Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture. This free 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.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These
materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.
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