You are here

Lesson 8 I can speak a little Chinese

preview

In this lesson, you will learn how to proudly tell everyone “I can speak a little Chinese”. Prepare to start using this sentence ALL THE TIME from now on. cheeky

In this lesson, you will learn how to proudly tell everyone “I can speak a little Chinese”. Prepare to start using this sentence ALL THE TIME from now on. cheeky

Comments (224)

Referring to the Golden rule: | Subject + WHEN + WHERE + HOW + Verb | "Wo3 hui2 shuo1 yi4 dianr3 zhong1 wen2". Isn't "yi4 dianr3" the HOW part so that it has to stays directly after the subject (in tis example)?
israfil.akman 5 months 2 weeks ago
The yì diǎn modifies the object (zhōng wén) and not the verb. The action in the golden rule is (verb+object).
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 5 months 1 week ago
I was initially confused by the "dian(r)" but read the comments below and now understand it's a regional thing. But what about the characters? It shows 点 and 儿. Do you use both or one or the other?
mad185 6 months 1 week ago
The 点 is not optional, but 儿 (r) is.
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 6 months 1 week ago
Enjoying the course so far but it's a pity Yang Yang doesn't speak the correct English because it should be "May I use the bathroom?" (permission) not "Can I use the bathroom?" - am I physically capable of using the bathroom. A very common mistake nearly all native English speakers make. Understanding this distinction would make understanding "can" in Chinese much easier.
semorton50 7 months 1 week ago
That's a great point! And agreed that is an easy way to express the differences in Chinese as well. We'll keep that in mind going forward when updating and/or creating new material.
Jason at Yoyo Chinese 7 months 1 week ago
When you are using Nǐ huì zuò shénme?你会做什么? should you use hui in the answer of the question?Wǒ huì yóuyǒng 我会游泳
luooo 10 months 4 weeks ago
Yep you can ask 你会游泳吗 (nǐ huì yóu yǒng ma)? And you can answer with a 我会 (wǒ huì)
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 10 months 4 weeks ago
It seems that in "yì diǎn(r)" the n is silent ? I read below that dian(r) is short for diǎn ér: how would you translate literally "yi diǎn ér" ? "One little bit" ?
Gauthier92 11 months 6 days ago
A little/a bit. the (r) is an optional accent. You can always use 一点 (yì diǎn) instead. The er there is the northern accent (Beijing is notorious for this). n is not option since dia would sound different from dian. You just hear the r more since its pretty strong. Hope that makes sense!
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 11 months 6 days ago
As always--great stuff. If you are not sure if someone might speak Mandarin or Cantonese, do you ask in both languages? Or is Mandarin so widespread that a Cantonese speaker will answer in Mandarin, that they do or don't speak Mandarin? Also on the blog explaining the language use, at the top right graphic it says Hua4yu3, but there are no 汉 子 to tell if it's 话 or 华. Should the tone mark be Hua2? Maybe somebody just put the wrong tone mark on it, or maybe there is yet another Hua yu.
sandimasdoc 1 year 6 months ago
Yes, you may have to ask in both languages. Mandarin is definitely more widespread, but all the Cantonese speakers know mandarin. Good eyes! It should be 华语 (huá yǔ). Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 6 months ago
ni hao is it possible to hav your video set to adjustable speeds so can hav it even slower then YangYang's demos...i'm doing this with getting phasing for singing - able to do this on youtube ...i'm not a computer tech ren so not sure if you can do this in this venue...nevertheless thank you for courses content sequential presentation ..... have a blessed year to all Yoyo Chinese team - type the preceding nite before did this today wo sang lesson 8 by singing every tone not just 1st. Robert
heartkiss 1 year 6 months ago
Thank you for the blessing, Robert. Hope you are having a great start of the new year. Sorry that the speed of our videos are not adjustable. I'll forward your concern to Yangyang to see if there's something we can do about this. Sorry about the inconvenience.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 6 months ago
How do I say "Do you want to be my Girlfriend?" in Chinese please???!!!
artutty 1 year 6 months ago
You can say, 你可以做我的女朋友吗 (nǐ kě yǐ zuò wǒ de nǚ péng yǒu ma)? :)
joanneyyc 1 year 6 months ago
Hello Yangyang, first of all I enjoy your lessons tremendously. I'm trying different language courses in Chinese and this one is the most human, dynamic and competent one I've had until now. You speak remarkable American! One remarky: you seem ill at ease to explain the difference betwen "can" as an acquired skill and "can" as a permission. I believe the same difference exists between "can" and "may" in English, don't you?
Nerroth29 1 year 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your nice comments, Nerroth29. We are glad that you enjoy it. We've a series of lessons that discuss about the potential complements "can" and "cannot" in our grammar course. You may check out our grammar lesson 52 to 64. Hope that helps.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 7 months ago
Impressive. This allowed me to visit your grammar complements. It's really useful. Thanks very much indeed!
