Lesson 020. Travelling in China 2.

We continue to learn words and phrases useful when you travel in China. The dialogues are based on real-life situations and the language that you hear in these dialogues can be used right away, it is the language that people actually speak. The dialogues are recorded several times, with English translation and then only in Chinese as a part of the conversation with a native Chinese speaker. Please signup and become a registered member to download ALL 276+ audio lessons with full PDF transcripts.


  1. Karen Cloud says:

    I want to thank you for your lessons! I have been a podcast subscriber for some time now, and I recently subscribed to your transcripts and worksheets. My husband and I are adopting a child from China, and I want to learn as much Chinese as I can to ease my daughter’s transition to her new home, and so I can continue her appreciation and understanding of her culture.

  2. Nihao Karen,

    Thank you for your subscription and comment on my Website. It’s so wonderful that you are helping an orphan from China have a new and better life.

  3. alicia says:

    Thank you so much. I’m really learning this language because of you, the way you teach us is very good, slow pronunciation, remarking important words. thank you so much

  4. Michael Roeder says:

    Dear Serge,

    thanks a lot for your podcasts and the pdfs, they help me a lot in reviewing and broadening the basic Chinese I have already learned.
    Just came across the word 主意 in your lesson: shouldn’t it be zhu3yi (third tone) and not zhu2yi in the pinyin?

  5. Serge Melnyk says:

    Nihao Michael, this word is an exception. Even though Zhu3yi4 is written like this in the dictionaries, when people speak, they pronounce zhu in the second tone as zhu2- So the word “idea” in spoken Mandarin is pronouced as zhu2yi(主意), yi is in the neutral tone. It’s for this word only, in other instances, zhu3 is pronounced normally.

    Hope this helps!


  6. Michael Roeder says:

    Nihao Serge,
    thanks a lot for your quick response.
    I have come across another grammatical question which is not clear to me – couldn’t find an answer on your website:
    How can I find out which zuò (做, 作) to use, the meaning seems to be quite similar. E. g. in lesson 20, you have the sentence: 小姐,哪里可以做按摩?

    Best regards


  7. Serge Melnyk says:

    Nihao Michael,

    There is no big difference between the two, at least not nowadays, and many Chinese will probably not know the difference either, because it’s mainly stylistic, but, someone said that if 做 is used, it’s for some concrete making/manufacturing of something, but when 作 is used, it’s more abstract. It’s somewhat like the difference between ‘to do’ and ‘to make’. In this case, 做 will be ‘to make’ and 作 will be ‘to do’.

    In addition,

    作 has less ‘action’ in it, and it’s often used in many proverbs, fixed expressions, e.g. 作出决定-to make a decision.
    做 has more ‘action’ in it, so if 做按摩, because someone is using hands to actually do it, it’s 做 not 作. You can also read a more detailed explanation here:


    Hope this helps,



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