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Lesson 1: Self Introduction
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Learn how to make a self introduction. We also learn the first Pinyin, four tones, some words and expressions in Mandarin Chinese. You can start learning Mandarin Chinese from this lesson.

Daily Conversation

Today, we are going to learn how to make a self introduction. Before that, we learn a short greeting. Usually before we introduce our self, we say "hello".

Hello! or Hi!

In Chinese, 你好! (nǐ hǎo)

AihuaHello
hǎo
Amy
hǎo

Next, we learn how to make a self introduction.

AihuaI'm Aihua. In Chinese,
shìàihuá
What’s your name?
AmyI'm Amy.
AihuaIn Chinese, you say
shìài
Amy
shìài
AihuaI'm 30 years old. In Chinese,
sānshísuìle
How old are you, Amy?
AmyI'm 5 years old.
AihuaIn Chinese, you say
suìle
Amy
suìle

PinYin

What's Pinyin?

Pinyin is "spelling sound" or "phonetics" of Chinese.

It expresses the sounds in the Chinese language using the alphabet. Pinyin is also the most common way to input Chinese characters into a computer. Although Pinyin and English both use the alphabet, many letters are not expressed with the same sounds that English uses.

Today, we learn "a" as in "father".

Aihuaa
Amya

Tones

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. It has four pitched tones and a "toneless" tone. Different tone expresses different meaning.

Four tones of "a" are pronounced like this.

Aihuaāáǎà
Amyāáǎà

Vocabulary

Today, we are going to learn three words.

Name, 名字 (míng zi)

I, (wǒ)

You, (nǐ)

AihuaName
míngzi
Amy
míngzi
AihuaI
Amy
AihuaYou
Amy

Review

Let's review what we learned today. We learned Self Introduction.

AihuaI'm Aihua, I'm 30 years old.
In Chinese,
shìàihuá
sānshísuìle
Could you introduce yourself in Chinese, Amy?
Amy
shìài
suìle

Dialog Practice

Pretend we meet each other at first time. I am going to introduce myself to you, and then you are going to introduce yourself to me. First, we are going to use English, then use Chinese.

AihuaHello!
I'm Aihua,
I'm 30 years old.
AmyHello!
I'm Amy,
I'm 5 years old.

In Chinese,

Aihua
hǎo
shìàihuá
sānshísuìle
Amy
hǎo
shìài
suìle

Word Dictionary and Stroke Order

Click the Chinese character you want to learn!

Worksheet

Study Note

Pinyin Tone Marks

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, so it is extremely important to pronounce Chinese characters and words with correct tone. In transliterated Chinese, tone markings are written over the central vowels in most syllables. Some syllables have no specific tone, and then no sign is put above any vowel, or called neutral tone. There are four tones and a neutral tone in Mandarin Chinese.

    • The 1st tone, flat tone is marked with a line over a vowel such as
a + - = ā
    • The 2nd tone, rising tone is marked with a rising line over a vowel such as
a + ´ = á
    • The 3rd tone, falling-rising tone is marked with a hook over a vowel such as
a + v = ă
    • The 4th tone, falling tone is marked with a falling line over a vowel such as
a + ` = à
    • For neutral tone also called toneless tone (called "light sound" in Chinese), no marking is put above any vowel. For example,
a + " " = a

Using Numbers to Indicate the Tones

In addition to use tone marks, Pinyin uses numbers to indicate the tones. The followings are the example of 'a' with tone marks. To listen to the audio, please click the triangle of the icon.

    • First tone: a1 or ā

Play

    • Second tone: a2 or á

Play

    • Third tone: a3 or ǎ

Play

    • Fourth tone: a4 or à

Play

Pronunciation Guide For Tones

The following table describes 4 tones and the neutral tone marking the sound "a".

Tone Pinyin Description
1st ā flat tone
2nd á rising tone
3rd ǎ falling-rising tone
4th à falling tone
Neutral a no tone

Each tone has a distinctive pitch contour which can be graphed as bellow.

To learn more about Pinyin tones, please visit Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days Day 1: Tones.

Online Excercises and Quizzes

Tone Combination Drill

In this exercise, we will combine first tone syllables with the second, third, and fourth tones.
Listen to the audio first, and then repeat. To listen to the audio, please click the triangle of the icon.

