Articles for Teachers

More on Survival Chinese
By:Chunping Alex Wu <>

Survival Chinese for ESL Teachers
Posted By: Alex Wu, B.A. B.Ed. < >
Date: 16 April 2004

The following Essential Classroom Commands/Words for ESL Teachers in China are modified according to the previous article called "Survival Chinese".

Some of the Chinese words may be spelled the same, but most of the time they are pronounced differently in four different tones, namely 1, 2, 3 & 4. Since we don't have two of the tone characters in the English typing symbols, I just use the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, and 4 for them. If there is no tone number, that would be a soft one. The emphasis rests after the apostrophe.

The tones:
1: sounds from low to high (looks like the accent acute on top of a "e" in French = é)
2: the original sound of the word (with a horizontal bar , "-", on top of the vowel)
3: from high to low and high again (supposed to be an arrow head , "v", on top of the vowel)
4: from high to low (looks like the accent grave on top of a "e" in French = è)

For example:
ma1 is sounded like mother
ma2 is sounded like paralyse or numb
ma3 is sounded like horse
ma4 is sounded like scod or reprimand

1. qing3 'zuo4 - Sit down (namely: please sit dowm)
2. qing3 jin3 'lai2- Come here (please come in)
3. bie2 'zuo4 nei4 ge4 - Don't do that (where sit and do sound the same)
4. man4 'man4 di ( Slow-slowly) (you may put a verb right after the phrase, to say do something slowly: Man man di shuo. Say it slowly.)
5. kuai! - Hurry. Faster. Quicker (kuai shuo: say it out fast!)
6. 'an1 qing4 yidian3 - Be quiet. (Be quiet a little bit!)
7. xiao3 'xin1 yidian3 - Be careful ( a bit)
8. wo3 'xi3huan1 ni3- I love you.
9. ni3 hen3 'guai1 - (You are cute )(and obedient. You did what I had said).
10. tai4 'zang1 - Dirty. (too dirty)(hao3 'zang1, very dirty)

gan1 zing4 - Clean.
11. 'luan4 zao1zao1, 'hen3 luan4 - Messy. Very messy!
12. xiang4pi2 'ca1- Eraser. (rubber eraser)
13. 'hao3! Zuo1de 'hao3!- Good or nice work done.
14. 'you3 li3mao4 - Polite. Good behavior.
15. 'mei2 li3mao4 - Rude.
16. zhe4er - Here.
17. Jiu4 zai4 'zhe4er - Right here.
18. na4er - There.
19. Jiu4 zai4 'na4er - Right there.
20. 'xian4 'zai4 - Now!
21. 'xian4 'zai4 'kai1 shi3- Start, now!
22. gan1 wo3 yan4 - Repeat after me.(follow me, read!)
23. zai4 lai2 - Again.
24. zai4 lai2 yi1 bian4- Once, Again (yi1 bian4- once,
lian3 bian4- twice, san1 bian4, three times, si4- , wu3- , liu4-
qi1- , ba1- , jiu3- , shi-), (er=numeral 2, lian3= adj. 2), (ling2- 0)
25. 'xi4xi4 ( Thanks.) xi4 xi4 ni3 ( thank you).
26. wei2 yi1ge yuan2quan1 - form a circle. Use the bodies.

Hua4 yi1ge yuan2quan1- make or draw a circle.
27. Hua4 yi1tiao2 xian4 - Make or draw a line. Use with body

zhan4 yi1tiao2 xian4 ¨C stand in a line, line up, single file
28. bu4 xing2, bu4 ke yi3 - Not allowed (xing2, ke yi3-allowed)
29. shi4 - Yes. ( Bu4 shi4 - Not.) ( Bu- No).
30. wai2! - Hello
31. zai4 jian4 - Goodbye (again to see)
32. 'ni3(men2) hao3 ma4? (How are you? (men2 means plural, the class as a whole)

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