Nerroth29 1 year 7 months ago
Hi Yangyang; My Chinese wife says that Zhong wen pertains more to "if you are writing on paper". She wants me to say "Zhong gua hua" . She is from south China. I do not dare to tell her she is wrong, haha..
mund 1 year 7 months ago
You may be interested in this blog: http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-what%E2%80%99s-di.... It discusses about different ways of referring to Chinese language.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 7 months ago
Just my two cents: This is an emotional issue for a lot of Chinese people, and they seem sensitive to the word you use for the language. The "correct" term seems to vary depending on where in China (or Taiwan, Malaysia, etc.) that the person is from, and going "off script" will raise some hackles. So, as they say, "When in Rome ..." :-) Personally, my wife gets a little uneasy at the term "Hanyu" because she feels it's weird to be attributing one dialect to a large ethnic group- the Han.
Corey 1 year 7 months ago
In a text book I have come across -Ni3 hui4 shui1 han4 yu3 ma? "Can you speak Chinese". Please explain "han4 yu3" and when it is this used or in place of Zhong1 guo2.
Mace238 1 year 7 months ago
That's a good question. You may check out our blog: http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-what%E2%80%99s-di.... Hope that answers your question. :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 7 months ago
What is "Arabic Language" in Chinese
Alameen 1 year 8 months ago
阿拉伯语,ā lā bó yǔ. The first part is a phonetic translation of Arabic, and the yǔ is the "language" character. I'm just another student here, but I think this is correct.
Corey 1 year 8 months ago
Thank you
Alameen 1 year 8 months ago
Yes, that's correct. Thanks Corey. :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 8 months ago
yi in ( yi dian) is pronounced as english letter "E" or as yea in the word "year" Also the same foe england , is it the same ying Finally, the last letter pronounced in yi dian , is it r or n Thanks
Alameen 1 year 8 months ago
The "y" sound in Chinese (as in the word "yīng guó" for England and "yì diǎn" for "a little") is more like "yee" but it will sometimes come out sounding more like "ee." You can can either "yì diǎn" or "yì diǎnr" (that's how it's spelled in pinyin, but when you pronounce it, you drop the "n" sound and just say "yì diǎr"). Both are okay. People from the north of China are more likely to use the "r" sound on the end of some words, so it's a regional difference.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 8 months ago
Hi Yangyang, is there a difference in Chinese between the use of the verb 'to go' as in "I go to this location or that location' as compared to 'I go to do this or that' like there is for the different usages of 'can?'
mattcs 1 year 8 months ago
The "go" in both sentences means the same in Chinese, "去 (qù)". :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 8 months ago
Thank you :)
mattcs 1 year 8 months ago
Hi,in the sentence " I can speak a little chinese" isn't "a little " an adverb? If so should it not come before the verb? Also in another lesson where you say " Can you speak a little slower" you put "a little" at the end of the sentence. Is this also not an adverb so should go before the verb? Thanks
nigelpearson 1 year 9 months ago
"A little" in the sentence "I can speak a little Chinese" is not an adverb. It's not modifying the verb ("speak"). It's describing the quantity of the noun. So when you want to say "a little (of) something," you say "yì diǎn(r) something." One way to say "please speak a little slower," is "qǐng shuō de màn yì diǎn(r)" (请说得慢一点儿). In this case, "yì diǎn(r)" it's used with an adjective ("slow"). When you use "yì diǎn(r)" with an adjective, you place it after the adjective.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 8 months ago
You can check out Chinese Grammar Lessons 26-28 for more information about the "de" (得) used in that sentence, which is generally used to connect a verb with a complement.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 8 months ago
I have a problem with the word to speak, shuo being at the first tone, because the word shuo, is made up of the vowels, u and o, and when you go from sh to u and then to o, you have to go down in tone a little bit and then back up a little bit, it is almost like a mini third tone, but then not really. The first time I took a Chinese class, I went insane off of tones and had to drop out of the class, cuz I was hyper sensitive to the way the mouth moves the sound differences between vowels! Help!
LanguageGuy 1 year 10 months ago
It seems like you're hearing a shift in tone that's not really there. There's no need to dip your pitch/tone in order to move from the "sh" initial to the "uo" final. You can fix your tendency to "overanalyze" tones through lots of targeted practice, first with listening and then with speaking. Go to our pinyin chart and watch the videos for the "uo" final (fifth from the bottom) as well as the "wo" syllable (they are the same sound).
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
Next listen to the audio file for "wō" over and over, and then practice saying it yourself over and over in the first tone. Then switch to the "shuō" syllable (same row, second to last column). Listen to it over and over and then say it over and over in the first tone. Eventually, you'll get the hang of it. Also, try to think of "uo" as ONE single vowel sound. Don't think of it as "u + o."
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
That's an interesting observation about the tones of vowels, but in reality I don't think it's really accurate. The shape of your mouth, position of your tongue, etc. affects the amplitude of the overtones (harmonics), but not the fundamental pitch, so while you may hear what sounds like a pitch shift between vowels, it's really the overtones causing that perception. That is my understanding, anyway :-) (cont'd)
Corey 1 year 10 months ago
As I kid, I remember going to a science museum, and they had this model of a human vocal tract. There was a "buzzer-like" device that represented the vocal chords, and by varying just the mouth shape, tongue, teeth position, you could generate all of the vowel sounds, and that is without changing the pitch of the "vocal chords".
Corey 1 year 10 months ago
You have really good memories, Corey. Thank you for your input. :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
The lesson Audio Reviews are awesome!
ngembo 1 year 10 months ago
Glad you're enjoying them! Happy studies! :)
Micah at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
Hi! How to say "I just start learning Chinese"?