  • ā á ǎ à
  • Play
  • á ǎ à ā
  • Play
  • ǎ à ā á
  • Play
  • à ǎ á ā
  • Play

Tone Quiz

Choose the right answer.
Start

Congratulations - you have completed Tone Quiz.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%


Your answers are highlighted below.
Return
Shaded items are complete.
1234End
Return

79 Responses to “Lesson 1: Self Introduction”

  1. Alexander

    I am 63 years old and I am a complete novice. Learning as the children do is a brilliant concept. I appreciate all your dedication to this approach. Excellent website. Wish you every success with it. “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “never too old to learn” I think the latter. :)

    Reply
  2. aihua

    aihua

    Hello Alexander,

    I am very glad that you joined the Chinese learning journey with us!

    Thank you very much for your encouragement! I totally agree with you, “Never too old to learn.” It looks like that you already know the Chinese old proverb, “活到老学到老”. Advanced level :)

    Since four tones are the most difficult part and most import part for Chinese learners, we designed the lessons of Level 1, focusing on Pinyin and Chinese pronunciation. I think that any language beginners have to learn like kids in order to become a good speaker.

    I admire you because I think 63 years old enters a great time period. You have more time explore what you like, learn more things and enjoy more in life. I definitely believe that learning makes a person wiser! Besides, learning a new language is one of the best ways to keep and improve memory capability against aging. A foreign language is a tool for communicating with more people and an entrance to get to know the essence of the culture. China has a very long history, it does have many interesting culture and social science. Hope you enjoy learning Chinese!

    Feel free to ask any question if you have. We also appreciate any feedback and suggestion.

    By the way, with the advancing on our knowledge of nutrition and health care, the average age of one’s life will be 90 years old, so you are still in the middle age. :)

    Thank you very much for your understanding and trust! As you said Kids Chinese Podcast is not just for kids, it is a learning approach, which helps all Chinese learners aiming to achieve the best learning results!

    For Level-1 Chinese lessons, we use the teaching method of learning a foreign language as a kid.

    When children acquire their mother tongue, they understand and speak before they are capable of reading and writing. This is also true when learning a foreign language. In the Level-1 lessons, our goal is to let students have a feeling on Mandarin Chinese phonics, pronunciation and Chinese Characters to build a sense of Chinese language in a very short period of time. The podcast transcript serves a very good study guide. Musical tones are the most difficult part in Mandarin Chinese, that’s why we use the native-language-acquiring approach, namely, first learn listening and then imitating as a child at Level-1 for Chinese beginners.

    For Level-2 and up, we use the teaching methods that also take advantage of logical thinking, which is one of the strengths adults have. In the meantime, we use simple and easy ways to explain the new Chinese characters, words and phrases, so even a child can underhand.

    Same as level-1 lessons, we still help you learn Chinese by focusing on daily conversations. However, we give a lot more detail explanation using logical thinking on introducing Chinese characters, words and phrases. In addition, we introduce simple grammar patterns, although we do not teach you grammar formally at this level.

    Welcome to Kids Chinese Podcast!

    Reply
  3. JEEHYUN

    IT `S Too inconvenient.
    I want to print out transcript in pdf file.
    Do you have plan to improve your system?

    Reply
  4. aihua

    aihua

    Hello Jeehyun,

    Thank you very much for your feedback.

    We are going to work on it soon. I will let you know when we are ready.

    Kids Chinese Podcast team are committed to providing better service and are constantly looking at ways to improve our quality of service by better responding to your individual needs.

    Thank you so much for your support!

    Reply
  5. aihua

    aihua

    Hello Jeehyun,

    We comes up with a quick solution and we are working on a better solution now.

    Just let you know that you can download a PDF transcript from the link (Download article as PDF) at the bottom of each lesson.

    If you have any concern or suggestion, please let us know.

    Thank you very much for your feedback and support!

    Reply
  6. Jan

    I lived in Taiwan over 10 years ago and learned some basic Chinese. Great idea to learn along with kids and tune my ears again to the sounds of mandarin! Well done!

    Reply
  7. John

    Thanks, Aihua! I’ve been using Rosetta Stone, but your website seems to give the basics up front, while Rosetta Stone just kind of throws you into speaking full sentences without knowing why you’re saying what you’re saying… Great job, keep up the good work! :-)

    Reply
  8. aihua

    aihua

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    To learn and master Chinese language, the foundation is the most important thing. A kid must to learn how to walk before learning how to run. Acquiring a new language needs time. Be patient and enjoy along the way.

    Reply
  9. aihua

    aihua

    Hello Jeehyun,

    We have a better solution for PDF transcript now.

    You can download a PDF transcript just by clicking the “Download PDF Transcript” icon at right corner of each lesson for level 2 Chinese lessons(from Lesson 53)

    If you have any question or suggestion, please let us know.

    Thank you very much for your feedback and support!

