Link Words: Chinese Nouns
In Chinese, “he/she/it” have the same pronunciation, which is “tā”. It sounds like “ta” in the word “pasta” so that the link sentence “He really likes pasta” can help you remember this word. So next time when you want to ask “What’s his/her name”, you can say “他叫什么名字tā jiào shénme míngzì”.Although “he/she/it” have the same pronunciation, their characters are different. The character “他” is for “he”; “她”is for “she” and “它” is for “it”. It is not very difficult to tell “他” and “她”, because there is a “亻” in “他” which means man, and there is a “女” in “她” which means woman.Meanwhile, “它”, which is used to represent “it”, has the shape of a snake and can also be found in the character of snake “蛇shé”.
手shǒu which means “hand”. It sounds like the English word “show”, so the sentence of the picture “SHOW me your hands” can help you remember this word.Now you must want to learn “left hand” and “right hand”. In Chinese “left” is 左 zuǒ which sounds like “Zo” in the name “Zorro”. So the sentence of the second picture “Zorro is left-handed” may help you remember this word.And the Chinese word for “right” is 右 yòu. An easier sentence “you are right” can help you remember this word too.Finally, how do Chinese people say cell phone? That is 手机shǒujī, which literally means “hand machine”.
“人rén” means person and it sounds like “ron” in the English word “iron”. The link sentence “Is Ironman a person that does his own ironing?” can help you remember this word.Now let’s make some phrases! How do you say “Chinese people”? Don’t hesitate! It’s 中国人zhōngguórén!Let’s learn another phrase. Do you still remember how to say “love” in Chinese? Yes, it’s “爱ài”. Therefore “爱人àirén” means someone you love. It can represent both wife and husband.
The old fashion word for foreigner is “洋人yáng rén”. Here “洋yáng” means ocean and “人rén” means person. Ancient Chinese believed that the entire world consisted in the territory of China, at the time envisioned as nothing more than a floating square of land surrounded by a body of water. So we called the western people “西洋人xīyáng rén”, which means the people from the west ocean; The Japanese were called “东洋人dōngyáng rén”(the people from the east ocean); And we used “南洋人nán yáng rén” to call the people from South East Asia.Now Chinese have a new word for foreigners (especially for western people): “老外lǎowài”. The original meaning of “老lao” is “old” and here it is just a prefix and expresses a feeling of friendliness. “外wài” means outside or foreign and sounds exactly like the English word “why”. The sentence can help you remember it: “Foreigners always ask why.”