Nastya Rusina 1 year 11 months ago
You may say 我刚开始学习中文 (wǒ gāng kāi shǐ xué xí zhōng wén). Enjoy studying. :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 11 months ago
Comment: Although Americans often say it as "Can I use the bathroom?" we are taught that it is supposed to be said "May I use the bathroom?" instead.
008klm 2 years 2 weeks ago
You are right. That's a more polite way to ask. It's like using "qǐng wèn - may I ask" before the sentence in Chinese. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 1 week ago
You are the best. How come dian(r) has the r in parenthesis yet is pronounced diar?
num1tailhooker 2 years 1 month ago
dian(r) is short for diǎn ér. The "r" sound is more of a northern accent, there's only a very little emphasis on the consonant sound right before "r". So you may hear it's pronounced without the "n". It's actually optional to add the (r), you may just say "diǎn".
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 weeks ago
Hi - I read in a couple of places that the "r" sound in some words is considered part of Standard Mandarin and those words sound weird without it. If I'm trying to learn Standard Mandarin, should I try to learn the add the "r," even if it's optional? To me, it's confusing (when it's added), so not learning it would make my life easier! :) 謝謝 in advance!
patkkaratekid 6 months 2 weeks ago
The short story is that because Standard Mandarin is based more on the northern part of China (Beijing dialect) the erhua is also apart of it. The only places where it's not more customary to write it out (and not optional) is for words like here/there 那儿 (nà (r)). If you want to omit the er, you'd use 那里 (nà lǐ), which you'll hear more often in the southern parts of China. Hope that helps!
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 6 months 2 weeks ago
你好,我是杰森。 我会说一点儿中文。
Kazuke Li 2 years 1 month ago
非常好 (fēi cháng hǎo), that's great! 加油 (jiā yóu)! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 1 month ago
I mean, do we always sing the first tone, or only when we say 'speak'
steve4u2c 2 years 2 months ago
For the first tone, it's a high pitched and flat tone. When pronouncing it, it sounds like singing. It applies to all first tones.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 months ago
Hi Yang Yang, Is there a specific rule or reason to why we 'sing' shuo (speak)?
steve4u2c 2 years 2 months ago
Hmm, we are not exactly sure if we understand your question. Would you please clarify? What do you mean "sing" shuo?
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 months ago
I mean, do we sing it because it is the first tone but with two syllables?
steve4u2c 2 years 2 months ago
Hi YangYang, the question I have has probably been answered somewhere, but I cannot find it. Could you, please, explain why even with mainland accent of pronouncing "r" similar to French "j" in the words when it is at the end it is pronounced similar to English "r", for example, in "ren2" and "er4" it sounds different, or is it the same? I am really confused :) Thank you!
Kvadich 2 years 2 months ago
Yes, those are two totally different sounds that just happen to be written with the same letter in pinyin. The "r" in words like "rén" and "ràng" is an initial with its own pronunciation (similar to the french "r," like you said) and "er" is a final with its own separate pronunciation (similar to the American pronunciation of "r" in the word "car").
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 months ago
Please check out our pinyin chart. You'll find all the syllables that begin with the "r" initial in the last column, and you'll find the "er" syllable in the 11th row. Hope that helps!
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 months ago
Thanks! :)
Kvadich 2 years 2 months ago
When I was in the mainlaind, I was taught 我会说一点点中文。Is there any significance in repeating the 点?
dws72 2 years 3 months ago
The meaning is the same, but repeating the 点 dian3 here may soften the tone a bit.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
My bet is that you were away from northern China. That's the way a northern speaker would say 我会说一点儿中文。
Lan Dawei 2 years 3 months ago edited
It would be nice if you could upload your videos on a chinese server aswell. The videos are not loading at all without vpn. And even though I have a verry fast vpn it still loads verry verry verry slowly. So now I download like 10 videos for the day with 1-3kb/s well maybe even just 800bits/s. Anyway it is dissapointing to not be able to access your videos in china. Of course it is not your fault just asking if you can find a solution for your students in china :-*
sp4wny 2 years 3 months ago
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We are in the process of finding a better video hosting site in China, but this may take some times. Hopefully it may be resolved in the future.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
Hi Yang Yang, I am so happy I finally subscribed to your courses. You are doing a dynamite job! As a retired teacher (Math/Spanish) I can really appreciate the finer points of your methods. I tried to learn Mandarin with Rosettastone for a year but fell asleep in the end. You keep my attention!- Anyway, you emailed me asking if I had any question, and I had (the dian3(r) thing). I scrolled down in the comments and found everything I need. Thanks again, and keep up the good work! ~Hildie
Hildie 2 years 3 months ago
Thank you so much for choosing Yoyo Chinese to improve your Chinese, Hildie. We sincerely appreciate that. Happy studies. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
Hello 我有一个问题, On AskbennyChinese they say 能 is how to say can but isn't it 可以 or 会.
