Chinese Vocab

Not sure of the correct Chinese word to use? Want another example of how to use a Chinese expression in context? Perhaps you would like to know more about regional differences. This is the place for you! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new conversation. Don’t be shy!

I am Swedish but...

Dear friends, Could someone please help me to translate the following sentence into pinyin? Thank you very much! *"I was born in South Korea but was adopted to Sweden when I was a baby."* It would be so helpfull, as no Chinese or Korean unders...

4 replies - Last post by todaysmiracle - November 2, 2010

chinese language translation

when asking if you speak chinese, i have heard some speakers use zhongwen instead of hanyu for "chinese language". Which is more correct?

3 replies - Last post by barryh - October 14, 2010

So what's the real word for "Pay"?

I suppose there are many words for it, but I'm annoyed (perhaps at myself) for not already knowing what Dave said I should already know: viz, that xiān jiāo qián means pay in advance, in lesson 3.4. I've searched earlier lessons and, sorry, don't find thi...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - August 12, 2010

I've recommended it before in a couple posts, but I want to put it in a more main post. Can't give you the structure that Rocket can give you, but rediculously helpful with vocab and characters. It has a character drawing pad if you come across a charact...

0 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - July 30, 2010


I'm new to the Rocket Chinese package & am enjoying learning. Could anyone tell me the mandarin way of saying 'was' as in he was a good man? I feel really stupid but I can't find an answer in all the on line stuff I've looked at. Thanks, Marksydney

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - July 21, 2010

Drawing characters

However hard I try, I cannot remember Chinese characters. I have been exploring the internet for help, and have found lots of pages of varying quality and usefulness. Typically, the type I find helpful offer a square in which you draw the shape of a chara...

3 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - July 6, 2010

Salad and a cup

Is it a dialect issue where my dictionary (Oxford) indicates that salad is "se la" but lesson 1.11 indicates that it is "sha la" ? Or maybe a different type of salad? Also, everything I've read about the the Pinyin word "yi"...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 15, 2010

Most Commonly Used Chinese Verbs

Does anyone know where I can get a list of the most commonly used Chinese verbs? I'm living in China right now as an English teacher. I've been here about 6 months and my biggest problem is just not having the vocabulary to speak. Thanks!

1 reply - Last post by RocketDude - May 10, 2010

Common phrase

I am just beginning to formally learn Mandarin but have spent a lot of time in China and do have a rudimentary grasp of the language. One thing I cannot find in any lessons so far is an expression I hear very frequently. Phonetically it is "Ni ge&quo...

2 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - April 27, 2010

?? and ??

What is the difference between 汉语 and 中文, as in: 你会说中文吗? vs 你会说汉语吗?

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - April 27, 2010

Modifying Particles (ba, de, le, etc.)

Would someone mind helping me to understand the meanings/uses of these modifying particles? I know that "de" is used when describing a noun such as "piaoliang de hua" for beautiful flower. Also, I have heard that "le" denot...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - March 30, 2010


When one wants to say I'm good, you say wo3 hen3 hao3, with the hen just functioning to make the sentence sound more pleasant. What do you say when you want to say I'm not good? Would you say wo3 bu4 hao3? or... do you still use the non-functing hen (wo3...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - August 19, 2009

??, plutonium, and other pronunciation clues

??. The first one means metal. The second one is just a clue how to pronounce it. My question is- when you have characters that are composed of multiple different elements (more than just 2), how do you tell which one is the pronunciation clue? Hope that ...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - August 19, 2009

the use of gè

NIhao, Does gè mean anything on its own? why is it in yî gè yuè to say one month?

2 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - July 12, 2009

questions about 'time'

Nihao I would like to know what is the difference between Shí hòu and shí jiãn they are both translated as 'time' in the course. Also what does the jiãn do at the end of Shí hòu as in Shí hòu jiãn ? Emiko

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 19, 2009

Words and meanings

In lesson 3.1 HOTEL- it's traslated as /fàndiàn/. Nevertheless my dictionary says 旅 馆 /lûguân/. Both accepted? Any difference? By the way...In lesson 1.4 (ordering a drink) To ask for the amount owed after ordering a drink, you say /duo shâo qián/. But,...

5 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 11, 2009

time expressions

I am going to China for the 2nd time in June and know I will be asked if I have been there before. How do I say that I was in China 22 years ago. And that I visited Bei Jing, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Kunming. Richard Borst Aiken SC

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 11, 2009

dian3 Vs you3 ??

Hi, just started on your excellant course, and am working through lesson 1.4. I see you have used dian3 to say 'to have', I thought you3 was to have, as in 'to have a drink' ... you3 yin3 liao4 ma.. could someone set me straight? thanks Richard

1 reply - Last post by barryh - March 22, 2009

yi1 dianr3 vs. yi1 dian3 dian3

I was speaking with a Chinese woman today, telling her I speak a little bit of Chinese, "wo3 zhi3 hui4 shuo1 Han4 yu3 yi1 dianr3" and she corrected me with 'yi1 dian3 dian3.' I looked up both phrases and saw 'yi1 dianr3 is an 'erhua' variant. I looked up...

3 replies - Last post by barryh - March 8, 2009

How To Write Chinese Characters From My PC?

Hey, i see that all the downloads will teach us how to speak Chinese properly. However, I really want to know how to write chinese characters from my PC! What software should I use and how? Any idea?

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - January 20, 2009

Colors /yánsè/

I have a conflict between my dictionary and the MegaAudio program. It's because of the colors. Basically there are three issues: 1) ORANGE( the color, adjective). In everyplace that I looked it's said 橙 色/chéngsè/. But in your program they said so...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - January 11, 2009

Translation help

Can 'Jiàndào nǐ wǒ hěn gāoxìng' mean both 'nice to meet you' and 'nice to see you' , so it can be used after you have met someone for the first time or when you have just seen someone you already knew before? Also the textual translation says it means 'n...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 4, 2008

Random words or sentences

Hi, I am new to this so hope this is meaningful. I would like to see some way of receiving audio in a random manner to eliminate the "journalizing" that happens when you know what is coming next. Some years ago I studied Morse Code and this is b...

2 replies - Last post by barryh - November 2, 2008

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Chinese trial here.