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ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Speaking (Revised 1999-PDF)

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Pinyin and Four Tones

Learn Chinese with Yangyang

Want to find out more about Learning Chinese with Yangyang, please visit her website www.yoyochinese.com or subscribe slobbycheng on Youtube.

1. A General Introduction of Mandarin Chinese


Mandarin instructor Yangyang always has a way of making her class educational and entertaining. Great way to start your Mandarin learning journey!!!!


2. Introduction of Pinyin and Four Tones


What is Pinyin? Why is Pinyin so important? What are the four tones? Why are they so important?

In this lesson, seasoned Chinese instructor Yangyang will answer the above questions and guide viewers painlessly through the basics of Pinyin, the foundation of Mandarin Chinese pronunciation.

You will have a clear understanding about the Chinese sound system after this lesson.

  Learn how to pronounce sounds in Pinyin



3. Introduction of First Tone and Second Tone


What are the first and second tone of Mandarin Chinese? How do you correctly pronounce them? What are the tips?

In this lesson, seasoned Chinese instructor Yangyang will answer the above questions and guide viewers painlessly through the basics of Pinyin, the foundation of Mandarin Chinese pronunciation.

You will have a firm grasp of the first tone and second tone after this lesson.


4. Practice four tones with this video



Note: All Yangyang Cheng's videoes are used with her permission

Chinese Numbers 

 1. Learn how to say Chinese numbers

In Chinese culture, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious or inauspicious based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar. However some Chinese people regard these beliefs to be superstitions. Since the pronunciation and the vocabulary may be different in different Chinese dialects, the rules are generally not applicable for all cases.

Because of the supposed auspiciousness of certain numbers, some people will often choose, attempt to obtain, or pay large sums for numbers that are considered to be lucky for their phone numbers, street addresses, residence floor (in a multi-story building), driver’s license number, vehicle license plate number, ban account number, etc.

Lucky numbers are based on Chinese words that sound similar to other Chinese words. The numbers 6, 8, and 9 are believed to have auspicious meaning because their names sound similar to words that have positive meanings.

Lucky numbers: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13

Unlucky numbers: 4, 5, 6, 7


250 (èr bǎi wǔ) usually used to insult someone the speaker considers extremely foolish.

520 (wǔ èr líng) means "I love you."


Want to find out more about Chinese numbers, go visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_in_Chinese_culture.  

2. Learn how to write Chinese numbers  (Click here for the writing tutorial.)

Surviving in China I (Basic Chinese Conversation)

Beginner Chinese lesson part 1 (Greeting, Telling name, Nationality, etc )

 I: watch the first video and try to memorize the dialogue. It will be great if you can find a partner to work with you. When you feel good about yourself, watch the second video. The third video provides several detailed explaination of grammar tips.


Girl: xiè xiè 。

       谢 谢 (Thank you)

Man: nǐ hǎo . 

         你 好 。   (Hello.)

Girl:   nǐ hǎo.

          你 好。   (Hello.)

 Man: wǒ jiào Mark. nǐ ne?

          我  叫 Mark.    你 呢?  (My name is Mark. How about you?)

Girl: wǒ jiào wáng wén xīn 。nǐ shì měi guó rén ma

        我 叫       文  欣 。你 是 美 国 人  ? (My name is Wang Wenxin. Are you American?)

Man: wǒ shì jiā ná dà rén 。nǐ shì běi jīng rén ma ?

         我 是 加 拿  大  人 。你 是 北  京 人 吗 ?  (I am Canadian. Are you Beijingnese?)

Girl:  shì ,wǒ shì shàng hǎi rén 。
是 ,我 是       海 人 。 (No. I am Shanghainese.)

Man: shàng hǎi hěn měi ,wǒ xǐ huān shàng hǎi 。
   海 很 美 ,  我 喜 欢  海 。 (Shanghai is very beautiful, I love Shanghai.)

Girl:  nǐ de zhōng wén hěn hǎo ā       

               文   很  。 (Your Chinese is very good.)

Man: xiè xiè.

         谢 谢。(Thank you.)


Chinese usually put their family name before given name. For example, the girl's name wáng wén xīn. wáng is her family name, and her given name is wén xīn.

II: This is the second video that does not provide translation. Let me know how it goes.


III: Useful grammar tips

Beginner Chinese Lesson Part 2 (Ordering drink on a flight)



II: The second video provides some grammar tips.




Dialogue (weather and time)

  A: nǐ hǎo.


  B: nǐ hǎo. jīn tiān zhēn lěng !

      Hello. Today is really cold!

  A: duì ā! qǐng wèn jǐ diǎn le ?

      Right! What is the time?

  B: sān diǎn sān shí wǔ fēn .


  A: xiè xiè.

      Thank you.

  B: bú yòng xiè.

      You’re welcome.

Basic Chinese Classroom Expressions (Students)


Countries and Nationalities


Recent Videos

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