SmartStudent 2 years 3 months ago
They all mean "can". 能 néng and 可以kě yǐ are mainly for permissions, while 会huì is for learned skills. You may refer to our Chinese Grammar series on potential complement lessons 52 - 64. Feel free to let us know if you have any further question.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
WOW.I FEEL PROUD OF MYSELF NOW. BUT I HAVE TO PUT MORE EFFORT ON THE PINYIN LESSONS
theodoraijeoma 2 years 3 months ago
That's great to hear. We are proud of you too! Keep up the great works! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
Yes it is But I wanted to know how many words you expect a beginner to learn per day - As in a number ? Is your programme based on an average of 30 per day expecting a proactive recall of 900 words after 30 days ? Or to put it another way what vocabulary would you expect a starter to have after 30 or 90 day period. The answer would is a number - as in not "some" or a "few" or "It all depends". I assume your course is based on an expected average.
kplcards 2 years 4 months ago
Corey is right. Our program does not expect you to learn a specific number of words per day. We focus more on conversational skills. We are currently working on a glossary section for our course. Once we finish, we'll be able to tell you how many vocabs have been covered for the courses. We are also going to launch a Chinese character course by the end of this month. Each lesson covers three main characters. We hope you'll find it helpful.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
I've been a using Yoyo Chinese for more than a year, and from what I can tell there are no such expectations. The goal isn't to teach N words/day; it is to teach you how to speak standard Chinese, how to correctly form sentences, how to use common sentence patterns, ... basically how to express what you want to communicate in Chinese, and also to give you some practice in listening and understanding native speakers as well. That is pretty much the course so far, but there is more to come.
Corey 2 years 4 months ago
How many words do you expect a beginner to learn per day ?
kplcards 2 years 4 months ago
coreyruhno 2 years 4 months ago
How many words do you expect a beginner to learn per day ?
kplcards 2 years 4 months ago
What is the difference between Zhong Wen and Han Yu?
Astete 2 years 4 months ago
Please check out our blog: https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-what’s-difference-between-zhongwen-hanyu-putonghua-guoyu-and-huayu. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
Unfortunately I don't have any Chinese friends so I don't have anyone to help me or practice with :( The cool thing is,I was playing around on the Google translator yesterday and pressed the talk button and found a cool way to practice. I speak mandarin into the translator to see if it will translate correctly in English to make sure I am doing the tones right! It helps,until I can get a Chinese friend.Thought I might share that to help someone else who doesn't have a Chinese friend...yet ;-)
KADIYAH 2 years 4 months ago
That's a great idea! I would also like to recommend a smartphone app called HelloTalk. The software, though still a bit unstable at the moment, allows you to do voice chat with Chinese-speaking English learners. The audio quality is excellent, and it's also fun. It makes it easy for English speakers learning Chinese to find eager Chinese people who are learning English. And trust me, there are a LOT of those! You will be swamped with chat partner requests, so you can pick and choose :-)
Corey 2 years 4 months ago
I will definitely check that out!! Xiè xie!
KADIYAH 2 years 4 months ago
I use an app "Pleco" which is a very useful Chinese dictionary. You can use it to create flash cards. I can typically do a dictionary look up for the vocab words from Yang Yang's lecture notes, but for sentences I either create the card manually by typing or use the iPhone's speech recognition in Chinese. It is a good feeling when I pronounce things correctly enough to get the Chinese characters entered.
Lan Dawei 2 years 4 months ago
Pleco is great! I have several Chinese dictionaries installed in it now, and I particularly like the Clip Reader feature. If you haven't tried that, definitely give it a go. Copy some text from some web page, the open the clip reader, and it will be pasted in automatically. Then you can just touch the words you don't know already. The only problem with Pleco is the interface is very "modal" and a bit hard to navigate at times. That said, it is worth every penny.
Corey 2 years 4 months ago
I understand adding the "r" to "dian" for the accent but does the vowel sound change as well? Without the accent the final sounds like the "yen", with an English "e" sound, right? But when you say it with the accent it sounds more like it has an "a" sound, like in the pinyin "er".
Tom Brook 2 years 4 months ago
You are right. The vowel sounds does change a bit with the "r" accent. Good observation. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
Ni' hao, good job so far, nonetheless, the way 'ren' is pronounced has amused me.......?! Thank you so much Yang yang, you are so nice and awesome Chinese language teacher. I admire your crystal clear English and Chinese accents. May God bless you:)
muhwezi.andrew.92 2 years 4 months ago
Thanks for the nice comments. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
A message from my 6-year-old son (本): "I really like your videos" :)
BenandDad 2 years 5 months ago
Aww..he's cute. Glad that he enjoyed our videos. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
Hi there, can you use yi dian(r) as an answer to a question such as - do you like spicey food? Can you speak chinese? Thanks
BarkingOwl 2 years 5 months ago
Yes, absolutely. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
Thanks, awesome. I love that phrase....
BarkingOwl 2 years 5 months ago
hi but hanyu is chinese too right?
najib idris 2 years 5 months ago
Yes, hanyu is also Chinese. You might have heard of different ways of saying "Chinese". We have a blog that specifically discusses about. You may check out this link: https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-what’s-difference-between-zhongwen-hanyu-putonghua-guoyu-and-huayu.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
Hi, I am Australian, so to clarify, would this be correct: Australia. Aodaliya. Or would it be Aodaliya guo? Australian. Aodaliya guo ren Australian language - would you say english or Australian - Aodaliya wen? (apologies for leaving out the tone inflections). Thanks Paul.
BarkingOwl 2 years 5 months ago
You may just ào dà lì yà for Australia (country). Australian is ào dà lì yà rén. We believe Australian speak English right? You may say yīng wén.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago edited
Thanks, yes us Aussies speak English, only not really well!
