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Basic Chinese

Mandarin is the standard spoken language in China.
 
English is not yet widely understood by locals - your best bet is to speak to someone young if you need help, as their English tends to be pretty good.
 
If you don't speak any Mandarin, you're destined to get lost at some point so please take a business card of your hotel or a copy of the address written down in Chinese so you can show taxi drivers or anyone else that can help you.
 
English              Chinese pinyin         Mandarin
Hello.               ni hao                 knee-how
Goodbye.             zai jian               tsai chee-en
Thank you.           xie xie                she-eh she-eh 
Sorry.               dui bu qi              do-eh boo chee   
you're welcome.      bu ke qi               boo ke chee   
correct/right        dui                    do-eh 
telephone            dian hua               dee-an hwa  
surf the Web         shang wang             shang hwan   
toilet               ce suo                 tsur swo   
turn left            zuo zhuan              dzwo joo-an 
turn right           you zhuan              yew joo-an 
go straight          zhi zou                gee dzow 
hotel                jiu dian               gee-ow dee-an 
airport              fei ji chang           fay gee charn   
train station        huo che zhan           hoo-oh chir ge-an   
metro                di tie                 dee tee-eh 
taxi                 chu zu che             choo dzoo chir   
How much?            duo shao qian?         dwor shau chien 
too expensive        tai gui                tie gway  
cheap                pian yi                pee-an yee   
too big              tai da                 tie da   
too small            tai xiao               tie shee-au   
beer                 pi jiu                 pee gee-ow 
water                shui                   shoo-eh 
tea                  cha                    char 
settle the bill      mai dan                my dan
bar/pub              jiu ba                 gee-ow bar 
restaurant           can guan               tsan gwan
police               jing cha               geen char
 
 
Number Pronouncement
 
This feature helps you pronouce in Mandarin , a string of consecutive figures (such as a telephone number) as well as any cardinal number up to 100 billion.
 
In Chinese numbers are divided by every four digits as opposed to three in English. For example:
 
356,712,832,197 = 3567,1283,2197 = (3 x 103 + 5 x 102 + 6 x 10 + 7) x 108 + (1 x 103 + 2 x 102 + 8 x 10 + 3) x 104 + (2 x 103 + 1 x 102 + 9 x 10 + 1)
 
Therefore the number should be read as "san qian wu bai liu shi qi yi yi qian er bai ba shi san wan er qian yi bai jiu shi qi" in Mandarin.
 
Multiples of ten
 
"x 10" = "shi", "x 102" = "bai", "x 103" = "qian", "x 104" = "wan", "x 108" = "yi"
 
English             Chinese pinyin         Pronunciation Mandarin
one                 yi                     yee  
two                 er                     arl   
three               san                    san 
four                si                     si  
five                wu                     woo  
six                 liu                    lee-yew 
seven               qi                     chee  
eight               ba                     bar 
nine                jiu                    gee-yew   
zero                ling                   ling 
 
 

   

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