vendredi 25 avril 2008

Just for Chats

Just for Chats

Learning Mandarin during lesson is essential but practice what you have learnt in class is even more important. This is because we wish that you could ultimately use Mandarin to interact with any one, not just with your teacher. Hence, Da Jia Hao has launched a new program, “Just for Chats”.

“Just for Chats” will take place in a non-formal, casual setting. You can choose to go to your favorite café, restaurant, or just a tea session at your residence or office with you friendly conversational teacher and start polishing your Mandarin conversational skills. You may even bring a friend to join us.

We can chat about anything, about living in Singapore, the best Laksa in town, next vacation destination in the region and the list goes on. Level of difficulty will be largely based on what you have learnt in class or beyond if you like more challenges. We will correct your mistakes to the finest bit, as we believe in upholding high standards and we take pride to be your learning partners. Materials will be provided as the topic of conversation.

There is no commitment in this program. If you feel like having a session to fill an afternoon, just make an appointment with your conversational teacher*. We welcome others too even if you are not doing any course with us.

“Just for Chats” is an informal yet objective orientated program brought to you be Da Jia Hao Chinese. Contact us now.

*Minimum duration for each session will be 1 hour. For the first hour it will be $40 and $25 per each half an hour thereafter. An invoice will be sent to you end of every month, there is no need for advance payment. There will be no extra charges for bringing another friend along.

jeudi 17 avril 2008

Answering "Yes" and "No" in Mandarin

"Have you done your homework?"
"Are you the boss of this company?"
"This bus goes to Orchard Road, am I right?"
"Darling, is my cooking delicious today?"

The answer to all these question can be either "Yes" or "No" in English. However, in Mandarin, it is not so simple. Let's look at the following examples to see the various ways of saying "yes" and "No" in Mandarin.

1. 你做功课了吗?
ni3 zuo4 gong1 ke4 le ma
Have you done your homework?

zuo4 le
Yes, I have done it.
hai2 mei2 zuo4
No, not yet.

2. 你会汉语吗?
ni3 hui4 han4 yu3 ma
Do you know Mandarin?

wo3 hui4
Yes, I know.

wo3 bu2 hui4.
No, I don't know.

3. 你是这间公司的老板吗?
ni3 shi4 zhe4 gong1 si1 de lao2 ban3 ma
Are you the boss of this company?

wo3 shi4
Yes, I am.

shi4 de

wo3 bu2 shi4
No, I am not.

bu2 shi4.

4. 这辆巴士去乌节路是吗?
zhe4 liang3 ba1 shi4 qu4 wu1 jie2 lu4 shi4 ma
Does this bus go to Orchard Road?

shi4 de

bu2 bu4

5. 亲爱的,我今天煮的菜好吃吗?
qin1 ai4 de, wo3 jin1 tian1 zhu3 de cai4 hao3 chi1 ma
Darling, is my cooking delicious today?

hao3 chi1, dang1 ran2 hao3 chi1
Yes, delicious, of course they are delicious.

hao3 chi1 ji2 le
It is fabulous.

No, it's not delicious.

hen3 nan2 chi1
It tastes awful.

It tastes awful to the extent that I feel like dying.

6. 这个字对吗?
zhe4 ge4 zi4 dui4 ma
Is this work correct?

Yes, correct

bu2 dui4
No, it's not correct.

cuo4 le
No, it is wrong.

7. 你想喝咖啡吗?
ni2 xiang3 he1 ka1 fei1 ma
Would you like some coffee?

hao3 a, xie4 xie
Yes, please.

bu2 yong4 le, xie4 xie
No, thank you.

8. 我们去吃饭好吗?
wo3 men2 qu4 chi1 fan4 hao3 ma
Shall we go for lunch?

hao3 a

xie4 ci4 ba
Let's do it next time.

There are also many other ways of answering a question, such as to answer questions in a skillful way in a social setting. It will make your answer more polite, less direct and fits well in the Chinese society. Here are some examples.

samedi 5 avril 2008

Chinese Pinyin


For the every first few lessons of my Chinese courses, my students and I will work seriously on the Chinese pinyin. It is because pinyin is the gateway to accurate Chinese pronunciation. In fact, even at any point of the course, we sometimes need to revisit pinyin to keep us on track.

It is a common scene on TV where a foreigner is speaking Mandarin with all the four tones mixed up, making him look funny and stupid. We are not going to allow this to happen.

Here is an excellent site on pinyin and it is actually a big chapter on its own. It is extremely useful if you wish to check certain pronunciation of some words or practice by yourselves because I am not always there to correct your pinyin pronunciation by your side. You can test yourselves in pinyin as well and it is really useful. A million thanks to the person created it. Have fun.