James Valentine and Redcrane on ABC Radio


Being able to communicate in more than one language is second nature to some - more difficult for others, but James Valentine from 702 Afternoons and Evelyn Chen from Red Crane School of Chinese are here to help!
In this series, we hope to make it dead easy to say a few phrases or at least attempt to communicate in the world's most spoken language.

To listen to the lessons, click the links on this page and then click the headphone icon under the photo on the ABC website.

Lesson 1

But we'll go beyond the normal dialogue, and get to the real nitty-gritty of must know Mandarin, with phrases such as "I'm sorry, I don't speak Mandarin" - just think of the enormous number of situations in which you'll be able to use that phrase!
And we'll learn a few phrases by rote, which might help break the ice when meeting a Chinese speaker - your neighbour, colleague or storekeeper.
Download the audio to your mp3 player and listen back to the discussion - then start practising.
Mandarin is the bridging or common language between Chinese people. There are seven main dialect, as well as numerous minor dialects, but Mandarin is the official language and most people would speak and/or understand Mandarin, even if they are Cantonese speakers from the south of China. (Most of Sydney's Chinese residents speak Cantonese, as they are from the south).
The difference between Mandarin and Cantonese is more than an accent difference, such as that between North American and Scottish accents, but the written version is the same. And, Mandarin has just four tones, while Cantonese has nice, and tones are one of the more difficult challenges for English speakers to learn the language - so we're learning the easier of the two!

Lesson 2

             

In this series, we hope to make it dead easy to say a few phrases or at least attempt to communicate in the world's most spoken language. But we'll go beyond the normal dialogue, and get to the real nitty-gritty of must know Mandarin, with phrases such as "I'm sorry, I don't speak Mandarin" - just think of the enormous number of situations in which you'll be able to use that phrase! And we'll learn a few phrases by rote, which might help break the ice when meeting a Chinese speaker - your neighbour, colleague or storekeeper. Download the audio to your mp3 player and listen back to the discussion - then start practising. Lesson Two: features special guest Shaun Micallef

Lesson 3

Goodbye - Zai (again) Jian (to meet), See you tomorrow - Ming Tian (tomorrow), Tian (to meet)

Lesson 4

             

A dog with icecream on its nose, pinyin phonetic system - Goude bizi shang you bingqilin. Closest English phonetics - Go der bee zr sharng yoh bing chee leen. Please open the windows, pinyin system - Qing dakai chuanghu. English phonetics - Cheeng da kai chwuang hoo.

Lesson 5

Lesson Five
One - yi (pinyin) - eee (closest English phonetic)

Two - er - er
Three - san - sarn
Four - si - sr
Five - wu - woo
Six - liu - leo
Seven - qi - tchee
Eight - ba - baa
Nine - jiu - jeo
Ten - shi - shr

More lessons are on their way so tune in to ABC 702 1pm Monday afternoons. 'Must Know Mandarin' starts at about 1:20pm.

About Redcrane

Established for 13 years, Red Crane has extensive experience in providing Chinese language and business culture classes to students. Feedback from our students provide testament to our dedication in teaching Mandarin and encouraging inter-cultural exchange. Read our ‘testimonials’ page to find out more.

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