BarkingOwl 2 years 5 months ago edited
I have a question. if I want to say I speak English it is mei(3) wen(2)right? what if I want to distinguish between American English and British English. is this common.
americanlearningchinese 2 years 5 months ago
Both American English and British English in Chinese is ying1 wen2 or ying1 yu3. To specify that it's British English you may say ying1 guo2 ying1 yu3. Similarly, American English is mei3 guo2 ying1 yu3.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
@ brianncox. When I started trying to learn Chinese several years ago, I learnt the word putonghua for the chinese language. I have been in China for about 2 years now and nobody has every asked me do I speak Chinese using the word putonghua. It has always been zhong wen. I think when I first used the term putonghua, the Chinese people laughed at me.
Walters 2 years 5 months ago
Yes, for a foreigner, it's more appropriate to use "zhongwen". You may use "putonghua" when the opposite speaks other Chinese dialects.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
how to say india and hindi in chinese
saurabhsarraf 2 years 6 months ago
India is yìn dù 印度, and Hindi is yìn dì yǔ 印地语.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago
hi... instead of using yi diar can we also use yi xie for a word little?
saurabhsarraf 2 years 6 months ago
Yes, you may use the word yi4 xie1, which means some. It may be a bit more than "yi dianr".
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago
Merry christmas and happy new year!!
luodelige 2 years 6 months ago
If I want to say "I speak Hindi", do I have to say "wo3 shuo2 yin4 du4 wen2" Happy New Year to all. How do we say Happy New Year in Mandarin?
AJnathan 2 years 6 months ago
Hi Jagannathan, I'm another student here. Hindi is yìn dì yǔ (印地语), so you can say "wǒ huì shuō yìn dì yǔ". Languages are not necessarily named after the country. It seems they are often a transliteration of the original name of the language, in this case Hindi. If you drop the huì, I think the sentence becomes incorrect. I am not certain why, but maybe it's because it sounds like you are saying, "I say Hindi."
Corey 2 years 6 months ago
请问,我可不可以说:我会一点儿中文?
笑籠 2 years 6 months ago
当然可以 dang1 ran2 ke3 yi3. Of course. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago
好啊!谢谢帮助我。
笑籠 2 years 6 months ago
Thank you, i really want to learn mandarin because i have chinese friends here in Mexico, and they speak a little spanish, so i want to help them underfstanding what they´re trying to say. :)
luodelige 2 years 6 months ago
That's great! Good luck with your Chinese studies. Merry Christmas! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago
Hello yang yang! I want to thank you for bringing this beautiful lenguage to all of us. I have a question... If i want to say i am mexican, do i have to say mo4 xi1 ge1 guó rén? Or mo xi ge rén?
luodelige 2 years 7 months ago edited
Thank you for the nice words. You may just say wǒ shì mò xī gē rén. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago edited
sorry, language
luodelige 2 years 7 months ago
I find the 儿 in 我会说一点儿中文 really hard to pronounce (my poor little Scottish accent :P) Would it be fine to just say 我会说一点中文 even when talking to people from the North of China?
kiwivimt 2 years 7 months ago
Yes, absolutely. The 儿 sound is always options. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
你好!Thank you for the course, it is really fun. 我会说一点儿中文。happy holidays.
Learningokay 2 years 7 months ago
Glad that you found it fun. Happy Holidays. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
Do you say "shuo" like "sh-(w)o"? It almost sounds like when you say it, it sounds like "sh-(w)a". Thanks!
curvedhyperbole 2 years 7 months ago
Yes, you are right, it should sound like "sh-wo", not with the "a". You may check out for Pinyin chart, located at our homepage, for audio demonstration.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
When should dian be changed to diar and when should it be left as is? Example: xian4 zai4 ji3 dian3? Pronounce it diar or dian?
trojo 2 years 7 months ago
The r after dian is always optional. It's just an accent. Northern Chinese people tends to add r more often after many words. There's no specific rules to it though. You may always leave it out.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
so if you said "dian" instead of "diar", you'd be understood?
curvedhyperbole 2 years 7 months ago
Yes, absolutely. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
Thanks a lot Corey and yoyo team
Saraf 2 years 7 months ago
should can be pronounced as hue or khue. and how to pronounce india
Saraf 2 years 7 months ago
Yes, Corey is right. You may also refer to our Pinyin chart with audio and/or video demonstration. The link is located on our homepage, upper right corner.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
Saraf, I'm just another student here, but this my answer: huì should sound similar to hway, but with a little "friction" on the 'h' sound. India is pronounced yìn dù, which in English sounds somewhat like "in do" but with a 4th tone pronunciation on both words.
