrick's Day Newbie

    You may know about a famous Chinese "Day for the Ladies," but what about that face-down-in-green-beer-that-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time holiday involving leprechauns? You'll only know if you listen to this podcast, the source to learn about St. Patrick’s Day in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: holidays, culture

    Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes Newbie

    Now, don't be shy to act out all the motions that go along with this podcast, wherein you will learn a well-loved song about your body parts in Mandarin Chinese. Think of it as multi-tasking--a Chinese workout. Oh, and we'll be listening to make sure you are singing along too!

    Tags: music, children, people

    Colors Song Newbie

    You know that Ken and Jenny like to show their appreciation to our CPoddies by giving you a little serenade for your listening pleasure from time to time. Thus, in this podcast they will teach you a little ditty in Mandarin Chinese all about the the colors of the sky, clouds, fields, grass and sun. Sound a little flower child-ish? Well, maybe just a little... (Lesson on hippie jargon coming up soon.)

    Tags: music, colors

    Sweet Watermelon Newbie

    You know it's summertime when those trucks roll into the city, feeding streetside stalls thronging with business as the evening ambles home. Ask anyone who lives here: watermelon is a small joy of life in China. But no one will force it on you. And to get it, you've got to know how to ask for it in Mandarin Chinese. Which is where this podcast comes in. Enjoy!

    Tags: food

    Giving up a Seat Newbie

    In a place where an empty seat on public transportation is about as uncommon as toilet paper in the bathroom, it's understandable why there is a certain "scrimmage" of sorts when the bus doors fling open to the weary throngs. In this podcast, a pleasant turn of events. Listen and learn how to be the kind soul that offers up his seat, in Mandarin Chinese. And remember, what goes around comes around--you never know... just when you're desperately in need of some TP... it just might come around your way. Or one can hope.

    Tags: transportation, etiquette

    Forget It Newbie

    Quite possibly the most useful phrase around, 'forget it' has been well-used by many a sulky teenager, dejected lover, pms-ing girlfriend and/or frustrated communicator. Listen in to this podcast, and learn how to get the most out of this multi-faceted conversation concluder, in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: weather

    Turn on the Light, Turn off the Light Newbie

    Open the lights and turn off the door, er, I mean, turn on the lights and close the door... why is this so confusing? Just get in here and pretend you love me. Close the lights if you have to. In this podcast, a Mandarin Chinese lesson on how to turn on/off the lights.

    Tags: home and office, actions

    Cat in the Hat Newbie

    If only Dr. Seuss had learned Chinese, children China-over could have had a new chant to repeat after their teachers. "Haohao xuexi, tiantian xiangsheng" could have gotten a lot more fun. Now, listen to Dr. Zhu's version of the classic, 'The Mao in the Mao.' Learn this little story all over again, in Mandarin.

    Tags: location, animals

    Don't push me! Newbie

    You'll have many fantastic experiences on your trip to China, but, unfortunately, "squeezing into an elevator" or "waiting in line" are not going to be on that list. For most travelers, there's going to be a bit of "jostling." Arm yourself with a few phrases to help you push back (linguistically, at least).

    Tags: transportation, daily life

    What Time is It Now? Newbie

    Fans of "are we there yet" will enjoy annoying their companions with the endlessly repeated question, "what time is it now?" Whether you're just curious, or you're shooting for the "super obnoxious" end of the spectrum, you've got to admit that this is a useful question to master. Cover the essentials in this Chinese lesson.

    Tags: time, numbers

    Which country are you from? Elementary

    A long time ago, in a lesson far, far away, we taught you how to explain where you are from in a simple way (the Dallas Cowboys hat pretty much took care of that anyway). But you have since completed that training (thanks to Master Ken and Princess Jenny) and are now ready for a deeper lesson on that subject. In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about which country you are from, and which places you have been to before, using Mandarin Chinese. Where were you born? Why are you here? Where will you go? The answers lie within.

    Tags: questions, nationalities,

    My boss isn't satisfied Elementary

    People learn Chinese for a number of different reasons. Some for work, some for play, some to finally convey to the nice lady downstairs that the smell of fish cooking at 8:00am isn’t the greatest thing to wake up to. The one thing we all do agree on is that the word “boss” and “is unsatisfied” are biggies, so needless to say, an elementary lesson on just that is the “podcast du jour”.

