1. Cordell says:

    hey serge, the podcast did not dowload correctly from itunes, it downloaded the PDF file instead. Is there another way i can download the mp3 file and save it to my computer so I can upload it to my ipod, thanks

  2. Cordell says:

    I think i have discovered the problem; you have uploaded the PDF file in place of the mp3 file on your feedburner. When I press play on feedburner it opens the pdf file instead of the mp3. Itunes in turn downloads the pdf file instead of the mp3; can you correct this problem? thanks!! i really appreciate what you are doing :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for fixing it. I think what your doing is really great. Thank you. 8-)

  4. Jonathan says:

    Thank you very much. I have started taking chinese classes and your podcasts are awesome. Thanks brother.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hello Serge
    Is it you who ask 8$ and a crédit card number or is it Phising
    Wanda et Claude

  6. Donvinzk says:

    This is very good stuff to listen to Chinese with interresting explanations. I would just like to point out that I am managing my podcasts with smart playlists so I can have news, movie reviews, etc… separated. A simple way for me to filter your podcast would be that you fulfill either the artist, album,… MP3 tag.

    Keep up the great work,


  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Professor Melnyk,

    I am blown away at how easy Chinese can be to learn. Up until your podcast, I was throwing money at books, tapes and on line courses without anything to show for it. I am now on lesson 5 and trying to catch up! Are you planning a lesson involving the home with vocabulary describing items found in the house?

    xie xie!

  8. connor says:

    i dont know how to download these on to my ipod but i really like them could anyone tell me how?

  9. At the bottom in the side bar of the main page there is a button ‘ iTunes’. If you click on it, it will take you to the iTunes music store where you can subscribe to this podcast. If you just want to download Mp3 files from the Website, then right-click on the tiny Mp3 icon under each lesson and save the file on your hard disk.


  10. Mark says:

    Hi Serge,

    I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I would have to agree with the person from Taiwan who wrote “你的中文講得很棒很標準”. You take great care in pronouncing tones.

    Thank you!


  11. monique says:

    ni hao teacher serge

    im only fifteen but i really want to learn how to speak chinese… ur podcast is very very helpful…. now i know basics of speaking chinese…. i just wanna ask how long may it take for me to master it??? xiexie

  12. Hi Monique,

    Good question.
    I started to learn Chinese when I was only 16! It took me 2 years of self-study to be able to work as an interpreter for a trade company in my town. I first went to China when I was 17, it was for 1 week only, and despite that many friends and colleagues told me that I would give up learning Chinese after my visit to China (well, you know, it was in 1989, in Harbin. At the time, people were still spitting under the table when they were eating in a five-star restaurant!), but I didn’t. I was even more challenged. So all depends on your own determination. Good Luck!
    Zhu4 ni3 hao3 yun4!(祝你好運!)-it means good luck.

  13. monique says:

    ~ xie xie ~ now i’m more pursued to learn chinese…. my friends in school are now amazed by how i can speak basic chinese sentences…. i’m fond of learning things pn my own and your lessons are of big help…. ~ xie xie ~

  14. Martin says:

    Hi Serge, I only started in December so I’m nearly ready for lesson 6. In lesson 5, after 16 minutes 44 seconds I hear the question Ni shi ta pung you ba (I’m guessing the pinyin). is this really ba ? why is it not ma ?
    Keep up the great work, I’ll be buying the wroksheets soon

  15. Hi Martin,

    I guess there is an explanation about this in the lesson transcript. Particle “ba” is used to indicate the possibility of something, when the person who is speaking is not very sure about something+it plays the same role as the question particle “ma”. So whenever you doubt about anything, or not sure about if it’s true or not, then it’s “ba” at the end of the question sentence.

    Hope this answer was helpful.

    Learn Mandarin Chinese with Serge Melnyk

  16. Aika says:

    Hi Serge!
    I’m only 13 but I’m very interested in learning Chinese. Your lessons have been extremely helpful! Other sites go too fast or don’t explain, but your lessons are perfect.

    xie xie ni

  17. Aika says:

    Hi Serge!
    I’m only 13 but I’m very interested in learning Chinese. Your lessons have been extremely helpful! Other sites have lessons that go too fast or don’t explain, but your lessons are perfect. My friends are astounded that I can say basic sentences in chinese!

    xie xie ni

  18. Kori says:

    Hi Serge –

    I’m confused. Why isn’t “de” used after “ta” in the 4th set of Situational Dialogue 1 for both A & B?

    Similarly, why is “de” used after “shi” in part A of the 5th set of Situational Dialogue 1?

    Xie xie!

  19. Very good questions, Kori.

    Let me answer these two questions.

    1) The possessive ‘de’ can be omitted before names of relatives, close friends, your country or something you want to emphasize that it is very close to you, e.g. your beloved car etc.

    E.g. wo3 ba4ba4-my father, instead of wo3de ba4ba4.

    wo3 peng2you3-my friend, instead of wo3de peng2you3

    *Please note that it is not a mistake if you keep the ‘de’ there. It is just that you can omit it.