Corey 2 years 7 months ago
Is there a difference between using yi dianr and yi dian ?
fvazquez 2 years 7 months ago
They both mean exactly the same. It's more of an accent thing. Northern Chinese people tend to say yi dianr more.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
I have a friend from Beijing who always uses the word "Zhongguohua" to refer to the Chinese language. Is this unusual? When I lived in Chongqing, when people referred to the national language, they always said "Putonghua" and their own dialect as "Chongqinghua". I lived in China five years and never heard "Zhongwen". Of course you are my teacher and will do what you say.
brianncox 2 years 8 months ago
It's okay to say "Zhongguohua" but it's not as common, and it's used when the opposite may be foreign languages. "zhōng wén (中文)" is used when the opposite may be foreign languages as well, such as English, Japanese, etc., whereas "pǔ tōng huà" is used when the opposite may be other Chinese dialects.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 8 months ago
I learned that pǔ tōng huà means mandarin or as germans say: high chinese language
Lex33 2 years 7 months ago
why do you say yi dian instead of yi xia? what is the rule for each?
hobie 2 years 8 months ago
You use "yì diǎn(r)" before nouns to say "a little (something)" such as "a little Chinese" ("yì diǎn zhōng wén") or "a little bit of water" ("yì diǎn shǔi"). You use "yí xià" after verbs to say "quickly (do something)" or "(do something) real quick, such as "say (it) quickly" ("shūo yí xià") or "take a quick look" (kàn yí xià).
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 8 months ago
You may refer to beginner conversational Chinese lesson 64 for more details about 一下.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 8 months ago
I'll take a try at answering this one: yī xià modifies the verb and is similar to duplicating the verb (e.g. 试试 shì shì), whereas yī diǎn modifies the noun. I believe you can actually combine them, for example, "你可以解释一下一点中文吗? nǐ kě yǐ jiě shì yī xià yī diǎn zhōng wén ma?" This means, "Can you explain a little about this bit of Chinese?"
Corey 2 years 8 months ago
if hui is for learned skill, how do you say cannot as in cannot come or cannot attend?
hobie 2 years 8 months ago
The cannot as in cannot come/attend, is 不能 or 不可以 bù néng or bù kě yǐ. We have a series that discussed about can and cannot in our Grammar lesson 52-61. Please check it out.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 8 months ago
In the last lesson, why is it America called mei = beautiful? I don't like that. If we were friends then I will tell you why I don't like that. Anyways, Wo shi Seth. And, wo shi mei gao ren.
ボウ セス 2 years 8 months ago
Spill the beans, Seth! ;-) Why don't you want the U.S. be referred to as a beautiful country? If you aren't going give your reason, I don't understand why you would go to the trouble of posting this comment.
Corey 2 years 8 months ago
Hello, I am confused! In the word for 'a little bit,' 'yi dian(r)', the pronunciation is a little difficult; I think the (r) should stay and the (n) dropped. Since Pinyin is helping us with tones and pronunciation of words, would it not be easier for us to say 'yì diǎr'. I believe a Chinese native would perfectly understand what we are saying. What do you think?
sergetrud 2 years 9 months ago
You're exactly right, from what I know as another student here. This notation of dian followed by r in parenthesis means that there are two acceptable pronunciations: dian and diar. diar is how people with a northern Chinese accent tend to say this word.
Corey 2 years 9 months ago
Ni hao, seems the Lesson Audio Review does not follow the Lecture Notes?? Xie xie. That said, your lessons are great...
sergetrud 2 years 9 months ago
The audio review does not necessary exactly follow the lecture notes. We've added extra words/sentences in for additional practice.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 9 months ago
I want to get the pronunciation of dianr
huimin 2 years 10 months ago
Hi Huimin, are you asking for help with how to pronounce "diǎn(r)"? If so, you start the same way that you start "diǎn," but instead of saying the "n" sound at the end, instead you say a hard "r" sound, like the "ar" in the American pronunciation of the English word "bar." If it helps you, you can just think of it as "diǎr", because the "n" at the end can be confusing. And remember, you don't have to say "diǎn(r)" if you're not comfortable with it. You can also say "diǎn" to mean the same. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
It sounds like Yang Yang is pronouncing guo as "gwa" but shou as "shaw." I'm a little confused about the placement of the w sound. Should shou be "shaw" or "shwa"?
psamet 2 years 10 months ago
Be careful that you don't get the "uo" and the "ou" finals confused! They look very similar so it's easy to think they are the same, but they are pronounced very differently. The "uo" final, such as in "guo" is pronounced in a way that sounds like something in-between the English word "woe" and the "wa" in the English word "war." The "ou" final, such as in "shou" is pronounced more like "oh."
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
You really learn a lot by reading other peoples comments :) yangyang you are the one of the best in your field, if you can come up with an HSK Section, that would be terrific, and good for business on your end :)
Daming17 2 years 10 months ago
I found the same thing, that other people ask very interesting questions, and the answers are equally intersting. So I created this web site to make new questions and answers easier to find: http://www.yoyofeed.altervista.org
Corey 2 years 10 months ago
Come to think of it, I guess you could call it a fan site :-)
Corey 2 years 10 months ago
你好!I was wondering if you could recommend a good online translator that I can use to help my studies. By the way, your lessons are awesome!
:) 2 years 11 months ago
Glad that you like the lessons. You may try using dict.youdao.com. Hope it helps. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
The download lecture notes are not available. I can't download them. When i click on the link it says the website is not available.
Siudrag 2 years 11 months ago
The lecture notes for all lessons are down right now. We're so sorry for the inconvenience. Our team is working quickly, and the problem should be fixed by tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
In the word for 'a little bit,' 'yi dian(r)' do you write the 'r' or the parentheses with it?
Bilchick 2 years 11 months ago
The "r" with parentheses.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
So you would write down 'dian(r), not 'dian,' then?