    Tags: computers, business

    What's your type? Elementary

    At ChinesePod, we’re all about putting Ken into compromising situations (see: beatings with the “Tone Stick” out back), so when a request came in for talking about the type of men one likes, we couldn’t say no. In this podcast, Jenny teaches and Ken takes on the student of Mandarin Chinese role in our production of “Brokeback 山”.

    Tags: preferences

    Your turn to pay! Elementary

    Sometimes we take a lesson from our own experience. While names have been changed to protect the innocent (until proven stingy), the account to follow dealing with the guy who always forgets his wallet is real. While we’re busy snickering at the (hot) water cooler, Ken and Jenny will teach you through a Mandarin Chinese lesson on taking turns to pay. In this podcast you’ll learn how to have a little “discussion” with a cheap pal.

    Tags: questions

    Surfing Online Elementary

    Think you don’t need to talk about the internet? You’re positive? Okay, tell you what, think very, very carefully about your life sans web…no email, no news, no CHINESEPOD, ye gods! In this podcast, Ken (An Irish Spicoli) and Jenny (Our Little Surfer Girl) teach you how to talk in Mandarin Chinese about surfing the internet. The Chinese love their electronics and you’ve got to fit in! Listen and this lesson will teach you how.

    Tags: hobbies, internet, communications

    Cooking Elementary

    How and where did “chow main” get its name? “Kung Pao” is a dish and not a (brilliant) film? Someone must have their mouth full of “kuaizi” and not the proper tones. However, not to worry…in this podcast Ken takes off the apron strings and Jenny puts down that ladle for a Mandarin Chinese lesson on cooking.

    Tags: ability, food, directions

    Morning Hygiene Elementary

    A few cultural tips on “personal upkeep” here: 1. Most Chinese bathe at night. 2. Chairman Mao used tea to brush his teeth. 3. Toilet paper is thrown in a wastebasket. …more, you say? More it is – listen to this podcast and learn about washing your face, brushing your teeth and more, in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: health

    I want to play Elementary

    Not that we ever had friends calling our name from outside asking us to join the “cool kids” and play, but with our “cool listeners only” rule firmly in effect, we thought we’d teach you. In this podcast, Jenny brings back fond childhood memories while at the same time, peeling back the scab of Ken’s. In this podcast, learn a conversation between a parent and child in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: education, children

    Making Copies Elementary

    Again, you don’t have to use ChinesePod for everyday tasks, but it helps. Take, for instance, making copies. The putting down of said document next to blank document and using a finger to indicate (with a dramatic arch) what is on one, needs to go on the other could work, Mr. “Arching-Finger Hidden-Embarrassment” (1/2 of our staff didn’t get that), or you could just listen in to this podcast to learn how to use Mandarin Chinese with the photocopy man.

    Tags: business, money, home and office

    Directions with a Map #1 Elementary

    Yes, we know you’d love nothing more than a “map to Jenny,” but until our ratings drop (yeah, right), we’ll hang onto that. What we can do is offer up “Jenny and a map.” In this visionary-of-a-lesson, keep your eye on the map and your ear on “The Zhu.” In this podcast, learn how to get around, using Mandarin Chinese. colored balls

    Tags: directions, location

    Consoling the Bereaved Elementary

    It’s always difficult to find the right words of comfort when a friend’s loved one has passed away. It’s many times more difficult when you have to do it in Mandarin. In this podcast, learn the right Chinese phrases for consoling your friend during that painful time.

    Tags: etiquette, feelings, family

    Man or Woman? Elementary

    When he/she walks like a woman and talks like a man, and the response that comes to your query of “Who is that?” is “It’s Pat,” you may find yourself in a quandary of gender identification. Think you can fake your way through this kind of predicament in Chinese with an evasive ‘ta’? That, and this podcast will help. And who knows, you may just find out that the elusive Lola ended up in China.

    Tags: people, appearance

    Wang Wei's Diary: Food and Girls Elementary

    In today's diary entry, we get the male perspective on life in the world of Li Yan, Yang Jie and Wang Wei. Why does Wang Wei stare at Yang Jie every day? Is there blossoming romance? Will this be the start of an titillating love triangle? Listen in to this podcast as we tell all, invade privacy, and learn Mandarin Chinese in the process.

    Tags: Diary Series, clothes, appearance

    Getting Dressed Elementary

    Though XYZ doesn't translate well into Chinese (that being said, the letters X, Y and Z do have great pinyin potential), you may find yourself in the unenviable position of informing someone that they're 'flying low.' In this podcast, learn to tell someone to 'do it up' in Mandarin. And while we're at it, we'll throw in a little tying of the shoelaces and buttoning of the coat just to make sure you're all put together properly.