    Happy Chinese study!

    Reply
  10. Haruna

    I’m a Japanese. I like Kids Chinese Podcast Chinese lessons since I can learn Chinese and English together. Good job, Aihua and Amy! Thank you!

    Reply
  11. jasneskis

    I tried this today for the first time.
    It is good, I am 68 and just learning.
    My problem is I can’t get the adobe program to update to get the Chinese fonts. It says Adobe is being used. I don’t know where to go to fix that. Can anyone help so I can get the exercises?

    Reply
  12. aihua

    aihua

    Hi jasneskis,

    Thank you very much for visiting KidsChinesePodcast.com and trying our Chinese lessons.

    Please Download Adobe Reader at http://get.adobe.com/reader/, click “Download now” button.
    To download Adobe Reader X Font Packs – Chinese Simplified, go to http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4883 and click “Proceed to Download” button.

    I guess your current Adobe Reader is not the latest version because usually the latest version can download the Chinese font automatically.

    Hope this can solve your problem.

    If you need any help, please let me know, I will try my best to help you.

    Reply
  13. Nneka

    Fantastic Website!

    Hi Ai Hua,

    I’m a non-native-speaker Chinese teacher and I have to say I love your site. It’s easy on the eyes and the lessons are superb! I will definitely be recommending the site to people I know who are interested in learning or improving their Chinese.

    Out of curiosity, what level will you be going up to and what kinds of topics will be covered in the future?

    Best

    Nneka Edwards 艾妮凯

    Reply
  14. Lucy

    I love Kids Chinese Podcast! To learn a new language, like Chinese, first we need to imitate how a native Chinese speaker speaks. Kids are good at “copy” or “imitation” while adults are not as good as children because we concern too much sometimes. I really enjoy learning Chinese with little Amy, stress free!

    Reply
  15. David

    Hi Aihua,

    I just started the introductory lessons, and was wondering where I could find a guide to writing/drawing Chinese characters e.g. what is the correct stroke order to draw the character for ‘I’?

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi David,

      Thank you very much for your question.

      Just let you know our technical team is working on adding stroke order for each Chinese character in a lesson Now.
      By today, you can see “Word Dictionary and Stroke Order” in Level-1 lesson 1 ~ lesson 5, and level-2 and level -3 all lessons.

      Hope it is helpful to you.

      Reply
  16. David

    Hi Aihua,

    I have started to do the level 1 lessons. I am about to start lesson 5 and was wondering when an appropriate time to do the Pinyin course would be. Should I finish all of the level 1 and level 2 lessons first?

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply
  17. Aihua

    Aihua

    Hi David,

    I suggest you to start Pinyin course after you finished Level 1.
    Pinyin course is better to serve as a review course, so that you can get the whole picture of Pinyin.

    Reply
  18. Raymond Felle

    Aihua and Amy:
    Thank you so much for this thoughtfully laid out system of learning Chinese. I feel privileged to learn such an ancient language. Your lessons make it possible for me to talk with my godchildren that are taking Chinese at school. Aihua, your English is easy to understand. You have a talent for teaching.
    Ray

    Reply
  19. Aihua

    Aihua

    Hi Ray,
    I’m very glad to hear that you like Kids Chinese Podcast Chinese learning system. Thank you very much for your sweet encouragement!

    Reply
  20. Darlene Doublad

    I’m enjoying the pod cast for children. Though I an adult the method of teaching a child is very helpful in my memory listing words . Thanks for providing this podcast.

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi Darlene,

      Welcome to Chinese Lessons with Kids Chinese Podcast!
      Thank you very much for enjoying the podcast and your encouragement!

      The Chinese course is designed for kids, teenagers and adults to learn Mandarin Chinese.

      For Level-1 Chinese lessons, we use the teaching method of learning a foreign language as a kid.

      For Level-2 and up, we use the teaching methods that also take advantage of logical thinking, which is one of the strengths adults have. In the meantime, we use simple and easy ways to explain the new Chinese characters, words and phrases, so even a child can underhand.

      Actually, we have more adult members than children who are learning Chinese with us.

      Reply
  21. Aihua

    Aihua

    Hi Luis,

    please go to http://kidschinesepodcast.com/sign-up/, then choose “6 months” or “1 year” membership.

    You can pay by PayPal, just by clicking “Check out with PayPal” button.
    Or by Google, just by clicking “Buy with Google” button.

    Thank you very much for being a valuable Kids Chinese Podcast member!

    If you have any problem, please let me know.