Bilchick 2 years 11 months ago
The "r" is optional. It's more of a northern accent thing. If you write the "r", it would be with parentheses. Hope that helps.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
Hi Yang Yang! How does one say, "... I mean ..."? I'm often correcting myself. I'll say, "Zhong Guo I mean Zhong Wen". I say "..I mean.." all the time when informally speaking. I mean, people say, "I mean" all the time, but that's not what I mean. haha. I mean, when I say one thing wrong, and I want to correct that, like "Zhong guo, I mean Zhong wen"? You know what I mean? ;) Thanks!
murphymagic 3 years 6 days ago
That's a really good question. I got what you mean. :) "I mean" literally means 我的意思是wo3 de yi4 si shi4。For your example sentence "Zhong guo, I mean Zhong wen." The "I mean" here, can't really directly translate as 我的意思是. There's no exact translation of it in Chinese. Usually when people incorrectly say something, they would correct themselves by adding "不对,是.. bu2 dui4, shi4..", which means, no, it's ... Hope that helps.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 4 days ago
Hello. Can I say "wo shuo .... " without "hui". Thank you
Handsome 3 years 1 week ago
Yes, it's also correct to say "wo shuo ...", which is "I speak ....". And "wo hui shuo ..." is "I can speak ...".
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 1 week ago
What is the 'r' for in 'yi dian(r)' Is that like an accent sound/spelling? When i say 'yi dian(r)' the way you do my friends correct me and tell me not to pronounce the 'r'...can you clear this up please? Xie Xie :)
Fawn101 3 years 2 weeks ago
Yes, the "r" in yi dian(r) is more of an accent thing. It's commonly used in northern part of China. It's okay to be with or without it. :)
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 1 week ago
To me, it sounds like you're pronouncing the "e" in "rén" and "wén" in different ways - shouldn't "en" always be pronounced in the same way? If not, could you please explain what the exceptions are? Thank you!
liamw 3 years 1 month ago
You are right! The "en" in "ren" and "wen" should be pronounced in the same way. It might have sound a bit different to you due to the "r" sound in "ren", in which you have to curl your tongue, while "wen" is straight forward. You may check out our google hangout lesson 1 and 2 for more detail about the "r" and "ren" sounds.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 1 month ago
Hi when you say "a little bit" yi dian(r) - can you prove some detail/explanation on the (r) and why its in brackets. thanks
WayneManor 3 years 2 months ago
There are some words in Chinese that can be pronounced with an "r" sound on the end. This is one example. Some people pronounce "a little bit" as "yì diǎn," and some people pronounce it "yì diăr." Both are correct. The "diăr" pronunciation is mostly used in the northern part of China.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 2 months ago
Hi when you say "a little bit" yi dian(r) - can you prove some detail/explanation on the (r) and why its in brackets. thanks
WayneManor 3 years 2 months ago
Hi when you say "a little bit" yi dian(r) - can you prove some detail/explanation on the (r) and why its in brackets. thanks
WayneManor 3 years 2 months ago
I practice everyday. Xie Xie ni Yangyang!
taichiforlife12345 3 years 2 months ago
That's great! Keep up the good works! :)
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 2 months ago
can I put hen b4 yi dian
ledders 3 years 2 months ago
b4? you do you mean?
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 2 months ago
I'm pretty sure b4=before In other words, "Can I say 'hen yi dian' ?"
Corey 3 years 2 months ago
Oops..that's right b4 = before. Totally blanked out for a sec, thought it was a tone with missing vowel. Thanks for clarifying Corey. No, you can't say hen yi dian. hen means very and yi dian means a little. It's kind of contradicting.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 2 months ago
In the lecture notes it says "a learned a skill" instead of "a learned skill".
Wo334 3 years 4 months ago edited
Thank you so much for pointing that out. We have fixed it. :)
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 4 months ago
I noticed someone else asked this once and I don't see an answer so I will ask again. I learned that the translation for 'chinese language' is 'hanyu'. How does that compare to zhong wen. Allso - it is so close to Korean language hanyu - just a tone difference. Do you have way to help me remember the difference between the two?
JKP 3 years 4 months ago edited
There's a nice write-up in the blog about this subject: https://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/Learn-Mandarin-Chinese-what%E2%80%99s-d...
Corey 3 years 4 months ago
Thanks for the awesome and simple Chinese lessons YangYang! Chinese has never seemed so simple before! I was curious, what would be the Chinese form of the name Lauren?
YaLun 3 years 5 months ago
The first thing I learnt in chinese was 我的中国很烂 I'm not joking!
Ratmir 3 years 6 months ago
中国 is the country China. It should be 中文, the language of China. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 6 months ago
Hi there, I'm a little confused about the word "dian", I thought it should be pronounced like " mian" but why is it pronounced like " xia" ? Thank you
Do 3 years 7 months ago
It should be pronounced like "mian". Where did that xia come from?
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 7 months ago
In 一点儿, it sounds like "ee-dee-ar" but it seems like it should sound like "ee-dian-ar". If you just write 点, isn't that "dian3"? Why does 一点儿 make it sound like "ee4-dee3-ar4"?
jsmykal 3 years 4 months ago
(I can speak Chinese)Can i write 我能说中文 ?
