This is the Express Mandarin Cardiff blog, the place where you can read tips for learning Mandarin language and other interesting aspects about the Chinese culture. To stay updated of the latest, please subscribe to our posts!

A small tip to help you to count from 11 to 99 in Chinese.

posted 8 Jun 2018, 09:34 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 4 Jul 2018, 05:57 ]

In the previous blog, we have learned how to count from 0 to 10 in Chinese. In today’s blog, we are going to study how to say in Chinese from 11 to 99. You will be surprised how easy they are going to turn out. 

Firstly, let’s look at 20. In Chinese, this number is pronounced as “二十(èrshí)” which is the combination of “two and ten”; 30 is pronounced as “三十(sānshí)” which is the combination of “three and ten”. So now, can you try to pronounce these numbers in Chinese: 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90?

The number 23 is pronounced as “二十三 (èrshí sān)” which is “two-ten-three”; 46 is “四十六(sìshíliù)” which is “four-ten-six”, and 14 is expressed as "十四 (shísì)" or “ten-four.” Therefore, unlike English, the system of Chinese numbers is very logic and straightforward. So now, I am sure that you can count from 0 to 99 in Chinese. 

Just in case you are still not very confident to pronounce these numbers, I will add a table with some numbers pronounced in Chinese below. Please feel free to email me if your have any questions.

 NumberChinese Character  Pinyin Audio 
 11 十一
 14 十四
 shí sì 
 16 十六
 shí liù
 20 二十
èr shí 
 30 三十
sān shí 
 23 二十三
èr shí sān
 35 三十五
 46 四十六
 99 九十九

How to count from 0 to 10 in Chinese?

posted 27 Mar 2018, 04:01 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 6 Apr 2018, 02:37 ]

Numbers play an important role in our daily life. If you are learning Mandarin Chinese, you have to know how to count in this language. Here below is a table that I prepared to teach you to pronounce correctly the numbers in Chinese from 0 to 10.

 NumberChinese Character  PinyinAudio Clip 


 1 一   yī 
 2 二    èr 




















China’s Terracotta Warriors are in the UK

posted 1 Feb 2018, 03:06 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 1 Feb 2018, 03:11 ]

China’s Terracotta Warriors have travelled a long journey to Liverpool, United Kingdom! They will be shown in front of the public at the World Museum between 9th February and 28th October.

It is a great opportunity for people in the UK and around the world to know Chinese culture and its history.

Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 in Xi’an city, Shanxi province, China. It was constructed to protect the afterlife of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. The army contains more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, and every figure is a different individual. It demonstrates the exceptional technique and artistic qualities of the Chinese sculpture in ancient time.

Click here to find more information about the exhibition in Liverpool.

Mid-autumn Festival

posted 23 Sep 2017, 02:26 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 23 Sep 2017, 04:53 ]

If you are interested in the Chinese culture, you cannot miss today’s topic which is about the Mid-autumn Festival. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-autumn Festival is held on the 15th of August, which this year corresponds to the 4th of October in the western Gregorian calendar.

This festival is a very important for all the Chinese people. On this day of the year, the full moon on the sky is round and bright, which calls for the family reunion. Therefore, no matter how far away each member of the family is, they always try their best to be together.

Chinese people have the ancient tradition of eating mooncakes on this special day. In general, they are a kind of pastry with thin skin and a rich thick filling such as red beans or lotus seed paste. Normally, there are some Chinese characters printed on the top of the mooncakes to express good wishes. Mooncakes are still very popular in modern China, so can find them also in the Chinese supermarkets of most of the western countries.

Please, share this blog if you like it and get ready to experience a special Chinese festival while enjoying a mooncake.

“Do you know Weibo, the Chinese twitter? It’s so scary!” said Jim Parson on Fallon Tonight.

posted 9 Aug 2016, 07:54 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 10 Aug 2016, 02:26 ]

After watching the interview of Jim Parson, I just could not help laughing. He is so funny and frank, and said that it was scary to use Weibo as you need to use Chinese to do certain things.

So what is Weibo?

Weibo is the Chinese microblogging service created by Sina (literally means new wave), the publicly traded online media company in 2009. It is considered as the Chinese version of twitter. It becomes very popular among Chinese people, daily active users are around 54 million and about 100 million messages are posted on it every day.

