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Survival Chinese

Learning Chinese

Introduction
A few words of advice for those of you about to start a teaching career in China: try to learn some Chinese. Even if you only learn a few phrases, it will make a huge difference to your time here. The pronunciation is quite tough to begin with and you are bound to make horrific errors. But the smiles it will bring to some of the locals' faces will be worth every minute of embarrassment. If you make the effort, you will find the Chinese will look at you in a whole different way.


The need for Chinese in daily life is quite big. In many places, the range of English is virtually non-existent. Miming and gestures can normally help getting the message across, but relying only on that will not take you very far.


Here is the list of commonly used phrases:

你好                 nǐhǎo                          hello
 你好        nǐhǎo ma?                How are you? 
 谢谢                xièxie                         thank you, thanks

再见                  zàijiàn                        Good-bye

不知道         bù zhī dào                 Don't know

 多少钱     duōshǎo qián                  How much does it cost? 

对                   duì                      That's correct

这个                 zhège                        This/this one

 干杯                gānbēi                        Drink up, Cheers

我不吃肉!    wo bu chi rou     I don'eat meat.

 

Numbers - one 一 yī, two 二 èr, three 三 sān, four 四 sì, five 五 wǔ, six 六 liù, seven 七 qī, eight 八 bā, nine 九 jiǔ, ten 十 shí

  
Learn Cabbie Lingo

Getting round in Beijing is easy. You can take the subway, ride a bike or hop on bus. Sometimes, taking a cab is the most convenient mode of transport. Knowing just a few sentences in Chinese could save you a lot of trouble with your driver. Be courteous and polite, addressing him or her as shifu (师傅), which translates to "master."

Here're some phrases to get you started:

Shifu, hold on a moment. I am calling for directions.

师傅,等一下,我打电话问地址。

Shifu, we are going to this address.

师傅,我们去这个地址。

Go straight.

直走。

Turn left/ right the traffic light.

前面红绿灯左/右转。

Pull over after this intersection.

过这个路口靠边停。

Please give me the receipt.

麻烦你给我发票。

Please turn on the metre.

麻烦你打表。

  • Travel

    Public transport in Beijing is reliable but very crowded, especially during rush hours . So, it’s sometimes better to get to work as early as possible. Lines 1, 5 and 10 are always busy. Subway is easy to use by ‘foreigners’, because there are English and Pinyin notices everywhere. Each fare is only 2 Yuan and you can get anywhere you want. Travel card, which you top up, is refundable and costs only 20 Yuan. There are plenty of buses, but, you need to know Chinese characters to find out where they go. If you do, then you spend really little on transportation.

    Taxis are cheap and plentiful, but sometimes very difficult to catch. Give yourselves enough time for waiting, especially in the popular areas like Sunlitun. It’s always useful to have the address written down in Chinese to show to the driver.

    If you like cycling, then getting a bike is an ideal solution. You can avoid crowded subway and traffic jams. The cycle paths in Beijing are wide and you can also find convenient shortcuts when you go through hutongs. Bicycles are cheap and easy to buy.

    Travelling in China is not difficult at all. Plane or train tickets, reasonably priced,  are sold at travel agencies and ticket offices, but most of the staff don’t speak English, so it’s a good idea to take your Chinese friend with you. Try to buy train tickets early. The ticket offices start selling them 10 days in advance. The train stations in China are modern and well-organised. The train journey from Beijing to Shanghai takes only 6 hours on a fast train, well worth trying. The flight from Beijing to Xian, famous for Terracotta Army and the Muslim Quarter, takes only 2 hours.

  • Accommodation

    CELTA charges cover tuition, Cambridge registration fees and moderation. Fees do not include accommodation. The following is a list of local accommodation options that have been recommended by previous CELTA trainees on the courses in Beijing and Shanghai.

    A single room with a private bathroom in most hostels/hotels in Beijing will cost about RMB 120 ~200 a night, and in Shanghai about RMB90~150 a night.

    Language Link can assist you with making a reservation at the hotel or hostel of your choice. Language Link strongly recommends that trainees source accommodation as close to the training centre as they can to avoid an unnecessarily long commute.

    Beijing (near to Language Link):
    1. www.nehotelbj.com
    (15 minute walk)
    2. www.number161hostel.com
    (10 - 15 minute walk)
    3. Beijing New Dragon Hostel
    (10 minute walk)
    4. www.centralhostel.com/en/index.html
    (30 minute walk)
    5. www.sagahostel.com
    (15 minute walk)
    6. http://www.hostelsbeijing.com/en/index.html
    (10 - 15 minute walk)
    7. http://www.xihuahotel.com/yg/5.html
    (10-15 minute walk)
    8. http://www.ploft.cn/
    (30 minute walk)


    Shanghai(near to Language Link):
    1. www.jinjianginns.com
    (5 minute walk)
    2. www.podinns.com
    (5 minute walk)
    3. http://hotels.english.ctrip.com/shanghai-hotel-detail-61787/shanghai-sisu-guesthouse
    (2 minute walk)

  • Food

    Chinese cuisine has a fantastic reputation all over the world. And when you get to China, you’re in for a treat.