    Tags: directions, clothes

    Yang Jie's Diary: He's Not Stupid Elementary

    In this excerpt from Yang Jie aka the Princess' Diary, we get to see how a library date pans out for the under-appreciated Wang Wei. Will he make a move while pretending to be reaching for a book on a shelf? Will he impress with his knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System? Let's see if it works, as you listen to this podcast with some Mandarin Chinese love in the library.

    Tags: diary, feelings, Diary Series

    Don't Litter Elementary

    Dodging street debris may be good foot-dexterity training for the Chinese New Year lion dance you've been getting ready for, but a quick slip on a banana peel can end a potentially brilliant dance career faster than the crash of a gong. In this podcast, a lesson for the litterbugs, in Mandarin.

    Tags: town and city, jobs, etiquette

    Art Museum Elementary

    Everyone knows there are a lot of fakes in China. Fake prada, fake watches, fake art students... yes, those too. So stay away from those sweet looking Nanjing Lu predators, and stick to the real art museums of China. Where treasures of jade bok choy and 50,000 renditions of West Lake lie awaiting your discovery. Educate yourself, art-wise and Mandarin-wise, in this lesson.

    Tags: art

    Yang Jie's Diary: The Final Episode Elementary

    All good stories have to come to an end, including the saga of our friend Yang Jie. She kinda got sick of writing, as diary-keepers usually do. Plus, we were starting to feel like creeps, slinking into her room every night to sneak a peek. In this podcast, find out how things turn out for Yang Jie and co-stars. How do you say in Chinese: "She's not that into you..."

    Tags: relationships, feelings

    Hungry Traveler: Xinjiang Elementary

    One man's meat is another man's poison. In this edition of 'The Hungry Traveler' we journey to the cuisine oft adored by westerners and somewhat spurned by those of a more Shanghai palate. Did you ever think of Chinese food as chewy flatbreads, cumin-crusted kebabs, and spicy curries? Welcome to Xinjiang... the marvelous cuisine that is the best kept culinary secret of China.

    Tags: food, Hungry Traveler Series

    How Many Zeroes? Elementary

    The Chinese number system is based on groups of four zeroes, not three. Learn how to talk about big numbers in Chinese, in today's podcast.

    Tags: zero, math, numbers

    Blow out Your Candles Elementary

    If you could have one wish, what would it be? Do you want to speak Mandarin? Would you like to visit China? In today's podcast, make a wish and blow out your candles. ChinesePod makes your dream of learning Chinese come true!

    Tags: birthday

    Juiced! Elementary

    Tea and baijiu aren't the only things you can drink in China. In today's Mandarin podcast, you'll learn how to order a juice -- and how to complain when it isn't all you dreamed it would be!

    Tags: drink, food, shopping, juice, mango, pear, watermelon, banana, fruit

    Language Exchange Elementary

    If you're learning Chinese in China, there's a very good chance that someone will try to become your language partner. With any luck, you'll become fast friends. If not, the experience can be awkward and dull. In any case, let's listen to this podcast and learn how to talk about language exchange in Chinese.

    Tags: speaking, learning, studying, language exchange, language parner

    Picking Up a Friend at the Airport Elementary

    Your friend just got off of a long haul flight. He's got nasty bed-head and his breath could kill a small animal. But even that can't deter you from doing your duties as a proper Chinese host and meeting him at the airport. In today's ChinesePod lesson, learn how to greet your friend at the airport.

    Tags: picking someone up, airport, luggage, introductions

    The North Has Central Heating Elementary

    Contrary to what you'd think, winter often feels colder in south China than in north China. Why is this? Two words: central heating. So cuddle up with a warm blanket and join us as we explore this chilly winter topic!

    Tags: north, south, cold, weather, heating

    What have you done in 2009? Elementary

    Christmas has just passed and it's that time of year again - the time when you look back on everything you've done and think about what you'd like to do in the year to come. Join ChinesePod today as we reminisce on 2009, and look to an exciting new decade!

    Tags: friends, study, achievement, time

    Reviewing in Class Elementary

    Today's lesson is essential for anyone taking or planning on taking a Chinese class. Learn how to describe reviewing the material and learn how to talk about habitual actions.