    Reply
  22. SOUNDARARAJAN K.S

    I am a beginner. I want to master the Chinese Language in all respects i.e. writing, speaking and to reading.

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi SOUNDARARAJA,
      Welcome to Kids Chinese Podcast!
      It’s very nice to hear that you have a clear goal. I believe you can reach your goal as long as you work towards it step by step. Persistence is the key.

      Reply
  23. Jayasree

    Hai,
    I am 9 years old and I love to try a new language. I am just starting to learn Chinese and your website is very very useful and easy for me to learn Chinese.

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  24. aihua

    aihua

    Hi Jayasree,
    I am so happy that you like learning Chinese with Kids Chinese Podcast! I am sure like Amy and many other children, you will be making a lot of progress soon.

    Reply
  25. Rahim Manji

    Hi Aihua and Amy, its so nice to hear and learn from you Guys, love it.Just curious on the chinese characters/letters, are there letters same like when first start learning English we have A,B,C until Z, so is there the same way for Chinese, as I see here we can learn to write NIHAO in Chinese but how many letters make complete sentence for Nihao, just want to know if its possible to be able to write letters in chinese to join a word and not just to copy nihao but to know where is ni and ha and o, something like that like A,B,until Z but in chinese characters.Thanks.

    Reply
  26. aihua

    aihua

    Hi Rahim,

    Thank you for your question.

    Chinese uses Chinese characters in writing. Pinyin(letters) are for pronunciation only. There are total 23 initials and 35 finals of Pinyin. In addition, there are four tones and one toneless tone. Please refer to Pinyin course. However, if you want to read or write Chinese, you have to learn Chinese characters, which are the combinations of strokes.

    Reply
  27. EA Pi

    Hi Aihua,

    This lesson is really great! I wonder if you can help me with a question – what would children call adults outside their family in Chinese? In English, we would say ‘Mr and Mrs Jiang’. From what I have read, this would be ‘Jiang xiansheng and ‘Jiang taitai’. Is that what a child would say if they met the parents of their friends?

    Thank you!
    Pi

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi Pi,

      Your translation is correct. “Mr and Mrs Jiang” in Chinese are “姜先生(jiāng xiān sheng)” and “姜太太(jiāng tài tai)”. However, usually by Chinese culture, only adults call them 姜先生(jiāng xiān sheng) and 姜太太(jiāng tài tai).

      In Chinese culture, children usually called their parents’ friends or colleagues or any adults(young and middle aged), if a man, 叔叔(shū shu), if a woman, 阿姨(ā yí), which mean uncle and aunt, respectively. However, here “uncle” does not mean father’s or mother’s brother, and “aunt” does not mean father’s or mother’s sister. I guess calling “uncle” or aunt” in this way is to show “close relationship and being polite.

      In addition, in China when a woman married with a man, the wife did not change her last name into her husband’s. So in your example, children should call “Mr Jiang”, 姜叔叔(jiāng shū shu. If you know Mrs Jiang’s last name for example, her last name is “王(wáng)”, children call her “王阿姨(wáng ā yí)”. If you do not know her last name just call Mrs Jiang, “阿姨(ā yí)”should be fine.

      Reply
      • EA Pi

        Hi Aihua,

        That is great, thank you very much for your help! Would this be the same in mainland China and in Hong Kong?

        Thank you again for your help,
        Pieta

        Reply
        • aihua

          aihua

          If you use Mandarin in Hong Kong, it should be same. However, if you use Cantonese, it will be different.

          Reply
  28. Lanie Francisco

    Hi Ai Hua,
    You and Aimee inspired me to create a blog and Facebook page dedicated to parents and children learning chinese either as a second/third language…am so glad to find this site as it is complete (hear, speak and write).. and that you also respond to questions. Am going to feature you in one of my blog entries…

    here is our blog site:
    http://kidslearnchinesesg.wordpress.com/

    anyway just want to follow-up on questions above.. how do you type with the tones included? for example a1 yi2…

    will teach my niece who calls me “tita” or aunt in Filipino..this new Chinese term a1 yi2.. will teach the same to my daughter.. so they can address adults properly…

    thanks & regards
    Lanie

    Reply
  29. Zarah and Lanie

    Hi Ai Hua,

    Can we complete these 3 levels in 127 days? assuming we are all busy and only have 30 minutes a day to go through chinese lessons?

    Reply
  30. Aihua

    Aihua

    Hi Zarah and Lanie,

    If you learn one lesson each day, you should be able to go through 127 lessons in 127 days.

    We are adding one new lesson each week. We have planned the last lesson for Level 3, which is Lesson 150. After that we are going to start Level-4 Chinese lessons.

