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Last updated:

April 9, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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Unlimited Duration


Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture.

This course, Beginners’ Chinese: a taster course, provides a brief introduction to the Chinese language, its scripts and sounds, and how words are formed. You will hear short conversations where people greet each other and introduce themselves, and learn how to count from one to ten. You’ll learn different ways of saying your name and greeting people, as well as give your telephone number. This OpenLearn course is introductory material for absolute beginners in Chinese.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the varieties of the Chinese language
  • Understand how the sound system of Mandarin Chinese (pinyin and tones) works
  • Understand that there are simplified and traditional forms of Chinese characters and have an awareness of how they are combined together to form new meanings
  • Demonstrate basic vocabulary and pronunciation related to greetings, numbers, names and nationalities
  • Demonstrate a cultural understanding of how professional titles are used to address people.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:20:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
    • The Chinese language 00:10:00
    • Varieties of Chinese 00:10:00
    • Pinyin 00:15:00
    • Tones 00:10:00
    • Chinese characters 00:15:00
    • Simplified and traditional forms of Chinese characters 00:10:00
    • Word formation 00:07:00
    • How to memorise and combine characters 00:05:00
    • Greetings 00:10:00
    • Introducing oneself 00:15:00
    • Nationalities 00:20:00
    • Professional titles and basic professions 00:10:00
    • Basic numbers 00:15:00
    • Conclusion 00:05:00

About the instructor

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