    Tags: students, teacher, classroom, lessons, grammar

    Giving up a Seat on the Bus Elementary

    In the craziness that befalls Chinese cities at rush hour it hardly seems likely that there is any method to the madness. Yet often times when it comes to the elderly and the handicapped (and kiddos, too) people are quick to relinquish their hard-won seats. Find out more about giving up your bus seat with today's lesson!

    Tags: station, children, old people, people, seat, transportation, etiquette

    Which Subway Exit Elementary

    Meeting up with friends in the city can sometimes be confusing. In today's lesson you'll learn the Chinese you need to know to describe which exit of the metro station you'll be meeting your friends at.

    Tags: numbers, location, subway

    You've been everywhere! Elementary

    So you're planning a trip with your travel buddy, and you're talking about the places you've been and haven't been. The problem is, this guy's been everywhere! Learn these very practical Chinese sentence patterns about past experiences in this lesson. You'll have to figure out the trip destination on your own, though.

    Tags: place, city

    Your First Mooncake Elementary

    It's called a mooncake, and it's about the size and shape of a hockey puck. If you're in China during the autumn, you just may have the opportunity to partake in this quintessentially Chinese ritual. Learn not only the key vocabulary, but also some of the cultural features as well, such as what makes Taiwan's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival special.

    Tags: food, moon, culture, festivals, mooncake

    Toothache Elementary

    Toothaches hurt. If you have a toothache, this is a fact you'll be wanting to communicate. In this lesson, we talk about toothaches, swollen faces, and scary visits to the dentist. Listen in to learn this basic dental Chinese.

    Tags: teeth

    Dining and Dropping Elementary

    Dropping a utensil at dinner is normal, right? Knocking pretty much everything onto the floor, though, one by one, doesn't normally happen unless there is drinking involved. Requests for the server, measure words, drunkenness -- this lesson has it all.

    Tags: measure words, dining, dropping, drinking, restaurant

    Handsome Foreign Student Elementary

    If you're a foreign student in China, or planning to be one, you should probably learn the word for "foreign student." And since all our listeners are good-looking, the word for "handsome guy" might just come in handy as well. Learn all this and more in this Chinese lesson.

    Tags: nationalities, study, work, university

    5000 Years of History Elementary

    Do you know how many years of history China is sporting? In case you have no Chinese friends around to remind you, we have created this lesson to fill you in on this critical detail of world history. This Chinese lesson will also help you Americans out there make a comparison.

    Tags: numbers, history, culture

    Asking Height and Weight Elementary

    Just by being a foreigner in China, you're a fair target for all sorts of personal questions. So don't be surprised when you're asked how tall you are, or how much you weigh. In this lesson, learn to answer these questions. Remember: for personal questions like these, truth is optional.

    Tags: measurement, height, weight

    Hospitality Series 5: Searching for Shopping Elementary

    Shopping is an integral part of many a tourist's experience travelling. But what do you do when you don't know where to go to get your shopping fix, be it Gucci bags or local handicrafts? Check out today's ChinesePod lesson to learn how to ask your friendly concierge for directions to the local mall in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: Hospitality Series, shopping, directions, hotel

    Asking About the New Job Elementary

    While chatting with your friends in Chinese, job discussion will surely be a popular topic, especially if someone has just changed jobs. Learn how to give a (diplomatic) answer to some of the more common questions about your new occupation.

    Tags: jobs, company, time, transportation

    Asking for Sick Leave Elementary

    Even the hardest-working employees need a break sometimes! Whether you're actually sick or not, knowing how to ask your Chinese boss for a bit of time off is a highly important skill. Learn how to do so in today's elementary lesson.

    Tags: feelings, drugs, boss, work

    A Simple Tour of the Office Elementary

    We love getting visitors at the ChinesePod office here in Shanghai. Thankfully, no matter if you speak Chinese or not, our bilingual staff can offer you a wonderfully fulfilling tour. Unfortunately, not all offices in China are as well-equipped as ours. Today's lesson offers a simple office tour in Mandarin Chinese with some essential workplace vocabulary.

    Tags: directions, tour, office

    Recognizing a Blind Date Elementary

    Meeting someone for the first time on a blind date can be an awkward experience as it is, especially when you don't know what they look like. In this lesson, we've decided to raise the stakes by making that first encounter in Chinese! Don't worry, it's easier than you think!

    Tags: directions, place, clothes, colors

    Questioning a Child Elementary

    It's a classic situation in any culture. A child breaks something, and when their parents ask them about it, they deny doing it. In this lesson, a father grills his son about something he broke.