    2)The ‘de’ used after shi4, e.g. shi4 de, or dui4 de, which means ‘yes, ‘right’, is a not a possessive ‘de’ and it’s used to stress the meaning of the word, it doesn’t carry any meaning by itself here.

    This usage of ‘de’ you will mostly see in shi4 de and dui4 de, also hao3 de-good, ok, ke3yi3 de-fine, ok, will do…etc. It’s used to enhance the meaning and nothing more.

    Hope this was clear.



  20. stephen rudolph says:


    1) in the dialog.. “he is in” i don’t see the word shi (is) in the chinese
    translation. i only see ‘he in ?’. i suppose this might be a grammar thing ?

    2) ‘yes he is in’ is translated to qing zuo. as far as my understanding is,
    this would be ‘please sit’.. or ‘please do’.. google translate gives another

    P.S.sorry.. yes, he is in.. i misread the text..
    jin was not in the vocabulary. i can assume its ‘come in ‘ ?

  21. Serge Melnyk says:

    Nihao Stephen,

    1) In English, we always need to use ‘to be’ verb in all circumstances, in Mandarin, there must be a verb in the construction Subject-Verb-Object, but, this verb can vary. Sometimes, this is shi4, sometimes this is zai4 or other verb, in some cases it can even be omitted and it’s fine.

    The shi4 is used in Mandarin is more direct and literal meaning, when something or someone IS something or someone, but not when someone IS AT some location (in English you would say He IS at…..and a place). So when someone IS AT a location, the verb zai4 is used(but you still translate as …IS AT…).

    E.g. wo3 shi4 Shi3di4wen2-I am Steven. or wo3 shi4 lao3shi1-I am a teacher-very direct and literal meaning, someone is someone/something.

    E.g. wo3 zai4 Zhong1guo2- I am in China. Basically, it’s either shi4 or zai4, you can’t use both together (except when you really really want to emphasize something, then….wo SHI4 zai4 Zhong1guo2-I AAMMM in China, this would be an answer to a question if someone doubts if you are really in China or not)

    Same goes to the sentence, “I go to China”. It’s NOT wo3 qu4 zai4 Zhongguo. The correct way will be just wo3 qu4 Zhong1guo2.

    2) Um, qing3-please, zuo4-to sit, so it’s ‘please sit’.

    3)jin4-to enter, to come in.

    Good questions, thanks!

    Keep them coming.



  22. Ali says:

    你好 Serge !

    I love your website and tell everyone interested in Chinese about it. Thank you for making such a valuable resource available! In the final dialogue (situation #3) of lesson 5, you have this sentence:

    What is your family name? ‘你贵姓?’ [ni gui xing]

    Why isn’t the ma particle added? Is there another question word in that sentence?


  23. Serge Melnyk says:

    Nihao Ali, thank you for your question! For some types of questions, it is acceptable to omit the particle ma(吗), e.g. when another question word is used, such as shenme(什么) or na3(哪), actually, you won’t even use ‘ma’ to form a question when there is another question word. Also, when the answer can not just be simple yes or no, which is the case for most questions with particle ma(吗).

    E.g. ni3 qu4 ma?(你去吗?)-are you going?–You can certainly just answer “yes” or “no”, or qu4(去) and bu2 qu4(不去).
    Ni3 chi1 ma?(你吃吗?)-will you eat? Again, you can answer, chi1(吃) or bu4 chi1(不吃).

    If the question word is used: ni3 chi1 shenme?(你吃什么?)-what will you eat? You won’t need any ‘ma’ in this sentence.

    Nin2 gui4 xing4?(您贵姓?)-and your precious/honorable surname is…..? It is NOT “your surname is precious?”, it is “your precious surname (is…)”.

    So this kind of construction is special, it’s not a typical question, it’s more a statement turned into a question.


  24. Herb says:

    I would like to listen to the situational dialogues without all the explanation (after I have studied all the explanations of course) as a means of review and enhancing my ability to understand spoken Mandarin. Have you thought of a dialogue only blog using the words learned (or maybe there is something like that already available that I’m not aware of)? I think students would be willing to pay extra for that.

  25. Yes, the ‘dialogs only’ are available in your account, you just need to login with your credentials. Use the login button on top.

  26. Barry Scott says:

    Hi Serge,

    I listen to your podcast every day while walking to the office. That is so helpful, thank you!

    When you say “question” in Chinese, you say something like “wen pea” but the lady says “wen tea”. Is it me hearing you differently? And also sometimes you “ba” instead of “ma” to make questions. Again, is it me hearing it wrong or there are different pronunciations?

  27. Nihao Barry,

    It’s you hearing. It’s wen4ti2-question/problem.

    Regarding ba vs. ma. Ma is a question particle. Ba is a particle used when you are not sure and want to confirm something. They are used differently depending on different situations. However, for regular questions (changing statement into a question), particle ma will be used.

    Shi4 ni3 ma?- is it you?

    Shi4 ni3 ba? – it must be you, right?

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