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Peking University

Chinese for Beginners

Peking University via Coursera


Nowadays, there is an increasing number of people who are interested in Chinese culture and language. And it is useful to know about the language when coming to China for travel or business. This is an ABC Chinese course for beginners, including introduction of phonetics and daily expressions. After taking this class, learners can have a basic understanding of Chinese Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living such as exchanging personal information, talking about daily arrangements and food, asking about price, introducing the city and the weather, telling your hobbies etc. Selected topics and situations come from real life scenarios and can be used for everyday communications. In addition to the dialogues, the selection of reading materials and practice activities will make the content as rich and varied as possible, in order to stimulate the learners’ interests. This is an elementary course on Chinese speaking. The learners don’t need to study Chinese characters, so it is easier to follow and complete this course.


  • Who Are You?
    • When we first meet someone, we need to learn about each other. In this module, we are going to learn some ways to introduce yourself, including name, nationality, identity, and discussing your family. We are also going to study Chinese Mandarin phonetics.
  • When Do You Go To School?
    • How do you plan your daily life? In this module, we are going to learn how to describe our daily schedule, including numbers, time, periods, and some corresponding actions.
  • What Do You Like to Eat?
    • Food is our most important need. In this module, we are going to talk about Chinese main courses, fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as drinks. Have you seen or tried any of these Chinese dishes? Maybe you have already learned to say them in Chinese!
  • I Like Shopping!
    • Shopping! Shopping! Some people love to go shopping, while others feel it is a headache. Still, shopping is an essential part of our life. In this module, we are going to learn how to express our color and size preference, how to ask about price, and how to bargain. Do you know what the most popular color is in your country? How about in China?
  • Do You Live in a Big City?
    • Do you live in a big city or a small town? How do you get to work or school every day? In this module, we are going to learn how to give directions and how to speak about transportation. This module is valuable in case you need to talk about directions with a Chinese friend or you need to go somewhere when you are in China.
  • How About the Weather?
    • Weather can influence our daily life and personal health. In this module, we are going to talk about temperature, seasons, and personal health. China is a very big country and the weather can be quite different across regions and seasons; we will learn to talk about all sorts of weather.
  • What is Your Hobby?
    • What do you like to do in your spare time? We have so many choices nowadays and lead such colorful lives. In this module, we are going to talk about weekday pastimes, sports, TV programs, and some other activities related to the internet, reading, music, and travel!

Taught by

Xiaoyu Liu

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4.4 rating, based on 57 reviews

Start your review of Chinese for Beginners

  • Profile image for K Kishore
    K Kishore
    Was a very enjoyable course. Had great fun and appreciation being introduced to the Chinese language.
  • Kyaw Kyaw Aye completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This introductory course is too much suitable for a beginner for studying Chinese Language. I believe you can explore the importance of Pinyin in it and that can motivate you for study more. For me, I am very keen in Learning Pinyin because Phonetics Sounds make me feel wonder but still need to improve. At the same time, it is also a Foundation for you to learn a Language.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I would like to lean Chainese language because it is important all the world. And I am Chainese and Thai 50%. My father is a Chainese man 100%. He ever taught me when I was a girl along time ago. I can't understand. Now he dead all ready.
  • Anonymous
    I will try by all means to study this course so that i am able to communicate with others using foreign language. I will be happy to take this course as I will encourage othres to eroll too.
  • Harsha Nandeeshappa completed this course.

    It is a good course for someone who has no idea about chinese language and wants to get a feel of it. I liked that it was simple and still well structured. I definitely recommend this course to others. Also the tests were manageable, if one is very busy, they can still manage to complete it within deadlines.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    In the past , I though the same as many people that Chinese Language very difficult to learn and not had necessary to learn. But .. Because of Xiaozhan (The Untamed) I shift my point of view and have commitment to learn Chinese Language so I brought...
  • Anonymous
  • Katerina Reich

    Katerina Reich completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    thank you so so much! I like your courses! it's unbelievably!
    I'm from Russia. I learn french, hindi and spanish.
  • Anonymous
    I am learning with this because I want to know how the Chinese is. This Class is so amazing and very nice to me. For me the lessons from this class are very very clear and very understandable for me. During this causing Covid-19, learn to free and get certificates free are very good idea. I like it so much. I really really like it. I joined this course was so right to me. Beacuse now I am good at basic Chinese and know how to speak Chinese basically. The teacher's teachings are also so so good and very understandable to me or learners.
  • I really enjoyed this course, this is an ABC Chinese course for beginners and it is very helpful. After taking this class, you can have a basic understanding of Chinese Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living .
  • Patrick Zhang completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This course is great for those who want to start learning Chinese. What's interesting about the course is that Chinese characters aren't used and only Pinyin is used. The course itself was organized and all assignments were doable.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The world evolves with people of different speaking languages. Nowadays not knowing what to say we you're with another individual but of different language creates a huge barrier of free flow of communication. This one will not ease communication flow but also guide us more on learning it's phonetic and also Chinese Mandarin.
    This process serves as a abc process for Chinese beginners. This course will also help one to understand Chinese better in case of future travel to China or dealing with a Chinese investors
  • Anonymous
    Good for beginner when you want to study Chinese and teacher is the best , easy to understand and easy to learn . thank you so much
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    My name is Chinenye Henrietta Ikeotuonye. I am a Nigerian but have an interest to study Chinese language. It is a very interesting language to learn. Languages opens one to so many things like creating a room for fluent interaction, understanding ones feeling better, and appreciating someone else's dialect without no atom of criticism
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    A bit overwhelming but doable. I really appriciate that the professor help us get thru it bit by bit, taking time for us to get the pronoucation right. Teaching the proper grammar and the rules to remember. I previously took mandarin thru an app but this is careful with the sounds and tones which I really appriciate.
  • Anonymous
    The lecturer is so well in teaching and the course is very comprehensive. Fully recommended!

    But I have just completed the course but there is no free certificate provided as mentioned. Only paid certificate will do. It is a bit disappointing.
  • Alaba Adekunle Adeyemo

    Alaba Adekunle Adeyemo is taking this course right now.

    I wish to be a bilingual in two foreign languages; Chinese and French. I am very happy to see this opportunity and I will make sure I obey every instructions given to me. I went to say thank you to those organizations that paid for this on our behalf. I wish myself good while studying the language. Thanks .
  • Souvunna

    Souvunna completed this course.

    I think i want stardy Chinese because Want to learn Chinese, cultivate it to be fun, like Chinese very much And want to speak Chinese well But there is no budget for education. In China, the cost of studying Chinese is very expensive. If possible, I would like to study online, would like to know many new friends too.
  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course that can learn on online. This course is suitable for beginners who learn Chinese Language. Lao Shi's English pronunciation is easy to understand.
  • Anonymous
    This’s convenient for the beginner of Chinese and you can get easy and clear lessons from this.At least you can get an introduction of Chinese from this!I like this one

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