    Tags: parents, family, children

    A Snake Discovery Elementary

    Let's go out for a spring stroll, shall we? But wait! What's that up ahead? A snake!

    Tags: animals, snake

    Where Have All the Videos Gone? Intermediate

    It's an open secret in China that you can watch foreign TV shows for free online. Or at least it used to be. After going public in the United States, some of China's largest video watching sites no longer host TV shows for free. What's a fan to do? In this lesson, two friends talk about where they're going to watch.

    Tags: website, TV show

    I'll Call You Back Elementary

    Too busy to talk? Then I'll call you back! In this lesson, ChinesePod takes you through how to return a call in Chinese.

    Tags: meeting, cell phones

    I Said COLD Cola Elementary

    In China, getting a cold drink can be difficult. Many locals prefer not to drink very cold drinks and often times if you want a beverage served cold, you need to ask. In this lesson, learn how to get yourself an icy cold drink.

    Tags: drinking, restaurant, food

    Shampoo and Cut Elementary

    That hair of yours is getting long and straggly, ain't it? Time for a haircut! In this lesson, you'll learn the basics for getting your hair done in Chinese, as well as a bit about barbershop culture in China.

    Tags: daily life, haircut

    Full for Real Elementary

    If you're a special guest at a dinner in China, expect to eat a lot of food. But when you're full, what's the polite way to say that you can't eat any more? Find out in this lesson!

    Tags: polite, table manner, dining

    The Year of the Horse Elementary

    Chinese New Year comes again, and this year we welcome in the Year of the Horse. In this lesson, listen in as a family gets ready to gallop into the New Year!

    Tags: zodiac, family, Chinese New Year, New Year

    No Parking Here Elementary

    Free parking is rare everywhere, and China is no exception. In this lesson, a husband and wife try to get way with parking where they know they shouldn't. What happens? Listen and find out!

    Tags: parking, police, car

    Changing the Plate Elementary

    What should you do with the plate when it is full? Have you ever been stuck not knowing how to ask for a new one in Mandarin? In this lesson, get equipped for the eventuality of the full plate.

    Tags: table manner, dining, restaurant

    No Tampons?! Elementary

    This is a situation you girls living in China will be able to relate to: trying to find a place that sells tampons! Since tampons are generally not readily available in China, this lesson will equip you to ask about the options in Chinese.

    Tags: shopping

    Changing your Profile Picture Elementary

    When was the last time you updated your profile picture? A few days ago or has it been awhile? For the father in this lesson, getting help changing his photo causes his daughter to discover something very interesting about her dad...

    Tags: family, internet, computers

    Can you hear that? Elementary

    Sensory experience is always a good place to start when learning a new language. In this dialogue we look at hearing and how to ask some short questions about sounds and listening.

    Tags: love, parents, pregnancy

    Borrowing Money From a Friend Elementary

    You're in that awkward situation where you don't have any money and you have to ask a friend for help. Fear not. Hopefully you have as good a friend as Daisy has, and they can lend you some cash. But don't be one of those people that never returns the money...

    Tags: money, borrowing

    Signing for Someone Else's Package Elementary

    This is a really useful lesson that will provide you with the vocabulary to be able to communicate with a courier when you need to sign for a package, whether for yourself or for someone else, after a shopping spree on Singles' Day or at the office.

    Tags: delivery

    The Cycling Holiday Elementary

    You've been on a bike trip and come back nice and tanned. Your friends are likely going to comment on your new looks as well as ask to see some of the pics. Listen in as two friends discuss the trip, and the nice people she met along the way.

    Tags: holiday, bicycle

    The Dolphin Show at SeaWorld Elementary

    Today we visit SeaWorld to watch the dolphin and penguin performances. Listen in as this family discusses the show times.

    Tags: dolphin, penguin, water park

    Not Studious Enough Elementary

    Listen to two students discuss how playing online computer games is affecting their school grades.

    Tags: study, RPG, online, games, homework, school

    City Comparison Pre Intermediate

    It’s been established you like your city, but why exactly? In this podcast, you will learn how to compare two things using Mandarin Chinese; in this case, cities. The more comparisons you can make, the smarter you sound. And the smarter you sound, the more you like us. And the more you like us, the better the Christmas gift we get from you. See how that works?

