Jump to content


Need a program to learn basic Mandarin before we hit the ground in 2012

Recommended Posts

Well, all things point to a move to Beijing the first quarter of 2012. We will have access to a tutor when we are on the ground in China. I was hoping that we might learn some basic Mandarin before hand to help with some of the initial stress. We will have real estate help and a driver, so thank goodness that will be covered. I'm concerned about reading signs, ordering lunch, going to the grocery .... etc, etc, etc. What should I use to begin some basic vocabulary and phrases? ANY advice is VERY welcome.


thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beijing has Metro and Carrefour - both are overseas companies, so you will find a good amount of foreign goods to keep you going at the beginning. If you don't cook from scratch much, I recommend working on that, as it's much easier to cook with local ingredients in the long run.


I wouldn't try to learn to read much at present: you are not likely to pick up enough in the time you have to make much difference. Street names in Beijing are mostly dual script: Chinese characters plus Pinyin (the sounds of Chinese written in Latin script). So finding your way around the city is fine with a decent map.


Many restaurants have pictures that you can point at. Otherwise, I'd recommend just learning the characters for basic proteins: chicken, pork, duck, beef, doufu (tofu) and work from there. You could probably do this just with a phrase book: find the right word in the phrase book and point to it, and you are ordering chicken or pork or whatever.


Once you are there, and if you live in a Chinese (rather than an expat) apartment complex, you will pick up the language quickly. I also highly recommend employing someone to help you round the house and take you shopping, and who will also play with the kids. My boys picked up most of their Chinese from our household helper and their neighbourhood friends.


Have fun! I'm sure it will be great!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...