    First of all, have no fear of approaching vendors or restaurant staff. Whether or not you’re armed with some basic Chinese phrases, a phrasebook or miming skills, all Chinese people will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.


    Culinary experiences, whether you are sampling street food or sitting in a local restaurant are a delight – and an experience not to miss.


    Most restaurants will have a menu with pictures for you to point at. Both the Chinese and the English translations may or may not give any clues what the meal will look like – so the pictures are extremely useful, and the locals make use of them too!


    The Chinese diners will often sit together and share a range of food, transferring portions to smaller bowls.


    Locals drink to water, tea or beer with meals – and it’s not uncommon to see people not drinking anything while they eat – as too much liquid is considered detrimental to digestion.


    Chinese people aren’t too big on desserts, either – when they do splash out for a sweet, they often do so in a separate eatery for that purpose.


    Oh, and Chinese people rarely hang around at the table. After finishing the meal, they leave to get on with the many other distractions of life.


    Regional food varieties are plentiful.


    In Beijing, you can eat your way around China in 80 days (that’s the length of four Language Link CELTA courses) without going beyond the third ring road!


    Must eats include Peking Duck (served with pancakes), hot pot (worth going hungry all day for this one) and last but by no means least: dumplings with their multitude of fillings. Shanghai, by the way, has a noticeably sweeter tooth with its cuisine.


    Cravings for ‘food from home’ are extremely well catered for in both Beijing and Shanghai.


    Back to the world of the knife and fork, then, for a huge choice from the world of curry, pasta, pizza, salad, mashed potato, sausages and schnitzels.


    You will come across egg and bacon breakfasts and shepherds pie. The Chinese love ‘western style’ fast food – and most of your favourite chains are well represented – and that includes those that just serve coffee, sandwiches and cakes.


    We had one trainee, who spent the entire CELTA course eating sandwiches from a fast food restaurant for fear of food poisoning and gastro enteritis.


    This approach to eating in China is hard for us to digest. We are convinced you will agree.

  • Survival Chinese

    Learning Chinese

    Introduction
    A few words of advice for those of you about to start a teaching career in China: try to learn some Chinese. Even if you only learn a few phrases, it will make a huge difference to your time here. The pronunciation is quite tough to begin with and you are bound to make horrific errors. But the smiles it will bring to some of the locals' faces will be worth every minute of embarrassment. If you make the effort, you will find the Chinese will look at you in a whole different way.


    The need for Chinese in daily life is quite big. In many places, the range of English is virtually non-existent. Miming and gestures can normally help getting the message across, but relying only on that will not take you very far.


    Here is the list of commonly used phrases:

    你好                 nǐhǎo                          hello
     你好        nǐhǎo ma?                How are you? 
     谢谢                xièxie                         thank you, thanks

    再见                  zàijiàn                        Good-bye

    不知道         bù zhī dào                 Don't know

     多少钱     duōshǎo qián                  How much does it cost? 

    对                   duì                      That's correct

    这个                 zhège                        This/this one

     干杯                gānbēi                        Drink up, Cheers

    我不吃肉!    wo bu chi rou     I don'eat meat.

     

    Numbers - one 一 yī, two 二 èr, three 三 sān, four 四 sì, five 五 wǔ, six 六 liù, seven 七 qī, eight 八 bā, nine 九 jiǔ, ten 十 shí

      
    Learn Cabbie Lingo

    Getting round in Beijing is easy. You can take the subway, ride a bike or hop on bus. Sometimes, taking a cab is the most convenient mode of transport. Knowing just a few sentences in Chinese could save you a lot of trouble with your driver. Be courteous and polite, addressing him or her as shifu (师傅), which translates to "master."

    Here're some phrases to get you started:

    Shifu, hold on a moment. I am calling for directions.

    师傅,等一下,我打电话问地址。

    Shifu, we are going to this address.

    师傅,我们去这个地址。

    Go straight.

    直走。

    Turn left/ right the traffic light.

    前面红绿灯左/右转。

    Pull over after this intersection.

    过这个路口靠边停。

    Please give me the receipt.

    麻烦你给我发票。

    Please turn on the metre.