    Tags: city

    Shopping Pre Intermediate

    You dare to journey the Silk Road and not buy any silk? No one in their right mind comes to China and leaves with less than two extra carry-on bags. Cash or credit card? Expensive or not? In this lesson Ken and Jenny, a.k.a. shoppicus maximus, teach you about shopping in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: credit cards, shopping

    Future Goals Intermediate

    What are your plans for the future? Think that this question ends after you walk out of your guidance counselor’s office? “Think two times” (Chinglish for “twice”). In this podcast, we offer up a monologue on business plans in Mandarin Chinese. Listen and learn…you might just get some good ideas!

    Tags: jobs, business

    Standing in Line Intermediate

    Back in the day it was one bus per hour, which explains the, erm, shall we say, “lack of formation” in that ticket queue. In this podcast you will obtain some cultural insight and learn a few stinging phrases in Mandarin Chinese to bring line etiquette to the attention of the offender. Would that relieve some of that stress? It’s Dr. C. Pod to the rescue.

    Tags: money,

    Old Friend Intermediate

    Yes, we know you were the prom queen in school (and to be honest, you might not remember us--we were the weird ones that took drama very seriously). So what happens when you bump into someone from “back in the day?” In this podcast, we open that wound of high school days past and teach you how to catch up with someone in Mandarin Chinese. They’ll all be jealous at that next reunion.

    Tags: greetings, jobs

    Using a Dictionary Intermediate

    With 80,000 total characters (and the majority of words needing at least 2), you might enlist some help along the way. Yes, ChinesePod will be with you (always), but for those times that we’re enjoying the Shanghai life and can’t be reached, a dictionary might come in handy. So handy, in fact, that we made a lesson on it. In this podcast, you will learn about the different parts of the Chinese character, and how to talk about them in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: education

    Chicago Intermediate

    "This is my kind of town, Chicago is." The home of Oprah, the Cubs, and deep dish pizza (the dawgs are better though). The third largest city in the US guessed it....the third largest Chinatown. So hop on the "L" train to Cermak-Chinatown, listen to this Mandarin podcast, and go and practice your new lesson on Chi-town.

    Tags: weather, town and city, food

    Beauty Pageant: It's a Mess Intermediate

    When is a beauty pageant not a mess? All those bikinis, blow-dries, manicures, bleached teeth, body part enhancements. Ew. Our blogger finds out that the pageants of the computer world are no better. In this installment, join us as we see just how bad it can get. Life's tough when you're beautiful. Learn about it in this podcast, in Mandarin.

    Tags: people, news, Beauty Pageant Series

    Personal Ad Intermediate

    Can't find a spouse? Don't like the one you have? Have we got a lesson for you! In today's podcast, you'll learn all about personal ads in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: women, men, personal ad, love, romance, dating

    Excuses for Being Late Intermediate

    We know how it happened: you were up until the wee small hours learning Mandarin with ChinesePod. By the time you got to work the next morning, everyone was getting ready for lunch! In today's podcast, you'll learn how to talk in Mandarin Chinese about why you were late.

    Tags: late, meeting, employee, manager, work, excuses

    Visiting a Friend at the Hospital Intermediate

    They say laughter is the best medicine. In today's ChinesePod lesson you'll be learning how to express regret for a friend's unexpected injury, as well as offer standard (but sincere!) pleasant wishes for his or her speedy recovery!

    Tags: culture, food, see a patient, hospital

    Hot Pot Chitchat Intermediate

    Now that it's cold out, sitting around a boiling pot of broth for hours on end doesn't seem like such a bad idea. On the contrary! It is a very appealing style of eating (which also accounts for the long lines at hot pot restaurants all over town right now). Learn how to talk hot pot in today's delicious ChinesePod lesson!

    Tags: spicy, friends, drinking, eating, restaurant, hot pot

    Meeting the Girlfriend's Parents Intermediate

    A nerve-wracking situation in any culture, today we're meeting the girlfriend's parents. Will they be impressed or disappointed in their daughter's choice of boyfriend? Check out today's lesson to find out!

    Tags: greetings, culture, peasant, plans, work, health, family, meeting, parents

    Music Corner in the Park Intermediate

    Maybe you know about the weekly English corner in your local park, but did you know that there are also "music corners?" In China, these informal bands aren't too hard to find (they're the ones with the musical instruments in their hands), and they sometimes even draw quite a crowd. In this lesson, learn the vocabulary for various traditional Chinese musical instruments.

