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Monday, January 25, 2010

Learning Basic Traveling Mandarin Chinese (Part 1)

One question that I asked my students very often is why they want to learn Mandarin or Chinese. Some responses are pretty unexpected, for example, some people just purely think the Chinese characters are very beautiful so they wanna learn, recognize and write them. If you are interested in either how the Chinese characters were developed from thousands years ago and evolved with the history or how to map the simplified and traditional Chinese characters, here are two sites as followed where you can learn something,

  1. The evolution of Chinese characters
  2. How to write simplified and traditional Chinese characters

On the other hand, most of students want to utilize Mandarin or Chinese as a tool. For instance, some of them would like to learn it because they are going to join the Expo 2010 Shanghai China which will get started on May 1st, 2010 and they also wish that they could travel around Shanghai by themselves without any problem. That’s why the topic of this article is “Basic Traveling Mandarin or Chinese”, I shall introduce some frequently used conversation sentences about asking direction under a traveling scenario as follows,

Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Pinyin (Mandarin Pronunciation)
English Translation

Hu2 Ying1 Jiu3: nin2 hao3!
Mr. Hu: Hello.

Ma3 Jin3 Tao1: nin2 hao3!
Mr. Ma: Hello.

Hu2 Ying1 Jiu3: Qing3 wen4 tai2 wan1 bai3 huo4 gong1 si1 zen3 me zou3?
Mr. Hu: Would you please show me the way to Taiwan Department Store?

Ma3 Jin3 Tao1: nin2 yan2 zhe shang4 hai3 lu4 wang3 dong1 zhi2 zou3, yu4 dao4 hai3 xia2 lu4 you4 zhuan3 jiu4 hui4 kan4 dao4 le.
Mr. Ma: Heading east along with Shanghai Road and turn right on Haixia Road then you will see it.

Hu2 Ying1 Jiu3: na4 da4 gai4 yao4 zou3 duo1 jiu3 ne?
Mr. Hu: How long will it take by feet?

Ma3 Jin3 Tao1: zhe4 yao4 kan4 jiao1 tong1 zhuang4 kuang4 er2 ding4, xian4 zai4 shi4 jian1 feng1 shi2 ke4, ke3 neng2 yao4 zou3 san1 shi2 fen1 zhong1.
Mr. Ma: It depends. It may take you thirty minutes because now is rush hour.

Hu2 Ying1 Jiu3: wa1, zhe4 me jiu3! na4 qing3 wen4 you3 mei2 you3 da4 zhong4 yun4 shu1 ke3 yi3 da1 cheng2?
Mr. Hu: Wow, it’s so long. Is there any public transportation alternative?

Ma3 Jin3 Tao1: you3 de, nin2 ke3 da1 cheng2 di4 tie3 hong2 xian4, bu2 yong4 wu3 fen1 zhong1 jiu4 hui4 dao4 le.
Mr. Ma: Sure, you can take the red line subway to your destination within five minutes.

Hu2 Ying1 Jiu3: xie4 xie nin2, zai4 jian4!
Mr. Hu: Thank you. See you.

Ma3 Jin3 Tao1: bu2 ke4 qi4, zai4 jian4!
Mr. Ma: You are welcome. See you.

*Note: The number after each pinyin means the tone of it.


  1. I'm interested that you are PMP-certified and a Chinese-language instructor. I know you are based in Taiwan, but could not find any contact information. I would be interested in knowing whether you offer tutoring, e.g. Mandarin for Project Managers....

  2. Hi Paul,

    I am very glad to see your comment. I visited your blog and I found that you are based in India, is that right? First of all, may I know your language background about Mandarin? Have you ever learned a couple of years or just a beginner? If you are good at Mandarin listening and speaking, we can do language exchanging rather than tutoring, how do you think?


    A piece of cloud

  3. Divide my time between Taiwan and India. Look me up on Linked In so we can continue this conversation by email.

  4. Hi Paul,

    I tried to look you up on LindedIn by entering "Paul Easton", there are 98 candidates came out and I couldn't find you. You can contact me thru my email: :)

  5. Sorry, type to fast. There is ".tw" after ".com" at my email address.

  6. Hi,

    Mandarin is the only official language of China and is quickly becoming one of the most valuable languages in the world to speak and understand. Chinese language is most popular in France among European countries, with the language also gaining popularity in other European countries. Thanks a lot...

    Study Chinese In China