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Introduction to the Chinese Language

Build the foundations for your Chinese language skills and learn the basics of pronunciation and conversation in Chinese Mandarin.

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  • Course access expires 3 Sep 2022
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Explore the basics of Chinese Mandarin

China’s economy has grown at one of the fastest rates in the last two decades and is influencing entertainment, economics, and business. Being able to speak Mandarin, even at a basic level, can give you an advantage in a number of areas.

On this three-week course from Universiti Malaya, you’ll learn the foundations of the Chinese language. Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to communicate in Mandarin on a basic level, from introducing yourself and others to forming simple sentences about familiar topics.

Discover Chinese pronunciation through the Pinyin system

Chinese can be a difficult language to learn for native English speakers as it’s not a phonetic language, meaning that the pronunciation is not related to the Chinese characters. To overcome this, the phonetic system known as Pinyin is used.

You’ll start by looking at Pinyin and learning how to pronounce the main sounds of Chinese. You’ll also explore the four tones in Chinese that represent the pitch and direction of your voice as you say a syllable. Different tones can drastically change the meaning of a sentence so it’s important to understand these nuances.

Learn to introduce yourself in Mandarin

When meeting people, it’s vital that you can introduce yourself and discuss and understand basic details about yourself and others.

On this course, you’ll build your foundation in Chinese by learning the basics such as giving your name, nationality, and occupation. You’ll also explore pronouns and numbers in Chinese.

Build simple sentences about family and your surroundings

During the last week of this course, you’ll grow your knowledge of Chinese by focusing on talking about your family. You’ll learn how to introduce your family members, as well as the grammar needed to properly talk about family.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hello, everyone. Dà jiā hǎo. Welcome to the introduction to the Chinese Language. I’m Zhao Wanzhen. I’m a Chinese language teacher, from Kong zi Institute, Universiti Malaya. Kong zi Institute is a fruit of cooperation between Beijing Foreign Studies University in China and the Universiti Malaya in Malaysia. Together with our experienced teachers, we have created this course for you. The course is designed for zero beginners for Chinese language learners, and we are focusing on the training of communicative skills through three parts, which is get to know each other meet someone new and to make a plan. Its a total of ten weeks of study to help you master basic Chinese conversational skills, which is equivalent to HSK 1.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds In this journey, we’re going to learn, to ask and answer simple questions about personal details such as your name, age, nationality, situation, about your work and the study, and of course, plan your daily activities and perhaps even a trip with your friends to China. And we also prepared fun facts about Chinese culture and interesting discussion in each week’s learning. We hope by participating in this course, you’ll be able to understand and respond to a simple and clear daily communication situation and to join the fun of learning Chinese language. Jiāyóu. Have a good time.


  • Week 1

    Getting to know each other - Pronunciation and Pinyin

    • Getting started

      Let's have a kick start with the Chinese language: Pronunciation, and simple daily phrases.

    • New words and Pinyin 1

      Learn pinyin, new Chinese words, Chinese pronunciation, hanzi and compound finals in this activity.

    • New words and Pinyin 2

      Learn Chinese words that are borrowed from other languages. The loan words can be found in some countries' names.

    • Dialogue and exercise

      Learn daily expressions in introducing yourself and others.

    • Culture facts

      Let's talk about the Chinese dialects.

  • Week 2

    Getting to know each other - Name, nationality and occupation

    • Review

      Recap of what you have learned in Week 1.

    • Talk about name and nationality

      Let's learn the new words and expressions about name and nationality.

    • Ask questions and exercise

      Learn about interrogative pronouns and take part in a quiz.

    • Hanzi

      Learn more about Hanzi (Chinese writing system).

    • Talk about occupation and workplace

      Let's learn the new words about occupation and workplace, and also the use of the '在 zài' word to indicate location.

    • Dialogue and exercise

      Learn some daily expressions and useful sentences about occupation and workplace.

  • Week 3

    Getting to know each other - Age and family

    • Talk about numbers, age and family members

      In this part, we are going to learn new Chinese words about numbers, age, and family members.

    • Ask about age and address family members

      Learn how to ask about age in Chinese and introduce the age of family members.

    • Hanzi

      Learn new Hanzi words.

    • Talk about skills

      Learn new Chinese words and sentences about language skills and the '会 huì' word.

    • Check your understanding

      Check your understanding of the topics you have learned.

    • Culture facts

      Let's talk about how to address family members in Chinese.

    • Course wrap-up

      Here is a summary of what you have learned throughout the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Perform basic conversational skills in asking and answering questions related to personal details including name, nationality, age, family, simple introduction about work and study.
  • Demonstrate confidence in reading syllables in the Pinyin system.
  • Describe the meaning of simple Hanzi (Chinese Writing).
  • Apply short sentences and phrases in self-introduction and daily life such as greeting, saying thanks and etc.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning Chinese. As this is an introductory course, you do not need any previous experience to join.

Who will you learn with?

Chinese language teacher from Kong Zi Institute, Universiti Malaya.
B.A. in Malaysian Language Studies (BFSU) and M.A. in Teaching Chinese Language as second language (BFSU)

Chinese language teacher from Kong Zi Institute, Universiti Malaya.
M.A. in Teaching Chinese Language as second language

Who developed the course?

Universiti Malaya

Universiti Malaya is the premier research university in Malaysia, committed to advancing knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity.

  • Established

  • Location

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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