Sunmeiyu 4 years 1 month ago
When we are referring to a learned skill we use 会huì for "can". We use 能 or 可以 also mean "can" in situations other than learned skill. So it would be 我会说中文. Please refer to grammar lesson 58 for more detail. We hope that answers your question. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 1 month ago
Thanks It's really useful
Sunmeiyu 4 years 1 month ago
I notice that the character for 'yi4' in 'yi4 dian3' is the same as the character for 'yi1' as in the number one. Why the tone difference? Is this word related to the number one, or is this actually a different word that happens to have the same character?
Roberts 4 years 2 months ago
Hi Robert, both yi4 and yi1 are the same number one. The tone is different due to the word following it. Please refer to Conversational Chinese lesson 18 for more detail. Please let us know if you have any question.
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 2 months ago
I don't understand dian(r) Can you explain that a little? Thanks!
tcarlson762 4 years 3 months ago
dian (r) 点儿 means a bit, a little, a small amount. Hope that explains.
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 3 months ago
It looks like that's a contraction of the words 点 and 儿. Is there a rule for this, or it something like a common idiom?
miraula 3 years 7 months ago
The emphasis is on 点. 儿is optional. It's more of an accent. Northern Chinese people usually add 儿after it, but it doesn't really carries a meaning, it maybe without it too. Hope this helps. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 7 months ago
Does that mean that there are areas of China where both words 点 & 儿 are pronounced separately...meaning, as two distinct words?
miraula 3 years 7 months ago
Yes, they are two distinct words. 儿 (er2) literally means son, but a lot of time when it follows after a word it's just more of an accent, doesn't carry any meaning. For example, a little 一点儿, to play 玩儿. Here 儿 pronounces very short and soft, in neutral tone. It also correct to say without 儿 and means the same thing.
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 7 months ago
How about if I say 能 instead of 会? As in ”我能说中文。” Also can you differentiate the use of 会,能 and 可以? They are kind of confusing. Or do you have a lesson for that already?
shiseonji 4 years 3 months ago
We do have several lessons that cover these topics. Please refer to Chinese grammar series under potential complement lessons.
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 3 months ago
Yangyang, just to clarify, in English, "Can I use the bathroom" is grammatically incorrect. To be grammatically correct, it is "May I use the bathroom," with the word "may" denoting permission. "Can" in English denotes the ability to do something. Thus, Chinese & English are actually the same with regard to the use of "can" (ability) and "may" (permission). They are two different words with two different meanings.
Janet 4 years 3 months ago
It may be grammatically incorrect but you would probably hear a lot of native speakers use either "can" or "may". It's not really a big deal in informal speech. As a native english speaker, I would be more prone to say "Can I use the bathroom?" even though it is not grammatically correct.
TazChick 3 years 8 months ago
@ Janet, thanks for the compliments. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or advice for us to further improve our service. Thank you!
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 3 months ago
Thank you, Yangyang. Because you also put the Chinese characters on the board, one can also learn to read Chinese at the same time! Excellent! I am also very glad to see the phrase "a little" spelled in pinyin as "dian(r)." I hear people from Hubei (China) & Taipei (Taiwan) say "dian," with no "r" sound, so this is good for me. Thank you, again.
Janet 4 years 3 months ago
Thanks for your videos. Very helpfull,im from Kenya and thanks again. xie xie
JoanKibz 4 years 3 months ago
Thank you joanKibz! Welcome to Yoyo Chinese
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 3 months ago
I learnt that the translation for 'chinese language' is 'hanyu'. Then which is correct-- 'hanyu' or 'zhong wen'?
kartheek 4 years 3 months ago
idk if its just my computer, but its laging... i love your videos tho!
kaidiyang98 4 years 3 months ago
I am curious why you chose zhong wen instead of putonghua for Chinese language? zhong wen would cover cantonese, shanghainese etc. We are actually learning 'mandarin' or putonghua.
markwilson 4 years 7 months ago
For those of you who don't know "pu3 tong1 hua4", it literally means "standard speech", which is just Mandarin. There are many different dialects in China and "pu3 tong1 hua4 - Mandarin" is the one everyone speaks or should know how to speak. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 7 months ago
We chose "zhong1 wen2" because it's easier for students to remember when they start out. By knowing both "zhong1" and "wen2", they can easily form other vocabulary like "zhong1 guo2-China" and "fa3 wen2-French language". We take a building-block approach, so by teaching one well-selected word, we can expand it and have students easily learn more at the same time.
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 7 months ago
is yi4dian3 used as much as yi4diar3 ?
Bichon 4 years 11 months ago
It's really the accent difference. People from the Northern part of China tend to add the rolled-tongue sound "r" to some words, while people from the Southern part of China usually don't.
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 11 months ago
I can attest to this! My girlfriend is from Chongqing, more towards the south (I'm from Virginia in the U.S.) I was telling her 'I can speak a little Chinese' as 'wo3 hui4 shuo1 yi1 diar3 zhong1 wen2' and she said the same but dian3 instead. Now I know why.
Fazzio 3 years 3 months ago
These lessons are easy to follow and memorize since they are short,thank you
curiosa 5 years 1 month ago
You are very welcome, curiosa!
Yoyo Chinese Development 5 years 1 month ago
Instant Access to all
Free Yoyo Chinese Content