    麻烦你打表。

  • Weather

    China’s climate is something of a rollercoaster ride, particularly in Beijing.

    Scarves, gloves and thick winter jackets are standard outdoor attire from November onwards.

    Backed by strong winds from the plains, this is a really cold place to be, and the rivers and lakes freeze over.

    Having said that, temperatures rarely drop below -10 c. Beijing does not have a huge amount of rain or snow – when snow falls, it doesn’t usually last too long.

    Please do not be misled by the national holiday, enticingly called Spring Festival (immediately following Chinese New Year). This is still a very cold time – and those lighting the fuses of the fireworks will be wearing gloves.

    For more spring-like weather, fast-forward to the last weeks of March. Spring is short, but intensely beautiful as all the parks and hillsides burst into green life and blossom – and everybody crowds to the Summer Palace, Fragrant Hills and the Botanical Gardens.

     

    The likelihood for rain increases during May and June – some quite heavy showers can occur, so bring waterproofs and an umbrella.

    Once the summer kicks in, the weather is not uncomfortably hot as a rule – but very humid.

    The water drops from above are from the thousands of air conditioning units countering this in people’s homes.

    Escape to some of the higher sections of the Great Wall for some relief – the surrounding scenery is at its lushest.

    Autumn/Fall (September/October) sees the usual defoliation of the trees and a change of colour from green to yellow and brown.

    And what about Shanghai? Well, it’s a good deal milder – and the heat / humidity is more intense in the summer months. Winters are not nearly as cold as Beijing – but fairly damp with periods of rain possible.

  • Visa

     A Brief Introduction to Chinese Visas

    A visa is an officially approved document issued by authorised bodies for the government, in accordance with the laws of the country, to foreign citizens applying to enter, leave or transit through the country.
    Types of Chinese visas

    (1) Tourism and family visiting visas ("L" letter visas): issuable to foreign citizens who plan to visit China for the purposes of tourism, family visiting or other short-term personal affairs 


    (2) Visiting visas ("F" letter visas): issuable to foreign citizens who are going to visit China for the purposes of invited visits, making investigations, giving lectures, doing business, carrying out exchanges in science, technology and culture, taking a training course, working as unpaid interns, and their stay in China is not to exceed six months 


    (3) Student visas ("X" letter visas): issuable to foreign citizens who are going to study in China either as formal overseas students or as course trainees or to work as interns, and their stay in China is to exceed six months 


    (4) Working visas ("Z" letter visas): issuable to foreign citizens who are going to work, perform for commercial purposes or carry out academic exchange in China, and to their accompanying spouses and minor children


    How to make a visa application
    1. Essential documents required
    (1) The passport - The original passport with at least six months of validity period and a blank visa page, and a copy of the page showing the photo and relevant information 


    (2) The application form - a filled-out Visa Application Form of the People's Republic of China if you are planning to work ("Z" letter visa) or study ("X" letter visa) in China. If you are a citizen of a third country, or if you are sharing a passport with someone else, you must also fill in another form: Supplementary Visa Application Form. The form must be filled out truthfully, completely and signed. 


    (3) The photo - You will need to prepare a recent, coloured passport photo in the size of 48mm x 33mm. The photo must show your face looking forward and your head must not have any coverings. Please affix the photo to the application form. 


    (4) Original Chinese passport - If you were born in China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) and later naturalised yourself as a citizen of another country, you will need to submit your original Chinese passport, a copy of the photo and information page, and a copy of the extension page (if applicable). 


    (5) Proof of name change - If your name on your new passport is different from the one on your original passport, you must provide proof of change of name issued by the authorities. 


    (6) Old Chinese visa - If you are overseas Chinese born in China and used to hold a Chinese visa, when you apply for a Chinese visa for a new foreign passport, you need to provide a copy of the photo and information page of the original passport and a copy of the visa obtained in the past.

     

     

    If you have any further enquiries or require additional information please contact:

    Email:  celta@languagelink.com.cn

    Tel: 86-10-5169 5583(CELTA Beijing office)   86-21-3537 2496 (CELTA Shanghai office)

Contact us:

Tel: 86-10-5169 5583(CELTA Beijing office)

Shanghai Office: Jing'an HQ Campus, SN Mandarin Chinese Language School and Chinese Courses Jing'an Shanghai F10,Room 1006, No.309, Yuyuan Road (on the corner of Wulu Muqi Road), Jing'an District, Shanghai, China

Fulltime CELTA | Online CELTA course

Email: celta@languagelink.com.cn

Beijing Office: 709 InterChina Building,33 Dengshikou Street,DongCheng District BeiJing

Fulltime CELTA | Online CELTA | YL Extension to CELTA | Teaching Development course

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