    Tags: entertainment, culture, musical instrument, music

    Walking the Bird Intermediate

    You can walk a dog, and maybe even a cat, but did you know you can walk a bird? This lesson will familiarize you with this Chinese habit, as well as the other responsibilities that come with raising a Chinese bird.

    Tags: cleaning, culture, raising, pets, bird

    Considering an iPad Intermediate

    Now both Beijing and Shanghai have official Apple Stores, just in time for the release of the iPad. What do you think of the iPad? Revolution in computing, or an over-sized (overpriced) iPhone? No matter where you stand on the issue, this lesson will equip you to make some comments on the Apple iPad in Chinese.

    Tags: iPad, iPhone, Apple, technology, entertainment

    Farewell Dinner Intermediate

    Parting is such sweet sorrow... except when it tastes like beer. In this lesson, a few 'bei's are 'gan'ned as an office throws a farewell dinner for a departing co-worker. But is all the Chinese well-wishing heart-felt, or mere cliche lip service? Listen in to find out.

    Tags: dinner, drink, farewell, co-workers, cheers, future

    Funerals and Consolation Intermediate

    When a friend or co-worker tells you a relative has passed away, what do you say? You could probably use some help in this delicate situation. For one thing, you don't say "I'm sorry" in Mandarin. Learn how to offer your consolation the Chinese way in this lesson.

    Tags: culture, office, family, etiquette, feelings, funeral

    Substitute Teacher Intermediate

    Teaching is hard work, so every now and then you might need to come up with an excuse to take a week off, like "surgery" or something. But being the responsible teacher that you are, you're going to need to find someone to take those pesky classes off your hands. Learn how to use Mandarin Chinese to find that substitute teacher in this lesson.

    Tags: teaching, students, education, teacher, school

    Snoring Again Intermediate

    If you've ever had a roommate, you know how essential it is to be able to accuse someone of snoring. In this Chinese lesson, learn the key vocabulary surrounding snoring, sleeping, and being unable to sleep.

    Tags: daily life, family, habit, sleep

    Discussing a Work Out Plan Intermediate

    Get in shape with today's intermediate ChinesePod lesson. We'll join a new gym member as they work with their personal fitness trainer to tailor a specialized workout plan to their own needs. Note: listening to this podcast is NOT an acceptable substitute for real exercise!

    Tags: gym, sports, health

    The Tea Scam Intermediate

    If you're a foreign-looking guy walking down a major street in any international city in China, there's a distinct possibility that you'll be approached by young ladies wanting to chat you up and drink tea with you. Don't be fooled; a lovely chat over normal tea may cost you hundreds of RMB! While we certainly don't want to imply that all, or even a significant number, of Chinese people want to swindle you, this scam is definitely something to be aware of. Listen in to learn more!

    Tags: China, money, cheating, tea

    Chinese Class Placement Intermediate

    It's time to start studying Chinese again. You're no newbie, but which class level is right for you? In this lesson, two teachers discuss an incoming student's Chinese level and which class would be right for him.

    Tags: school, studying, Chinese

    No Time for Questionnaires Intermediate

    They're stalking around malls, outside of subway stations, near the entrances to public parks just asking for a minute or two of our time. It's people handing out surveys! In this lesson, listen as someone tries to canvass people on the street to fill out a questionnaire.

    Tags: business, marketing, car

    Photos with Animals Intermediate

    While it's strictly taboo at many zoos in America, taking pictures with or feeding the animals is a common occurrence at Chinese zoos. Of course, it isn't always the safest of activities, especially where ferocious animals are concerned. In this lesson, a mother tries to prevent her son from joining in.

    Tags: children, zoo, family, animals

    I'm Being Followed! Intermediate

    It's not a good feeling when you feel like somebody is following you. In this lesson, a woman calls the police when she thinks that someone is following her.

    Tags: alcohol, police, story

    Participating in a Marathon Intermediate

    Stretch out those legs. It's time to go for a run, and a long one at that! In this lesson, ChinesePod talks about the Shanghai Marathon!

    Tags: health, competition, sports

    Eating Dinner with a Client Intermediate

    It's time to do a deal over dinner. In this lesson, someone meets with Director Chen to pitch an idea, but first there's food to be ordered!

    Tags: business, dining

    A Boat Tour of the River Upper Intermediate

    Join us on a boat tour down the Yellow River (Huáng Hé) as we discuss nature, poetry, and shopping with a best friend. Photo by Jody McIntyre

    Tags: holiday, boat, river