    Reply
  31. Zarah and Lanie

    Our accomplishment this week we committed 9 words to our memory (by hearing, speaking and writing pinyin and the Chinese characters)

    Reply
  32. Aihua

    Aihua

    Good job, Zarah and Lanie!
    Try to use them as possible as you can.

    Since Chinese pick the Chinese characters that have similar sound of the non-Chinese names, I picked “扎拉(zā lā)” for Zarah.
    You can choose the Chinese characters with pinyin (zā lā) that you preferred for Zarah’s Chinese name translation.

    Reply
  33. Zarah and Lanie

    thanks for the suggestion aihua.. Zarah prefers Zah Zah though (her nick name) so.. it will be…扎 扎 :)

    Reply
  34. abraham

    I saw your web page and it is so useful for learn Chinese language. congratulation.

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi Margo,

      Welcome to Kids Chinese Podcast!
      You do not need to register to access the free lessons.

      Reply
  35. Joecy

    I’m so glad you are doing this website! One question about teaching Pinyin to kids who has very little Chinese. When is a good time to introduce tones. Should it be right at the beginning when introducing the finals. Or later?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  36. aihua

    aihua

    Hi Joecy,

    I think the best timing to teach tones is at the beginning when introducing the finals.

    Reply
  37. Nina

    If I sign up for the 6 mos subscription, do I have full access to all of the podcasts, or is there a limited amount I can access? Thank you.

    Reply
  38. Aihua

    Aihua

    Hi Nina,

    If you sign up for the 6 mos subscription, you will have full access to all of the podcasts.

    Reply
  39. NORAZAH MOHD YUSOF

    NORAZAH MOHD YUSOF

    i am just starting to learn chinese but i thought i just wanted to be able to listen and speak .Not so sure about writing as the characters look difficult .

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi NORAZAH,

      Welcome to Kids Chinese Podcast, Chinese learning program!

      If you are new to Chinese language, I highly recommend you starting from listening and speaking just as a child. I encourage you learn with 5-year old Amy using level-1 Chinese lessons. You do not need to worry about Chinese characters for now. If you are interested in Chinese writing later, you can go back to lesson one and start learn how to write Chinese characters then.

      Reply
  40. Daphne

    We just want to learn how to speak, just like a native child would learn. Do we still need to read the transcripts? Also, I’m not sure what we DON’T get when we don’t pay the subscription? Thanks!

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi Daphne,

      To help you learn better and sooner, besides transcripts, we offer Chinese exercises(online and printable worksheet) and quizzes for subscribed members only.

      Reply
  41. Amrit Gautam

    ni hao admin.. i am presently learning mandarin chinese in nepal at campus level with chinese laoshi. I am just searching about chinese language on line and found your website. It is very useful for me. I like that you focus on pinyin, character order,provide audio. keep it up. zaijian.

    Reply
  42. Yang Guo

    In the statement: wǒ sān shí suì le , why is there no shì after wǒ. Why is in not wǒ shì sān shí suì le

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Yang,

      Thank you for your question.
      In oral Chinese, we omit “是(shì) in many situations. This is one of them.

      Reply
  43. Gabriel Jabbour

    Hello,

    I just started with Lesson 1 and registered for Kids Chinese Podcast.

    I must say I am very impressed with the organization and style of teaching with the overall content.

    I listened to my very first podcast driving to work this morning and feel I can gain a lot from these classes.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Gabriel,

      It’s very nice to hear you like the Chinese lessons. Thank you very much for your encouragement!

      Reply
  44. Tia Liani

    hi aihua, I’ve been taking your courses and i really appreciate them, they make learning chinese so much easier. i wanted to know if you could show me what my name would look like if translated into pinyin, I’m not sure what the syllables would be. thanks!

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hi Tia,

      It’s very nice to know you like the Chinese lessons with Kids Chinese Podcast.

      Your name in Chinese could be “蒂亚利雅妮(dì yà lì yǎ ni)”. “蒂亚(dì yà)” is your first name, and “利雅妮(lì yǎ ni)” is your last name.

      Reply
  45. Terri

    Hi, just found your site! We are embracing Chinese in our school … Love your podcast. Do you have an art project that students could work alongside learning the language😀

    Reply
    • aihua

      aihua

      Hello Terri,
      Nice to know you are learning Chinese and like Kids Chinese Podcast. May I ask what kind of art project are you talking about?

      Reply
  46. amina

    hello
    I’am amina ima from morroco and i am a new student . i really like the chinese language . i am glad that i find this cours . thank you so much aihua

    Reply

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