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Pod cast - Learn Chinese Beijing
Learn Chinese Beijing is good choice for you, learn some Chinese words about time and date. Let's Learn Chinese Beijing course around these topics
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Topic: Learn Chinese Beijing
Vocabulary: 现在几点?六点半
Function: some expressions about time and date
Level: Zero to Survival Level (see level map)
Tag: Learn Chinese Beijing Pod cast mp3
Copyright: CRI FM
Audio Download: Pod cast MP3 (64kbps, 4.7mb)
Cam: Perfect Chinese your way, in only five minutes a day. Welcome to Chinese Studio, I’m Cam. 早上好, Yajie.
Yajie: 早上好(zǎoshang hǎo), Cam. Last week we learned holiday greetings and also how to wish somebody a happy birthday. Let’s have a quick review, ok?
Cam: Ok. Happy Birthday is祝你生日快乐(zhù nǐ shēng rì kuài lè).
Yajie: And how do you say “I wish you good health!” in Chinese?
Cam: Well, it’s祝你身体健康!(zhù nǐ shēntǐ jiànkāng).
Yajie: And what about “All the best”?
Cam: 祝你万事如意! (zhù nǐ wàn shì rúyì!)
Yajie: Well, this week we’ll learn words about time. Let’s check our key words of the day!
Key words
Yajie: 现在几点?What time is it now?
Cam: 现在几点?(xianzai ji dian?)
Yajie: 现在 means now.
Cam: 现在(xianzai)
Yajie: 几 is a question word meaning how many, or what? 几, j-i, the third tone.
Cam: 几 (ji)
Yajie: 几点 together means what time?
Cam: 几点 (ji dian)
Yajie: 现在几点?(xianzai ji dian?)
Cam: 现在几点?(xianzai ji dian?)

Conversations (1):

Yajie: From the conversations you can see that there is “请问” in the question. As we said before 请问 shows the politeness in asking a question. It means, “May I ask…”
Cam: 请问 (qing wen).
Yajie: 请问现在几点?(qing wen xianzai ji dian?)
Cam: 请问现在几点?(qing wen xianzai ji dian?
Yajie: 快八点了。
Cam: What does that mean?
Yajie: It means nearly eight o’clock. Here快 le means nearly. 快, k-u-a-i, the fourth tone.
Cam: 快 (kuai).
Yajie: 快八点了(kuai ba dian le).
Cam: 快八点了(kuai ba dian le).


Conversations (2):

Key words Reminder
现在几点? 六点半。All in today’s Chinese Studio.

Yajie: Well, there is another way of asking the time. It’s 您知道现在几点了吗?It means “Do you know what time it is now?”
Cam: 您知道现在几点了吗?(nin zhi dao xianzai ji dian le me)
Yajie: 知道means know. 知, zhi, the first tone, and 道, dao, the fourth tone. Together it’s 知道 (zhidao).
Cam: 知道 (zhidao). 您 is the polite form of 你 (ni), right?
Yajie: Right. And 吗 is a question mark.
Cam: 吗
Yajie: 您知道现在几点了吗?
Cam: 您知道现在几点了吗? (nin zhidao xianzai ji dian le ma)
Yajie: Good.
Cam: Yajie, how do you say half past eight in Chinese?
Yajie:. First, do you still remember how to say 30 in Chinese?
Cam: Yes, it’s san shi.
Yajie: So, 8:30 is ba dian san shi fen.
Cam: ba dian san shi fen.
Yajie: Exactly. But you could also say, Ba Dian Ban. Ban means half. So 8:30 is half way to 9.
Cam: Ba Dian Ban. How do I get more exact time, such as: 8:17
Yajie: Again, Cam, how do you say 17 in Chinese?
Cam: Shi qi.
Yajie: Good, so 8:17 is ba dian shi qi fen. Here I want to tell you that “fen” means minute in Chinese. How do you say 10:15?
Cam: it’s shi dian shi wu fen.
Yajie: Right, but you can also say Shi dian yi ke. Yi ke means a quarter , but it can only be used in when referring to time.


Conversations (3):

Yajie: That’s all for today. Now if you need to ask for the time in Chinese, you will know how to do it!

Now question of the day: How do you say half past eight in Chinese?

Please Post your answer / Join discussion
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Do you need any help to learn Chinese? Learn Chinese Online for free with Professional Study Adviser.
study adviser

Background: Interview with Mark from the U.S.

It’s good to be with you here today, Zhao Pingping. My name is Mark Chilson. And I have been a real estate banker in the United States. Since I returned from graduate school in Germany, my field is 房地产贷款. I returned from Germany in the early 1990s. I’ve read much about China before I came here.

Beijing in particular fascinates me. So once I was here in July, I did a web search from learning Chinese schools, then arranged a private tutor and I invested 7 hours a day in oral Chinese. I then came to Chinese Foreign Affairs University to learn Chinese characters and vocabulary. Learning Chinese helps my career.

As far as you are concerned, are there many people in your country learning Chinese?

Well in the research I have done on the number of people learning Chinese, I have found numbers that ranged from 23,000 in the U.S. to over 82,000. Here are the two documents that indicate the two figures.

For how long have you been learning Chinese?

I’ve studies Chinese for about 6 months.

For most western country students I found that it’s difficult for them to learn the characters. Is it the same case for you?

The characters are not easy. What helps me first is to make pictures in my mind, that’s corresponding.

Also learning with the ancient Chinese character components meaning, the parts of characters helps. The characters for, for instance, 零度(zero degree)的“零”,下雪(snow)的“雪”,下雨(rain)的“雨”,all are easier to remember, if I group them together in my mind. They look like a certain thing that the ancients originally intended that to look like.

Also take the character 不要(do not)的"要", 爱人(lover; wife; husband)的"要" 接受(accept)的"受" the difference in these characters and their parents is night and day to you. To me it take five minutes with a magnifying glass playing an detective to come up with any clue that these are different characters.

How might that process differ from oral Chinese?

But most of all, 广交朋友(to make as many friends as possible), and asking them to correct my pronunciation (发音).

What in particular interests you in Chinese culture? Have you ever visited many places of interest in China?

Yes, I’ve visited Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, and then Harbin.

How do these places of interest impress you?

I was surprised at how comfortable the climate was in the south of China. I fell in love with it. It’s so lush and jungle-like. And I enjoyed seeing the enormous water buffalo or animals on the land.

I found Hong Kong to be the most cosmopolitan city that I have ever visited.

Just now you mentioned you’ve visited many places of interests in China. As far as I’m concerned there are some differences between the food in these local places.

I love spicy food. So Sichuan food is more to my liking.

In generally though, Chinese food is perfect for me, because it’s based on vegetables.

My favorite is 火锅, hot-pot.

The last question is do you think it’s possible to learn Chinese online?

I think that it is possible. However for most people some classroom learning will be helpful, in particular having one’s pronunciation corrected.

Having said that is a website that’s been very helpful for me.

Crienglish at shows a good approach to learning online in terms of making pictures, and some of the best illustrations made from characters or out of characters.

Learn Chinese Beijing