The importance of Weibo is that it is not only used for watching news and making friends, but also a fantastic way to do business. In order to enter the Chinese market, Weibo seems to be an essential tool. Global companies can register with Weibo and post their updated information to reach to a great quantity of potential consumers.

Want to know more about Weibo, click here.

Chinese names - An important element of Chinese culture

posted 20 Jul 2016, 14:10 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 20 Jul 2016, 14:11 ]

Unlike Western names, the surname of a Chinese name comes before the given name. For instance, in 范杰(Fàn Jié), 范(Fàn) is the surname whereas 杰(Jié) is the given name. Usually, the family name is monosyllabic while the given name consists one or two characters.

Generally, parents want to give their children names with good meaning. For example, 杰(Jié) means heroic, outstanding.

Chinese people call each other by putting their surname before the position or occupation title to show respect, such as 范老师(Fàn lǎoshī)- Teacher Fan, 李医生(lǐ yīshēng)-Dr. Li.

Watch the video below to see how Ellen reads her Chinese viewers’ names!

Please share this post if you like it!

Do you know how to say “Happy Fathers’ Day” in Chinese?

posted 18 Jun 2016, 09:14 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 18 Jun 2016, 09:29 ]

In Mandarin Chinese, “Father” or “Dad” is expressed normally as “爸爸 (bàba)”. However, “父亲 (fùqīn)” is a formal expression for “Dad” to be used in special occasions, such as “Father’s Day”. Therefore, “Happy Father’s Day” in Chinese is “父亲节快乐 (fùqīn jié kuàilè)!” 

If you want to say to your Dad “Wish you a Happy Father’s Day”, then you only need to add “祝你 (zhù nǐ)”in the beginning, that is “祝你父亲节快乐 (zhù nǐ fùqīn jié kuàilè)!” 

This Sunday will be Father’s Day; it would be very interesting if you try to wish your Dad a happy Father’s day in Chinese.

A simple way to pronounce initials

posted 11 Jun 2016, 13:27 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 11 Jun 2016, 13:45 ]

Many new beginners of Chinese language can handle well the pronunciation of the finals (vowels) after a few Mandarin Chinese lessons. However, they find it difficult to pronounce some initials (consonants).

Actually, many of the 23 Mandarin initials have the same sound as their English equivalent, such as f, k, m, n and s. Below I present a table showing the pronunciation of some of the initials that are different from their English counterparts (letters in red color).

Pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese initials and their English counterparts

If you like this post, please share it! 谢谢!

Why 你好(nǐ hǎo)sounds like “ní hǎo”?

posted 11 Jun 2016, 11:53 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 11 Jun 2016, 12:00 ]

你好(nǐ hǎo)would probably be the first word that students learn when study Chinese. It means “hello” in English and literally is translated as “you good”.

Although the pinyin of 你好 are two syllables with 3rd tone, however, when people pronounce this greeting word, it doesn’t sound like “nǐ hǎo” but “ní hǎo”. This is because when two syllables with 3rd tone get together, the first one should be changed to the 2nd tone when it is pronounced. Here below we also have other words which follow the same rule:

  • 很好 - hěn hǎo - “hén hǎo” (Very good)
  • 老板 - lǎo bǎn - “láo bǎn” (Boss)

And now, I have a question for my blog readers: when three syllables with 3rd tone get together, which one should be changed to the 2nd tone when pronounce it. For example:

Wǒ hěn hǎo.

我 很 好。

I am very good.

Please leave a message if you know the answer. 谢谢!

Basic finals

posted 22 Apr 2016, 09:00 by Yolanda Luo   [ updated 11 Jun 2016, 11:46 ]

From one of our previous blogs, you have known about the finals.

There are six basic finals in Pinyin. They are a, o, e, i, u, ü. The table below is going to show you the similar sound in English of five of the basic finals.

Mandarin Chinese language finals and the equivalent sound in English

ü is very special, because when you pronounce it, it seems that you are going to say “i” sound but with your lips round.

Listen to the sounds of this section by clicking the button below:

1-10 of 13